mid-week apologetics booster (10-3-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1300) from Nuggets:

Christians believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. Materialists believe in the virgin birth of the cosmos. Choose your miracle. – Glen Scrivener

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. How Long Was Adam in the Garden? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/how-long-was-adam-garden/
  2. How Could Adam Have Named All the Animals in a Single Day? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/how-could-adam-have-named-all-the-animals-in-a-single-day/
  3. Grounded Faith by Terrell Clemmons – Sinking Roots for Youth Ministry in an Age of Advanced Skepticism -Salvo Magazine: https://salvomag.com/article/salvo44/grounded-faith
  4. What are undesigned coincidences, and how are they used in apologetics? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2019/09/27/what-are-undesigned-coincidences-and-how-are-they-used-in-apologetics/
  5. Quick Challenge Answer: You Shouldn’t Push Your Views On Me –: http://tentmakingchristianity.com/you-shouldnt-push-your-views-on-me/
  6. Information and the origin of life – Did cells write their own software? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnlz9b5TZB0
  7. The Atheist Delusion – this is a great 1 hour movie: https://youtu.be/ChWiZ3iXWwM
  8. 3 Overlooked Ways to Do Pre-Evangelism: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/3-overlooked-ways-pre-evangelism/
  9. Pascal’s Wager Made Easy (Part 1) | Apologetics315: https://apologetics315.com/2019/09/pascals-wager-made-easy-part-1/
  10. Pascal’s Wager Made Easy (Part 2) | Apologetics315: https://apologetics315.com/2019/09/pascals-wager-made-easy-part-2/
  11. Faith is NOT Blind – Homeschool 101: https://homeschool-101.com/faith-is-not-blind/
  12. The Virtue of Silence | The Apologers: https://apologers.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/the-virtue-of-silence/
  13. Killing babies is wrong – creation.com: https://creation.com/babies-expense-abortion
  14. Who decided what books would go into the New Testament? Matthew Ruttan: https://matthewruttan.com/2019/06/19/who-decided-what-books-would-go-into-the-new-testament/
  15. What Kind of World Is Needed for Science to Work?: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/reflections/read/reflections/2019/09/17/what-kind-of-world-is-needed-for-science-to-work
  16. Vicarious Liability and the Imputation of Sins | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/vicarious-liability-and-the-imputation-of-sins
  17. Incarnation Why God became man – creation.com: https://creation.com/incarnation-why-god-became-man
  18. God would not allow evil and suffering (Possible responses you could give): https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quick-shot-god-would-not-allow-evil-and-suffering/
  19. 4 Critical Tips for Apologists | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/4-critical-tips-for-apologists
  20. How I Get So Much Done | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-i-get-so-much-done
  21. What Do You Mean By That? A Look At Questioning Evangelism: Responding To Five Common Objections On A College Campus THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/what-do-you-mean-by-that-a-look-at-questioning-evangelism-responding-to-five-common-objections-on-a-college-campus-4/

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Psalms 25:3

Blessings to you all

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mid-week apologetics booster (9-19-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1300) from Nuggets:

There’s a reason it’s okay to gas termites and not Jews. It’s because we know that people are different from other creatures in an important and wonderful way.  – Greg Koukl, The Story of Reality

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. What does it mean to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16)? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/wise-serpents-harmless-doves.html
  2. Piers, When Did Jesus Say That? | The Stream: https://stream.org/piers-jesus-say/
  3. What are the consequences of sin? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/consequences-of-sin.html
  4. Thoughts from Greg and Amy on Having Meaningful Spiritual Conversations | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/thoughts-greg-and-amy-having-meaningful-spiritual-conversations
  5. 3 Reasons Why Christians Should Be Learning About Other Religions Christian Defenders: https://christiandefenders.org/3-reasons-why-christians-should-be-learning-about-other-religions/
  6. My Favorite Argument for the Existence of God: https://thinkdivinely.com/my-favorite-apologetic-argument-for-the-existence-of-god/
  7. Magnificent Motors | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/magnificent-motors/
  8. What Is the Preborn? | Human Defense: https://humandefense.com/what-is-the-preborn/
  9. Netherlands: Muslim who stabbed Jews grew more devout in the months before the assault: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/09/netherlands-muslim-who-stabbed-jews-grew-more-devout-in-the-months-before-the-assault
  10. Exposing the Truth About Jihad – Part 1 on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/327205953
  11. Exposing the Truth About Jihad – Part 2 on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/327532185
  12. The Muslim Brotherhood: Origin, Identity, and Agenda (2019 Edition) on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/333453389
  13. Correcting four myths about the history of the Crusades | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2019/09/11/correcting-four-myths-about-the-history-of-the-crusades-6/
  14. Johns Hopkins professor on child transgender trend: Many will regret this | The College Fix: https://www.thecollegefix.com/johns-hopkins-professor-on-child-transgender-trend-many-will-regret-this/
  15. Newly passed California resolution blames religious groups for LGBT suicides | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/newly-passed-california-resolution-blames-religious-groups-for-lgbt-suicides
  16. The LGBT endgame is to destroy Christianity | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-lgbt-endgame-is-to-destroy-christianity
  17. ASSURANCE, by J.C. Ryle: https://gracegems.org/Ryle/assurance.htm

He who has ears, let him hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Matthew 13:9-11

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (9-5-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1300) from Nuggets:

It only takes one person to forgive. But it takes two to reconcile. – Tom Ascol

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. New study: there is no gay gene that causes homosexuality | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2019/08/31/new-study-there-is-no-gay-gene-that-determines-homosexuality/
  2. Joseph, Pharaoh, and the Famine: http://www.biblehistory.net/newsletter/joseph_pharaoh_famine.htm
  3. Is the Biblical story of Joseph in Egypt verified? ChristianAnswers.Net: https://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a016.html
  4. How Developing A Forensic Faith Increases Your Christian Confidence – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0-Z_EecKGU
  5. The Circus of Roman Emperor Nero: Where St. Peter was martyred | Still Current: https://stillcurrent.blog/2016/11/09/the-circus-of-roman-emperor-nero-where-st-peter-was-martyred/
  6. 4 Ways Parents Bore Their Kids Out of Christianity – Natasha Crain: http://christianmomthoughts.com/4-ways-parents-bore-their-kids-out-of-christianity/
  7. COSMOLOGY AND ITS ATTEMPT TO FIND THE FIRST CAUSE: https://mannsword.blogspot.com/2019/07/cosmology-and-its-attempt-to-find-first.html
  8. The Basic Argument for the Deity of Christ – David O’Connell, Sufficient Evidence: https://warrenapologetics.org/sufficientevidence/2019/7/16/the-basic-argument-for-the-deity-of-christ
  9. How Do We Align Our Careers with Our Faith in Christ? https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com/how-do-we-align-our-careers-with-our-faith-in-christ/
  10. The Three Most Important “Trajectory Decisions” Every University Student Must Make – J. Warner Wallace: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-three-most-important-trajectory-decisions-every-university-student-must-make/

Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. James 3:11-14

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (8-1-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1250) from Nuggets:

We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction. – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Ravi Zacharias on the Ben Shapiro Show THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/ravi-zacharias-on-the-ben-shapiro-show/
  2. Google says “Christian” unacceptable keyword, “Muslim” okay. people mock the idea of Christian persecution in America today, but here is one such example of persecution by exclusion from a media giant.: https://youtu.be/J0Ev02c0WnY
  3. John Bunyan – Biography and Life Facts: https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1601-1700/john-bunyan-11630083.html
  4. 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/
  5. Voted the Best Christian Book of All Time: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/reflections/read/reflections/2019/07/23/voted-the-best-christian-book-of-all-time
  6. Theories that explain everything | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2019/07/29/theories-that-explain-everything/
  7. The Prosperity Gospel and Biblical Promises: How should we understand them? Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2019/07/28/the-prosperity-gospel-and-biblical-promises-how-should-we-understand-them/
  8. A Long Way from Bake My Cake – Break Point: http://www.breakpoint.org/2019/07/breakpoint-a-long-way-from-bake-my-cake/
  9. The Bible Comes Alive in Israel | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/bible-comes-alive-israel
  10. Atheism Is Inconsistent with the Scientific Method, Prizewinning Physicist Says – Scientific American. This is a Jewish Physicist and I like some of the things he has to say. For example, about scientism and about the “Theory of Everything”: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atheism-is-inconsistent-with-the-scientific-method-prizewinning-physicist-says/#
  11. Celebrating new religious freedom law, Bolivian evangelicals push for more – Religion News Service: https://religionnews.com/2019/07/29/celebrating-new-religious-freedom-law-bolivian-evangelicals-push-for-more/
  12. Hitler’s God: 3 Reasons Hitler Wasn’t Christian iApologia: http://iapologia.com/hitlers-god-3-reasons-hitler-wasnt-christian/
  13. The Gospel – Paul Washer: https://youtu.be/cqbPaXhK4Zw
  14. Science Doesn’t Say Anything- Scientists Do – Frank Turek: https://crossexamined.org/science-doesnt-say-anything-scientists-do/
  15. Q&A session after “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” lecture with Dr. Frank Turek – 54 minutes : https://youtu.be/zSqb5Q8zjx4
  16. If God is just, then why give eternal punishment for temporal sin? Vince Vitale and Ravi Zacharias: https://youtu.be/zb5fEK99BIk
  17. How can so many people read the Bible, but still die unbelieving? Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray: https://youtu.be/4CIGJw-XRq8
  18. Why would God make me a lesbian? Is it wrong to love someone of the same sex? Q&A session with Dr. Frank Turek answering: https://youtu.be/VShB2Y6A5Kc
  19. Do you think homosexuality is wrong? Q&A session with Dr. Frank Turek: https://youtu.be/JBHodHT3pOk
  20. The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel: https://youtu.be/67uj2qvQi_k
  21. Developing a forensic faith (47 minute lecture) – J. Warner Wallace: https://youtu.be/T_lyyw-x2Kk
  22. Evidence for the Resurrection – Craig Hazen, 1 hour lecture: https://youtu.be/ocbtjLgUnQY
  23. Crazy College Courses and the Religion of Sex: https://townhall.com/columnists/frankturek/2017/12/20/crazy-college-courses-and-the-religion-of-sex-n2424553
  24. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – Dr. Frank Turek: https://youtu.be/_sgxYiuTJNo
  25. Is the New Testament true? Dr. Frank Turek: https://youtu.be/iuV3Qv4whNY
  26. What if they don’t believe the Bible? Nabeel Qureshi: https://youtu.be/g7LXcYzF12Q
  27. Seven Days that Divide the World – John Lennox: https://youtu.be/0FmO2XKMe6g
  28. Does the Bible Utilize One Type of Apologetic Methodology? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/does-the-bible-utilize-one-type-of-apologetic-methodology/
  29. Famed Yale computer science professor quits believing Darwin’s theories | The College Fix: https://www.thecollegefix.com/famed-yale-computer-science-professor-quits-believing-darwins-theories/
  30. Church of the Apostles discovered near Sea of Galilee, archaeologists say | Fox News: https://www.foxnews.com/science/church-of-the-apostles-discovered-archaeologists-say

I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly –my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well–the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

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.

mid-week apologetics booster (7-18-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1200) from Nuggets:

