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

Good morning all,

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

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

Jesus made that clear when He said:

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you all

AWANA Game on Miracles 4/12/2017

Last Wednesday at AWANA, we’d planned to show a short video on evidence for the resurrection:

However, minutes before showing the video, we were concerned that, as a mixed group from 3rd to 6th grade, there may actually be some clubbers who still believed in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, so, since this was a central theme in the video (Jesus is not a fairy tale like Santa), we had to decide to not show the video.  I was very disappointed, because it was a great video with a great message at the right time.

So, we had to improvise.  Fortunately, I had a presentation stored on the computer in our room that I’d given several years ago and could reuse.  It was a game on guessing the miracle by looking at a painting / artist’s rendering of the miracle.  It was a fun time for the clubbers and the rewards for the points were given in candy 🙂  In case you would like to do the same thing with your children, here is the PowerPoint.  Here they are:

 

Apologetics class – Easter 4/16/2017 – Case for Christ

Yesterday in the Apologetics class at my church, I showed “The Case for Christ” – not the current movie that is out in theaters, but rather the documentary.  It is an hour and 11 minutes long, but very good.  We watched from DVD, but I also see this on youtube:

Here are the notes from the movie (with fill-in blanks):

The Case for Christ (documentary) – 1 hour 11 minutes

  1. Lee Strobel thought that, if Jesus existed, he was probably a nice guy and good teacher, but he certainly wasn’t the Messiah and he certainly wasn’t the Son of God.
  2. When Leslie started to go to church, Lee thought nothing good that would come out of it.
  3. Lee saw sermon on ‘Basic Christianity’ and realized that if this is true, this had h__________ implications for his life.
  4. He thought it was going to be so easy to expose the fallacious thinking behind Christianity.
  5. Lee didn’t accept the New Testament as the inspired word of God, but he had to accept it as a set of h__________ d____________, which it undoubtedly is.
  6. The expert witnesses interviewed by Lee
    1. JP Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
    2. Mark Strauss, Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary
    3. Craig Blomberg, Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
    4. Craig Evans, Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College
    5. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, United Kingdom
  7. What you find in the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John comes up in 3 dimensions and says, “My goodness, this actually belongs, it makes sense, it fits” – N.T. Wright
  8. These (the Gospels) are biographies. They are very clearly attempts by eyewitnesses to describe exactly what Jesus said and did.  – J.P. Moreland
  9. Luke’s prologue is one of the finest Greek sections in the whole New Testament … this is the work of a historian, someone who has done his research – Mark Strauss
  10. We have, actually, very early attestation of the authorship of the gospels – Mark Strauss
  11. Papias (a disciple of the apostle John) identifies Mark’s gospel as essentially the e______________ account of Peter – Mark Strauss
  12. Scholars generally agree that the gospel of Mark was written first, between 60-75 AD. Matthew (60-85 AD) & Luke (60-85 AD) were written shortly after, followed by John (65-95 AD).
  13. The New Testament Gospels are, by far, our earliest and most r______________ records of Jesus of Nazareth – Mark Strauss
  14. Eyewitnesses are still around. If they (the gospel writers) were passing around untruths we expect eyewitnesses to say “Wait a minute, this isn’t what happened” – Mark Strauss
  15. All of the gospel writers were eyewitnesses or they interviewed eyewitnesses – Mark Strauss
  16. In the first century, the primary way that information was preserved and passed on was through o_________ t_______________, which had been memorized. – Craig Blomberg
  17. The first century apostles, who passed on information about Jesus, were deeply concerned to get this information correct, because they saw it has sacred, holy tradition. – J.P. Moreland
  18. Oral tradition is a community event and is self-correcting – Mark Strauss
  19. Most of these ‘apparent contradictions’ between the gospel accounts are quite e__________ r______________ – Mark Strauss
  20. Had every single account given us exactly the same detail, we might’ve accused them of some form of collusion. – Craig Blomberg
  21. Its natural when you have multiple eyewitnesses to the same event, you’re going to get d________________ p____________. And that’s ok, you want that!  What you’re looking for is a “core” to the testimony that’s the same – that’s consistent. – Lee Strobel
  22. We have better m____________ a________________ for the New Testament than any other ancient document. – Mark Strauss
  23. Much of the New Testament is preserved in the quotations of the early church fathers, so that if we had no copies of it, we could r_____________ it from these quotations. -J.P. Moreland
  24. Non biblical Jewish historian Josephus, in AD 93, published ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ – talked about Jesus
  25. The G_________ G__________ – a collection of religious writings from the 2nd and 3rd centuries:
    1. Gospel of Thomas
    2. Gospel of Truth
    3. Gospel of the Egyptians
    4. Gospel of Peter
    5. Gospel of Philip
    6. Gospel of the Twelve Apostles
    7. Gospel of Mary Magdalene
    8. Gospel of Matthias
    9. Gospel of Eve
    10. Gospel of Judas
    11. Secret Gospel of Mark
    12. The Dialogue of the Savior
    13. Secret Book of James
    14. Gospel of Nicodemus
    15. Gospel of the Lord
    16. Pistis Sophia
    17. Acts of Thomas
    18. Acts of John
    19. First Apocalypse of James
  26. These documents are almost universally recognized to be much later than the gospels of the New Testament and to not record historically reliable material related to Jesus – Mark Strauss
  27. There’s a view among some that there were all these c___________ views of Jesus Christ and the one that “won out” became the o_____________ perspective of Christ reflected in the Gospels. All the evidence runs contrary to that.  Jesus was a 1st century Jewish teacher, who revealed and demonstrated himself to be the Messiah. – Mark Strauss
  28. What I’ve come to discover is that, the Gospels in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are our b______ s___________ for Jesus, and I’ve also found that they are reliable and that from these sources we can form a picture that I believe is very accurate – that tells us about Jesus – what He taught, how He was perceived by His contemporaries and what His life was really all about. – Craig Evans
  29. Jesus didn’t come to help me discover who I really am. He came to tell me who He knew I really was and to do something about it, and that’s much better news.  –N.T. Wright
  30. More scholars interviewed to determine ‘Who Was Jesus’:
    1. Michael Rydelnik, Professor of Jewish Studies, Moody Bible Institute
    2. Ben Witherington III, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Asbury Seminary
  31. People say that no one teaches like Him – he teaches with His own authority. – Michael Rydelnik
  32. He would clarify, even overrule in some ways the Old Testament law – Mark Strauss.
  33. Jesus (Yeshua) went into the s_______________ and read Isaiah 61:1 and claimed that it was r_______________ to Him.
  34. Jesus clearly presents himself as the self-revelation of God – Mark Strauss
  35. Over 80 times in the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as the S_____ of M______ – this refers to Daniel 7:13-14
  36. Jesus’ contemporaries – people who l_____ Him, people who were in__________ (neutral) and people who o_________ Him all acknowledged He did extraordinary things – Craig Evans
  37. The New Testament Gospels record at least 40 separate miracles performed by Jesus.
  38. One of the most astonishing things that Jesus did was when He claimed to forgive sins in Mark 2…Only God forgives sin. – Mark Strauss
  39. A guy typed out Isaiah 53 without any indication where it was from. He showed it to everyone in his office and asked them who it was describing and where it was from. All said Jesus, NT.
  40. In the Old Testament, you have 2 kinds of prophecies. You have those that are fulfilled u_________ in Christ and prophecies that are fulfilled ‘t____________’ in Christ. – Mark Strauss
  41. Some skeptics have said that Jesus could’ve engineered the fulfillment of these prophecies. But many of these couldn’t have been engineered. – Mark Strauss
  42. The odds of any human being f_____________ 48 of these ancient prophecies would be one chance in a trillion (13 times). – Lee Strobel
  43. Jesus recognizes Himself clearly as the c__________ of God’s plan of salvation – Mark Strauss
  44. There were so many reasons why I didn’t want there to be a God, because I didn’t want to be held a________________ for my life – Lee Strobel
  45. Lee got so mad over Leslie being part of this Christian sub-culture he didn’t fit into, that he kicked a hole in their wall.
  46. Expert witnesses for the resurrection of Jesus:
    1. William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
    2. Gary Habermas, Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy, Liberty University
    3. Michael Licona, Director of Apologetics, North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention
  47. The resurrection of Jesus really is the pivotal event of history. Anybody can c_________ to be the Son of God, as Jesus clearly did.  The question is, ‘Can ya back it up?’ – Lee Strobel
  48. Chances of surviving crucifixion were extremely b____________ – Michael Licona
  49. Jesus was being tried and executed as a rebel leader, now in the Roman army, if you were responsible for looking after one p__________ of w_____, even if he was a rather insignificant prisoner of war, if you let him get away, your life would be forfeited in place of his – and life was very cheap. If you were looking after the execution of a rebel leader and you let him get away, you’re in deep trouble … the Romans were very, very good at killing people. N.T. Wright
  50. The presence of Joseph of Arimathea in the empty tomb narrative (in all 4 gospels), indicates that this is a h________ r___________ account of what really happened. – J.P. Moreland
  51. It is highly unusual to find that the person who, alone, has the courage to go Pilate and give Jesus an honorable burial is not: 1) members of His family, 2) faithful disciples who followed Him to the end. Instead it is a member of J__________ S_________, the very high court, all of whom Mark says, had condemned Jesus of Nazareth to the cross.  The fact that it is Joseph of Arimathea who is the person responsible for giving Jesus an honorable burial is an awkward and e_____________ fact for the early church, and yet this tradition is faithfully preserved in almost all of the traditions that we have about the burial of Jesus – William Lane Craig
  52. The empty tomb story features women, which is an embarrassment in 1st century Palestine where women were considered 2nd class citizens. – William Lane Craig
  53. If you were going to invent an account about an empty tomb, then why on earth would you invent p__________ w____________ whom no one would believe? – Michael Licona
  54. Justin Martyr and Turtullian both verify the charge by the Jewish Leaders that the disciples stole His body. If the body is still in the tomb, why are you saying that the disciples had stolen it? Michael Licona
  55. These people (who saw Jesus), Paul tells us, were still alive. The implication is, we have hundreds of people who actually saw Jesus risen from the dead.  If you don’t believe me, you can ask them about it, because they’re still alive.  – J.P. Moreland
  56. The accounts of the r____________ were creedal traditions that were passed onto Paul. So, if 1 Corinthians was written in the early to mid-50’s, these traditions were much earlier than that, going back to the period of Paul’s c______________. – Mark Strauss
  57. Critics say that Paul got this material (1 Cor. 15) in Jerusalem, in about 35 AD – Gary Habermas
  58. The full impact of the event (resurrection) is perhaps best measured by the subsequent growth of the early Christian church in the face of intense persecution.
  59. Without belief in Jesus’ resurrection, the e___________ C_____________ m__________ could never have come into being. – William Lane Craig
  60. When they met the risen Lord, their skepticism was transformed into a very confident faith, a great joy, and a determination to preach the good news to everyone else. – Craig Evans
  61. Somehow you have to explain the e______________ from scared followers, who run away, to “let’s worship Him, let’s sing to Him, let’s pray to Him”. – Gary Habermas
  62. If there was no resurrection, and more to the point, if there were no resurrection appearances of Jesus to those who doubted, denied and betrayed Jesus, we would not be sitting here talking about this today. – Ben Witherington III
  63. The t__________________ of the disciples, from a bunch of cowards to boldly and fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel, even to the point of d_____________, confirms that something happened on that first Easter morning. – Mark Strauss
  64. After Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples lived lives of hardship for 20, 30 or 40 years, suffered greatly in their ministries and eventually suffered martyrdom and execution, without r______________, for their belief that they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. –J.P. Moreland
  65. You also have to remember that the disciples died, not just for something that they believed was true – they died for something they actually saw with their own eyes. – J.P. Moreland
  66. In light of this av_______________ of evidence pointing toward the truth of Christianity, it would require more faith for me to maintain my a____________ then to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Lee Strobel
  67. Jesus is the truth – everything hinges on His i___________ – in fact, everything hinges on the r____________. If Jesus really did return from the dead, then He is who he claimed to be and that changes everything!  -Lee Strobel.

