Apologetics Class 5/20/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 3-4

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

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

The 10-Second Window

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

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

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

Additional Information

  1. I would encourage you to listen to this book in your free time (I listen to it while driving)
  2. If you have a smart phone (iPhone or Android), you can download the free app – Audible. All you need is an Amazon account to login.  You can purchase this book on Audible ($11.99).  Note, if you sign up for a membership, you can get this book for free.
  3. You can also download the free Kindle app and purchase the Kindle book (Amazon) for $7.99.
  4. Our church has small Gospel of John booklets (the Story of God) that you can hand out.
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mid-week apologetics booster (5-17-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/13/2018

What’s Down with Hell – James MacDonald

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

 

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Cut to the Heart by an AWANA 5th Grader

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Envelope

The Cover of the Card

The Content of the Card

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

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

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

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

Apologetics Class 5/6/2018

Mining for God

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

http://www.miningforgod.com/

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

Mining for God – May 6th 2018

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

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

 

Discussion Questions

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

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/29/2018

Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection

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

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

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

 

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

Notes for “Evidence for the Resurrection” by Craig Hazen

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

Here is the chart

mid-week apologetics booster (4-26-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Three Creepy Christian Principles We Can Learn from Chick-fil-A: https://townhall.com/columnists/jwarnerwallace/2018/04/18/three-creepy-christian-principles-we-can-learn-from-chickfila-n2471767
  2. What is the Greatest Need of this Generation? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-greatest-need-of-this-generation
  3. Is It Wrong to Try to Persuade Others to Change Their Beliefs?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/is-it-wrong-to-try-to-persuade-others-to-change-their-beliefs/
  4. Greg Koukl – What about those who’ve never heard? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIXs5wOSVk4
  5. Does History Reliably Prove the Bible’s Gospels? – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/history-prove-gospels/
  6. Will California Go from Banning Religious Books to Burning Them? | The Stream: https://stream.org/will-california-go-banning-religious-books-burning/
  7. A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/a-curious-clue-about-the-origins-of-the-new-testament-canon/
  8. California school district says parents can’t pull kids from new LGBT sex ed | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/california-school-district-says-parents-cant-pull-kids-from-new-lgbt-sex-ed
  9. Five Tools to Help Discern Truth from Deception iApologia: http://iapologia.com/five-tools-of-to-help-discern-truth-from-deception/
  10. Dear Young Apologist (some good advice from an experienced apologist) Exe-Jesus: http://exejesus.com/dear-young-apologist/
  11. Mormonism Disproved – Book of Abraham: http://mormonismdisproved.org/book_abraham.html
  12. Believing in the Resurrection – 3 points: https://heresthething.blog/2018/03/30/believing-in-the-resurrection/
  13. Fragments of Truth Film Review | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/fragments-of-truth/
  14. SMART FAITH CONFERENCE – April 28th 2018: http://www.smartfaith.org/
  15. Is Jesus Superior to All Other Religious Leaders? | NAMB: https://www.namb.net/apologetics/is-jesus-superior-to-all-other-religious-leaders
  16. Feedback: Where Did All the Floodwater Go? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go/
  17. Why we all need to be trained in Christian Apologetics Take the test Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/defending-your-faith-101-why-we-all-need-to-be-trained-in-christian-apologetics-take-the-test/
  18. Worldview Training in Action | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/worldview-training-action#.Wtv9iOplA0M
  19. Carbon 14 in Coal? It shouldn’t be there! – creation.com: https://creation.com/m/carbon-14-in-coal-it-shouldnt-be-there
  20. 10 Arguments for the Existence of God – PlainSimpleFaith.com: http://www.plainsimplefaith.com/2013/05/10-arguments-for-the-existence-of-god/
  21. Evidence of Design in the Biological Realm 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/evidence-of-design-in-the-biological-realm/
  22. Earth age opinions of prominent Christians – pre-1800 – Conservapedia: http://www.conservapedia.com/Earth_age_opinions_of_prominent_Christians_-_pre-1800
  23. Jesus Calling was inspired by a channeled New Age book: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletters/2014/newsletter20141110.htm
  24. Ainsley Chalmers interview – Blinded by evolutionary brainwashing: https://creation.com/ainsley-chalmers-interview
  25. Why Our Moral Debt Could Be Transferred to Jesus – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2014/11/why-our-moral-debt-could-be-transferred-to-jesus.html
  26. The Fine-Tuning Argument | Worldview of Jesus: https://worldviewofjesus.com/2012/06/07/the-fine-tuning-argument/
  27. Is Intelligent Design Just God-of-the-Gaps? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/is-intelligent-design-just-god-of-the-gaps#.WtyJocgvyUk
  28. Worldviews & Earth Day | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/worldviews-earth-day
  29. Arches of Utah | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/geology/natural-features/arches-utah/
  30. Why Isn’t the Church More Eagerly Embracing Apologetics? Here’s an Idea! – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-isnt-the-church-more-eagerly-embracing-apologetics-heres-an-idea
  31. A Little Bit of Religion is a Good Thing But Don’t Take it Too Seriously?: http://www.cltruth.com/2018/a-little-bit-of-religion-is-a-good-thing-but-dont-take-it-too-seriously/
  32. Is the Bible Reliable?: https://justmy2-cents.blogspot.com/2017/02/is-bible-reliable.html
  33. Planned Parenthood – false 3% claim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c1TytJVtXs
  34. Who Is Jesus / What books should be in the Bible / Is the Bible Really Trustworthy?: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/apologetics-class-4-22-2018/
  35. Bibles pulled from online stores as China increases control of religion – CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/asia/china-bible-online-christianity-intl/index.html
  36. Why the KJV Only Movement is Wrong | RunningAwayFromMyChurch.com: https://runningawayfrommychurch.com/kjv-only-king-james-bible-controversy/
  37. Regenerating ribs: Adam and that missing rib – creation.com: https://creation.com/regenerating-ribs-adam-and-that-missing-rib

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the [temple] messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/22/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is the Bible Really Trustworthy?

