mid-week apologetics booster (6-1-2017)

Good morning friends,

I would like to remind you to either invite someone to the Harvest Outreach event or volunteer to serve there.  It is June 11th at University of Phoenix stadium.  In case you haven’t heard of this, it is the evangelist Greg Laurie.  I think of him as kind of a modern day Billy Graham.  I think this event is well worth your time and effort.  Many will be hear the gospel and be saved there.  I’ve volunteered to be a ‘Decision Followup Worker’.

Here are your weekly links:

  1. William Murray, Son of the Founder of American Atheists, Converts to Christianity | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/william-murray-son-of-the-founder-of-american-atheists-converts-to-christianity/
  2. Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation | carm: https://carm.org/logical-fallacies-or-fallacies-argumentation
  3. Chris Pratt Just Took a Very Public Stand for the Bible: http://conservativetribune.com/chris-pratt-just-took-public-stand/
  4. How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/oxford-atheism-to-jesus/
  5. William Lane Craigs intellectually dishonest attack on biblical creationists – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/william-lane-craig-vs-creation
  6. The Core Reason Your Kids Might Leave the Faith | The Stream: https://stream.org/core-reason-kids-leave-faith/
  7. Zeitgeist Debunked: Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Gods | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/zeitgeist-debunked-jesus-is-not-a-copy-of-pagan-gods/
  8. America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations – William Joseph Federer – Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=BtGzlMatpUUC&lpg=PA170&ots=-faMKViJX_&pg=PA164#v=onepage&q&f=false
  9. Transgenderism: Undoing Gods Design | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/simon-turpin/2017/05/29/transgenderism-undoing-gods-design/
  10. Why Certainty Isnt Necessary for Belief in God Straight Talk with Claudia K: http://straighttalkwithclaudiak.com/why-certainty-isnt-necessary-for-belief-in-god/
  11. The Single Most Damaging Statement to the Christian Faith |: https://beardeddisciple.com/2017/02/07/the-single-most-damaging-statement-to-the-christian-faith/
  12. Three Things First Responders Can Teach Christians About Engaging Culture | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-things-first-responders-can-teach-christians-about-engaging-culture/
  13. Are People Who Believe in Minds Simply Ignorant of the Science? | Apologetics.com: http://apologetics.com/blog/jwallace/are-people-who-believe-in-minds-simply-ignorant-of-the-science/
  14. What is Ramadan? Why should Christians care?: http://bpnews.net/48947/what-is-ramadan-why-should-christians-care
  15. How To Handle Online Disagreements | PlainSimpleFaith.com: http://www.plainsimplefaith.com/2017/05/disagreements/
  16. 5 Ways to Share Christ with Ease and Impact (Greg Koukl) 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/5-ways-to-share-christ-with-ease-and-impact-greg-koukl/
  17. The Most Reluctant Convert in all of England: Why Former Atheist C.S. Lewis Became a Christian | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/the-most-reluctant-convert-in-all-of-england-why-former-atheist-c-s-lewis-became-a-christian/
  18. Do These Bible Verses Show You Can Lose Your Salvation? – Come Reason Ministries: http://www.comereason.org/bible-verses-on-salvation.asp
  19. Do I Need Scientific, Forensic Evidence to Prove Christianity Is True? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/do-i-need-scientific-forensic-evidence-to-prove-christianity-is-true/
  20. 32% of People Killed in Assisted Suicides Were Actually Euthanized Against Their Will | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/30/32-of-people-killed-in-assisted-suicides-were-actually-euthanized-against-their-will/
  21. Evidence of biblical inspiration | carm: https://carm.org/evidence-biblical-inspiration
  22. 30 Things You Can Do This Summer to Deepen Your Kids Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/30-things-you-can-do-this-summer-to-deepen-your-kids-faith/
  23. Research by Barna and Summit: Postmodernism and Secularism Influence Todays Christians – Summit Ministries: https://www.summit.org/resources/articles/research-barna-summit-postmodernism-secularism-influence-todays-christians/
  24. Robert Gagnon debates gay activist Jayne Ozanne on Bible vs homosexuality | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2017/05/31/robert-gagnon-debates-gay-activist-jayne-ozanne-on-bible-vs-homosexuality-4/

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars –their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (5-18-2017)

Good morning brothers and sisters,

I would like to remind you to either invite someone to the Harvest Outreach event or volunteer to serve there.  It is June 11th at University of Phoenix stadium.  In case you haven’t heard of this, it is the evangelist Greg Laurie.  I think of him as kind of a modern day Billy Graham.  I think this event is well worth your time and effort.  Many will be hear the gospel and be saved there.  I’ve volunteered to be a ‘Decision Followup Worker’.

Here are your links:

  1. 4 Ways to become a better listener and a better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/4-ways-become-better-listener-better-apologist/
  2. Faith Under Fire: Christian Ethics in the Workplace, Part 2 | RZIM: http://ca.rzim.org/let-my-people-think-broadcasts/faith-under-fire-christian-ethics-in-the-workplace-part-2/
  3. Why We Need a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith (Video): http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-we-need-a-more-reasonable-evidential-christian-faith-video/
  4. The Stream:
    1. The Tip of the Transgender Spear in Virginia | The Stream: https://stream.org/the-tip-of-the-transgender-spear-in-virginia/
    2. Ellen DeGeneres Needs a Lesson About Diversity and Tolerance | The Stream: https://stream.org/donald-trump-teach-ellen-degeneres-diversity-tolerance/
    3. An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus | The Stream: https://stream.org/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/
    4. Rage at Rubio’s Bible Tweets: More Evidence of Troubling Bias Against Christians: https://stream.org/rubio-bible-tweets/
  5. 110M-year-old dinosaur discovered with skin and soft tissue (not a Christian article, but again, does not make sense given the supposed ages): http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/
  6. From New Age Blogger To Christian: When I Encountered Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/new-age-blogger-christian-when-i-encountered-jesus/
  7. When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack Christianity | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/when-the-case-for-god-is-strong-skeptics-attack-christianity/
  8. Watch “Basic Differences Between Islam and Christianity.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/N6dkexljCiU
  9. Watch “How To Better Apply Apologetics When Talking to Non-Believers” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iArt_fe-EmM
  10. Watch “How Atheists Steal Science From God | Frank Turek, PhD” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gurMfV5Pmus
  11. Does Belief In God Encourage Criminal Behavior? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/does-belief-in-god-encourage-criminal-behavior/
  12. Lesbian bishop in Sweden calls for church to remove crosses and install Muslim prayer space: https://carm.org/lesbian-bishop-calls-for-church-to-remove-crosses-install-muslim-prayer-space
  13. Nabeel Qureshi – Author of the book ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus’, regarding his battle with stomach cancer:
    1. Torn Emotions: A Visit With Nabeel Qureshi | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/torn-emotions-a-visit-with-nabeel-qureshi/
    2. Watch “Vlog 29 – Renewed Hope, Mark 7, and More Chemo” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pG2C_Gbzx_s

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (4-20-2017)

Good morning all,

I hope you’re having a wonderful week following our resurrected Savior, Jesus the Christ.  If you are following Him, your wonderful week is likely full of:

  1. Denying yourself
  2. Taking up your cross daily
  3. Following Him
  4. Losing your life for Him
  5. Not gaining the world
  6. Not being ashamed of Him or His words

Jesus made that clear when He said:

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  Luke 9:23-26

Like Paul I hope we can all say, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”  Philippians 3:8-9  That’s the true joy, knowing Him.

And like anyone else we know and love, we will defend our belief in them in the face of attack, but with gentleness and respect – that’s Apologetics – Paul practiced it, Peter practiced it and Jesus practiced it.  Let us do likewise:

  1. Hank Hanegraaff’s Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/april/how-should-we-respond-to-hank-hanegraaffs-switch-to-orthodo.html
  2. 10 Worst Nations To Live In As A Christian | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/10-worst-nations-to-live-in-as-a-christian/
  3. Notecard Answers for Why I Believe the Bible | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/erikraymond/2015/10/15/notecard-answers-to-why-i-believe-the-bible/
  4. World-Famous Physicist Drops Bombshell “God” Discovery… Atheists Will NOT Like This: http://conservativetribune.com/physicist-bombshell-god-like/
  5. Funsized Tactics: Chapter 9 – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/funsized-tactics-chapter-nine/
  6. Why I Put My Son Back in Public School: http://thinkdivinely.com/why-i-put-my-son-back-in-public-school/
  7. It’s Time for Youth Pastors to CH.A.T. With Their Students: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/its-time-for-youth-pastors-to-ch-a-t-with-their-students/
  8. Gender-neutral Chromium code – I’m a software developer and during the course of technical reading I do for work, I ran into this.  I include this just to emphasize how this insanity is permeating every part of society now: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/master/styleguide/gender_neutral_code.md
  9. Four Ways the Earth Is Fine-Tuned for Life | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/four-ways-the-earth-is-fine-tuned-for-life/
  10. Three Important Questions to Balance in the Wake of Gun Violence: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-important-questions-to-balance-in-the-wake-of-newtown/

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (4-13-2017)

