Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prayer Request

Dear Readers,

I wanted to take a moment, first of all, and welcome some of our new followers. Your readership is much appreciated and we hope that this blog serves in equipping you to better answer questions you may be asked about your faith in Christ and builds your confidence in those truths.

For those that are new to the blog, I am a father of 2 dear, young girls that I cherish. My youngest daughter has a kidney condition that we (my wife and I) have been dealing with for the past year(they discovered the problem in utero). My wife and I are traveling to John Hopkins Medical Center tomorrow to get a second opinion regarding my daughter's forthcoming surgery. Thankfully, the condition is not life threatening; however, those of you who have kids (and even those who don't!) can imagine how hard it is to see your little girl repeatedly poked, prodded, and stuck.

So, I am asking that you please pray for my youngest daughter (8 months) and for my wife and I. Please pray that God will be glorified through this situation and that my daughter will be safe.

I hope all of you don't mind me sharing this bit of personal information and I thank you for any prayers you may offer up in advance.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Update:

First off, I want to thank all of you who have emailed and/or commented regarding my daughter. Your thoughts and prayers are so appreciated.

We had a long day at John Hopkins today, but we received some comforting news. The doctor that we met with today confirmed everything that we had been told by our original doctor and seemed confident with the direction we are taking. Having said that, we will be following through with the surgery on May 26th at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. Please keep our daughter's surgery in your prayers.

Again, my wife and I are grateful for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words.

Featured Article: The Question of Miracles: the Contemporary influence of David Hume


Hello everyone! Whenever one brings up the topic of miracles or miracle claims, undoubtedly, David Hume's name will be thrown into the mix.

Hume, a devout skeptic, is well know for his arguments against the possibility of miracles. Even Christopher Hitchens, in his recent debate with Frank Turek, referred to Hume's argument against the miraculous as "irrefutable."

In this article, presented in outline form, Dr. John Lennox deconstructs Hume's arguments and demonstrates where he was mistaken.
You can view the article here.
Further, you may want to checkout this video by Dr. Lennox dealing with the issue of Science and Miracles.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flash Video: Do Miracles Happen?


Hello everyone! I hope that you are benefiting from the flash videos we have been working our way through. For those who may be new to the blog, we have been viewing a flash video a week from the Apologetics Bible Study Curriculum.

This week's video asks the question, "Do Miracles Happen?" Christianity claims that miracles have occurred in history. Do we have good grounds for believing they happened?

This video not only explores the miracle claims of Christianity, but many of the non-Christian miracle claims of the past.

I encourage our readers and team members to click through this flash video. Please feel free to share any thoughts, comments, or challenges you may have.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Monday, April 27, 2009

Apologist Profile: Dr. J.P. Moreland


I consider J.P. Moreland to be one of the bravest thinkers within Evangelical Christianity. Having heard him speak in person, Moreland is gifted with the ability to simultaneously challenge the Christian and the unbeliever. His philosophical mind and ability to communicate truths through illustrations and stories allows the listener to grasp very difficult concepts in a practical, applicable way.

Moreland holds degrees in philosophy, theology, and chemistry and has taught in numerous schools throughout the United States.

Undoubtedly, what I like most about Dr. Moreland's work is his passion for the Christian Mind to be restored within the body of Christ. He readily admits that in the past Christian's stopped valuing the life of the mind and began basing their beliefs largely on feelings. I, like Moreland, believe the cultivation of the mind is essential for the message of Jesus Christ to be heard more effectively.

To hear Dr. Moreland speak on this very topic, I encourage readers to listen to this challenge by Dr. Moreland entitled The Importance of the Mind in Christian Living.


The audio was found here.

Educational Background


Ph.D., University of Southern California

Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary

M.A., University of California, Riverside

B.S., University of Missouri

Publications

Loving God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, co-authored with philosopher Dallas Willard

Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power

Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, co-authored Dr. William Lane Craig

Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument

For an extensive list of Moreland's publications, see here. (scroll down)

Articles

Bible

The Historicity of the New Testament

The Rationality of Belief in Inerrancy

Christianity

The Selfish Heart of Christianity?

The Good Life

Philosophy


Philosophical Apologetics, the Church, and Contemporary Culture

So Right It's Wrong


What is Truth and Why does It Matter?

Is Seeing Really Believing?

Science

Is Science a Threat or Help to Faith?

Scientific Creationism, Science, and Conceptual Problems


Argument from Consciousness


Scientific Naturalism and the Unfalsifiable Myth of Evolution


Why is Evolution Believed More Firmly than the Evidence Warrants?