Yes, I know it sounds cliché, but I’ve got to say it, because I believe at the core of my being it is true. Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the answer for a tragedy such as what happened in Florida. Jesus is the answer for the man who committed this atrocity. Jesus is the answer for the people on whom this atrocity was committed. Jesus is the answer for the society who is trying to cope with this tragedy. Jesus was the answer, the only answer, for those who perished in this tragedy. Jesus transforms sinners into Spirit-filled believers, who exhibit the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Jesus is the answer!
To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Can You Keep a Secret? So Can Your Daughter’s School. Imagine sending your daughter off to school only to find out that she was headed for an abortion appointment instead. Then imagine this: her teachers knew and never told you. In California, parents don’t have to imagine it. Thanks to a new undercover video, they know — it’s already happening.: https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA19G08&f=WU19G04
  2. Book Plunge: Can We Trust The Gospels? – A review of Peter J. Williams’s book: https://www.deeperwatersapologetics.com/?p=11929
  3. Bloom Where You’re Planted | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/bloom-where-you-re-planted
  4. Bloom Where You’re Planted (shorter article by Melinda Penner): https://www.str.org/blog/bloom-where-you-re-planted
  5. How Should a Christian Vote? – One Minute Apologist: https://oneminuteapologist.com/blog/how-should-a-christian-vote/
  6. The Ark Encounter review – the Ark was absolutely thrilling, and at the end of the day, worth the price of admission to be sure. : https://thinkdivinely.com/the-ark-encounter/
  7. Old Earth Belief: http://oldearth.org/old.htm
  8. Understanding Worldview – Engaging the World Around Us – Impact 360 Institute: https://www.impact360institute.org/articles/understanding-worldview-engaging-the-world-around-us/
  9. Is Religion Just a Social Construct? | Strange Notions: https://strangenotions.com/is-religion-just-a-social-construct/
  10. Old Testament Prophecies of Jesus Resurrection | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/old-testament-prophecies-of-jesus-resurrection-1
  11. Listen: Nancy Pearcey on the Surprising Early History of Darwinism | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2019/06/listen-nancy-pearcey-on-the-surprising-early-history-of-darwinism/
  12. Why Is Evidence Important for Faith? – FaithGateway: https://www.faithgateway.com/why-is-evidence-important-for-faith/
  13. Doesn’t the Bible Say True Faith is Blind? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/doesnt-the-bible-say-true-faith-is-blind/
  14. Trend-line of Scientific Discovery Points To A Creator – Part 2: http://natureandscripture.blogspot.com/2019/06/trend-line-of-scientific-discovery_20.html
  15. New Engineering Textbook, Hacking the Cosmos, Argues for Intelligent Design | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2019/06/new-engineering-textbook-hacking-the-cosmos-argues-for-intelligent-design/
  16. Quantum Mechanics and the Laws of Logic, Part 1: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/reflections/read/reflections/2019/06/11/quantum-mechanics-and-the-laws-of-logic-part-1
  17. Responding to You Can’t Prove or Disprove God’s Existence THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/responding-to-you-cant-prove-or-disprove-gods-existence-2/
  18. How to Share Your Faith with Friends of other Faiths: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/how-to-share-your-faith-with-friends-of-other-faiths.html
  19. Five Fake News Stories That People Believe about Early Christianity Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/five-fake-news-stories-that-people-believe-about-early-christianity/
  20. Detecting False Dichotomies that Hinder the Mission of the Church | Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.: https://douglasgroothuis.com/2019/06/06/detecting-false-dichotomies-that-hinder-the-mission-of-the-church/
  21. A Christian Perspective on Pagan and Secular Belief Systems: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/reflections/read/reflections/2019/06/04/a-christian-perspective-on-pagan-and-secular-belief-systems
  22. Treating the Gospel Like a Cookie Rather Than a Cure | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/treating-the-gospel-like-a-cookie-rather-than-a-cure/
  23. IS JESUS’ DEATH AS A PUNISHMENT FOR SINS CENTRAL TO CHRISTIANITY…OR COSMIC CHILD ABUSE?: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2019/05/someone-in-one-of-online-groups-i-am.html
  24. Does God Know & Not Know Simultaneously? Free Thinking Ministries: https://freethinkingministries.com/does-god-know-not-know-simultaneously/
  25. 7 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe | RELEVANT Magazine: https://relevantmagazine.com/god/7-unbiblical-statements-christians-believe-2/
  26. The Sexual Ethics of Jesus and His People | Radically Christian: https://radicallychristian.com/the-sexual-ethics-of-jesus-and-his-people
  27. Why Everyone Should Believe that the Gospels are Reliable – Capturing Christianity: https://capturingchristianity.com/why-everyone-should-believe-that-the-gospels-are-reliable/

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32

Blessings to you all

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.

 

Conversation with a teacher on a plane

Today, I was on a plane trip for business and was sitting next to a person who is a teacher of Electrical Engineering at a community college and also works at a local university. Initially, there was just the normal chit chat, then she started to sleep for a while, and I started to read the book that I brought with me:

Is God Just a Human Invention?
And Seventeen Other Questions Raised By The New Atheists

It is a fantastic book – this is my second time reading it – and while she was sleeping, I made it through chapter 1 (Is Faith Irrational?) and was starting to read chapter 2 (Are Science and Christianity at Odds?), when the flight attendants came by and asked if we wanted a snack or to order any food, which woke her up and got me to stop reading.

So, after we were given our snacks, we both started to eat and then started to engage again in some conversation. There was a lot of talk about why there are not that many women in technology fields and other various topics.
Then at one point I saw an opportunity to bring up a “theological term” in the context of our conversation (which I then explained). That gave her an opening to ask me about the book I was reading. She’d noticed it and was curious what it was about. I read the title to her and she asked who the author was. So, I handed her the book, (open to the table of contents) so she could see all of the titles of the chapters. she also took note of the editors/authors, Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, from the back of the book.
After taking note of that, she asked me, “So what’s your position on these topics?” That was a good sign, that she was willing to talk about these topics! I’m guessing that she thought maybe I was a skeptic, who was investigating the truth of the Christian worldview. So I told her that I was a Christian.
What ensued over the next 1.5-2 hours was an in-depth conversation about science, religion and (specifically) Christianity. It was a great conversation – we were very respectful, calm and engaged, listening to each other as we learned about our respective worldviews.
We started this part of the conversation talking about the existence of God. I quickly found out that she is a person who, though being in a technical field herself, believes that there are many truths, and many realities. Each person can have their own truth that is meaningful to them. I also found out that she doesn’t really find the questions about God as relevant to her daily life. I suggested to her that questions of our ultimate destination are in fact meaningful to everyone on the earth. That is one issue that we will all have to face. assessing what we will experience on the other side of the door of death. She, however, feels that our behavior and how we get along as people here on earth, and well as preserving the earth are the most important things. During the conversation, I tried to explain to her, the nature of my faith – that, all humans are like jurors who are hearing both sides of a case from opposing “expert witnesses”. We have to evaluate what is said by the opposing expert witnesses and determine which case seems more reasonable. So, my faith is not a “mystical” thing – not a blind faith – but rather that I view the existence of God and the Christian view of the nature of Jesus to be the best inference from the evidence that we have available.That being said, I do have faith in Jesus, which is really a synonym for trust. This seemed to really puzzle her, and she communicated that she does not believe that there’s any evidence for the existence of God and that faith is an individual thing that is meaningful to the person. She was curious to know what I thought was evidence for the existence of God. So I talked about the universe and the fact that it had a beginning – that whatever begins to exist must have a cause. We now know from science that the universe began to exist – that is – all space time and matter came into being at the Big Bang. So, whatever was the cause of the universe had to be spaceless, timeless, and immaterial. She seemed to take issue with me saying it had to be. Additionally at this point, she brought up the question of who created God? To which I responded, since the beginning of the Big Bang was the beginning of time, the cause of the universe must be timeless, that is eternal.
She was wondering what the current scientific response to what I was saying was. I explained that the current thinking is what is called the multiverse. She was completely unfamiliar with that term. So I explained that the multiverse is a sort of universe generator, which supposedly has generated innumerable other undetectable universes, and that we just happen to be in the universe that appears to be designed for life, and thus, are here and able to observe it. Then, she was curious about my statement that the universe appears to be designed for life. So, I explained about the cosmological constants and quantities that are fine-tuned to particular values which, had they been different, would prohibit the existence of life in this universe. She seemed to understand these constants and quantities, and I didn’t have to give any further explanation on that topic. But oddly enough, she was very hesitant to agree that the Big Bang is actually the explanation for the beginning of the universe. She clarified that this is the best that scientists can come up with right now, and that future scientific discoveries could change that.
I went on and continued to explain other evidence for the existence of God, such as the argument from the design of DNA (the informational equivalent of roughly 8000 books inside every DNA molecule) and the complexity of biological life at the cellular level.
During this conversation, we talked about many other topics and she raised many other objections against Christianity and theism in general – again, this was all done in a very congenial and friendly conversational way. There was no animus in the conversation at all.
Here’s a summary of what I think she believes.
She believes that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person (or someone like him actually existed).
She believes that the Bible was written so long ago that it’s hard for her to see it as being real. I clarified that the important time Gap is the time between the events, and when they were recorded, not the time between the events and today. We also had, at this point, and discussion about how she knows about the existence of George Washington, and his doings. I was trying to get her to agree that the same way she knows about (and trust the accounts of ) George Washington, is the same way she can know about Jesus.
She completely rejects all miracle reports. In response to this, I asked her, “if there is a God who created the universe and everything in it, isn’t it reasonable to believe that the Being who created the universe and established all the laws that govern it could alter how things occur inside the universe?” She countered with an example that, if a woman gives birth to a baby, does that mean the woman can control everything that happens inside the baby? I acknowledge that that was a good point, but the human mother and the baby are of the same species. But God in the universe are completely different. So I think the analogy fails.
She finds it more difficult to believe in the existence of a Creator of the universe than she does to believe that Jesus existed. At this point, I referred back to the cosmological argument that I’d talked previously with her about. I also emphasized that, if you think about it, there must have been something that was eternal, whether that be God, or the universe itself. One of them must have been eternal. Otherwise, there would be nothing at all. I asked her to consider the point, why is there something rather than nothing? She had a problem understanding the question, then I explained it and, again, she didn’t think it was irrelevant question. she, unlike me does not think about questions of our origin, or our destination.
Even if Jesus existed, and there were eyewitnesses of him, she doesn’t think that what he is reported to have said in the Bible is necessarily what he actually said. At this point, I spoke a little bit about the fact that the Bible was written as 27 books by 9 authors, over a period of 50 years, within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. so, with that information, what you have to evaluate is the reliability of these eyewitnesses. much in the same way that our criminal justice system evaluates eyewitnesses. Were they there and available to observe the event? Do they have any reason to lie?Is there corroboration from other sources? We also talked a little bit about the nature of eyewitness testimony and that diverging details are to be expected in authentic eyewitness testimony. In the case of the eyewitnesses that wrote down the historical accounts of Jesus, they were willing to go to their deaths proclaiming an account that they knew whether it was true or false.
She stated that the people who wrote it down wrote it down long after he lived.She also stated that these people couldn’t even write. In response to these assertions I explained that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is not even mentioned in the New Testament.So, that is evidence that the writing was before 70 AD oh, well the other eyewitnesses we’re still alive. also I mentioned to her that the apostle Paul, who wrote one half of the New Testament books was a scholar, so yes, he could write.
She talked about wars in the name of religion, and she talked about people who are “true believers” who do horrible things. I readily agreed with her on this point, that there are those who, throughout the history of Christianity, have done horrible things in the name of Christ. That grieves me as well.
She contrasted the behavior of atheists, with that of Christians, and suggested that sometimes, the atheists actually behave better because of the way that they were brought up. In response to this point I talked about how there is no one perfect, and that according to the Christian worldview, everyone has sinned.we are all guilty before God. She admitted to not really understanding what sin was. I explained that anything less than perfection was sin. I asked her if she had ever told a lie? She said yes but only in a moral dilemma where it was better to lie than to tell the truth so as not to hurt someone. I asked her about stealing and lust. She would not admit to doing anything wrong (wow). But yet, when she agreed that no one was perfect, I explained that God’s standard is perfection, so in this sense, everyone is guilty before God. And I went on to emphasize, that wouldn’t this be a wonderful world if everyone did follow those rules listed out in the ten commandments, that they would love their neighbors theirselves, that they would respect and honor their parents, that they would not lie, steal, commit adultery and she agreed that this would be a utopia if that were the case.

She believes that the term Christian can mean whatever the person feels it too mean. She personally believes that Christian is more of a disposition, or a way of behaving. That we say that when someone is kind to another or charitable, they are acting “Christian”. I asked her, since she’s also an anthropologist, whether she knew what the origin of the term Christian was. Oddly, she thought that didn’t matter. I told her that Christian means follower of Christ, or little Christ. I also asked her at this point what she thought that Jesus would think about this issue. What would he consider a Christian?of course, since she doesn’t think that we have the actual words that Jesus spoke, she claimed to have no idea what Jesus would think about this.

We talked a little bit about evolution. She said she didn’t know whether I believed in evolution. I asked her, “what do you mean by evolution? If you mean change over time, I certainly believe it, it is undeniable. However, if you mean that all life forms on earth today descended from a single cell organism in the distant past, I don’t think that the fossil evidence supports that assertion.”. I went on to explain that in Darwin’s day, there was limited knowledge of the fossil record, but now over a hundred and fifty years later, we have explored much more of it, and are still unable to find the evolutionary precursors of many of the existing life-forms today. At this point, I also mentioned the Cambrian explosion. She was unfamiliar with it. I talked about how over 20 of the current phyla of animals came into existence in a “geological instant” – with no precursors found in the fossil record. This fossil evidence demands an explanation. She didn’t have an answer for this topic. However, she said that she thought Christians in the 19th century were against evolution, not based on scientific evidence, but rather, because it conflicted with their view of the world. She also mentioned that there are Christians who evidently believed that the universe is only 4,000 years old. So we continued on this topic and I explained to her the controversy between old earth creationists and young earth creationists. she was surprised to learn that there are in fact old earth creationists who accept the scientific dating of the universe and of the earth, yet still believe that God was the creator of the universe.I explained to her the different meanings of the Hebrew word for day and how there are many Christians who interpret “day” to mean “age” or “epoch”, not a normal 24 hour period. I also explained to her the young earth creationists contend that there are assumptions built into the scientific dating methods and therefore they are unreliable, and have shown at times to be unreliable when samples of known age are submitted to laboratories for testing and I received back with much longer ages than known age. At this point, I also talked a little bit about the historical situation in the 16th century with Galileo. How at that time there were the “fixed earthers” who believed that the sun rotates around the earth and who believe that the earth must be stationary, because the Bible says that it is fixed in space and rests on pillars. Then there were those (including Galileo) who believed that the earth rotated around the sun. Nowadays, hardly anyone, Christian or secular, believes that the earth is fixed in space. We unanimously believe the evidence which suggests that the earth rotates around the sun. It is non-controversial. I think that one day we may get there on the age of the universe, where all Christians come to accept the scientific consensus without controversy. We also talked about the problem of distant starlight. I told her that I typically try to stay out of those controversies about the age of the earth and the age of the universe. Normally I remain engaged on the topics of the existence of God, the design life, and the resurrection of Jesus.

So, all of this dialog occurred in a very respectful way, and was interspersed in our conversation. She didn’t bring up all these objections at once. During the course of the conversation, I tried to answer most of her objections. We spoke for a long, long time, so there was a lot of back-and-forth conversation. I wouldn’t even call it a debate.
I wish I’d had a tape recorder running, because I would’ve loved to be able to go back and hear all the things that she brought up and how I’d responded to them.I certainly did not list them all here. Overall, it was a very good conversation and we ended the conversation on a positive tone. It sounded like much of what I was telling her in response to her objections she had never heard before.
So, I think it was a successful encounter. Earlier in the day, I’d been praying to God for the opportunity to talk to someone on the flight. Then as all the passengers were boarding the plane, and I was already seated, while they were walking down the aisle, I was praying that God would be preparing someone to sit next to me who’d be ready to hear what I would have to say. I feel that He did answer that prayer! I will be praying for her, that maybe I put a stone in her shoe, and gave her something to think about, something to annoy her (in a good way). I didn’t share the gospel in a classic sense, but I did talk about God, Jesus, sin, heaven, hell, and faith, so we covered just about all the basics.
Thank you Lord for blessing me with this great opportunity. May you make it fruitful. In Jesus’ holy and precious name I pray, Amen.

mid-week apologetics booster (3-28-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 900) from Nuggets:

Grace can be and sometimes is abused. By that I mean exercising ones liberty without wisdom, having no concern over whether it offends or wounds the young and impressionable fellow believer. But I must hasten to add that I believe such restraint is an individual matter. It is not to be legislated, not something to be forced by someone else. Limitations are appropriate and necessary, but I fail to find in Scripture any place where one is to require such restraint from another. To do so is legalism. – Chuck Swindoll (the Grace Awakening)

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. New Choice42 Video Destroys Argument For Aborting Down Syndrome Babies | Human Defense: https://humandefense.com/new-choice42-video-destroys-argument-for-aborting-down-syndrome-babies/
  2. Doubting Evolution Is like Believing the Earth Is Flat. | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/evidence-against-evolution/doubting-evolution-is-like-believing-the-earth-is-flat/
  3. Apologia Sophia: Apologetics Wisdom 3Preparation Reflections: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/apologia-sophia-apologetics-wisdom-3-preparation/
  4. Conversations With Jehovah’s Witnesses – Part Three – Stephen J. Bedard: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2019/03/18/conversations-with-jehovahs-witnesses-part-three/
  5. Questioning Darwin (HBO Documentary) a Review | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/tv/questioning-darwin-a-review/
  6. John Lennox Busts a Myth About Religion, Faith and Science | Solas: https://www.solas-cpc.org/john-lennox-busts-a-myth-about-religion-faith-and-science/
  7. The universe of the lone brain (The multiverse escape hatch) – creation.com: https://creation.com/universe-of-the-lone-brain
  8. How Media Consumption Threatens the Future of Christianity (It’s Not What You Think) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-media-consumption-threatens-the-future-of-christianity-its-not-what-you-think/
  9. Animal Rights, Veganism & Abortion (Considering Abortion From The Perspective Of Veganism And Animal Rights): http://rajkumarrichard.blogspot.com/2019/02/animal-rights-veganism-abortion.html
  10. I Kissed Historic Christianity Goodbye this is a podcast with Alisa Childers being interviewed. The Freemind Podcast with Guest Alisa Childers – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/i-kissed-historic-christianity-goodbye-the-freemind-podcast-with-guest-alisa-childers
  11. Is God Real? The Bacterial Flagellum and the Divine Design Inference | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-the-bacterial-flagellum-and-the-divine-design-inference/
  12. Bart Ehrman says that God has a problem. If we have free will in Heaven, what’s to stop us from sinning in the afterlife? And if God takes away free will in Heaven, then why doesn’t he take it away so we stop doing evil now? – Is Jesus Alive?: https://isjesusalive.com/is-there-free-will-in-heaven/
  13. Why do you believe in pseudo-science? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4T2J4ewUOg&feature=youtu.be

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (2-14-2019)

Good morning friends,

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

Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven–on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call he answers, and while we are yet speaking he hears us. – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. If This Is God’s Will, Then Why Am I Struggling? – Defend the Faith Ministry: https://www.defendthefaithministry.com/blog/if-this-is-gods-will-then-why-am-i-struggling
  2. REPORT OF THE CREATION STUDY COMMITTEE (The Presbyterian Church in America) on the history of views in the church of Genesis 1-3: http://pcahistory.org/creation/report.html
  3. 3 Disturbing Cultural Trends Youth Pastors Need to Address: https://stevenkozak.com/2019/01/21/3-disturbing-cultural-trends-youth-pastors-need-to-address/
  4. Leftist fact-checking site denies New York’s new law allows unrestricted abortion until birth | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/snopes-denies-new-yorks-radical-abortion-law-allows-unrestricted-abortion-u
  5. Is the male reproductive system poorly designed?: https://creation.com/male-reproductive-system
  6. Dig In: Tips On Communicating Christ in a Post-Christian Culture: https://stevenkozak.com/2018/12/07/dig-in-tips-on-communicating-christ-in-a-post-christian-culture/
  7. 4 Reasons Why Christianity is True – Discover the Compelling Evidence: https://notashamedofthegospel.com/apologetics/4-reasons-christianity-true/
  8. 5 People to Look Out For at Bible Study: A Response THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/5-people-to-look-out-for-at-bible-study-a-response-2/
  9. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus Misleads Readers from its Inception Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2019/02/09/ehrmans-misquoting-jesus-misleads-readers-from-its-inception/
  10. Humanity’s Greatest Problem. Are people on a TRUTH quest or a HAPPINESS quest? The answer to this question may be the key to unlocking HUMANITY’s GREATEST PROBLEM. – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osmtPBA0pO0
  11. Do Atheists Have Faith? The faith of an atheist is hard to shake. Did you know that atheists live by faith? Not faith in God, obviously, but they do live by faith. Whether its their belief that consciousness and existence cease after death, or their belief that nothing somehow magically created everything, make no mistake: atheists live by faith. Many atheists cling to their faith in science; they claim that science is the only truth, and that everything must be tested in a scientific manner. But the problem is that science is not always reliable. Did you know that scientists once believed that the world was flat and that bleeding was the best way to rid the body of disease? Sometimes science is wrong. The word science simply means knowledge, and guess what? Man’s knowledge isn’t always correct.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asgF1VD7Exo
  12. The Delusions of Atheists – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/does-science-disprove-god/the-delusion-of-atheists
  13. Who created God – If a creator God needs to have been made by a creator, that creator would also need a creator who needs a creator like an infinite chain of toppling dominoes, which is an impossibility.: https://creation.com/who-created-god
  14. Atheism and the supernatural – Conservapedia: https://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_the_supernatural
  15. Answering Skeptics Questions – Existence of the Jewish People Today is Objective Evidence That the Bible is True. Why? If anyone wishes to know whether or not the God of the Bible exists, one of the strongest reasons he can examine is the Jewish people. An honest inquiry into this question will provide more than an adequate answer to the truthfulness of the Christian faith.: https://www.josh.org/resources/apologetics/answering-skeptics-detail/
  16. Apathy, Atheism, and the Absurdity of Life Without God: https://crossexamined.org/apathy-atheism-and-the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/
  17. How to Share the Gospel With An Agnostic – Dare 2 Share: https://www.dare2share.org/worldviews/agnostics/
  18. The First Step of Atheism Apologetics in an Age of Postmodernism – Truth is Free: http://truthisfree.org/first-step-atheism-apologetics-postmodernism/
  19. How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/oxford-atheism-to-jesus/
  20. 4 Essentials to Communicating Christ to a Post-Christian Culture: https://stevenkozak.com/2018/12/07/dig-in-tips-on-communicating-christ-in-a-post-christian-culture/
  21. 5 Questions to Ask a Non-Believer Adherent Apologetics: https://adherentapologetics.com/2018/12/21/5-questions-to-ask-a-non-believer/
  22. How Should Christians Respond to the Recent Decisions Expanding Abortion Rights? Bernard J. Mauser, Ph.D. EPEC Articles: https://epecarticles.com/2019/02/12/how-should-christians-respond-to-the-recent-decisions-expanding-abortion-rights-bernard-j-mauser-ph-d/
  23. How Is God Fair For Punishing Us For Adams Sin? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR_XM1691hs&feature=youtu.be
  24. Chris Pratt Claps Back at Accusations That His Church Hates Gay People: : https://faithit.com/chris-pratt-claps-back-about-accusations-that-his-church-hates-gay-people-nothing-could-be-further-from-the-truth/
  25. Privileged Species – Dr. Michael Denton: https://youtu.be/VoI2ms5UHWg
  26. The Programming of Life on Earth: https://youtu.be/WPkBEYsG6EQ
  27. The Facts | Programming of Life: https://www.programmingoflife.com/the-facts/

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31

Blessings to you all

Conversation while serving the homeless

Yesterday was our church’s once a month time of serving the homeless. There were 2 groups serving there yesterday – our church group of 5 people and a group of volunteers from a large company who has an office in our city. After our set-up time cutting vegetables, the leaders gave us our assignments. I was assigned to trash duty along with another young gentleman – let’s call his name Eric. Eric was the boyfriend of a woman who was from the company we were serving with.