Good morning beloved of God,

I hope you have a blessed Good Friday and Easter Sunday, contemplating the marvelous sacrifice and vindicating resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Your Kids Need to Think Critically About the Resurrection, because Secular Media Does Not: http://christianmomthoughts.com/your-kids-need-to-think-critically-about-the-resurrection-because-secular-media-does-not/
  2. How to T.R.A.I.N. Christian Students (Rather than Teach Them) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/how-to-t-r-a-i-n-christian-students-rather-than-teach-them/
  3. Does the Bible Have Contradictions? Quick Response. – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/does-the-bible-have-contradictions-quick-response
  4. Why Some Arminians and Calvinists Need to Calm Down – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/why-some-arminians-and-calvinists-need-to-calm-down/
  5. Why Should I Believe that Jesus Rose from the Dead? – Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/why-should-i-believe-that-jesus-rose-from-the-dead/
  6. How to Defeat Modern Day Atheism With Three Easy Questions | Shadow To Light: https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/how-to-defeat-modern-day-atheism-with-three-easy-questions/
  7. Five atheists who lost faith in atheism | Christian News on Christian Today: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/five.atheists.who.lost.faith.in.atheism/61784.htm
  8. 7 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Saw The Case for Christ – Thinking Christian: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2017/04/7-reasons-youll-glad-saw-case-christ/
  9. A Brief Overview of the Jehovah’s Witness Worldview | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/a-brief-overview-of-the-jehovahs-witness-worldview/
  10. God’s Word vs. Roman Catholic Tradition | HOME: http://www.reformingamericaministries.com/single-post/2017/04/03/God%25E2%2580%2599s-Word-vs-Roman-Catholic-Tradition
  11. 5 Signs You Glorify Self: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-signs-you-glorify-self
  12. How To Avoid Being A Hack As A Christian Apologist: http://thereforegodexists.com/avoid-hack-christian-apologist/
  13. GREG KOUKL EXPLAINS THE RIGHT WAY TO HANDLE AN ANGRY, AGGRESSIVE ATHEIST: https://winteryknight.com/2015/09/18/greg-koukl-expains-the-right-way-to-handle-an-angry-aggressive-atheist-2/
  14. Apologetics and Your Kids: Part 2 – Authenticity & Worldview: http://sharperiron.org/article/apologetics-and-your-kids-part-2-authenticity-worldview
  15. How to Raise Your Kids So They Will Remain in the Faith | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/how-to-raise-your-kids-so-they-will-remain-in-the-faith/
  16. “Debunking Christianity” Writer Becomes Christian Because Of Evidence | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/debunking-christianity-writer-becomes-christian-evidence/
  17. Critical Tactic: Surfacing the Question Beneath the Question – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/critical-tactic-surfacing-the-question-beneath-the-question
  18. What the Fallen Governor of Alabama Can Teach Us – No amount of privilege or power can shield us from temptation: https://stream.org/fallen-governor-alabama-can-teach-us/

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ “ The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ “ The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13

Have a blessed week!

mid-week apologetics booster (3-16-2017)

Good morning friends,

I was reminded again last night of the importance of heeding the words of 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 3, Colossians 4:5-6 & 2 Timothy 24-26 – being ready to give an answer.  Our AWANA Truth & Training leader gave our 3rd to 6th grade clubbers a chance to ask questions about the Bible and their faith last night during counsel time.  What a great session it was.  Once we got them started, the questions were non-stop and we had to cut it off at the end due to running out of time.  Here were some of the questions asked by these young, precious ones:

  1. Who made God?  How could He just always be there?
  2. Why did God make hell?
  3. Why did God create the first people if He knew they were going to sin?
  4. Why did God put the tree in the garden if He knew they were going to eat from it?
  5. Why did God make Satan?
  6. Why doesn’t God (Jesus) come back to earth to prove to everyone that He exists?
  7. How do we know Angels and Devils exist?
  8. (the answer to the prior question prompted this one) How do we know the Bible is true?
  9. Why did God love Satan more than any other angel?
  10. Why did God make people if He knew they were going to be evil and bad like stealing things and killing?

It was a 20 minute session and, wow, were the clubbers engaged and loving it… Unfortunately, I don’t have the time (or the memory) to remember all the answers the leaders gave, but it was a great session – they asked tough questions – deep questions.  We even had one of the 4th grade clubbers answering one of the questions and she was right on target!

I pray to God that this session was meaningful for these clubbers.  It is so important that kids at this age know that they are welcome to ask questions and that it is OK to have questions and even some doubts.  And it is extremely important that we adults have done what Peter has stated (as a command for all believers) “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you”.  That means you can’t be “winging it” at the time you’re asked.  That command implies that you have (already) been preparing yourself through study prior to the child asking the question.  I truly believe that the parents are the number 1 apologists in our culture.  We need to be ready when the question is asked.  Being ready can consist of having answer ready “off the top of your head” or knowing about a resource that you can get to that explains the answer.

Because this is such an important command, I continue to bombard you with these articles and videos each week.  I pray that you find something useful here, coming just at the right time!

  1. When the emotions are gone, what’s left? Engaging the mind as well as the heart is vital: http://creation.com/emotion-gone
  2. Why would a loving God allow death and suffering? – This is a very good (and very long) article that gives comprehensive, Biblically based answers to this issue – excellent!  http://creation.com/why-death-suffering
  3. The Absence Of A Papacy In Early Responses To Christianity: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-absence-of-papacy-in-early.html
  4. Indulgences – CHRISTIAN HISTORY TODAY (March 15th) – “My guess is that if Pope Leo X knew what he would set off by allowing the sales of indulgences on March 15, 1517, he’d re-think that one. The building of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican had gone way over budget (it would be almost 80 years until it would be completed) and the Pope’s financial adviser suggested the idea of buying an indulgence would help get a repentant sinner out of purgatory sooner and it was a “win-win”. Then a regional indulgences salesman stopped by the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany and ran into a priest named Martin Luther who decided he’d read about the sale of indulgences in the Bible and found no basis for it. The rest, as we like to say, was history.
  5. Questioning Jesus’ Existence: http://breakpoint.org/2017/03/questioning-jesus-existence/
  6. Staying Outside The Shack | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/staying-outside-the-shack/
  7. Parents, Hollywood wants to brainwash your kids. Don’t let them: http://www.theblaze.com/podcasts/matt-walsh-parents-hollywood-wants-to-brainwash-your-kids-dont-let-them/
  8. Does James 1:5 teach about praying for a testimony? http://www.mrm.org/james-15-testimony
  9. Celebrating gender confusion: http://creation.com/celebrating-gender-confusion
  10. Convergent evolution of crocodile and dolphin skull shapes | Uncommon Descent: http://www.uncommondescent.com/news/convergent-evolution-of-crocodile-and-dolphin-skull-shapes/
  11. A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely-Tuned Cosmos (with Dr. Luke Barnes) – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/a-fortunate-universe-life-in-a-finely-tuned-cosmos-with-dr-luke-barnes/
  12. Biblical Faith VS. Blind Faith | Crossexamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/biblical-faith-vs-blind-faith/
  13. Every American Needs Know Qur’an (Bill Federer) | Video | C-SPAN.org: https://www.c-span.org/video/?314071-10/every-american-needs-know-quran
  14. Watch “How to Listen to the Lord (Mark 4:21-34)” on YouTube (this is a John MacArthur sermon I watched on Sunday since I couldn’t go to church because I was sick): https://youtu.be/RFzGD7S-w3g
  15. DOES GOD REALLY HATE ESAU? http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/05/25/does-god-really-hate-esau/
  16. Why did the early church decide to indoctrinate a canon of New Testament books in the first place? https://www.josh.org/early-church-decide-indoctrinate-canon-new-testament-books-first-place/
  17. Will We Ever Colonize Mars? http://www.icr.org/article/9900
  18. Greg Koukl Stand to Reason podcast – at about 26:30 into the show, an atheist calls in (he calls himself the “Street Epistemologist”).  They are talking about the difference between mind and brain and whether there is a “non-physical realm”.  It is quite a long call (and very cordial, not adversarial at all): http://subspla.sh/0376859
  19. What You Can Learn From the Pilgrims (Bill Federer): http://subspla.sh/7277698
  20. Watch “Wretched: Nothing made everything.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sK2yNkTuJkY
  21. 3 Horrific Consequences When a Nation Rejects God — Charisma News: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/63453-3-horrific-consequences-when-a-nation-rejects-god
  22. Q&A with Sam Allberry: Same-Sex Attraction, Synod Remarks, and Why The Gospel Is Truly Good News For All | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/qa-with-sam-allberry-same-sex-attraction-synod-remarks/
  23. Planned Parenthood abortion quotas: https://m.facebook.com/video_redirect/?src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent.fphx1-2.fna.fbcdn.net%2Fv%2Ft42.1790-4%2F16616327_245823025863146_1673784158666620928_n.mp4%3Fefg%3DeyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9%26oh%3D6e69f150dc01e34d1c5525689be4b732%26oe%3D58CABADF&source=misc&id=10154959592988728&refid=52&__tn__=F
  24. Here’s 5 things to say when discussing Planned Parenthood: http://www.liveactionnews.org/heres-5-things-to-say-when-discussing-planned-parenthood/
  25. Watch “Hollywood and God” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Fohrk2jt0LA
  26. Watch “Mark Spence & Shaw the atheist” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dfsS3BB5C-I
  27. Book of Job: https://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Job.html
  28. Cannabis boosts risk of stroke and heart attack, independent of tobacco, new study finds: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/09/cannabis-boosts-risk-stroke-heart-attack-independent-tobacco/

Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. ” Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear ; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see ; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. “Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. “Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.”  2 Kings 19:14-19

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (1-26-2017)

Hello friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. If we can’t see God, how can we know he exists? – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/if-we-cant-see-god-how-can-we-know-he-exists-/
  2. Faithful Thinkers: Your Challenge Does Not Apply- The Strawman: http://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/your-challenge-does-not-apply-strawman.html
  3. When was the Bible written and who wrote it? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://www.carm.org/when-was-bible-written-and-who-wrote-it
  4. Are We 99% Chimps? http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/30394
  5. Why Are There So Many Atheists on College Campuses? https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/why-are-there-so-many-atheists-on-college-campuses-3/
  6. GARY HABERMAS AND JAMES CROSSLEY DISCUSS THE MINIMAL FACTS CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION: https://winteryknight.com/2017/01/05/gary-habermas-and-james-crossley-discuss-the-minimal-facts-case-for-the-resurrection-3/
  7. A Christian’s Rebuttal to “Why I Am Not a Christian” by Bertrand Russell: https://sjthomason.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/a-christians-rebuttal-to-why-i-am-not-a-christian-by-bertrand-russell/
  8. Is apologetics relevant to today’s Church? http://www.christianweek.org/apologetics-relevant-todays-church/
  9. 5 Reasons To Believe Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John Wrote The Gospels: http://reasonsforjesus.com/5-reasons-to-believe-matthew-mark-luke-john-wrote-the-gospels/
  10. Video: Understanding Greg Bahnsen by Kenneth Samples: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/01/video-understanding-greg-bahnsen-by.html
  11. When Someone You Love Says, “I’m Gay”: http://www.equip.org/article/someone-love-says-im-gay/
  12. Watch “Believing Means Behaving Alistair Begg” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3kpvq8FJ45U
  13. Watch “True & False Conversion” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/r_vRvn0rRFY
  14. Watch “The Way of the Master – “The Greatest Gamble”” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4uIZkYqkKqM
  15. Planned Parenthood / Abortion:
    1. Planned Parenthood’s Most Misleading Statistic: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/planned-parenthoods-most-misleading-statistic#When:2017-01-24T06:10:00+00:00
    2. 5 Reasons Planned Parenthood Must Be Defunded ASAP | Daily Wire: http://www.dailywire.com/news/12178/4-main-reasons-planned-parenthood-needs-be-amanda-prestigiacomo
    3. Money to Planned Parenthood Pays for Abortion. Period: http://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/736192
    4. How Much Cash Did Planned Parenthood Clear Last Year? The Answer Will Disgust You. | Daily Wire: http://www.dailywire.com/news/11723/how-much-cash-did-planned-parenthood-clear-last-amanda-prestigiacomo
    5. New Video Destroys the False Claim That Abortion is Just 3% of What Planned Parenthood Does | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/14/new-video-destroys-the-false-claim-that-abortion-is-just-3-of-what-planned-parenthood-does/
    6. Watch “Ben Shapiro: The Truth About Planned Parenthood” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RhoFNmMeO8k
    7. Watch “Debunking Planned Parenthood’s “3%” Abortion Myth” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/qtgqxvaV-8U
    8. Birth control leader Margaret Sanger: Darwinist, racist and eugenicist – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/margaret-sanger-darwinian-eugenicist
    9. Writer Tells Abortion Activists: If Your Sex Life is None of My Business Stop Demanding I Finance It | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/01/17/writer-tells-abortion-activists-if-your-sex-life-is-none-of-my-business-stop-demanding-i-finance-it/
    10. Abortion Justifications Flip Moral Reasoning Upside Down | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/abortion-justifications-flip-moral-reasoning-upside-down#.WIO38stlDqB
  16. Global Warming:
    1. Notes from the Great Global Warming Swindle movie: http://wp.me/p4WCk1-hT
    2. Inconvenient Question: Gore asked about failed ’10-year tipping’ point – Refuses to answer, enters SUV in snow | Climate Depot: http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/01/22/inconvenient-question-gore-asked-about-failed-10-year-tipping-point-refuses-to-answer-enters-suv-in-snow/

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.  Hebrews 6:13-15

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 (11-24-2016)

Happy Thanksgiving brothers and sisters in Christ!

Let us remember and reflect upon the goodness of our God and the many blessings He has bestowed on us.  As we heard in the Thanksgiving message last night, let us not forget the Giver of all these blessings as we enjoy them today.  Jesus said to His disciplesIf you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:13.  Thank you God for treating us so well, even though we deserve only judgment.

  1. The Gospel Message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Ex2FpwqvI
  2. My Favorite Analogy of the Trinity: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-favorite-analogy-of-trinity.html
  3. Reboot Christianity: Why apologetics is critical for youth ministry: http://rebootchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/11/why-apologetics-is-critical-for-youth.html
  4. Does the church do a good job of equipping Christians to talk to non-Christians? http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/does-the-church-do-a-good-job-of-equipping-christians-to-talk-to-non-christians-2/
  5. Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: http://michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/
  6. Watch “The Argument from Reason” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xKX-QtEo2fI
  7. Watch “Most POWERFUL video you will see all day.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7n3ZKtvoprY
  8. What your political views say about your suitability for marriage and parenting: https://winteryknight.com/2016/11/18/what-your-political-views-say-about-your-suitability-for-marriage-and-parenting/
  9. Rapid Responses to Difficult Questions (J. Warner Wallace):
    1. Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLdKMA8c9h0
    2. Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pveIBtYNLE4
  10. Does the Bible Advocate Slavery? http://www.exploregod.com/does-the-bible-advocate-slavery
  11. The following passage reminds me of current political environment.  Notice how Pilate asks “Why? What crime has he committed?”, but the crowd refused to give any answer, they just shouted ‘Crucify him’: Matthew 27:21-24“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”   “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.
  12. Christianity is True! Mini-Book/Tract (25 Pack) – Ratio Christi Store (this looks like a good evangelism resource): http://store.ratiochristi.org/christianity-is-true-mini-book-tract/
  13. Lacey Sturm: Suicidal Atheist becomes Christian rock star: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Lacey-Sturm-Suicidal-Atheist-becomes-Christian-rock-star
  14. The 3 A’s of Apologetics: http://m.blogs.christianpost.com/dear-ephesus/the-3-as-of-apologetics-18687/
  15. Understanding the Times with Jan Markell – When God’s People Stun the Global Elite: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/understanding-the-times/listen/when-gods-people-stun-the-global-elite-565332.html
  16. Enjoy The Distinctly Christian Holiday We Call Thanksgivinghttp://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/enjoy-this-distinctly-christian-holiday-we-call-thanksgiving/

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Continued blessings to you all!