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

Discussion Questions (part 1)

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

Discussion Questions (part 2)

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

mid-week apologetics booster (4-19-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. What To Teach Kids About Unanswered Prayer: https://crossexamined.org/what-to-teach-kids-about-unanswered-prayer/
  2. Can You and Your Kids Answer These Skeptics of Christianity? (Part 1 of 5): http://christianmomthoughts.com/can-you-and-your-kids-answer-these-skeptics-of-christianity-part-1-of-5/
  3. What Influences Our Kids to Walk Away? | The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/04/15/what-influences-our-kids-to-walk-away/
  4. Teacher Gives Student Ultimatum, Deny God, Or Drop My Class! What He Did Next? Is Unbelievable! – Faithreel.com: https://faithreel.org/teacher-gives-student-ultimatum-deny-god/
  5. 3 Lies Students Believe About Freedom That Will Ruin Their Lives – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/3-lies-students-believe-about-freedom-that-will-ruin-their-lives/
  6. Why the New Definition of Tolerance Is Dangerous – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/03/why-the-new-definition-of-tolerance-is-dangerous.html
  7. Changing My Mind – Experimental particle physicist Dr. Michael G Strauss discusses the relationship between science, God, Christianity, and reason.: http://www.michaelgstrauss.com/2018/03/changing-my-mind.html
  8. Were the New Testament Authors Biased?: https://respondblogs.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/respondblog-were-the-new-testament-authors-biased/
  9. Atheist-Turned-Youth Minister Starts High School Bible Clubs Across California: https://stream.org/atheist-turned-youth-minister-starts-high-school-bible-clubs-across-california/
  10. In Intellectual Neutral | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/apologetics/in-intellectual-neutral/
  11. Does Atheism Require Blind Faith? Matthew Ruttan: https://matthewruttan.com/2018/03/21/does-atheism-require-blind-faith/
  12. Is Christianity at War with Science? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/is-christianity-at-war-with-science
  13. Four Things You Can Do When Someone Challenges Your Faith – February Mentoring Letter 2017 | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/article/four-things-you-can-do-when-someone-challenges-your-faith-february-mentoring-letter-2017#.WtSqWeplA0P
  14. Remembering the Christian roots of science – creation.com: https://creation.com/origin-of-science-christian
  15. Ligonier Defending the Faith Conference (Seattle) – 2018 West Coast Conference: https://www.ligonier.org/events/2018-west-coast-conference-seattle/register/
  16. Gary Habermas Questions Why Atheists Believe in Alexander the Great, but Not Jesus’ Resurrection: https://www.christianpost.com/news/gary-habermas-questions-why-atheists-believe-in-alexander-the-great-but-not-jesus-resurrection-221370/
  17. 5 Things Christians Should Know about Wal-Mart’s Decision to Pull Cosmo Magazine – Nicole Weider: https://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/guest-commentary/5-things-christians-should-know-about-wal-mart-s-decision-to-pull-cosmo-magazine.html
  18. When were the books of the Bible written?: http://www.provethebible.net/T2-Integ/B-0402.htm
  19. The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/the-comparatively-rich-archaeological-corroboration-of-the-old-testament/
  20. Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/04/16/can-a-person-believe-in-both-god-and-darwinian-evolution/
  21. Why It’s Okay Not to Have All the Answers – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/okay-not-all-answers/
  22. Did Jesus Have To Do Apologetics? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/did-jesus-have-to-do-apologetics-5/
  23. A Case for Bible 101: Manuscript Evidence Part 7 Were There Books Left Out? Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-7-were-there-books-left-out/
  24. If Faith Involves Making An Inference From Evidence, Why Do We Call It Faith?: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/if-faith-involves-making-an-inference-from-evidence-why-do-we-call-it-faith/
  25. Early Christian Martyrdoms: Persecution in the Roman Empire Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2018/04/15/early-christian-martyrdoms-persecution-in-the-roman-empire/
  26. Examine Evidence for the Bible’s Reliability: http://faithphilosophy.com/en/bible-examine-evidence-for-the-bible-reliability.php
  27. Real People and Real Places: The Biblical Archaeological Approach | Mormonism Research Ministry: http://www.mrm.org/sharing-with-mormons-archaeology
  28. Are the New Testament manuscripts reliable? (Part 1) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtOWUUMoc6Q
  29. 5 Ways Apologetics Strengthens Our Faith | John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/apologetics-2/5-ways-apologetics-strengthens-our-faith/
  30. Answering the Age Old Issue of Religious Relativism | The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/04/02/answering-the-age-old-issue-of-religious-relativism/
  31. The Professor: Why Are You a Christian? – When Challenged, Can You Defend Your Faith in Christ: https://probe.org/the-professor-why-are-you-a-christian/
  32. You Need to Know Why Young People Leave Church: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/you-need-to-know-why-young-people-leave-church
  33. A Biblical Image For How Apologetics Helps Build the Church – Hope’s Reason: https://www.stephenjbedard.com/2017/10/05/biblical-image-apologetics-helps-build-church/#.Wtc2Y4jwaUm
  34. You Can Do A Show About Christianity, Unless You Believe It’s True | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/you-can-do-a-show-about-christianity-unless-you-believe-its-true/
  35. Historic Heresies Related to the Nature of Jesus | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/historic-heresies-related-to-the-nature-of-jesus/
  36. Francis Schaeffer: Pastor, Evangelist, Apologist, Prophet – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/francis-schaeffer-pastor-evangelist-apologist-prophet/
  37. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: How to Use Questions to Help Defend Your Faith: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/11/how-to-use-questions-to-help-defend.html

Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:22-23

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/15/2018

Atheist Role-play Brett Kunkle

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

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

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

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

Audience Responses

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

Debrief Session

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

Discussion Questions

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

mid-week apologetics booster (4-12-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Parenting in the Power of the Gospel: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/parenting-in-the-power-of-the-gospel
  2. How and When the New Testament Was Written – Logic & Light: http://www.logicandlight.org/how-and-when-the-new-testament-was-written/
  3. Rhode Island Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide Could Allow Secretly Euthanizing Patients Against Their Will | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2018/04/05/rhode-island-bill-to-legalize-assisted-suicide-could-allow-secretly-euthanizing-patients-against-their-will/
  4. Where Did the Bible Come From? | Zondervan Academic Blog | Zondervan Academic: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/where-did-the-bible-come-from/
  5. Does Religion Cause War? | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2013/03/does-religion-cause-war.html
  6. This Was Your Life Tract (cartoon, but not funny – very serious): http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp
  7. The Circular Reasoning of Atheists: http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2013/03/the-circular-reasoning-of-atheists/
  8. 40 Influential Christian Books: https://www.christianpost.com/news/40-influential-christian-books-217650/
  9. 5 uncomfortable facts atheists need to hear: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-uncomfortable-facts-atheists-need-to-hear
  10. 10 Biblical Reasons God Allows Suffering – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/10-biblical-reasons-god-allows-suffering
  11. Unbelievable Unbelief – If Jesus would only show Himself to me, if God would just work one dramatic miracle, then I’d believe in Him…This kind of person overestimates himself. Even miracles can be denied or dismissed: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2010/03/unbelievable-unbelief.html
  12. Love + Apologetics = Evangelism: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2013/04/love-apologetics-evangelism.html
  13. Advice for Christians who discuss their faith with atheists from an atheist | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2013/05/01/advice-for-christians-who-discuss-their-faith-with-atheists-from-an-atheist-2/
  14. Has Science Disproved God? Q&A | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/a-new-column-good-question-quick-answer/
  15. Is the Old Testament Reliable? by Chad A. Gross: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/08/article-is-old-testament-reliable-by.html
  16. 3 Reasons Why Christians Should Be Evidential Investigators Instead of Experience Junkies – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/3-reasons-why-christians-should-be-evidential-investigators-instead-of-experience-junkies
  17. The Book of Revelation: How Difficult Was Its Journey into the Canon? Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/the-book-of-revelation-how-difficult-was-its-journey-into-the-canon/
  18. The Bible Does Not Approve of Everything It Records – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/03/the-bible-does-not-approve-of-everything-it-records.html

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:7-11

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/8/2018

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

 

Here are the notes that were handed out:

Truth and Tolerance – Peter Kreeft

Introduction

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

If there is no truth, then only three ways:

Emotional force

Physical force

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

Let’s define Truth.  What is truth?

-Truth is telling it like it is.

It’s true that I wasn’t born on Mars

-Common sense

-Naive

-Universally known

-Feelings are subjective

-Hard, impersonable, non-negotiable

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

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

 

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

Romans – “Veritas” = rightness in thinking

Jews – “emet” = trustworthiness

Tolerance

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

Judgmental

Pragmatic, tolerate the lesser evil, eg. War

 

New meaning:  Tolerate everything.

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

Judge sin not sinners

Good scientists judges ideas

Good politician judges ideas

You are your actions

Homosexuality

Hate the sin, love the sinner

Transgenderism

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

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

The sexual revolution is a philosophy

Something you do

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

Only with moral absolutes can there be tolerance

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

This has overcome the motherhood instinct

Abortion is accepted

Divorce is accepted and prevalent in our society

50 % divorce rate

No society can last with family life de-valued

The Jews, Confucians, Romans, Islam valued the family

So the sexual revolution affects everybody

Moral relativism

Absolutizes the relative, eg.  The Inquisition

Or Relativize the absolutes is worse

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

CS Lewis’s the Abolition of Man says

Relativism changes your nature

Your heart is ripped out, humanity is abolished

mid-week apologetics booster (4-5-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 5 Reasons the Resurrection of Jesus is NOT a Copy of Ancient Pagan Myths – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/5-reasons-the-resurrection-of-jesus-is-not-a-copy-of-ancient-pagan-myths
  2. The 3 Most Important Conversations about Easter that Most Sunday Schools and Parents Aren’t Having with Kids: http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-3-most-important-conversations-about-easter-that-most-sunday-schools-and-parents-arent-having-with-kids/
  3. The Hidden Science That Proves Jesus Definitely Died on the Cross Charisma News: https://www.charismanews.com/world/70320-the-hidden-science-that-proves-jesus-definitely-died-on-the-cross
  4. Atheists and Unreasonable Objections: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/05/atheists-and-unreasonable-objections.html
  5. Three arguments you’ll face on why faith and science are incompatible | Beyond Teachable Moments: https://beyondtm.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/three-arguments-youll-face-on-why-faith-and-science-are-incompatible/
  6. Rapid Response: You Can’t Trust the Gospels Because They Were Written by Christians: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/rapid-response-you-cant-trust-the-gospels-because-they-were-written-by-christians/
  7. We leave ourselves open to the charge of being uncritical and not caring to examine our faith: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2018/03/we-leave-ourselves-open-to-the-charge-of-being-uncritical-and-not-caring-to-examine-our-faith.html
  8. 10 Reasons to Accept the Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Fact: https://crossexamined.org/10-reasons-accept-resurrection-jesus-historical-fact/
  9. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources
  10. Four Reasons To Believe Jesus Was Really Crucified | Word On Fire: https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/four-reasons-to-believe-jesus-was-really-crucified/5458/
  11. CSI Calvary the compelling case for the Resurrection | The Conservative Woman | The philosophy not the party: https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rebel-priest-rev-jules-gomes-csi-calvary-the-compelling-case-for-the-resurrection/
  12. Why I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus – Bernard J Mauser: http://www.bernardjmauser.com/philosopher/why-i-believe-in-the-resurrection-of-jesus/
  13. 3 Syllogistic Arguments For Jesus’ Deity: https://crossexamined.org/3-syllogistic-arguments-jesus-deity/
  14. 53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically – Biblical Archaeology Society: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/50-people-in-the-bible-confirmed-archaeologically/
  15. Why should we be punished for sin when sinning is our nature?: http://www.blogos.org/theologyapologetics/punished-for-sin-nature.php
  16. How Can I Know Which Bible Promises Apply to Me? – Stand to Reason Blog: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/09/how-can-i-know-which-bible-promises-apply-to-me.html
  17. Apologetics Film in Theaters on April 24th – Fragments of Truth: https://www.str.org/blog/apologetics-film-theaters-april-24th#.WsN1SIjwaUk
  18. Reasons Why One Should Accept the Traditional Authorship of the Gospels | Bellator Christi: https://bellatorchristi.com/2016/11/14/reasons-why-one-should-accept-the-traditional-authorship-of-the-gospels/
  19. The Resurrection Answers Three Big Questions – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-resurrection-answers-three-big-questions
  20. Stephen C. Meyer lectures on intelligent design and the origin of life | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/04/03/stephen-c-meyer-lectures-on-intelligent-design-and-the-origin-of-life-6/
  21. 3 Startling Truths about the Early Church from the Pre-New Testament Texts: https://crossexamined.org/3-startling-truths-early-church-pre-new-testament-texts/
  22. Responding to the objection by Christians who say I don’t need any evidence for my faith! THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/responding-to-the-objection-by-christians-who-say-i-dont-need-any-evidence-for-my-faith-4/

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 Samuel 12:15-23

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 4/1/2018

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

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

 

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

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

Short Animated video about evidence for the resurrection

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

 

Tim Barnett Speaks About Evidence for the Resurrection

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

The Cross Produced a Dead Body

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

The Tomb Contained No Body

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

The People Saw & Touched Somebody

 

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

 

What Are the Explanations Given by Skeptics for these Facts?

