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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all


mid-week apologetics booster (11-9-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Understanding The Trinity – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/god/understanding-the-trinity
  2. Think Divinely Examining Islam: is it a reasonable faith to trust?: http://thinkdivinely.com/examining-islam-is-it-a-reasonable-faith-to-trust/
  3. From “Hardcore Atheist” To Christian Apologist, Dr. Robert Muncaster: http://reasonsforjesus.com/from-hardcore-atheist-to-christian-apologist/
  4. How to Debunk the Myth of Overpopulation in Three Easy Steps | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/10/02/how-to-debunk-the-myth-of-overpopulation-in-three-easy-steps/
  5. Belly Flopping | Reasonable Faith – Someone wrote in to Dr. William Lane Craig and said, “I had a discussion over God’s existence tonight and totally botched it!! I feel I did a dis-service to the reasonableness of the Christian worldview”: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/belly-flopping
  6. I am a mass murderer, former abortionist tells Congress | Lifesitenews: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/i-am-a-mass-murderer-former-abortionist-tells-congress
  7. Sharing the Gospel in Our Secular Age | Oklahoma Apologetics Alliance: https://oklahomaapologetics.com/general/sharing-the-gospel-in-our-secular-age/
  8. How Can Jesus Be God If He Was Born? | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/how-can-jesus-be-god-if-he-was-born/
  9. Is It Time for a New Jesus Movement Among Jewish Millennials? | The Stream: https://stream.org/jesus-movement-jewish-millennials/
  10. Does the Unbeliever Have to Approach the Bible as Divinely Inspired? (William Lane Craig) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsNKvszIvnI&feature=youtu.be
  11. New Archeological Evidence Fills the Gap in the Biblical Case for Human Origins: http://reasons.org/explore/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/tnrtb/2013/02/04/new-archeological-evidence-fills-the-gap-in-the-biblical-case-for-human-origins
  12. What Caitlyn Jenner Reveals About American Religion – Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/what-caitlyn-jenner-reveals-about-american-religion/
  13. 6 Misconceptions About the New Testament – Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/6-misconceptions-about-the-new-testament/
  14. 10 Lies Muslims Tell You About Islam | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/10-lies-muslims-tell-you-about-islam/
  15. The Problem of Evil – Never Judge God by Isolated Events | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/article/never-judge-god-isolated-events#.WgPO0sqp7qB

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 11/5/2017

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


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

Martin Luther (Part 2)

Excommunicated and on trial (19 minutes 44 seconds)

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


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

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

Discussion Questions

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


Apologetics Class 10/29/2017

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



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

Martin Luther

Part 1 His Early Life (13 minutes 17 seconds)

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions


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


Apologetics Class 10/1/2017

Today I wrapped up our Mormonism class by reviewing the information we covered in the last 6 weeks.  We watched a short video by Bill McKeever on the golden plates:

Here are the slides I used for our recap:

  1. Slide 1 – Mormonism Recap, What did we learn during the last 7 weeks?
    1. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this class series on Mormonism… Here’s where we’ve been for the last 7 weeks

  1. Slide 2 – Where We’ve Been the Last 7 Weeks:
    1. We started off with the overview video “Good News for LDS”
    2. 2009 podcast from J. Warner Wallace, the cold case homicide detective, gave unique, evidential perspective on Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon.
    3. Then watched the hour long film on the Lost book of Abraham
    4. We also watched the Way of the Master episode on Mormonism
    5. We continued with a Mormon role-play with Brett Kunkle of Stand to Reason
    6. And finally, today, we looked at Bill McKeever’s argument concerning the weight of the golden plates

  1. Slide 3 – Topics and Areas We Covered during these weeks:
    1. History of the LDS beginnings
    2. “Translation” process of the Book of Mormon from Golden Plates
    3. The Character traits and motives of Joseph Smith, the founder
    4. The story of the Book of Abraham
    5. Overview of Mormon doctrines, theology and practices
    6. Strategies and approaches in reaching Mormon people
    7. Responding to Mormon claims with grace and truth

  1. Slide 4 – Good News for LDS:
    1. We started this whole series with a 12 chapter video overview of Mormonism
    2. If you want to find out more about the video and the participants, visit http://www.goodnewsforlds.com
    3. It appears to have been made around 2006/2007…

  1. Slide 5 – Good News for LDS Topics:
    1. Who is Jesus?
      1. Mormons say Jesus was the first spirit born to our heavenly Father
      2. According to Mormonism, Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer (Satan)
  • Christian view of Jesus – He was God in the flesh, eternal, the uncreated Creator of all things (including angels). (Man à God vs. God à Man)
  1. Who is God?
    1. According to Joseph Smith, the Father has a body of flesh and bones. (D&C 130:22) – read this
    2. According to the Bible, God (the Father) is Spirit. (John 4:24)
  • God is everlasting (Psalms 90:2)
  1. According to the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, God was once a man.
  2. According to LDS teaching, there are many gods.
  3. According to 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, there is no God but one.
  • Book of Abraham 2:24 has God telling Abraham to lie, which contradicts Ex. 20:16
  1. How Do We Obtain Eternal Life?
    1. Christian view – belief in Christ as Savior and Lord guarantees eternal life (free gift).
    2. Mormon view – 2 Nephi 25:23b read this
  • Mormon view – (D&C 76) 3 Kingdoms: Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial. You have to keep all the commandments, be baptized, etc…
  1. Christian view – all authority is in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18)
  2. Mormon view – Joseph Smith holds the keys to heaven.
  3. Christian view – we can know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13)
  • Mormon view – they can’t be sure if they will make it into the celestial kingdom
  1. Archaeological Evidence:
    1. No book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography (Professor Dee Green – BYU)
    2. Biblical archaeology can be studied – we know where biblical places are (e.g. Jerusalem)
  2. Joseph Smith – Prophecies and Revelations
    1. Inhabitants of the Moon – look like Quakers
    2. City of New Jerusalem – to be built in Independence, Missouri
  • David Patten Mission, but he died at the battle of cricket river in the fall of that year (this was a false prophecy)
  1. See Deut. 13:1-3, a warning against false prophets
  2. Biblical requirement for a prophet – 100% accuracy (Deut. 18:21-22)
  3. Joseph prophesied the coming of the Lord, but Jesus said that’s impossible (Matt. 24:36)
  1. The Character of Joseph Smith
    1. He is portrayed by the LDS church as a virtuous family man who is persecuted for his beliefs, but prevails, due to his tremendous faith and his miraculous works.
    2. At the age of 14, Joseph claimed to have a vision of God the Father and Jesus.
  • At age 21, Joseph was arrested in Bainbridge, NY for deception of Josiah Stole (a misdemeanor for his “glass looking”)
  1. Joseph Smith committed multiple adulteries. 27 women were “sealed” to him. He revealed the doctrine of “plural marriage” in 1843 after being caught in an adulterous affair with Fanny Alger.  He married underage girls & women who were already married.
  2. Warren Jeffs is in prison for the same behavior that Joseph practiced.
  3. The Bible condemns multiple wives. (Deut. 17:17, Mark 10:7-9, 1 Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6)
  1. The First Vision
    1. Joseph Smith recorded several different accounts of his first vision. Some of these accounts have Jesus only, some have an angel, some have multiple angels, but the official version of the LDS church has God the Father and Jesus appearing to him.
    2. Since the official vision was before Smith’s official ordination to the priesthood, this would conflict with D&C84:21-22, which says without the authority of the priesthood, no man can see the Father and live.
  • There are 9 varying accounts of the first vision. The first vision is considered the foundation and the cornerstone of the Mormon religion.
  1. Joseph was a 14 year old boy when he supposedly first had this visitation.
  2. He was known around the country as a fabricator of stories. Even his father-in-law thought so.
  3. In 1855 Brigham Young preached a sermon in which he denied that the Lord came to Joseph in the first vision, but was rather visited by an angel.
  1. The Occult
    1. Joseph, his father and brother were actively involved in the occult while living in NY
    2. Joseph found his seer stone while money digging. This seer stone was claimed to have been used by Joseph to translate the Book of Mormon from the golden plates.
  • On March 15th 1842, Joseph Smith joined the Freemasons (believe Jesus is not divine)
  1. Joseph’s Mason membership affected the development of the temple ceremonies
  2. Nauvoo, Illinois temple architecture utilized masonic symbols
  3. The Jupiter Talisman – one of Joseph’s intimate possessions. Guaranteed the possessor the gain of riches, favor, power, love and peace and ability to influence female love.  This talisman was found is Joseph’s pocket the day he died in Carthage.
  1. The Translator
    1. The golden plates were not used during the translation of The Book of Mormon. Rather, it was translated by Joseph looking into a “peep stone” (seer stone) inside a hat.
    2. Oliver Cowdery was primary scribe for Joseph & 1 of “the 3 witnesses” listed in BoM
  • Joseph Smith boasted that the BoM was the most accurate book in existence.
  1. If this book was translated by the power of God, why thousands of corrections?
  2. The witnesses said that they never physically saw or handled the golden plates.
  3. Paul warns of another gospel in Galatians 1:8 (even from an angel [e.g. Moroni]…)
  • Kinderhook Plates – a trap set for Joseph, a hoax to expose him as a false prophet.
  1. Lamanites and DNA
    1. Lamanites are described by Joseph Smith as ancestors of the ancient Israelites
    2. DNA testing of > 5000 Native Americans from 150 different tribes has been completed
  • Not 1 person contained DNA that was of Hebrew descent, but rather of Asian descent.
  1. In order to be a Mormon, one must trust in the “stories” of Joseph Smith
  2. The Book of Abraham has been proven to be completely false. No Egyptologists agree with Joseph’s interpretation of the ancient scroll. Rather, it is a common funeral text.
  1. Conclusion – Jesus Christ vs. Joseph Smith
    1. Joseph claimed that there were many ancient cities in the Americas (38) – not one has ever been found.
    2. DNA evidence disproves his story about Native American origins
  • He was a liar, a false prophet, a womanizer/adulterer, a fraud.
  1. Examine objectively the life of Joseph Smith and the teachings of the Book of Mormon over against the Jesus of the New Testament and the reliability of the Bible
  2. The Mormons are good people and they’re worth the fight. We love them.
  3. There are no excuses at the final judgement
  • All you have to do is believe in Christ.
  • You must choose to follow Joseph or to follow Jesus – you can’t do both. CHOOSE!

  1. Slide 6 – J. Warner Wallace, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon:
    1. He is a cold case homicide detective and has a very unique perspective in looking at the Mormon issue

  1. Slide 7 – J. Warner Wallace Topics
    1. Evidence Related to Motive:
      1. Sexual Lust
      2. Financial Greed
  • The Pursuit of Power
  1. Evidence Related to the Timing of the Writing
    1. The Second Great Awakening Swept Through New York
    2. The Great Preachers of the Awakening Left Little Guidance
  • The Culture Was Fascinated With the Origin of Native Americans
  1. Ethan Smith – “View of the Hebrews”, published 5 years before BoM
  2. The People of Palmyra Were Interested in Treasure-Digging
  1. Evidence Related to the Author of the Book
    1. Joseph was a Local Treasure-Digger
    2. Joseph Used a “Seer Stone”
  • Joseph Was Charged with Fraud
  1. Evidence Related to the Translation Process
    1. Joseph Translated Just As He Searched for Treasure
    2. Joseph Was Unable to Duplicate the Lost 116 Pages
  • No One Ever Observed the Plates with Their Natural Eyes (3 witnesses)

  1. Slide 8 – the importance of the 3 & 8 Witnesses

While the Mormon Church often portrays these critical three witnesses as trustworthy and reliable, history seems to indicate something different. Oliver Cowdery was eventually excommunicated from the Church after exposing Smith’s first polygamous relationship to Fanny Alger. Smith described Cowdery as a thief, liar, perjurer, counterfeiter, adulterer and leader of “scoundrels of the deepest degree”. Cowdery later became a Methodist and denied the Book of Mormon altogether and publicly confessed his “sorrow and Shame” for having any connection with Mormonism.

Martin Harris was a member of 5 different religious groups before becoming a Mormon, and he was part of eight different groups after leaving Mormonism. He was also excommunicated from the Mormon Church and later reported that he did not see the plates as Smith described, but only saw the plates three days after Cowdery and Whitmer and then only in a spiritual sense:

“I never saw the gold plates, only in a visionary or entranced state. …In about three days I went into the woods to pray that I might see the plates. While praying I passed into a state of entrancement, and in that state I saw the angel and the plates.” (Anthony Metcalf, Ten Years Before the Mast, n.d., microfilm copy, p. 70-71).

David Whitmer was also excommunicated from the Church and later declared he was himself a prophet of the New Church of Christ. Joseph called him a “dumb beast to ride” and an “ass to bray out coursings instead of blessings”. Whitmer later admitted he saw the plates “by the eye of faith” rather than with his physical eyes and he waffled between three varying accounts of how he saw the plates.

Eventually, Smith decided this group of three “witnesses” was insufficient; he involved eight additional men and recruited them as potential eyewitnesses, forming a group of eleven total witnesses to the golden plates. Smith limited his choices to men who were close friends and relatives. He first involved four brothers of David Whitmer. Smith next recruited his own father, two of his brothers and Hiram Page (who was married to David Whitmer’s sister, Catherine). Even though Smith limited his choices to close friends and relatives, these men also had trouble staying true to the faith founded on the golden plates they claimed to see. Two of these eight men apostatized and left the Church altogether. Another was excommunicated. Of the eleven men who claimed to see the golden plates, only five remained faithful to Mormonism. Three of these five men were blood relatives of Joseph Smith. Martin Harris later reported these additional eight witnesses also observed the plates in a vision and never saw the plates with their “natural eyes”.