What is Scientific Naturalism? (Part II of the above article)

Miscellaneous

Answering the Skeptic

Turning Heroes in Horrors (Responding to Moral Relativism)

Persuasive Evangelism in a Pluralistic Culture

If you are interested in viewing other articles by Dr. Moreland, please see here and here.

Dr. Moreland's homepage offers numerous other handy resources such as:

Dr. Moreland's work is most valuable and I encourage our readers and team members to check it out.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Friday, April 24, 2009

Book Excerpt: Without a Doubt by Kenneth Richard Samples


Book Excerpt:

Embracing the grand evolutionary view that the sensory organs and cognitive faculties of human beings are the result of random and purposeless natural process raises an issue of trust regarding that which is observed. Does one's observations and thoughts actually correspond to reality? As a matter of reasonable practice, a person doesn't typically accept the idea that information, knowledge, and truth can come from a random, accidental source. How can such rational enterprises as logic, mathematics, and science be reasonably justified when the human brain and mind are the result of a non rational, mindless accident? Naturalism, in effect, purports that life, the mind, person hood, and reason came from a source that lacked each of these profound faculties and qualities. This would certainly be an effect much greater than its cause!

In table 1.1 two explanatory models show the plausibility of the atheistic and biblical positions:

Table 1.1
Naturalistic and biblical models
for the explaining life and the universe

Naturalistic atheistic model:

a. world created from nothing
b. life from nonlife
c. persons from the impersonal
d. minds from the mindless
e. order from the orderless
f. reason from the nonrational
g. morality from the nonmoral
h. information without a sender
i. code from a nonprogrammer
j. truth from an accident

Biblical theistic model:

a. world created by a Creator
b. life from Ultimate Life
c. persons from the Superpersonal
d. minds from the Ultimate Mind
e. order from an Orderer
f. reason from a rational Being
g. morality from a moral Person
h. information from a Sender
i. code from a personal Programmer
j. truth from ultimate Truth

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Featured Audio: The Fine-Tuning Argument by Dr. William Lane Craig

As we continue to examine the Teleological Argument for the existence of God, this podcast featuring Dr. William Lane Craig discusses some of the evidence for design found in our universe. Alternate theories are also briefly addressed, as well as the length of the biblical creation days.

Check it out
here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Featured Article: Evidence for God from Design: The Teleological Argument


Hello everyone! This week's featured article comes from PleaseConvinceMe.com entitled Evidence for God from the Design: The Teleological Argument. I thought this article would be great to build on yesterday's flash video dealing with the Design Argument for God's Existence.

This article is more of a summary of the evidence available for design in our universe. As the website itself states:

"The information on this web page is a simple consolidation of the work of some great Christian thinkers, philosophers and scientists!"

Hence, this website is a great resource for those just getting a start in apologetics.

For those who are interested in exploring the Design Argument more in-depth, I highly recommend Dr. William Lane Craig's article, The Teleological Argument and the Anthropic Principle.

Finally, here is a great links page for those desiring to explore Creation, Intelligent Design, and/or Evolution more in-depth.

Hope these resources are helpful!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flash Video: Does God Exist? The Design Argument


In the past few weeks, we have looked at various arguments for the existence of God: the cosmological argument, the moral argument, and the argument from Jesus' resurrection.

As we continue to work our way through the Apologetics Bible Study Curriculum, this week we focus in on the Design Argument or the Teleological argument. Telos is a Greek work meaning purpose or ultimate end. Teleology is the study of a thing's purpose or design.

Most likely, the best know version of this argument is William Paley's Divine Watchmaker Argument.

Paley reasoned that if one were to find a watch laying in the middle of nowhere, you would immediately come to the conclusion, upon examination, that there was an intelligent mind behind the design of the watch.

This week's video focuses on three parts of the Design Argument:

  • Fine-Tuning of the Universe or the Anthropic Principle
  • The Nature of Information
  • Irreducible Complexity
I encourage our readers and team members to click through the video and share any thoughts or comments you may have.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Monday, April 20, 2009

Apologist Profile: Dr. Ron Rhodes


This week we profile Dr. Ron Rhodes, founder and president of Reasoning from the Scriptures ministries. Dr. Rhodes is author of 35 books, regularly addresses current issues in the national media, and teaches cults apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary (Charlotte, N.C.) and Biola Univeristy (La Mirada, CA), and other well-known seminaries, when time allows. Dr. Rhodes has also been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences across the United States. In my opinion, Dr. Rhodes is one of the best apologists in responding and refuting the cults. Education

Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with High Honors.

Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary (1983). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with Honors. Elected to Dean's List.

B.A., Houston Baptist University (1979). Recipient of the Greek Excellence Award.

Publications The Complete Book of Bible Answers The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovah's Witness

The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Mormon

What Did Jesus Mean? Making Sense of the Puzzling Sayings of Jesus

When Cultists Ask (co-authored with Norman Geisler)

The Culting of America

To view a full list of Dr. Rhodes' books, or purchase one,
go here.

Articles

Accuracy of the Bible

Manuscript Support for the Bible's Reliability

Rightly Interpreting the Bible

The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Authority of the Bible

Responding the Cults/False Religions

Here, Dr. Rhodes offers a online e-book entitled
Challenge of the Cults: Their History, Their Doctrine, and Our Reponse

Responding to the New Age Movement

The Christ of the New Age Movement

The Jesus of the New Age Movement

Miscellaneous

Strategies for Dialoguing with Atheists

Is Annihilationism Biblical?

A Biblical Perspective on Suicide

To view all of Dr. Rhodes' online articles,
see here.

Quick-Answers- The "quick-answers" section deals with a variety of verses that are often misunderstood, taken out of context, or misused by cults. This section also covers numerous common questions asked about the Bible. A very helpful resource!

Can God's face actually be seen (Genesis 32:30)?

How could Jesus be made sin when He Himself was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21)?

Did Judas die by hanging or by falling onto some rocks?

I encourage you to check out all the topics covered in this section here.

Dr. Rhodes, and his ministry website, provide great resources and I encourage our readers and team members to take a look!


Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Featured Video: Evidence from Cosmology by Lee Strobel


In this brief video(5:04), journalist and apologist Lee Strobel explains why the universe requires a cause and why the God of the Bible offers the best explanation for the universe we live in.

This is a great video for the layman who has just started exploring the evidence from cosmology for the existence of God.

You can check it out here.


Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Featured Article: The Cosmological Argument by Dr. Phil Fernandes


In this week's featured article, Dr. Phil Fernandes, President of the Institute for Biblical Defense, presents a compact case for the existence of God by use of the Cosmological Argument.

Dr. Fernandes explains the history behind the argument, some alternative theories, and how Christian apologists should-and should not-use the argument.

I encourage our readers and team members to check out this article and share any thoughts or comments you may have.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flash Video: The Cosmological Argument



The very first verse in the Bible claims that "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..."



Apologist Frank Turek has rightly said that if this verse is true, the verses that follow are at least possible.

In this flash video, from the Apologetics Bible Study Curriculum, the Cosmological Argument for God's existence is presented in an easy-to-understand format.

I encourage our readers and team members to view this flash video and share any thoughts or comments you may have.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Featured Article: Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ by Dr. Peter Kreeft


In this week's featured article, apologist Peter Kreeft presents a compelling case for the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Kreeft begins his case by presupposing only two things, both of which are empirical: 1) The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them 2) and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today.
Kreeft writes:

"We believe Christ's resurrection can be proved with at least as much certainty as any universally believed and well-documented event in ancient history. To prove this, we do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not). We do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. We do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded...The question is this: Which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data? There are five possible theories: Christianity, hallucination, myth, conspiracy and swoon." [1]

Click here to read Dr. Kreeft's article, Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, in it's entirety.

I pray you are encouraged by this work.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Reference:
1. Peter Kreeft, Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/resurrection-evidence.htm, 1994.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Flash Video: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?


As Easter approaches, I am reminded of the words written by the Apostle Paul:

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Cor. 15:14; ESV; Emphasis mine).

Here, Paul makes an astounding confession. He is openly admitting that if Christ has not risen, our faith is worthless!

In the past, I have blogged on some of the evidence for the resurrection and some of the common objections offered by skeptics in an attempt to discredit the historical account of Jesus' resurrection.

In last Tuesday's post, we looked at The Moral Argument for God's existence by viewing a flash video from the Apologetics Bible Study Curriculum, offered by B & H publishing to compliment the Apologetics Study Bible.

Here is a flash video from the same series entitled, "Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?"; I encourage our readers and team members to check it out and share any thoughts, questions, or comments you may have.

