mid-week apologetics booster (2-25-2021)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1900) from Nuggets:

There are thousands in the present day just as blind in their way as the Jews. They shut their eyes against the plainest facts and doctrines of Christianity. They pretend to say that they do not understand, and cannot therefore believe the things that we press on their attention, as needful to salvation. But, alas! in nineteen cases out of twenty it is a willful ignorance. They do not believe what they do not like to believe. – J.C. Ryle

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Why Your Children DO Need Apologetics: Correcting Misconceptions – Mama Bear Apologetics: https://mamabearapologetics.com/children-do-need-apologetics/
  2. 6 E’s of authenticity Frank Turek at Cross Examined teaches 6 evidences to consider that give us confidence in the authority of scripture, all starting with the letter E for easy remembering. J.R. Cooper Author: https://jrcooper.org/2017/01/24/6-es-of-authenticity/
  3. Who Is Jesus, According to Other Religions? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/who-is-jesus-according-to-other-religions/
  4. Joseph Smith and Early Mormon History, by J. Warner Wallace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfUOFQkv69k
  5. Does Proof of Jesus Other Than in the Bible Exist?: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/does-proof-of-jesus-other-than-in-the-bible-exist.html
  6. Dr. Walt Russell explains how to read the Bible effectively | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2021/02/19/dr-walt-russell-explains-how-to-read-the-bible-effectively/
  7. Aren’t Christians Just Arrogant Know-It-Alls? – Canon Fodder: https://www.michaeljkruger.com/arent-christians-just-arrogant-know-it-alls/
  8. When Discomfort Is Definite Evidence | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/when-discomfort-is-definite-evidence/
  9. How do I know if I am saved?: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/how-do-i-know-if-i-am-saved/
  10. Quick Shot: All religions lead to the same place | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quick-shot-all-religions-lead-to-the-same-place/
  11. Pastor of Progressive Church Says the Bible Can’t Live Up to Impossible, Modern Standards | Kingsjester’s Blog: https://kingsjester.wordpress.com/2021/02/21/pastor-of-progressive-church-says-the-bible-cant-live-up-to-impossible-modern-standards/
  12. 15 Characteristics Of New Age Spirituality | Reasons for Jesus: https://reasonsforjesus.com/15-characteristics-of-new-age-spirituality/
  13. Is Jesus Real and How Can We Know? – My Humble Apology: https://myhumbleapology.com/2021/01/16/is-jesus-real-and-how-can-we-know/
  14. Apologetics as Dialogue, not Debate (Part 1) | Mikel Del Rosario | Your Apologetics Guy: http://apologeticsguy.com/2021/01/apologetics-as-dialogue-part-1/
  15. Can We Trust the Bible If We Can’t Confirm Every Detail? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/can-we-trust-the-bible-if-we-cant-confirm-every-detail/
  16. Is the Bible Still Relevant Today? Christianity 201: https://christianity201.wordpress.com/2020/11/05/is-the-bible-still-relevant-today/amp/
  17. Jesus in the Old Testament: https://mbcpathway.com/2020/11/06/jesus-in-the-old-testament/
  18. Two kinds of people who have tried to shame me away from Christianity | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2021/02/24/two-kinds-of-people-who-have-tried-to-shame-me-away-from-christianity-4/

The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless those who fear the LORD– small and great alike. Psalms 115:12-13

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (12-24-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1900) from Nuggets:

Most people don’t reject the Bible because they think it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts the way they want to live.  – Todd Adkins

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. James Tour: Molecules Don’t Care About Life | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/09/james-tour-molecules-dont-care-about-life/
  2. Why Believe? Abdu Murray looks at common barriers to belief and how to address them within a Christian context. | RZIM: https://www.rzim.org/watch/rzim-global/why-believe
  3. When Was Jesus Born? Christs birth is traditionally celebrated in the West on December 25th, but many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7. Neither date is likely correct in light of several clues uncovered by historians and information in the Bible itself.: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/when-was-jesus-born.html
  4. What is the true meaning of Christmas? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/Christmas-true-meaning.html
  5. Y-Chromosome Study Confirms Genesis Flood Timeline | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/y-chromosome-study-confirms-genesis-flood-timeline/
  6. Are There Contradictions In The Gospels? HillFaith: https://hillfaith.blog/2020/12/16/what-do-you-think-are-there-contradictions-in-the-gospels/
  7. Jesus, Our Substitute: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/jesus-our-substitute/
  8. Politics is becoming our new religion. God help us.: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/12/22/politics-becoming-our-new-religion-god-help-us-column/3926804001/
  9. Cretaceous Bird Beak Pecks Holes in Evolution | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/cretaceous-bird-beak-pecks-holes-in-evolution/
  10. Have They Found Jesus Childhood Home in Nazareth? | Ben Witherington: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2020/12/23/have-they-found-jesus-childhood-home-in-nazareth/
  11. The Virgin Shall Conceive: Why Isaiah 7:14 Confuses People-For many years, the prophecy that confused me most was Isaiah 7:14: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Every Christmas I heard pastors quote this, but none had ever explained its context. What confused me was that the next three verses say that the prophecy will be fulfilled within 14 years. If it was supposed to be fulfilled in the eighth century BC, how could it apply to Jesus?: https://www.jeanejones.net/2020/12/the-virgin-shall-conceive-why-isaiah-714-confuses-people/
  12. The Story Behind Handel’s Messiah – BreakPoint: https://breakpoint.org/the-story-behind-handels-messiah/
  13. Embracing Simplicity at Christmas: A Practical Guide | RELEVANT: https://www.relevantmagazine.com/life5/embracing-simplicity-at-christmas-a-practical-guide/
  14. Don’t Let Your Bible Keep You From the Bible: https://www.kevinhalloran.net/dont-let-your-bible-keep-you-from-the-bible/
  15. Why Does It Matter that Jesus Was Born of a Virgin?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/why-does-it-matter-that-jesus-was-born-of-a-virgin/
  16. What Does the X in Xmas Mean?: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/why-is-x-used-when-it-replaces-christ-in-christmas/