  1. Slide 10 – Book of Abraham Points
    1. How he came to possess the scrolls
      1. The book of Abraham is considered inspired Scripture (word of God) by the LDS church.
      2. Joseph Smith translated this from an ancient Egyptian scroll of hieroglyphics (bought in Kirtland, OH 1835) but at that time in America, no one could read Egyptian hieroglyphics.
  • Joseph Smith purchased the scrolls (and mummies) for $2,400, which he raised from investors.
  1. How he “translated” the scrolls
    1. Joseph started by creating an alphabet and grammar of the Egyptian language. We have his notes for this process.
    2. Joseph created a bank in Kirtland, OH, which failed, after which he fled from there at night.
  • Joseph and the Mormons moved to Commerce, IL and renamed it to Nauvoo, where he became mayor of the city, had a large militia & even announced his candidacy for president of the US
  1. In Nauvoo, IL in 1842, Joseph published his translation of the book of Abraham.
  2. The book of Abraham includes a creation story “they, that is the Gods, organized and formed…”. See the book of Abraham chapters 4 & 5 – Mormonism is polytheistic.
  3. In June 27th, 1844, Joseph was assassinated while in jail in Carthage, IL
  1. Scrolls were lost:
    1. 1846 – 1856: the papyri are lost to the church
    2. In 1846, under the leadership of Brigham Young, the Mormons moved to Salt Lake City, UT
  • It was assumed that the papyri was destroyed in the great Chicago fire of 1871
  1. 3 drawings in book of Abraham misidentified by Joseph, according to Egyptologists.
  2. These drawings are actually, from the “book of the dead” (Egyptian funeral text)
  1. Scrolls found and actually translated
    1. 1966 – A dramatic discovery – the papyri was found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
    2. 1967 – the lost papyri presented to the LDS church along with attesting letter from Emma Smith
  • Abraham not mentioned once in the papyri. Joseph’s translation was found to be incorrect.
  1. The LDS church claims that a large portion of the scroll is missing, but this is not correct.
  2. Some argue that Joseph may’ve received the translation by direct revelation from God…
  3. According to Joseph Smith’s diary, this is not correct – he was translating it directly.
  • According to Egyptologists, there is no historical validity to the translations in that book.
  • Are the Mormon truth claims credible? Are they the kinds of things that we ought to bet our lives on?
  1. Since Joseph’s translation of the book of Abraham, which can be tested, has been found to lack credibility, then how can we accept his translation of the book of Mormon, which cannot be tested?

  1. Slide 12 – Way of the Master Topics
    1. The Mormon Holy Books and Sources of Authority
      1. The Book of Mormon (“the most correct of any book on earth” according to Joseph Smith)
      2. Doctrine and Covenants – a book mostly about theology
  • The Pearl of Great Price
  1. The King James Bible (in so far as it is translated correctly)
  2. The ultimate authority in the Mormon Church comes from living Mormon apostles and prophets, especially the president, who is considered to be “the voice of God on earth”.
  1. Mormon Teachings about God:
    1. God has not been God from all eternity
    2. Jesus is a god
  • Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament
  1. They limit Jesus to being the Creator only of this planet
  2. There are an infinite number of gods who created an infinite number of other worlds
  3. God has a body of flesh and bones like us
  • We can become like God if we adhere to his commandments
  • God is married and has many wives and they had many spirit babies, resulting in you and I getting here.
  1. It is possible to become a god, reigning over your own planet.
  1. The Mormon Jesus
    1. Law of progression – men and God are of the same species. We are at different point in our progression
    2. God, the Father of this planet is called Elohim
  • The Mormon God cannot create anything Ex-Nihilo (out of nothing) – he “organized” this earth
  1. The first “begotten” of his spirit children was Jehovah (or Jesus) – we all are the spirt brothers of Jesus.
  2. Another one of the offspring of Elohim was Lucifer – according to Mormonism, Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer.
  3. Jesus was not the eternal Creator of all things, who became a man (as the Bible says) – they have it reversed, they believe that man became a god instead
  1. The Mormon Afterlife
    1. Almost a universal salvation – only those who’ve actually had revelation of the truthfulness of Mormonism and reject it have sinned bad enough to merit eternal hell.
    2. There is a temporary hell in Mormonism (the spirit prison) that non-Mormons would go to.
  • They would not believe Hitler went to hell
  1. 4 levels of afterlife:
    1. Eternal (outer) darkness – devil, demons, a few apostate Mormons
    2. Terrestrial (for non-Mormons, Hitler, murderers, rapists, child molesters, liars, thieves)
    3. Telestial
    4. Celestial (highest – this is where God is)
  2. The Mormon Salvation
    1. 2 Nephi 25:23b – “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do
    2. Moroni 10:32 – if you “love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you” (vs. 2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • Spencer Kimball (former president of the LDS Church) – one of the most fallacious doctrines (of the devil) is that man is saved alone by the grace of God.
  1. Witnessing Tips
    1. You must define your terms, because Mormons use all the same terms as Christians, but they have different meanings for those terms
    2. Ask the Mormon first to explain who their God is, who their Jesus is and how salvation is gained
  • Pose this to a Mormon – “If the Mormon religion is right and I’m wrong, then I go to the 3rd level of heaven. But if the Bible is right and the LDS church is wrong, then you are following a false Jesus and you’ll end up in hell forever.”
  1. Baptism for the Dead
    1. Mormons get baptized for dead people. They use 1 Corinthians 15:29 to justify that.
    2. If anyone dies without believing in Mormonism, they can still make it to heaven if someone is baptized on their behalf. They can accept Mormonism in the spirit world.
  2. The main point in reaching the Mormon is using the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16).

  1. Slide 14 – Mormon Role Play Points
    1. How would you define a Christian?
      1. Elder Kunkle: You probably believe something like this – Mormons are not Christians
      2. Elder Kunkle: How would you define a Christian, what is a Christian?
  • Someone answered “Someone who has been saved by Jesus and professes Him as their Lord and Savior”
  1. Mormon definition of Jesus:
    1. “Mormons have a different definition of Jesus” – but Elder Kunkle affirmed that Jesus was:
      1. Born of the Virgin Mary
      2. Is the Son of God
      3. Lived a sinless, perfect life
      4. Died on the cross to atone for our sins
      5. Rose from the dead – bodily
    2. Deity of Christ & the Trinity:
      1. “Jesus claimed to be God” – Elder Kunkle challenged, “Where did Jesus claim to be God?”
      2. Elder Kunkle: the oneness that Jesus is talking about is oneness in unity.
  • Elder Kunkle: I affirm, “One Lord and One Savior”
  1. Audience member says that his Bible does not say that God was once a man, like Mormonism believes. Elder Kunkle replies, “You don’t believe Jesus was a man?”  Person replies, “I’m not saying Jesus, I’m saying God”
  2. Elder Kunkle: we believe in the Father, we believe in the Son, we believe in the Holy Spirit…I believe in the God of the Bible…. But one of the differences we have is the Trinity… the claim of the Trinity is that you have 3 beings in 1 being, but that is a patent contradiction.
  3. One audience member brought up Jesus is considered to be Lucifer’s brother in Mormonism
  • Elder Kunkle: Colossians 1 – Jesus is the first born of all creation. So, He is the first born Son of God.
  • Elder Kunkle: If Jesus is God, in Matthew 26 Jesus is praying to God, but if Jesus is God, then He is just praying to Himself.
  1. Elder Kunkle: There’s nowhere you can point to in Scripture to show the Trinity – where is the Trinity in the Bible?
  2. One audience member brought up John 10:30 – I and the Father are one. Elder Kunkle replied that in this church, you probably all consider yourself to be “one”, but not the same being.
  3. Elder Kunkle: where in the Bible does it say that to be a Christian, you have to affirm that Jesus is Yahweh?
  • Elder Kunkle quotes John 14, where Jesus says, “The Father is greater than I”
  1. Book of Mormon / additional revelation:
    1. One audience member says he has been “taught his doctrine” – he was indoctrinated differently
    2. One audience member said you put your faith in a man who brought an additional book
  • Elder Kunkle: that’s all the Book of Mormon is – it’s God speaking through a man
  1. Elder Kunkle: Just like God built on the Old Testament and gave us the New Testament, God builds on the New Testament and gives us another testament to Jesus Christ (BoM)
  2. One audience member quotes Revelation 22:19 “If any man shall take away from the words…”
  3. Elder Kunkle replies with Deut. 4:2, which has the same warning.
  • One audience member quotes John 8:58 – says Jesus claimed to be Elohim.
  • Elder Kunkle made a case for works salvation (James 2, Philippians 2, Acts 2, Eph. 2 etc.)
  1. Christians inarticulate / apologetics not optional, but required – asked everyone to do a self-assessment
    1. What we wanted to do tonight was provide you a little test.
    2. Most evangelical Christians do not know what they believe or why they believe it
  • Most Christians are completely inarticulate about what they believe and why they believe it.
  1. We wanted you to take this test here, now, with me before you go out the door and have this test with “the real thing”.
  2. We need to be effective ambassadors for Jesus Christ and being an effective ambassador means that you have to know some things – you have to have knowledge of the truth.
  3. How many of you would be able to make the case that Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God and that the Father is God and that those 3 persons are together the one God, who offers salvation solely through faith in Christ by grace alone? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10.
  • How well would you be able to reason from the Scripture? How prepared would you be?
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – how many can say that we are workmen who do not need to be ashamed because we can accurately handle the God’s Word?
  1. Many of you had courage to defend, but many of you did not accurately handle God’s Word
  2. I would much rather have you fail in here, than with your Mormon neighbor.
  3. We Christians spend most of our time talking with other Christians
  • Many of us are fearful to open our mouths about Jesus b/c we don’t have answers to objections
  • Apologetics is not some optional thing we do as believers, apologetics is not a club for nerds. Apologetics should be an essential part of our discipleship under Jesus Christ.
  • It’s not enough to simply be right. Not only need knowledge, but wisdom and character too…
  1. How were you as representatives of Jesus Christ? He came in grace & truth (Jn 1:14) – need both
  • Sometimes you’ve got to be made uncomfortable before you realize that you need to grow.
  • John 10:30 – you have to go further in reading that passage in order to make the case from that

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Notes for the LDS Recap Session

  1. Bill McKeever – Problems with the Golden Plates
  2. Good News for LDS
  3. Warner Wallace on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
  4. The Book of Abraham
  5. The Way of the Master Mormonism Episode
  6. Mormon Role-Play, Brett Kunkle (Elder Kunkle)

Discussion Questions

  1. How has your view of Mormonism changed during this study?
  2. How has your view of the Mormon people changed during this study?
  3. What new information did you learn about Mormonism that will be useful to you?
  4. In your view, what is the most compelling evidence demonstrating that Mormonism is false?
  5. Do you now feel more or less likely to reach out to Mormons in your circle of influence?
  6. When talking to Mormons, do you think it is more effective to:
    1. Address their non-orthodox theology & doctrines
    2. Talk about Joseph Smith’s character, the translation process of the Book of Mormon and the lack of archeological support
    3. Just share the Gospel
  7. How would you explain to a Mormon why you don’t think Joseph Smith is a prophet of God?
  8. What reason(s) do you have for not accepting the Book of Mormon as Scripture?
  9. Why do we believe Mormon people are not evil enemies to be opposed?
  10. What were the 3 ungodly motivations that drove Joseph to perpetrate his lies?
  11. How do the biblical and Mormon views of the following differ?
    1. Jesus
    2. God the Father differ?
    3. Eternal life (as well as how one obtains it) differ?
  12. Is there any archeological evidence that the Book of Mormon is true? Is there any archeological evidence that the Bible is true?
  13. Has Joseph Smith met the biblical test for a prophet of God? Where is that biblical test found?
  14. How is the Joseph Smith portrayed by the LDS church different than the Joseph Smith of history?
  15. How would you answer the following charges?
    1. Men of God in the Old Testament had multiple wives, so this must be a practice approved by God
    2. Several biblical authors were also sinners (e.g. David, Solomon, Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul etc.) like Joseph, so we can still believe Joseph’s writings
  16. How old was Joseph when he supposedly received his first vision?
  17. Were the accounts of Joseph’s vision always consistently told by him?
  18. What is a “peep stone” or “seer stone”? What did Joseph use it for?
  19. Was Joseph ever in trouble with the law? Was he ever arrested?  How is this different from the apostles Peter, John and Paul being imprisoned in the book of Acts?
  20. How did Joseph supposedly translate the “Book of Mormon” into English?
  21. What are the “Kinderhook Plates” and what do they tell us about the nature of Joseph Smith?
  22. How does DNA evidence contradict Joseph Smith’s story of Native American origins?
  23. What is the Book of Abraham? What is the story of that book’s origin? What does it tell us about the reliability of Joseph Smith as a translator of ancient languages?
  24. What evidence could you provide to show Joseph Smith is a womanizer and an adulterer?
  25. What circumstances led Joseph Smith to claim that polygamy was a “God-ordained” practice?

Apologetics Class 9/17/2017

Today we continued the Mormonism series by watching Way of the Master – Mormonism Episode:

Here is the note-taking form:

Way of the Master – Mormonism

The Mormon Holy Books and Sources of Authority

  1. The Book of M________ (“the most correct of any book on earth” according to Joseph Smith)
  2. Doctrine and Covenants – a book mostly about th____________
  3. The Pearl of G_________ P_____________
  4. The K_________ J___________ B__________ (in so far as it is translated correctly)
  5. The ultimate authority in the Mormon Church comes from living Mormon apostles and prophets, especially the p_____________, who is considered to be “the voice of God on earth”.
  6. Mormon Teachings about God:
    1. God has not been God from all e__________
    2. Jesus is a god
    3. Jesus is the J______________ of the Old Testament
    4. They limit Jesus to being the C_____________ only of this planet
    5. There are an infinite number of gods who created an infinite number of other worlds
    6. God has a body of f___________ and b___________ like us
    7. We can become like G_________ if we adhere to his commandments
    8. God is married and has many wives and they had many s_______ b___________, resulting in you and I getting here.
    9. It is possible to become a god, reigning over your own p_____________.

The Mormon Jesus

  1. Law of p______________ – men and God are of the same species. We are at different point in our progression
  2. God, the Father of this planet is called E_____________
  3. The Mormon God cannot create anything Ex-Nihilo (out of n______) – he “organized” this earth
  4. The first “begotten” of his spirit children was Jehovah (or Jesus) – we all are the spirt b___________ of Jesus.
  5. Another one of the offspring of Elohim was Lucifer – according to Mormonism, J____________ is the spirit brother of Lucifer.
  6. Jesus was not the eternal Creator of all things, who became a man (as the Bible says)

The Mormon Afterlife

  1. Almost a universal s_______________ – only those who’ve actually had revelation of the truthfulness of Mormonism and reject it have sinned bad enough to merit eternal hell.
  2. There is a temporary h_____ in Mormonism (the spirit prison) that non-Mormons would go to.
  3. They would not believe Hitler went to hell
  4. 4 levels of afterlife:
    1. Eternal (outer) darkness – devil, demons, a few apostate Mormons
    2. Terrestrial (for non-Mormons, Hitler, murderers, rapists, child molesters, liars, thieves)
    3. Telestial
    4. Celestial (highest – this is where God is)

The Mormon Salvation

  1. 2 Nephi 25:23b – “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, a_________ all we can do
  2. Moroni 10:32 – if you “love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you” (vs. 2 Corinthians 12:9)
  3. Spencer Kimball (former president of the LDS Church) – one of the most fallacious doctrines (of the devil) is that man is saved alone by the g___________ of God.

Witnessing Tips

  1. You must d__________ your t__________, because Mormons use all the same terms as Christians, but they have different meanings for those terms
  2. Ask Mormon first to explain who their G___ is, who their J_____ is and how s________ is gained
  3. Pose this to a Mormon – “If the Mormon religion is right and I’m wrong, then I go to the 3rd level of h_________. But if the Bible is right and the L____ church is wrong, then you are following a f________ Jesus and you’ll end up in h_______ forever.”

Baptism for the Dead

  1. Mormons get baptized for dead people. They use 1 Corinthians __:___ to justify that.
  2. If anyone dies without believing in Mormonism, they can still make it to heaven if someone is baptized on their b________. They can accept Mormonism in the s__________ w_________.


The main point in reaching the Mormon is using the power of the G________ (Romans 1:16).  Trust in God and p_______ for the Mormon.

mid-week apologetics booster (8-24-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. How Do We Help Kids Who Have Left the Faith?: http://crossexamined.org/how-do-we-help-kids-who-have-left-the-faith/
  2. Ancient Man – How Could Noah Have Built a Massive Ark? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/thinking-outside-the-box/ancient-man/
  3. 5 Common Answers to Kids’ Questions about God That Can Do More Harm than Good: http://christianmomthoughts.com/5-common-answers-to-kids-questions-about-god-that-can-do-more-harm-than-good/
  4. 6 Big Reasons Why Islam Is False | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/6-big-reasons-why-islam-is-false/
  5. Evidence For Resurrection Leads Distinguished Philosopher & Atheist John Montgomery To Faith | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/evidence-for-resurrection-leads-distinguished-philosopher-atheist-john-montgomery-to-faith/
  6. How to Recite the Gospel in 60 Seconds – New York Apologetics: http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/how-to-recite-the-gospel-in-60-seconds/
  7. Debating Atheists: Introduction (part 1/5) | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/debating-atheists-introduction-part-15/
  8. Can Jesus Really Be God If the Father Is Greater Than the Son? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjb19qq5heg
  9. The Witnesses of the Resurrection Compared to the Witnesses of the Golden Plates | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/the-witnesses-of-the-resurrection-compared-to-the-witnesses-of-the-golden-plates/
  10. William Lane Craig on Universal, Divine, Causal Determinism: http://evangelicalarminians.org/william-lane-craig-on-universal-divine-causal-determinism/
  11. Are the Galapagos finch beaks evidence of Darwinian evolution? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/08/19/are-the-galapagos-finch-beaks-evidence-of-darwinian-evolution-2/
  12. Ravi Zacharias – Jesus Among Other Gods (scroll down to see video – it is about 1/2 hour) – Sermon Videos: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0B109CNU
  13. What are the doctrines of Islam? | carm: https://carm.org/what-are-doctrines-islam
  14. Jesus vs. Osiris: Debunking The Alleged Parallels | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-vs-osiris-debunking-the-alleged-parallels/
  15. Testing Hinduism | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2017/08/19/testing-hinduism/
  16. Do All Religions Offer a Piece of the Truth? – YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=AXSMr_CYAZk
  17. A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic Church | carm: https://carm.org/list-of-roman-catholic-false-teachings
  18. Did Jesus Commend Faith That Is Blind? | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/jesus-commend-faith-blind/
  19. The Best Question to Ask When Starting a Conversation About God | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/the-best-question-to-ask-when-starting-a-conversation-about-god/
  20. The earliest complete Koran manuscript in existence in museums today are hundreds of years after Muhammad died: http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-myths-koran-manuscripts.htm
  21. Did Humans Domesticate Ourselves? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2017/08/22/did-humans-domesticate-ourselves/
  22. Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? What Does the Science Say? – Alisa Childers: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/did-adam-and-eve-really-exist-what-does-the-science-say
  23. To Be Sure….God Loves Us: APOLOGETICS CONVERSION STORIES: Resources: http://2besure.blogspot.com/2016/01/conversion-stories-people-who-came-to.html
  24. Why Make the Case for Christianity, If God Is in Control? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-make-the-case-for-christianity-if-god-is-in-control/
  25. Unbelievable? Four Simple Principles to Determine Ancient Historical Reliability | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/unbelievable-four-simple-principles-to-determine-ancient-historical-reliability/
  26. Don’t Impose Your Beliefs on Others?: http://www.cltruth.com/2017/dont-impose-beliefs-others/

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Psalms 112:4

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 8/13/2017

Today in the Apologetics Class, we watched Hell’s Best Kept Secret – Ray Comfort / Kirk Cameron:

Here is the note-taking form:

Hell’s Best Kept Secret (Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron)

  1. The “fall-away rate” – 80-90% of “decisions” fall away from their faith. In other words, there are 80-90 “backsliders” for every 100 decisions for Christ.
  2. The Church has strayed away from the b_______________ way of presenting the Gospel.
  3. Mark 10:17-22 – Jesus’ approach with the rich young ruler. He was using a principle that prepares the heart for g______________.  It shows people why they need the Savior.
  4. Psalm 19:7 – “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul…”
  5. Civil law example – someone paid $25,000 fine on your behalf… (doesn’t make sense)
  6. Telling a person precisely what they’ve done w_______ first, makes the good news make sense.
  7. Romans 3:19 – One function of God’s law: “…that every mouth may be st____________…”
  8. More about the law – Romans 3:20, 1 John 3:4, Romans 7:7, Galatians 3:24
  9. The law doesn’t help us, it just leaves us h_______________. The law doesn’t justify us, it just leaves us g______________ before a just and holy God.
  10. We are not saved by the law, we are saved by God’s grace, through faith.
  11. Modern evangelism tries to attract people to Jesus with the promise of “life e______________”.
  12. Modern Parable about 2 passengers on an airplane that are told to put on a parachute for different reasons – one to improve his flight, the other to prepare for a 25,000 foot jump.
  13. Modern Gospel says, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and He will give you “Love, Joy, Peace, Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness” (i.e. Jesus will “improve your flight”)
  14. The sinner responds and puts on the Savior in an ex___________ fashion and gets just what Jesus promised – trials, tribulation, persecution (other passengers mock him). He’s offended, disillusioned and bitter – he was promised Love, Joy, Peace, Fulfillment and Lasting Happiness
  15. Instead of telling sinners that Jesus “improves the flight”, we should be warning them that they’re going to have to j_____________ out of the plane. (Hebrews 9:27)
  16. When a sinner understands the horrific consequences of breaking God’s law, he will flee to the Savior solely to escape the w______________ to come.
  17. It’s not an issue of happiness, but of righteousness. It doesn’t matter how happy a person is or isn’t in their current lifestyle, without the righteousness of Christ, they’ll p____________ on the Day of Judgment. (Proverbs 11:4)
  18. If a person comes to God looking for peace and joy in their life, but they’re not broken in their heart, repentant over the fact that they’ve s______ against Almighty God, they won’t find peace with God! They won’t know the joy of the Lord – they’ll remain e________ of God in their mind.
  19. If we continue to give people a wrong reason to come to Christ, they’ll respond with the wrong motive – lacking r_________________.
  20. If you and I have put on the Lord Jesus Christ for the biblical motive to flee from the wrath that’s to come, when tribulation strikes (“flight” gets bumpy) we won’t get a_____________ with God or lose our joy or peace – why should we? We didn’t come to Jesus for a happy life-style, we came because we’d sinned against God and needed a Savior to save us from the wrath to come.
  21. If anything, tribulation drives a true Christian c______________ to the Savior.
  22. One of the functions of God’s law: it c_______________.
  23. Wooden table analogy, looks dust-free until the sunlight shines on it. Did the light create the dust?  No, the light merely ex_______________ the dust.  In the same way, when the light of God’s law shines upon a sinner’s heart, all that happens is that he sees himself in t___________.
  24. People can hardly name any of 10 c______________, but can name a lot of b________ brands.
  25. If someone does not know God’s law, they will not see their sin as being exceedingly sinful.
  26. Modern evangelism takes the good seed of the Gospel and casts it on the hard, unregenerate h_____________ of humanity.
  27. Biblical evangelism, without exception, is always “Law to the p______, Grace to the h________”
  28. With the law, He (Jesus) breaks the hard heart and with the Gospel, He heals the broken heart.
  29. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6b).
  30. What doctor would give a c_____ to a patient when the patient is not 1st convinced of his disease
  31. The disease is s__________, and the cure is the G________________.
  32. John 4 – the women at the well (they call it “the W____ of the M___________”). Jesus does this:
    1. Starts out with the n________________ conversation
    2. Then swings the conversation to the s_______________ realm
    3. Then, brings c_____________ of sin using the commandments
    4. Finally, reveals Himself as M_________________.
  33. Show a person they’re not a “g__________ p____________” by looking at the commandments (lying, stealing, adultery, etc.) and showing them they’ve not kept them perfectly.
  34. God is forgiving – try that in a court of law. Someone charged of murder says to judge, “because you’re a good man, and therefore, you’ll let me go…”  That wouldn’t be a good j_____________.
  35. If God is good, then by nature, He will make sure that j______________ is served and that people are punished for what they’ve done. If God gave you justice, you wouldn’t be headed for heaven but for h_________.
  36. We broke the law and Jesus paid our f____________ – it’s as simple as that.

Discussion Questions

  1. According to this video, what is a “biblical motive” for salvation?
  2. Modern evangelism attracts people by promising what unbiblical motive?
  3. What does the phrase “Law to the Proud, Grace to the Humble” mean? How would this work in an evangelistic encounter?
  4. Explain the parable told in this video about the 2 passengers on the plane and the parachute. What does it mean?
  5. Explain the analogy about a dusty table and the morning light. What truth is that trying to communicate?
  6. According to this video, what is the “Way of the Master” and what Scripture is it based on?
  7. What opportunities do you have for evangelism at your work, school, neighborhood, family or circle of friends and acquaintances?
  8. According to this video, what is “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”?

mid-week apologetics booster (7-20-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Seven Costs to Being an Evangelistic Leader in Your Church: http://thomrainer.com/2017/07/seven-costs-evangelistic-leader-church/
  2. Christian Worldview and The View: http://www.breakpoint.org/2017/07/breakpoint-christian-worldview-and-the-view/
  3. Please Don’t Tell Your Kids to Believe in God Just in Case He Exists: http://crossexamined.org/please-dont-tell-your-kids-to-believe-in-god-just-in-case-he-exists/
  4. How a 29-Year-Old G. K. Chesterton Flipped 4 Arguments Against Christianity Upside-Down | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2016/01/21/how-a-29-year-old-g-k-chesterton-flipped-4-arguments-against-christianity-upside-down/
  5. Is There One Point of Evidence That Proves the Existence of God? (Video) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-there-one-point-of-evidence-that-proves-the-existence-of-god-video/
  6. 5 Ways to Love God with Your Mind Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/5-ways-to-love-god-with-your-mind/
  7. Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? Tim Barnett: http://subsplash.com/standtoreason/v/mzeycxu
  8. Prohibition – Can You Make People Be Good? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYfPxqrl988&feature=youtu.be
  9. What About Those That Have Not Heard, Part 1 – Listen to JP Jones from Truth That Changes Lives: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/truth-that-changes-lives/listen/what-about-those-that-have-not-heard-part-1-515491.html
  10. What Are the Differences Between Judaism and Christianity? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/what-are-differences-between-judaism-and-christianity/
  11. Surtsey Still Surprises – Formed by a volcanic eruption in 1963, the Island of Surtsey, near Iceland, has intrigued scientists because it looks like landscapes most think are much older.: http://creation.com/creation-videos?fileID=olcVAb_oNWg
  12. Surtsey, the young island that looks old – creation.com: http://creation.com/surtsey-the-young-island-that-looks-old
  13. World Famous Atheist Illusionist, Andre Kole, Tried to Debunk Jesus & Converted Instead | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/world-famous-atheist-illusionist-andre-kole-tried-to-debunk-jesus-converted-instead/
  14. Biblical Inerrancy: What It Means To Say Scripture Is : http://reasonsforjesus.com/biblical-inerrancy-what-it-means-to-say-scripture-is-inerrant/
  15. Christian Leaders, Please Speak the Truth About Homosexuality Plainly and With Love | The Stream: https://stream.org/christian-leaders-please-speak-truth-homosexuality-plainly-love/
  16. The Real Issue Podcast Why Christian Students Fall Away from Their Faith and What We Can Do to Help Them – The Real Issue Podcast | podcast garden: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/the-real-issue-podcast-why-christian-students-fall-away-from-their-faith-and-what-we-can-do-to-help-them_109569
  17. The Freethinking Argument | The Apologers: https://apologers.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/the-freethinking-argument/
  18. Tree fruit and the relevance of Genesis creation – creation.com: http://creation.com/tree-fruit-and-the-relevance-of-genesis-creation
  19. The Agonizing Ordeal of Eugene Peterson – You Might Be Next – AlbertMohler.com: http://www.albertmohler.com/2017/07/17/eugene-peterson/

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth –to every nation, tribe, language and people. Revelation 14:6

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/21/2017

We had a good message in the Apologetics class today. This was not the traditional Apologetics material per se, but none the less, I still think it was relevant to Apologetics. Here is the video on YouTube (47 min):

Are you saved? (click on image below to open youtube video in a new tab)

Below, I’ve pasted in the notes (with fill-in blanks) and attached the notes with answers.

We have one more week before we break for the summer

Blessings to you all!

Are You Saved? James MacDonald – John 8:30-36

  1. 100 years from today, this will be the only thing that matters to you – your s______________.
  2. The Bible teaches that you are lost in sin – you have a t____________ condition known as sin.
  3. You’re not saved because you say so any more than you’re in Cincinnati because you know how to get t____________.
  4. To the question, “Are you saved?” rather than telling you how they k_______ they’re saved, they tell you how to g_______ saved.

6 Points in the message from John 8:30-36:

  1. Many people b____________ in Jesus (John 8:30)
    1. Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) – 4 types of soils / people / heart condition.
    2. All true Christians bear f_________.
    3. Parable of the wheat and weeds (Matthew 13) – early on, it’s not obvious which is “the weeds” and which is “the wheat”.  T________ will tell.
    4. Matthew 7:21 and following – it’s what you do that proves the g_________ of your faith
    5. If your faith hasn’t c_____________ you, it hasn’t s___________ you.
  2. Genuine disciples a________ in Jesus’ words (John 8:31)
    1. Salvation happens at a p__________ in time, but it is p___________ over
    2. You can say it, but over time we’re gonna know whether it’s really t_________ by what we see in your life.
    3. How do you know you’re saved? “I have a growing l________ for God’s word”
    4. How am I different because of following Christ? (spiritual self-inventory)
    5. I’m not what I c________ be, I’m not what I s_______ be, but I’m not what I w_____…
  3. Abiding leads to f__________ (John 8:32)
    1. Freedom from the p____________ of sin (penalty of sin is already taken care of)
  4. False disciples don’t recognize their b__________ (John 8:33-34)
    1. You refer to your spiritual heritage as p____________ that you’re okay.
    2. False disciples are not especially c_____________ by their sin

Bondage Checkup

  1. Do you have a s__________ sin? (that’s increasing its intensity in your life)
  2. Do you have a capacity to “hold on” to an o_______________?
  3. Do you have a “reflex reaction” to r_____________ about sin? True Christians know how awful sin is and they want it out of their lives.
  4. Do you find overt discussions about s______________ intensities disquieting or even aggravating?  It’s because you’re not like that and you think that people like that must be making it up because for you to be like that you’d have to make it up.
  5. Do you battle a c____________ spirit toward people who appear devoted to Christ?

Points (cont’d)

  1. False disciples don’t r____________ in Christ (John 8:35) – a message like this could be subtitled “Operation Crowd Reduction”.  It’s not about a quantity of disciples, it’s about a quality of discipleship.
    1. Your assurance of salvation is not based on your conversion story, it’s based on your l__________, looking at it (how you’re living).
    2. Maybe people who’ve walked away from God have just b___________ and He’ll bring them back if they’re really His children.
  2. “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).  So, here’s the question: Are you s____________ or u_________________?

Discussion Questions

  1. In what way was James MacDonald’s message relevant to apologetics?
  2. Is a James MacDonald telling us that a Christian must work for their salvation?
  3. Did you find this message personally convicting?
  4. Do you have anyone in your circle of friends or acquaintances that claims to be a Christian, but is not living that way? (do not reveal names)  How could you approach them?
  5. James MacDonald said hear the end of the message, “I deserve hell and I’m headed for it”. How can anyone believe that he or she deserves hell?  How would you communicate that message to a non-Christian in conversation?
  6. What does it mean to “examine yourself to see if you’re in the faith”? (1 Cor. 13:5a)
  7. What did James MacDonald mean in this message when he referred to having “fire insurance”?
  8. How can believers in Christ have assurance of their salvation?
  9. Is James MacDonald saying that a Christian can lose his or her faith?
  10. If someone grew up in the church and in a Christian family, at what point are they truly saved?
  11. How can we strike a balance between grace and truth in communicating with ‘weeds’ that may be among us in the church?

Here is a link to the answers.

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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


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

Hello Friends,

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

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all!

AWANA Teaching on Romans 1:16 (4/5/2017)

Today, Lord willing, I will be teaching the AWANA 5th and 6th grade clubbers on one of their memory verses, Romans 1:16.  Below are the slides and the speaking notes (above each slide), as well as a self examination survey (Are You Ashamed of the Gospel):

Can anyone quote this verse from memory?

Someone please read it.  This is a rich verse!  There’s so much in it. Just look at all these important words in this verse!  We’re going to go through this phrase by phrase to make sure you understand it.

What does it mean to be ashamed? (wait for answers)  Ashamed means that you’re embarrassed about something or someone and you don’t want to be associated with them.

Our verse tells us that Paul is not ashamed of “The Gospel” this word appears 91 times in the New Testament, so it’s a pretty important word.  What does the word Gospel mean? (wait for answers)

The word Gospel literally means “Good News”.  Let’s read this definition together: “the Gospel is the Good News that Jesus died and rose again and offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life if we will repent and trust Him as Savior and Lord.”  That is what Paul is not ashamed of.

The Gospel is only made possible because of what happened on Good Friday and Easter.  It is only made possible by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If there was only Christmas (Jesus coming into the world), there would be no Gospel – no good news.  If He only came into the world, but didn’t die for our sins and rise again, we would not even know about Jesus today – and our salvation would be impossible!

This verse says the Gospel is “the power of God”. The word translated “power,” is the Greek word dunamis. That is the word from which we get “dynamite.”

What is the Gospel powerful for?  The next phrase talks about “salvation”.  For the salvation of everyone who believes.

Salvation, means to rescue, to de­liver, to set free.  Talk about picture of guy drowning…

Like the guy drowning in the water, we also need to be saved from something:

1.From the Penalty of Sin – Hell / the Wrath of God – Romans 5:9 says we are “saved from God’s wrath” through Jesus’ blood shed for us.

2.From the Power of Sin – We are no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:14 says “for sin shall not be your master”

3.From the Presence of Sin (one day) – when we get to Heaven – Revelation 21:27 says “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful

(may want to ask if they know what sin is – talk about sins of commission [doing or thinking wrong things] and sins of omission [not doing what you know you ought to do – James 4:17])

Then it says “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”. Most of the first believers in Christ were Jews.  But the Gospel was intended for everyone. Jesus said that He was sent to the Jews (Matthew 15:24). Paul initially tried to share the Gospel with the Jews, but they opposed him, so he went on to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). You and I are (most likely) Gentiles.

Now that we’ve gone through the verse one phrase at a time, do you have any questions? (wait for questions)

Now, before we continue, I want to make sure you know that none of what we’re talking about here applies to you if you’re not saved.  So, I have to stop here and ask you point blank – are you saved?  Only you know the answer to that question.  I would suspect that for many of you the answer is a definite yes.  The Bible says “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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Now back to our verse Romans 1:16 – I’d like to focus in on the part of the verse where it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel”.  This is very important for us as Christians.  God specifically says in His word that He does not want us to be ashamed.

In fact Jesus specifically warned us not to be ashamed of Him and His words. In Luke 9:26, He says “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  Matthew 10:32-33

The Apostle Paul also tells us in other places not to be ashamed, for example in 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul says “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

The Apostle Peter tells us, “if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name

Then of course, there’s the AWANA verse: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

So, the Bible is really clear – God does not want us to be ashamed of the Gospel – He wants us to be proud of it and to share it whenever the opportunity comes.

Now we’re going to take a little self-assessment survey.  You don’t have to turn this in and I won’t ask you your answers. It’s to get you to think about whether you’re ashamed of the Gospel.

(here is the survey that I handed out to the clubbers to have them work on it – if they have enough time, in class)

Self-examination Test: Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?

Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Question Your Answer
Do your friends and those at school know you’re a Christian?
Have you ever talked with someone about your faith?
Have you ever invited someone to church or AWANA?
In a group, if others were making fun of Christianity, would you speak up?
Are you worried about offending people?
Are you worried about pleasing people or pleasing God?
Do you care more about what people think of you than what God thinks of you?
Are you afraid that you won’t be able to answer people’s objections or questions about your faith?
Have you ever had to go against the crowd when they were all doing something wrong?  If so, when they asked you why did you mention your faith?

Finally, this is my last night of the AWANA year for teaching the 5th and 6th graders.  It has been such a pleasure teaching all of you, that I want to give you some small gifts as a token of my appreciation.

(end of presentation)

I pray that this teaching would draw any non-Christians in the group to repent and place their faith in Christ, and that it would embolden any Christians in the group to not be ashamed and to share their faith with those in their circle of influence.  Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and one of the things He has commanded us (that we have to teach to the disciples we’re making), is the command to go and make disciples.  So, I’m trying to teach the believers to go and make more believers – it’s a self-replicating process – that’s how God designed it!

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

AWANA Teaching on Titus 3:5

I’ve prepared my monthly teaching for the 5th and 6th grade AWANA clubbers.  This month the verse is Titus 3:5.  Below are the slides and notes I will be using to present this material this coming Wednesday evening.  My timing of this took 17 minutes.  First is the notes for talking about the slide, then the slide image:

Today, we’re going to be talking about one of your memory verses – Titus 3:5.  This is from the Ultimate T&T Challenge Book 1 (Challenge 3:6 – pg. 65)


Here is that verse – who would like to read it?  “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit


Now, I’m going to read the verse in context.  “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” This passage was written by the Apostle Paul to Titus, who he calls “my true son in our common faith” (1:4).


Titus was someone that Paul left in charge of the church he’d established on the island of Crete.  You can see this on the map here.  As you can see, this is in the Mediterranean Sea, just southeast of Greece and southwest of Turkey.


I want you to notice several things about this passage.  (click) The first part of the passage describes how Paul and Titus used to be before their conversion to Christianity.  Consider verse 3 …


At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” They weren’t acting very nice – they were disobedient and enslaved by passions and pleasures.   They “lived in malice and envy”.  (click) Do you know what malice is?


The New Testament dictionary describes Malice like this: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws, depravity, evil, trouble.


But then, God intervened in the situation.  It says, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us”.  So, while we were still sinning and rebelling against God, He stepped into history in the person of Jesus Christ and saved us.  The Bible (click) says “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  Notice that Titus 3:5 says that God saved us “not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy”.  This is very important – we did not and cannot do anything to merit salvation.


Instead, we are receiving God’s mercy.  That’s the word used in Titus 3:5, and it means that we are not getting something bad that we deserve (punishment).  Mercy is kind of the opposite of grace, which is where we are getting something we don’t deserve (God’s favor).


The meaning of the word “grace” is unmerited favor from God.  Later in this passage (v.7) it says that we are “justified by His grace”.  There are many places in the Bible that talk about this concept of Grace – the word appears 156 places in the New Testament to be exact.  You need to understand that (click) this is a uniquely Christian concept.  Some people wonder what sets Christianity apart from other world religions.  Outside of Jesus, this is probably the main thing.  No other world religion has a concept of Grace or unmerited favor from God – you always have to do something to please the god of other religions.  Let’s talk about a few of them.


First, Judaism.  This is the Jewish people – they believe in what we would call the “Old Testament”.  They call it the Tanakh.  Remember, we believe much of what the Jewish people believe, because we also believe what is written in the Old Testament.  However, the Jewish people largely rejected Jesus as their Messiah.  The New Testament talks a lot about the Jews and their beliefs.  They believe that being a Jewish person (a descendant of Abraham) and adherence to the Law is what will get them into heaven.  However, the Bible says “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:20)

Next, Islam.  These are Muslims.  They believe that God will weigh up your good deeds and bad deeds and if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you will go to heaven, otherwise hell.

What about Mormonism?  That’s also referred to as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” or sometimes abbreviated LDS.  They believe that good works factor into their salvation.  The book of Mormon is what they call their scriptures (which they say is “the most correct of any book on earth”). It says “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”  By the way, who can say that they have done everything they can do?  No one!  Contrast this with the Bible which says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Then there’s Hinduism. Hinduism is a very diverse religion that began in India.   They have the concept of Karma and Re-incarnation, which are connected. Karma, is a system they believe in where your behavior, whether good or bad, will affect what happens to you in the future – both in this life and the life to come.  They believe that Karma affects what you are re-incarnated as.  If you’ve led a good life, you will be re-incarnated as a higher life form (click) (maybe a King), but if you’ve lived a bad life, you will be re-incarnated as a lower life form (click) (maybe a bug).  But the Bible says “Man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment” (Heb. 9:27)


For example, Fakirs are holy men in India.  Here is a fakir sitting on a bed of nails to demonstrate his religious devotion to the gods. They believe that eventually, if you keep living a better and better life each time, you work your way up through the “caste system” to be able to escape the cycle of birth and re-birth and achieve Nirvana. Nirvana, they say, is a place of perfect peace and happiness – it is the highest state that someone can attain, a state of enlightenment, meaning a person’s individual desires and suffering go away.


Here is a Hindu devotee lying on a bed of nails, being carried by fellow devotees during a religious festival in India. Hundreds of faithful devotees offer sacrifices and perform acts of devotion during the festival in the hopes of winning the favor of Hindu god Shiva and ensuring the fulfillment of their wishes.


Finally, Buddhism – Buddhism is based primarily on the teachings of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama – a spiritual teacher from India who lived from approximately 563BC to 483BC). Buddhism incorporates a variety of religious traditions, beliefs and practices. They believe in what is called (click) the “Eightfold Path”.  These are the “works” they have to do to achieve nirvana or the state of enlightenment.  Like Hinduism, they believe in the cycle of re-incarnation leading to nirvana, but they reject the “caste system”.


So, in summary, all of the other religions we’ve talked about, require man to work (often hard) for their salvation – to please God, but in Christianity salvation is a free gift.


Think about a gift – like a Christmas gift or a birthday gift.  Do you work for that? No.


When someone hands you a gift, do you take out your wallet and pay them for it?  Of course not.  That would be an insult!


So, religion doesn’t save you – Jesus saves you.  Religion is man reaching up to God


Christianity is God reaching down to men.


Now, I want to make sure you know that although we’re not saved by good works, that does not mean we’re not to do good works.  Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” and the book of James tells us that faith without works (good deeds) is dead. (James 2:26)


Now, back to our verse. The passage goes on to talk about the results of our salvation.  It says “so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life”.  What does justified mean? Simply put, to justify is to declare righteous, to make one right with God.


Justification is God’s declaring those who receive Christ to be righteous. As this graphic shows, justification is where Jesus Christ’s righteousness is credited to us, and our guilt is credited to Jesus as he was on the cross.


The verse talks about “heirs”…  What does “heirs” mean? The literal meaning of heir is “someone who has been appointed to receive an inheritance.”


An heir is a person who receives something of value from a father. The Bible sometimes uses the word heir to describe us as recipients of a gift from God


Let’s wrap this up – our verse Titus 3:5 teaches us:

  1. (click) We can do nothing to merit eternal life (salvation) from God.
  2. (click) We are saved by God’s mercy, which is not getting the punishment we deserve for our sins.
  3. (click) We are justified (made right with God) by His grace (unmerited favor), which is a uniquely Christian teaching – all the other religions we talked about require the person to do good works to be accepted by God
  4. (click) All we can do is choose to receive His salvation by faith.
  5. (click) Since we’ve received this free gift, we can and should choose to thank Him by devoting the rest of our lives to loving Him and others.


Who has questions either about our passage, what grace or mercy means or about the other religions we talked about?


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

Good morning beloved saints!

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

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

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


Questions (with answers) for AWANA

Next Wednesday, we’re going to have a question and answer session in our 3rd – 6th grade AWANA club.   If the clubbers are not asking any questions, we can use some of the following questions as starters…  In preparation for that I’ve attempted to give some answers to these questions:

  1. What about those who have never heard of Jesus Christ?
    1. First of all, everyone has a knowledge of God. Since there is a creation, there must be a Creator (Romans 1:18-25, Romans 2:14-15, Psalm 19:1-3). So since everyone has knowledge of God they can’t make the excuse that they don’t know that He exists. But God also promises us in His word that if we seek Him, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7, Hebrews 11:6, Acts 17:26-27). And that starts with the realization that God exists because of the creation that we all can see. See the case of Cornelius in Acts 10.  He knew God existed, but He didn’t know anything about Jesus, and God heard his prayer and sent Peter to him to share the Gospel about Jesus. Jesus said “anyone who comes to Me I will never drive away” (John 6:37b). So the offer is open to everyone. There are also many cases of people who receive dreams about Jesus in countries where it’s illegal to preach about Jesus (e.g. Middle East), and therefore no one would have ever known about him.  Anyone who responds to the light that they have (who seeks), will be given more…
  2. Is Christ the only way to God?
    1. What do you think Jesus said on this topic? (John 10:7-9; 27-33; 12:44-48; 14:6, Matthew 7:13-14; 24-27; 28:18-20, Mark 14:61-63). Now it’s clear that Jesus thought that He was the only way to God. So we have to ask ourselves the question: was Jesus lying? Or was he just a lunatic? If neither of those two things are true then Jesus really is who He said He was. Jesus was the most honest man and He definitely was not crazy. So the only option left to us is that Jesus was in fact the Lord of the universe that He claimed to be and the only way to God. We also need to ask ourselves, did any other religious figure claim to pay for our sins? Jesus was the only one who even claimed to be the Savior of the world paying for the sins of all who believe in Him. Buddha, Muhammed or Krishna didn’t do that, only Jesus did.
  3. Why do the innocent Suffer?
    1. First of all, biblically, there are no innocent people. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Ecclesiastes 7:20 says that there is not a righteous man on Earth who does what is right and never sins. Nevertheless we have the problem of human suffering and pain. If there’s a good God, who is all-powerful, then why doesn’t He stop it? Well, just because He hasn’t stopped at yet doesn’t mean that He’s not going to stop and in the future. In fact God promises in His word that one day there will be no more death, suffering, crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4). So for those who want to be part of God’s family, their suffering will end. And we must also remember that everyone dies. Whether they die at the age of 2 or 82, everyone dies. No one gets out of this life alive. The person making the charge that there can’t be a good God who’s all-powerful because evil exists – they are basically saying that they know better how to run the universe than God. But we are all limited human beings. God has all the knowledge in the universe. We only have a very small fraction of the knowledge in the universe. So how do we know that God doesn’t have good reasons for allowing evil and suffering to exist? For example, we look at Job who went through incredible suffering. Satan had asked God’s permission to harass Job, and God allowed it. He wanted to show the Job was his faithful follower and that he would remain faithful to God. There was also a time in the gospels where the disciples asked why this man was born blind. Was it because of his sin or because of his parents sinned? Jesus answered them that it was neither for his sin nor his parents sinned but that the glory of God may be manifest in this situation (John 9:1-3). Jesus also allowed Lazarus to suffer and die, so that later he could raise him from the dead displaying the glory of God. We have bad things happen in our world like the 9/11 tragedy. But many people returned to church and came to Christ during that period of time. God often does use tragedy to get us to turn to Him. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” So while we don’t have all the answers we can trust in One who is infinitely more wise than we are and be sure that He has good reasons for allowing evil and suffering to continue.
  4. How are miracles possible?
    1. If you believe in the first verse of the Bible which says “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth”, then why is it unreasonable to believe that God, who created the heavens and the Earth, could perform miraculous actions inside the heavens and the Earth that He created? He set up the rules. The laws of physics and chemistry are descriptions of how nature normally works (as far as we know). God, being the creator of those natural laws can intervene to suspend or alter those laws since He Himself create created and sustains them. I’m a computer programmer. I create web pages and other programs for people to use. I can control how those web pages and programs behave. I can make a program (that I created) behave differently. No user of the program can do that – only me, the creator of the program can do that. This would seem miraculous to the average user of my program, but since I am the creator of that program I can make it do whatever I want. In the same way God is the all-powerful creator of this universe and He can make it behave however He wants. There’s no logical contradiction here.
  5. Isn’t the Bible full of errors?
    1. The person who asks this question should be required to give an example of such an error. I have a book called “The Big Book of Bible Difficulties”, where answers to many challenges and questions about the Bible are found. If there’s a specific contradiction or error that a person’s concerned about we can address that particular issue. Remember the Bible has been analyzed, questioned and attempted to be destroyed for over 2000 years and no one has been successful yet, so it’s highly unlikely that someone in 2017 is going to come up with the one error or contradiction in the Bible that makes it impossible to believe it’s true. If it is God’s word, it will continue to stand the test of time (as it has for 2000 years).
  6. Isn’t Christianity just a crutch because it makes weak people feel better?
    1. We could ask the same question about atheism, which is non-belief in God. Isn’t an atheist just believing something that makes him feel comfortable? Because if there is a God, that person would be accountable to Him and would have to answer for their behavior in this life. That’s uncomfortable for many people, so we could say that a person who doesn’t believe in God, holds that belief because it makes them feel comfortable. They don’t want to go to hell, they don’t want to think about hell, so they give the excuse that there is no God. Then they tell the Christian “You only believe in God because it makes you feel comfortable”. But actually we have many reasons for believing in the existence of God (existence of the universe, argument from design, evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, etc.) The atheist would have to be explain those things somehow without the existence of God, which would be very difficult. So I reject the charge that Christianity can’t be true because it makes us feel comfortable.  Yes, it does make us feel good and comforted, but that’s no reason to think it is not true.
  7. Won’t a good and moral life get me to heaven?
    1. My question to the person asking this question is: how moral you have to be? How many good things do you have to do to get to heaven? The biblical answer is that you would have to be 100% perfect. And there was only One who was ever perfect, and that was Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Bible describes the human condition accurately – it’s depiction of humanity makes sense with what we actually see in the world. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Everyone here is told a lie. Everyone here has dishonored their parents at some time. Everyone has failed to do everything that they should to help those in need. So we’ve all sinned. Even if you’ve only sinned once that’s enough to condemn you. The Bible says “For whoever keeps the whole law in yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10), so if you’ve ever lied (even once) you’re guilty of breaking all of the law of God. The Bible also says or if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it that’s sin (James 2:14). It also says that anything that doesn’t come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23b). So all of us are condemned, it is impossible for any of us to be good enough to merit eternal life in heaven. Our only hope is God’s mercy.  Like the tax collector in Jesus’ parable, we must say “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13), then Jesus will say as He said of the tax collector “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.” (Luke 18:9-14)
  8. Who made God?
    1. This question misunderstands the nature of God. One of the attributes of God that makes him God is the fact that He’s eternal. So the questioner has a wrong concept of God to start with. Part of how we define God is that He is eternal – that He had no beginning and will have no end (1 Chron. 29:10, Nehemiah 9:5, Psalm 90:2; 93:2, Isaiah 44:6-8; Habakkuk 1:12, John 1:1, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 1:8). We and every other created thing had a beginning. So it’s very hard for us to conceive of someone who had no beginning. But that is in fact what Christians call God. So, the questioner has the wrong view of the Christian God. However we also have to look at the scientific evidence which tells us that the universe that we live in began to exist. Therefore, based on the law of cause and effect, something or someone had to create it. That someone Who created it is God. Now, if we ask who created God, then we would also have to ask who created whatever created God. And then who created that, and then who created that, and you would never end. There has to be an Ultimate Cause of everything – Aristotle called it “the unmoved Mover”.  That ultimate cause is what we call God.

I pray that this session goes well, and that clubbers would get answers that satisfy their curiosity.

mid-week apologetics booster (2-16-2017)

Hi Friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. How should Christians react to ‘The Golden Compass’ movie? https://www.gotquestions.org/golden-compass-movie.html
  2. Watch “Does Science Argue for or against God? – PragerUniversity” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/spdgQPJWLfE
  3. Watch Ricky Gervais and Stephen Colbert Debate the Existence of God: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/slices/watch-ricky-gervais-and-stephen-colbert-debate-existence-god
  4. Who was Simon of Cyrene? https://www.gotquestions.org/Simon-of-Cyrene.html
  5. 7 Things We Know about Jesus and His Followers from Non-Biblical Sources: https://greatcloud.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/7-things-we-know-about-jesus-and-his-followers-from-non-biblical-sources/
  6. Detecting Design: http://www.daviddesonier.com/apologetics/2015/12/5/when-to-infer-design
  7. S. Lewis on Why He Wasn’t Roman Catholic: https://hcchristian.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/c-s-lewis-on-why-he-wasnt-roman-catholic/
  8. Tell Someone Talks – Greg Laurie on evangelism – message starts at 36:45 into the video: https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/watch/tell-someone-talks-20170209
  9. Why doesn’t God reveal Himself clearly so we can all be saved? Is God incompetent? http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2017/02/why-doesnt-god-reveal-himself-clearly.html
  10. A Universe from Nothing? Dr. Krauss Explains Nothing: http://crossexamined.org/a-universe-from-nothing-dr-krauss-explains-nothing/
  11. Ancient Dinosaur Depictions | Genesis Park: http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/historical/ancient/dinosaur/
  12. Introduction to Islam: https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/islam-101/introduction-to-islam-101/
  13. Is there any truth to The Da Vinci code? https://www.gotquestions.org/DaVinci-code-truth.html
  14. Why do people reject Jesus as their Savior? https://www.gotquestions.org/reject-Jesus.html
  15. Is it possible to be a gay Christian? https://www.gotquestions.org/gay-Christian.html
  16. Preacher locked up for hate crime after quoting the Bible to gay teenager (in the U.K.): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/05/preacher-locked-hate-crime-quoting-bible-gay-teenager/
  17. What is relativism? https://carm.org/what-relativism
  18. The Lord’s Day, Meet Darwin Day. and Shudder – Charles Darwin did what he could to hide his materialistic worldview, but we know what he was up to: https://spectator.org/the-lords-day-meet-darwin-day-and-shudder/
  19. South Dakota Academic Freedom Bill: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/02/reporting_on_so103492.html
  20. Shocking Beliefs of John Calvin: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankviola/shockingbeliefsofjohncalvin/
  21. Abortion Related:
    1. Watch “Why Abortion Is Unjust Discrimination” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tL_R0y1Utnw
    2. Watch “HOW TO TROT OUT THE TODDLER” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6ktPmgBX_FU
    3. Watch “The Most Important Question About Abortion” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/AMwkQVpy98A
    4. Watch “Planned Parenthood’s 3% Abortion Myth” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/KKIOBOFaVYs
    5. Watch “One of the best Pro-life speeches EVER! Gianna Jessen abortion survivor Full video” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/hOWMmx6eBjU
    6. 2nd Trimester Surgical Abortion: Dilation and Evacuation (D & E) – Former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains the most prevalent second trimester abortion procedure, a dilation and evacuation (D&E).  I don’t know how anyone can remain “pro-choice” after watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgw4X7Dw_3k
    7. SLED test intro: http://subspla.sh/cd6e7d6
    8. S – Size: http://subspla.sh/52200fa
    9. L – Level of development: http://subspla.sh/c03b7b5
    10. E – Environment: http://subspla.sh/469db33
    11. D – Degree of dependency: http://subspla.sh/fcd0a3f
    12. SLED Conclusion: http://subspla.sh/60e03e2

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.  Psalms 127:3

Blessings to you all

JC Ryle – The Great Separation!

What a powerful piece this is…

The Great Separation!

J.C. Ryle, 1878

“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing floor. He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire!” Matthew 3:12

Wheat or chaff? You see my question — for whom do you think it is meant? Is it for corn merchants and farmers only, and for none else? If you think so, then you are much mistaken. It is meant for every man, woman, and child in the world. And among others, it is meant for you.

The question is drawn from the verse of Scripture which is now before your eyes. The words of that verse were spoken by John the Baptist. They are a prophecy about our Lord Jesus Christ, and a prophecy which has not yet been fulfilled. They are a prophecy which we shall all see fulfilled one day, and God alone knows how soon.

Reader, I invite you this day to consider the great truths which this verse contains. I invite you to listen to me, while I unfold them and set them before you in order. Who knows but this text may prove a word in season to your soul! Who knows but my question may help to make this day the happiest day in your life! Listen, before you begin once more your appointed path of duty. Listen, before you start once more on some round of business. Listen, before you plunge once more into some course of useless idleness and folly. Listen to one who loves your soul, and would sincerely help to save it, or draw it nearer to Christ. Who knows what a day may bring forth! Who can tell whether you will live to see tomorrow! Be still, and listen to me a few minutes, while I show you something out of the Word of God.

I. Let me show you in the first place, the two great classes into which the world may be divided.

There are only two classes of people in the world, in the sight of God — and both are mentioned in the text which begins this tract. There are those who are called the wheat — and there are those who are called the chaff.

Viewed with the eye of man, the earth contains many different sorts of inhabitants. Viewed with the eye of God, it only contains two. Man’s eye looks at the outward appearance — this is all he thinks of. The eye of God looks at the heart — this is the only part of which He takes any account. And tried by the state of their hearts, there are but two classes into which people can be divided — either they are wheat, or they are chaff.

Reader, who are the WHEAT in the world? Listen to me, and I will tell you.

The wheat means all men and women who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ — all who are led by the Holy Spirit — all who have felt themselves sinners, and fled for refuge to the salvation offered in the Gospel — all who love the Lord Jesus, and live to the Lord Jesus, and serve the Lord Jesus — all who have taken Christ for their only confidence, and the Bible for their only guide, and regard sin as their deadliest enemy, and look to Heaven as their only home. All such, of every church, name, nation, people, and tongue — of every rank, station, condition, and degree — all such are God’s wheat!

Show me men of this kind of people anywhere, and I know what they are. I know that they and I may not agree in all particulars — but I see in them the handiwork of the King of kings, and I ask no more. I know not whence they came, and where they found their religion — but I know where they are going, and that is enough for me. They are the children of my Father in Heaven. They are part of His wheat.

All such, though sinful, and vile, and unworthy in their own eyes — are the precious part of mankind. They are the sons and daughters of God the Father. They are the delight of God the Son. They are the habitation of God the Spirit. The Father beholds no iniquity in them — they are the members of His dear Son’s body — in Him He sees them — and is well pleased. The Lord Jesus discerns in them, the fruit of His own travail and work upon the cross — and is well satisfied. The Holy Spirit regards them as spiritual temples which He Himself has raised — and rejoices over them. In a word, they are the wheat of the earth — God’s wheat.

