mid-week apologetics booster (4-9-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Allegedly, the atomic scientist Enrico Fermi was once discussing the topic of extraterrestrial life when he asked the profound question: “Where is everybody?” Since there are multiple billions of planets in our galaxy, and since in the secular view these are all accidents, it is almost inevitable that some of these had the right conditions for life to evolve, and if some of these worlds are billions of years older than ours, then at least some of them would have evolved intelligent life eons ago. The universe should therefore have countless numbers of technologically superior civilizations, any one of which could have colonized our galaxy ages ago. Yet we find no evidence of these civilizations: “Where is everybody?” This problem has become known as the “Fermi paradox.”  This paradox for evolution is a feature of creation.  The earth is designed for life. With its oceans of liquid water, a protective atmosphere containing abundant free oxygen, and a distance from the sun that is just right for life, earth was certainly designed by God to be inhabited. The other planets of the universe were not. From the sulfuric acid clouds of Venus to the frozen wasteland of Pluto, the other worlds of the solar system are beautiful and diverse, but they are not designed for life.  – Dr. Jason Lisle

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Record low number of Americans (only 6%) hold biblical worldview, recent Barna survey says: https://www.christianpost.com/news/record-low-number-of-americans-hold-biblical-worldview-survey-says.html
  2. Be Prepared to Share: 1 Peter 3:15 – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJoehrRa8Q&feature=emb_logo
  3. If God, Why the Coronavirus?: https://youtu.be/KQfmcdrnH6g
  4. Coronavirus – Tom Hanks points people toward faith in God: https://youtu.be/Jyl3wOazMqo
  5. Dr. Frank Turek interviews MD about coronavirus (03/21/20): https://subspla.sh/vsr3sbq
  6. Here’s How to Use Precious Family Time, Wisely | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/04/heres-how-to-use-precious-family-time-wisely/
  7. Puppies and Pandemics | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/puppies-and-pandemics/
  8. Racial mixing is perfectly biblical! – creation.com: https://creation.com/racial-mixing
  9. RNA Virus Genome Decay Confirms Creation | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/rna-virus-genome-decay-confirms-creation/
  10. Teaching Kids About Creation During Quarantine | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/teaching-kids-about-creation-during-quarantine/
  11. Three Positives from COVID-19 | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/three-positives-from-covid-19/
  12. RNA Virus Origins Fit Genesis Creation | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/rna-virus-origins-fit-genesis-creation/
  13. Is Jesus Christ God? Who do you say Jesus is? Take care in your answer, it’s the most important one you’ll ever give. In this message, Dr. Stanley teaches from the Gospel of John, illuminating exactly who Jesus is God Himself. What you believe about this carpenter from Nazareth not only determines your life here and now, but also in eternity. Discover how Jesus is the perfect image of God the Father.: https://www.intouch.org/watch/is-jesus-christ-god
  14. Quarantine Questionnaire: Does Christian Hypocrisy Falsify Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quarantine-questionnaire-does-christian-hypocrisy-falsify-christianity/

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:18-19,24-25a

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (3-5-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1500) from Nuggets:

Instead of ‘Walking in the Spirit’, many Christians are sleepwalking. It’s time to wake up! Jesus is coming! – Greg Laurie

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-the-bible-true-the-cumulative-case-for-the-reliability-of-the-gospels-free-bible-insert/
  2. Top three reasons people reject Christianity – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/voices/top-three-reasons-people-reject-christianity.html
  3. The Problem of the Unevangelized Once More | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-problem-of-the-unevangelized-once-more/
  4. Testing the Gospels From John to Hippolytus – “The Chain of Custody” | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/testing-the-gospels-from-john-to-hippolytus/
  5. 10 FREE Bible Study Tools Bible.org Blogs: https://blogs.bible.org/10-free-bible-study-tools/
  6. Leading Youth to Spiritual Maturity and a Strong Biblical Faith: https://stevenkozak.com/2020/03/02/leading-youth-to-spiritual-maturity-and-a-strong-biblical-faith/
  7. Secular Scientists Admit Dinosaurs Appeared Abruptly | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/dinosaurs-appeared-abruptly
  8. Praying Mantis has 3-D sight (vision) – this confounds evolution | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/10511
  9. Stephen C. Meyer and Marcus Ross lecture on the Cambrian explosion | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/03/01/stephen-c-meyer-and-marcus-ross-lecture-on-the-cambrian-explosion-5/
  10. Greg Koukl Stand To Reason podcast – there are a number of topics talked about, but I want to direct your attention to a caller that starts 44 minutes into the podcast and asks a question about the mind/soul vs. the brain. I think Greg gives a good answer to the caller: https://subspla.sh/wpdn8xd
  11. An Acronym for Apologetics The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/03/02/an-acronym-for-apologetics/
  12. A Brief Defense of the Pro-Life Position: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-brief-defense-of-pro-life-position.html?m=1
  13. What Does Christianity Say About the Nature of Humans? Five Honest Realities | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/what-does-christianity-say-about-the-nature-of-humans/
  14. Debating Skeptics (1 of 5): https://pleaseconvinceme.blogspot.com/2016/12/debating-skeptics-1-of-5.html
  15. Pro-Lifers’ Social Media Bans Are Too Numerous To Not Be Censorship: https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/02/pro-lifers-social-media-bans-are-too-numerous-to-not-be-censorship/
  16. Cincinnati church wipes out $46.5 million in medical debt for 45,000 families | Fox News: https://www.foxnews.com/us/cincinnati-church-wipes-out-46-5-million-in-medical-debt-largest-amount-for-nonprofit
  17. Evolutionist Admits Darwin’s Connection to Racism | CEH: https://crev.info/2020/02/evolutionist-admits-darwins-connection-to-racism/
  18. ‘Sometimes I Just Want to Scream So that Other Parents Understand’ – She was 12 when a school counselor told Rob’s daughter she was transgender. They picked out a new name and started treating her like a boy at school — without ever calling home.: https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA20B42&f=WU20B06
  19. New Jersey Public Schools To Teach LGBT Ideology In Every Subject: https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/27/new-jersey-public-schools-to-teach-lgbt-ideology-in-every-subject/
  20. Pence Doesn’t Believe in Science?: https://townhall.com/columnists/jerrynewcombe/2020/03/04/pence-doesnt-believe-in-science-n2563207

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Philippians 1:21-24

Blessings to you all

This Week’s Conversations

Wednesday July 24th

A Christian friend and I had lunch with our Hindu / Skeptic friend.  During the course of our conversation, here are some of the objections he brought up:

  1. He believes that all paths/religions are valid – there is not 1 true religion
  2. Evolution – thinks that all true scientists believe in evolution. If there are any anti-evolution writings, their origin can always be traced back to a spiritual source, and therefore can’t be trusted (biased).
  3. Many of his objections were of the category, “God doesn’t do what I expect (or how I would do it), and therefore He doesn’t exist.
  4. Inequity – bad people do well, good people suffer.
  5. All religion is man-made.
  6. Leaders rise up and have millions of followers and people end up deifying them. This has happened numerous times in history and Jesus is just another example of that
  7. There is no physical evidence of God or Christianity
  8. He is absolutely certain that there is no heaven or hell. This earth is where heaven or hell are.
  9. God can’t control his people – he can’t make them believe. Also, the ones who do believe, split into “denominations”.  He named Protestants, Catholics and Mormons.
  10. He challenged, “So what happens if everyone believes in Jesus?” Do all the problems go away?
  11. He wanted to know about believing in Jesus, “what difference does it make?” I told him about the wrath of God that each person has due to him for his sin and how believing that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins reconciles you to God, making peace between you and God, since Jesus took your punishment, but if you reject Jesus and what He did, you have to pay the penalty for your own sins.
  12. He doesn’t trust the Bible – anytime we would bring up what it says, he would dismiss it. Anytime we would bring up what Jesus said, he would say that no one knows what Jesus actually said – that’s just what His followers said that He said.
  13. He believes that the followers of Jesus (who saw Him risen from the dead) were hallucinating. He believes they talked themselves into believing.
  14. His standard of belief is very high – he won’t believe unless God personally talks to him. Even then, he might think he is hallucinating.
  15. He wants “proof” for God.
  16. He wonders why Jesus showed up in this little insignificant place like Israel 2000 years ago. Why didn’t He show up in a big place, like New York City where many millions of people would’ve seen Him?
  17. He wanted to know “what is God?” I said, “Creator”.  My friend said, “God is Spirit”.  He said, “So, you can’t see God, right?”  He went on saying that he can’t believe in anything he can’t see or detect in anyway.