Eric and I hit it off right from the beginning. He is in IT and is also a software developer like myself. Most of our conversation centered around technical topics, such as agile development, Angular, the MEAN stack, etc. It was really fun.

Eric has only been out of college about a year. He went to our local university and received a degree in Computer Science. While Eric and I were working garbage, one of the women (not Eric’s girlfriend) who was the volunteer coordinator for the company serving with us came over and talked to us at the trash station. Let’s call her Joan. We were talking about serving the homeless and I mentioned that the Bible says:

… “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.” -Luke 3:11

Joan replied “Amen!” At that point, I guessed she was a Christian, so I asked her if she was. She said yes. I asked her what church she goes to and she told me that she attends a church in our area (a large mega-church that I’m familiar with). Joan went on to recount her testimony of her life “pre-Christ” and how her life is totally changed after she found Christ. I also recounted some details about my conversion to Christ and the dramatic changes that ensued. It really was a blessing to meet another Christian there… This whole time, Eric was present in the conversation and listening, but not really saying anything. So, I asked him, “So, Eric, are you a Christian?” He replied, “No…”. I asked, “Why not?” He said, “It’s just not really my thing.” I asked, “Have you ever been to church or had any history with Christianity?” He said that he’d gone to church some times as a child, but not for many years. So I left it at that and Joan left us and went throughout the dining room visiting with other volunteers.

Eric and I continued to handle the garbage, talking while we worked about our jobs, our hobbies, our plans for the weekend, interesting new consumer electronics devices and anything else that came up. I really enjoyed my time with Eric. As we were getting toward the end of our time serving together, I wanted to get back to that conversation about God. So, I asked him, “Eric, I know you said you’re not a Christian, but do you think that there is an afterlife at all?” He replied, “No…” So, I probed further, “What do you think happens when you die?” He said, “Nothing… It’s just lights out – that’s the end of you.” I said “Really?” He said, “Yeah, I know it sucks, but that’s just the way it is…” Then I asked him, “How did you come to the conclusion – that there is no life after death? What makes you think that is true?” He really didn’t have an answer here. I think he said “I don’t know – that’s just what I believe…” So, I said, “Well, I used to think the same things too. I was very skeptical at one point (reading plenty of Neitche, Freud and science writers), until I was challenged to look into these things. When I did, I realized that I had not developed my views with an open mind – that I was only looking at one side of the argument. I’ve come to find out that there is good evidence for the existence of God. For example, the existence of the universe.” I asked him, “What do you think caused the universe?” He replied, “Uh… I guess, the Big Bang?” I clarified, “Well, that describes what happened at the beginning of the universe, but it is not saying anything about what or Who caused the Big Bang. Whatever begins to exist must have a cause, and science tells us that the universe began to exist.” He didn’t have anything to reply to this, and our conversation was kind of coming to a standstill. So, I just encouraged him to have an open mind and to follow the evidence to see if God exists. I said that I, probably like him, being in I.T., am a logically minded person and a naturally skeptical kind of guy -I don’t believe things without evidence. I would not believe God exists and Christianity is true if there were no evidence for it. That being said, I’m not saying the evidence is absolutely conclusive, but that you need to look at all the evidence and try to determine what is the most likely cause for the universe and the existence of life. I encouraged him to read one of 2 books which give pretty good evidence for the truth of Christianity:

  1. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – I whipped out my phone kindle app and showed him what the cover of the book looks like. I also told him that it comes on Audible too
  2. Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists – I told him that this book had helped answer the questions of another person his age.

He took note as I showed him the book and described the 4 main topics I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist talks about:

  1. Does Truth Exist?
  2. Does God Exist?
  3. Are Miracles Possible?
  4. Is the New Testament historically accurate?

He seemed interested in the content of the I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist book and said that he has always made decisions in his life on the basis of evidence, so he would be willing to explore the evidence as I encouraged him to do. This was the end of our conversation about this topic.

At the end our time there, I met his girlfriend and I told Eric that I really enjoyed our time here and we both hoped we’d see each other in the future. Since we’re both in the same line of work, I asked him if we could link up on LinkedIn and we did.

I pray that somehow the words I said to Eric would “put a stone in his shoe”, annoying him in a good way. That he would consider someone like me, who, in the past, was very much like he is now, and yet, believes Christianity is true, beyond any reasonable doubt. That he may come to believe, as the Apostle John stated in his Gospel:

… that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:31

mid-week apologetics booster (2-7-2019)

Good morning friends,

For anyone that, like me, keeps 1 or more Todo lists and is challenged in keeping track of the various things you need to get done in your lives, I just finished developing a web-based tool for myself that you all can take advantage of too (for free, of course).  It is a web-based Todo list.  Here is the link:

http://ps11911.com/todo

You can enter a user id and password (and click “Remember me”) to create your own Todo list.  Each Todo item has a category (whatever categories you want), a title and a description.  You can search Todos or filter them by category and delete them when they are completed.  You can also view/search previously deleted Todo’s.  The reason I created this is so that I can have secured access to my Todo list whether I’m at home, at work or just on my smart phone.  So far, I think it has had a noticeable impact on my productivity.  I hope you all will take advantage of this tool as well.  Please feel free to send me feedback or ideas you have as you use it.

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

Training is essential in law enforcement because officers deploy on a regular basis. If we could handle every call over the phone without leaving the station, none of us would need to exercise or train tactically. You don’t have to train if you have no intention of deploying. The same is true for us as Christians. Think about that for a minute. Most of us see our church buildings as places to gather on Sunday; seldom do we think of them as places to train in preparation for deployment. – J. Warner Wallace

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies for the Trinity – this is important – let’s not commit these errors and spread misunderstanding when talking about the Trinity – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLfgaUoQCw
  2. 5 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have If Your Kids Walk Away from Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/5-regrets-you-dont-want-to-have-if-your-kids-walk-away-from-faith/
  3. During the open forum at the University of Pennsylvania Ravi Zacharias and Nabeel Qureshi were asked: Why are you so afraid of subjective moral reasoning? Do you think we all are just going to start raping and pillaging just because we don’t have a book telling us what to do? Are you afraid of that? I’m not because that’s not what we are going to do. Yes, Nazis were bad but there were Christian Nazis and atheist Nazis. So I don’t see… What are you so afraid of? To this Ravi quickly replied, “Do you lock your doors at night?” Watch his full response in the video – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0218GkAGbnU&feature=youtu.be
  4. How to Turn the Tables on Four Pro-Choice Arguments | LifeNews.com: https://www.lifenews.com/2017/08/18/how-to-turn-the-tables-on-four-pro-choice-arguments/
  5. The Issue at the Heart of the Abortion Debate – Christian Apologetics Alliance: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2012/12/03/abortion-debate-heart/
  6. Pro-Life Crash Course – Here’s a summary of how to argue for the pro-life position that I created for a friend whose secular philosophy class was scheduled to discuss abortion. It’s a great little cheat sheet you can keep on hand for your own discussions on this subject. | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/pro-life-crash-course
  7. The Lost Art of Thoughtfulness: Dismissing Ideas Because We Fear Them: http://www.travisdickinson.com/the-lost-art-of-thoughtfulness-dismissing-ideas-because-we-fear-them/
  8. 9 historical facts about James the brother of Jesus that provide a strong basis for the truth of Christianity Is Jesus Alive?: http://isjesusalive.com/james-the-brother-of-jesus/
  9. More evidence for the Historical Truth of David and Goliath: http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2019/01/more-evidence-for-historical-truth-of.html
  10. Earth’s Thick Ice Sheets Are Young | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/11118
  11. 5 Objections Atheists Have Against Christianity Christian Defenders: http://www.christiandefenders.org/2019/01/28/5-objections-atheists-have-against-christianity/
  12. Frank Turek: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist: The Ohio State University THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/frank-turek-i-dont-have-enough-faith-to-be-an-atheist-the-ohio-state-university/
  13. Is Belief In God A Mental Crutch? – The Daily Apologist: https://thedailyapologist.com/is-belief-in-god-a-mental-crutch/
  14. World-Famous Scientist: God Created the Universe | Intellectual Takeout: https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/world-famous-scientist-god-created-universe
  15. Search for the real Jesus | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2019/02/02/search-for-the-real-jesus/
  16. Is God Real? Common, Objective Moral Standards Are an Evidence of God’s Existence | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-common-objective-moral-standards-are-an-evidence-of-gods-existence/
  17. The Ultimate List of Apologetics Terms for Beginners (with Explanations) – Capturing Christianity: https://capturingchristianity.com/ultimate-list-apologetics-terms-for-beginners/
  18. What is Free Masonry and what do Free Masons believe?: https://www.gotquestions.org/free-masonry.html
  19. Freemasonry – Who are the Freemasons and what is Freemasonry? What do they believe and what do they practice? Is it right for Christians to be members? Dr. Walter Martin, author of “Kingdom of the Cults” teaches us. Dr. Walter Martin – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl6BY2hVdds&feature=youtu.be
  20. How do we know Jesus was really who he said he was? What evidence is there that Jesus existed? How are we supposed to reconcile conflicting reports? Abdu Murray responds at an open forum at Yale University. – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ksvhHEoMLM&feature=youtu.be
  21. Jesus in Islam – The Top 6 Questions Muslims Ask about Jesus: https://www.everystudent.com/wires/jesusislam.html
  22. Biblical Faith VS. Blind Faith | Crossexamined.org: https://crossexamined.org/biblical-faith-vs-blind-faith/

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10

Blessings to you all

AWANA Opening Message (Sports night) 1-23-2019

I will be giving the following message (in an abbreviated form) tonight at AWANA during our opening time:


Tonight is sports night.  It seems that we’re having sports night because we are approaching a big sporting event in a few weeks from now.  Does anyone know what sporting event is that? <Answer: the Super Bowl 53 (LIII)>.  The Los Angeles Rams will be playing the New England Patriots on Sunday February 3rd.  How many of you want the Rams to win?  How many of you want the Patriots to win?  How many don’t care who wins?  I want the Arizona Cardinals to win 🙂 (oops, they didn’t make it!)

Since we’re having this focus on sports tonight, I wondered if the Bible says anything about sports and started searching.  Surprisingly, I found that the New Testament, in particular, has quite a bit to say about sports!  There are many places in which it likens the Christian life to a race for a prize.  For example, the Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews speak frequently about this:

Acts 20:24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me –the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 9:24-26

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

Galatians 2:2

I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.

Galatians 5:7

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:8

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

2 Timothy 2:5

Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day –and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Hebrews 11:40

For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

While the Bible doesn’t talk about football as we know it today, we can still draw some analogies with this team sport of football and the Christian life.

In the same way that a football player is on a team with a head coach, so is a Christian on a team with a head coach.  Our head coach is Jesus.  Anyone who rejects the head coach can’t be part of the team.  If you want to be on the team — to have the benefits of being on the team — you have to believe in and follow the head coach.