Reader, who are the CHAFF in the world? Listen to me once more, and I will tell you this also.

The chaff means all men and women who have no saving faith in Christ, and no sanctification of the Spirit — whoever they may be. Some of them perhaps are infidels — and some are formal Christians. Some are sneering Sadducees — and some self-righteous Pharisees. Some of them make a point of keeping up a kind of ‘Sunday religion’ — and others are utterly careless of everything except their own pleasure and the world. But all alike, who have the two great marks already mentioned — no faith and no sanctification — all such are chaff. From the atheists Paine and Voltaire — to the formal churchman who can think of nothing but outward ceremonies — to the unconverted admirer of sermons in the present day — all, all are standing in one rank before God all, all are chaff!

They bring no glory to God the Father. They honor not the Son, and so do not honor the Father who sent Him. They neglect that mighty salvation, which countless millions of angels admire. They disobey that Word which was graciously written for their learning. They listen not to the voice of Him who condescended to leave Heaven and die for their sins. They pay no tribute of service and affection to Him who gave them life, and breath, and all things. And therefore God takes no pleasure in them. He pities them — but He reckons them no better than chaff!

Yes — you may have rare intellectual gifts, and high mental attainments — you may sway kingdoms by your counsel, move millions by your pen, or keep crowds in breathless attention by your tongue — but if you have never submitted yourself to the yoke of Christ, and never honored His Gospel by heartfelt reception of it — then you are nothing but chaff in His sight. Natural gifts without saving grace, are like a row of ciphers without an unit before them; they look big — but they are of no value. The vilest insect that crawls in the filth — is a nobler being than you are! It fills its place in creation, and glorifies its Maker with all its power — and you do not. You do not honor God with heart, and will, and intellect, and members, which are all His. You invert His order and arrangement, and live as if time was of more importance than eternity, and body better than soul. You dare to neglect God’s greatest gift — His own incarnate Son. You are cold about that subject which fills all Heaven with hallelujahs. And so long as this is the case, you belong to the worthless part of mankind. You are the chaff of the earth.

Reader, let this thought be deeply engraved in your mind, whatever else you forget in this volume. Remember there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are wheat — and there are chaff.

There are many nations in Europe. Each differs from the rest. Each has its own language, its own laws, its own peculiar customs. But God’s eye divides Europe into two great parties — the wheat and the chaff.

There are many classes in England. There are nobles and commoners — farmers and shopkeepers — masters and servants — rich and poor. But God’s eye only takes account of two orders — the wheat and the chaff.

There are many and various minds in every congregation that meets for religious worship. There are some who attend for a mere form — and some who really desire to meet Christ; some who come there to please others — and some who come to please God; some who bring their hearts with them, and are not soon tired — and some who leave their hearts behind them, and reckon the whole service as weary work. But the eye of Jesus only sees two divisions in the congregation — the wheat and the chaff.

There were millions of visitors to the Great Exhibition of 1851. From Europe, Asia, Africa, and America — from North, and South, and East, and West — crowds came together to see what human skill and industry could do. Children of our first father Adam’s family, who had never seen each other before, for once met face to face under one roof. But the eye of the Lord only saw two companies thronging that large palace of glass — the wheat and the chaff.

Reader, I know well the world dislikes this way of dividing professing Christians. The world tries hard to fancy there are three sorts of people, and not two. To be very godly and very strict does not suit the world — they cannot, will not be holy. To have no religion at all does not suit the world — as that would not be respectable. “Thank God,” they will say, “we are not so bad as that!” But to have religion enough to be respectable — and yet not go into extremes, to be sufficiently good — and yet not be peculiar — to have a quiet, easy-going, moderate kind of Christianity, and go comfortably to Heaven after all — this is the world’s favorite idea! There is a third class, a safe middle class — the world imagines; and in this middle class — the majority of men persuade themselves they will be found.

Reader, I denounce this notion of a middle class as an immense and soul-ruining delusion! I warn you strongly not to be carried away by it. It is as vain an invention as the Pope’s purgatory. It is a refuge of lies, a castle in the air, a Russian ice-palace, a vast unreality, an empty dream! This middle class is a class of Christians no where spoken of in the Bible!

There were two classes in the day of Noah’s flood; those who were inside the ark — and those who were outside. There were two classes in the parable of the Gospel net; those who are called the good fish — and those who are called the bad. There were two classes in the parable of the ten virgins; those who are described as wise — and those who are described as foolish. There were two classes in the account of the judgment day; the sheep — and the goats. There were two sides of the throne; the right hand — and the left. There were two abodes when the last sentence has been passed; Heaven — and Hell.

And just so, there are only two classes in the world:
those who are in the state of nature — and those who are in the state of grace;
those who are in the narrow way — and those who are in the broad;
those who have faith — and those who have no faith;
those who have been converted — and those who have not been converted;
those who are with Christ — and those who are against Him;
those who gather with Him — and those who scatter abroad;
those who are wheat — and those who are chaff.
Into these two classes, the whole world may be divided. Beside these two classes, there is none.

Reader, dear reader, see now what cause there is for self-inquiry! Are you among the wheat — or among the chaff? Neutrality is impossible. Either you are in one class — or in the other. Which is it, of the two?

You attend church perhaps. You go to the Lord’s table. You like good people. You can distinguish between good preaching and bad. You think Popery false, and oppose it firmly. You think Protestantism true, and support it cordially. You subscribe to religious societies. You attend religious meetings. You sometimes read religious books. It is well — it is all very well. It is good — it is all very good. It is more than can be said of many. But still, this is not a straightforward answer to my question: Are you wheat — or are you chaff?

Have you been born again? Are you a new creature? Have you put off the old man, and put on the new? Have you ever felt your sins, and repented of them? Are you looking only to Christ for pardon and eternal life? Do you love Christ? Do you serve Christ? Do you loathe heart-sins, and fight against them? Do you long for perfect holiness, and follow hard after it? Have you come out from the world? Do you delight in the Bible? Do you wrestle in prayer? Do you love Christ’s people? Do you try to do good to the world? Are you vile in your own eyes, and willing to take the lowest place? Are you a Christian in business, and on week days, and by your own fireside? Oh, think, think, think on these things — and then perhaps you will be better able to tell the state of your soul!

Reader, I beseech you not to turn away from my question, however unpleasant it may be. Answer it, though it may prick your conscience, and cut you to the heart. Answer it, though it may prove you in the wrong, and expose your fearful danger. Rest not, rest not, until you know how it is between you and God! Better a thousand times find out that you are in an evil case, and repent in time — than live on in uncertainty, and be lost eternally!

Reader, remember my question. Begin to meditate on it this very day. Are you wheat — or chaff?

To read the rest, go to http://gracegems.org/Ryle/great_separation.htm

mid-week apologetics booster (12-8-2016)

Good morning friends,

In the midst of this busy season, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas:


Here are some links to assist you in making the case for your Christian worldview and answering those who oppose it (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Cor. 10:5):

  1. Cerebral Faith: Logical Fallacy Series — Part 20: Appeal To Ridicule: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/07/logical-fallacy-series-part-20-appeal.html
  2. Researchers Have Found the Oldest Known Manuscript of Leviticus – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/researchers-have-found-the-oldest-known-manuscript-of-leviticus/
  3. Simple Questions About Christians in the Workplace | National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/442641/simple-questions-about-christians-workplace
  4. Ministering to Mormons in Utah Day 5 – Biblical Worldview Academy: http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/ministering-to-mormons-in-utah-day-5/
  5. Why I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Why-I-don-t-have-enough-faith-to-be-an-atheist
  6. SES Veritas Player | Day 1: The Existence of God: http://subsplash.com/veritasplayer/v/2d5e0b2
  7. Apologetics and the Role of Plausibility Structures: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/apologetics-and-the-role-of-plausibility-structures/
  8. Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: Answering Atheists by Abdu Murray: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2016/11/video-answering-atheists-by-abdu-murray.html
  9. Huge sections of the KJV Bible that Joseph Smith just copied into the Book of Mormon: http://www.mormonismdisproved.org/plagiarism.html
  10. Christian Essentials Online (systematic theology) – Wayne Grudem messages (mp3 with study outlines): http://www.christianessentialssbc.com/messages
  11. Accounting for the Origin of Life, Paul Davies Recognizes the Role of “Software”: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/12/accounting_for067461.html
  12. 5 Reasons to Share Your Faith: http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/164712-greg-stier-5-reasons-share-your-faith-in-2013.html
  13. Jesus Is A Myth, Just Like President Kennedy: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/jesus-is-a-myth-just-like-president-kennedy/
  14. “180” Movie – Abortion. Is it a woman’s choice? Or is it murder? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI
  15. Perspectives on Louie Giglio, the Homosexual Issue and What It Means to Be a Christ-Follower in This Culture: http://www.epm.org/blog/2013/Jan/14/perspectives-louie-giglio
  16. Centre for Intelligent Design Lecture 2011 by Stephen Meyer on ‘Signature in the Cell’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NbluTDb1Nfs
  17. 5 Threats Of Demanding Certainty To Change Your Beliefs: http://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/5-threats-of-demanding-certainty-to.html
  18. As God Is Man May Be? http://www.mrm.org/lorenzo-snow-couplet
  19. Crop Circles as an ID Test: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/01/crop_circles_as068691.html
  20. The Difference Between “Belief That” and “Belief In” (< 3 min video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCoaYAovZAE&feature=youtu.be&a
  21. When are we human enough to matter: Debate b/w Professor Malcolm Potts and Mr. Scott Klusendorf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsC6ZfTHoL4
  22. When Does Personhood Begin? Part I: http://prolifephilosophy.blogspot.com/2012/07/when-does-personhood-begin.html
  23. Witnessing for Christ: Spiritual conversation starters: https://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/assess.htm
  24. Witnessing: Spiritual conversation starter questions: https://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/starters.htm
  25. Faith steps: 8 tips to talking about Jesus: https://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/share-the-gospel/evangelism-principles/faith-steps-8-tips-talking-about-jesus.html
  26. Starting a Conversation about Jesus | CBN.com: http://www1.cbn.com/youth/starting-a-conversation-about-jesus
  27. BibleForums Christian Message Board: http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/130604-Bringing-God-up-in-conversation
  28. Coaching Center – Turning the Conversation to Christ: http://www.gocampus.org/modx/index.php?id=247
  29. The Entire ‘LGBT’ Narrative Just Crumbled | The Stream: https://stream.org/entire-lgbt-narrative-just-crumbled/
  30. Never Read a Bible Verse | Greg Koukl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PHs_9vX20Y
  31. Case-Making 101: How does the Bible compare to other ancient documents? http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-how-does-the-bible-compare-to-other-ancient-documents/
  32. To Witness Like Jesus, Use Logic and Reason: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/12/to-witness-like-jesus-use-logic-and.html
  33. Is Spiritual Truth a Matter of Opinion? Open Letter to a Relativist: http://crossexamined.org/is-spiritual-truth-a-matter-of-opinion-an-open-letter-to-a-relativist/
  34. Whale evolution fraud: http://creation.com/whale-evolution-fraud
  35. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: The Intellectual Cowardice behind ‘Agnostic Atheists’: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/12/the-intellectual-cowardice-behind.html
  36. Myth of Neutrality and a Prejudicial Challenge – the pretended neutrality fallacy: http://theophilus-defendingthefaith.blogspot.com/2016/11/myth-of-neutrality-and-prejudicial.html
  37. The Gospel According to Peanuts – Larry Alex Taunton: http://larryalextaunton.com/blog/the-gospel-according-to-peanuts/
  38. Watch these 6 free Christian films online: http://www.fullyfreefilms.com/
  39. Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Ban All Abortions After an Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Begins: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/12/06/ohio-senate-passes-bill-to-ban-all-abortions-after-an-unborn-babys-heartbeat-begins/
  40. 84 Confirmed Facts in the Last 16 Chapters of the Book of Acts: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2012/01/84-confirmed-facts-in-last-16-chapters.html
  41. The State of Climate Science: No Justification for Extreme Policies: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2016/04/the-state-of-climate-science-no-justification-for-extreme-policies
  42. Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/does-the-cumulative-case-for-design-point-to-a-divine-designer/
  43. Further Reflections on the Belief That “All Sins Are Equal”: It’s More Widespread Than You Think – Canon Fodder: http://michaeljkruger.com/further-reflections-on-the-belief-that-all-sins-are-equal-its-more-widespread-than-you-think
  44. Belief in Christ Is a Conclusion, Not a Delusion: http://www.gospel-life.net/belief-in-christ-is-a-conclusion-not-a-delusion/

Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself ; for you who judge practice the same things.  Romans 2:1


mid-week apologetics booster (10-6-2016)

Good morning,

First, a house-keeping item – I will not be sending out this booster next week.  Rather than encouraging you with apologetics concerning God and His creation, Lord willing, I will be experiencing His creation in a place called Kauai!  So, you’ll hear from me again in 2 weeks.