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

 

Discussion Questions

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

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-29-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Dear Dr. Peterson: The Resurrection is Credible. Dear MSM: Just Stop It. | The Stream: https://stream.org/dr-peterson-resurrection-credible/
  2. Study Shows Only 10% of Americans Have a Biblical Worldview | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/culture/study-shows-only-10-percent-americans-have-biblical-worldview/
  3. What Are the Two Dominant Worldviews? | Dr. Henry M. Morris III: http://www.henrymorris3.com/dominant-worldviews/
  4. The Resurrection, An Event To Be Confident About: https://pluggedintoleadership.com/2016/12/15/the-resurrection-an-event-to-be-confident-about/
  5. Is Your Transformational, Religious Experience Evidence Enough? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-your-transformational-religious-experience-evidence-enough/
  6. The Evidence For Jesus’ Resurrection — Part 2: How To Do History: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-evidence-for-jesus-resurrection_25.html
  7. Manuscript Evidence Part 4 Can we trust the Bible translations we have today? Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-the-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-4-can-we-trust-the-bible-translations-we-have-today/
  8. Apologetics is Unassuming: http://www.travisdickinson.com/apologetics-is-unassuming/
  9. Who Were Cavemen? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/cavemen/who-were-cavemen/
  10. How Did the Early Christians Influence Their Culture?: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/07/how-did-early-christians-influence.html
  11. Witnessing to Zen Buddhists | John Ankerberg Show: https://www.jashow.org/articles/guests-and-authors/dr-john-ankerberg/witnessing-to-zen-buddhists/
  12. Evidence, History Supports Jesus Resurrection – Stand Up For The Truth: https://standupforthetruth.com/2018/03/evidence-history-supports-jesus-resurrection/

But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Isaiah 26:19

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 3/25/2018

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

 

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

mid-week apologetics booster (3-22-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Early mosaic calls Jesus ‘God’ – creation.com: https://creation.com/early-mosaic-calls-jesus-god
  2. Why Don’t Brilliant Scientists Like Stephen Hawking Believe in God?: http://christianmomthoughts.com/why-dont-brilliant-scientists-like-stephen-hawking-believe-in-god/
  3. Longest Evolution Experiment Dead-End: http://www.darwinthenandnow.com/2018/01/longest-evolution-experiment-dead-end/
  4. “It’s In the Bible, So Believe It! Won’t Help Youth At All: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2018/03/its-in-the-bible-so-believe-it/
  5. Who Was Saint Patrick and Should Christians Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/who-was-saint-patrick-and-should-christians-celebrate-st-patricks-day/
  6. 12 Types of Truth the Scientific Method Cannot Prove – Candid Apologetics: http://candidapologetics.weebly.com/blog/12-types-of-truth-the-scientific-method-cannot-prove
  7. Defend Without Getting Defensive: http://apologeticsguy.com/2010/06/defend-without-getting-defensive/
  8. How Do You Talk to Kids About God? Interview with Author Natasha Crain. – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/talk-kids-god-interview-author-natasha-crain/
  9. Why Do We Need Apologetics? | Women in Apologetics: https://www.womeninapologetics.com/why-do-we-need-apologetics/
  10. How to respond more effectively when someone questions your faith Matthew Ruttan: https://matthewruttan.com/2018/03/13/how-to-respond-more-effectively/
  11. Objections to Apologetics: its arguing and debating Christian Worldview Discipleship: http://www.discipleshipphilippines.org/objections-to-apologetics-3/
  12. A Very Challenging Task: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/a-very-challenging-task-answering-jewish-objections-to-jesus/
  13. 4 Reasons the Internet May Influence Your Kids’ Faith More Than You: http://christianmomthoughts.com/4-reasons-the-internet-may-influence-your-kids-faith-more-than-you/
  14. Get Ready, Youth Group Leaders: Teens Twice as Likely to Identify as Atheist or LGBT | News & Reporting | Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/january/youth-group-leaders-generation-z-atheist-lgbt-teens-barna.html
  15. Why Is Christianity So Closed-Minded and Exclusive?: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/why-is-christianity-so-closed-minded-and-exclusive
  16. False Claims About Jesus in the Popular Press | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/false-claims-in-the-popular-press/
  17. Atheist Police Detective Examines the Resurrection of Jesus becomes Christian – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjXMsq6SscA
  18. Brain = Mind? Craniopagus Twins Argue Otherwise | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/brain-mind-craniopagus-twins-argue-otherwise/
  19. Why Do You Need a Fighting Faith? – Tim Challies: https://www.challies.com/why-do-you-need-a-fighting-faith/
  20. Verifiability Is A Christian Distinctive | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/verifiability-is-a-christian-distinctive/

Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple. Luke 21:37-38

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 3/18/2018

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

mid-week apologetics booster (3-15-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Why sexual immorality should be repudiated rather than debated – Washington Times: https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/4/why-sexual-immorality-should-be-repudiated-rather-/
  2. This Is Apologetics: An Argument from Christian Hypocrisy JOEL SETTECASE: https://settecase.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/this-is-apologetics-an-argument-from-christian-hypocrisy/
  3. The Limitations of Apologetics and Belief That and Belief In THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/the-limitations-of-apologetics-and-belief-that-and-belief-in-2/
  4. WALSH: Many People Have Asked Me To ‘Tone Down The Jesus Stuff.’ I’m Going To Do The Opposite. | Daily Wire: https://www.dailywire.com/news/27897/walsh-many-people-have-asked-me-tone-down-jesus-matt-walsh
  5. Does Jesus Really Want Me to Hate My Family?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/does-jesus-want-hate-family/
  6. Why Generation Z is less Christian than ever | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/11/why-generation-z-is-less-christian-than-ever-and-why-thats-good-news.html
  7. Who Wrote the Gospels and When Did They Write Them? – Logic & Light: http://www.logicandlight.org/who-wrote-the-gospels-and-when-did-they-write-them/
  8. A Case for the Bible 101: Manuscript Evidence Part 1, A Few Important Facts Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-the-bible-101-manuscript-evidence-part-1-a-few-important-facts/
  9. Why Are Stories Such Powerful Means of Communication? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-are-stories-such-powerful-means-of-communication
  10. Science Confirms Climate Change! | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/environmental-science/climate-change/science-confirms-climate-change/
  11. Loving Christ – How can I get out of my evidentialist hole and find Jesus? How can I come to know my faith is true? | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/loving-christ/
  12. Isn’t the Christian View of Sexuality Dangerous and Harmful?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/isnt-the-christian-view-of-sexuality-dangerous-and-harmful/
  13. Is Christianity Intolerant? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-christianity-intolerant/
  14. What is the Most Recent Manuscript Count for the New Testament? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-most-recent-manuscript-count-for-the-new-testament
  15. How Not to Teach Your Kids the Bible: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-not-to-teach-your-kids-the-bible/
  16. The Difference Between Knowing and Showing God Exists THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/the-difference-between-knowing-and-showing-god-exists/

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:7-14

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 3/11/2018

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

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

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

Abdu Murray’s Testimony

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

Does Prayer Really Help?

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

Discussion Questions

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

 

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-8-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. American Atheists Hide Behind the Fairy Tale of Evolution – The American Vision: https://americanvision.org/11504/american-atheists-hide-behind-fairy-tale-evolution/
  2. Why Belief in God is a Rational Position Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/why-belief-in-god-is-a-rational-position/
  3. 3 Startling Truths about the Early Church from the Pre-New Testament Texts Bellator Christi: https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/03/28/3-startling-truths-about-the-early-church-from-the-pre-new-testament-texts/
  4. Atheist Garage – Adam4d.com: http://adam4d.com/atheist-garage/
  5. The Right and Wrong Reasons to Pursue Apologetics THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/the-right-and-wrong-reasons-to-pursue-apologetics/
  6. 10 Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-things-every-christian-should-know-about-islam/
  7. Dinosaur Questions and Answers – creation.com: https://creation.com/dinosaur-questions-and-answers
  8. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part 1 | Origins :: Cornerstone Network: http://origins.ctvn.org/2012/11/12/fearfully-and-wonderfully-made-part-1/
  9. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part 2 | Origins :: Cornerstone Network: http://origins.ctvn.org/2012/11/19/fearfully-and-wonderfully-made-part-2/
  10. Neanderthal Man and the Bible: http://aliveapologetics.blogspot.com/2012/03/neanderthal-man-and-bible.html
  11. The Three D’s of Tolerance | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-three-ds-of-tolerance/
  12. Islam’s Claims of Biblical Corruption Actually Impeach the Qur’an: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/10/islams-claims-of-biblical-corruption.html
  13. Keep Praying for Melinda | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/keep-praying-melinda#.WpxfBOjwaUk
  14. China, officially atheist, could have more Christians than the U.S. by 2030 – Houston Chronicle: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/China-officially-atheist-could-have-more-12633079.php#photo-15118937
  15. The Impossibility of Life’s Evolutionary Beginnings: http://www.icr.org/article/10456/
  16. Science and God | Andy Bannister: http://www.andybannister.net/science-and-god/
  17. Can Christians Answer One Simple Question? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/can-christians-answer-one-simple-question
  18. Is Global Sea Level Rising?: http://www.icr.org/article/10403/
  19. Something Fishy about Global Warming Claims – Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/10460/
  20. Top 101 Theological Questions in 2018 (According to Google) – Theolocast: http://theolocast.org/blog/top-101-theological-questions-in-2018-according-to-google/
  21. Is Christianity Useful Anymore? The Younger Generations Don’t Seem To Think So: https://crossexamined.org/christianity-useful-anymore-younger-generations-dont-seem-think/
  22. Who Decided What Books to Include in the Bible? 5 Principles | The Stream: https://stream.org/decided-books-include-bible-5-principles/
  23. Are There Different Degrees of Punishment in Hell? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/are-there-different-degrees-of-punishment-in-hell/
  24. Fact Check: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence: http://candidapologetics.weebly.com/blog/fact-check-extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence
  25. What does it mean to say Christianity is true? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/what-does-it-mean-to-say-christianity-is-true-3/
  26. Extremely Early Testimonies to the Deity of Christ: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2018/03/extremely-early-testimonies-to-the-deity-of-christ/
  27. 5 Ways Progressive Christianity and New Age Spirituality Are Kind of the Same Thing – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/5-ways-progressive-christianity-and-new-age-spirituality-are-kind-of-the-same-thing
  28. How Can We Know Prayer Works? A Response to Neil deGrasse Tyson Relevant Belief: https://relevantbelief.com/2018/02/24/how-can-we-know-prayer-works-a-response-to-neil-degrasse-tyson/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
  29. Does Prayer Make Any Difference? | RZIM: http://rzim.org/just-thinking/does-prayer-make-any-difference/
  30. Why Doesn’t God Answer All My Prayers? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/why-doesnt-god-answer-all-my-prayers/

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:14-16

Blessings to you all

Teaching for Men’s Bible Study – Nehemiah 4:15-23

Nehemiah 4:15-23

Given March 6th 2018

The Work Resumes

15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.

17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. 19 I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. 20 “At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.” 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water. (NASB)

In this part of Nehemiah chapter 4, we see the method that Nehemiah uses to motivate the battling and at the same time to maintain the building.  It was vital that the walls be built up.  The temple was in jeopardy and the people were in jeopardy.  The enemy could come in at will.  Roving bandits could move into the city, even without a great deal of armaments, and take what they wanted.