There are rules for those who want to be on the team and there are rules for how the game is played.  Those who are unwilling to follow the team rules show that they do not want to be part of the team.  However, you don’t need to worry about being “kicked off” the team for breaking the rules a few times, either intentionally or accidentally, as long as you acknowledge your mistake and are truly sorry about it, making up your mind to not break the rules again.  Everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect.  The Bible says:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.  – 2 Corinthians 7:10

Likewise, if you break a rule on the field while playing the game, there is a penalty for breaking the rule, but you’re not “kicked off” the team for getting penalized.  In the same way, Christians have rules to follow on our team.  We all break them periodically (Romans 3:23) and when we do, we repent and ask God for forgiveness, and He gladly forgives us.  But like the player who is penalized, there are still natural consequences for our sins.  We are not “kicked off” the team — we remain Christians destined for heaven — but God does not undo the consequences of our sin.  The Bible says:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Galatians 6:7

Not only do we experience the “natural consequences” of our sin, but God disciplines us (if we are true Christians) in the similar way that a father disciplines a child:

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:5-11

Therefore, we should not consider it strange if we are being disciplined – rather, this is a sign that God loves us!

In football, the team has a playbook that all players need to learn.  Some of the players on the team are on the field actively playing each week and some of the players sit on the bench each week.  However, they all need to know the playbook, after-all, they might just be pulled off the bench and put in the game at any moment if another player gets injured.  In the same way, Christians have a playbook — that is the Bible.  We need to know the playbook!  That’s what we’re doing here each Wednesday night — we’re learning our playbook, memorizing Bible verses, so that we can use them to guide how we live our lives and our interactions with others.  Not only does the Bible guide how we live our lives, but instructs us how to receive the free gift of eternal life:

from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 3:15

Football players are playing a game to win.  Most of the NFL players, if you ask them, want that Super Bowl ring – the symbol of the ultimate victory in their sport.  Although life is not a “game”, in the same way, Christians are anticipating that we will win in the end.  Revelation tells us how all this will end.  It says:

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. – Revelation 7:17

Unlike the football player, we can have confidence knowing how our “game” will end.  We are playing on the winning team for the Righteous Coach!  We will be victorious!  So, I encourage you all to:

  1. Get in “the game” – live out your faith every day. Make sure everyone knows you’re a Christian and show them how Christians live – how we are different.
  2. Know your playbook – read, memorize and think deeply about the Bible. It is God’s message to people and He uses it to transform and mature us.  There is no spiritual growth without the Bible.
  3. Be prepared for action – the Lord uses those who are prepared to serve Him. He’s given each Christian a spiritual gift which is to be used in His service. Look for and pray for opportunities to serve Him and to glorify Him through your life.
  4. Most importantly, know your Coach and talk to Him often. Jesus wants to know us – that’s a requirement to get into heaven.  He said:

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:22-23

You don’t want to hear those words “I never knew you. Away from Me…”  Know Jesus, Know Peace, No Jesus, No Peace:

Books I’ve Read or Listened to – At Least in Part – in 2018

I have a strange way of reading books. Each day I read small parts of one or many books. So, I rarely ever finish a whole book. I’m constantly reading many different books. I make use of Kindle, Hardcover/Paperback books, Audible and Christian Audio. The following is a list of books that I’ve read significant parts of during the past year. I have really enjoyed all of these and would recommend them.

Kindle or Hardcover/Paperback

  1. Unsilenced: How to Voice the Gospel, James Boccardo
  2. The Case for the Real Jesus, Lee Strobel
  3. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision, William Lane Craig
  4. Discerning Truth, Jason Lisle
  5. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh & Sean McDowell
  6. Prayer Quotes: Inspiration to Draw You Closer to God, Kevin W. Shorter
  7. Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention: Fourth Edition, John M. Kirsch M.D.
  8. Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, Gregory Koukl
  9. Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority, Jonathan Morrow
  10. Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith, J. Warner Wallace
  11. Go and Sin No More: A Call To Holiness, Dr. Michael Brown
  12. Deconstructing Calvinism, Hutson Smelley
  13. Twelve What Abouts: Answering Common Objections Concerning God’s Sovereignty in Election, John Samson
  14. Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God, Paul Copan
  15. Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life is Designed, Douglas Axe
  16. God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe, J. Warner Wallace
  17. Proving the Trinity: Biblical Evidence for the Triune God, Ben Warner
  18. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, W. Phillip Keller
  19. Why I Believe, Dr. D. James Kennedy
  20. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Arthur Bennett
  21. Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together, Ron A. Hall, Denver Moore (this is one that I finished)

Audio

  1. Letters to a Young Progressive: How to Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand, Mike S. Adams
  2. The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills–and Leave a Positive Impression!, Debra Fine
  3. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change, Marc Morano
  4. Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, Kyle Idleman
  5. The Love Dare, Stephen and Alex Kendrick
  6. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi
  7. Church History in Plain Language, Bruce L. Shelley
  8. The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump, Gregg Jarrett
  9. Trump’s America, Newt Gingrich
  10. Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case, Frank Turek
  11. The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Steven J. Lawson
  12. Know Why You Believe, Paul E. Little
  13. Talking With Your Kids About God, Natasha Crain
  14. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek

Of course, it goes without saying that I read the Bible each and every morning too! I would encourage you all to read more – make use of your free time!

mid-week apologetics booster (12-20-2018)

Good morning friends,

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

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up. – G.K. Chesterton

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. God, Unicorns, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster – God Evidence Does God Exist?: http://godevidence.com/2018/12/god-and-modern-science/
  2. Top 10 Apologetics Books | ReasonableTheology.org: https://reasonabletheology.org/top-10-apologetics-books/
  3. Was the Virgin Conception Borrowed from Prior Mythologies? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/was-the-virgin-conception-borrowed-from-prior-mythologies/
  4. Reaching the Lost & Scattered with Jonathan Bernis | Daystar Television: http://www.daystar.com/news-updates/reaching-the-lost-scattered-with-jonathan-bernis/
  5. But Jesus never said, I am God. THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/but-jesus-never-said-i-am-god-3/
  6. Dr. Craig explains why the oral tradition is not comparable to the Telephone Game. #Apologetics: https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156262536113229&id=31578213228
  7. What Happened to Derek Webb? (note, I am not a 5-point Calvinist, but I do believe in perseverance of the saints. So I don’t agree with everything in this article, but I do think he makes a good point about faith, specifically Ephesians 2:8-9. I also think that there’s an interesting dynamic at play here based on how people think about their faith and what it might result in when they experience times of doubt): http://thatswhatstevesaid.blogspot.com/2018/10/what-happened-to-derek-webb.html
  8. How can we successfully defend Christianity in a soundbite world? The task of defending the truth of Christianity today is becoming increasingly difficult, especially since now technology allows us to “extract” a phrase or two and interpret it any way we want. Whether is in social media, radio or video, it’s never been easier to take things out of context. How can we successfully defend Christianity in a soundbite world? Stay tuned for the answer! : https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+ky4j5nq
  9. Suffering and Evil: The Logical Problem – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k64YJYBUFLM&feature=youtu.be
  10. Suffering and Evil: The Probability Version – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxj8ag8Ntd4&feature=youtu.be
  11. Muslim Becomes Christian – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4vT1mQ5UL4&feature=youtu.be
  12. J Warner Wallace: Developing a Forensic Faith – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lyyw-x2Kk&feature=youtu.be
  13. Sean McDowell: Can We Trust the New Testament? – 2018 Xenos Summer Institute – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdmCsQ5xeJk&feature=youtu.be
  14. The Case for the Historicity and Deity of Jesus (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/the-case-for-the-historicity-and-deity-of-jesus/
  15. Koran and the Bible: How the Koran Validates the Bible, Invalidates Itself: http://www.cltruth.com/2018/koran-validates-bible/
  16. Was the name Jehovah removed from the New Testament? Does it matter? | CARM.org: https://carm.org/was-jehovahs-name-removed-from-the-new-testament-does-it-matter
  17. The Authenticity Of The Virgin Birth | Daily Wire: https://www.dailywire.com/news/39388/erickson-authenticity-virgin-birth-erick-erickson
  18. The Top 3 Apologetics Books Christian Philosophers Say You Should Read – Capturing Christianity: http://capturingchristianity.com/top-3-apologetics-books-christian-philosophers-say-read/
  19. Does Ecclesiastes 12:7 prove that we pre-existed in heaven? | CARM.org: https://carm.org/does-ecclesiastes-12-7-prove-we-pre-existed-in-heaven
  20. A Christian Apologetics Manifesto (19 Ways to Ignite Apologetic Passion) Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.: https://douglasgroothuis.com/2018/05/31/a-christian-apologetics-manifesto-19-ways-to-ignite-apologetic-passion/
  21. Does purgatory deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice? | CARM.org: https://carm.org/does-purgatory-deny-sufficiency-christs-sacrifice
  22. Science Professor & Nanotechnologist, James Tour, Converts to Christianity After Encounter with Jesus Christ. | James Bishop’s Theological Rationalism: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2018/12/17/science-professor-nanotechnologist-james-tour-converts-to-christianity-after-encounter-with-jesus-christ/
  23. Preaching to the Choir: Why the Church Needs Apologetics – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/preaching-to-the-choir-why-the-church-needs-apologetics/
  24. True and False Conversion | Living Waters: https://www.livingwaters.com/true-and-false-conversion/

A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him. Proverbs 28:22

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (11-15-2018)

Good morning friends,

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

Patience is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you. – The Love Dare

To view more of these quotes, visit here.

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. 5 Things Christians Should Do After the Election: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-things-christians-election/
  2. Many ways to present the message about Jesus | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2018/11/07/many-ways-to-present-the-message-about-jesus/
  3. The Frightening Truth about Wicca in the United States – Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog: https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-james-emery-white/more-witches-than-presbyterians.html
  4. Talk About God, Even If You’re No Good at It – Break Point: http://www.breakpoint.org/2018/11/talk-about-god-even-if-youre-no-good-at-it/
  5. 23 Reasons Why Scholars Know Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Religions. | James Bishop’s Theological Rationalism: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2015/01/19/23-reasons-why-scholars-know-jesus-is-not-a-copy-of-pagan-religions/
  6. Lodi Man Gets Second Chance At Life When Brain Tumor Vanishes Without Surgery CBS Sacramento: https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/11/09/lodi-second-chance-brain-tumor/
  7. Is the Bible Reliable? Part 2 – Listen to Moments of Hope with Pastor David Chadwick, Nov 9, 2018: https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/moments-of-hope/listen/is-the-bible-reliable-part-2-725607.html
  8. 3 More Tips to Effective Conversations for Christ – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/3-tips-effective-conversations-christ-2/
  9. A Guide to Purposeful Conversations – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/a-guide-to-purposeful-conversations/
  10. Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and yet Believe | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/blessed-are-those-who-have-not-seen-and-yet-believe#.W-nV8x5lA0N
  11. Leaving Home . . . And God | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/train-up-a-child/christian-parenting/leaving-home-and-god/
  12. A Beginners Guide to Understand and Answer Dr. Bart Ehrman – Christian Apologetics Alliance: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2016/08/18/a-beginners-guide-to-understand-and-answer-dr-bart-ehrman/
  13. Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/investigating-bart-ehrmans-top-ten-troublesome-bible-verses/
  14. Bart Ehrman’s Latest Book How Jesus Became God | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/bart-ehrman-s-latest-book-%E2%80%93-how-jesus-became-god#.W-t0RB5lA0M
  15. 4 Early Non-Christian Sources For Jesus: http://tentmakingchristianity.com/4-early-non-christian-sources-for-jesus/
  16. Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus an analysis – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/bart-ehrmans-misquoting-jesus-an-analysis
  17. Top Five Apologetics Books Lucas’ Theological Novelties and Apologetics: https://lucsnovelties.com/2018/08/05/top-five-apologetics-books/
  18. 7 eye-opening facts we learn about early Christianity from a Roman Historian who hated Christians: http://isjesusalive.com/7-eye-opening-facts-we-learn-about-early-christianity-from-a-roman-historian-who-hated-christians/
  19. Is There Anything Good About Pain? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/there-anything-good-about-pain/

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalms 105:4

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (11-8-2018)

Good morning friends,

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

Man has an amazing capacity to distort Scripture in the things that he wishes were not true. – James MacDonald

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Some Possible Options in Explaining Why the Bible is Authoritative, True, and Inspired! THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/some-possible-options-in-explaining-why-the-bible-is-authoritative-true-and-inspired-2/
  2. Life Begins at Conception | American Center for Law and Justice: https://aclj.org/begins-at-conception
  3. Engineered Adaptability: Darwin’s Anti-Design Doctrine | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/darwins-anti-design-doctrine/
  4. How Do We Speak Truth in A Distracted Age? – Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-do-we-speak-truth-in-a-distracted-age
  5. What is the Most Recent Manuscript Count for the New Testament? – Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-most-recent-manuscript-count-for-the-new-testament
  6. If believing in Jesus is such a huge deal, why doesn’t he do whatever it takes to show himself to me? Is Jesus Alive?: http://isjesusalive.com/divine-hiddenness/
  7. How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/oxford-atheism-to-jesus/
  8. What About All The Other Gods? (J. Warner Wallace): http://www.breakpoint.org/2018/11/what-about-all-the-other-gods/
  9. Why Christian Apologists Must Remember Death – Capturing Christianity: http://capturingchristianity.com/why-christian-apologists-must-remember-death/
  10. The Problem With Answering the Problem of Evil | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/the-problem-with-answering-the-problem-of-evil/
  11. Which Came First, The Chicken or the Egg? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/days-of-creation/which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg/
  12. How Do We Know the Right Books Made it into the New Testament? https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/how-do-we-know-the-right-books-made-it-into-the-new-testament.html

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1:18-19

Blessings to you all

Teaching on John 10 – The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

This was teaching I developed over the past month and finally delivered yesterday during lunchtime at Mimi’s Cafe to a group of about 15 men.  We’ve been going through the book of John and it was my turn to teach on John 10.

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. 7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” 22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 39 Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42 Many believed in Him there. (NASB)

Disclaimer (before we get started) – This study group is “multi/non-denominational”. We are all brothers in Christ–we believe in one Lord and one Bible. However, we may have different views on various matters of doctrine and theology.  John 10 is one of those passages the “Reformed Calvinist View” relies on as a proof text.  I am not a Calvinist (for biblical reasons), nor am I Pelagian or Semipelagian, though I do consider myself to be Reformed, holding to the 5 “solas” of the reformation.  I don’t plan to go into detail about my views because we won’t have time for that, yet I want to let you know up front that it is possible you will disagree with parts of this teaching (esp. on John 10:3&26 – I will devote significant attention to 26 – 1½ pages).  That’s ok with me and I hope its ok with you.  In preparation for this, let us receive wisdom from God’s Word:

Proverbs 18:17 – The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

The point is, maybe you haven’t spent a lot of time considering alternative points of view such things as unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace – on soteriology (or maybe you have…) I ask that you receive this teaching in the spirit in which I hope to deliver it – with humility, gentleness and respect.

Chapter 10 is chock full of great stuff!  Look at all the teaching & doctrine that flows from this chapter:

  1. 2 “I AM” statements by Jesus (v.7,9), (v.11,14), statements of His deity.
  2. Jesus is the only way of salvation for mankind – “I am the door” (v.9)
  3. False teachers/leaders — we must watch out for them (v.1,5,8,10,12-13)
  4. Jesus came to give us abundant life (v.10)
  5. The voluntary atonement of Christ for sins (v.11,15,18)
  6. Prediction of the Gentiles joining Jewish believers in one body, the church (v.16)
  7. Sheep / Shepherd metaphor permeates the chapter, reinforcing His deity (v.1-30)
  8. Jesus attended the “Feast of Dedication” a.k.a. Hanukkah (v.22)
  9. Unconditional election, irresistible grace and limited atonement (v.3,26-27,29)
  10. Jesus’ works are more than enough to prove that He is the Messiah (v.25,37-38)
  11. Eternal security of believers guaranteed by Jesus and the Father (v.28-29)
  12. The Jews attempt for the 3rd time in Gospel of John to stone Jesus (v.31-33)
  13. Jesus claims directly to be God (v.30-33)
  14. The inerrancy / accuracy of Scripture (v.35)
  15. John the Baptist was a true prophet and evangelist of Jesus (v.40-42)

We can’t cover each verse here today–MacArthur took 5 sermons (>=45 minutes each) to give an overview!

According to John MacArthur, this chapter records the final public declaration by the Lord Jesus of His Deity and the end of His public ministry. After this chapter, He goes away for 3 months of isolation across the Jordan with His disciples and others who believed in Him there.  After that He heads toward Jerusalem, after raising Lazarus in Bethany and then comes His passion week (during the Passover feast).  In fact in the next chapter, it explicitly states that His public ministry to the Jews was finished:

John 11:54 – Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.

Chapter 10 starts with Jesus’ discourse on Himself as the “good shepherd”. It flows directly from chap. 9, as Jesus continues to talk to the very same people on the very same day. The problem of chap. 9 was that Israel was led by false (blind) shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39-41). In chap. 10, Jesus declares Himself to be the “good shepherd” who was appointed by His Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-appointed, self-righteous & blind.

John 10:1 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.

Sheep were kept in a pen which had a door for entry and exit. Those who wanted to steal or harm the sheep would attempt entrance by another way.  The true shepherd enters at the door, being identified by the doorkeeper.  Ezekiel 34 most likely forms the background to Jesus’ teaching:

Ezekiel 34:1-21 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?”

Ezekiel 34:23-24a – Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them.

Literally, the whole chapter deals with sheep/shepherd metaphor. v.23-24 speaks of David in future tense, but he lived long before this.  So, apparently He’s talking about the Son of David (Messiah) who will gather His people, from Israel and from the nations, and lead them into the glory of the final kingdom.  Ezekiel 34 is a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus.  The Gospels themselves contain extensive sheep/shepherd imagery. For example:

Matthew 18:11-13 – [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.] What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.

John 10:3 – To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The doorkeeper is John the Baptist who prepared Jesus’ way and identified Him as the Messiah:

John 1:29-34 – The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

The old covenant Jewish believers accepted John the Baptist’s testimony of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and these are the specific sheep in verse 3 that “hear His voice”.  There will be a longer discussion on v.26…

John 10:7-10 – 7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Here He is the door. The shepherd led the sheep out of the sheep pen, here He is the entrance to the pen leading to proper pasture. Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures Himself as the door. He serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God’s salvation–Jesus’ explicitly states that He is the only way many times in the Gospel of John, for example:

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Only belief in the risen Christ, who paid for your sins, can save you from the just penalty for your sins and from being cast into hell. Only trust in Him as Savior and Lord can reconcile you to God. Jesus is the source for the knowledge of God and the one basis for spiritual security:

Heb. 7:25 – Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Q: When Jesus said He came to give us abundant life (v.10), why doesn’t this refer to health and wealth?

In John 10:11-18, Jesus is the “good shepherd” (4th of 7 “I am” statements of Jesus). Good (kalos) means beautiful, magnificent, winsome, attractive, lovely and excellent on all levels, vs. other word for good (agathos), which means moral goodness (pleasant, agreeable, upright and honorable).

 Q: Who are some well-known shepherds in the OT?  Is Jesus claiming Deity by this description?  Why?

John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

“lays down His life” refers to Jesus’ substitutionary death for sinners on the cross:

1 Peter 2:24 – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

Romans 5:8-9 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

John 10:16 – I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

Refers to Gentiles who will respond to His voice & become a part of the church. Jesus’ death was not only for Jews, but also for non-Jews. He will make both into one new body, the church.

John 10:17-18 – For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.  No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.

Jesus’ death was not the end. His resurrection was a demonstration of His Messiahship & Deity:

Romans 1:4 – who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 10:22-23 – At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

The “Feast of the Dedication” (Hanukkah) celebrates the Jewish victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, who conquered Jerusalem & desecrated the temple. The Jews fought the Maccabean Revolt (166-142 B.C.), liberated the temple, and rededicated it. This celebration is also known as the “Festival of Lights” on account of the lamps and candles lit to commemorate the event in Jewish homes.

Q: Is Jesus celebrating Hanukkah here?  How does it compare with Jesus’ celebration of Passover?

John 10:24-25 – The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. “Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.”

Jesus didn’t expect people to have blind faith – to believe without reason.  We also see this elsewhere in John:

John 10:37-38 – If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

John 5:36 – But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish – the very works that I do -testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.

John 14:11 – Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Jesus even stayed with His disciples following His resurrection to give them evidence:

Acts 1:3 – After His suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Jesus had already demonstrated His Deity by His many miracles and rising from the grave. But He stayed for more than a month longer to give His disciples many convincing proofs.”

Q: Why didn’t the risen Jesus appear to the Pharisees to prove that they were wrong about Him?

John 10:26-27 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

The Reformed Calvinist interpretation of this passage is that God has chosen a fixed number of individuals (His sheep) before the foundation of the world. It is only they who will hear His voice, believe and follow, after they have been made alive (or quickened) by His Spirit (effectual calling).  The rest, who are not His elect, He “passes over”.  Thus, Christ died only for His particular sheep – not the whole world.  His atonement for sins is said to be “limited atonement”.

Although this doctrine seems to be supported by many Scriptures (Eph. 1:3-8,11, 2:1-9; Rom. 8:7,9:10-24, John 6:37-40,44,65, 8:47, 10:26; Acts 2:39,13:47-48,16:14; 2 Th. 2:13-14; Col. 2:13; 1 Cor. 2:14, etc.), we must also remember that the same Bible tells us the following facts:

  1. God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
  2. He desires all people to repent (2 Peter 3:9)
  3. He’s pleased when the wicked turn from their ways and live (Ezekiel 18:23)
  4. Not all repent/turn from their ways (Jn. 3:19-20; Mt. 7:13-14, 13:18-23; Rom. 1:18-25)

So, if this doctrine of particular individual election be true, then God elects only some to be saved and to repent even though, according to Calvinism, He has elected whoever He wants.

Note: I’m not saying this is unfair (Rom 9:14-21), nor that we can come to Christ without the Father and Holy Spirit drawing (6:44) or enabling (6:65) us.  Rather, it seems contradictory and not supported by “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).   We know that not all people repent and are saved.  Therefore, since God wants all saved and not all are, there seems to be some element of human choice that God has given us in salvation – this drawing of the lost to God appears to be “resistible”, not “irresistible”.

Salvation is pictured as a gift in the Bible:

Rom. 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A gift must be received – what good is a Christmas present if it is left under the tree?

John 1:12 – But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God

We receive the gift of salvation by faith, and Paul makes it very clear that faith is not a work:

Romans 4:2-5 – 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness

v.5 of this passage clearly says the one who exercises faith in God is not performing a work.  Is the believer just smarter than others because he “figured it out”? No, not any more than a recipient of a gift is smarter or more worthy because he “figured out” that he must open the gift to benefit from what’s inside.

Additionally, John teaches us that Jesus died for the sins, not only of His sheep, but of everyone:

1 John 2:1-2 – My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense –Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

The doctrines of unconditional election and limited atonement have significant practical implications for how we approach lost people in evangelism.  We are communicating the idea that God has genuine love for those whom He has chosen not to save, and that He sincerely offers them salvation. This presents one of the greatest dilemmas for the Calvinist view.  However, God’s love for sinners and His desire for the salvation of all people is communicated by Jesus in one of the most famous verses in Scripture:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life

God’s love for sinners motivated Him to send His Son. Whoever believes in Him will be saved.  He offers salvation to all—acceptance or rejection of that offer resides with each individual.

So, if “My sheepdoes not refer to a predetermined set of elect persons, then what does Jesus mean by it? One possible meaning is that “My sheep” refers primarily to the faithful sons of Abraham under the old covenant as it was revealed in OT, who were already prepared by their faith and repentance to embrace the promised Messiah at the time of His appearance. These included those under the ministry of John the Baptist, who was appointed to “prepare the way for the Lord”. In a secondary sense, it includes God-fearing Gentiles (e.g., Cornelius, Acts 10) who were led by God’s grace to repentance and whom He drew to faith in His Son.

Q: Dare I ask for any comments here 🙂 ?  Please tell me where I’m wrong…

John 10:28-29 – and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Jesus’ sheep are secure because He is the Good Shepherd–He has them safe. Neither thieves nor robbers (v. 1, 8) nor the wolf (v. 12) can harm them.  No stronger passage in the OT or NT exists for the absolute, eternal security of every true Christian. Verse 29 makes clear that the Father ultimately stands behind the sheep’s security, for no one is able to steal them from God:

Rom. 8:38–39 – For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Q: What about people who walk away from the faith?  Do you know anyone who’s walked away?

John 10:30-33 – “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

The Jews are trying to stone Jesus, because His claim He was One with the Father affirmed His claim to deity and caused the Jews to seek His execution. There was no doubt in the minds of those Jews that Jesus was claiming to be God.

The Mosaic Law did permit stoning for blasphemy:

Leviticus 24:16 – Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

However, in 1st century Palestine, the Romans reserved for themselves the right of capital punishment:

John 18:31 – So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death”

Nonetheless, out-of-control Jews at other times engaged in mob actions in lieu of legal proceedings:

Acts 7:57–60 – But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

John 10:34-36 – Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?”

Jesus quotes from Ps 82:6 where God calls some unjust judges “gods” and pronounces calamity against them. Jesus’ argument is an argument “from the lesser to the greater”. If mere men could, in some sense, be referred to as “gods,” why would anyone object to the Son of God Himself being called by that title?  Then He adds this parenthetical statement: “Scripture cannot be broken”.  This is Jesus Christ the Lord Himself affirming the accuracy & authority of the OT.

If you found yourself disagreeing with some parts of this teaching today, I would encourage you to read the excellent book “Deconstructing Calvinism” (currently $3.99 Kindle, $18.99 paperback).

You may also want to read 2 articles to get a balanced view on the topic of God’s desire that all be saved:

Are There Two Wills in God? Divine Election and God’s Desire for All to Be Saved (John Piper):

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god

Are There Two Wills in God? A Response to John Piper:

http://evangelicalarminians.org/john-piper-are-there-two-wills-in-god-a-response/

Robert Hamilton, “The Order of Faith and Election in John’s Gospel: You Do Not Believe Because You Are Not My Sheep”:

http://evangelicalarminians.org/files/Hamilton.%20The%20Order%20of%20Faith%20and%20Election%20in%20John’s%20Gospel..pdf

I also made significant use of the MacArthur Study Bible comments and his 5 sermons on John 10:

  1. I Am the Door (John 10:1–10)
  2. I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11–21)
  3. I and the Father Are One, Part 1 (John 10:22–24)
  4. I and the Father Are One, Part 2 (John 10:25–42)
  5. I and the Father Are One, Part 3 (John 10:22–42)

I also listened to Dr. R.C. Sproul’s series on Reformed Theology.

I also read Hermeneutics of 2 Peter 3:9—”Us all” or “you all”? http://calvinandcalvinism.com/?p=12652

mid-week apologetics booster (9-27-2018)

Good morning friends,

Recently, I have been working on a new and updated version of my Bible nuggets program. You can try it here. The newly modified version contains the following features:

  1. Read and search the full Bible in 8 different translations
  2. Browse selected “Nuggets” from the Bible
  3. Links to biblestudytools.com Interlinear Bible for any chapter or passage you’re reading (this will allow you to explore the Greek and Hebrew text)
  4. Setup and practice Bible memory verses
  5. Browse the Bible by Topic
  6. Browse, search and memorize non-Bible quotes and facts
  7. Works great on mobile devices
  8. Content can be copied to clipboard for pasting into social media postings, emails or text messages
  9. There are many more features in this program that I’m continually updating, contact me if you have any questions about the features or how to use it

Note: if you would like to request a new feature or notify me about a bug, you can add a new issue on my GitHub page for this project!

Here is one random quote (of over 500) from this new program:

If religion, or sincerity, or ‘doing our best’ cannot save you and me, then how can any of those things save someone else? Either Jesus rescues us by taking the punishment for our sin on Himself, or we are not saved and we have to pay for our own crimes. It’s no more complicated than that. – Greg Koukl

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Remember, if you login (no password required), you can create and store your own database of quotes, facts and Bible memory verses. Be sure to take advantage of this extremely helpful resource, which will help you grow in your Christian walk!

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Beyond Adaptation: The Human Brain Is Something New | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/09/beyond-adapation-the-human-brain-is-something-new/
  2. What I Learned About Faith While Thinking I Had Cancer This Week: http://christianmomthoughts.com/what-i-learned-about-faith-while-thinking-i-had-cancer-this-week/
  3. Chris Pratt Explains Why He Publicly Shares God: “Hollywood Isn’t Anti-Christian”: https://www.christianpost.com/news/chris-pratt-explains-why-he-publicly-shares-god-hollywood-isnt-anti-christian-227496/
  4. 3 Logical Fallacies to Avoid (and How to Tell When Someone Else is Committing Them): https://apolotheo.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/3-logical-fallacies-to-avoid-and-how-to-tell-when-someone-else-is-committing-them/
  5. Jesus Specifically Said, “I am God”: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/jesus-specifically-said-i-am-god/
  6. Did Jesus appeal to evidence when reaching out to skeptics? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/09/23/did-jesus-appeal-to-evidence-when-reaching-out-to-skeptics-2/
  7. WWII Plane Found Frozen in Greenland Ice | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/wwii-plane-found-frozen-in-greenland-ice
  8. Yes, Intelligent Design Is Detectable by Science | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/04/yes-intelligent-design-is-detectable-by-science/
  9. Is the Christian Worldview Logical? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/logic/is-the-christian-worldview-logical/
  10. Ricochet Evangelism: https://mrpatvincent.com/2018/09/25/ricochet-evangelism/
  11. The Choice Between Entertaining and Training | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2012/the-choice-between-entertaining-and-training/
  12. Sir Isaac Newton on the Supreme Being | Apologetics315: https://apologetics315.com/2013/09/sir-isaac-newton-on-the-supreme-being/
  13. Christian Creationists (Do Not, Actually) Reject Science, but they do Believe in Miracles: https://www.christianvalour.com/evolutionists-claim-to-accept-science-but-they-believe/

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1-5

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (8-16-2018)

Good morning friends,

This summer I have been working on a new and updated version of my Bible nuggets program. You can try it here. The newly modified version contains the following features:

  1. Read and search the full Bible in 8 different translations
  2. Browse selected “Nuggets” from the Bible
  3. Links to biblestudytools.com Interlinear Bible for any chapter or passage you’re reading (this will allow you to explore the Greek and Hebrew text)
  4. Setup and practice Bible memory verses
  5. Browse the Bible by Topic
  6. Browse, search and memorize non-Bible quotes and facts
  7. Works great on mobile devices
  8. Content can be copied to clipboard for pasting into social media postings, emails or text messages
  9. There are many more features in this program that I’m continually updating, contact me if you have any questions about the features or how to use it

Note: if you would like to request a new feature or notify me about a bug, you can add a new issue on my GitHub page for this project!

Here is one random quote (of over 500) from this new program:

Give me grace to know more of my need of grace; Show me my sinfulness that I may willingly confess it; Reveal to me my weakness that I may know my strength in thee. I thank thee for any sign of penitence; give me more of it.

– Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Remember, if you login (no password required), you can create and store your own database of quotes, facts and Bible memory verses. Be sure to take advantage of this extremely helpful resource, which will help you grow in your Christian walk!

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Has the Bible been corrupted, altered, edited, revised, or tampered with?: https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-corrupted.html
  2. Faith Does Not Save You | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/faith-does-not-save-you
  3. Biblical Faith VS. Blind Faith: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2012/12/biblical-faith-vs-blind-faith.html
  4. Blind Faith – A common misconception among atheists, humanists, and evolutionists is that those who reject evolution in order to hold to a fundamental, literal understanding of the biblical documents are guided by blind faith: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=92&article=444
  5. Naturalism: A World View – the naturalistic world view is the overall belief that nature itself is all that there is. God did not design it. Intelligence was a result not a cause of the developing world. Nature formed itself by strictly natural processes. This claim has several implications…: https://www.namb.net/apologetics-blog/naturalism-a-world-view/
  6. Is Today’s Bible the Real Bible? | Institute For Religious Research: http://irr.org/todays-bible-real-bible
  7. Has the Bible Been Accurately Copied Down Through the Centuries? – SES: https://ses.edu/has-the-bible-been-accurately-copied-down-through-the-centuries/
  8. J. Warner Wallace: I am not a Christian because it works for me | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/04/13/j-warner-wallace-i-am-not-a-christian-because-it-works-for-me-6/
  9. Churches Should Welcome Sinners, Not Affirm Their Sins: http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/21/churches-welcome-sinners-not-affirm-sins/
  10. True Repentance, Real Change – Repentance is a biblical word… The Bible commands it, our wickedness demands it, justice requires it, Christ preached it and God expects it. The divine, unalterable edict is still valid: God commands all men everywhere to repent.: https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/january-2007/true-repentance-real-change/
  11. 3 Things Christians Do That Non-Christians Despise – CareyNieuwhof.com: https://careynieuwhof.com/3-things-christians-do-that-non-christians-despise/
  12. Why the Gospels Were Written Much Earlier than We Thought – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/85175-2/
  13. Four Reasons the New Testament Gospels Are Reliable (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/four-reasons-the-new-testament-gospels-are-reliable/
  14. Examining Islam: is it a reasonable faith to trust?: https://thinkdivinely.com/examining-islam-is-it-a-reasonable-faith-to-trust/
  15. Respectfully Engaging with Hindus: http://apologeticsguy.com/2018/08/engaging-with-hindus/
  16. DNA Points to Design Cyber Penance: https://cyberpenance.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/the-odds-of-dna-points-to-design/
  17. What Is Presuppositional Apologetics?: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/presuppositional-apologetics/
  18. Updated – Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/
  19. Why Does It Matter if God Is a Trinity? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/why-does-it-matter-if-god-trinity#.W3R7vDNlA0N
  20. The standard genetic code is optimized to reduce costly errors: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-standard-genetic-code-is-optimized-to-reduce-costly-errors/
  21. How to Make the Case Like a Case Maker | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/how-to-make-the-case-like-a-case-maker/
  22. Resurrection: Real? Or Real Dumb? Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2018/08/14/resurrection-real-or-real-dumb/
  23. Bible Contradiction? Did Jesus baptize anyone? The Domain for Truth: https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/bible-contradiction-did-jesus-baptize-anyone/
  24. Ten Reasons Tent-Makers Make Great Christian Case Makers: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/ten-reasons-tent-makers-make-great-christian-case-makers/
  25. Should Missing Apostolic Letters Cause Us Concern? | LogosTalk: https://blog.logos.com/2018/08/missing-apostolic-letters-cause-us-concern/
  26. IS OUR FAITH IN JESUS A BLIND FAITH?: https://mannsword.blogspot.com/2018/08/is-our-faith-in-jesus-blind-faith.html
  27. Apologetics Press – Cutting the Roots, But Still Expecting Fruit: http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=5598