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

Good morning,

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

Now, on to the good stuff…

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

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

Blessings

Highly Esteemed Among Men, Detestable in God’s Sight

In Luke chapter 16, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees about money.  As usual, they were not happy – the text says they “were lovers of money” and that they were “scoffing at Him”.  And he replied with this stunning charge:

You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 6:15)

Of course the whole counsel of Scripture shows that Jesus was right about the Pharisees – they were more about appearances and external compliance to the law, and they lacked the “truth in the inward parts” that King David spoke of in Psalm 51, his great psalm of repentance.

But as I read this account, I wonder about you and me…  Jesus could’ve been talking to us.  Do we justify ourselves in the sight of others?  Do we “highly esteem” that which is detestable in the sight of God?  Here are some thoughts on ways we justify ourselves in the sight of men and that we highly esteem that which God detests:

We justify ourselves by…

  1. When we say, “I’m a good person. I’ve never murdered anyone, I’ve never cheated on my wife, and I’ve never robbed anyone”.  Really?  Jesus clarified that external compliance to the law is not the only thing we’re accountable for.  He said that we’re also responsible for our thoughts about these things.
    1. So, you’ve never murdered anyone? Have you murdered them in your mind?  Have you hated them?  If you’ve hated another, the Bible says you’re a murderer (1 John 3:15).
    2. So you’ve never committed adultery? Have you ever lusted after another woman or man?  If so, according to Jesus, you’ve already committed adultery (Matthew 5:27-28).
    3. So, you’ve never robbed anyone? Have you ever given less than a full day’s work for a full day’s pay?  That’s robbing your employer.
  2. When we highlight and promote our good qualities and good deeds and gloss over or ignore the less flattering aspects of ourselves.
  3. When we are caught lying, we call it a white lie. We say that we didn’t want to cause a dispute or hurt the other person’s feelings.  We justify our lying.  We think it’s no big deal. (Proverbs 12:22)
  4. When we drive over the speed limit, roll through stop signs, make right turns on red when the sign says “No Right Turn on Red”, smoke in non-smoking areas, put more charitable contributions on our taxes than we gave and many other things and then say, “Well, everyone’s doing it”

We highly esteem what God detests when we…

  1. Idolize anything other than God. This can include, but it not limited to:
    1. Money / Material Possessions / Career (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
    2. Your happiness
    3. Sex, Food and other “appetites”
    4. Celebrities / Sports stars / Entertainment
    5. Personal Freedom (to behave however you want with no constraints) – Luke 9:23-26
    6. Your family (Luke 14:26)
    7. Your reputation (being loved by men) – Galatians 1:10
    8. Your sin – Romans 6:12-14
  2. Say that abortion grants a woman the “right to choose” what to do with “her own body”.
  3. Say that homosexuality is not a sin and that homosexuals are just being who they are and loving who they want.

Friends, let’s make sure that we’re not doing the very things Jesus is accusing the Pharisees of.  Let’s not be hypocrites (Matthew 23:24-28).  Let’s live for the Lord.  Let’s say with Paul, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)!

Many ways seem right…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

mid-week apologetics booster (8-11-2016)

Good morning fellow ambassadors!

Here are some interesting links I ran into this week, in case you have some time to do any reading or watching:

  1. Can Christians claim to have the One, True God? http://crossexamined.org/can-christians-claim-to-have-the-one-true-god-2/
  2. Hiroshima, Obama, and American Morals: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=182245
  3. New Student Resource on Mormonism: Author Interview: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/new-student-resource-on-mormonism-author-interview
  4. Arguing Is Good (short video by Greg Koukl): http://www.str.org/videos/arguing-is-good-2#.V6nVZDXaxtp
  5. How do you approach the subject of Hell in a conversation? (short video by Dr. Frank Turek responding to a question at a Q&A): https://www.facebook.com/drfrankturek/videos/838379222960269/
  6. IS HISTORICAL EVIDENCE CONVINCING TO SKEPTICS OF CHRISTIANITY? http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/07/15/is-historical-evidence-convincing-to-skeptics-of-christianity/
  7. How Should I Talk to My Gay Friend about the Bible and Homosexuality? http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/08/how-should-i-talk-to-my-gay-friend-about-the-bible-and-homosexuality.html
  8. Greek Scholars and the Watchtower | Thomistic Bent – this is regarding the infamous New World Translation rendering of John 1:1, which says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was a god”: https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/greek-scholars-and-the-watchtower/
  9. William Lane Craig: churches should focus on apologetics to attract more men | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2016/07/28/william-lane-craig-churches-should-focus-on-apologetics-to-attract-more-men-4/
  10. A simple case for the pro-life position by Scott Klusendorf – As Stephen Schwarz points out, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo that you once were and the adult that you are today. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant such that we can say that you had no rights as an embryo but you do have rights today. Think of the acronym SLEDas a helpful reminder of these non-essential differences: https://winteryknight.com/2016/08/04/a-simple-case-for-the-pro-life-position-by-scott-klusendorf-4/
  11. Faith and Reason – Michael W. Austin: http://www.michaelwaustin.com/faith-and-reason/
  12. FRC Blog » The Islamic State (ISIS) Lays Out Its Plan for Christians: http://frcblog.com/2016/08/islamic-state-isis-lays-out-its-plan-christians/
  13. Pastor Rick Warren Is Well Prepared For A Purpose Driven Retirement – Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2013/03/21/pastor-rick-warren-is-practicing-what-he-preaches-and-getting-ready-for-retirement/#4a4f91756a1c
  14. Is it a sin to drink alcohol? https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/sin-drink-alcohol/
  15. Watch “The Teaching of Joyce Meyer” on YouTube (7 min video) – In answer to a question, Hank plays an example of Joyce Meyer’s teaching and then comments on her false prosperity message and a misquotation of Scripture: https://youtu.be/bYJW2nWQqfo
  16. Answering atheist arguments – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/atheist-arguments
  17. Paul’s Trial Before Felix, Part 1: The Case Against Paul: https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1791
  18. The Resurrection and the Secular Mind – Pastors and Christian Leadership Resources: http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/the-resurrection-and-the-secular-mind-11570590.html
  19. Watch “Planned Parenthood Supporter vs. Christian” on YouTube (27 min street interview) – This guy can be a little bit pushy during the interview, but he has some good arguments as he’s responding to the Planned Parenthood supporter: https://youtu.be/mx7tulUPHMw
  20. Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air – Greg Koukl and Francis Beckwith discuss the problems of relativism and moral relativism.  Del Tackett is the host (1 hour 18 min video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s98Z4tlunA