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

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 (9-17-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1800) from Nuggets:

God maintains a delicate balance between keeping His existence sufficiently evident so people will know He’s there and yet hiding His presence enough so that people who want to choose to ignore Him can do it. This way, their choice of destiny is really free. – J.P. Moreland

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Great Analogy – Two Men Are Seated On a Plane… – YouTube: https://youtu.be/xqgWEf4xVOg?t=41
  2. How to Avoid An Atheist Ambush in University – BreakPoint: https://www.breakpoint.org/how-to-avoid-an-atheist-ambush-in-university/
  3. Privileged Species featuring Dr. Michael Denton – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoI2ms5UHWg
  4. The Apologetics of Peter A Logical Argument for the Deity of Christ Probe Ministries: https://probe.org/the-apologetics-of-peter/
  5. Are Christians Biased? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/are-christians-biased/
  6. If Christians Are Supposed to Rely on Evidence, Why Call It Faith? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/if-christians-are-supposed-to-rely-on-evidence-why-call-it-faith/
  7. The Inexplicable Fine-Tuning of the Foundational Forces in Our Universe | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-inexplicable-fine-tuning-of-the-foundational-forces-in-our-universe/
  8. How Could a Loving God Condemn Good People to Hell?: http://askingthegodquestions.blogspot.com/2018/11/how-could-loving-god-condemn-good.html
  9. How church history will help you defend the faith Southern Equip: https://equip.sbts.edu/article/church-history-will-help-defend-faith/
  10. Simple Suggestions to Challenge Young Christians Toward Spiritual Maturity (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S6E04) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/podcasts/simple-suggestions-to-challenge-young-christians-toward-spiritual-maturity-cold-case-christianity-broadcast-s6e04/
  11. God’s Holiness in a great 6 minute animated video by the Bible Project – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vn5UvsHvM
  12. The Holiness of God – Wrath & Grace Kids (A. W. Pink) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGK-Oq4qUQc
  13. The Holiness of God: R.C. Sproul through the Years – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK0NjiBXKN4
  14. What does it mean that God is holy, holy, holy? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/holy-holy-holy.html
  15. Yale University computer science professor takes a look at protein formation probabilities | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/09/14/yale-university-computer-science-professor-takes-a-look-at-protein-formation-probabilities-3/
  16. Pastor’s Daughter Sent Home from School for Wearing ‘Homosexuality Is a Sin’ T-Shirt – Milton Quintanilla: https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/milton-quintanilla/pastors-daughter-sent-home-from-school-for-wearing-homosexuality-is-a-sin-shirt.html
  17. What was God doing before He created the universe? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/God-doing.html

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. Psalms 52:8-9

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (8-27-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1800) from Nuggets:

There can be no participation in Christs life without a participation in His death. And we cannot enjoy the benefits of His death unless we are partakers of the power of His life. We must be reconciled to God in order to be holy and we cannot be reconciled without becoming holy. – Charles Hodge

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Apologetics and a Beautiful and Brilliant Gospel: http://www.travisdickinson.com/apologetics-and-a-beautiful-and-brilliant-gospel/
  2. Quick Shot: Christian hypocrisy proves Christianity is false: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quick-shot-christian-hypocrisy-proves-christianity-is-false/
  3. God vs Science – New York Apologetics: https://www.newyorkapologetics.com/god-vs-science/
  4. If You’re A Christian Case Maker, Your Common Sense Is Sense Enough | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/if-youre-a-christian-case-maker-your-common-sense-is-sense-enough/
  5. Darwinism Is in Tension with Human Rights | CEH: https://crev.info/2020/08/darwinism-human-rights/
  6. Faithful Thinkers- Defending God’s Existence and Compatibility of Science with God and the Bible: Book Review: Forensic Faith: https://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2017/08/book-review-forensic-faith.html
  7. Inerrancy and Evangelicals: The Challenge for a New Generation: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/inerrancy-evangelicals/
  8. Why Making a Case for the Bible Is More Important Than Arguing About Politics | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/why-making-a-case-for-the-bible-is-more-important-than-arguing-about-politics/
  9. The Three Most Important Trajectory Decisions Every University Student Must Make: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-three-most-important-trajectory-decisions-every-university-student-must-make/
  10. Faithful Thinkers- Defending God’s Existence and Compatibility of Science with God and the Bible: Book Review: God’s Crime Scene: https://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-review-gods-crime-scene.html
  11. God Was Canceling People before It Was Cool: https://www.str.org/w/god-was-canceling-people-before-it-was-cool

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-17

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (7-9-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1700) from Nuggets:

Why would give devout Jews (who wrote the New Testament) invent a resurrected Jesus and then suffer and die for their own lie? – Frank Turek

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Charles Stanley Gospel Message at the end of his sermon: https://youtu.be/Q0KXSfWes9g?t=2792
  2. Can the Gospel Writers Be Trusted and What Outside Proof is There for Christianity? The Virtual Office of Rob Lundberg: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/07/03/can-the-gospel-writers-be-trusted-and-what-outside-proof-is-there-for-christianity/
  3. Why the Hearsay Rule Shouldn’t Apply to the Gospels | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/why-the-hearsay-rule-shouldnt-apply-to-the-gospels/
  4. Why the Bible is Reliable: https://thinkdivinely.com/why-the-bible-is-reliable/
  5. How church history will help you defend the faith Southern Equip: https://equip.sbts.edu/article/church-history-will-help-defend-faith/
  6. To Reach Young People, We Need to Become Like Children: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/to-reach-young-people-we-need-to-become-like-children/
  7. Ditching Darwin: https://mannsword.blogspot.com/2020/03/ditching-darwin.html?m=1
  8. What is the Christian response to cut-and-paste humans? | Zacharias Trust | RZIM Europe: https://www.zachariastrust.org/what-is-the-christian-response-to-cut-and-paste-humans
  9. Teacher Blames ‘Western Imperialism’ for 2+2=4. I know, this is not Apologetics, but all truth is God’s truth and this speaks to the issue of truth being under assault right now : https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/paula-bolyard/2020/07/08/orwellian-teacher-blames-western-imperialism-colonization-for-concept-of-224-n614048
  10. Frank Turek lectures on the case against same-sex marriage | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/07/06/frank-turek-lectures-on-the-case-against-same-sex-marriage-5/
  11. William Lane Craig lectures on the moral argument at Georgia Tech | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/07/05/william-lane-craig-lectures-on-the-moral-argument-at-georgia-tech-10/
  12. Christian Naivety is Harming the Church’s Engagement with Today’s Culture: http://christianmomthoughts.com/christian-naivety-is-harming-the-churchs-engagement-with-todays-culture/
  13. Basics of biblical evangelism part 1 of 2, how not to share your faith: https://youtu.be/yr7HQn9MMv8
  14. Four Reasons You Should Attend the Cross Examined Instructor Academy | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/four-reasons-you-should-attend-the-crossexamined-instructor-academy/
  15. Explaining the Applicability of Mathematics | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/explaining-the-applicability-of-mathematics/
  16. Communists taking over Christian churches by putting themselves on managing boards – WND: https://www.wnd.com/2020/07/communists-taking-christian-churches-putting-managing-boards/

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.  Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 2 Corinthians 5:10-11

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-4-2020)

Good morning friends,

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

As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words–“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit”–What? “He purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit.” If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction.  – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Sex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination – this page has a link to a downloadable PDF pamphlet: https://www.frc.org/sexeducation
  2. The Psychology of Apologetics Conversations (Engineering Psychology for Apologetics): http://www.jaymedenwaldt.com/2020/02/engineering-psychology-for-apologetics.html
  3. Why Does the Bible Specify That Paul Was a Roman Citizen? | How Can Paul Be a Hebrew and Roman Citizen? – Beliefnet: https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/why-does-the-bible-specify-that-paul-was-a-roman-citizen.aspx
  4. Is Religious Freedom Addressed in Scripture? The Apostle Paul (and his traveling companions on various mission trips) is perhaps the most notable example of a biblical figure who suffered religious persecution and also on occasion stood up for his religious liberty. It is interesting that Paul did so in a government that had some similarities to Western nations. | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/religious-freedom/religious-freedom-addressed-scripture/
  5. What is the significance of the Roman Empire in biblical history? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/Roman-empire.html
  6. Defending the Faith in the Political Environment (10 page PDF) – Dr. Ron J. Bigalke: http://isca-apologetics.org/sites/default/files/papers/DrB_ISCA/ISCA_2016_Political.pdf
  7. Walt Russell explains how to read the Bible effectively | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/05/31/walt-russell-explains-how-to-read-the-bible-effectively-6/
  8. Dr. Craig is enthusiastic about an article from a former atheist who came to Christ on the strength of arguments for God’s existence. – Reasonable Faith with Dr. William Lane Craig: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/our-divinity-sense-organs/
  9. New Reasons to Doubt Darwinism – Chicken-and-Egg Dilemmas and More: http://faithphilosophy.com/en/science-new-reasons-to-doubt-darwinism.php
  10. Is It Child Abuse To Teach Children About Hell? –: https://tentmakingchristianity.com/is-it-child-abuse-to-teach-children-about-hell/
  11. Evidence John, Son of Zebedee, Wrote the Gospel of John Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2020/05/16/evidence-john-son-of-zebedee-wrote-the-gospel-of-john/
  12. Trump Went To Church. The Rest Of The Country Must Follow Now: https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/02/trump-went-to-church-the-rest-of-the-country-must-follow-now/
  13. How To Be Saved – The beauty of a relationship with your Creator is that it is so simple it can be summarized in just one verse (John 3:16); yet so amazingly profound that God gave us 66 books to communicate its truth! | Creation Today: https://creationtoday.org/about/how-to-be-saved/
  14. Sign Evangelism with Janice: Real Peace at Harrison and Locust: https://crossencountersmin.com/featured-article/sign-evangelism-janice-peace/
  15. Understanding the Cambrian Explosion Part 5 Answering Objections: https://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/understanding-the-cambrian-explosion-part-5-answering-objections/

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (3-19-2020)

Good morning friends,

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

David could not put his finger upon any entry in his diary, and say of it, “Here is evidence that the Lord will forsake me,” for the entire tenor of his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued from what God had done for him, that God would be his defender still. But is it not just in the same way that we doubt God’s help? Is it not mistrust without a cause? Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness?  – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. My thoughts on the coronavirus: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/my-thoughts-on-coronavirus/
  2. Is it time to run and hide? Should you cut yourself off from other people because of the coronavirus? https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+stcbbhc
  3. Why Did God Make Viruses? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/why-did-god-make-viruses/
  4. What does the Bible say about pandemic diseases/sicknesses? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/pandemic-diseases.html
  5. C. S. Lewis on the Coronavirus: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/cs-lewis-coronavirus/
  6. The way of the master episode with focus on evolution: https://youtu.be/TwaPidXWyAM
  7. God and Math – How God is the Ultimate Foundation for Mathematics | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/taking-god-out-of-the-equation/
  8. Presuppositional Procedure (Greg Bahnsen) – Here then is how the presuppositional (transcendental) method of defending the faith would proceed once the preliminary discussions and clarifications have taken place with the unbeliever-and the two outlooks now come head to head | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/apologetics/presuppositional-procedure/
  9. Out of Africa theory problems are growing – The favoured story of evolution is now struggling: https://creation.com/out-of-africa-theory-wrong
  10. The Story of St. Patrick – Learn about Patrick the man. Not the man of legend, who supposedly drove the snakes out of Ireland, but about the man of indomitable faith in Jesus Christ.: https://www.breakpoint.org/the-story-of-st-patrick/
  11. Getting Faith Right. Are faith and reason at odds? Is belief in Christianity a blind leap in the dark? In this weeks podcast, Tim explores the relationship between faith and reason, and shows how biblical faith is the exact opposite of so-called blind faith.: https://www.str.org/podcasts/clear-thinking-christianity/getting-faith-right#.XnAPZ1NlAzR
  12. Faith & Wishing – What makes the Christian’s faith any different from the Mormon’s wishing, or the Hindu’s wishing, or even the wishing of an atheist?: https://www.str.org/articles/faith-wishing#.XnBBoFNlAzR
  13. Apologetics for Children – How can we help our children understand evidence for the Christian faith?: https://crossexamined.org/apologetics-for-children/
  14. Talking with Your Kids about God – Christian parenting is hard work–and it’s getting harder. Parents have a deep desire to pass on their faith but fear that today’s increasingly skeptical and hostile world will eventually lead their kids to reject the truth of Christianity. That leaves many parents feeling overwhelmed–uncertain of what they can do to help their children, given the difficulty and extent of the faith challenges they will face. Frank interviews author Natasha Crain about her new book a practical and timely resource that gives parents the confidence of knowing what to discuss with their children and how to discuss it in order to facilitate impactful conversations that will form the basis of a lifelong faith.: https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+jh8bkv7
  15. A, B. C’s of the Gospel – Michael Licona: https://youtu.be/7Zc4Ye9GIVY4789307

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. – Psalms 55:22

Blessings to you all

Defense of Paul Washer and other preachers from an Apologist point of view

I have a friend with whom I discuss Apologetics as well as many other general Christian topics.  We were talking about Paul Washer during one of our discussions and afterward, he went on YouTube looking for a random Paul Washer video and watched it.  He sent me an email with his critique – here are some excerpts and quotes:

“it seemed like a lot of logical fallacies or preacher tactics.”

accusation:  do you know the attributes of God?    Are you learning the important things?
straw man:  we see the church as Six Flags over Jesus
Bifurcation:  Revival or Judgement
scare tactic:  I have great fear for you.
Generalization:  based not on scripture but on culture
irrelevant thesis: most of what I will say is scandalous
straw man:   God – you will not be able to avoid Him – no matter how hard you try
straw man:  God looks like Santa Claus today
” :  we so little knowledge of Scripture
Bifurcation:   God he is everything or He is nothing

Here was my response:

Regarding Paul Washer – he is definitely not an apologist, he’s a preacher.  Paul Washer’s main goal seems to be to get individuals to consider whether they are really saved, based on the way they’re living.

He uses hyperbole for sure (e.g. the “Six Flags over Jesus” comment), but Jesus did as well – I’m not sure we can label that as a straw man.  In fact Jesus used many of those tactics, for example:

  1. Hyperbole (straw man) – I don’t think Jesus really meant that we were to cut off our hands/feet or gouge out our eyes: Matt. 18:8-9 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
  2. Scare Tactics – Jesus used scare tactics many times.  Like when talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:33 – You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Or Luke 12:5 – But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
  3. Bifurcation – I don’t think we could accuse Jesus of bifurcation in Matt. 12:30 – He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters or His brother – James 4:4 – You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
  4. Accusation – I don’t think we can accuse Jesus of illegitimate accusation during His conversation with Nicodemus: John 3:10-12 – “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?“.

I could go on…  But I give these responses to show that Paul Washer is using tactics that, on their face, may seem like fallacies or preacher tactics, but we can find many preachers, prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself in the Bible using these same “tactics”.

If we’re honest, I’m sure most preachers commit logical fallacies.  We could probably find logic errors in many of our favorite preachers (unfortunately) – even R.C. Sproul or John MacArthur.  However, I tolerate it because that’s not what I listen to them for.  I listen to them for better understanding/insights about the biblical text and for exhortation and bringing conviction of my heart (which Paul Washer, Steven J. Lawson and others do very well).  But they give good analogies and good stories that get right to the main point and make it clear.  Here is one of my favorite Paul Washer sermons, at the very end (59:26) he gives a pretty good analogy:

 

Conversation at with a homeless man (2-8-2020)

This past Saturday our church was serving the homeless as we do every 2nd Saturday of the month.  My job was working garbage and taking dishes from our clients and rinsing them in the soap water.  Then the dishwasher would come over and pick up the plates to bring them back to the kitchen and wash them.  The dishwasher was a volunteer who is also a homeless person, who revealed to me that he’d been living out of his car. I will call him “Carl”.  Carl was a great guy – very funny, energetic and a VERY hard worker – like the energizer bunny. We had been talking about various things and joking around during most of the shift. He was acting and speaking like he was Mexican – joking that people call him a “wet-back”, but there’s no water around here!  However, he later revealed to me that he is actually a Native American from one of the local reservations here. During the conversation, he said he was trying to “rile up” his people on the reservation to go protest the government, but all they want to do is sit around and drink alcohol. He said they’re lazy and not motivated.

Later during the shift, I said to him, “Carl, your people don’t need the government, they need Jesus!” He replied that his people have a different culture. I told him that this is not about culture this is about you’re going to die one day and you need Jesus because you’ll be standing before God. He brought up the problem of pain and suffering in this world. He talked about how he’s seen babies born with mangled limbs. How could there be a God it is all this bad stuff happening?  I explained that it wasn’t always like this.  In the beginning, there was no suffering, but then sin came into the world and along with it, suffering, death and disease.  One day, when this is all over, there will be no more death, suffering or pain (Revelation 21:3-7).  I also admonished him not to make excuses. I warned him that he’s going to die one day and he’s going to have to give account for his sins to a holy God.  Carl commented that went he died (made a gesture like going to sleep), he would be good enough to go to heaven. I explained that God demands perfection and that he can’t make it be just “being a good person” or “doing good works”.  I explained the gospel to him that Jesus died for his sins and that he needs to receive Jesus. He listened – he didn’t either affirm or deny. I told him that I would talk to him next month when I’m there.

Pray for “Carl” that he would contemplate his eternal destination and would receive Christ as his Lord and Savior!

mid-week apologetics booster (12-26-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1400) from Nuggets:

I deserve, I expect, I want, are appetizers we use to feed our own selfishness. -The Love Dare

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Apologetics needs a System Upgrade for Emerging Adults – Articles – BioLogos: https://biologos.org/articles/apologetics-need-a-system-upgrade-for-emerging-adults/
  2. Confidence in Christmas: Why the Nativity story is true: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2019/December-2019/Confidence-in-Christmas-Why-the-Nativity-story-is-true
  3. Lesbian Ads On The Hallmark Channel Are Just The Beginning: https://thefederalist.com/2019/12/19/for-the-lgbt-mob-lesbian-ads-on-the-hallmark-channel-are-just-the-beginning/
  4. Rapid Limestone Deposits Match Flood Account | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/limestone-deposits-match-flood-account
  5. Dawkins’s Doubts – There are no atheists. But wait, you say, don’t people like Richard Dawkins and many of his followers claim they are atheists? Don’t we call the new breed of activist atheists The New Atheists? Aren’t atheists people who don’t believe in God? Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/dawkins-doubts/
  6. When God Created Space, Where Did He Put It? (You’ll Be Surprised How Practical That Question Can Be) | Thinking Christian: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2019/11/god-created-space-where-put-it/
  7. A Christmas Meditation on Christ as ‘The Prophet’: https://townhall.com/columnists/jerrynewcombe/2019/12/22/a-christmas-meditation-on-christ-as-the-prophet-n2558241
  8. Three Simple Strategies to Help You Become A Better Christian Case Maker | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/three-simple-strategies-to-help-you-become-a-better-christian-case-maker/
  9. The Jesus Evidence that Turns Atheists into Followers of Christ | CBN News: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/december/you-may-believe-in-the-baby-jesus-but-how-about-god-the-father-son-and-holy-spirit
  10. The Reason for the Season – At Christmas, people all over the world pause to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This celebration has occurred despite difficulties or circumstances facing us throughout history. Many of Americas presidents have reminded us at Christmastime that Jesus birth has continued to impact the world. – WallBuilders: https://wallbuilders.com/the-reason-for-the-season/
  11. Ready to Give an Answer | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/ready-to-give-an-answer/
  12. Engineered Adaptability: The Need for Biblical Clarity | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/need-for-biblical-clarity
  13. Billy Graham – Christmas Message 1953 – YouTube: https://youtu.be/VAjqktkJQZk?t=154

Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

This Week’s Conversations

Wednesday July 24th

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

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

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

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

mid-week apologetics booster (2-28-2019)