Needless to say, we answered his questions the best we could – I thought we gave very reasonable answers, but he wasn’t convinced by them.  Interestingly enough, on the way out to the parking lot, we were talking about who’s right and who’s wrong and I made the comment, “Maybe I’m wrong (although I don’t think I am), please convince me!”  He said, “I can’t convince you, I’m lost!”  I thought that was a remarkable admission and told him so and hugged him goodbye.  I don’t think he knows the profoundness of his admission there – he is truly “lost” – in the biblical sense.  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, and I pray that Jesus seeks and finds him, and similarly, I hope our friend seeks Jesus with a sincere heart!

Yesterday (Friday July 27th), shortly before it was time to leave work for the day, I saw a Muslim colleague of mine who will be quitting work next week and moving back to his country of origin.  I wanted to talk to him and tell him I was really going to miss him and our conversations.  He had another friend with him who I hadn’t met before.  It turns out that guy works at our company on a different floor than me and in fact he is a Christian too!  Anyway, my Muslim friend asked me something about whether the Bible spoke about his country of origin, so I showed him my Nuggets web site and searched the full Bible and found out that what he was asking me appeared in the Bible twice (Gen. 2:14, Dan. 10:4).  I will let you (the reader) determine what he asked me to search for 🙂  Anyway, that opened a spiritual conversation that lasted about 45 minutes (caused me to get home late from work :()!  It was a great conversation in which we compared and contrasted Christianity and Islam, and talked about our respective worldviews.  I was able to share the Gospel with him as I explained the core message of Christianity, when he asked what the absolute necessary thing was to be a Christian (we had been talking about baptism, because another colleague of his is Mormon and had discussed baptism previously).  During that part of our conversation, I shared Romans 10:9 – “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  I emphasized that you have to believe in the Deity, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and trust in Him as your Lord and Savior in order to be a Christian.  Of course he said that Muslims don’t believe that Jesus was crucified, but that Judas was crucified in His place.  I searched my copy of the Qur’an on my Kindle for Sura 4:157 and showed him that.  During the conversation, he was sharing various verses out of the Qur’an showing that all paths lead to God.  He is a very moderate Muslim and made extreme effort to communicate that he respects all religions and that it is good people who go to heaven (from all religions).  Wow…  A lot could’ve been said there (and some was said in response at the time), but we would need many hours to fully unpack this topic and make sure he understands the biblical view and how it is different from Islam.  Anyway, it was a great conversation and I will miss him and do pray that he would be reconciled to the one true God, Yahweh!  I also hope and pray that I can continue to meet with and fellowship with the other new Christian friend I met during that conversation.

Conversation with a Hindu friend

I had a conversation while I was at a Hindu friend’s house for a birthday party last night.  This friend of mine is not a real religious Hindu, but more of a cultural Hindu, who respects it as his family (and wife’s) religion and tradition.  We had quite a long conversation (over an hour) about the existence of God, the Christian faith, etc.  Here are some of the objections he was raising:

  1. Religion was created by men to control people – it is all made up. You’ll burn in hell if you don’t behave according to what this book says.  Jesus is always watching you.  Interestingly, he mentioned that Hinduism does have a concept of hell, and hellfire as well. He said that this is only experienced by humans (not other life forms) who do something terribly wrong, let’s say murder, then you go to eternal hellfire. I told him but that was the first time I’ve ever heard that. His wife, who was sitting there, but not involved in the conversation, confirmed it.
  2. He complained that some of these “people in religion” (the leaders) are smooth talkers and they manipulate people for their own benefit (private planes, big houses, etc.)
  3. I asked him to forget about “religion” for a second and focus on whether God exists. He said that he sees no evidence that God exists.  However, I was finally able to convince him that it was reasonable to believe that a Creator of the universe and life exists (via the cosmological and design arguments), but then he said, “OK, so if God did create the universe, so what?”  I said if there is a Creator, then we ought to try to know Him and determine if He’s revealed Himself to mankind.
  4. He questioned why there is only life here in the universe, since the universe is so big. Why do you need this big universe if you’re only going to have life here?  It was not clear whether he truly believed that there was no other life in the universe, but I think it may’ve been more of a critique of the Christian view of God creating this gigantic universe to only have life in one galaxy and one planet out of billions.
  5. We had a discussion about science and Christianity. I mentioned that many of the scientists of history were Christians, I named Newton, Copernicus, Galileo and that there were many others. The reason they studied science passionately was because they believed that God created the universe and it was meant to be understood by us because it operated in an orderly, law-like fashion, according to the laws of nature, physics, chemistry, etc. Since nature operates according to such predictable laws (e.g. we can land a rover on Mars because we can so accurately predict the path of the planets around the sun), it is reasonable to believe that these laws of nature had to be given by a “Law Giver”.
  6. He asserted that all religions are the same. He questioned the story of Jesus coming to Israel.  Why did he come at that time and only one place?  He said, if he was a god, he would’ve came to every continent (basically, I think he was saying he would’ve made his existence irrefutable).  He asked, was Jesus a messenger? Why did He come to earth?  I replied that He came to seek and to save lost humanity.  Yes, He was a messenger also, in the sense that He taught and healed people, but he didn’t just come as a messenger.
  7. In response to me telling him something that Jesus said, he also said, “No one can know what Jesus said”.
  8. He said, “How do you know what is the true religion? Many people wrote down books from other religions.  How do we know Bible is true over those?”  When he said that other religions have their books too, I contrasted the Bible, which was written by 40 authors over a period of 1500 years – these authors were different types of people such as fisherman, shepherds, military generals and kings writing at different times in history and locations in different geographical locations.  However, they were all writing a single, consistent message throughout the Bible. He asked “Why should I believe them more than the writers of other religions? For example, Islam…”  I answered, “Yes, Islam, where Muhammad is the only person that supposedly received that message over a period of 23 years in a cave from an angel – and we just have to believe him?”  I continued, “The same thing regarding Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism, who claims to have had a vision of Jesus and God the Father and claims to have been given ancient golden plates containing a divinely inspired message?  Believing 40 different eyewitnesses to historical events is much more reasonable than believing religions that are based on the private vision of one individual with no other corroboration.” At this point he took exception because, he said, “Mormonism is Christian”. I said no, it is not.  They separated themselves from other Christians initially, and said that all existing Christian denominations were heresy. He challenged me, “Mormons believe in Jesus Christ right?” I said yes but, they don’t believe in the same Jesus that is described in the Bible – that Jesus is the one true God. In addition to that, they have a separate scriptures called “The Book of Mormon”, which does not agree with the Bible.
  9. He thought that Christianity started when Jesus came, two thousand years ago. But I corrected him that the Bible starts at the beginning of creation. The first sentence of the Bible is “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. He was confused and said who wrote that part? I mentioned that Moses wrote the first five books the Bible that include the account of creation. He asked, “So, Moses wrote about Jesus?” I told him yes that he and other Old Testament writers predicted the coming Messiah. The Bible contains over 300 prophecies of the coming Messiah, most of which are fulfilled in Jesus.
  10. He complained about injustices in the world. He gave the example of a faithful Christian couple who has a child with birth defects and then lives “a life of hell”.  Why isn’t their God taking care of them?  And people talk about how God has a plan, God loves you, but meanwhile, people go on suffering greatly (I’m paraphrasing – I can’t remember exactly).

During our conversation, he was a bit of a steamroller – but a friendly steamroller.  But he hardly allowed me to get any words in – he just kept bringing up objection after another – and if I got a chance to answer an objection, he would just move on to another objection.

He has agreed to have lunch to discuss this more.  I told him that he should come to lunch with me another Christian friend of mine (who he also knows from a company we worked at together) and he sounded interested.

At the end of our conversation, I asked if he would be willing to read a book.  He said yes.  I gave him a copy of a book I just happened to have in my car: Is God Just a Human Invention and Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists.  I asked him to just devote an hour or less and read chapter 1 to start.  He said he’s “lazy to read”, but said he would do it (I don’t have confidence that he will).

Please pray for my friend that this conversation would get him to think and consider whether he is wrong in his worldview and for another chance to continue the conversation.

 

mid-week apologetics booster (2-21-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 750) from Nuggets:

In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys; entering into the eternal world I can give myself to thee with all my heart, to be thine for ever. In prayer I can place all my concerns in thy hands, to be entirely at thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own. – Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Camelback Classic (March 21-23, 2019) – this is a Christian Homeschool speech and debate tournament hosted by Mars Hill Speech & Debate. You can be a community judge and I promise you that you will be blessed to see the next generation clearly articulating and defending the Christian faith!: https://camelbackclassic2019.homeschooldebate.net/
  2. 3 Practical Steps to Help Build Your Kids’ Immunity to Anti-Christian Ideas – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/3-practical-steps-to-help-build-your-kids-immunity-to-anti-christian-ideas
  3. Millennials and Evangelism – Break Point: http://www.breakpoint.org/2019/02/breakpoint-millennials-and-evangelism/
  4. Why is Christianity Right? Ravi Zacharias: https://youtu.be/o5qJPZySo7A
  5. Why should one religion have the right to declare what is right and what is wrong?: https://youtu.be/V7d2iETJ1AE
  6. The Dire Need for Christian Apologetics | Reasoned Cases for Christ: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/the-dire-need-for-christian-apologetics/
  7. The Truth Behind New York’s New Abortion Law Straight Talk with Claudia K: https://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/the-truth-behind-new-yorks-new-abortion-law/
  8. 3 Ways to Misunderstand the Trinity: https://lifewayvoices.com/bible-theology/3-ways-to-misunderstand-the-trinity/
  9. John Lennox: Seven Days that Divide the World: https://youtu.be/0FmO2XKMe6g
  10. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-the-bible-true-the-cumulative-case-for-the-reliability-of-the-gospels-free-bible-insert/
  11. 10 Questions You’ve Always Had About New Age – Mama Bear Apologetics: https://mamabearapologetics.com/new-age-q-and-a/
  12. Reasonable Answers for honest skeptical: I Don’t Believe in the Bible: https://youtu.be/JEjO_rmZN00
  13. Atheist Michael Ruse tells John Lennox, you can’t prove Christianity is true!: https://youtu.be/cjJhwrF0pB4
  14. Randy Alcorn’s session on Heaven at The Gospel Coalition Conference : https://www.epm.org/resources/2015/Apr/14/alcorntgc/
  15. How to Recognize and Dismantle Self Defeating Statements Rob Lundberg’s Online Ministry Website: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2019/02/18/how-to-recognize-and-dismantle-self-defeating-statements/
  16. Countering emotional attacks on creation – creation.com: https://creation.com/countering-emotional-attacks
  17. 150 Pastors Arrested at Year-End Gathering in China: https://bitterwinter.org/150-pastors-arrested-at-year-end-gathering/
  18. Latest Insights into Obesity Fatten the Case for Human Design: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/the-cells-design/read/the-cells-design/2017/03/22/latest-insights-into-obesity-fatten-the-case-for-human-design

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, Ephesians 2:17-19

Blessings to you all