You can view it here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Monday, April 06, 2009

Apologist Profile: Dr. Gary Habermas


Dr. Gary Habermas is one of the foremost experts in the world regarding the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

He has debated, written, and discussed on this topic in numerous books, publications, and interviews; some of which are listed below.

Dr. Habermas is most likely best known for his "minimal facts" argument for the resurrection of Jesus. However, he has also written and spoke extensively on how to deal with doubt and near-death experiences.

Not only is Dr. Habermas a scholar of the first rank, but he also lives out what he believes. He has often been commended by even his opponents of being a genuine, caring individual.

Education


Ph.D., (1976), Michigan State University
Area: History and Philosophy of Religion

M.A., (1973), University of Detroit
Area: Philosophical Theology

B.R.E., (1972), William Tyndale College
Majors: Christian Education, Bible, Social Sciences
Minors: Philosophy, Greek, English and Speech

You can view Dr. Habermas' resume here.

Publications


The Risen Jesus and Future Hope

The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ

The Case for the Resurrection, co-authored with Mike Licona (Highly Recommended)

Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immorality
, co-authored with J.P. Moreland

The Thomas Factor: Using your Doubts to Draw Closer to God
(Available for free on Dr. Habermas' website)

Articles

Recent Perspectives on the Reliability of the Gospels

Resurrection Claims in Non-Christian Religions

Resurrection Research from 1975 to the Present: What are Critical Scholars Saying?


Experience of Risen Jesus: The Foundational Historical Issue in the Early Proclamation of the Resurrection

Jesus Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic
Part 2

Explaining Away Jesus' Resurrection: The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories

Jesus, Inspiration, and Scripture

The Late Twentieth-Century Resurgence of Naturalistic Responses to Jesus' Resurrection

Jesus' Resurrection: When Truth Confronts our Worst Suffering

Audio


Veracity of the New Testament- Veritas Forum- audio

State of Apologetics Today: My Methods Explained in detail- audio

A large list of other audio that includes Dr. Habermas' lectures, debates, and interviews can be found here.


I encourage our readers and team members to familiarize yourself with Dr. Habermas' arguments and works. His book, co-written with Mike Licona, The Case for the Resurrection, is a great book for those just beginning to study the resurrection.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Debate Audio: Christopher Hitchens vs. William Lane Craig


Good morning everyone! Just wanted to make you aware that the audio of last evenings debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig will be made available here.

You can also read a "blow by blow" report at the Does God Exist Debate blog.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Friday, April 03, 2009

Live Blog: Christopher Hitchens vs. Dr. William Lane Craig


You can now follow the William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens debate live via this live blog!

The updates will be coming right from the debate floor. I encourage our readers to head over to the Does God Exist Blog and check it out!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross


Prayer Request: Dr. William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens Debate

Hello everyone! I wanted to encourage our readers to pray for Dr. William Lane Craig as he will be debating atheist Christopher Hitchens at Biola University tomorrow eveing at 7:30 pm. For all the details, see here.

Please pray that Dr. Craig will be able to speak clearly and that the Truth of the gospel will be made evident. I also encourage you to pray that Christopher Hitchens will come to know Christ and that all those in attendance and/or viewing the debate, will be challenged by the truth that can only be found within the Christian message.

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6; NKJV).

Keep watching the blog for post-debate details as they are made available!

Further, I encourage our readers to check Apologetics 315 for the debate audio. If it is made available, this will be one of the first places you will find it! We will most likely link to it, but I know some of you are anxious to hear this one!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Article: Introduction to Apologetics by Charlie Campbell


While I was at church this past weekend, I ran into a friend who is a new member of our Apologetics Team.

Last I had chatted with him, he was working his way through Lee Strobel's latest book, The Case for the Real Jesus.

During our discussion, I asked him if he was still reading the book and he replied, "I kind of got side-tracked. I have a hard time staying on one topic; there is so much to learn."

Later, as I reflected on the conversation, I greatly sympathized with him. As a follower of Christ, it is very easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information made available in the field of Christian Apologetics. I suspect that this may sometimes be the reason that many Christians shy away from learning to defend their faith. It is not an easy task and does require study and labor. So, why bother? Where can one even get started?

In today's feature article, apologist Charlie Campbell of the Always be Ready Apologetic Ministry, shares:

  • that apologetics is a command for every Christian.
  • that apologetics can be found in the Bible.
  • some practical ways that Christians interested in getting started in apologetics can begin to engage the culture around them.
I encourage our readers and team members to check out this article and share any thoughts you may have.

The PDF can be found here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross