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

Global Warming Notes from “The Great Global Warming Swindle”

These notes are from the movie the Great Global Warming Swindle.  They are notes I took and in some cases, quotes taken from the scientists interviewed in the movie.  I can’t remember who said what, so I’m not quoting the individual source, nor am I actually putting quotation marks around the text because I’m not sure I got the actual wording correct.  My notes are following this:

The earth’s climate is always changing. There’s nothing unusual about the current temperature.  There were periods in the Earth’s history where we had three times as much CO2 as we have today and there were also periods in its history where there was 10 times as much CO2 as we have today.  None of the major climate changes in the last thousand years can be explained by CO2

Climate scientists need there to be a problem in order to get funding. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on global warming right now. It’s a big business! The whole global warming business has become like a religion and those who disagree are called “heretics”.

We can trace the current warming period back 200 years to the end of a very cold period of Earth’s history known as the little ice age. In the 14th century Europe plunged into the little ice age. We know this from the old illustrations and prints of the Thames River. These showed that Thames would freeze over, showing people ice skating on it. Prior to the little ice age there was a period known to climatologists as the “medieval warm period” which peaked around the year 1200 to 1300 AD. Wherever this warm period is described in written records, it appears to be associated with riches and prosperity. This was the great period of cathedral building in Europe. There’s also evidence in London of vineyards at that time.

There was also a very warm period during the Bronze Age known to climatologist as the “Holocene Maximum”. The polar bears obviously survived that, they’re with us today. They are very adaptable.

Climate variation in the past was purely natural, so why do you think it would be any different today? Industrial growth has changed our lives, but has it also change the climate?

Anyone who says the carbon dioxide is responsible for most of the warming of the 20th century, hasn’t looked at the basic numbers.  Since the mid-19th century the Earth’s temperature has risen just over a half a degree celsius. However, this warming began before cars and planes were even invented. Most of the rise in temperature occurred before 1940 when industrial production was rather insignificant. After the Second World War, during the “post-war economic boom” where man-made CO2 emissions were increasing dramatically, in theory, temperatures should have risen as industrial production rose. However, the temperatures actually fell for four decades to 1975.

CO2 forms only a very small part of the Earth’s atmosphere. Percentage of the overall atmosphere is .054%. Since not all CO2 is originated by humans, the portion that we are responsible for is a much smaller percent. The atmosphere is made up of a number of gases, a small percentage of those gases are what we called greenhouse gases, of the very small percentage of those greenhouse gases, 95% of it is water vapor.  CO2 is part of the remaining 5% of those greenhouse gases.

If its greenhouse warming you get more warming in the troposphere then you do at the surface. If there were no greenhouse gases the rays of the sun would bounce off the Earth back into outer space and the Earth would be cold and uninhabitable. But greenhouse gases trap some of that heat in the troposphere. All the models calculate that the warming should be strongest as you go up into the atmosphere away from the surface of the Earth, the maximum warming at the equator should take place at an altitude of about 10 kilometers. However, what we’ve seen through weather balloons and satellites is that the Earth’s upper atmosphere is not warming as fast as the surface. The theory is fairly straightforward it says that the upper atmosphere should warm faster than the Earth’s surface. That tells us that what you’re seeing is warming that is not due to greenhouse gases. Most data shows a gradual decrease in warming with altitude. So in a sense you could say that the hypothesis of man-made global warming is falsified by the evidence. Therefore the recent warming in the earth took place at the wrong place and at the wrong time. It took place in the early 20th century and at the surface of the Earth, the very opposite of what should have happened according to the theory of man-made global warming.

The evidence presented in Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” shows correctly that there is a correlation in the data taken from the ice core surveys between carbon dioxide levels and temperature. Al Gore States in his movie (as he looks at the correlated graphs of CO2 and temperature) but there is one correlation that’s very obvious: when the temperature gets higher there is more carbon dioxide. There is something in the ice core data that he fails to mention: the link is the wrong way around. CO2 increases lag behind the temperature increases by about 800 years. So temperature is leading CO2 by about 800 years. There been several major ice core surveys in all of them show the same thing so obviously carbon dioxide is not the cause of that warming. The ice core survey data shows exact exactly opposite of what the theory of man-made global warming predicts.

Carbon dioxide is a natural gas produced by all living things in few things annoy me more than hearing people talk about carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Humans are not the main source of carbon dioxide. Humans produce a small fraction, percentage wise, of the CO2 that is found in the atmosphere. Volcanoes produce more CO2 each year than all  human sources put together (this includes factories etc.) and more still comes from animals and bacteria which produce 150 giga tonnes of CO2 compared to 6 Giga tonnes from humans. Another large source CO2 is dying leaves, but the largest source by far of CO2 is the oceans. If you heat the surface of the ocean, it tends to emit carbon dioxide. Similarly if you cool the surface of the ocean, the ocean can dissolve more carbon dioxide. So the warmer the oceans are, the more carbon dioxide they produce and the cooler the oceans are the more they consume. Oceans are so big and so deep they take literally hundreds of years to warm up and cool down. This time lag means that oceans have what scientists call a memory of temperature changes. This explains why there is an 800 year lag between the temperature increase and the increase in carbon dioxide.

The current warming appeared long before people had cars and electric lights. If CO2 doesn’t drive Earth’s temperatures, what does? The common belief that CO2 drives changes in temperature is at odds with much of the scientific data. Humans that are 6 ½ – 7 billion in population are minor compared to the effect of the Sun.

Climate forecaster Dr. Piers Corbyn has had great success in predicting the Earth’s weather patterns by looking at solar activity. Sunspots we now know are intense magnetic fields that appear at periods of increased solar activity. For many years in the past people have observed sunspots and counted them with the belief that more sunspots led to increase in temperatures. One scientist in 1893 observed that during the little ice age there were no sunspots recorded. In 1991 a study was done that correlated sunspot activity with the temperature on Earth and a strong correlation was found. With respect to the history of the 20th century, solar activity increased strongly to 1940, and then dropped sharply to the 1970’s, then rose again after that. They then analyzed 400 years of solar activity against temperature data and once again they found that variations in solar activity were intimately linked to temperature variation on Earth. It was the Sun, not carbon dioxide or not anything else, that was driving temperature variations on Earth.

The sun also affects us indirectly to through clouds. We know the clouds have a cooling effect. A study was done that attempted to correlate cosmic rays with cloud formation in ultimately temperature. Since clouds have a cooling effect and they are caused in part by cosmic rays, what they found was that as cosmic rays went up, the temperature on Earth went down. The climate was controlled by the clouds, the clouds were controlled by the cosmic rays, and the cosmic rays were controlled by the sun. The sun is an incredibly violent beast it’s throwing out great explosions an endless solar wind that’s forever rushing past the Earth. We are in a certain sense inside the atmosphere of the sun. When comparing the temperature in the arctic with the CO2 levels they are not obviously correlated, however when comparing the solar activity and the temperature of the arctic they are correlated. The sun is driving climate change, the CO2 is irrelevant.

In the 1970s the media was reporting the threat of global cooling in the imminent Ice Age.

The politicization of this topic began with Margaret Thatcher. She didn’t trust oil and she didn’t trust coal so she thought we had to really move ahead with nuclear power. The UK’s Met Office led to the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC. Once the Berlin Wall came down and global communism was failing, a lot of the peaceniks and Marxists moved over into the environmental movement to cloak an agenda that actually had more to do with anti-capitalism. If I wanted to do research, from anywhere 1990 onwards, let’s say on the squirrels of Sussex, I would write my grant saying I want to investigate the nut gathering behavior of squirrels with special reference to the effects of global warming. That way, I get my money. If I forget to mention global warming I might not get my money.

A large amount of the money in the 1990s started to be invested into the development of computer models to predict global temperature changes. The question is, how accurate are those models? Climate models are only as good as the assumptions that go into them, and there are hundreds of them. All it takes is for one of them to be wrong for the forecast to be off. All models assume that man-made CO2 is the cause of climate change rather than the sun or the clouds. The analogy that I would use is that my car is not running very well, so I’m going to ignore the engine, which is the sun and I’m going to ignore the transmission, which is the water vapor, and I’m going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel which is the amount of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere. The science is that bad!

It is one of the features that long-range climate forecasts are only proved wrong long after people have forgotten about them. Therefore, there is a danger that modelers will be less concerned about creating a forecast that is accurate than creating one that is interesting. So there’s a bias toward producing results that are dramatizable. To the untrained eye computer models look impressive.

If you’re an environmental journalist in the global warming story goes in the trash, then so does your job. It really is that crude! And the reporting has to get more and more hysterical. It is now common in the media to lay the blame for every storm or hurricane on global warming. Every meteorology textbook will tell you that the primary reason for weather disturbances is the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. But theoretically, in a world where global warming is increased that temperature difference between the tropics and the poles would decrease, thus making it possible to have less violent storms.

We happen to have temperature records going back thousands of years in Greenland. Greenland was much warmer even a thousand years ago than it is today, yet it didn’t have a dramatic melting event. There’s a huge amount of natural expansion and contraction that happens in the arctic ice levels seasonally. People forget that ice is always moving. Images and videos showing ice breaking away from glaciers is cited as being evidence for climate change, but this is as normal as leaves falling on an autumn day in England. A scientist refers to it as “the spring break up”.

Sea level changes over the world are governed fundamentally by two factors: 1) local factors, the relation of the land and sea which more often has to do with the land rising or falling then with the sea. But with regards to 2) worldwide changes that is through the thermal expansion of the oceans, it has nothing to do with melting. That’s an enormously slow and long process.