Now, on to the good stuff…

  1. David Silverman Denies That The Holocaust Was Objectively Wrong in a debate with Frank Turek: https://youtu.be/ybiFlsLZU-A?t=2m01s
  2. New Bill Would Repeal Johnson Amendment, Protect Pastors’ Rights to Endorse Candidates | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/29/new-bill-would-repeal-johnson-amendment-protect-pastors-rights-to-endorse-candidates/
  3. How Christianity Created the Free Society | Public Discourse: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/09/17405/
  4. A Call to Repentance & Renewal – An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America: http://americanevangelicals.com/
  5. Did Man Get Here By Evolution Or By Creation? Chapter 3 Does Life Come from Nonliving Matter? http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/evolution67/evolution3.html
  6. Five Questions About Evolution that Charles Darwin Can’t Answer: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1579-five-questions-about-evolution-that-charles-darwin-cant-answer
  7. Holy Rebel: http://dangreenup.com/holy-rebel/
  8. Evolutionary dilemma – The more we know about DNA, the tougher things get for modern Darwinism: http://creation.com/evolutionary-dilemma
  9. Help! My Pastor Became An Atheist! https://clearlens.org/2016/09/28/help-my-pastor-became-an-atheist/
  10. Isn’t It Possible That The Jesus Story Was A Conspiracy (unfortunately, this is poor audio)? “Anything is possible, but not everything is reasonable.” A student alludes to the DaVinci Code, saying that it was put forth in the book/movie that Jesus’ follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XV7ajMLYO4
  11. The Imminent Death of Darwinism and the Rise of Intelligent Design: http://www.icr.org/article/imminent-death-darwinism-rise-intelligent-design/
  12. The Danger of Treating the Word “Disciple” as a Noun Instead of a Verb: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/the-danger-of-treating-the-word-disciple-as-a-noun-instead-of-a-verb/
  13. How Christ’s Incarnation Differs from the Hindu Idea of Avatar: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/how-christs-incarnation-differs-from-the-hindu-idea-of-avatar/
  14. The Free Thinking Argument: http://www.reasonablefaithbelfast.com/blog/-the-free-thinking-argument
  15. Canyon creation – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/a/237
  16. Biblical Contradictions are as Scarce as Hen’s Teeth – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/biblical-contradictions-are-as-scarce-as-hens-teeth/
  17. Evidence for Design Grows Like a New Patch of Kudzu – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/evidence-for-design-grows-like-a-new-patch-of-kudzu/
  18. “I Just Don’t Have Your Faith” | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/i-just-dont-have-your-faith/
  19. Cold-Case Christianity for Kids: Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective (new book for kids by J. Warner Wallace): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/cold-case-christianity-for-kids-j-warner-wallace/1123269143/2675127321420?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP3038&k_clickid=3×3038
  20. What Is the Essential Truth About the Holy Spirit? (J. Warner Wallace podcast): http://pleaseconvinceme.libsyn.com/what-is-the-essential-truth-about-the-holy-spirit?tdest_id=90058
  21. The Problem with “Friendship Evangelism”: http://www.missioalliance.org/problem-friendship-evangelism/
  22. Creationist receives six-figure legal settlement from public university: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/29337/
  23. Evidence of the Resurrection Accepted Even by Atheist New Testament Scholars: https://cyberpenance.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/__trashed-3/

Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools. Proverbs 16:22


mid-week apologetics booster (9-22-2016)

Good morning friends,

Another week has gone by, and we all need to ask ourselves, have we done anything this week to advance the kingdom of God and the Gospel?  The Apostle Paul said

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” (Philippians 1:12-14)

I suspect that you were not actually physically in chains for Christ this week, but there are other ways that you may’ve been advancing the Gospel.  Maybe you were at AWANA last night advancing the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.  May you gave money to a faithful ministry that is advancing the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.  Maybe you made a meal for brothers and sisters at Church, or did some cleaning or maintenance at the Church.  Maybe you served the homeless in our community at one of the many relief organizations.  Maybe you spoke up in a personal conversation, communicating and defending you faith in Christ.  I know of one of my brothers who led someone to Christ this week in a faraway land over the phone and internet (WeChat).  She prayed to receive Christ and her life was changed forever!  Praise the Lord.  This brother of mine was a faithful witness over several months of weekly calls, teaching and preaching the Word of God to her (after the business talk was finished).  He was advancing the Gospel into a country where she may not’ve heard it otherwise.

God has placed us where we are with our circle of influence.  Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.  This is our chance in this lifetime to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in a dark and hurting world!  I like how Pastor James MacDonald phrases it – “we need to be shouldering weekly Kingdom responsibility”.  He stresses the fact that every born again, Bible believing, follower of Christ should be striving to:

  1. Walk with Christ
  2. Worship Christ
  3. Work for Christ

I pray that you would all make a difference for Christ this week!

Here are you weekly links:

  1. Watch “Catch The Light for Intelligent Design Audio Play – 8th Clip” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/CAgobUvih5Q
  2. Why Abortion Is Unjust Discrimination – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/12/11/why-abortion-is-unjust-discrimination/
  3. The Complete Series: Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize – Canon Fodder: http://michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/
  4. Tom Gilson talks about how to have critical conversations about difficult topics with teens | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/node/42138
  5. Watch “The Kalam Cosmological Argument” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6CulBuMCLg0
  6. Open Biola: Free Educational Content Created & Curated by Biola University | Open Biola: http://open.biola.edu/
  7. Watch “Are Beliefs the Result of Where One Is Born?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/VjHRqToHhCU
  8. Watch “Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5ODX5r3d_2I
  9. New Video Destroys the False Claim That Abortion is Just 3% of What Planned Parenthood Does | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/14/new-video-destroys-the-false-claim-that-abortion-is-just-3-of-what-planned-parenthood-does/
  10. Watch “29. Hasn’t Christianity done more harm than good?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0bOyoAjhUc8
  11. Watch “Was the New Testament Written Early?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pBxoNiTyfHw
  12. Arguing, Quarreling, and Questioning | Think on These Things: https://jaredrabbot.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/arguing-quarreling-and-questioning/
  13. What Is Postmodernism? | NAMB: https://www.namb.net/apologetics/what-is-postmodernism
  14. Faith Actually: Definitions Matter: http://faithactually.blogspot.com/2016/07/definitions-matter.html?m=1
  15. Pastor Andy Stanley says the Bible is too hard to defend – Evangelical pastor preaches that the Bible isn’t the foundation for the Christian faith: http://creation.com/andy-stanley-rebuttal
  16. Cosmologist Luke Barnes answers 11 objections to the fine-tuning argument: https://winteryknight.com/2016/09/11/cosmologist-luke-barnes-answers-11-objections-to-the-fine-tuning-argument-4/

Blessings to you all!

Many ways seem right…

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12;16:25

This verse, repeated twice in Proverbs, is so “on target”.  I see and hear so many people expressing non-biblical ideas that seem right to them, not knowing that those ways of thinking ultimately lead to death as the Scripture says.  Here just a few of these “worldly wisdom” expressions that are commonplace in today’s American society:

  1. The most important thing is to follow your heart. There several verses in the Bible that contradict this. For example, Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”  So, if this is true, why would I want to follow my heart?  Romans 3:10-12 says “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.
  2. There are many paths to God, not just one way. What really matters is that you’re sincere.  This is certainly not the view of Jesus and His disciples.  He said:
    1. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30
    2. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14
    3. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  John 3:17-18
    4. [John the Baptist speaking] He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36
    5. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. John 5:23b
    6. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. John 5:39-40
    7. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal. John 6:27
    8. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life. John 6:40a
    9. Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24b
    10. Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. John 10:7-9a
    11. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26b
    12. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. John 12:48
    13. I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6
    14. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
    15. [Peter speaking] And there is salvation in no one else ; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
    16. [Paul speaking] Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
    17. [Paul speaking] For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
  3. If you’re a “good person” you go to heaven. Oh how this is anti-biblical!  I could give numerous Scriptures to back this up – here are a few:
    1. For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. Isaiah 64:6a
    2. Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20
    3. No one is good–except God alone. Mark 10:18b
    4. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
    5. At the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:5-6
    6. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
    7. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law. Galatians 3:11a
  4. God greatest desire is for me to be happy. If this is true, I guess He didn’t see His greatest desire fulfilled for the Apostles or even for His very own Son.  Again, the Bible says different:
    1. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
    2. You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Mark 13:13
    3. And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25.  Does this sound like God greatest desire is for me to be happy?
    4. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:33
    5. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29
    6. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 1 Peter 4:12-16

All of these statements have the ring of truth – they sound so logical.  Many more could be given.  My only recommendation is – read the Bible and develop a biblical worldview.  As Colossians says “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ

Let me finish with the commentary of J.C. Ryle on the parable told by Jesus in Luke 18:9-14:

The sin which our Lord denounces is “self-righteousness.”

We are all naturally self-righteous. It is the family-disease of all the children of Adam. From the highest to the lowest we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to do. We secretly flatter ourselves that we are not so bad as some, and that we have something to recommend us to the favor of God. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness.” (Prov. 20:6.) We forget the plain testimony of Scripture, “In many things we offend all.” “There is not a just man upon earth, that does good and sins not”–“What is man that he should be clean, or he that is born of a woman that he should be righteous?” (James 3:2. Eccles. 7:20. Job 15:14.)

The true cure for self-righteousness is self-knowledge. Once let the eyes of our understanding be opened by the Spirit, and we shall talk no more of our own goodness. Once let us see what there is in our own hearts, and what the holy law of God requires, and self-conceit will die. We shall lay our hand on our mouths, and cry with the leper, “Unclean, unclean.” (Levit. 13:45.)

One great defect stands out on the face of this prayer–a defect so glaring that even a child might mark it. It exhibits no sense of sin and need. It contains no confession and no petition–no acknowledgment of guilt and emptiness–no supplication for mercy and grace. It is a mere boasting recital of fancied merits, accompanied by an uncharitable reflection on a brother sinner. It is a proud, high-minded profession, destitute alike of penitence, humility, and charity. In short, it hardly deserves to be called a prayer at all.

No state of soul can be conceived so dangerous as that of the Pharisee. Never are men’s bodies in such desperate plight, as when disease and insensibility set in. Never are men’s hearts in such a hopeless condition, as when they are not sensible of their own sins. He that would not make shipwreck on this rock, must beware of measuring himself by his neighbors. What does it signify that we are more moral than “other men?” We are all vile and imperfect in the sight of God. “If we contend with Him, we cannot answer him one in a thousand.” (Job 9:3.) Let us remember this. In all our self-examination let us not try ourselves by comparison with the standard of men. Let us look at nothing but the requirements of God. He that acts on this principle will never be a Pharisee.

J.C. Ryle commentary on Luke 18:9-14

mid-week apologetics booster (9-8-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. The New Face of Atheism (And It’s Not Dawkins!) – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-new-face-of-atheism-and-its-not-dawkins
  2. God’s Foreknowledge Does Not Force – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/07/24/gods-knowledge-does-not-force/
  3. Elementary School with Co-ed Restrooms: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Elementary-School-with-Co-ed-Restrooms.html?soid=1100422530046&aid=yGl2YXsMESA
  4. Atheists Who Convert: A Case Study: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Atheists-Who-Convert-A-Case-Study
  5. LDS Church and Same-Sex Marriage: The DOCTRINE Behind the Policy — dear Ephesus: http://www.dearephesus.org/blog/2015/11/6/lds-church-and-same-sex-marriage-the-theology-behind-the-policy
  6. Pornography and Purity: Pursuing a Biblical Vision of Manhood and Womanhood to the Glory of God – Servants of Grace: http://servantsofgrace.org/pornography-purity-pursuing-biblical-vision-manhood-womanhood-glory-god/
  7. Why isn’t God’s Existence more Obvious? | Saints and Sceptics: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/why-isnt-gods-existence-more-obvious/
  8. You Don’t Always Have to Make a Defense – Apologetics 105: https://apologetics105.com/2016/08/31/you-dont-always-have-to-make-a-defense/
  9. How To Answer, “Can You Be Good Without God?” – DyerThoughts: http://www.dyerthoughts.com/home/how-to-answer-can-you-be-good-without-god
  10. Mark Spence videos:
    1. Watch “I Deserve Hell – Mark Spence’s Story” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xci422OZGWE
    2. Watch “Can We Trust the Bible?” by Living Waters on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XyNseXdd260
    3. Watch “Is It Wrong to Judge?” by Living Waters on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ef3P97nz0lU
    4. Watch “Mark Spence ‘The Good News is Great News’” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/LdU3y7EIa8Y
  11. Harvard PhD tosses questions at fossil claim: http://mobile.wnd.com/2016/09/harvard-phd-tosses-questions-at-fossil-claim/
  12. Bad Arguments Against Christianity: Bible Contradictions – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/08/11/answering-the-bible-contradictions-objection/
  13. Video Shows Mother Teresa Saying “Every Abortion is a Rejection of Jesus” | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/12/27/video-shows-mother-teresa-saying-every-abortion-is-a-rejection-of-jesus/
  14. The Problem of Evil Is Often A Problem of Understanding – Cross Examined: http://crossexamined.org/the-problem-of-evil-is-often-a-problem-of-understanding/
  15. ISIS Is Killing Us Because We Are Not Muslim – by Nabeel Qureshi: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nabeel-qureshi/isis-is-killing-us-because-we-are-not-muslim_b_11793770.html
  16. Lessons for America from the fall of Rome: http://mobile.wnd.com/2016/09/lessons-for-america-from-the-fall-of-rome/#67C09EVzvgw1FYx4.99
  17. The Case for Christianity According to a 7th Grader | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/10965/
  18. Our shrinking brains – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/our-shrinking-brains
  19. 4 Ways to become a better listener and a better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/4-ways-become-better-listener-better-apologist/
  20. Why Would an Engineer-Turned-Mom Care So Deeply about Apologetics? http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-would-an-engineer-turned-mom-care-so-deeply-about-apologetics
  21. The Church of Chronic Denial and Dementia | Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past…… https://robertbridgstock.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/the-church-of-chronic-denial-and-dementia/
  22. Four Self-Refuting Statements Heard on College Campuses Across America: http://crossexamined.org/four-self-refuting-statements-heard-on-college-campuses-across-america/
  23. What Christian Parents Need to Know About New Age and Occult Beliefs: http://crossexamined.org/christian-parents-need-know-new-age-occult-beliefs/
  24. Greg Bahnsen: The Bible is the Word of God: http://evidence4god.blogspot.com/2016/08/greg-bahnsen-standing-on-scripture.html
  25. William Lane Craig Q&A: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/knowledge-of-god-and-his-will
  26. ‘Increasingly Aggressive’ Atheists Target Children in New Evolution-Promoting Book: http://christiannews.net/2016/09/05/increasingly-aggressive-atheists-target-children-in-new-evolution-promoting-book/

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalms 100:1-5

mid-week apologetics booster (8-25-2016)

Good morning followers of Christ!