By way of application, this is a picture of what the defeated Christian is like. The Enemy comes in and runs rampant through his life, doing what he pleases.  Satan is out to defeat the Christian in every circumstance. He loves it when there are no defenses that are built up.  The book of Nehemiah talks about physical fortifications, but in the same way, a mature Christian must have “spiritual fortifications” built up.  These spiritual fortifications in the life of a believer represent maturity.  We need to be spiritually self-sustaining and able then to nourish others and to build them up.  This is particularly important with us men as spiritual leaders in our families.  We need to be mature, not spiritual babies.  The writer of Hebrews addresses this:

Hebrews 5:11-1411 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Verse 12 is saying that, considering how long you’ve been a Christian, it is a necessity that you ought to be a teacher.  V. 13-14 says you ought to be on Porterhouse and instead you’re on Pablum.

In the book of Nehemiah, the MacArthur Study Bible lists 7 attempts to stop Nehemiah’s work:

  1. 2:19 – Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem mocked Nehemiah
  2. 4:1-3 – Sanballat and Tobiah mocked Nehemiah
  3. 4:7-23 – the enemy threatened a military attack
  4. 6:1-4 – Sanballat and Geshem attempted to lure Nehemiah outside Jerusalem to Ono
  5. 6:5-9 – Sanballat threatened Nehemiah with false charges
  6. 6:10-14 – Shemaiah, Noadiah and others were paid to prophesy falsely and discredit Nehemiah
  7. 6:17-19 – Tobiah had spies in Jerusalem and wrote Nehemiah letters in order to frighten him

Up to this point in the book, the Jewish people had been experiencing 4 things:

  1. Daunting and intimidation (4:1-3)

    1 Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2 He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?” 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, “Even what they are building – if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!”

  2. Discouragement (4:4a,5b)

    Hear, O our God, how we are despised … for they have demoralized the builders.

  3. Defiance, threats of open attacks (4:7-8)

    7 Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.

  4. Doubts (4:10)

    Thus in Judah it was said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, Yet there is much rubbish ; And we ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall.”

 

The enemy was using all of these tactics to attempt to prevent them from “building the wall”, but Nehemiah had answers for all of this, because he was in touch with God.

In the beginning of our passage for today, we see that Nehemiah’s guards, and the overall show of force, had the effect of not just defending the Jewish people, but also intimidating the enemy.  When the enemy learned that Jerusalem was armed and ready, they backed off. God had frustrated their plot.

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations” (Ps. 33:10–11 NKJV)

As they were getting back to work, Nehemiah knew that he couldn’t interrupt the work every time he heard a new rumor, so he set up a defense plan that solved the problem: Half of the men worked on the wall while the other half stood guard. He saw to it that the people carrying materials also carried weapons and that the workers on the walls carried swords. In this way, the work would not be interrupted, and the workers would be ready in case of an alarm. The man with the trumpet stayed close to Nehemiah so the alarm could be given immediately if trouble came and they were attacked.

So, in the same way, we as Christians must build and we must battle.  We cannot stop battling to build and we cannot stop building to battle.  We must do both simultaneously.  We see this principle in James:

James 4:7-8a 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

When Charles Spurgeon started his church magazine in 1865, he borrowed the title from Nehemiah and called the publication The Sword and Trowel (note – trowel is a small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster):

He said it was “a record of combat with sin and labor for the Lord.” It is not enough to build the wall; we must also be on guard lest the Enemy take it from us.

Building and battling are both a normal part of the Christian life if we are faithful disciples (Luke 14:28–33).

28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

** Question: What are some areas (in our personal lives, in the church and in the culture at large) that we as Christians need to be battling against?

** Question: What are some areas (in our personal lives, in the church and in the culture at large) that we as Christians need to be involved in building up?

There are 3 prominent things in this passage of Scripture – the plan, the promise and the perseverance:

The Plan

  1. Why do we need a plan? Vengeance of the enemy, vitalness of the work and vastness of the wall
    1. The vengeance of the enemy demands that there be a plan that we might have victory. We saw this in v.7-8 of this chapter:

      Nehemiah 4:7-87 Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.

    2. The vitalness of the work. In the book of Nehemiah up until this point, the emphasis has been how important this matter of building the wall is to the people of Israel:

      Nehemiah 1:3-43 They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

    3. Because of the vastness of the wall:

      Nehemiah 4:19 – I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another.”

      They weren’t all together in one place when working on the wall, but they were individuals, working on individual parts of the wall – they were separated by great distances. In the same way, we as Christians are not always together all the time (maybe once or twice a week).  But, during the times when we’re not together, we may be living or working in close contact with unbelievers. We not called to just stay inside the “Christian bubble”, but we are to go out and penetrate our society and infect them with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20):

      18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

      God doesn’t want us to sit around as a bunch of Christians and hold hands all the time.  When we come together, it strengthens us.  But we’re not just one big happy family living together all the time (for example, like the Amish or Mennonites).  That’s going to happen in heaven.  Rather, we are soldiers of Christ (2 Timothy 2:3-4):

      3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

      And ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20):

      Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

      We have been sent out on a mission – and the mission is the lost world (Acts 13:47):

      “For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'”

  2. Who’s involved in the plan? Everyone:

    Nehemiah 4:16 – From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.

    The load bearers and the builders were both working and were holding their weapons.  The rulers were in a supporting role.  They were feeding the people and were encouraging them.

    Nehemiah 4:17-1817 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.

    Those who built on the wall were the laborers – they had one hand doing their work and one hand holding their weapon.  It also speaks about those who carried burdens.  The trumpeters stood by Nehemiah.

    This is a beautiful Old Testament illustration of a New Testament concept – “Spiritual Gifts”.  So everybody was doing his job – everybody was involved.  1 Corinthians 12 talks about the importance of these Spiritual Gifts.  God gives every single believer in Jesus Christ a spiritual gift.  We’re all to be involved and using these gifts for “the common good” – it’s not just the pastor, it’s not just the elders, Nehemiah put everyone to work (1 Corinthians 12:4-7):

    4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

  3. What is the plan? The plan consisted of 3 elements – they were to be armed, active and alert:
    1. They are to be armed – prepared for battle. They were carrying their weapons while working.  We as believers need to be armed and the Word of God is our weapon (Hebrews 4:12):

      For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

    2. They were to be active (v.15b-18):

      15b all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.

    3. They were to be alert (v. 20) for the sound of the trumpet:

      Nehemiah 4:20a – “At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there.”

      No matter what the workers were doing, or where they labored on the wall, they all kept an ear open for the sound of the trumpet. What an example for us to follow as we await the return of the Lord!

      “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thess. 4:16)

The Promise (v.20):

Nehemiah 4:20b – “Our God will fight for us.”

This concept is communicated a multitude of different times in Scripture.  This is God’s promise repeated so often to the nation of Israel.  The “Plan” involves something you can do.  The “Promise” involves something you receive as a result of God’s marvelous grace.    For example:

Ex. 14:14 – The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Deut. 20:4 – For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

Joshua 10:24-2524 When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”

Ps. 60:11-1211 Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. 12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.

2 Chronicles 32:7-87 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

Isaiah 54:17 – “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from Me,” declares the LORD

The Perseverance

Nehemiah 4:21 – So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared.

They didn’t let anything stop the building.  They “carried on” the work.  That involved hard work and long hours (from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared – that was probably a 15 hour day!)  That’s a long day, but that was required, because it was a large task.  Jesus says:

John 9:4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

They were so dedicated to this purpose that they were always clothed and always armed.  It would’ve been uncomfortable, but they were always ready.  Even in the matter of sleeping, they were always on alert.  Nehemiah had instituted a “second shift” and required the workers from the other towns to stay in Jerusalem at night and help guard the city:

Nehemiah 4:22-2322 At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.” 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.

It is often while we sleep that the Enemy does his most insidious work and so we must be on guard:

Matthew 13:25 – But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.

Nehemiah not only organized the workers and guards and encouraged them to trust the Lord, but he, as a good leader, also set the right kind of example for them (Nehemiah 4:23):

So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.

The “Perseverance” then, is a great picture of what the Christian life really is all about.  It’s a battle from the start to the finish.  But it’s also a building process from the start to the finish.

The late Dr. Alan Redpath explained why the Jews succeeded in getting their work done and keeping the enemy at bay. The people had:

  1. A mind to work (4:6):Nehemiah 4:6 – So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
  2. A heart to pray (4:9a) and an eye to watch (4:9b):Nehemiah 4:9 – But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.
  3. An ear to hear (4:20):Nehemiah 4:20 – At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.

And this gave them the victory.

They also had a godly leader with the faith to stand. Nehemiah was a leader who served and a servant who led. He stayed on the job and was alert at all times. He inspected the city’s defenses every night and made sure that the guards were on duty.

“Therefore … be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58 NKJV)

My sources in preparing this talk:

  1. BE Determined: Standing Firm in the Face of Opposition (Old Testament Commentary on Nehemiah by Warren W. Wiersbe)
  2. Faith Life Study Bible Commentary (included with Logos Bible Software)
  3. The MacArthur Study Bible
  4. The “Bible Nuggets” app I wrote for Android (used the “topics” feature)
  5. Sermon on Nehemiah 4:15-23 by Paul E. Steele senior pastor of the ‘Valley Church’ Cupertino, CA from Sermon Audio (https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=816081429374):

Apologetics Class 3/4/2018

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

 

 

AWANA Teaching on Faith 2/28/2018

The topic at Awana Truth and Training Wednesday was faith – our memory verse for the night was Hebrews 11:6 –

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The teaching focused on Mark 4:35-41, where Jesus calms the storm:

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!””

First, I started off by having them read the memory verse as a group, then asked the group to define “faith”. I got some answers. Then I moved on to show this short (~3 min) video:

The clubbers enjoyed it. I reinforced the 3 points in the video that define what faith is. Then I had a clubber read the passage (Mark 4:35-41). I went through answering the questions in the handbook and we were talking about the story in Mark 4:35-41. I then showed this short (~2 min) video that depicts what happened in that passage:

Afterward we talked about the passage and the disciple’s faith (or lack thereof). I reminded them that just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that your life will be smooth sailing and that all your prayers will be answered. In fact Jesus promised that in this world you will have trouble.

Then we dismissed for book time. During book time I was able to have a wonderful time getting one of the 5th graders to consider why Jesus is called the Lamb of God (based on one of the questions in her silver sections). I saw the “light bulb go on”, and I love when that happens!

Then we had the clubbers go to the “store” to spend their Awana bucks for the snacks, then afterward games – it was kind of a “free for all” volleyball – it was fun.

At the end I reminded them that next week is hike night and that they’re not to wear open toed shoes. Then prayed, announced the leader from last week and gave the winners more snacks!

We got several gifts/cards from the clubbers since it was “heart for leaders” night. It was funny – during the main opening time, the Awana director was asking the clubbers for examples of good leaders – answers were, God, Einstein and one 5th grade clubber shouted out “Trump!”

mid-week apologetics booster (3-1-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Nabeel Qureshi // Why I stopped believing Islam is a religion of peace – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2htOWOF4gqs
  2. Do You Love Your Reputation More than Christ? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/do-you-love-your-reputation-more-christ#.Wo7JnOCp40M
  3. 50 Alleged Bible Contradictions Refuted | The Domain for Truth: https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/50-alleged-bible-contradiction-refuted/
  4. Thoughts on urgency and apologetics Thinking Matters: http://thinkingmatters.org.nz/2017/11/thoughts-on-urgency-and-apologetics/
  5. William Tyndale: Reformer, Translator, Martyr | ReasonableTheology.org: https://reasonabletheology.org/william-tyndale-reformer-translator-martyr/
  6. Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences: The Ring Of Truth: https://crossexamined.org/undesigned-scriptural-coincidences-the-ring-of-truth/
  7. Is God Selfish and Vindictive? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/god-is-good/is-god-selfish-and-vindictive/
  8. Developing An Apologetic That Works | Faith & Self Defense: https://faithandselfdefense.com/2017/11/21/developing-an-apologetic-that-works/
  9. 10 Reasons to Accept the Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Fact: https://crossexamined.org/10-reasons-accept-resurrection-jesus-historical-fact/
  10. Just the Facts: The Minimalist Approach for Talking about the Resurrection Relevant Belief: https://relevantbelief.com/2017/04/13/just-the-facts-the-minimalist-approach-for-talking-about-the-resurrection/
  11. Saved by Faith or Works? by Living Waters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwR7zT9NtZM
  12. Which side of the abortion rights debate is backed by scientific evidence? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/02/27/which-side-of-the-abortion-rights-debate-is-backed-by-scientific-evidence/
  13. Sharing Your Faith: Embarrassing, Inappropriate and Unprofessional – Amy Orr-Ewing – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQllrDz1qU
  14. Is There Absolute Truth? by Living Waters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lvSGCaicEg
  15. Is There Meaning to Life? – Dr. Craig Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKGnXgH_CzE
  16. Apologetics: Getting to the Gospel as Soon as Possible Here’s the thing: https://heresthething.blog/2018/02/09/apologetics-getting-to-the-gospel-as-soon-as-possible/
  17. Greg Koukl – What is faith? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRuxYaiTg4g
  18. Did Humans Evolve From Apes; Examining the Anatomy – DyerThoughts: http://www.dyerthoughts.com/home/did-humans-evolve-from-apes-examining-the-anatomy
  19. Why did God Create People He Foreknew Would Go to hell? – GiveAnAnswer.org: https://www.giveananswer.org/why-did-god-create-people-he-foreknew-would-go-to-hell/
  20. What Is Christianity?: https://thereforegodexists.com/what-is-christianity/
  21. Contentment is its Own Apologetic – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/contentment-is-its-own-apologetic/
  22. A Life-Changing Trip for Students: https://mailchi.mp/8cc65cf8733b/a-life-changing-trip-for-students
  23. 10 Ways to Get Your Kids More Interested in Their Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/10-ways-to-get-your-kids-more-interested-in-their-faith/
  24. 4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry: https://churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/160290-benjer_mcveigh_4_myths_about_teaching_apologetics_in_youth_ministry.html