It is also said that the global rising temperatures even a little bit will cause the northward spread of insect borne diseases such as malaria. However, mosquitoes thrive in very cold conditions. For example, mosquitoes are very abundant even in the arctic.

IPCC has censured the comments of contributing scientists. There are people who are “specialists” but don’t agree with the polemic and resigned from the IPCC, and there are a number of them that I know of who are simply put on the author list and become part of this list of the world’s 2500 top scientists, even though they do not agree with the conclusions of the IPCC report. One of these scientists even had to threaten to sue the IPCC to get his name removed.

Research related to man-made global warming is now one of the best-funded parts of science. Scientists who speak out against man-made global warming have a lot to lose. It is a common theory that those who do not agree with the theory of man-made global warming are being paid off by the oil and gas companies. The ones interviewed on the show said that that is false. Anyone who looks at this coolly and rationally and says let’s see how much merit this idea really has will be ostracized. Climate scientists who have been skeptical about the theory of man-made global warming and not only ostracize but they even in sometimes receive personal attacks and even death threats. They are even treated almost as if they were a holocaust denier.

The developing world is now coming under intense pressure not to develop. Policies being pushed to supposedly prevent global warming are now having a disastrous effect on the world’s poorest people. The “precautionary principle” is that we ought to impose draconian measures even if global warming is wrong, just in case it isn’t. They never talk about the benefits of using fossil fuels, but rather just talk about the risks of doing so. They never talk about what the implications are if you don’t use fossil fuels. People in Africa have no access to electricity in certain parts, so they must burn dried wood or dried animal dung in their huts, and as a result 4 million children die each year from the results of this indoor smoke. Many millions of women die early from cancer or lung disease as a result of the smoke. To a third world country, they know that they have moved to the “next level” when they have electricity, that is what they define as development. No electricity means that they have no refrigeration & food cannot be kept.  We in the west cannot begin to imagine how hard life is without electricity. Africa has coal and Africa has oil, but environmental groups are campaigning against the use of these cheap energy sources. Instead, they say that Africa and the rest of the developing World should use solar power and wind power. They showed a clinic in Nairobi Kenya which is powered purely by 2 solar panels. The solar panels allow the doctor to use either the lights or the refrigerator, but not both at the same time. Wind and solar power are notoriously unreliable as a source of power. They are at least three times more expensive than conventional forms of electricity. The rich countries can afford to engage in some form of experimentation with these renewable technologies but for Africa they are at the “stage of survival”. The idea that the world’s poorest people should be restricted to using the world’s most expensive and inefficient forms of electrical generation is the most morally repugnant aspect of the global warming campaign. One of the most pernicious aspects of the modern environmental movement is this romanticization of peasant life and the idea that industrial societies are the destroyers of the world. The environmental movement has evolved into the strongest force there is for preventing development in the developing countries. I think it is legitimate for me to call them anti-human.

The theory of man-made global warming is now so thoroughly entrenched the opposition so thoroughly silenced, it seems invincible. The global warming alarm is now “beyond reason”.

mid-week apologetics booster (1-19-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are some links to equip you:

  1. 5 Ways Christian Parents Fail to Prepare Their Kids to Engage with Questions of Faith and Science: http://christianmomthoughts.com/5-ways-christian-parents-fail-to-prepare-their-kids-to-engage-with-questions-of-faith-and-science/
  2. The Spiny Postage Stamp: http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/spiny-postage-stamp-0
  3. What the Case Looks Like When Young People Are Your Jury | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/what-the-case-looks-like-when-young-people-are-your-jury/
  4. 7 Tips For Apologetics Judo – Intelligent Christian Faith: https://intelligentchristianfaith.com/2015/06/14/philosophical-judo-apologetics-as-a-martial-art/
  5. Watch “Ravi Zacharias – Jesus Among Other Gods” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q0QM-DaOZtM
  6. Should Students Be Exposed to Evidence Against Christianity? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/should-students-be-exposed-to-evidence-against-christianity
  7. The Great Separation: http://gracegems.org/Ryle/great_separation.htm
  8. How Geographic Separation Affirms the Reliability of the New Testament | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/how-geographic-separation-affirms-the-reliability-of-the-new-testament/
  9. Problems with the Book of Mormon | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/problems-with-the-book-mormon
  10. Breaking the Materialist Spell: http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/30355#.WHkA5t6avQU.twitter
  11. evolution
  12. Minuscule Erosion Points to Hawaii’s Youth | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/9751
  13. Christians Who Accept Millions of Years Undermine God’s Word | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2017/01/16/christians-who-accept-millions-years-undermine-gods-word/
  14. christian-persecution
  15. Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say? | PragerU: https://www.prageru.com/courses/environmental-science/climate-change-what-do-scientists-say
  16. Do 97% of Climate Scientists Really Agree? | PragerU: https://www.prageru.com/courses/environmental-science/do-97-climate-scientists-really-agree
  17. Fossils Reflect Life’s Original Diversity | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/fossil-diversity
  18. Luke Barnes discusses the fine-tuning of the fine structure constant: https://winteryknight.com/2017/01/08/luke-barnes-discusses-the-fine-tuning-of-the-fine-structure-constant-2/
  19. What’s Apatheism? https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/whats-apatheism/
  20. Atheism Became Way More Popular During The Obama Era | The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/12/atheism-became-way-more-popular-during-the-obama-era/
  21. What is the Geneva Bible? https://www.gotquestions.org/Geneva-Bible.html
  22. Watch “[official] Q&A with Tim Keller – Reason for God? Belief in an Age of Skepticism” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L9jHlrMRJAo

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. 2 Corinthians 12:20-21

Blessings

Conversation at St. Vincent de Paul Saturday

Our Church volunteers once a month at St. Vincent de Paul dining room for the homeless.  Each month our Church collects clothing and then brings them there and hands them out to the clients.  This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to work with a young guy from a local company.  We both worked at the front lobby hanging the clothes we’d collected to homeless people.

While I was talking with him I asked him if he and his wife who was there (but working in another area) were Christians or had any church background. He said, “Well I’m a Lutheran. But my wife is an atheist or agnostic.” I asked him why she was an atheist or agnostic. He said well, she’s never really thought that there was any proof for God. So, I asked him how much she ever looked into any evidence for God? There are many books are there that describe the evidence for God in great detail. He said no probably not, she really doesn’t think it’s that important. I said, “Well each of us is going to have to give an account of himself to God. You won’t be able to point to anyone else being there or your parents or anything like that. We all have to stand before God alone and give an account.”

During the course of the conversation, I found out that this guy, who said he was Lutheran and went through confirmation, doesn’t go to church and doesn’t read the Bible.  He did say he does pray though.  I showed him some of the tools I’ve written that help you stay connected to God’s word on your phone:

  1. Nuggets (Web): http://coolgadgetssoftware.com/nuggets_mobile_app/web/index.html#/nugget/y
  2. Memory (Web): http://coolgadgetssoftware.com/nuggets_mobile_app/web/memory/
  3. Bible Nuggets (Android Native App): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cg.biblenuggets&hl=en

I showed those to him and explained the basic purpose as well as (he was in IT too, so I also talked about the technology involved). I was hoping he would ask how to get them, but no, he didn’t.  I will pray that Paul would come back to the faith of his youth and that his wife would find Christ too.

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

Conversation at work…

Right before I left the office I had a conversation with an associate, who I’ve known for years, but have only had very casual conversations with – I don’t know much about her.  I asked her what she was doing for the weekend and she talked about going to see a movie. She said which one she was going to see, and it was about an African-American girl who was hired by NASA. That was one my wife saw recently, so I was vaguely familiar with it. Then she said that she wouldn’t go see this one called Silence where Liam Neeson was a missionary in Japan and apparently the missionaries were killed by drowning. A friend had told me about that Thursday night at Bible study, so, again, I was vaguely familiar with it. She said she can’t watch horrific things like that on screen.  I felt maybe this was an opportunity to turn the conversation to something spiritual, so I asked her if she had ever seen “The Passion of the Christ”. She said, no, she can’t watch that. Then she brought up this question, “I’m a Christian, but I still don’t understand why God had to make his Son go through such a horrific, torturous death.” (I can’t remember the exact words, but that was the gist of it) She surmised that it was to show the depth of his love for us (or something like that). I wanted to interject, but unfortunately, she immediately kept talking with no break and eventually went on to a different subject.  I was so disappointed, because I so wanted to talk about that great question.  I wanted to say that the level of suffering that Christ had to go through was a statement on the severity of God’s hatred for sin and the cost necessary to pay the penalty sin deserved. But unfortunately the subject changed very quickly and it would’ve seemed unnatural to redirect back to that.  I hope to be able to revisit that conversation with her at another time.

Then she started talking about Donald Trump and how she’s not going to watch the inauguration. However, she didn’t sound like she was extremely opposed to him. She was just strongly against his constant tweeting and lashing out in retaliation against his enemies.  She said she cringes every time he does that. I said that reminds me of this Bible verse that says “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1)  She replied, “That’s nice…”  I went on to say that first off, he needs to have his twitter access removed, which is not to say he shouldn’t tweet, because it is harder for the media to “twist” a tweet.  On the other hand, he could give an hour speech and they will find one or two sentences in there to focus on to make him look bad.  So, I think twitter is a good thing for him to get around the media and go directly to the people with his message.  However, I think what he needs is an “editor” for his tweets.  Then, when he wants to send a tweet, he needs to send it to someone (the editor) and that person needs to decide whether it will actually be posted, and if so, how it will be worded.  The editor needs to be someone he trusts – a person who really understands him and can communicate exactly what he wants to say, but in a more gentle way.

I said to her, “As a Christian, I cannot and will not defend Donald Trump – from what I can see, he’s not a godly man and I’m not even sure he is a Christian, but I get the feeling that he will defend me.” She seemed to agree with that. She talked a little bit about a friend of hers who got to go to some meeting where Trump met with a bunch of Christian leaders and how he seemed to listen to them and be concerned about their issues.

Then, she brought up the concern that she couldn’t understand some of Trump’s cabinet nominations.  Specifically, she brought up Ben Carson for housing (I added that specifically, it was HUD – Housing and Urban Development), saying that she didn’t think his medical experience qualified him for that.  She also brought up Rex Tillerson and was concerned about his involvement with Russia.  She went on to complain about how she couldn’t imagine Trump meeting with heads of State in any kind of diplomatic sense to make peace. I told her that he has met with heads of state as the CEO of his business, to which she responded that that was on his own agenda and for his own gain.

At least during this conversation, I found out that this associate of mine was a Christian and maybe, just maybe, I opened up the door for future conversations focusing more on Christianity (rather than politics).

God is Worthy of Worship

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.  -Revelation 4:11

Everything that we look at – everything on the earth, everything in the sky and in outer space, the water that we drink, the food that we eat, the sun that we look at in the sky, the hydrological cycle that created the clouds that we see in the sky, the air that we’re breathing, the matter that was made available to produce the cars that we drive to work in every morning – it was all created by God and designed by Him for our use and enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17b). So if that’s true, is it not the most important thing to get to know, to worship, to be reconciled to that Being that created all of this?

Not only did He create all that we see, but He also has created in us a conscience, and that conscience bears witness to the fact that we are all guilty (Rom. 2:14-15) – that we’ve done things wrong (Rom. 3:23) – that one day, we’re going to have to an give account for our lives (Rom. 14:12). We’re going to have to answer for all the bad things we’ve done. We may not be Hitler, we may not be Jeffrey Dahmer, we may not be Charles Manson… Nevertheless we are guilty for every time we’ve lied, stolen, lusted, not honored our parents, not loved God with all our hearts, souls and minds – above everything else. We may think, well lying is not that bad, but the Bible says lying lips are an Abomination to the Lord (Prov. 12:22). We’re not going to be judged on our standards or what we think is ok and not okay. We’re going to be judged on the standards of the Lord God, Who created all this, Who is immensely powerful and intelligent beyond belief.

But also He’s just (2 Thess. 1:6a). He will judge the world in righteousness, the Bible says, by the Man whom He has ordained, and He is given assurance of this to all by raising Him (Jesus) from the dead (Acts 17:30-31). So the resurrection is the authenticating sign declaring Jesus as the One who has been given the authority to judge the world (John 5:22-23).

Be reconciled to Him today, before it’s too late (2 Cor. 5:18-21). You don’t know if you’ll have tomorrow or even the next moment (Ps. 144:4, James 4:14). The Bible says today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2b). Today means now! Is Nike famously said “Just Do It!”

mid-week apologetics booster (1-12-2017)

Good morning all you who call on the Name of the Lord!

I hope you’re enjoying your life in Christ as you live out your calling as His ambassador.  I like what Greg Koukl tells us in his Tactics book (which is currently $2.99 on Kindle) as he describes the “Ambassador Model”.  An ambassador of Christ should possess:

  1. Knowledge – An accurately informed mind
  2. Wisdom – An artful method
  3. Character – An attractive manner

The goal of these weekly emails is primarily to help you with item #1 – knowledge.  However, all 3 tenets are important in becoming an effective ambassador for Christ.  The Tactics book is a good investment for $2.99 and remember, if you have a smart phone (iPhone or Android), you have a free Kindle app on your Phone (or Tablet).

Here are your weekly links to help you build up your knowledge, leading to an accurately informed mind:

  1. 5 Things Christian Parents Must Do to Raise Godly Children in a Secular World: http://crossexamined.org/5-things-christian-parents-must-do-to-raise-godly-children-in-a-secular-world/
  2. Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/
  3. Do I have to belong to a church to be a Christian? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: http://carm.org/do-I%20have-to-belong-to-a-church-to-be-a-christian
  4. God’s Hiddenness Is Intended to Provoke Us | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/gods-hiddenness-is-intended-to-provoke-us/
  5. Pro-life Persuasion Always Succeeds | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/article/pro-life-persuasion-always-succeeds#.WHAgdMtlDqB
  6. 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Christian Apologists – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/5-new-years-resolutions-christian-apologists/
  7. Opinions or Truth: Which Shapes You? – BELLATOR CHRISTI: https://pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/opinions-or-truth-which-shapes-you/
  8. Six Fossil Timers Stun Secular Scientists | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/9753
  9. Blinded by evolutionary brainwashing – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/ainsley-chalmers-interview
  10. If Naturalistic Evolution Is True, People Are Not Equal | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/if-naturalistic-evolution-true-people-are-not-equal#.WHE1d8tlDqB
  11. Atheist Astrophysicist Explains Her Journey To Jesus – Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/atheist-astrophysicist-explains-her-journey-to-jesus/
  12. Popular Atheist Blogger, Leah Libresco, Converts to Christianity – Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/popular-atheist-blogger-leah-libresco-converts-christianity/
  13. New Report Lists 50 Hardest Countries To Be A Christian In- Muslim Countries Make 9 Of The Top Ten And 75% Overall | Walid Shoebat: http://shoebat.com/2017/01/11/new-report-lists-50-hardest-countries-to-be-a-christian-in-muslim-countries-make-9-of-the-top-ten-and-75-overall/
  14. Christians the most persecuted group in world for second year: Study | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/01/06/christians-most-persecuted-group-in-world-for-second-year-study.html
  15. “I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.” | Denny Burk: http://www.dennyburk.com/i-got-gay-married-i-got-gay-divorced-i-regret-both/
  16. An Explanation of “Worldview” | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/explanation-worldview#.WHV2E8tlDqB
  17. 5 Royal Problems with MacroEvolution | CrossExamined Podcast: http://player.subsplash.com/xfn4kbl
  18. On the Origin of Human Mitochondrial DNA Differences, New Generation Time Data Both Suggest a Unified Young-Earth Creation Model and Challenge the Evolutionary Out-of-Africa Model: https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/mitochondrial-dna/origin-human-mitochondrial-dna-differences-new-generation-time-data-both-suggest-unified-young-earth/
  19. Was Hitler a Christian? http://www.equip.org/article/was-hitler-a-christian/
  20. Twelve Points that Prove Christianity is True: http://www.lifestyleofpeace.com/2016/12/twelve-points-that-prove-christianity.html

“He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. “Every man is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish. He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including the tribe of his inheritance — the LORD Almighty is his name.  Jeremiah 51:15-19

Blessings to you all!

AWANA Teaching on John 5:24 and conversation with clubber

Once a month I get the awesome privilege of teaching our 5th and 6th graders.  I go in-depth on 1 or 2 of the verses that they are covering in their handbooks.  This past Wednesday was one of those mountain top experiences, which reminded me why I’m there every Wednesday night from 5:30-7:30. I had chosen John 5:24, from the T&T Ultimate Challenge Book 1.  As usual, I made a power point presentation (link to PDF ‘handouts’ below):

Teaching on John 5:24

And here is the link to the actual PowerPoint presentation:

PowerPoint Teaching on John 5:24

The clubbers seemed to receive the teaching pretty well.  The message was about the urgent need to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.  After explaining what the verse meant, I started to challenge them a little bit. Why is it so necessary to believe in Jesus, which may seem strange to non-believers?  We talked through why Jesus is the only answer for our sin problem.  I made use of arguments presented in Greg Koukl’s excellent book Tactics.  After the message was complete, one of the clubbers, Crystal (not her real name) a 6th grader, came up to me and said, “Mr. Steve, what if we believe in Jesus and it’s not true?”  In response, I asked her, “If that’s the case, what have you really lost if you believe in Christianity and it’s not true?” My answer: nothing!  Nevertheless, I do believe that Christianity is true, and there’s a lot of evidence for it being true.  She brought up the “Big Bang” and told me that she thought that was evidence against the creation story in the Bible.  I assured her that the Big Bang was not evidence against Christianity, but rather, it provides strong evidence that a Creator God does exist.  Since counsel time was over and it was now handbook time, I told her that we could talk later at the end of the night.

So, after the night was over, I sat down with Crystal while her dad waited outside the door of the classroom. I asked her what specifically are her questions regarding Christianity and why she is having doubts about it. She told me that sometimes she doesn’t know if God is real. She said that when she reads the Bible, she likes the stories, but she doesn’t know if they are true. I asked her to clarify more. She talked about the miracles, like turning water into wine, or walking on water. I asked her, “If God created the universe, don’t you think that he could modify whatever He wants inside the universe?” She agreed that yes that was true. I also tried to make her see that the Universe came into existence, and someone outside of the universe must have started it.  I said, “Think about it – someone had to start the Big Bang. Universes don’t just pop out of nowhere, like a rabbit out of a hat.”  She liked that analogy and it made her laugh. We also talked about how the Bible, in addition to being the Word of God, is also another written report of history. I said, “I haven’t seen or met Jesus personally (physically). But I haven’t seen George Washington or Abraham Lincoln either. I believe what I believe about them because I read what someone else wrote about them.” That point really seemed to hit home with her.  She felt a lot better after our talk.

So, when we were finished with our short talk, we went out to see her dad.  I heaped praise on Crystal about how we really enjoy having her in the AWANA club and her participation and behavior.  I mentioned to her dad that sometimes we have some pretty deep talks and this was one of those nights.  Then Crystal piped in and told him about how she was having some doubts about Christianity, and our conversation really helped her.  In her own words, she summarized what I talked about regarding God being the cause of the universe – that universes don’t just pop out of nowhere.  She also told her dad how it made a lot of sense that even though we don’t see Jesus ourselves, we are reading the writings of those who have seen Him – just like we haven’t seen George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, but we can know they existed and what they did because of people who wrote about them.

I congratulated Crystal for bringing up her doubts to me.  I told her she should not be ashamed or feel bad about having doubts – everyone has doubts at some time or another and I would much rather have her asking questions rather than being apathetic about her faith.

I think next week I will have a little gift for Crystal.  I’ve been saving these “Student Editions” that I found (at very cheap prices) at the Goodwill books section:

  1. https://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Student-Journalists-Investigation/dp/0310745640/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483706800&sr=8-1
    caseforchrist
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Case-Creator-Student/dp/B0064FMWSI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483706877&sr=8-2
    caseforcreator
  3. https://www.amazon.com/Children-Demand-Verdict-Answering-Questions/dp/1600980120/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483706916&sr=1-1
    childrendemandvertict

I think she will benefit greatly to have those children / student versions of great books by world class apologists.

I pray for Crystal that she will seek and find answers to her questions and that in getting the answers she needs, she will be satisfied, and will grow in her faith.  I think a possible result of this could be that she could be the one in the future giving the answers to someone else who’s struggling with the same doubts.  I’ll end with the famous apologetics verse:

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.  1 Peter 3:15

mid-week apologetics booster (1-5-2017)

Good morning beloved of God,

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  (1 John 3:1a)  The Bible tells us in many places that we are truly in a family – the family of God (e.g. Eph 2:19).  In the same way that you would defend your earthly father and family when attacked or maligned, so also, you should be prepared to defend your heavenly father and family (the substance of your faith).  Here are some links that will aid you in that endeavor:

  1. 5 Attitude Changes That Will Transform Your Christian Parenting in the New Year: http://crossexamined.org/5-attitude-changes-will-transform-christian-parenting-new-year/
  2. 3 Big Reasons To Believe God Exists – Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/3-big-reasons-believe-god-exists/
  3. 3 SIMPLE WAYS TO DEBUNK RELATIVISM, SKEPTICISM, AND MATERIALISM: http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/3-simple-ways-to-debunk-relativism-skepticism-and-materialism/4747/
  4. Why These 66 Books? We believe in the 39 books of the Old Testament, because the Lord Jesus Christ affirmed the Old Testament. And we believe in the 27 books of the New Testament, because the Lord Jesus Christ authorized His apostles to write the New Testament. https://www.tms.edu/preachersandpreaching/why-these-66-books/
  5. 5 Pieces of News That Show Global Warming Still Isn’t Happening The Way Leftists Say | Daily Wire: http://www.dailywire.com/news/11977/5-pieces-news-show-global-warming-still-isnt-aaron-bandler
  6. Mark Zuckerberg says he’s no longer an atheist, believes ‘religion is very important’ – The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/12/30/mark-zuckerberg-says-hes-no-longer-an-atheist-believes-religion-is-very-important/
  7. Democrats’ Religion Problem – The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/democrats-have-a-religion-problem/510761/
  8. Ligonier series from RC Sproul on various differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism:
    1. “Scripture and Tradition, Part 1” from Ligonier Ministries: http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/scripture-and-tradition-part-1-dec-2016/
    2. “Scripture and Tradition, Part 2” from Ligonier Ministries: http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/scripture-and-tradition-part-2-dec-2016/
    3. “Papal Infallibility, Part 1” from Ligonier Ministries: http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/papal-infallibility-part-1-dec-2016/
  9. Are We Really Catholic Bashing? http://www.reachingcatholics.org/catholic_bashing.html
  10. Thinking Clearly, Listening Well | Andy Bannister: http://www.andybannister.net/thinking-clearly-listening-well/
  11. A Dialogue on the Relationship of Apologetics and Philosophy to Evangelism – drcone.com: http://www.drcone.com/2014/10/23/a-dialogue-on-the-relationship-between-apologetics-philosophy-and-evangelism/
  12. “Debunking Christianity” Writer Becomes Christian Because Of Evidence – Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/debunking-christianity-writer-becomes-christian-evidence/
  13. Jesus vs Muhammad: 33 Striking Differences – Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-vs-muhammad-33-striking-differences/
  14. Did God make pathogenic viruses? – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/did-god-make-pathogenic-viruses
  15. Plants Add More Greenhouse Gas: http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/plants-add-more-greenhouse-gas-0
  16. Being a Public Intellectual for Christ – Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.: https://douglasgroothuis.com/2016/09/12/being-a-public-intellectual-for-christ/
  17. Epic Failure: My Biggest Evangelism Mistake: http://crossexamined.org/epic-failure-my-biggest-evangelism-mistake/
  18. Prove God Exists | Whattaya Do? http://www.newyorkapologetics.com/prove-god-exists-whattaya-do/
  19. He Is Risen: Historical Evidence That Jesus Rose From The Dead: http://reasonsforjesus.com/risen-historical-evidence-jesus-rose-dead/
  20. A Christian Defense against Atheism: https://sjthomason.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/a-christian-defense-against-atheism/
  21. The Danger of Belief “In” Without Belief “That”: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/the-danger-of-belief-in-without-belief-that/

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  1 Peter 1:14

Blessings to you all,

Steve

mid-week apologetics booster (12-29-2016)

Good morning brothers and sisters,

As we are on the cusp of a new year, resolve to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).  Here are some links that may help you in that:

  1. Jesus: the Antidote | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/jesus-the-antidote#.WGPQUMtlDqA
  2. 15 of the Greatest Pro-Life Quotes of All Time: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/09/03/15-of-the-greatest-pro-life-quotes-of-all-time/
  3. Resources to Help You Respond to the Problem of Evil: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/resources-to-help-you-respond-to-the-problem-of-evil-free-bible-insert/
  4. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: No, Christmas Is Not Based on a Pagan Holiday: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2015/12/no-christmas-is-not-based-on-pagan.html
  5. Jesus, Mystery Religions, and Logical Fallacies – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/jesus-mystery-religions-and-logical-fallacies/
  6. Top 10 Apologetics “Tips” of the Year – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/top-10-apologetics-tips-of-the-year
  7. Why People Sometimes Disagree About the Evidence for Christianity: http://pleaseconvinceme.libsyn.com/why-people-sometimes-disagree-about-the-evidence-for-christianity
  8. 15 New Apologetic Readings for 2017 | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/15-new-apologetic-readings-for-2017/
  9. P. Moreland Answers Three Important Questions: http://crossexamined.org/j-p-moreland-answers-three-important-questions/
  10. What Happens When We Divorce Faith from Reason? http://roblundberg.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-happens-when-we-divorce-faith-from.html
  11. Debating Atheists: Introduction (part 1/5): http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2016/debating-atheists-introduction-part-15/
  12. Is Buddhism Compatible with Christianity? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/is-buddhism-compatible-with-christianity
  13. Tyson Says Chances of Intelligently Designed Universe “May Be Very High”: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/12/10_of_our_top_s103386.html
  14. Pastor, Am I a Christian? – NYTimes.com: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/opinion/sunday/pastor-am-i-a-christian.html?_r=0&referer=https://t.co/3B0jCgUnxD
  15. Science nudges atheist toward God | The Seattle Times: http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/science-nudges-atheist-toward-god/
  16. Does Bill Gates believe that God exists? – Quora: https://www.quora.com/Does-Bill-Gates-believe-that-God-exists
  17. Here’s the Most Popular Fast Food Restaurant by State, Can You Spot the 1 Thing That Stands Out? http://www.youngcons.com/heres-the-most-popular-fast-food-restaurant-by-state-can-you-spot-the-1-thing-that-stands-out/
  18. Portrait of a Real Man by Dr. Tony Evans:
    1. Part 1: https://youtu.be/gwOAmBBqaYo
    2. Part 2: https://youtu.be/Kvhfmk5pdNk
    3. Part 3: https://youtu.be/Nx1h6JeXRHg

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (12-22-2016)

Good morning,

I sincerely hope and pray that you’re experiencing “the hush” rather than “the rush” of Christmas.  Many of us will be interacting with unbelieving family and friends over the upcoming week, so it would be a good time to prepare ourselves to defend what we believe (Jude 3, 1 Peter 3:15, Col. 4:5-6, 2 Cor. 10:5):

  1. Atheist gets her PhD in astronomy and astrophysics and finds evidence for God: https://winteryknight.com/2016/12/15/atheist-gets-her-phd-in-astronomy-and-astrophysics-and-finds-evidence-for-god-3/
  2. How To Answer, “Can You Be Good Without God?”: http://www.dyerthoughts.com/home/how-to-answer-can-you-be-good-without-god
  3. Islam vs Christianity Infographic: https://www.jashow.org/articles/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Infographic-copy-new-small.pdf
  4. Kirsten Powers: Becoming a Christian Ruined My Love of Christmas: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december-web-only/kirsten-powers-becoming-christian-ruined-my-love-of-christm.html
  5. The Star of Bethlehem Documentary 2007: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGUlWa2r-bk
  6. Why Are There Four Versions of the Sign on Jesus’ Cross? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/why-are-there-four-versions-of-the-sign-on-jesus-cross/
  7. The Magical Moral Mystery | Andy Bannister: http://www.andybannister.net/the-magical-moral-mystery/
  8. Watch “Scientism vs Christianity? – JP Moreland, PhD” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/GsiKRZikxvo
  9. Watch “Craig Hazen: Was Jesus an Advocate of Blind Faith? – Biola University Chapel” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6QzvOn3I-YY
  10. Is Atheism a religion? http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion
  11. The Flood Was Global | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/noahs-flood
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  12. Yes, the Christian Worldview Is Supported by the Evidence – Cross Examined: http://crossexamined.org/yes-christian-worldview-supported-evidence/
  13. Why Are You A Christian? http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2016/12/18/why-are-you-a-christian/
  14. Detecting Design — Photos, Stories, and Thoughts: http://www.daviddesonier.com/apologetics/2015/12/5/when-to-infer-design
  15. A Christmas Quiz: https://www.probe.org/a-christmas-quiz/
  16. Reasons To Believe : Darwin’s Problem: The Origin of Language: http://www.reasons.org/articles/darwins-problem-the-origin-of-language
  17. Watch “Nabeel Qureshi: Fulfill Your Ministry – Fall 2016 Commencement Address” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7-UMwe0YWIc
  18. Watch “The Case for Christ Official Teaser Trailer (2017)” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/v16Alm20K0o
  19. Thoughts on why the Electoral College System is a good thing: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/electoral-college/