I ran into an extraordinarily large amount of articles and videos I’m providing you this week.  Hopefully you’ll find something in here to equip you to gently instruct those who oppose you (2 Timothy 2:23-26):

  1. How to Respond When Someone Says, “No One Comes to Faith Through Arguments.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cS2xGUj5KQ
  2. When it Comes to Abortion, No One Talks about the One Question that Matters. It’s the One Question the President Never Asks: http://www.str.org/Media/Default/Publications/December%201997%20-1.pdf
  3. 4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry: http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/160290-benjer_mcveigh_4_myths_about_teaching_apologetics_in_youth_ministry.html
  4. A ‘no brainer’ test for measuring the faith of our young ones – Are your children (and grandchildren) asking the right questions? http://creation.com/no-brainer-test
  5. Three Surprising Facts about Atheists | Paul Gould: http://www.paul-gould.com/2016/08/17/three-surprising-facts-about-atheists/
  6. We are saved by faith alone, not by faith and works | Salvation and works: https://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too
  7. How Come the Bible Doesn’t Condemn Slavery? Reasons To Believe: http://www.reasons.org/articles/how-come-the-bible-doesnt-condemn-slavery
  8. Atheist Vs. Christian Summer Camps: Which More Effectively Taught Their Worldview This Summer? http://christianmomthoughts.com/atheist-vs-christian-summer-camps-which-more-effectively-taught-their-worldview-this-summer/
  9. Why 99 out of 10 Millennials Leave The Church? http://crossexamined.org/why-99-out-of-10-millennials-leave-the-church/
  10. State School? Christian College? Navigating the Many Choices: http://www.equip.org/article/state-school-christian-college-navigating-many-choices/
  11. Is it arrogant to claim you have ‘the truth’? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adxa8Iw8T48
  12. What are the differences between Catholics and Protestants? http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Catholic-Protestant.html
  13. 6 Ways You May Be Raising Your Kids with an Oversimplified Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/6-ways-you-may-be-raising-your-kids-with-an-oversimplified-faith/
  14. THEO101: The Destiny of the Unsaved: https://clearlens.org/2016/08/18/theo101-the-destiny-of-the-unsaved/
  15. What Can’t Science Account For? http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/08/what-cant-science-account-for.html
  16. Witnessing To Jehovah’s Witnesses [Part1] – Most Christians are ill-equipped to handle themselves in discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The simple reason is they know their stuff and most Christians don’t. Most Christians know what they believe, but don’t know why they believe it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ6Pf5ZDSCk
  17. Asking Questions and Calling Bluffs: https://apolotheo.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/asking-questions-and-calling-bluffs/
  18. Why Russell’s Teapot Fails: https://clearlens.org/2015/06/03/why-russells-teapot-fails/
  19. Why Every Christian Needs to Be A Sheepdog: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/why-every-christian-needs-to-be-a-sheepdog/
  20. Funsized Fallacies: Tu Quoque: https://clearlens.org/2015/05/01/funsized-fallacies-tu-quoque/
  21. “Ray Comfort on the Banana, in context [HQ]” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BXLqDGL1FSg
  22. “The Greatest Gamble” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4uIZkYqkKqM
  23. azvoterguide.com: http://www.azvoterguide.com/
  24. Do all good people go to heaven? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clJdwHyhJzY
  25. Is atheism a religion? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tzxQSFq1iE
  26. There’s Probably No God – a response to Richard Dawkins: http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/theres-probably-no-god-a-response-to-richard-dawkins/
  27. Two More Ways Learning to Defend Your Faith Benefits You: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/two-more-ways-learning-to-defend-your.html
  28. More Ways Learning to Defend Your Faith Benefits You! http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/four-ways-learning-to-defend-your-faith.html
  29. Why Would God Have Permitted Any Form of Servitude or Slavery? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/why-would-god-have-permitted-any-form-of-servitude-or-slavery/
  30. Why Natural Selection Cannot Explain the Origin of Animal Development: http://www.equip.org/article/natural-selection-cannot-explain-origin-animal-development/
  31. A Wallet, A Dollar, the Existence of God 1-Theism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vi-FsaEb3Q
  32. Jesus vs. Horus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FR08QtvapM
  33. Questioning Modeled by Jesus | Confident Christianity: http://confidentchristianity.com/?p=1432
  34. Your eyeball has 137,000,000 connections in one square inch.. Evolutionism teaches that it happened by chance… That’s ridiculous: https://www.facebook.com/HowToWinASoul/videos/1808089622744119/
  35. When did the boat sink? https://www.facebook.com/HowToWinASoul/videos/1720959891457093/
  36. Evolutionists say “How can you believe that all the dogs in the world came from two dogs on Noah’s ark?” yet they believe that all the dogs in the world came from a rock: https://www.facebook.com/HowToWinASoul/videos/1808090186077396/
  37. Talk It Up! Major New Study on Homosexuality: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2016/08/talk-major-new-study-homosexuality/

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  Psalm 51:1-17


mid-week apologetics booster (7-7-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links – make good use of them for “summer reading”:

  1. The most important thinking skill for a Christian Apologist – great podcast by Dr. Frank Turek – must listen: http://player.subsplash.com/ba83a16
  2. Is There Any Difference Between Islamic Violence Today and the Wars of the Old Testament? | Thinking Christian: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2016/06/is-there-any-difference-between-islamic-violence-today-and-the-wars-of-the-old-testament/
  3. What about Aliens, UFOs, evolution and suffering? – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/aliens-ufos-evolution-suffering
  4. The Blind Men and an Elephant: http://www.cltruth.com/2015/the-blind-men-and-an-elephant/
  5. Christian Anger & Fundamentalism. | James Bishop’s Theology & Apologetics.: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/christian-anger-fundamentalism/
  6. Christianity for Everyone: Why is Jesus the only way? Part 1: http://christianityforeveryone.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-is-jesus-only-way-part-1_16.html
  7. Christian Quotations from America’s Founding Fathers | Thomistic Bent: https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/christian-quotations-from-americas-founding-fathers/
  8. Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Cause of Your Kids’ Questions About Christianity: http://christianmomthoughts.com/dont-be-afraid-to-be-the-cause-of-your-kids-questions-about-christianity/
  9. Why I Love Atheists | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/why-i-love-atheists/
  10. The Brief Biblical Case for the Eternal Life of the Soul | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-brief-biblical-case-for-the-eternal-life-of-the-soul/
  11. Apologetics Press – Could the Ark Stay Afloat? http://apologeticspress.org/DiscoveryPubPage.aspx?pub=2&issue=1221&article=2616
  12. Cerebral Faith: Logical Fallacy Series — Part 20: Appeal To Ridicule: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/07/logical-fallacy-series-part-20-appeal.html
  13. What is moral relativism and how can Christians respond? – Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2015/06/24/what-is-moral-relativism-and-how-can-christians-respond/
  14. Stand to Reason | Who Are You to Judge? http://www.str.org/articles/who-are-you-to-judge
  15. Redeemed Royalty | 75% of Millennials Believe This – And It Could Mean The End Of Freedom: http://www.redeemedroyalty.org/75-of-millennials-are-wrong-about-this-and-it-could-mean-the-end-of-freedom/
  16. Colossal Noah’s Ark Comes to Life in Kentucky (today is the opening day): http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/07/06/colossal-noahs-ark-comes-to-life-in-kentucky.html

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:1-7



Talking with an Indian family about Christianity

Sometime in mid-May 2016, I spent time with my wife and an Indian family eating dinner.  Then, after dinner, unbeknownst to me, they invited me back to their house to “debate religion” (according to their 4th grade child).  So, we went, and what ensued was a (friendly) 4 hour talk about Christianity and some about Hinduism.  All I can say is wow…  I didn’t convince them to become Christians, but I was able to clearly share the gospel with them and left the door open for future discussions.  The husband/father of the family said that he actually believes in Jesus, which of course I had to clarify what he meant by that (he doesn’t believe in the Biblical Jesus from what I could gather).  The objections I encountered centered around several themes:

  1. The reliability of the Bible
  2. The exclusivity of Christianity
  3. That all religions are similar

I addressed all of these issues, but without really changing their opinions.  This is a family we continue to be involved with and I continue to pray for opportunities to discuss my faith with them.

mid-week apologetics booster (6-16-2016)

Good morning all,

Here are some links for you to take a look at:

  1. 5 Things Christian Parents Must Do to Raise Godly Children in a Secular World – Raisingodlychildren: http://www.raisinggodlychildren.org/2016/06/5-things-christian-parents-must-do-to-raise-godly-children-in-a-secular-world.html
  2. 5 Ways Christians Can Respond to the Orlando Shooting: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-ways-christians-can-respond-to-the-orlando-shooting
  3. ACLU LAWYERS BLAME CHRISTIANS FOR ORLANDO ATTACK COMMITTED BY ISLAMIC TERRORIST: https://winteryknight.com/2016/06/13/aclu-lawyers-blame-christians-for-orlando-attack-committed-by-islamic-terrorist/
  4. Cooper’s Crusade Against Christ – The people of North Carolina and the alumni of N.C. State University deserve an apology. Administrators at the school have implemented a patently unconstitutional policy, which forces students to apply for a permit in order to share the gospel on a public university campus they fund with their hard earned tax dollars: http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2016/06/10/coopers-crusade-against-christ-n2176126
  5. What Really Happened at Nicea? http://crossexamined.org/what-really-happened-at-nicea/
  6. Why Didn’t Luke Include the Deaths of Paul, Peter and James in the Book of Acts? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/why-didnt-luke-include-the-deaths-of-paul-peter-and-james-in-the-book-of-acts
  7. Girl in the Picture: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/girl-in-the-picture
  8. The Reliability of the New Testament Text (Dr. James White): https://youtu.be/LuiayuxWwuI
  9. What Community Demographics Should a Pastor Know: http://thomrainer.com/2016/06/community-demographics-pastor-know/
  10. The Bible vs. The Qur’an – Apologetics Canada: http://www.apologeticscanada.com/2016/05/20/bible-vs-quran/
  11. A Princeton Skeptic’s Journey | Apologetics – C.S. Lewis Society: http://www.apologetics.org/resources/articles/redemption-explained/
  12. Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah – Slaying the Giant of Temptation, Part 1 http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/listen/slaying-the-giant-of-temptation-part-1-534665.html
  13. Liver Function and Its Effects: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/06/liver_function102916.html
  14. Can We Construct The Entire New Testament From the Writings of the Church Fathers? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/can-we-construct-the-entire-new-testament-from-the-writings-of-the-church-fathers/
  15. Does the Old Testament Law Apply To Us Today? http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-us-today/
  16. Why Growing Closer To God Is Such a Slow Process: http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2016/why-growing-closer-to-god-is-such-a-slow-process/
  17. What Did the Word ‘Christian’ Mean in the First Century? https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/what-did-the-word-christian-mean-in-the-first-century/
  18. How to Deal with your Atheist Professor: A student at East Carolina University asked me recently how can he deal with an atheist Professor in class. This piece of advice can be used in and out the classroom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMui4GN4A_g
  19. Four Reasons We Don’t Share the Gospel: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/four-reasons-we-don-t-share-the-gospel
  20. 10 Things You Should Know about Apologetics: https://www.crossway.org/blog/2016/06/10-things-you-should-know-about-apologetics/
  21. Evangelism & Apologetics: Answering the Questioner – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/03/02/evangelism-apologetics-answering-the-questioner/
  22. Interview with Apologetics expert Sarah Malcangi | Lone Star Inspirations: https://lonestarinspirations.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/interview-with-apologetics-expert-sarah-malcangi/
  23. 4 Reasons We Should Accept the Gospels As Eyewitness Accounts | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/4-reasons-we-should-accept-the-gospels-as-eyewitness-accounts/
  24. Jimmy Carter Visits Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, Tells Reporters: ‘I Believe in Evolution’: http://christiannews.net/2016/06/14/jimmy-carter-visits-ken-hams-ark-encounter-tells-reporters-i-believe-in-evolution/
  25. Lab Grown diamonds (not apologetics related, just an interesting story): http://www.racked.com/2016/6/14/11872830/lab-grown-diamonds-synthetic

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  1 Peter 5:8-9


mid-week apologetics booster (6-2-2016)

Good morning friends,

I would like to recommend to you all the book I’m currently reading – “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity” by Nabeel Qureshi.  I’m actually not reading it, but listening to it on an “audible.com” book, where Nabeel himself is reading.  You’ll learn a lot about Islam because he describes his young life as a devout Muslim – and you’ll hear the correct pronouncement of all these Arabic words.  You’ll also learn how you can minister and witness to Muslims by the example of David Wood, who witnessed to Nabeel…

Here are a few links for you to look at this morning:

  1. How Do We Help Kids Who Have Left the Faith? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-do-we-help-kids-who-have-left-the-faith
  2. The Anti-materialist Self-Contradiction Argument – Truthbomb Apologetics: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-antimaterialist-self-contradiction.html
  3. Study: biological convergence found in human and squid eye genes | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2016/06/01/study-biological-convergence-found-in-human-and-squid-eye-genes/
  4. Responding to an attack posing as an argument | Surprised by Logic: https://logicalgal.com/2016/06/01/responding-to-an-attack-posing-as-an-argument
  5. Is the God of the Old Testament Different than the God of the New Testament? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/is-the-god-of-the-old-testament-different-than-the-god-of-the-new-testament
  6. Faithful Thinkers: Pride in Discourse: http://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2016/02/pride-in-discourse.html
  7. Why trying to explain away God with science is an ERROR: http://godevidence.com/2012/10/why-trying-to-explain-away-god-with-science-is-an-error/
  8. What Came First, The Oprah or the Egg? – because it’s true: http://www.becauseitstrue.com/blogarticles/what-came-first-the-oprah-or-the-egg
  9. Detecting Design — Photos, Stories, and Thoughts: http://www.daviddesonier.com/apologetics/2015/12/5/when-to-infer-design
  10. What’s the One Question No Christian Can Answer? (I really like the answer here…): http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/05/whats-one-question-no-christian-can.html
  11. Is Isaiah 52-53 Speaking of National Israel Rather than the Messiah? | Tough Questions Answered: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2016/05/25/is-isaiah-52-53-speaking-of-national-israel-rather-than-the-messiah/
  12. Are Humans Sophisticated Carbon-Based Machines? http://crossexamined.org/are-humans-sophisticated-carbon-based-machines/
  13. Paul Kalanithi: Why I gave up on atheism | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/05/27/paul-kalanithi-why-gave-up-on-atheism.html
  14. Cerebral Faith: 5 Reasons To Believe That Modalism Is False: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2015/11/5-reasons-to-believe-that-modalism-is.html
  15. What are some of the signs of genuine saving faith? http://www.gotquestions.org/signs-saving-faith.html
  16. Is it God’s will that all people be saved? In the interest of fairness, I will include this.  I don’t think the question is answered satisfactorily and I think this is one of the most powerful arguments against 5 point Calvinism (specifically the “I” in the T.U.L.I.P. acronym): http://calvinistcorner.com/god-desires-all-saved.htm
  17. Am I Good Enough to Go to Heaven? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK-h-X4VV6Y
  18. The Bible’s Reliability & Accuracy – A collection of videos looking at the historical and spiritual history of the bibles reliability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0OWYAf2TNA
  19. Why is the Bible reliable? Tim Keller at Veritas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZAPFKXMy_Y
  20. Is the Bible Reliable as a Historical Document? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEThB3CWfVY

Additionally, there are 2 movies now playing at the cheap theater now in Tempe (for $3.00), which I think are worth seeing:

  1. God’s Not Dead 2 – this actually features appearances from the following Christian apologists, who are shown defending the faith either on the witness stand or being interviewed: J. Warner Wallace, Lee Strobel, Gary Habermas.  I believe that this movie was better than the first one.
  2. Miracles From Heaven – this portrays the struggle of a woman contemplating the problem of evil as her daughter falls ill.  It was better than I thought it would be.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2