In case you want to see the answers you can download the PDF here.

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

Good morning beloved of God,

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Have a blessed week!

Apologetics Class and the bias of the publicly funded media

We’ve recently, in my Apologetics class at church, been placing a big emphasis on the historicity of Jesus, the resurrection and biblical reliability.  The reason for that becomes apparent when you take a look at the type of content the public is being served up on our (partially) publicly funded television PBS:

Last Days of Jesushttp://www.pbs.org/video/2365987523/

This was playing on Arizona PBS yesterday afternoon.  From what I could see, there was not a single known conservative scholar on the show (e.g. Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Michael Licona, Dr. Ben Witherington III, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Dr. N.T. Wright, Dr. Craig A. Evans etc), but rather a whole load of liberal scholars (Dr. James Tabor – co-author with Dr. Bart Ehrman, Simcha Jacobovici who was co-author of the Lost Gospel, and others).  Of course, they were coming up with all sorts of speculative theories about Jesus’ last week – namely that it was not a last week, but more of a 6 month period and that it couldn’t possibly have been at Passover time because it would’ve been so difficult to harvest the palm branches for Palm Sunday triumphal entry.

They also mention that all the disciples and their wives were with Jesus, although the New Testament says that the disciples left their wives. It also says that the Last Supper Jesus told them to drink this cup and eat this bread to remember me, which is accurate, but they left out the part about the cup being the New Covenant in His blood. They also seem to indicate that Jesus had influence at the highest levels of government because of the wife of Chusa, and that that is the reason why when He overturned the money changers in the temple, the authorities did nothing about it, however the New Testament records Jesus as saying that His kingdom is not of this world and that He was so poor that He had no place to lay His head.

The show ended with no talk of the resurrection.  There were all sorts of weird theories about Jesus’ motivations.  To be honest, I was not surprised.  I’m always on alert whenever watching any public / secular television programming about Jesus or Christianity in general.

We pay public funds for PBS.  Since that’s the case, shouldn’t they be providing equal time to material presented by conservative scholars who hold the traditional (supported by evidence rather than speculation) view?  Well, that’s why it’s important for me to provide content for believers in the apologetics class, where they’ll hear the other side of the story.  Recently we’ve reviewed the following material:

(yesterday) Sean McDowell, on the Mystery Religions and dying and rising gods in the ancient near east:

http://www.coolgadgetssoftware.com/SeanMcDowellMysteryReligions.mp4

Lecture – Dr Peter Williams – Things Which Ought To Be Better Known About The Resurrection Of Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbBVBUeHXZ4

Dr. Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocbtjLgUnQY

Tim Barnett – is the Bible Full of Contradictions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQgR3BrBhss

Remember, your neighbors and family who are curious about Jesus at this time of year are possibly watching these PBS, History Channel and NatGeo shows to get their information about Jesus from “reputable” scholars.  As always, the words of the Apostle Peter are applicable:

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)

That is what we’re doing each week in the Apologetics class, getting ourselves ready.  Best not to “wing it” on this…

Blessings to you all

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

Hello Friends,

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

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all!

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

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


Can anyone quote this verse from memory?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(end of presentation)


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

Apologetics Class (4/2/2017)

As Easter is approaching, in the apologetics class that I teach / facilitate at my church, I’ve started a series on the resurrection.  Yesterday we watched an excellent video.  The speaker was Peter J. Williams. He was a fast (and engaging) speaker and dumped a lot of information on us.  The video can be watched here:

Lecture – Dr Peter Williams – Things Which Ought To Be Better Known About The Resurrection Of Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbBVBUeHXZ4

Here is the note-taking form and the discussion questions we used:

Non-Christian Accounts of how Christianity Began

(Dr. Peter J. Williams)

Cornelius Tacitus

  1. Cornelius Tacitus from R_______ who was a R_______ H________ who lived 56 A.D – 120 A.D.
  2. Tacitus was writing about the f_________ in Rome (set by emperor Nero) about 64 A.D.
  3. How many times does the word Christian appear in the New Testament?
  4. Christians were being called Christians by outsiders as a term of derision.
  5. Tiberius was emperor from the year _______ to the year _________.
  6. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea from the year ______ to ________.
  7. Tacitus talks about v________ n__________ of Christians being arrested.
  8. Knowing how f_____ and how f_________ Christianity has spread is some of the background knowledge that we need to use when we come to judge whether it would’ve been possible for the story of the resurrection to have been made up later.

Pliny the Younger

  1. Governor of Bithynia, which is Northwest T___________.
  2. He wrote this letter to the R___________ E____________ in 1___ ___ A.D.
  3. His argument is this: don’t kill everyone who’s been called a C____________, only kill those who persist stubbornly to call themselves C__________ once you thr________ t_______.
  4. Here are the 3 tests you apply to check that people aren’t Christians:
    1. They have to w____________ other gods.
    2. They need to make s____________ to these other gods.
    3. They need to c__________ C____________, which it is said that no true Christian can ever be compelled to do.
  5. This is a later stage than Tacitus (~68 A.D. vs. ~112 A.D.). Not only are Christians willing to call themselves Christians, but non-Christians are also identifying themselves as Christians!
  6. Christians only worship o_______ G________.
  7. Pliny the Younger describes a first c___________ (approx.. 92 A.D.) Christian meeting, according to people who have renounced the Christian faith.

Josephus

  1. Josephus was a J_______ historian writing about what happened (~62 A.D.) in his home town when he was about 25 years old.
  2. Josephus mentions both J__________ and J____________.
  3. Josephus agrees with the New Testament that Jesus has a brother called J________ (Mark 6:3)
  4. Josephus reports that James was s_________ for belief in his half-brother J_________.
  5. Josephus reports that Jesus was called C_________.

 

Tacitus and Pliny tell us that people a long way away (in Rome and Bithynia) who are d____ for their b_____ and Josephus tells us that we also have people close to the events that are d___ for their b____.

Christian Accounts

Bias does not mean that something should not be c____________.

1 Corinthians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

Galatians was written approximately __ __ A.D.

The resurrection wasn’t a p______________ Christian belief, it was something that was really c______ and was there u_________.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important to be able to speak about non-Christian accounts?
  2. Why does Peter J. Williams make a big deal about Tacitus saying that vast numbers of Christians were arrested?
  3. In Tacitus, believers were called Christians by outsiders (as a derogatory term), but in Pliny, believers called themselves Christians.  Why is this significant?
  4. Why is it significant that Christians were singing to Christ as a god in 112 A.D.?
  5. In what ways do both Tacitus, Pliny and Josephus agree with the New Testament?

 

Why is Christianity true over and above all other religions?

If someone asked you why you think Christianity is true as opposed to all the other religions, what would you have to say?  Could you defend your belief?  Why couldn’t Judaism, Islam, Mormonism and other religions be true?  How do you know Christianity is true and the others are not?

I’ve given some thought to this question recently…  For me, it all starts with Jesus.  According to the apostle Paul, writing in 55 AD (~25 years after the resurrection) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, if Christ was not raised, then Christianity is useless and of no value (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).  Of course, if Christ did predict and accomplish His resurrection, then that would validate His claim to be who He said He was.  So, I have to ask…  Who would’ve been in the best position to know the facts about Jesus?  There are 3 groups that were closest to the events:

  1. The Jews – they were the ones opposing Jesus at that time. Many passages affirm this.  The phrase “the Jews” appears 127 times in the New Testament.  In many of these verses where the Jews seem to be in opposition to Jesus are in the gospel of John.  Here are the verses in John where it seems that the Jews are in opposition to Jesus:2:18, 2:20, 5:10, 5:16, 5:18, 6:41, 7:1, 8:48, 8:52, 8:57, 9:22, 10:31, 10:33, 11:8, 18:14, 18:28, 18:31, 18:36, 19:7, 19:12, 19:21, 20:19
  2. The Disciples of Christ (of which most were Jews as well). Not only was Jesus thoroughly Jewish, but so were His disciples.
  3. The Romans – they were the occupying force in Palestine during the time of Jesus.

Many religions have something to say about Jesus.  For example:

  1. Judaism says that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that his disciples stole the body.
  2. Islam says he was a prophet, but not the Son of God and was not crucified, that Allah put a substitute on the cross, but instead took Jesus directly to heaven.
  3. Mormonism says that he was the spirit brother of Lucifer

So, if I’m going to pay attention to any historical source, I would be wise to consider those who were closest to the events.  It seems to me that the disciples were closest to the events of Jesus since they lived and walked with Him for 3 years, directly experiencing His miracles, teaching and post-resurrection appearances.  The Jews were also very close to Jesus and they acknowledged some of the key facts in the story – namely that He was a miracle worker, that He was crucified and that His tomb was empty Sunday morning.  John 12:10-11 tells us that “the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.”  Acts 6:7 tells us “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”  Since the faith increased in Jerusalem, which was the center of Judaism, we can assume those priests being spoken of were Jewish.  So, the biblical record is clear that even though the Jewish leadership in large part rejected Jesus, many Jews did actually believe in Him.

So, in relation to the religions that had something to say about Jesus, I would not trust Islam, since it does not record eyewitness testimony about Jesus, but rather personal revelation written down more than 500 years after the events.  Nor would I trust Mormonism, since it’s writings come ~1800 years after the events.  The New Testament writings are the most credible source of information about Jesus.  We have excellent historical evidence that the resurrection is the best hypothesis to account for the known facts about Jesus.  Here are the facts:

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

Here is a chart that shows theories that attempt to explain these facts:

So, you can see that the only theory that accounts for all the known historical evidence is either that Jesus was an Alien or that He was bodily resurrected.

As good historians, we must go with the theory that accounts for all the facts, therefore, the most likely explanation is what the New Testament reports – that Jesus was resurrected bodily.  Therefore, Christianity is true, beyond a reasonable doubt and anything that contradicts it is false.

mid-week apologetics booster (3-30-2017)

Good morning friends,

Once again, I had the awesome privilege of serving in AWANA (3rd – 6th grade) last night.  Our Pastor had come to AWANA last week to talk about what a pastor is.  He described that pastor means shepherd and that Jesus is described in Scripture as being the Good Shepherd.  Later in the evening, one of the clubbers asked a really good question.  The question was, ‘If God is a Shepherd, then why does he allow bad people who hurt and kill others?’  It’s hard to give a quick answer to a question like that in a minute during AWANA handbook time, so we decided to show this excellent little ~2 minute video to the clubbers at the start of Counsel Time last night:

This really hit home with the clubbers!  They were able to summarize the message of the video and make additional comments on the topic.  In fact it was so popular, many of them wanted to watch it again!  But when we told them it would take away from their game time, they opted not to 🙂  It was such a blessing to see these precious young clubbers excited and interacting with this topic, thinking deeply about their faith!  We also had a great sword drill during Counsel Time, focusing on God’s faithfulness (e.g. 2 Thess. 3:3).  I pray this prayer for them:

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. ”  Numbers 6:24-26

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 5 apologetics arguments Christians should avoid: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-apologetics-arguments-Christians-should-avoid
  2. Watch “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” on YouTube – this is really good – 4 ½ minutes – cartoon video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyZ1l7faKSw
  3. Spiritual Inventory Questionnaire – I ran into this while searching for some spiritual inventory questions.  It is REALLY extensive (10 pages long), but seems to be really good – note: it is a PDF file: http://www.bethanychurch.com/home/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/1_Personal-Spiritual-Inventory.pdf
  4. Sanctuary Cities in the Bible: https://historyforthechristianfaith.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/sanctuary-cities-in-the-bible/
  5. CE 5: You’re Only Christian Because You Were Born in the West – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/ce-5-youre-only-christian-because-you-were-born-in-the-west-2/
  6. Watch “Tim Keller on evangelism in the 21st century” on YouTube (first step is let ‘em know you go to church): https://youtu.be/DHQBoLo31Ns
  7. The Jihadi Who Turned to Jesus: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/world/middleeast/the-jihadi-who-turned-to-jesus.html
  8. Is Christianity Jewish?  Dr. Michael Brown:
    1. Watch “Is Christianity Jewish? w/ Dr. Michael Brown 1/2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kjkm6XS149s
    2. Watch “Is Christianity Jewish? w/ Dr. Michael Brown 2/2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cwDWnXdyV9U
  9. Was Jesus’ Death & Resurrection Copied From Krishna? | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/was-jesus-death-resurrection-copied-from-krishna/
  10. Top 10 Lies Christians Believe: http://www.unsealed.org/2016/05/top-10-lies-christians-believe.html
  11. Christianity is rejected because of dislike rather than rational reasons | Real Life Apologetics: https://reallifeapologetics.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/is-the-rejection-of-christianity-an-emotional-or-a-rational-decision/
  12. The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians | PragerU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytdMUddGe-U
  13. Tell Someone | Harvest Online Courses – free course with video teaching on evangelism sent to your inbox: https://tellsomeone.harvest.org/register/tell-someone/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=harvestamerica&utm_campaign=tellsomeonecourse&hs_fb_account_id=22405970&hs_fb_campaign_id=6052164846641&hs_fb_adset_id=6053392481041&hs_fb_ad_id=6070678863441&hs_parent_creative_id=6070679192041&source
  14. C. Boycott Over Bathroom Bill Fails Magnificently: https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/03/22/this-just-in-boycott-of-n-c-over-bathroom-bill-dies-with-a-whimper/
  15. How Christianity Led to the Rise of Modern Science: http://www.equip.org/article/christianity-led-rise-modern-science/
  16. Stop Using the Term “Fetus”: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/stop-using-the-term-fetus/

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.  Galatians 1:11-12

Blessing to you all!

Why Does God allow Evil?

Yesterday at AWANA, our Pastor came in and talked to the clubbers about what a Pastor is.  He told them how a Pastor is a shepherd, and that Jesus is the Great Shepherd.  Later on in the evening, one of the clubbers asked a leader, if God is a good shepherd, why does He allow bad people who hurt and kill others?  The leader didn’t have a good answer at the time.  So I went and did some research this morning.  I found a good article:

https://www.gotquestions.org/God-allow-evil.html 
Question: Why does God allow evil?”

Answer: The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:

1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.

Instead, God made Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. Because of this, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to disobey. They chose to disobey. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us and those around us and those who will come after us.

2) God could compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100 percent of the time. God would stop a drunk driver from causing an automobile accident. God would stop a lazy construction worker from doing a substandard job on a house that would later cause grief to the homeowners. God would stop a father who is addicted to drugs or alcohol from doing any harm to his wife, children, or extended family. God would stop gunmen from robbing convenience stores. God would stop high school bullies from tormenting the brainy kids. God would stop thieves from shoplifting. And, yes, God would stop terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings.

While this solution sounds attractive, it would lose its attractiveness as soon as God’s intervention infringed on something we wanted to do. We want God to prevent horribly evil actions, but we are willing to let “lesser-evil” actions slide—not realizing that those “lesser-evil” actions are what usually lead to the “greater-evil” actions. Should God only stop actual sexual affairs, or should He also block our access to pornography or end any inappropriate, but not yet sexual, relationships? Should God stop “true” thieves, or should He also stop us from cheating on our taxes? Should God only stop murder, or should He also stop the “lesser-evil” actions done to people that lead them to commit murder? Should God only stop acts of terrorism, or should He also stop the indoctrination that transformed a person into a terrorist?

3) Another choice would be for God to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23Ecclesiastes 7:201 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.

Instead of these options, God has chosen to create a “real” world in which real choices have real consequences. In this real world of ours, our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when God will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to condemn them (2 Peter 3:9). Until then, He IS concerned about evil. When He created the Old Testament laws, the goal was to discourage and punish evil. He judges nations and rulers who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise, in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially against the “innocent” (Mark 9:36-42).

In summary, we live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (3-9-2017)

Good morning brothers and sisters in Christ,

I hope this morning finds you content in where God has you, knowing that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).  Here are some things I ran into this week as I’ve been recovering from mononucleosis (I just got the results of the blood test yesterday):

  1. Watch “DEBATE: Was Jesus Raised from the Dead?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IW9w6c2RWmA
  2. Answering a Common Question: “I want to learn more about apologetics. How do I get started?” – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/answering-a-common-question-i-want-to-learn-more-about-apologetics-how-do-i-get-started/
  3. In Indiana, State Senate Affirms Teaching Evidence For and Against Evolution: http://evolutionnews.org/2017/03/in_indiana_stat/
  4. Darwin’s impact-the bloodstained legacy of evolution: http://creation.com/charles-darwins-impact-the-bloodstained-legacy-of-evolution
  5. Former Planned Parenthood director: Why I’m now pro-life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc9VTnJBg1M
  6. Planned Parenthood executive responds to Trump’s offer: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5351320587001
  7. New study: first life pushed back earlier, leaving less time for naturalist magic: https://winteryknight.com/2017/03/04/new-study-first-life-pushed-back-earlier-leaving-less-time-for-naturalism-to-work-magic/
  8. The Beastly Beauty of Disney’s ‘Gay Moment’ – And How We Should Respond – Christians must answer with wisdom to match gay activists’ strategic savvy: https://stream.org/beastly-beauty-disney-gay-moment/
  9. Watch “Kennedy Classics – Liar, Lunatic or LORD?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YEHMLF6-zPs
  10. A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon – Canon Fodder: https://michaeljkruger.com/a-curious-clue-about-the-origins-of-the-new-testament-canon/
  11. America’s Godly Heritage (David Barton):
    1. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 1 – David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pme3o0WimkU
    2. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 2 Barton .flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PEvwu7hRiWg
    3. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 3 Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oL4jplZ_PoA
    4. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 4 David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/LiudwVNTUWA
    5. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 5 David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6zo5L4f57H4
    6. Watch “America’s Godly Heritage 6 David Barton.flv” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tTLOrHgANtI
  12. The Truth About America’s History: http://www.cfaith.com/index.php/blog/22-articles/christian-living/21392-the-truth-about-americas-history
  13. Watch “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (lyrics & chord) Chris Rice” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ax_NMWLEb6U
  14. Watch “ARE YOU TOLERANT? (QUIZ)” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Rt8bJyiUAhY
  15. Watch “Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5ODX5r3d_2I
  16. Watch “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus – Nabeel Qureshi” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/NoJvNFrUZz4
  17. Watch “Kennedy Classics – George Washington: Christian or Deist?” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3hs98lLmt-U

I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

 

Blessings to you all

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

Good morning friends,

I’ve been sick the last few days, that’s why I’m a day late today.  Here are your weekly links:

  1. Don’t Expect Your Kids to Care What the Bible Says Unless You’ve Given Them Reason to Believe It’s True: http://christianmomthoughts.com/dont-expect-your-kids-to-care-what-the-bible-says-unless-youve-given-them-reason-to-believe-its-true/
  2. The Need for Apologetics in the Local Church – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/the-need-for-apologetics-in-the-local-church/
  3. Christ Journey Church Apologetics Series – Pastor’s introduction, “This series is designed to help believers think and to help thinkers believe.” – interview with John Lennox, PhD: https://youtu.be/KFLIyX-J_-E
  4. Watch “The Gospel Message (HD)” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/n1Ex2FpwqvI
  5. Watch “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus | Nabeel Qureshi Testimony” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/HVBiELaxzAs
  6. Watch “Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zF5bPI92-5o
  7. The Three D’s of Tolerance | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-three-ds-of-tolerance/
  8. The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/religion-cause-war
  9. Discovery of 7 Earth-Sized Planets | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/extrasolar-planets/7-earth-sized-planets-trappist-1/
  10. 3 Textual Variants Every Christian Should Know About – Alisa Childers: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/3-textual-variants-every-christian-should-know-about
  11. How Abortion Led an Atheist Feminist Professor, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, to Christianity. | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/how-abortion-led-an-atheist-feminist-professor-elizabeth-fox-genovese-to-christianity/
  12. 10 Signs You Might be Rejecting Biblical Authority Without Realizing It: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/10-signs-you-might-be-rejecting-biblical-authority-without-realizing-it
  13. Testimonies from ex-Roman Catholic Priests | CARM Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://www.carm.org/testimonies-ex-roman-catholic-priests
  14. Watch “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (Session 2) – Norman Geisler, PhD” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/FNsdkBK4iO8
  15. You Don’t Need to Believe in God to Know What’s Right and Wrong, But… | Stand to Reason: http://www.str.org/blog/you-dont-need-believe-god-know-whats-right-and-wrong#.WLYoP8tlDqA
  16. Tucker vs. Bill Nye the Science Guy on Climate Change ~9 min video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN5L2q6hfWo

After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”  2 Sam 12:15-23

Blessings to you all

This Past Sunday’s Apologetics Class – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

This past Sunday in our apologetics class, which has students from 7th grade through to adult, we watched the excellent video “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” featuring Answers In Genesis teacher Dr. David Menton.  This was an amazing 1 hour video that covers the many miracles involved in the conception and birth of a child.

Here are the notes for the video.  I passed out a version to the class that had fill-in the blanks, but here is the version with the answers:

Notes for Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Dr. David Menton

Intelligent Design in the process of conception and birth of a child

He is a former professor at Washington University School of Medicine, and has a PhD, Cell Biology from Brown University, and a BS, Biology and Chemistry, Minnesota State University.

credentials

  1. Psalm 139:13-16 – indeed we are knit, we are woven as the LORD tells us in this verse.
  2. A person, biblically, is someone who is known to God – someone who has a soul.
  3. As the baby is developing in the womb, God is “looking on”.
  4. The eggs leave the ovaries and enter the oviduct every 28 days an egg will be released from the ovary, one month from one ovary, the next month from the other ovary – this is a miracle.
  5. A baby girl, as soon as she comes out of the womb, she has approximately 400,000 eggs ready to go, and no more are made – the new born girl has all the eggs she’s ever going to have.
  6. The scar left behind from this corpus luteum (if fertilization doesn’t occur) is so large you can see it with the naked eye. One scar is created each month (assuming no fertilization).  This is the one scar on our body that gets totally removed.  This is a miracle, the hand of God.
  7. In the case of evolution, if you can’t get the egg down the oviduct, you’re not going to get a second chance to get it down the oviduct. Talk about irreducible complexity!
  8. Cilia – there are trillions of them in the oviduct which move the egg, but they can’t just move back and forth, they have to move like a “wave” in the crowd at a sporting event.
  9. With 30 hours, the first cell division occurs.
  10. The fertilization process is itself incredible. It is important that only 1 sperm fertilize the egg.  There are 3 barriers the sperm has to get through: The cumulus, The shell (zona pellucida), The membrane
  11. When God created the stars, He didn’t have to argue with them!
  12. You’ve probably met a clone in your life (an identical twin), but when God makes a clone, it works!
  13. 5-6 days after fertilization, the blastocyst implants into the wall of the uterus (miracle).
  14. The whole placenta is one cell – the biggest cell in the body. Placenta is called “Super-organ”.
  15. The mother and the baby’s blood never mix.
  16. Alcohol will go across from mother’s blood to baby’s blood “passively”.
  17. The placenta is part of the baby, not part of the mother, but it is not in the baby’s body.
  18. Special jelly that exists nowhere in the body so that when the baby is doing somersaults the blood vessels won’t kink or crimp.
  19. When the placenta “disconnects” during birth, there are 20 blood vessels inside the uterus that spray blood at approximately a ½ quart per minute. This is the biggest wound any human being gets and lives to tell the story.  Little sphincter on mother’s side crimps end of the open vessels.
  20. Haeckel’s Recapitulation – the drawings he made were completely falsified.
  21. “Folds” in the neck of the embryo are not gills and are not used for breathing.
  22. Analogy to someone who built a boat in the basement of their house and couldn’t get it out of the door. Same with baby in the uterus.  Bones in the pelvis widen so head can fit.
  23. Tail bone (coccyx) is not left over from our evolutionary history. Many muscles connected to it.
  24. The birth of every baby is a miracle!
  25. The placenta was doing everything (liver, lungs, intestinal tract, etc.), but after the baby is born all those seems need to be ready to perform their functions.

AWANA Teaching on Titus 3:5

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

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

slide1

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

slide2

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

slide3

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

slide4

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

slide5

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

slide6

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

slide7

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

slide8

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

slide9

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

slide10

First, Judaism.  This is the Jewish people – they believe in what we would call the “Old Testament”.  They call it the Tanakh.  Remember, we believe much of what the Jewish people believe, because we also believe what is written in the Old Testament.  However, the Jewish people largely rejected Jesus as their Messiah.  The New Testament talks a lot about the Jews and their beliefs.  They believe that being a Jewish person (a descendant of Abraham) and adherence to the Law is what will get them into heaven.  However, the Bible says “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:20)
slide11

Next, Islam.  These are Muslims.  They believe that God will weigh up your good deeds and bad deeds and if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you will go to heaven, otherwise hell.
slide12

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

slide13

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

slide14

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

slide15

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

slide16

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

slide17

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

slide18

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

slide19

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

slide20

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

slide21

Christianity is God reaching down to men.

slide22

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

slide23

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

slide24

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

slide25

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

slide26

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

slide27

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

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

slide28

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

slide29

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

Good morning beloved saints!

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

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

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

Blessings

Apologetics Class Teaching on the Tapestry of New Testament History – Undesigned Coincidences

What follows is the content a Power Point that I will be using to teach today at my Church’s youth and adult apologetics class at 9 AM:

slide1

Scared, aren’t you?  We’re going to try something a little different here today – I hope this works out like I think it will.

slide2

We’re going to start off with a little exercise – a test if you like – to see if we can remember the details of an event that I’m sure we’re all very familiar with.

slide3

It is very important that as you work on this, you work completely independently.  Don’t collaborate, look at each other’s answers or talk to yourself out loud as you do this…  I want to make sure that your work is original – not because I’m trying to test your ability, but just because I want to know what you specifically remember about this event.  The “test” has one question, and here it is (remember, don’t answer out loud):

slide4

Pens down!!!! OK, so, how did you?  Was that difficult?  Let’s go around the room and you can each tell me what facts you included about 9-11-2001 (write the facts on the board).  [Take note of how (hopefully) each person reported different things in the account depending on what they remembered and their individual perspectives.]  Even though the details varied, we all agreed on the big event – that the planes hit the buildings.  If you had just one person write the account, you’d invariably miss some of those details…  But with the multiple independent accounts, just like there’s 4 Gospels, you get a much richer picture of the historicity of what happened on 9/11 and likewise, with the historicity of the events surrounding Jesus.  Everybody agreed upon the big picture, but they differed on the minor details.  We all agreed that each account is an eyewitness account and its an independent eyewitness account.  There’s no way to contrive 4 fictional accounts and have them agree on so much (as the Gospels agree on)!  If they’re true though, it makes sense.

slide5

That exercise will hopefully help drive home the point of this message today, which is the Tapestry of New Testament history – How “undesigned coincidences” point to the historicity of the New Testament accounts.  This is a fascinating area of study and one that rarely gets talked about in Apologetics, but never-the-less, these “undesigned coincidences” that we’re going to be talking about today, show beyond any reasonable doubt that the new testament authors were actually telling the truth – that they really were recording eyewitness testimony of historical events that actually happened.

slide6

As usual, when examining these objections, we want to first take a look at what the skeptics are saying…  Here are a few of them.  First, Sir Ian McKellen of Lord of the Rings fame says, “I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying, ‘This is fiction’.”

slide7

And of course, our old friend, Richard Dawkins says, “The Bible should be taught, but emphatically not as reality.  It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality.  As such it needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and our culture”.

slide8

Blogger J.M. Green of the “Debunking Christianity” blog says “Claiming the Bible is true because it mentions some historical people and places is like saying that Sherlock Holmes stores are true because they contain descriptions of Victorian London.”,  So, these skeptics, and many others want you to believe that the Bible and specifically the Gospels are nothing more than fiction – something like a historical novel.

slide9

I would like to start by reading a passage to you from the Gospel of Luke …

slide10

slide11

slide12

This is a wonderful passage from a historian’s perspective because it puts “historical crosshairs” in the biblical text.  By historical crosshairs, I mean that Luke here references real historical figures and their timeframes.  He’s nailing down so many different things historically in this passage.  It is highly unlikely that this writing could be fiction – kind of like a historical novel – because it contains too many historically confirmed characters (give handout). The New Testament writers would have blown their credibility with their contemporary audiences by implicating real people in a fictional story, especially people of great notoriety and power. There is no way the New Testament writers could have gotten away with writing outright lies about Pilate, Caiaphas, Festus, Felix, and the entire Herodian bloodline. Somebody would have exposed them for falsely implicating these people in events that never occurred. The New Testament writers knew this, and would not have included so many prominent real people in a fictional story that was intended to deceive. Again, the best explanation is that the New Testament writers accurately recorded what they saw.

slide13

He’s talking about the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry.  We know from history that the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar is 26 A.D. (he began a co-regency with Augustus Caesar in the year of 12 A.D.)  So you take 12 and you add 14 and a bit to it and you’re into the year 26.  And about a year later than that, Jesus begins his public ministry.  What is the first miracle worked by Jesus in His public ministry?

slide14

It’s in Cana of Galillee…  It’s where He turns water into wine.  Luke doesn’t report this miracle, but John does.

slide15

And right after that, He goes to Jerusalem and He cleans out the Temple for the first time.  Some of the people who’s tables He’s overturning are not happy with Him and they ask Him, “By what authority do you do this?” and He says “Destroy this temple and I’ll raise it up in 3 days”.  That’s probably as much of it as most of us remember.

slide16

But there’s a peculiar finishing line…  In John 2:20, the Jews say to Him “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”  So, there’s just this strange detail (46 years to build the temple) stuck in there.  What does that mean? Turns out that in the year 18 B.C., Herod the Great began building the Temple.  So, using the Jewish method of reckoning (they count a year even if it is not complete), 46 years means 45 + something, and we move 45 years forward, we find that we’re in the year 27, which is 1 year after the year 26, which is the year that is the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.  So these 2 verses (from Luke and John) which have nothing else in common, both nail down, with a chronological specificity, that’s really quite remarkable, exactly the right time periods for the beginning of John the Baptist’s and of Jesus’ ministries.

slide17

So, this is one example of what is called an undesigned coincidence… An undesigned coincidence (so-named by J.J. Blunt from his book and first discovered by William Paley) occurs when one account of an event leaves out a bit of information which is filled in, often quite incidentally, by a different account, which helps to answer some natural questions raised by the first.

slide18

JJ Blunt was a Cambridge Professor and a Pastor, who had a kind of detectives eye…  When he looked at the New Testament documents, particularly the Gospels and Acts, he could see that the New Testament documents were true just by reading and comparing them.

slide19

Frank Turek refers to this subject as “Elaborate Testimony” or “Interlocking Puzzle Pieces”.  This refers to evidence that is lying just below the surface of the New Testament narrative.  It is an elaborate series of interlocking puzzle pieces that reveal that the New Testament documents contain independent eyewitness testimony of actual historical events

slide20

This material is so compelling, and yet, so few people know about it, that we really need to highlight it and that’s why I felt it was important to focus on this for one week.  Believe me this is so extensive and in-depth, we could go on about this for a month!

slide21

Now let’s cover another example of one of these “undesigned coincidences”.  It’s one of those things where you see a puzzling statement and you go, “Hmmm, that’s puzzling, That doesn’t make any sense… I wonder why that’s in there?”  Or, it raises a question and then you read another Gospel and it gives you the answer.

slide22

Let’s take a look at Jesus before Pilate – In Luke chapter 23, the Jews accuse Jesus before Pilate.  They say “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”

slide23

And Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “You have said so.”

slide24

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man” Now, let’s assume, for the sake of argument that you only had Luke’s account of this incident – Now if this account is not puzzling to you, it should be…  The Jews say Jesus is basically guilty of sedition for claiming to be a king.  Pilate says “Are you the King of the Jews” and Jesus basically says Yes. (He says, you’ve said so – He didn’t try to defend Himself).  Then Pilate said “He’s not guilty!”  Wait a minute!  How could he be not guilty???  He just admitted what Pilate asked Him and what the Jews accused Him of!  It’s puzzling if you just read Luke

slide25

But, if you go over to John…  You see that there’s a missing puzzle piece that solves what Luke says.  Here’s John’s account (starting in verse 33):  Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?“ …  Then if you skip down to verse 36, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world….”  Aha!! – now you can see why Pilate (at least temporarily) let Jesus go and said “I find no guilt in this man”.

slide26

He did so because Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world”, so He’s not claiming to be in some way trying to overthrow Caesar.  That was really the charge that the Jews were trying to bring up – or trying to get Pilate to believe anyway, in hopes that Pilate would do away with him. When Pilate sees he’s saying, “My Kingdom is not of this world”, he’s probably thinking, “He might be a loony or something, but he’s no threat to Caesar! Hey Jews, I find no guilt in him!” But you only get that by reading John!

slide27

So John helps verify, or fill in details that are missing in Luke. He fills in a question that reading just Luke’s account may raise. Now, I say this is “inadvertent” because, its not like John is trying to give a different account than Luke, or that he’s trying to solve what Luke says – he just gives more detail, he just gives a little more of the narrative that actually occurred. Perhaps John actually saw the incident, it doesn’t say he was in the room, but who knows? Maybe he was close enough to see what was going on, or maybe Jesus later told him.

slide28

It’s worthy to note here that John is different than what are called the Synoptics, Matthew Mark and Luke, John appears to have inside information. He’s traveling with Jesus and appears to have a lot of private conversations that the rest of them don’t have, such as the woman at the well, or with Pilate or with the disciples in the upper room, with Nicodemus, they’re more private conversations.  And remember … John is an eyewitness, Luke is not –

slide29

Luke is creating an orderly account. And by the way, he may be creating an orderly account because perhaps the other accounts were not in chronological order. For example, Matthew is more thematic than chronological.  Even though Luke is not an eyewitness himself, he is interviewing eyewitnesses. So he leaves out the details maybe he didn’t know about. John fills these details in so, just reading these two you ought to walk away saying, “they’re witnessing the same event, but one is giving more detail than the other.”

slide30

After you go through these elaborate testimonies, these interlocking puzzle pieces you realize that it would take more faith to believe that these accounts were contrived, than to believe that you actually have four independent eyewitness accounts of the same events and that’s why you get different details.

slide31

Let’s do another one here. It involves Herod Antipas – he’s the son of Herod the Great. After Herod the Great died in 4 BC his kingdom got divided up and Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, got a portion of the kingdom. This Herod that you read of in the New Testament is the Herod that beheaded John the Baptist and also tried Christ.

slide32

Now, when you read the Gospel of Matthew, you have a puzzle arise, when he talks about Herod. Here’s what Matthew says in Matthew chapter 14 verses 1 & 2 about Herod:

slide33

At that time, Herod the Tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants “this is John the Baptist”, (referring to Jesus), “he has been raised from the dead, That is why these miraculous powers are in him.” Now, here’s the question, how would Matthew know what Herod had said to his servants?  Matthew is not in the room when Herod speaks to his servants! You say, well, maybe God told him. Well, yeah, you could say that. You could say this is revelation directly from God, but you don’t need to even go there …

slide34

Because, if you compare Matthew’s account with Luke’s account, you’ll see that, in an unrelated story, there is a detail in Luke that helps us solve the puzzle that Matthew leaves. Here’s what it says in Luke 8:1: “and the twelve were with Jesus, “

slide35

“and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, out of who had come seven demons, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for him from their substance.” There it is!  Just a passing detail! You can see here how it is possible that Matthew knew what Herod said to his servants, because one of his the women traveling with Jesus, is married to Herod’s steward (Chuza). Do you think maybe a little pillow talk may have ensued?

slide36

Herod’s steward Chuza is saying to Joanna, (whisper)this is what Herod is saying about Jesus. He thinks he’s John the Baptist – just resurrected.” That’s why Matthew knows it, because Matthew is following Him around too. The twelve were with Him, as this passage says! This is so inadvertent. It’s such a passing detail! It’s not like Luke says explicitly, “Here’s how Matthew knew what Herod said to his servants about Jesus.” He just mentions that Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward is one of the ones following Jesus and this Chuza guy is one of Herod’s steward. So here, Luke helps solve Matthew.

slide37

Here’s another one – a puzzling question that arises in Luke. Here’s what it says in Luke chapter 9: “And they kept silent and told no one in those days that any thing of what they had seen.” So, what’s the context of this…

slide38

Peter James and John had just seen Jesus transfigured along with Elijah and Moses. And it says, “and they kept silent, and told no one in those days anything off what they had seen.” (Luke 9:36) So, what’s the puzzle (Again, assuming you only had Luke)? Why would they keep silent about this amazing event? They just seen the Transfiguration! Why would they not have told everybody? But, they kept silent, so Luke kind of leaves a puzzle.

slide39

But you go over to Mark, and here’s what Mark account says, “As they were coming down the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man rose from the dead.“ Mark 9:9. Aha! Now you can see why Luke says they told no one. Mark gives us the command not to tell anyone, but he doesn’t say whether they obeyed it. Luke records their obedience to the command, but he doesn’t tell us what the command was, so Mark gives us what Jesus told them not to do. And Luke records that they obeyed what Jesus said! But, both accounts together give you a more complete picture. The puzzle raised by Luke, is solved by simply reading Mark

slide40

Now, let’s take a look at a puzzle that is raised by Matthew. Matthew records Jesus pronouncing the following judgments. This is in Matthew 11:21 (ESV). He says, “woe to you Chorazin, woe to you Bethsaida, for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Here’s the puzzle: what mighty works had been done in Bethsaida? Matthew doesn’t record Jesus doing any! It’s kind of a puzzle. Well, in order to answer this one, we’ve got to another puzzle before we answer this one.  So, let’s move over to John for a second, then will come back to Matthew.

slide41

John leaves a puzzle as well, because at the feeding of the 5000, John records Jesus asking Philip in John 6:5, “where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat?” Now here’s the puzzle: why is Jesus asking Philip, a relatively minor character, where to get a lot of money and food , instead of asking a leader, such as Peter or John or perhaps even Judas, because Judas was the keeper of the money, right? I mean, it just seems odd that he would ask Philip. Well, John leaves a puzzle, but Luke solves it.

slide42

And here’s how Luke solves it – inadvertently by the way. Luke, and only Luke, mentions that Bethsaida was the location of the feeding of the 5000. In a passing comment in Luke 9:10, he writes that Bethsaida is the location of the feeding of the 5000. Now in other contexts in John chapters 1 and 12, John records that Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee. Yet, in John chapter 6, where the feeding of the 5,000 is recorded, Jesus asked Philip where to get food. So, John and Luke interlock to help us solve the puzzle.  Philip is from Bethsaida. He would know where to get food and money because he’s in his hometown! Now, we wouldn’t know that from John alone. John tells us “the who”, while Luke tells us “the where”, thus the accounts are complementary here. These are passing details. John never says that Jesus asked Philip because Philip was from Bethsaida, because he never even says that they’re in Bethsaida! So Luke solves John.

slide43

Matthew leaves a puzzle in his account of Jesus being beat by the Roman guards (this is chapter 26 from verse 57-67). After Jesus basically declares that he is the Messiah, it says (v65) “the high priest tore his clothes and said he has spoken blasphemy, why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy, what do you think?” And they answered, “He’s worthy of death!”

slide44

Then they spit in His face and struck Him with their fists. Others said to Him, “prophesy to us Christ! Who hit You?”

As an aside…  Imagine this… The Creator of the universe putting on human flesh, coming here to earth, living a perfect sinless life in order to save the very people who are beating and spitting on Him! Amazing love…

Now back to the puzzle, why are they asking, “who hit you?” He can see them right in front of him, can’t he? Matthew kind of leaves a puzzle. Why would they be asking him to prophesy? He’s looking at them as they’re hitting him! Well, in order to solve the puzzle, you need to go over to Luke.

slide45

Here’s Luke’s account (Luke 22:63-65): “Now the men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating Him. They blindfolded Him and demanded, ‘Prophesy, who hit You’? And they said many other insulting things to Him.” So in Luke’s account, he gives the detail that Matthew doesn’t give. What’s the detail? That he was blindfolded! That’s why they were asking, who hit you? You don’t get that just from Matthew’s account. This is just kind of inadvertent, it doesn’t appear to be contrived, that Luke would solve a puzzle that Matthew leaves. So here we have another internal, undersigned coincidence, or interlocking puzzle piece.

slide46

Now we’re going to look at some interlocking puzzle pieces from non Christian writers, these are called extra-biblical writers – writers such as Josephus, Tacitus and Sutoneous.

slide47

If you go to Matthew, he says this: Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus were in Egypt, to avoid Herod (the homicidal maniac), who is trying to kill the babies in Palestine. Then Matthew says that Joseph had a dream in Egypt, to return to Israel with Mary and the Child Jesus. But when Joseph heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.

slide48

Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth , this is in Matthew chapter 2. Now here’s the puzzle piece. Why is Archelaus so scary? Why would Joseph want to avoid Archelaus ? Matthew doesn’t explain! He doesn’t even say who Archelaus is! He just says, when Joseph heard that Archelaus was reigning there, he was afraid, so he went north, he went up to Galilee. Galilee is north of Jerusalem. He didn’t go to the Jerusalem area, he went to Galilee. Well, who can actually tell us why Archelaus is so scary?

slide49

Josephus, the Jewish historian, who lived from about 37ad – 100 ad. He tells us that

slide50

Archelaus was one of the sons of Herod the great (older brother of Herod Antipas), and that Archelaus got a piece of Herod’s Kingdom, which happened to include Jerusalem. And even before he’s completely installed by Cesar, he decides to assert his authority. There’s a disturbance at the temple.

slide51

Archelaus orders Roman troops into the temple, and he actually slaughters 3000 Jews. Passover was cancelled because of what Archelaus had done!

slide52

So, imagine, Joseph is on the road from Egypt back up toward Israel, and there are Jews, who were at the Passover, returning to their homes maybe in Egypt, and they’re coming down from Israel, and

slide53

Joseph says, why are you guys coming down from Passover? Why aren’t you still at Passover? We can imagine them saying, haven’t you heard? Archelaus ordered troops into the temple, and 3000 of our brethren have been killed! Passover has been cancelled! So, Joseph is thinking to himself, I left Israel to escape a homicidal maniac! I’m not going to go back there to another homicidal maniac the son of the first homicidal maniac, I’m going to go to another district, where he’s not in charge.

slide54

So he goes to Galilee. Now, Matthew doesn’t give you all this detail, he just tells you the truth, that Archelaus was someone to be avoided, and that Joseph was afraid of him! Josephus gives us the detail! Josephus is writing probably 40 years after Matthew. How could Matthew control with a Jewish historian writes 40 years later? Mathews dead! He can’t! That’s why this is an undesigned coincidence. That’s why this is an interlocking puzzle piece. This elaborate testimony can’t be explained by some sort of contrivance. So Josephus comes in and actually verifies what Matthew is saying.

slide55

And how about Jesus going to the temple at 12 years old? Luke says, every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was 12 years old, they went up to the feast according to the custom. Now, here’s the question: why did his parents go without him, and then bring Jesus when he was 12? Why didn’t they bring Jesus when he was 10 or 11? Well, I think Josephus has the answer again. Josephus says this: in the 10th year of Archelaus government both his brother and the principal men of Judea and Samaria, not being able to bear his barbarous and tyrannical usage of them, they accused Archelaus before Caesar.

slide56

Caesar, upon hearing what certain accusers of his had to say, and what reply Archelaus could make, banished Archelaus to Vienna, a city of Gaul. Gaul is present day France. So, the reason His parents are bringing Jesus to the temple when he is 12, is because that’s the year that Archelaus is no longer in charge. That’s what it appears to be anyway, we are reading between the lines here. Again, this is from Josephus, 30 years after Luke is writing! How could Luke control what Josephus says 30-40 years later? He can’t!

slide57

So we’ve got Josephus not only verifying Matthew with regards to Archelaus – he solves a puzzle in Luke as well, it seems, as to why Jesus’s parents would wait until he was 12 to bring him to the temple. That’s the first year Archelaus  is not in power. They’ve been avoiding Archelaus for Jesus’s first 12 years, now Archelaus is deposed by Caesar, so, hey, now we can bring Jesus to the temple this year.

slide58

Now how about another undersigned coincidence. Why did Claudius order the Jews out of Rome? In Acts 18, of course written by Luke, it says after these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth and he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. So there is this kind of parenthetical comment, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. That’s why Aquila and Priscilla where in Corinth, because they had been basically booted out of Rome by Claudius. The puzzle is this: who’s Claudius and why did he command and all the Jews to leave Rome? In other words, Luke doesn’t tell you who Claudius is or why he commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.

slide59

But Suetonius, a Roman historian, writing about the 12 Caesars, (you know there were 12 Caesars, he did biographies of them) – he’s writing about 117 AD. Luke is writing about 60 AD (the book of Acts), no later than 62 AD. So writing 50 something years later, along comes the Roman historian Suetonius, and

slide60

in the section on Claudius, Suetonius writes this: “the Jews at Rome had caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, so, Claudius expelled them from the city.” What? That’s why Luke parenthetically notes that Priscilla and Aquila were in Corinth because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart Rome. Now why do you think you would have commanded the Jews to depart Rome? Maybe the Jews were not happy that the Christians we’re claiming that Jesus was the promised Messiah! And so there was a disturbance there. You know there was a disturbance wherever Paul went, particularly when he went into the synagogue. The Jews didn’t like what he was saying. They may have tried to beat him… Or they may have tried to kick him out… There was a disturbance. Claudius said get these people out of my city! By the way, we know that there was a church there (in Rome). That’s why Paul wrote the book of Romans!

slide61

He’s writing to the church at Rome! And, non Christian writers will tell you that Christianity spread rapidly as far as Rome. Why? Because there is a resurrection! So, now you have another outside source , Suetonius, who affirms Luke when he gives us the explanation as to why Luke would say that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome. Amazing – these are eyewitness details that are not contrived, as if the writers were writing fiction.

slide62

How about another external elaborate testimony? The question is, did Herod really kill John the Baptist? Now, which Herod? Herod Antipas, another son of Herod the Great, who beheaded John the Baptist and he also tried Christ. Whenever you see Christ is on trial, before Herod, this is the Herod – Herod Antipas. Here’s what Mark says about Herod beheading John the Baptist: the king, Herod Antipas, was greatly distressed. Because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her, so he immediately sent an executioner.  By the way, who’s “her”?  We’ve got to set the context here. Do you remember that Herod’s wife Herodias used to be married to Herod’s step brother, and he, Herod Antipas, got Herod’s step brother’s wife to marry him and John the Baptist said, this is an illegitimate marriage, you shouldn’t be doing this.

slide63

And so, when, her daughter, Salome, danced for Herod Antipas, he said, “Wow, that’s very pleasing to me, I’ll give you up to half of my kingdom, what do you want?” So her mother said tell Herod that you want the head of John the Baptist on a platter. And here’s where we pick it up in chapter 6 of Mark. Herod was greatly distressed because she said give me John’s head on a platter, but because of his oaths & his dinner guests he did not want to refuse her so he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John head.  And the executioner went and beheaded John in brought back his head on a platter and he presented it to the girl and she gave it to her mother. Now, Mark does not say who the girl was. Who does? Josephus does! So, here, we have an event that is in the New Testament that Josephus says actually occurred and he actually gives us the name of the girl who danced, the daughter of Herodias, Herod’s illicit wife. In fact, Josephus also confirms that this actually occurred, 40 years later in antiquities, the 18th book. It says “now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God and that, very justly, as a punishment against what he did against John, called the Baptist, for Herod killed him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue both as to righteousness to one another and to piety toward God and so to come to baptism.” So here’s Josephus, again, writing 40 or so years after Mark telling us that Herod killed John the Baptist. The woman who was the daughter of his wife, whose name was Salome.   And that he was judged because of this and that John was a good man, and actually got the Jews to live a more virtuous life, and actually baptized them. All this comes all from Josephus! Now, how could Mark, or Luke, or Matthew, (who tell us to same story basically that Herod executed John the Baptist), could they get Josephus to confirm what they said, when Josephus lived long after they died? They couldn’t! That’s why these are undesigned coincidences, uncontrived!

slide64

How about the Bible, in its discussion of money? Do you remember when Jesus was about to be trapped? By the Pharisees, and they come to him and asked, should we pay taxes to Caesar? By the way, there was a dual taxation in that culture. There was taxation from the Romans, and also taxation from the Jews, for the temple tax. So there’s a double taxation going on. In the New Testament writers know about this! How would they know about this? Unless they were there, or had access to eyewitness testimonies. How would you know there was a double taxation system? There was also a dual system of justice. Remember, Jesus is tried twice. He’s tried by the Jews and the Romans. How would they know that? If they’re just making all this up? It seems to take more faith to believe that all this was just invented, when they got it all right, there is a dual taxation system, there is a dual system of justice.

slide65

Anyway, the Pharisees say to him, should we pay taxes to Caesar? They’re trying to trap him, and he says “show me a denarius. Whose image and description does it have?” And they said, Caesar’s, and he said to them, “then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” And if you look at archaeology, you can see these coins have been discovered. And on the denarius, it had a picture of “Augustus Tiberius Caesar”, and it said, “Son of the divine Augustus”. Now of course, that’s blasphemy to the Jews, that a man is divine? You shall have no other gods before me Exodus 20:3 says, one of the ten commandments, so that would’ve been blasphemous,

slide66

but you find these coins, and yes, Caesar’s image is on the coin, and so Jesus, brilliantly, says, “well give to Caesar what is Caesar’s then”. This is Caesar’s coin, not gods.

By the way, Caesars image was on the coin as archeology reveals, but whose image is on you? God’s image! So, give to God what is God’s. Are you truly giving to God you? That’s really what we’re here to do, to know God and to make Him known! Are you an ambassador for the God who created you? Give to God what is God’s!

slide67

Also, Josephus confirms that Matthew is correct about the temple tax, because in Matthew 17, Peter is asked if Jesus pays the two drachma tax, the temple tax. Well, Josephus tells us in antiquities 18, that every Jew paid the two drachma tax each year as an offering to God. That’s about 2 days wages.

slide68

And the coin that Peter found in the fish is called a stator. A stator coin is worth about four drachma. So when Jesus says to Peter, throw your hook in the water, the fish you pull out we’ll have a coin in there and it will pay the temple tax for me and you, four drachma, they actually have found these coins. They’re called stator coins, so archaeology confirms the coin Peter found in the fish mouth.

slide69

Also, Tacitus another secular writer, a Roman senator and historian, actually confirmed that a denarius was a day’s wages, which is what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 20. Tacitus actually points out that denarius was a day’s wage in one of his works called annals. So now you have not only Josephus and Suetonius confirming Matthew Mark and Luke, now you have Tacitus telling us that something is right in Matthew regarding the use of money,

slide70

so the Bible is on the money! I’m telling you, there’s too many details like this for this to be invented friends! this is a witness detail.

slide71

That was a lot we covered and I guarantee you – there is at least 10 times as much information out there on this subject.  We’ve reviewed examples of both internal and external “undesigned coincidences”.  When you look at all these undesigned coincidences, these interlocking puzzle pieces, they present a very compelling argument that the writers of the Gospels and Acts really were recording independent eyewitness testimony of actual, historical events.  I think the conclusion is unavoidable – they were telling the truth!

Stephen Meyer interview by Frank Turek on Cross Examined

1 Peter 4:12-16

I was listening to the CrossExamined radio program with Dr. Frank Turek from October 24th 2013.  He was interviewing Dr. Stephen Meyer about his book Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design.

During the conversation, Frank tells about a construction analogy from Stephen’s book.  Reading from the book, Frank says (at about 14 minutes into the podcast):

“At a construction site builders will make use of many materials: lumber, nails, drywall, piping and windows, yet building materials do not determine the floor plan of the house or the arrangement of the houses in a neighborhood… in a similar way DNA does not itself direct how individual proteins are assembled into these larger systems and structures.”

Stephen then begins to expound on this whole idea by explaining the necessity of ‘epigenetic’ information in “building an animal”:

“In…

View original post 322 more words

Questions (with answers) for AWANA

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

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

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

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

Hi Friends,

Here are your weekly links:

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

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

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 2/12/2017

Yesterday our topic was abortion.  Here were some videos we watched in class:

  1. The 180 Movie (~ ½ hour): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI
  2. The S.L.E.D. Test (total of 9 ½ minutes):
    1. Introduction: http://subspla.sh/cd6e7d6
    2. S – Size: http://subspla.sh/52200fa
    3. L – Level of Development: http://subspla.sh/c03b7b5
    4. E – Environment: http://subspla.sh/469db33
    5. D – Degree of Dependency: http://subspla.sh/fcd0a3f
    6. Conclusion: http://subspla.sh/60e03e2
  3. Trotting out the toddler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ktPmgBX_FU

Unfortunately, all the people making the argument in these videos are men.  However, there are many strong pro-life women.  In some quick research, I also found this video from a woman abortion survivor to the Australian parliament:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOWMmx6eBjU

Very powerful.

This was not necessarily a “traditional” Biblical apologetics issue, but it is a moral issue that certainly flows from our Christian worldview.  There are a few Bible verses I quoted in the class, which are relevant to this issue:

  1. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”.  This tells us that God forms us in the womb.
  2. Psalms 139:13-16For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Again, here we are told that God is the one ‘knitting us together in our mother’s wombs.
  3. Finally, I referenced how the baby John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy SpiritLuke 1:41.  This tells us that John was a human person – a baby, not just a fetus, when he was in Elizabeth’s womb.

It was a good class and we had a good discussion at the end.

After the class, I was talking to one of the students (a female student who is a senior in high school).  She expressed a few different concerns regarding the topic and the video:

  1. She might be considered hateful by others if she tries to convince them about the pro-life view.
  2. She’s concerned that the woman that have abortions do not feel loved, but rather, judged by Christians – that we need to show them more love and less judgment based on the situation they’re in
  3. It would be more effective to have women make these arguments for the pro-life position, since they’re in a position to know more about the special burdens and trials of pregnancy and childbirth

By the way, I do agree with all those points.  Part of my purpose in showing the videos in the class, was not only to equip the students to make their pro-life case, but at a minimum to convince them personally that the pro-life position is the Christian position and the most logical/moral position.  So, my biggest concern is that the students are personally convinced and have a chance to think through the issues their selves in a safe environment where they can ask questions.  So, I hope that at least watching these videos has had an impact on their personal views.

That being said, I completely understand that it is a daunting task, as a senior in high school, to go out and convince others of that position.  My hope is that the students would be able to stand up and say “I’m pro-life” if the issue ever comes up and will be able to defend their views if someone asks them why they’re pro-life.  That’s defensive apologetics – giving a reasoned answer for your views when challenged, and not being persuaded by the pro-choice view because you’ve taken the time to think deeply about the pro-life view.

I did share with this student the one pro-life video by a woman (15 minutes), who happens to be a survivor of an abortion that she would possibly be interested in watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOWMmx6eBjU

She did watch it and said “I watched the video and it was really powerful and got me to think more about abortion.”

I also shared with her some links to several female bloggers that blog about pro-life issues:

http://www.lifenews.com/author/mallory-quigley/

http://www.lifenews.com/author/kristan-hawkins/

http://www.lifenews.com/author/cora-sherlock/

http://www.lifenews.com/author/rebeccataylor/

It was a great class and I think it was a divine appointment for this particular student, because she had just been struggling with this issue.

Conversation at St. Vincent de Paul Saturday February 11th

This past Saturday at St. Vincent de Paul, where our church volunteers once a month to feed the homeless, I had a conversation with a guy who was with another group volunteering there.  He was a parent of one of the girls on a high school sports club. Right off the bat, another Christian brother and I were talking with him and we let him know that we were Christians. That opened up the conversation for spiritual topics.  So, my friend asked him if he goes to church, and he said, “Well not so much anymore because we’re really busy, we’ve got the girls going to Lacrosse, we have a lot of other things going on, so we don’t really have time.”  I followed up with a question, “So then, would you consider yourself to be a Christian?”  He said, “Oh definitely!”  I filed that in my back pocket. Not much else was said right then, but I knew that since we’d both been assigned to work on the garbage, I would be having a lot of time to talk to him.

At one point during our shift when there was a lull in our garbage work, I asked him about his spiritual journey. He repeated the statement about him not having enough time to go to church. I replied, “Well, it’s only one hour a week, and we have a 168 hours a week. The truth is, we make time for things that we want to make time for. I’m not trying to convict you – I was there too and I know that life does get busy – I understand that. But, consider this: 100 years from today, we will not be concerned at all about what we’re concerned about today. Things that concern us today will be just a distant memory.” He replied, “Yeah because I’ll be dead.” And I said, “Well, you said you were Christian, so as Christians we believe in the afterlife, so actually you won’t be dead, you’ll be alive and you’ll be in one of two places either heaven or hell. So it’s important for us to have an eternal perspective as we go through life.  We sometimes need to back up and just take a look at the big picture and realize that we’re all going to die one day. With everything we’re doing in life, we need to ask whether it will matter 100 years from today.  Am I spending my time on things that will matter eternally?”  He seemed to acknowledge that without much to say in return, but I could see that I made him think about it.  That was pretty much all I said related to spiritual things.  We talked about all sorts of other things including career and how he thought it was so good to be doing this volunteer work.  He thought it was good for us and it makes us feel good as well.  He mentioned that it was good for his daughter, who was there, to see that.

So I hope that this conversation I had with this fellow will make some impact on him and get him to reconsider his priorities in life.

In Jesus’s Holy and Precious Name I pray, Amen!

AWANA Teaching on Joshua 1:8

Last Wednesday evening I had the awesome privilege of teaching about 10 fifth and sixth graders as I do once a month.  The purpose is to take one of their memory verses and expound upon it so that they understand it at a deeper level.  The topic I chose for that evening was Joshua 1:8.  Below is the content of the Power Point I used to present along with the comments that I made:

slide1

Today, we’ll be looking at one of the verses that you are memorizing.  It is from book 2 challenge 4:2, Joshua 1:8

slide2

Would someone like to read this verse? “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)

slide3

First of all, who is speaking in this verse? I’ll give you a hint – it is not Joshua or Moses. Look at the context…  (click) Verse 1 of this same chapter says “After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, (click) the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide”  So, when we read verse 8, these are the direct words of the Lord spoken to Joshua.

slide4

“Book of the Law”. The Bible. Do not let it “depart from your mouth” and “meditate on it day and night”.  Read/memorize Bible daily.

slide5

the reasons why we are to meditate on God’s Word day and night  – “so that you may be careful to do everything written in it”.  That’s obedience.  That’s action.

slide6

Result :  “Then you will be prosperous and successful”. Do you think that God is saying to Joshua that he will get a lot of  money and no longer have any problems in life? No, He’s not telling Joshua that. We can be prosperous and successful in God’s sight by reading, memorizing and obeying His word.  This may include riches and it may not.

slide7

In summary, Joshua 1:8 is the LORD telling Joshua (and us) that

1.the Bible is His word

2.We are to be

  1. reading it
  2. memorizing it
  3. Talking about it
  4. Thinking about it
  5. Obeying it
  6. Result will be blessing by God.

slide8

Now, I’ve been telling you that the Bible is God’s Word, but, so far, I haven’t given you any evidence for that belief.  Why should we believe the Bible is God’s Word?  What makes it more special than any other book?  How do we know it is not just a book of fairy tales and fables?

slide9

(hold up the Bible)

1.great privilege to have the Bible.

2. Many died to get this message to you (could’ve saved their lives by denying Jesus)

3.We don’t really appreciate what we have.