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

Blessings to you all and Merry Christmas

Electoral College

I’ve heard a lot of complaining recently about the electoral college system we have.  While I won’t defend Donald Trump in particular (as I’ve said in another post), I do want to say 2 things about the electoral college:

  1. First, take a look at this image:
    election-2016-results-by-county-closeupAbove are the 2016 Presidential Election results by county in the United States of America.  If you were to take a quick look at this map and be asked what is the primary color on there, what would you say?  If you were not color blind (or blinded by your world view and disappointment), you’d probably say RED.  That’s right – most of the counties in the United States voted for Donald Trump.  So, while it’s true that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, those who want to do away with the electoral system because it is “not fair” would have to explain to all those people in the red areas why they should be over-ruled by the relatively few (and highly populated) blue areas.  I believe that the founders were wise in coming up with this system that even gives rural voters a chance to have their voices heard.  For this reason alone, I believe it should be kept in place.  According to this Wikipedia article, Donald Trump is the 5th president in our history who has won the presidency without winning the popular vote.
  2. Secondly, we have to keep in mind that the candidates knew the rules ahead of time and ran their campaigns a certain way because of those rules.  If the rules had been different, I’m sure those campaigns would’ve been run differently – I’m sure Trump would’ve campaigned a lot more in New York, Chicago and all of California and ignored the middle of the country!

For a more thorough treatment of this topic, I would recommend you watch this well done video by Prager University.

mid-week apologetics booster (12-15-2016)

Good morning friends,

I hope this week finds you appreciating the fact that the Son of God became a man so that men may become sons of God.  Here are some links to help you defend what you believe:

  1. Christians Who Fear Christmas, Because It Has Pagan Origins, Is That Good Thinking? http://iapologia.com/christians-who-fear-christmas-because-it-has-pagan-origins-is-that-good-thinking/
  2. Watch “Methods for Sharing the Gospel on College Campuses | 2016 Meyer Lecture Series” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/SOVcNpPq4Aw
  3. Do Varves, Tree-Rings, and Radiocarbon Measurements Prove an Old Earth? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/age-of-the-earth/do-varves-tree-rings-radiocarbon-measurements-prove-old-earth/
  4. How to Answer a False Accusation of Racism: http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2016/12/09/how-to-answer-a-false-accusation-of-racism-n2257095
  5. Do 97% of Climate Scientists Really Agree? | PragerU: https://www.prageru.com/courses/environmental-science/do-97-climate-scientists-really-agree
  6. How Christian Case Making Impacts the Convinced, the Opposed, and the Undecided | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/how-christian-case-making-impacts-the-convinced-the-opposed-and-the-undecided/
  7. Reasons To Believe : Does Dissipation-Driven Theory Explain Life’s Origin? http://www.reasons.org/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/does-dissipation-driven-theory-explain-life%E2%80%99s-origin
  8. “Dinosaur” in Amber: Evolutionists Spin Another Tail | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/feathers/dinosaur-in-amber-evolutionists-spin-another-tail/
  9. The ghost at the atheist feast: was Nietzsche right about religion? http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/03/ghost-atheist-feast-was-nietzsche-right-about-religion
  10. Should You Talk to a Friend Who’s Gay? | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/how-should-you-talk-friend-whos-gay#.WExwlctlDqA
  11. Reasons To Believe : Science News Flash: An Old-Earth Perspective on Dinosaur Feathers Preserved in Amber: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/the-cells-design/science-news-flash–an-old-earth-perspective-on-dinosaur-feathers-preserved-in-amber#.WEst5tHKVzE.twitter
  12. Washington Post, Your Attacks on Evangelicals are Getting Dangerous | The Stream: https://stream.org/washington-post-attacks-evangelicals-getting-dangerous
  13. The Folly of Answering Distracting Atheistic Arguments – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/folly-answering-distracting-atheistic-arguments/#christian-books-3
  14. Feathers on a Bird or Dinosaur Tail? The Media Are Certain; the Scientific Evidence Less So: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/12/feathers_on_a_b103354.html
  15. It is a common misconception that Christians are indoctrinated at birth. Many people hear of Christianity at birth especially if they are born in Christian homes, however, remaining a Christian is always based on that persons’ personal encounter with God.  Now, in EVERY school you are FORCED to learn Evolution. You are FORCED to believe it or fail your Science / Psychology course. You are ridiculed if you question it … considered “smart” if you believe it and “stupid” if you require actual proof of it.  What is indoctrination?… when you believe something wholeheartedly without proof simply because you are “forced” to. Want to know the lies of evolution?… Dr. Kent Hovind explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKQ-OmeNfFw
  16. How We Got the Bible, Part 3 – Reflections: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/how-we-got-the-bible-part-3/
  17. Christianity is a crutch…you may need it someday – The Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/christianity-crutch/
  18. FORMER ATHEIST WILLIAM MURRAY, SON OF THE FOUNDER OF AMERICAN ATHEISTS, CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/former-atheist-william-murray-son-of-the-founder-of-american-atheists-converts-to-christianity/
  19. Is it Stupid to Believe in Miracles? http://crossexamined.org/stupid-believe-miracles/
  20. Dark matter caused the demise of the dinosaurs? – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/did-dark-matter-kill-off-the-dinosaurs
  21. Hanukkah – Messianic Perspectives with Dr. Gary Hedrick – Hanukkah – Festival of Lights, Part 5 http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/messianic-perspectives/listen/hanukkah-festival-of-lights-part-5-567171.html
  22. Was Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Copied from Krishna? http://www.apologeticsguy.com/2016/11/jesus-christ-krishna/
  23. JUSTIN MARTYR — THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN (150-160 AD): http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html
  24. Is Reality One or Many? http://www.reasonablefaith.org/is-reality-one-or-many
  25. The Milky Way: https://biblescienceguy.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/the-milky-way/
  26. Was the Story of Jesus Borrowed From Pagan Myth? | The Stream: https://stream.org/story-jesus-borrowed-pagan/
  27. Should we expect to know what God’s reason is for allowing evil and suffering? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2016/12/11/should-we-expect-to-know-what-gods-reason-is-for-allowing-evil-and-suffering/
  28. Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview and Where to Start – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/why-kids-need-a-biblical-worldview-and-where-to-start/
  29. 5 Reasons You Should Get Apologetics Training – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/5-reasons-you-should-get-apologetics-training
  30. Watch “I left Islam for Christianity” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/z-jjJwOtNEw
  31. “Moana” Disney Star Nicole Scherzinger Was Almost Aborted: Thankfully My Grandparents Were Pro-Life | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/12/14/actress-nicole-scherzinger-was-almost-aborted-thankfully-my-grandparents-were-pro-life/
  32. Scientists Confirm: Darwinism Is Broken: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/david-klinghoffer/scientists-confirm-darwinism-broken
  33. Culture Watch: The Cohabitation Trap: http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2931-culture-watch-the-cohabitation-trap
  34. Testing Islam: https://georgesjournal.net/2016/12/14/testing-islam/

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:13-14

Blessings

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

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

Blessings

mid-week apologetics booster (12-1-2016)

Good morning friends,

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

  1. 11 Objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument: http://crossexamined.org/11-objections-kalam-cosmological-argument/
  2. There’s No Balancing This Moral Equation: Human Well-Being Doesn’t Explain Human Morality: https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2016/11/human-well-being-doesnt-explain-morality/
  3. Christian refugees in Germany threatened with beheading for being ‘unbelievers’ by Muslim migrants: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/725193/Christian-refugees-threatened-beheading-German-migrant-camp-Muslim-unbelievers
  4. Ministering to Mormons in Utah Day 3: http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/ministering-to-mormons-in-utah-day-3/
  5. Logical Fallacy Series — Part 8: Argument From Silence: http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2016/06/logical-fallacy-series-part-8-argument.html
  6. Does The Bible Need Defending? http://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2015/01/does-bible-need-defending.html
  7. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/bible-homosexuality
  8. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bang? Why Christians should not Run from Science: https://www.hbu.edu/news-and-events/2016/07/18/whos-afraid-big-bang/
  9. How gay theology manipulates the book of Leviticus: http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/965/How_gay_theology_manipulates_the_book_of_Leviticus
  10. What is Hate Speech? | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/hate-speech
  11. How Muslim atrocities impacted world history: http://mobile.wnd.com/2016/11/how-muslim-atrocities-impacted-world-history/#hDdxWoKFsaKQbz5d.99
  12. How Are People Actually Coming to Faith Today: http://magazine.biola.edu/article/16-fall/how-are-people-actually-coming-to-faith-today/
  13. Frank Turek (February 2017) – Fearless Faith Conference-Catalina Foothills Church (Tucson, AZ)http://subspla.sh/e74cd1f
  14. Transgender: Truth and Compassion – Alan Shlemon: http://subspla.sh/4d0ba56
  15. Can We “Agree To Disagree” On Sexuality and Marriage? | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2016/02/25/why-we-cant-agree-to-disagree-on-sexuality-and-marriage/
  16. Atheism’s Lucky Bullet Fallacies | The Stream: https://stream.org/atheisms-lucky-bullet-fallacies/
  17. Just Say “Merry Christmas”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwVpTYez82w
  18. Talking Snakes, Donkeys, and Believing the Bible: http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/talking-snakes-donkeys-and-believing-the-bible-11993/
  19. Homosexuality: Compassion and Clarity – Sean McDowell: https://youtu.be/w7a2RJgAGcM
  20. Speaking Up or Keeping Silent in Science Class: https://answersingenesis.org/public-school/religion-in-schools/speaking-up-or-keeping-silent-in-science-class/
  21. A Short Defense of Christianity (to myself): http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/12/a-short-defense-of-the-christianity-to-myself/
  22. What does Christmas mean to Christians? https://winteryknight.com/2011/12/25/what-does-christmas-mean-to-christians/
  23. Ehrman’s Problem 4: Why Won’t We Abuse Free Will in Heaven? http://www.clayjones.net/2012/01/ehrman%e2%80%99s-problem-4-why-won%e2%80%99t-we-abuse-free-will-in-heaven/
  24. The Finely Tuned Genetic Code: http://apologeticsuk.blogspot.com/2012/01/finely-tuned-genetic-code.html
  25. The Bible: http://links.emagnify.com/q/119zwZjDepmd/wv?platform=hootsuite
  26. Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE)http://www.icr.org/rate

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15

Blessings to you all

The Reasons Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist

First of all I think that many of the arguments for Five Point Calvinism commit the “fallacy of sweeping generalization”, which is applying a general principle as if it were a universal rule, or the “fallacy of hasty generalization”, which is drawing a generalization from too few specific examples.

For example just because Paul was called against his will with a light from heaven and immediately turned 180 degrees from his original direction (see Acts 9:1-20), does not mean that everyone is converted in that way.  God has the power to do whatever He wants, but it appears that He does not always work in that way. Also in 2 Timothy 2:25 when it says to pray “that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”, it doesn’t mean that the only way a man can repent is by God granting it to him.  In Acts 17:30, Paul tells us that “God commands all men everywhere to repent”. Yet, although God wants all men to repent, and all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth and God, it is an irrefutable truth that not all men do repent, nor do they come to a knowledge of the truth, and as a result are not saved.  Jesus clearly taught this in Matthew 7:13-14:

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.

As well as his talk in Matthew 13:18-23 about the parable of the sower and the four soils:

Hear then the parable of the sower.  “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Only one of the four soils represents that of a saved person. At least two of the other four soils look to be saved, but in fact are not saved.

Here are the specific problems I have with the following Five Points of Calvinism as represented by the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

  1. T (total depravity) – I agree with this point, so long as it is defined properly. This does not mean that man is as bad as he could possibly be but, rather, as RC Sproul says that fallenness, original sin, depravity has affected every aspect of man.
  2. U (Unconditional Election) – well it is actually conditional, not unconditional. The condition stated in God’s word is faith. John 1:12 clearly says this:Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of GodNotice the order – Receive, Believe, Become. Also, Ephesians 2:8:      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

    By the way, when it says “it is a gift of God” in that verse, “it” refers to the grace, not the faith.

    Additionally, why is salvation pictured as a ‘gift’ (Romans 6:23)?  Gifts must be received (accepted) and opened in order to benefit the recipient.  If you left your Christmas gifts under the tree and never opened them, would they be of any benefit to you?    Are you doing any kind of works to earn your gift by receiving it and opening it?  No.  On the other hand, if the person handed you the gift, and you handed them back a $100 bill to pay them back for the cost of the gift, that would be an offense to the giver.  Same thing with salvation – it is not a “works salvation” to decide or choose to receive a gift and open it.  It is still by grace alone, through faith alone.  I liked this quote given by Dr. D. James Kennedy in a sermon on faith “Faith leads to justification + good works”.

  3. L (Limited Atonement) – this is clearly refuted by 1 John 2:1b-2:Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
  4. I (Irresistible Grace) – This is refuted again by Jesus’ Parables teaching that not everyone is saved although God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9):This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4)He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9)Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? (Ezek. 18:23)I do not find the argument convincing that God has “2 wills” and yes, I have read John Piper’s article on the 2 wills of God. I’ve also read a comprehensive, point by point rebuttal to the Piper article which I find more convincing.Paul even tells us in at least 2 places that people are active in refusing to believe:For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Romans 1:18-19)

    They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thess. 2:10b)

  5. P (Perseverance of the Saints) – I agree with that one. All truly saved people will persevere to the end.  Jesus said “those who endure to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13).  He also said “By standing firm you will gain life” (Luke 21:19).  Paul further clarified how we stand firm “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:21)

So, then, how can I reconcile this view with all the many Scriptures that say that only the elect will be saved and that God predestines only some to be saved?

I think there are at least 2 possible ways to make sense of this:

  1. Election is talking about “corporate election”. God has elected those who will believe in Christ (also known as “the Church”) to be saved.  For example, when Paul is talking to the Colossians, he says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people…” (Col. 3:12a), he could be talking just about the church.  Or when he says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world…” (Eph. 1:4), the ‘us’ could refer to the church (the believers in Christ).
  2. He could be choosing individuals based on His foreknowledge that those individuals will believe. Romans 8:29 seems to indicate this: “For those God foreknew he also predestined…”.  Acts 17 seems to indicate that God places us where we are in this world, so that we can find him: “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27)

It seems like most of the Christians I know are Calvinist leaning.  It is tough because it causes contention in Bible studies and fellowship, but I know that I will be shoulder to shoulder with my Calvinist brothers and sisters praising our amazing God for all the ages to come in His glorious heaven and we’ll probably be laughing at our earthly selves thinking about all those hours we spent writing, discussing (and sometimes arguing) about how someone comes to believe the truth and be saved!

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 (11-17-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are some links to help you to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and encourage you to “be prepared” (1 Peter 3:15):

  1. Yes, You Do Have Time to Learn Apologetics | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/yes-time-learn-apologetics/
  2. What Christian Parents Should Tell Their Kids About the Election: http://christianmomthoughts.com/what-christian-parents-should-tell-their-kids-about-the-election/
  3. Why Do So Many People Misunderstand the Word “Faith” – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/why-do-so-many-people-misunderstand-the-word-faith-2/
  4. A Christian view of economics: http://mbcpathway.com/2016/11/10/a-christian-view-of-economics/
  5. Why did Jesus tell people to “go and sin no more” if sinlessness is impossible? https://www.gotquestions.org/go-and-sin-no-more.html
  6. J.P. Moreland on Why God Won’t Force People Into Heaven: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/08/jp-moreland-on-why-god-wont-force.html
  7. OS Guinness, where is America headed: https://boxcast.tv/view/os-guinness-where-is-america-headed-274210
  8. How Did Christianity Prevail in Ancient Rome and What Can We Learn from It? http://crossexamined.org/christianity-prevail-ancient-rome-can-learn/
  9. Make Religious Freedom Great Again | Public Discourse: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/11/18221/
  10. Why we need to let Trump have a fresh start: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Why-we-need-to-let-Trump-have-a-fresh-start
  11. Why I Voted for Donald Trump: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/why-i-voted-for-donald-trump/
  12. 5 Misconceptions about the Bible | Sean McDowell Ph.D.: http://crossexamined.org/5-misconceptions-about-the-bible/
  13. 4 Reasons We Know Humans Have a Soul – Jonathan Morrow: http://www.jonathanmorrow.org/4-reasons-know-humans-soul/
  14. 3 Facts in Genesis 1 which confirms the Biblical Creation: https://samzlogic.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/3-facts-in-genesis-1-which-confirms-the-biblical-creation/
  15. Why are the Gnostic Gospels non- Canonical ? https://samzlogic.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/why-are-the-gnostic-gospels-non-canonical/
  16. Truth Is Narrow and Exclusive for Everybody. This is a fun little video from Impact 360 on relativism, tolerance, and Christianity’s claim to be objectively true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt8bJyiUAhY
  17. Five Apologetics Questions You Need to Think Through: http://www.str.org/blog/five-apologetics-questions-you-need-think-through
  18. Deceit and Lies We Have Been Told on Homosexuality – REALity – scientific evidence not supportive of homosexual myths: http://www.realwomenofcanada.ca/deceit-and-lies-we-have-been-told-on-homosexuality-reality/
  19. 7 Things You Should Know About Temptation ($0.99 on Kindle) – this is a REALLY good little book, filled with Scripture and practical advice: https://www.amazon.com/Things-Should-Know-About-Temptation-ebook/dp/B01FY45DVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479312971&sr=8-1

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  Romans 10:1-3

Blessings

Why I Voted for Donald Trump

With this being such a hotly contested and controversial election I felt it necessary to explain why I voted for Donald Trump.

First off, let me say that I cannot and will not defend Donald Trump, his character or his loud mouth and outrageous comments. In reality, I was extremely unhappy to be forced into the choice of voting for Trump.  In fact this may be the one and only thing Republicans and Democrats could agree on during this election!  (that they were unhappy about their choices for president) During the Republican primary, Trump was my last choice among the 17 Republican candidates that were running.  I would’ve taken anyone above him. My first choice was Ted Cruz, but Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie all would’ve been acceptable (even Bush). But the republican voters chose Donald Trump. So, after Trump was announced as the nominee, I was faced with the choice of who I would vote for for the presidency. I did consider voting for a third party (for the Libertarian, Gary Johnson), but was convinced that I would be throwing my vote away – essentially giving it to Hillary Clinton.

There were four main reasons why I voted for Donald Trump:

  1. First off my vote was not so much a vote for Trump, but rather a vote to keep a thoroughly corrupt, career politician and pathological liar from holding the highest office in the land and indeed in the world. We know what happens when you give Hillary Clinton power. All you’ve gotta do is look at the wiki leaks emails that show how she used her power and position for personal gain. The “pay to play” schemes that were revealed when she was Secretary of State. The fact that a public servant can leave the White House “flat-broke” in the year 2000 (even stealing furnishings from the White House when leaving there) and now have a net worth in excess of 200 million dollars tells me that something fishy was going on. As a side note, I firmly believe that if she had not made the arrogant and foolish decision to set up that personal email server, she would actually be our president now – she has no one to blame but herself for her failure.
  2. Secondly, I voted for Donald Trump because I vote anti-abortion. If there’s a candidate who is a pro-abortion, given another choice, I will vote against that person. Hillary Clinton without a doubt is a vociferous supporter of abortion rights – even late term abortions. Whereas, Donald Trump is anti-abortion. It is likely that those in his administration will be pro-life as well.  See this article for a good discussion of the issues involved in the abortion debate.
  3. Thirdly, I voted for the Republican platform. When I look at what it includes, it more closely aligns to my worldview and values than does the Democratic platform. For example, the Republican platform is for the following:
    1. Pro-life
    2. Religious freedom
    3. Traditional Values
    4. America first (instead of globalism)
    5. Smaller government
    6. Lower taxes and spending (fiscal responsibility)
    7. Strong national defense
    8. Strong borders (enforcing illegal immigration laws)
    9. Law and order
    10. Better trade deals
    11. Pro-business
    12. Not penalizing those who’ve succeeded financially in life
    13. Constitution originalists (the constitution is not a “living document” – if you want to change it, go through the amendment process)

Those are all things I stand for. The Democratic platform on the other hand, is completely opposed on all of those issues. So I felt that I had to vote for the platform that most closely aligned to my (Christian) worldview.

  1. Now it’s also important to realize that when you’re voting for a president, you’re not just voting for the president alone, but you’re also voting for the complete administration that will be installed. This includes thousands of political appointees. Much of the damage that was done during the Obama Administration was done by unelected political appointees. So, even though I personally find Donald Trump distasteful, and cannot defend him, I do know that he will appoint conservative people in his administration, who will implement policies that more closely align to my worldview.

Also it gives me great comfort to know that the president has limited power. Because of our system of government having three branches with checks and balances, the president can’t just do anything he wants. He must work with Congress, he must work with others in his administration. So, while I’m disappointed that Trump had to be our nominee, I had no other choice than to vote for the Republican nominee for president. I stand by that choice, no matter what the rioters and the intolerant liberals want to do to silence people like me.  I’m sure people like me will continue to be called many names in an attempt to silence us.  This decision to vote Republican had nothing to do with bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, and whatever other names you can call me. This had to do with standing on principle, principles that more closely aligned to my Christian worldview.

Let’s give Trump a chance and see what he, along with his administration and a Republican House and Senate, can do.  We may be surprised.

mid-week apologetics booster (11-10-2016)

Good morning friends,

Considering the week we’ve had (and continue to have), here is a survey of verses from all over the Bible that speak about governments and nations:

  1. But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain –and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Exodus 18:21
  2. For dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. Ps. 22:28
  3. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Ps. 33:12
  4. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. Ps. 47:8
  5. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.  Ps. 118:8-9
  6. The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. Ps. 21:1
  7. Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?  Prov. 24:21-22
  8. By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.  Prov. 29:4
  9. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6
  10. For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.  Isaiah 33:22
  11. “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.” Daniel 2:20-21a
  12. the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men. Daniel 4:17b
  13. “Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22:19-21
  14. “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:10-11
  15. On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.  Acts 4:23-28
  16. Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” Acts 5:27-29
  17. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Romans 13:1-4
  18. I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  1 Timothy 2:1-2
  19. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good  Titus 3:1
  20. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy  James 4:12a
  21. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.  1 Peter 2:13-14
  22. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Now, for your links:

  1. What Trumps Trump and Clinton? What are the issues that should be important to Christians in the election? Democrats vision for America: In their own words. Republicans vision for America: In their own words. Why you are not voting for one person but thousands of people.  This is a great Frank Turek podcast (48 min) that gives a Christian perspective on the issues that were facing us in this election.  Even though the election is passed, I still think it would be a worthwhile listen for everyone.  If you have the Cross-Examined App, you can listen to it there as well: http://player.subsplash.com/80aae55
  2. “Apologetics and RC Kept Me from Leaving Christianity” | Ratio Christi: http://ratiochristi.org/blog/post/apologetics-and-rc-kept-me-from-leaving-christianity/5080?tab=all_blogs_tab#.WBwE7MtlDqC
  3. Was Jesus a Socialist? – The Revolutionary Act: http://therevolutionaryact.com/was-jesus-a-socialist/
  4. Jen Hatmaker: Hermeneutics, Hurt, and Human Affection Part II | Joe Dallas Online: http://joedallas.com/blog/index.php/2016/11/04/jen-hatmaker-hermeneutics-hurt-and-human-affection-part-ii/
  5. Are There Forgeries in the New Testament? (Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians) – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/forgeries-new-testament-ephesians-colossians-thessalonians/
  6. Q&A – God, Alien Life, Kepler-452b, & a Fictional Jesus? | James Bishop’s Theology & Apologetics.: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/qa-god-alien-life-kepler-452b-a-fictional-jesus/
  7. A Brief Meditation for Election Week – White Horse Inn: https://www.whitehorseinn.org/2016/10/a-brief-meditation-for-election-week/

Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.  Proverbs 10:14

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (11-3-2016)

Good morning friends,

Another week has passed and God’s mercies are still new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness!  Here are some links for you to consider:

  1. How to think (not what to think): http://creation.com/how-to-think
  2. 4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry: http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/160290-benjer_mcveigh_4_myths_about_teaching_apologetics_in_youth_ministry.html
  3. Love Your Neighbor Enough to Speak Truth: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/love-your-neighbor-enough-to-speak-truth
  4. State of Georgia demands pastor turn over sermons | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/10/26/state-georgia-demands-pastor-turn-over-sermons.html
  5. Did humans and dinosaurs co-exist? Are dinosaurs in the Bible? See what lab tests show about the actual age of dinosaur bones: https://www.facebook.com/icrscience/videos/10154672274024451/
  6. What is the Diwali festival in Hinduism? https://gotquestions.org/Diwali-festival-Hinduism.html
  7. 5 Tips for Young Apologists: http://www.bethinking.org/apologetics/5-tips-for-young-apologists
  8. 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/
  9. Why a Quantum-Mechanical Universe Still Requires a Cause: http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2016/11/why-quantum-mechanical-universe-still.html
  10. Who Wrote the Gospel According to Luke? http://www.logicandlight.org/who-wrote-the-gospel-according-to-luke/

One other item I would like to pass along.  This month (Nov. 18th and 19th in Tempe) there will be a speech and debate tournament called the Cactus Clash.  If you are interested in being a community judge (no experience necessary), you can sign up here.  I did it last year and will be there on Saturday the 19th this year, and I promise, you will be blessed when you see these young people defending what they believe (there is an apologetics focus in the debates as well).

When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.  Matthew 10:23a

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (10-27-2016)

Good morning friends,

Here are a few items for you to take a look at:

  1. Abortion Argument Destroyed in 6 minute video (this is REALLY good): https://www.facebook.com/PastorSundayAdelaja/videos/10154019515783845/
  2. 50 Recommended Apologetics Resources for Christian Parents: http://christianmomthoughts.com/50-recommended-apologetics-resources-for-christian-parents/
  3. Denzel Washington Reveals The Heartbreaking Journey That Lead To His Life Long Faith In Jesus: http://qpolitical.com/denzel-washington-reveals-the-heartbreaking-journey-that-lead-to-his-life-long-faith-in-jesus/
  4. Watch “What is Religious Pluralism and Why is it False?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jRAGzWrFnOE
  5. Watch “Shattering the Icons of Evolution” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RHmTfIXK1BQ
  6. Transgender: Truth and Compassion | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/publications/transgender-truth-and-compassion#.WA7IgMtlDqA
  7. 3 Reasons Why the Historicity of Jesus Matters: http://crossexamined.org/3-reasons-why-the-historicity-of-jesus-matters/
  8. Media Misleads About Ark Again | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/ministry-news/ark-encounter/media-misleads-about-ark-again/
  9. Watch “What distinguishes humans from other animals?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/j7PeKJjQaF0
  10. Approaching the Existence of God | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/approaching-existence-god/
  11. Jesus Calling:
    1. 10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling: http://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling
    2. The New Age Implications of “Jesus Calling”: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16568
    3. Developing Discernment in Devotional Reading: http://www.equip.org/article/developing-discernment-devotional-reading/
    4. Is Jesus Calling a Good Book?  Are there any doctrinal problems with Jesus Calling? https://gotquestions.org/Jesus-Calling.html
  12. What is Halloween? | Can Christians celebrate Halloween? | Origins of Halloween: https://carm.org/halloween

In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time –God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.  1 Timothy 6:13-16.

For those who are interested, I created a 15 minute video collage of our recent trip to Kaua’I here (Note – this has background music and the video can be viewed full-screen. I recommend you use a browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc, not Internet Explorer).  It was a fully paid trip for my wife and I that I received as an “most valuable player” award on my job.

mid-week apologetics booster (10-20-2016)

Good morning friends,

I’m back after my vacation and feeling refreshed and relaxed!  Here are some links for you to look at:

  1. French gvmt announces plan to criminalize websites opposing abortion: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/french-gvmt-intends-to-obstruct-websites-offering-negative-information-abou
  2. Christians and Donald Trump: Our Meeting with Him: http://crossexamined.org/christians-donald-trump-meeting/
  3. Comparison Grid of Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christianity: https://carm.org/comparison-grid
  4. It takes guts for celebrities to be open about their faith. We should support them: http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/It-takes-guts-for-celebrities-to-be-open-about-their-faith.-We-should-support-them?j
  5. A Sure Word: Textual criticism made amazingly easy: http://rkbentley.blogspot.com/2016/10/textual-criticism-made-amazingly-easy.html
  6. Challenge: Christianity Is Absurd | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/challenge-christianity-is-absurd#.WAbtjBllDqB
  7. Clues That Corroborate the Traditional Authorship of the Gospels – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2016/09/09/clues-that-corroborate-the-traditional-authorship-of-the-gospels/
  8. Looking for Life on Enceladus: http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/looking-life-enceladus
  9. How Did Judas Die? https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/how-did-judas-die/
  10. Atheists Say Darwinism Means Life is Meaningless, But Their Behavior Shows They Know Better: https://stream.org/atheists-say-darwinism-means-life-meaningless/
  11. Old Testament Believers: How Were They Saved? http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/old-testament-believers-in-god-before-jesus-were-they-saved

The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:5-8

 

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

mid-week apologetics booster (9-29-2016)

Good morning friends and fellow co-heirs!

I hope this morning finds you in good health, both physically and spiritually!  Below are some links for you to take a look at.

  1. Did Jesus Commend Faith That Is Blind? | CrossExamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/jesus-commend-faith-blind/
  2. Three Quran Verses Every Christian Should Know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Nu6EabQD8
  3. Christians ‘Hung On A Cross Over Fire’, Steamrollered And Crushed To Death In North Korea | Christian News on Christian Today: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.hung.on.a.cross.over.fire.steamrollered.and.crushed.to.death.in.north.korea/96190.htm
  4. Did Jesus Drink Alcoholic Wine? | Tough Questions Answered: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2016/09/21/did-jesus-drink-alcoholic-wine/
  5. Failed Atheist Explanations for a Beginning to the Universe. | James Bishop’s Theology & Apologetics: https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/failed-atheist-explanations-for-a-beginning-to-the-universe/
  6. C-3PO Crashes a Pentecostal Revival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhGH4HaylaU
  7. Three Levels of Heaven? James R. White: http://www.equip.org/article/three-levels-of-heaven/
  8. Podcasts you should know about (as reported by Apologetics Minion):
    1. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/06/21/podcasts-you-should-know-about-part-1/
    2. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/07/04/podcasts-you-should-know-about-part-2/
    3. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/07/21/podcasts-you-should-know-part-3/
    4. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/09/10/podcasts-you-should-know-part-4/
    5. https://apologeticsminion.com/2016/09/24/podcasts-you-should-know-part-5/
  9. Impact events (quote from “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”): Some skeptics may think that a 15- to 40-year gap between the life of Christ and the writings about him is too wide for the testimony to be reliable. But they are mistaken. Think about events that occurred 15 to 40 years ago. When historians write about those events, we don’t say, “Oh, that’s impossible! No one can remember events from that long ago!” Such skepticism is clearly unwarranted. Historians today write accurately about events in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s by consulting their own memories, those of other eyewitnesses, and any written sources from the time. This process is the same one the New Testament writers used to record their documents. Like a good reporter, Luke interviewed eyewitnesses. And as we’ll see in the next chapter, some New Testament writers were eyewitnesses themselves. They could remember 15- to 40-year-old events quite easily, just as you can. Why can you remember certain events vividly from 15 to 40 years ago and (if you’re old enough) even further back? You may be able to remember certain events because they made a great emotional impact on you. (In fact, those of us who are “over the hill” can remember some events from 30 years ago better than those from 30 minutes ago!) Where were you and what were you doing when President Kennedy was assassinated? When the Challenger exploded? When the second plane hit the tower? Why can you remember those events so well? Because they made a deep emotional impact on you. Since an event like the Resurrection certainly would have made a deep emotional impact on the New Testament writers and the other eyewitnesses they may have consulted, it’s easy to see why the history of Jesus could be easily recalled many years later, especially in a culture with an established reliance on oral testimony (more on this below). Furthermore, if the major works of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written within two generations of the events, then they are not likely to be legend. Why? Because historical research indicates that a myth cannot begin to crowd out historical facts while the eyewitnesses are still alive. For this reason, Roman historian A. N. Sherwin-White calls the mythological view of the New Testament “unbelievable.” William Lane Craig writes, “The tests show that even two generations is too short to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical fact.” Inside of those two generations, eyewitnesses are still around to correct the errors of historical revisionists.
  10. How Do You Develop a Public Speaking Ministry? – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-do-you-develop-a-public-speaking-ministry
  11. I’m Sorry! But the Church Needs Apologetics: http://www.faithbeyondbelief.ca/2015/09/03/im-sorry-but-the-church-needs-apologetics/
  12. Scientists Discover Camouflaged Dinosaur | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2016/09/26/scientists-discover-camouflaged-dinosaur/
  13. Transgender Identities Are Not Always Permanent | Public Discourse: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/09/17753/
  14. Postmodern Realities is a podcast from the Christian Research Institute and the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL. Each podcast features in-depth conversations with our JOURNAL authors: http://www.equip.org/crj-pmr-podcast/

O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I–in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. Psalm 17:14-15

Blessings to you all!

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are you weekly links:

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

Blessings to you all!

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)!

mid-week apologetics booster (9-15-2016)

Good morning friends,

I wanted to let you know of a site that I maintain that has links to many of the sites where I get these articles.  It is http://coolgadgetssoftware.com/random_christian_link.html.  There it has a list of 316 sites that I’ve found that have decent content.  It also has a button at the top that allows you to visit a random site from the list (in a new window).

Here are some articles and videos for you to take a look at:

  1. Thought Snack: We Think God’s Unfair Because We Don’t Hate Sin – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/2015/09/21/thought-snack-we-think-gods-unfair-because-we-dont-hate-sin/
  2. Is God Unfair to Those Raised in Other Faiths? http://www.comereason.org/religious-exclusivism.asp
  3. 5 Popular Christian Teachers To Avoid: http://thereforegodexists.com/5-popular-christian-teachers-to-avoid/
  4. Three False Gospels You May Not Realize Are in Your Church: http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/08/20/three-false-gospels-you-may-not-realize-are-in-your-church/
  5. Verifiability Is A Christian Distinctive: http://crossexamined.org/verifiability-is-a-christian-distinctive/
  6. The unaffiliated: Why more than a quarter of Arizonans are leaving religion behind: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2016/08/17/unaffiliated-faith-why-more-than-quarter-arizonans-leaving-religion-behind/88900344/
  7. In What Sense Is It Impossible for the Universe to Come from Nothing? http://www.reasonablefaith.org/in-what-sense-is-it-impossible-for-the-universe-to-come-from-nothing
  8. Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture: https://youtu.be/5ODX5r3d_2I
  9. Tom Holland: Why I was wrong about Christianity: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2016/09/tom-holland-why-i-was-wrong-about-christianity
  10. Have archaeologists just unearthed stunning BIBLICAL PALACE once owned by King Solomon? http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/707419/archaeologists-unearthed-stunning-BIBLICAL-PALACE-King-Solomon
  11. Why Doesn’t God “Do Something” About Evil? http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2016/09/why-doesnt-god-do-something-about-evil.html
  12. John MacArthur joke: http://adam4d.com/got-joke/
  13. Is Criticizing God or The Bible A Valid Argument Against Gods Existence? or “On The ‘There Is No God And I Hate Him”: https://agroundfloorview.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/is-criticizing-god-or-the-bible-a-valid-argument-against-gods-existence-or-on-the-there-is-no-god-and-i-hate-him-part-2/
  14. How America Has Gone From the Old Deluder Satan Act to Banning Bibles in School: http://allchristiannews.com/how-american-has-gone-from-the-old-deluder-satan-act-to-banning-bibles-in-school/
  15. “I like apologetics, where should I start?” https://apologetics105.com/2016/09/09/i-like-apologetics-where-should-i-start/
  16. Trusting in Science Alone will Starve Our Ability to Know: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/09/trusting-in-science-alone-will-starve.html
  17. Mundanity as a barrier to faith: http://apologeticsuk.blogspot.com/2015/04/mundanity-as-barrier-to-faith.html
  18. The Basic Facts that Everyone Agrees on About Jesus’ Death and Resurrection: https://beyondtm.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/20-b4-twenty-the-basic-facts-that-everyone-agrees-on-about-jesus-death-and-resurrection/
  19. 4 Reasons Why Every Christian Should be Pro-Life on Abortion: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/05/03/4-reasons-why-every-christian-should-be-pro-life-on-abortion/
  20. The 9 Forms of Infidelity in Marriage (Hint: 8 of Them Don’t Involve Sex): http://www.faithit.com/9-forms-infidelity-marriage-dave-willis/
  21. Is This the Biggest Barrier to Students Living out Their Faith? http://youthministry360.com/blog/the-biggest-barrier-to-students-living-out-their-faith/

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.  Proverbs 19:2

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