The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (8-2-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Do faith in God and science contradict?: https://www.gotquestions.org/science-God.html
  2. Giving the Bad News First – and Accurately | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/giving-the-bad-news-first—and-accurately#.W1sPNDOp40N
  3. What I Wish I Knew Sixteen Years Ago About Sharing The Good News With Mormons – Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/what-i-wish-i-knew-sixteen-years-ago-about-sharing-the-good-news-with-mormons/
  4. Are Your Christian Students Ready for College? | | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/are-your-christian-students-ready-for-college/
  5. Apologetics and the Object of Our Faith Help Me Believe: https://helpmebelieveblog.com/2018/07/23/apologetics-and-the-object-of-our-faith/
  6. The Nature of Apologetics: http://ses.edu/the-nature-of-apologetics
  7. 5 Reasons Why the Church Should Care About Apologetics – ChristianWeek: http://www.christianweek.org/5-reasons-church-care-apologetics/
  8. Minimal Facts Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ | Worldview of Jesus: https://worldviewofjesus.com/2013/02/03/minimal-facts-argument-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus-christ/
  9. Why the Debate over Christian Origins Matter THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/11107/
  10. Canadian landscape a testimony to the Flood – creation.com: https://creation.com/cypress-hills-planation-surface
  11. Put a Stone in His Shoe | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/put-a-stone-in-his-shoe
  12. The Challenge of Moral Relativism: Three Problems with Relativism: http://www.mandm.org.nz/2018/06/the-challenge-of-moral-relativism-three-problems-with-relativism.html
  13. Transgender’s Faith – Walt Heyer (J1706) | Daystar On Demand – Christian Videos: http://www.daystar.com/ondemand/video/?video=5535343586001
  14. Sexual Identity #6 – Kegan Wesley (J1527) | Daystar On Demand – Christian Videos: http://www.daystar.com/ondemand/video/?video=4654213440001
  15. Everything is theological – Adam4d.com: http://adam4d.com/theologic/
  16. What Do You Say To Someone Who Listens To A False Teacher?: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-do-you-say-to-someone-who-listens-to-a-false-teacher/
  17. What Drives a Cult Leader like David Koresh? | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2018/03/what-drives-cult-leader-like-david.html
  18. How Bacteria Help Our Bodies Survive: http://www.icr.org/article/10785/
  19. God’s Specific Plan For Your Life (A Parable) | Christian Post: http://ipost.christianpost.com/post/gods-specific-plan-for-your-life-a-parable
  20. Guidance and God’s Plan | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer/P10/guidance-and-gods-plan
  21. Twelve Reasons Why Atheism Cannot Explain Reality Seeing God’s Breath: https://godsbreath.net/2016/05/12/reasons-why-atheism-is-irrational/
  22. The Most Common Objection to Gods Existence on a College Campus THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/the-most-common-objection-to-gods-existence-on-a-college-campus-3/
  23. Apologists are Fighting the Wrong Battle – Capturing Christianity: http://capturingchristianity.com/apologists-are-fighting-the-wrong-battle/

The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. Isaiah 33:5-6

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (7-26-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. How To Raise A Child In A Christian Home: 10 Important Tips: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-raise-a-child-in-a-christian-home-10-important-tips/
  2. Introducing The College Student’s Back to School Guide to Intelligent Design | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2009/09/introducing_the_college_studen/
  3. Three Spiritual Journeys of Millennials – Barna Group: https://www.barna.com/research/three-spiritual-journeys-of-millennials/
  4. Is bias a bad thing? – creation.com: https://creation.com/bias-bad-thing
  5. The Hardest Question to Answer | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/hardest-question-answer#.W1Es-NJKiUm
  6. All Episcopal Churches Must Now Bless Same-Sex Marriage: https://churchleaders.com/news/329117-all-episcopal-churches-must-now-bless-same-sex-marriage.html
  7. No Blind Faith Here Here’s the thing: https://heresthething.blog/2018/02/16/no-blind-faith-here/
  8. The Unexpected Apologist-Think Divinely: https://thinkdivinely.com/the-unexpected-apologist/
  9. A Christian Defense against Atheism Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2017/04/13/a-christian-defense-against-atheism/
  10. The testimony of a Secular Atheist finding Christ | Six Day Science: https://sixdayscience.com/2015/05/11/my-testimony/
  11. Why Unforgiving People Are So Unforgiving | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/why-unforgiving-people-are-so-unforgiving/
  12. The Manx comet and naturalistic assumptions – creation.com: https://creation.com/manx-comet
  13. SETI reacts to the new study that says not to wait up for extraterrestrials | Uncommon Descent: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/seti-reacts-to-the-new-study-that-says-not-to-wait-up-for-extraterrestrials/
  14. Why We’re Probably Alone in the Universe, Despite the Latest Planet Discovery: https://www.christianpost.com/voice/why-were-probably-alone-in-the-universe-despite-the-latest-planet-discovery.html
  15. It’s Time to Take the Bible Seriously – Capturing Christianity: http://capturingchristianity.com/time-take-the-bible-seriously/
  16. How Christianity Led to the Rise of Modern Science – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/christianity-led-rise-modern-science/
  17. Why A Classical Historian Changed His Mind About Christianity | Think Theology: https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/why_a_classical_historian_changed_his_mind_about_christianity
  18. My Wife Has Tattoos: Marriage and New Birth: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/my-wife-has-tattoos-marriage-and-new-birth/
  19. CEASE & DESIST: Town Orders Family to Stop Hosting Bible Studies on Farm | Todd Starnes: https://www.toddstarnes.com/faith/cease-desist-town-orders-family-to-stop-hosting-bible-studies-on-farm/
  20. Interview: How Should Christians Think about Social Justice? – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/christian-social-justice/
  21. 4 bad arguments for defending creationism (and what we should use instead) – Focus Press: https://www.focuspress.org/2017/09/19/4-bad-arguments-defending-creationism-use-instead/
  22. Micro-Refutations – Scripture calls Christians to refute (i.e., prove false) false views (e.g., 2 Corinthians 10:4-5) | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/micro-refutations/
  23. The Telephone Game Myth: Has the New Testament Been Changed Over Time? | god from the machine: https://godfromthemachine.blog/2017/02/09/the-telephone-game-myth-has-the-new-testament-been-changed-over-time/
  24. Flying Foxes – Bats are amazing animals that display the unlimited creativity of our God. – Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/mammals/flying-foxes/
  25. Sam Allberry’s Advice for Conversations about Sexual Identity | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/sam-allberrys-advice-conversations-about-sexual-identity#.W1TpxTOp40M
  26. 11 False Assumptions about Christianity: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/11-false-assumptions-about-christianity
  27. Hugh Ross’s five best arguments from nature for the existence of God | Uncommon Descent: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hugh-rosss-five-best-arguments-from-nature-for-the-existence-of-god/
  28. Adam and Eve: Real People or Representative Hominins? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2018/07/22/adam-and-eve-real-people-or-representative-hominins/
  29. Never Read a Bible Verse | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/never-read-a-bible-verse-2#.W1crzDOp40N
  30. The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis: A Fable Told by Ernst Mayr | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/the-neo-darwinian-synthesis-a-fable-told-by-ernst-mayr/
  31. Good Reasons to Believe Peter Is the Source of Mark’s Gospel | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/good-reasons-to-believe-peter-is-the-source-of-marks-gospel/
  32. Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity – The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/listening-to-young-atheists-lessons-for-a-stronger-christianity/276584/
  33. What Do Non-Christians Really Think of Us? – ThomRainer.com: https://thomrainer.com/2013/06/what-do-non-christians-really-think-of-us/
  34. What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/what-are-the-top-ten-problems-with-darwinian-evolution/
  35. Does the Gospel of Mark Claim that Jesus is God?: http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2013/06/does-the-gospel-of-mark-claim-that-jesus-is-god/
  36. Doug Axe on making odds on getting to a protein by chance in Amino Acid sequence space | Uncommon Descent: https://uncommondescent.com/irreducible-complexity/video-doug-axe-on-making-odds-on-getting-to-a-protein-by-chance-in-amino-acid-sequence-space/
  37. How do we decide which books belong in the Bible since the Bible does not say which books belong in the Bible?: https://www.gotquestions.org/canonicity-scriptural.html
  38. What Memories Are Made Of | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/brain/what-memories-are-made-of/
  39. C14, DNA, collagen in dinosaurs indicates geological timescales are false | Uncommon Descent: https://uncommondescent.com/news/cocktail-c14-dna-collagen-in-dinosaurs-indicates-geological-timescales-are-false/
  40. Homeland Security for the Church – The Need to Defend the Faith: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2013/07/08/homeland-security-for-the-church-the-need-to-defend-the-faith/
  41. Am I Going to Hell? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/am-i-going-to-hell
  42. Six Eternal Truths to Remember Each Day – Eternal Perspective Ministries: https://www.epm.org/blog/2013/Jul/14/eternal-truths
  43. How Should I Respond to Religious Pluralism? | Penny of a Thought: https://pennyofathought.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/how-should-i-respond-to-religious-pluralism/
  44. Three short Pro-life responses to Three popular Pro-choice slogans: http://apologeticsuk.blogspot.com/2013/07/six-short-pro-life-responses-to-six.html?utm_content=bufferce045&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
  45. Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize – Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/
  46. PCUSA Rejects Hymn In Christ Alone | Caffeinated Thoughts: http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/2013/07/pcusa-rejects-hymn-in-christ-alone/
  47. If God knew that Satan would rebel, why did He create him?: https://www.gotquestions.org/if-God-knew.html
  48. Jesus: the Antidote | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/jesus-the-antidote

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. Psalms 119:60

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (7-19-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. J. P. Moreland on why minds could not simply evolve somehow | Uncommon Descent: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/j-p-moreland-on-why-minds-could-not-simply-evolve-somehow/
  2. Bible Contradiction? When (at what time of day) was Jesus crucified? | The Domain for Truth: https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/bible-contradiction-when-at-what-time-of-day-was-jesus-crucified/
  3. The Limits of Apologetics: the Difference Between Faith That and Faith In Rob Lundberg Apologetics.Com: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/06/05/the-limits-of-apologetics-the-difference-between-faith-that-and-faith-in/
  4. A Case for Creation 101: An Introduction Truth, Faith and Reason: https://truthfaithandreason.com/a-case-for-creation-101-an-introduction/
  5. How Christian Case Making Impacts the Convinced, the Opposed, and the Undecided | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/how-christian-case-making-impacts-the-convinced-the-opposed-and-the-undecided/
  6. Americans & Religion: Nones Still Seek Meaning, but as Loners | National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/traditional-religion-has-social-value-individual-quests-leave-people-isolated/
  7. The Contingency Argument For God’s Existence | CrossExamined.org: https://crossexamined.org/contingency-argument-gods-existence/
  8. N.T Wright on the five senses of how the term history works THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/n-t-wright-on-the-five-senses-of-the-term-history-works/
  9. Here’s Why Parents Should Stop Trying to Raise Church Kids Faithwire: http://www.faithwire.com/2018/07/12/heres-why-parents-should-stop-trying-to-raise-church-kids/
  10. The Old Testament Is Embarrassing – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-old-testament-is-embarrassing
  11. Mapping the Incarnation: How the Christian Narrative Makes Sense of our World Opinion ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2018/07/16/4871192.htm
  12. Don’t Forget about Character | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/dont-forget-about-character
  13. Why Doesn’t God Make Himself More Obvious? | The Stream: https://stream.org/god-himself-obvious/
  14. Everybody Has Religious Beliefs, Some People Just Deny It: http://thefederalist.com/2018/07/18/everybody-religious-beliefs-people-just-deny/
  15. The Bible remains a ‘powerful, transformative tool’ in American culture: Poll – Washington Times: https://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/14/the-bible-remains-a-powerful-transformative-tool-i/

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/27/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 5-6

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

 

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

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