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:13-17

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/25/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharing Christ with my boss over lunch

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

Another conversation with Boss at end of the day

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

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

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

Conversation with an Agnostic Former Youth Pastor

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

Conversation with Atheist in Lunch Line at Work Cafeteria

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

Conversation with an Agnostic at Work

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

Other conversations

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

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

 

mid-week apologetics booster (2-22-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Two trees, one root: the link between evolutionism and Eastern spirituality – creation.com: https://creation.com/evolution-linked-with-eastern-spirituality
  2. Studying the Works of Our Creator: http://www.icr.org/article/10434/
  3. A Response to Joy Behar: ‘More People Should Listen When Jesus Speaks’: https://www.christianpost.com/amp/a-response-to-joy-behar-more-people-should-listen-when-jesus-speaks-218006/
  4. 10 Biblical Reasons Jesus Is God | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/jesus-is-god/10-biblical-reasons-jesus-is-god/
  5. How to Turn a Conversation Toward Spiritual Things | Radical Worldview: http://radicalworldview.com/how-to-turn-a-conversation-toward-spiritual-things/
  6. Benny Hinn Is My Uncle, but Prosperity Preaching Isn’t for Me | Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/october/benny-hinn-costi-uncle-prosperity-preaching-testimony.html
  7. 11 False Assumptions about Christianity – Do you know how to graciously refute these common assumptions?: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/11-false-assumptions-about-christianity
  8. The Nature of Apologetics | SES: http://ses.edu/the-nature-of-apologetics
  9. If You’re Sick of Thoughts and Prayers Because Shootings Still Happen, You Don’t Understand Christianity: http://christianmomthoughts.com/if-youre-sick-of-thoughts-and-prayers-because-shootings-still-happen-you-dont-understand-christianity/
  10. A Lifestyle of Peace: Philosophy, Jesus Christ & Apologetics: Seven Honest Questions Regarding Christianity: A Challenge: http://www.lifestyleofpeace.com/2017/02/seven-honest-questions-regarding.html
  11. What do Christians mean when they say ‘God spoke to me?’ | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/18/what-do-christians-mean-when-say-god-spoke-to-me.html
  12. Can There Be Any Meaning in a Universe without God? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/can-there-be-any-meaning-universe-without-god#.Woq9LajwaUk
  13. Why we all need to be trained in Christian Apologetics Take the test Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/defending-your-faith-101-why-we-all-need-to-be-trained-in-christian-apologetics-take-the-test/
  14. Greg Koukl – Tactics & Calvinism | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/videos/greg-koukl—tactics-calvinism#.Wo1f36jwaUl
  15. A BIBLICAL CASE FOR LIMITED GOVERNMENT – J.P. Moreland: http://tifwe.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/JP-Moreland-Limited-Govt.pdf
  16. Converting from Atheism – 7 years ago today: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2012/09/22/converting-from-atheism-7-years-ago-today/
  17. The war on Christians | The Spectator: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/10/the-war-on-christians/
  18. The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design on Vimeo (Casey Luskin): https://vimeo.com/77175512
  19. Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/does-distant-starlight-prove-the-universe-is-old/
  20. 7 Positive Ways You Can Respond to Criticism – Dr. Ray Pritchard, Christianity.com Blogs: https://www.christianity.com/blogs/dr-ray-pritchard/7-positive-ways-to-respond-to-criticism.html
  21. Bloody Mosquito Fossil Supports Recent Creation: http://www.icr.org/article/bloody-mosquito-fossil-supports-recent
  22. Sun Paradox Challenges Old Earth Theory: http://www.icr.org/article/sun-paradox-challenges-old-earth-theory
  23. Mike Licona explains the As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Es of New Testament reliability | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2013/10/29/mike-licona-explains-the-as-bs-cs-ds-and-es-of-new-testament-reliability-3/
  24. Taking the Bible Literally (Stand To Reason Solid Ground – 11 pages): https://www.str.org/sites/str.org/files/Media/Default/Publications/Enhanced%20Solid%20Ground%2011-13%20Do%20You%20Take%20the%20Bible%20Literally%20-1.pdf
  25. Rubber Crutches | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/quickthoughts/rubber-crutches#.Wo1lH6jwaUl
  26. Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower – Of all people surprised that I became an evangelical Christian, I’m the most surprised (KIRSTEN POWERS) | Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?paging=off
  27. Spiritual Spackle: Reaching the Lost: Apologetics and More: http://spiritualspackle.blogspot.com/2013/11/reaching-lost-apologetics-and-more.html
  28. Young Earth Creation Science Argument Index: http://www.oldearth.org/young_earth_creationist_argument_index.htm
  29. My Blind Faith Failed Me | The Stream: https://stream.org/blind-faith-failed/

But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. Jeremiah 10:10

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/18/2018

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

     

    Discussion Questions

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