4.This is the Word of God He inspired men to write.

slide10

What we mean by inspiration of Scripture:

1.Men wrote the Bible

2.Not inspired like music or artwork

3.But the wrote what God wanted them to write

slide11

Americans becoming more skeptical lately – each generation…

slide12

Will give several lines of evidence that Bible not man’s word, but God’s word.  Hope you walk away convinced, not become “statistic”.

slide13

1.The Bible is indestructible

2.Many attempts to destroy the Bible in history

slide14

1.Before Christ, Jewish people under Antiochus Epiphanes.

2.Known as “the madman”

3.Persecuted Hebrew people.

4.Attempt to destroy copies of the Old Testament.

slide15

1.Maccabees says Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to destroy Scriptures by fire.

2.Wasn’t successful

slide16

We know we possess same Scriptures today because of the Dead Sea Scrolls – contain every book of the Old Testament except Esther.

slide17

1.Roman emperor Diocletian, known for persecution of Christians.

2.No tolerance for Christianity,

3.Called it a “cult”.

slide18

Diocletian’s initiated the most terrible of all the persecutions of the early Church.

slide19

1.302 A.D. he (Diocletian) told his government “to tear down the churches to the foundations and to destroy the Sacred Scriptures by fire”.

2.Massacred town because they where Christians.

3.Didn’t wipe out Christianity because of faith, perseverance and courage of the early Christians.

slide20

As the Word of God says: There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.

slide21

And “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever”

slide22

1700’s in France, Voltaire hated Bible.

Within 100 years Christianity would be gone

50 years after his death, his house used by Geneva Bible Society for printing Bibles

Now, 91% of American homes have at least 1 Bible, and 47% of Americans read the Bible at least once a week

slide23

The Bible best selling book of all time. “the Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year.”

The Bible most stolen book as well.  In the United States alone, 50 Bibles are stolen every minute.

The Bible most read book of all time and remains the most important book of all time.

The Bible is amazing and could not have survived all these years without God’s direct involvement

slide24

1.Bible has consistent message.

2.Its human authors:

1.Lived in different places,

2.Spoke different languages,

3.The message of the Bible in one sentence is “Through Jesus, God is restoring everything that sin destroyed”.

4.Couldn’t be true without God directing things

slide25

1.The Bible is not a single book, but actually 66 individual books

2.written

1.on 3 continents,

2.in 3 different languages,

3.over a period of approximately 1500 years,

4.by 40 authors

5.who came from many walks of life (shepherds, kings, scholars, fishermen, prophets, a doctor, a military general, and a Pharisee)

3.One unified book from beginning to end without contradiction.

4.This is evidence of Bible being God’s Word.

slide26

2,500 prophecies in Bible, 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors.

slide27

This document (show document) contains 60 of the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth (there are actually over 300 in total). This chart shows 8 of them.  As you can see, many of these prophecies are not something a human being could have caused to happen.  For example:

1.Place of birth (Micah 5:2)

2.Date of birth (Daniel 9:25)

3.Manner of birth (Isaiah 7:14)

4.Manner of death (Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 22:16 prophesied before the invention of crucifixion)

5.Burial (Isaiah 53:9)

The odds of 1 man fulfilling just 8 of these prophecies are 1 in 1000000…. (lot of zeros) – essentially impossible, which shows that God had to be involved…

slide28

1.Take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep.

2.“Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state.

3.Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one.

4.What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man.”

slide29

Question:

Who, in all the history of the world,

1.Born of a virgin;

2.A descendant of Abraham;

3.from the tribe of Judah;

4.from the line of David;

5.was both God and man;

6.was born in Bethlehem;

7.was preceded by a messenger, and visited the Jerusalem temple before it was destroyed in A.D. 70;

8.died in A.D. 33;

9.rose from the dead (Isa. 53:11)?

Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the only possible candidate. Only he hits the bull’s-eye.

slide30

There are many other prophecies that I could tell you about.  Please be sure that you can trust in the Bible, which is the Word of God.   He proves that He is the Author of it by fulfilled prophecies contained in the Bible

slide31

The 4th reason we know that the Bible is the Word of God is it’s reliability as a historical document.

slide32

A reliability of a historical document is judged by a few things:

1. Does it contain eyewitness testimony?  The New Testament consists of 27 books that were written by 27 authors who were either eyewitnesses to Jesus or interviewed eyewitnesses of Him

2. How early are the copies we have?  Any writing of history is judged by how close the writing is to the events it records.  The New Testament events all occurred in the first century (0 – 100 A.D.) and all of the writings were written in the first century.

3. How many copies do we have?  Historical documents are viewed as more reliable if they have more copies of them.  The reason for this is that mass printing wasn’t invented until 1440 A.D., by Johannes Gutenberg.  By the way, the first book printed on the printing press was: The Bible. But before that, people (called scribes) had to copy the writings by hand so that they could be distributed to other areas.

slide33

27 New Testament books by 9 authors (eyewitnesses or interviewed eyewitnesses)

slide34

1.Why don’t we have more written about Jesus?

2. 10 non-Christian writers who mention Jesus within 150 years of his life.

3.By contrast, over the same 150 years,  there are 9 non-Christian sources who mention Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor at the time of Jesus.

4.Jesus is actually mentioned by one more source than the Roman emperor at the time.

5.If you include the Christian sources, authors mentioning Jesus outnumber those mentioning  Tiberius 43 to 10!

slide35

the number of manuscripts compared to other ancient documents and the time gap from the events.

slide36

1.Wrap-up / Summary / Purpose:

1.understand Joshua 1:8

2.Overview of the reasons why we believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

3.Increase your confidence and faith in the Bible

4.Give you information to respond to challenges you hear

slide37

We talked about 4 lines of evidence that the Bible is God’s Word.  They are:

1. Indestructibility – we reviewed the examples of Antiochus Epiphanes, a few of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, as well as Voltaire

2. The Consistent Message of the Bible – Even though it is really sixty-six individual books, written on three continents, in three different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years, by more than 40 authors who came from many walks of life, the Bible remains one unified book from beginning to end without contradiction.  The consistent message of the Bible throughout is “Through Jesus, God is restoring everything that sin destroyed

3. Fulfilled Prophecy –Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament.  Many of those could’ve been fulfilled only by Jesus and many are not things that a mere human could arrange.  The fact that men wrote down hundreds of years ahead of time what was going to happen in the future, this shows God’s intervention.

4. Historical Reliability – the Bible is historically reliable.  We can be sure that we have the text of the Bible that was written down in the first century.

slide38

I hope that your faith has been made more sure by this information and that you’ll now be able to contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints!  Are there any questions that you have on this material?

mid-week apologetics booster (2-9-2017)

Good morning,

Hey everybody, I wanted to pass on a wonderful and encouraging opportunity for you.  A homeschool speech and debate club is looking for community judges for an upcoming competition.  The name of it is the Mars Hill Speech and Debate club.  The event is March 16-18 and they have a lot of different time slots to be filled.  It is on the west side of town, so it is quite a drive for many of us, but it is worth it…  In the past, I’ve done the Christian Apologetics events where the students are given a topic and have to prepare an impromptu speech to defend the Christian position.  It was so encouraging to see these young people defending their faith and so knowledgeable about such critical matters.  If you want to be encouraged and amazed, I would encourage you to attend.  You can find out more at: https://camelbackclassic2017.homeschooldebate.net/ .  You can look for a Judges link at the top of the page.  I blogged about an event I participated in November 2015, you can read about that to get more details on my experience.

Here are your weekly links:

  1. There’s No Good Reason to Deny the Early Dating of the Gospels: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/theres-no-good-reason-to-deny-the-early-dating-of-the-gospels/
  2. Who Is Jesus, According to Other Religions? http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/who-is-jesus-according-to-other-religions/
  3. Is salvation by works true? https://carm.org/is-salvation-by-works-true
  4. Why believe in Christianity over all other religions? https://carm.org/why-believe-christianity-over-all-other-religions
  5. World Religions: https://carm.org/world-religions
  6. How to Prevent Losing Another Generation: https://answersingenesis.org/christianity/church/how-prevent-losing-another-generation/
  7. Report: Christians Were Persecuted In Every Corner of Globe in 2016 – Leah Barkoukis: http://m.townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2017/02/05/open-doors-persecution-of-christians-report-n2280204
  8. William Murray, Son of the Founder of American Atheists, Converts to Christianity | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/william-murray-son-of-the-founder-of-american-atheists-converts-to-christianity/
  9. Jesus isn’t the means to something wonderful: http://adam4d.com/jesus-isnt-the-means-to-something-wonderful/
  10. Evidence for the Historical Jesus – free eBook from Dr. Gary Habermas: http://www.garyhabermas.com/Evidence/

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”  Mark 1:38

Blessings to you all!

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

Hi Friends,

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

  1. A must-read series of posts on cosmic fine-tuning by Allen Hainline: https://winteryknight.com/2017/01/29/a-must-read-series-of-posts-on-cosmic-fine-tuning-by-allen-hainline-4/
  2. Requiring Young Christians to Raise the Bar: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/requiring-young-christians-to-raise-the-bar/
  3. Clarifying Objections against Bible Reliability: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2017/01/clarifying-objections-against-bible.html
  4. Video: Evolution- A Theory in Crisis by Dr. Thomas Woodward: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/01/video-evolution-theory-in-crisis-by-dr.html
  5. Creation Is the Foundation: http://www.icr.org/article/9800
  6. The Beginning of Knowledge: http://www.icr.org/article/9803
  7. Major Evolutionary Blunders: Evolutionary Psychology for Serious Tabloid Readers: http://www.icr.org/article/9805
  8. The Atheist Delusion Movie (2016) HD – 1 hour – I would highly recommend watching this movie – the main thesis is that as a book requires an author, so DNA, the book of life, which is more complex than a book, needs an author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChWiZ3iXWwM
  9. The Top Three Reasons the Bible Is Reliable (Video): http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/the-top-three-reasons-the-bible-is-reliable/
  10. The Trinity is Not A Problem, It’s A Solution: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-trinity-is-not-a-problem-its-a-solution/
  11. Responding to National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution”: https://answersingenesis.org/family/gender/responding-national-geographic-gender-revolution/
  12. The Hidden Faith of Silence: http://www.equip.org/article/the-hidden-faith-of-silence/
  13. A Simple Reason Why The Qur’an Cannot Be The Word of God: http://crossexamined.org/simple-reason-quran-word-god/
  14. Answering questions about suffering: http://www.bethinking.org/would-a-good-god-allow-suffering/answering-questions-about-suffering

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

Blessings

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