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

mid-week apologetics booster (4-8-2016)

Good afternoon friends,

It is Saturday morning here in Australia, and now that the work week is over, I’m finally sending you out your weekly apologetics related content.  Here they are:

  1. Is Nature the 67th Book of the Bible? https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/nature-67th-book-of-bible/
  2. If His name was Yeshua, why do we call Him Jesus? http://www.gotquestions.org/Yeshua-Jesus.html
  3. What If It’s All True! | SermonAudio.com (Alistair Begg examining the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus): http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?m=t&s=32916110021797
  4. Frank Turek deals with the questions of Truth, God, the Bible, and Jesus, establishing a reasonable foundation for Christianity (4 ½ minute video): https://youtu.be/rQ5s-kzT52M
  5. A Realistic Look at Global Warming: http://www.icr.org/article/9242
  6. How can I overcome sin in my Christian life? http://www.gotquestions.org/victory-over-sin.html
  7. Six Startling Contrasts Between the Bible and the Quran | PJ Media: https://pjmedia.com/faith/2016/03/28/six-startling-contrasts-between-the-bible-and-the-quran/?singlepage=true
  8. Don’t Expect Your Kids To Care What The Bible Says Unless You’ve Given Them Reason To Believe It’s True: http://christianmomthoughts.com/dont-expect-your-kids-to-care-what-the-bible-says-unless-youve-given-them-reason-to-believe-its-true/
  9. What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment? https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/god-is-good/what-kind-of-god-would-condemn-people-to-eternal-torment/
  10. How to Defeat Modern Day Atheism With Three Easy Questions: https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/how-to-defeat-modern-day-atheism-with-three-easy-questions/
  11. Watch as Pro-Life Advocate Ben Shapiro Schools an Abortion Supporter During a Debate | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/03/31/watch-as-pro-life-advocate-ben-shapiro-schools-an-abortion-supporter-during-a-debate/
  12. “Question the Answer” — in Every Field but Evolution – Evolution News & Views: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/03/question_the_an102734.html
  13. Seven Basic Elements of the Christian Worldview: https://matgilbert.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/seven-basic-elements-of-the-christian-worldview/

To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Rev. 3:1-3

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (3-17-2016)

Hi All,

Good morning friends.  I hope you’re having a blessed week.  Here are some links for you to take a look at:

  1. Are Christian High School Students Really Ready for College? http://crossexamined.org/are-christian-high-school-seniors-really-ready-for-college/
  2. New Official Trailer for God’s Not Dead 2 (Video) – this movie comes out April 1sthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2gr5cO-5is
  3. Investigating Easter: Were the Disciples Fooled By An Imposter? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/investigating-easter-were-the-disciples-fooled-by-an-imposter/
  4. 10 Commandments of Apologetics: http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/10-commandments-of-apologetics/
  5. 5 really bad reasons Christians avoid apologetics: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/five.reasons.christians.avoid.apologetics.and.why.we.shouldnt/75997.htm
  6. Deep Core Dating and Circular Reasoning: http://www.icr.org/article/9186
  7. The Shocking Youth Message (Paul Washer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cncEhCvrVgQ
  8. Are books such as 90 Minutes in Heaven, Heaven is for Real, and 23 Minutes in Hell biblically sound? http://www.gotquestions.org/90-minutes-in-heaven.html
  9. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? (4 1/2 min video) – this is a great video to pass along to your unbelieving friends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwXx_EQuQdQ
  10. Mistakes about mistakes – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/a/10582
  11. The Impotence of Darwinism: A Christian Scientist Looks at the Evidence: https://www.probe.org/the-impotence-of-darwinism/
  12. Stephen C. Meyer and Keith Fox debate intelligent design and evolution: http://winteryknight.com/2016/03/15/stephen-c-meyer-and-keith-fox-debate-intelligent-design-and-evolution-8
  13. Can Evolution Explain Morality?” Frank Turek answers question from audience member – “I want to raise a generation of young people who are devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless, and cruel.” – Adolf Hitler: https://youtu.be/5FWbxtJcnkI
  14. Do Arguments Help with Ministry? | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/9193
  15. Christian Youth in America. Frank Turek of Cross Examined shares that 3 out of 4 Christian teens are walking away from the church after they leave home (this is a bit of an advertisement, but it still has some good content): https://youtu.be/eqyJNmE9ALw
  16. The Importance of Understanding the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/the-importance-of-understanding-the-jewish-roots-of-the-christian-faith/
  17. How Intellectual Christians Can Fit in with the Evangelical Church: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/reflections/how-intellectual-christians-can-fit-in-with-the-evangelical-church

Jesus praying: “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”  John 17:14-21

Verses to memorize for sexual temptation

It is a fact of life that most men battle against sexual temptation.  Here are some verses for you to memorize to help you resist this type of temptation:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

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.

The important parts to me are that I am not my own.  I can’t just do whatever I want with my body.  My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  He is living in me and sees everything I do.  Which leads me to the next verse:

Hebrews 4:13

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The following verse tells me what to do when I encounter anything that stimulates lust – RUN!!!

2 Timothy 2:22

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts

It is also encouraging me who to hang out with – that’s really important too.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God

Not many places in Scripture tell you explicitly what God’s will is – the above passage is one of them.  This passage tells me that I need to learn to control my own body.  That tells me that it is not “natural” to control my body.  I have to go against what feels natural and control my body.  Likewise, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 9:27

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Finally, the passage below has really helped me.  It tells me that as a regenerated follower of Jesus Christ, I do in fact have the power and ability to not let sin reign in my body or to obey my body’s evil desires.  What an encouragement that is!

Romans 6:12-13

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

Success In Life

A thought occurred to me before I went to bed last night… It occurred as I was thinking about my quest to lose weight. I realized that in order to have the long-term success that I was seeking, I needed to forego momentary pleasures of eating whatever delicious food I desired. This is the concept of “delayed gratification”. Then I began to think of just how many things in life require the same discipline. Here is s short list I thought of:

  1. Weight loss (Prov. 23:1-3; 20-21)
  2. Getting a college degree (Prov. 1:5, Prov. 9:9, Prov. 18:2, Prov. 4:7, Daniel 1:1-21)
  3. Staying out of debt (Prov. 22:7)
  4. Staying sexually pure (1 Corinthians 6:18-21)
  5. Learning a skill such as a programming language, golf or a musical instrument (Prov. 22:29)
  6. Scripture knowledge and memorization (Ps. 119:11)
  7. Being well-read (having read many good books) and the knowledge and benefits that come from that. (Daniel 1:17)
  8. After staying with a company a long time, achieving a high level of vacation benefits
  9. Saving for retirement (Prov. 13:11)
  10. Persevering under trials rather than just quitting (James 1:12)

I’m sure there are many more examples that could be given. “Delayed gratification” is a message young people need to hear and understand today. It is a great skill to be learned in life, and it is a proficiency you should master in order to be successful in life.

“Delayed gratification” is even pivotal in the greatest and most important pursuit in life, the pursuit of the Christ. Jesus said:

If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23

The Christian life is a life of self-denial – not as “a work” that will make you acceptable to God, but has a recognition that He is your Lord and Master. As Paul said:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

If you’re not born-again, this is impossible. If you are born-again, this becomes possible and should be a natural inclination for you. Delay your gratification for something better later in this life, and ultimately in the life to come!

Difficult Situation

Last weekend, I found myself in a difficult social situation.  I was in situation where I had to attend.  There was a lot of partying and worldliness going on.  But I decided to just accept it and make the best out of it.  I don’t drink and continued in the same pattern that Saturday night.  Many of the people at the event know that I’m a Christian.  So, I socially participated fully with the people around me as they continued to get more and more inebriated throughout the night.  I will tell you that it was very difficult – one of the more difficult social situations I’ve ever been in.  The following morning, after 4 1/2 hours of sleep (my body just woke up at 5:30 am 🙂 ), I was contemplating what had happened the night before, the Holy Spirit brought several Scriptures to my mind which gave me great comfort and peace about the situation.  I would like to share these with you, my readers, hoping that as you face similar situations, you may be similarly comforted:

John 17:14-16 “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13a What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.

1 Corinthians 13:2-3 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

Job 1:4-5 His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.

I thank God that He answered my prayer and showed me that I was faithful to Him at that event.  The Holy Spirit was able to use Scripture I had memorized to comfort me greatly.  As Jesus says in John 14:26:

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Praise His holy name!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  Ephesians 1:3-8

Amen!