Good morning friends,

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

Commitment is the defining characteristic of a person’s life. – James MacDonald

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Want to Share the Gospel? Start with This Question | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/video/want-share-gospel-start-question
  2. Harvard’s Rules and Precepts, adopted in 1646, stated, …Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3)…: http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~gsascf/shield-and-veritas-history/
  3. Is Committing Intellectual Suicide a Requirement for Becoming a Christian?: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2019/02/21/is-committing-intellectual-suicide-a-requirement-for-becoming-a-christian/
  4. Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/why-the-resurrection-of-jesus-matters-3/
  5. Medicine and Miracles – Anything we do to help our bodies recover from or function under the effects of the Curse is a medical intervention. If we wear glasses to help us cope with near-sightedness, take an aspirin for a headache, or put a band-aid on a cut, we are effectively using natural means instead of relying on a miracle. And that isn’t wrong!: https://creation.com/medicine-and-miracles
  6. 12 Senators Pushed a Religious Test for Public Office and Spread Anti-Religious Bigotry. They Include Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris: https://pjmedia.com/faith/remember-these-names-12-senators-pushing-anti-religious-bigotry/
  7. Why the Resurrection is the Best Argument for Christianity: https://crossexamined.org/why-the-resurrection-is-the-best-argument-for-christianity/
  8. Ambassador at Work – Faith, Vocation, and Apologetics | Mikel Del Rosario: http://apologeticsguy.com/2018/10/vocation/
  9. Can the Problem of Evil Be Answered by Christianity? Christian Defenders: http://www.christiandefenders.org/2019/02/12/can-the-problem-of-evil-be-answered-by-christianity/
  10. Report: 47% of Christian Millennials Believe Evangelism Is Wrong RELEVANT Magazine: https://relevantmagazine.com/god/report-47-of-christian-millennials-believe-evangelism-is-wrong/
  11. Gorge looks thousands of years old, but created in months – creation.com: https://creation.com/newly-formed-clarence-river-gorge-looks-old
  12. Handling an Objection: Jesus is Just One of Several Messianic Figures in the First Century THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/handling-an-objection-jesus-is-just-one-of-several-messianic-figures-in-the-first-century-2/
  13. Answering Smug Atheist Mocking Points | The Stream: https://stream.org/answering-smug-atheist-mocking-points/
  14. Mr. Spock’s Lessons in Logical Fallacies 2: The Wrath of Logic Cyber Penance: https://cyberpenance.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/mr-spocks-lessons-in-logical-fallacies-2-the-wrath-of-logic/
  15. Liberal Christian, there are answers to be had | Coyle Neal: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/schaeffersghost/2019/02/liberal-christian-there-are-answers-to-be-had/
  16. The Story of God with Morgan Freeman | Apologetics: https://arcapologetics.org/comparative-religion/the-story-of-god-with-morgan-freeman/
  17. Quick Challenge Answer: All Religions are the Same –: http://tentmakingchristianity.com/quick-challenge-answer-all-religions-are-the-same/
  18. The Gospel Is Offensive. Is That Okay? The Majesty’s Men: https://themajestysmen.com/the-gospel-is-offensive/
  19. I THOUGHT CHRISTIANS WERE STUPID BIGOTS: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/i-thought-christians-were-stupid-bigots
  20. The Beautiful Mind of Jesus – Growing Deeper Roots: https://growingdeeperroots.org/index.php/2018/07/15/the-beautiful-mind-of-jesus/
  21. Reincarnation and the Bible: Past Lives and Scripture – Theolocast: https://theolocast.org/blog/reincarnation-and-the-bible/
  22. The Reliability of the Bible – 4 Quick Thoughts | ReasonableTheology.org: https://reasonabletheology.org/reliability-bible-4-quick-thoughts/

I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 1 John 2:21

Blessings to you all

Teaching on John 10 – The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salvation is pictured as a gift in the Bible:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mosaic Law did permit stoning for blasphemy:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mid-week apologetics booster (10-18-2018)

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

Here is one random quote (of over 700) from this new program:

We may define a republic to be a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. – James Madison, Federalist 39, 1788

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Nazi child euthanasia and Hans Asperger – creation.com: https://creation.com/asperger
  2. Video: What is the difference between Mormonism and Christianity? – Summit Ministries: https://www.summit.org/resources/difference-mormonism-christianity/
  3. Is the Problem of Evil Really a Problem for Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/is-the-problem-of-evil-really-a-problem-for-christianity/
  4. Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It? | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/apologetics/christian-apologetics-who-needs-it/
  5. John Frames 9-Point Checklist for Evaluating Theological Writings: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/john-frames-9-point-checklist-evaluating-theological-writings/
  6. THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON AND JESUS: https://mannsword.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-new-testament-canon-and-jesus_26.html
  7. Christian Youths Leaving the Church: What Are We to Do?: http://www.cltruth.com/2017/christian-youths-leaving-church/
  8. Why does God allow natural disasters, i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis?: https://www.gotquestions.org/natural-disasters.html
  9. John Lennox and Paul Davies discuss aliens and the origin of life | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/10/10/john-lennox-and-paul-davies-discuss-aliens-and-the-origin-of-life-2/
  10. Historic Heresies Related to the Nature of God the Father: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/historic-heresies-related-to-the-nature-of-god-the-father-free-bible-insert/
  11. How to Be Smarter than Google: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/04/how-to-be-smarter-than-google.html
  12. Defending the Bible with Internal Evidence – Aaron Shamp Medium: https://medium.com/@aaronmshamp/defending-the-bible-with-internal-evidence-5f3453890298
  13. J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Detective: Evidence Led Him to Faith | The Stream: https://stream.org/j-warner-wallace-cold-case-detective-evidence-led-faith/
  14. Harvard Study Reveals Religious Upbringing Better for Kids Health, Well-Being | The Stream: https://stream.org/new-study-reveals-religious-upbringing-better-kids-health-well/
  15. The Christian Apologetics Mandate: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/reflections/read/reflections/2018/10/02/the-christian-apologetics-mandate
  16. How Are Fossils Formed? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/how-are-fossils-formed/
  17. The Difference Between Believing the Gospels and Trusting the Gospel | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/the-difference-between-believing-the-gospels-and-trusting-the-gospel/
  18. Four Big Bangs That Kill Atheism – iApologia: http://iapologia.com/the-four-big-bangs-that-kills-atheism/

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

Blessings to you all

Lunch conversation with Hindu Colleague

I recently met with a colleague who visiting our office on a business trip from another country in Europe.  It was lunch time and he was sitting at his desk.  I was on my way out to lunch, when I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit that I ought to see if he had plans and ask him to lunch.  So, I turned around and went back to our area and asked him if he had plans.  He had no plans for lunch that day, so I invited him to go to lunch with me.

I have had a history of working with him and it was very nice to get together for a meal.  We went to a Mexican restaurant, which he enjoyed, as he was able to get a vegetarian meal.  He is originally from India and we were talking about all the places he’s lived in India.  Then I asked about Punjab, commenting that I’d heard they have their own religion there.  So, we started talking about religion in general.  My colleague said that many different religions are practiced in India (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, etc.) and that India is very open about religion.  I asked him what he meant by “open”. He said that members of each religion will visit and talk with and be friends with people of other religions and even visit their respective places of worship and spend time together during festivals.  He even said he’s visited Christian churches in India before.  However he said that is not the case for Islam – as Hindus, they don’t go into mosques.

He went on to tell me more about Hinduism, his beliefs and some of the stories in their scriptures.  During our conversation, he described how the best schools in India were Christian schools – he specifically mentioned Catholic and Protestant.  I commented on his mentioning Catholic and Protestant and asked about his understanding of the difference between the 2?  He said that he understood that Catholic was the one true church until the protestant church split away.  I asked him if he’d heard of the Protestant Reformation.  He said no.  I asked if he’d heard of Martin Luther.  He said, “Yes, Martin Luther King, right?”  I said no, that Martin Luther King was the civil rights leader in America in the 1960’s.  I’m talking about Martin Luther.  He said, “Wasn’t he a philosopher?”  So, I went on to explain what happened during the Protestant Reformation.  He asked when all this happened, and I told him about the day (October 30th 1517) when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses (or complaints) against the Catholic Church on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.  I explained that Martin Luther was actually a Catholic Monk and he didn’t want to create a new church, rather he wanted to reform the church because he saw that they were straying away from the Bible – I also explained the situation that was occurring with selling indulgences.  I explained that the Protestant Reformation spread throughout Europe and the UK during that time period.  This was the time when the recent invention of printing press allowed the “common man” to have his own copy of the Bible for a cheaper cost, which helped the spread of this reformation.  We even talked about how the countries of Europe to this day are considered either Catholic (e.g. France, Poland, Italy and Spain) or Protestant (Germany, Netherlands, England, etc.).

During this part of the conversation, he even mentioned the level of Atheism in the UK, where he said that atheists represent about 20% of the population. I told him in the US it is somewhere between 5 and 10%.  We talked about how it is hard to believe that someone could believe that the Universe and everything in it came into existence from nothing with no cause, and that life in all of its complexity, including the DNA molecule, could come into existence without an intelligent designer. He agreed then he started to tell me about how in Hinduism there are three different gods Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer. I think they were Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva. Then he started to tell me in general about Hinduism and some of the scriptures. After I was asking him many questions he told me about avatars and how Krishna was an avatar. As we went on talking, I asked him about the concepts of Karma and Reincarnation.  He said that everyone must be reborn so that whatever body you’re living in now you will die and eventually be reborn into a different body. I was asking him a lot of questions during this whole time we were talking about Hinduism and learning quite a bit. For example he said the final state of a person according to Hinduism is Moksha. But the new thing that I learned was that Moksha according to him is a state of non-existence that’s the final state of a person (I had previously thought that Moksha was kind of like Nirvana).  He also revealed that there is a heaven and hell in Hinduism. There is one god that keeps track of all the things you do in this life. And there’s another god which, by his description of it, almost sounded like the grim reaper who will take a person to either heaven or hell.  According to him, after you have served your sentence then you’ll get reborn into another body.

Then I asked him if he knew what the concept of “grace” means in Christianity. He said he had definitely heard of that phrase – the grace of God, but what he described sounded more like the blessings of God. So I talked to him about the meaning of grace. I told him that grace is defined as “unmerited favor from God”, meaning, you didn’t do anything to earn it.  With grace, you are getting good things that you don’t deserve. Kind of a parallel concept, I told him about is mercy. Mercy is where you don’t get the bad things (i.e. punishment) that you do deserve. Those two concepts, I explained, are related like two sides of the coin.  He seemed to understand.  I explained that all people have sinned and are accountable to God for those sins and the punishment due for them.  I asked him if he had any idea how to obtain or access the grace and mercy of God?  He thought for a while – I let there be an awkward silence.  Finally, he said no.  I explained to him, this is where Jesus comes in.  God came to earth in the person of Jesus and lived a perfect (sinless) life.  He followed the 10 commandments to a tee.  I asked if he knew what the 10 commandments were.  He had heard of them, but couldn’t name any.  I explained that these are laws and rules for living that God gave to the Israelites long ago, and gave him a few examples.  So, Jesus lived a perfect life and did not deserve to die, but you know that he was killed by crucifixion on a cross, right?  He said yes.  I explained that Jesus was paying for punishment we deserved for our sins.  So, if we believe that we have sinned and deserved the punishment that Jesus experienced and that He died in our place, then we can go to heaven forever to be with God.  This is the Good News – this is the Gospel.  But if we don’t believe in Him and His sacrificial death for us, then we have to go to hell to pay for our sins ourselves.  In Christianity, this life is the time we have to choose Jesus.  After we die, there are no second chances – this is it!  The purpose of life is to know Christ and once you know Him, to make Him known to others.  He indicated he understood.

We covered a lot of ground in this conversation and I pray that God would take my imperfect witness and help my Indian colleague understand it and consider his relationship with God and his destination in eternity!

AWANA Theme for the night “Deal or No Deal?”

Tonight at AWANA, I will be giving the opening teaching with all 3 clubs (Cubbies, Sparks and Truth & Training) in the main room.  Here is the content of what I’ve prepared for this 10 minute teaching opportunity I have:

The theme of the night tonight is “Deal or No Deal?”  “Deal or No Deal?” is an actual game show that was on TV from 2005-2009 and will be coming back in December of this year.  Here is how the game works:

On the hit game show “Deal or No Deal,” each night, the game of odds and chance unfolds when a contestant is confronted with 26 sealed briefcases full of varying amounts of cash – ranging from a measly penny to $1 million. Without knowing the amount in each briefcase, the contestant picks one – his to keep, if he chooses – until it’s unsealing at game’s end.

The risk element kicks in when the player must then instinctively eliminate the remaining 25 cases – which are opened and the amount of cash inside revealed. The pressure mounts as in each round, after a pre-determined number of cases are opened, the participant is tempted by a mysterious entity known only as “the Banker” to accept an offer of cash in exchange for what might be contained in the contestant’s chosen briefcase – prompting (Howie) Mandel to ask the all-important question – Deal or No Deal?  The contestant has to respond with “DEAL!” to accept the deal offered by Mandel.

A DEAL is defined as “an agreement entered into by two or more parties”.

God is offering all of us humans a “deal”.  And we need a “deal”, because the Bible tells us some troubling things about our situation.

In Romans 3:23, God has told us that all human beings (except Jesus) have sinned.

So, with that being true, none of us can be in Heaven with Him.  The Bible says “nothing impure will ever enter it (Heaven)” – Revelation 21:27a.

If that were the only information we had, that would be very bad news, wouldn’t it?

But that isn’t the only information we have, is it?  Can someone tell me how God promises to fix our problem?

Romans 3:25 (NLT) explains it:

For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.

The 1st part of that verse tells us what God did to solve our problem (God sent Jesus to take the punishment we deserved), and the 2nd part tells us how we can “accept God’s deal”: We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.

That’s good news!  If we believe in Jesus, as the verse says, we can go to Heaven and be with Jesus forever!

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-14-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 10 Predictive Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/10-predictive-prophecies-fulfilled-in-jesus
  2. Debunking 4 Myths About Religious Freedom: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/debunking-4-myths-about-religious-freedom/
  3. How Should a Christian View Israel? Part One THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/how-should-a-christian-view-israel-part-one/
  4. James Warner Wallace on Is Your Transformational Religious Experience Evidence Enough? THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/james-warner-wallace-on-is-your-transformational-religious-experience-evidence-enough/
  5. The Difference Between Speaking the Gospel and Sharing the Gospel | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/the-difference-between-speaking-the-gospel-and-sharing-the-gospel/
  6. Why Suicide Rates May Rise as Christianity Wanes – J. Warner Wallace: https://townhall.com/columnists/jwarnerwallace/2018/06/12/why-suicide-rates-may-rise-as-christianity-wanes-n2489946
  7. Five Best Scientific Evidences for the God of the Bible: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/todays-new-reason-to-believe/2018/06/04/five-best-scientific-evidences-for-the-god-of-the-bible?
  8. If You Want to Share Your Faith Effectively, Do This First – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/want-share-faith-effectively-first/
  9. The origin of life cannot be explained as the result of natural processes.: http://godevidence.com/2017/09/origin-of-life/
  10. Seven Tips for Pastors on Facebook – Rainer on Leadership #439: https://thomrainer.com/2018/06/seven-tips-pastors-facebook/
  11. Engineered Adaptability: Adaptability via Nature or Design? What Evolutionists Say: http://www.icr.org/article/engineered-adaptability-adaptability

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/27/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 5-6

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

 

Apologetics Class 5/13/2018

What’s Down with Hell – James MacDonald

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

 

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/6/2018

Mining for God

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

http://www.miningforgod.com/

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

Mining for God – May 6th 2018

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

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

 

Discussion Questions

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

Apologetics Class 4/29/2018

Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection

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

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

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

 

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

Notes for “Evidence for the Resurrection” by Craig Hazen

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions

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

Here is the chart

Apologetics Class 4/1/2018

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

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

 

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

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

Short Animated video about evidence for the resurrection

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

 

Tim Barnett Speaks About Evidence for the Resurrection

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

The Cross Produced a Dead Body

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

The Tomb Contained No Body

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

The People Saw & Touched Somebody

 

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

 

What Are the Explanations Given by Skeptics for these Facts?

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

 

Discussion Questions

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

 

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

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?