Friday, December 23, 2011

Counterpoints: John Loftus and Frank Turek on the Death of Christopher Hitchens

John Loftus: "Many Christians are thinking he’s burning in hell. Some others may even say this. But it is a disgrace to humanity to even think this abhorrent thought about such a brilliantly good man...this statement burns me up to no end. It is more repulsive than any thought I can conceive...may his memory live on. He has changed the world for the better." [1]

Frank Turek: "There is no one with whom I disagreed more who I admired so much. I don’t see how anyone who knew Christopher Hitchens could think that a man with such admirable qualities and talents was nothing more than a collection of chemicals– the product of unexplained random processes. Christopher’s intellect, wit, courage, and passion are evidence to me of a Divine Being– a Divine Being who loves human freedom so much that He would even allow the gifts He bestows to be used against Him." [2]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

A Note Readers
:


Although I disagreed with many of Hitchens' views, I did admire his willingness to take on all comers and his story telling abilities. The goal of this post is simply to contrast the views of a Christian and an atheist on the death of a well-known individual. No disrespect toward Mr. Hitchens or his family is intended.

Resources:

1. http://freethoughtblogs.com/loftus/2011/12/16/christopher-hitchens-is-now-burning-in-hell/
2. http://www.crossexamined.org/blog/?p=258

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From the Cradle to the Cross...

What the Child has done for those who receive His pardon...

For those who are new to the blog, welcome to Truthbomb Apologetics!

My life has been dramatically impacted and deeply changed by the ancient thinker, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus made numerous spiritual claims and I came to the conclusion at the age of 25 that His claims were true. I have written about just some of the reasons I believe Christianity is true here.

I was not always a believer. It was after seeking God and finding Him through both experience and intellectually inquiry that I became a follower of Jesus. As I reflect upon that time, I realize that while I believed it was I who was seeking God, it was really God that was seeking me.

However, perhaps you have questions? The goal of this post [and this blog] is to aid the sincere seeker in examining the claims of Christianity and to encourage you, if you haven't before, to take the claims of Jesus of Nazareth seriously.

What follows are answers to important questions about Christianity:

What is the Gospel and how can I be Saved? Click here

Did Jesus Really Exist? Click here

Was Jesus Really Born of a Virgin? Click here

Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven? Click here

Is there any Evidence that Jesus actually rose from the dead? Click here or here

Aren't there Naturalistic Explanations to explain Jesus' resurrection? Click here

Aren't Miracles Impossible? Click here

Isn't the Bible Unreliable? Click here

Isn't the God of the Bible a "Moral Monster?" Click here or here

What is the Biblical Definition of Faith? Click here

For more of our answers to frequently asked questions, please click here or feel free to explore the blog. And for those who may have questions about Christmas, check out this post.

Jesus died on a Roman cross for your sins so that your could be made righteous before God. He took the penalty for your sins so that you could be pardoned. The Bible says that salvation is a "free gift" [Ep. 2:8] and that "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" [Romans 10:9]. I implore you to consider doing so today...if what Jesus said was true, your acceptance or rejection of this message will decide where you spend eternity.

Are you still not sure? Check out this video- What Happens After You Die?

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Resources from Lee Strobel

For those who do not receive Lee Strobel's monthly newsletter, I would strongly encourage you to consider signing up for it here. I have been very pleased with the content in the letters since signing up.

In this month's newsletter, Strobel tackles some relevant Bible questions and includes some excellent resources for the Christmas season.

Lee answers the questions- 1) When was Luke written? 2) Why is a Verse Missing in Matthew?- and you can find his responses here.

Further, he highlights the following articles:



Again, to sign-up for Lee's newsletter, go here.

To explore more of Lee's works, checkout his website found here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Article: What is the Truth About the Date and Origin of Christmas? by Jim Wallace

The forthcoming holiday season provides followers of Christ with an excellent opportunity to share the gospel with friends and family.

Here at Truthbomb Apologetics, we desire to equip you to intelligently and winsomely discuss the evidences for Christianity with precision and grace.

Last year, we offered this post that boasts numerous Christmas Research Materials.

In this post, we feature an excellent article by Jim Wallace of PleaseConvinceMe.com that addresses the questions:
  • So, when exactly was Jesus born?
  • So, why do we celebrate Christmas on the 25th?
You can checkout the article here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins and David T. Lamb

Richard Dawkins: "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." [1]

David T. Lamb: "While I applaud Dawkins for bringing these problems into the open for discussion, I don't agree with his conclusions. He simply isn't reading his Bible well." [2]

Forthcoming- A review of God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? by David T. Lamb


Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Resources:

1. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 51
2. David T. Lamb, God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?, p. 16

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Article: 15 Ways to Detect Nonsense by Apologetics315


Brian Auten of Apologetics315 has posted an outstanding article entitled 15 Ways to Detect Nonsense.

Check it out here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review- The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is by N.T. Wright

In this book, as the title says, Wright sets out to rediscover who Jesus was and who He is. He writes:

"If even in a human relationship of knowledge and love there can be misunderstandings, false impressions, wrong assumptions, which need to be teased out and dealt with, how much more when the one to whom we are relating is Jesus himself" (p. 14).

Indeed, for the Christ follower, the desire to know more about Jesus will not be satiated until He is met face to face.

So, Wright presents a twofold challenge. He invites the reader to join the quest of looking at Jesus in a new light (through the lense of first century Judaism) and then use that new understanding of Him as a model of what the church is to be for the
world in the 21st century.

He undertakes this quest by exploring the following questions found on page 33:

1. Where does Jesus belong within the Jewish world of his day?

2. What, in particular, was his preaching of the kingdom all about? What was he aiming to do?

3. Why did Jesus die? In particular, what was his own intention in going to Jerusalem that last fateful time?

4. Why did the early church begin, and why did it take the shape it did? Specifically, of course, what happened at Easter?

5. How does all this relate to the Christian task and vision today?

Answering the Questions

1. Where does Jesus belong within the Jewish world of his day?

I believe Wright sums up the answer to this question with the following statement:

"His place there...was the place of a prophet, warning that Israel’s present course was leading to disaster and urging a radical alternative upon her" (p. 73).

Israel was reading the wrong story and had lost sight of its purpose to which Jesus was calling them back to. Wright states:

"The story was never about Israel beating up her enemies and becoming established as the high-and mighty master of the world. It was always the story of how the creator God, Israel’s covenant God, would bring his saving purposes for the world to birth through the suffering and vindication of Israel” (p. 161-162).

2. What, in particular, was his preaching of the kingdom all about? What was he aiming to do?

Jesus was proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. Wright lays out the main thrusts of this kingdom-message:

- The End of Exile: The parable of the sower in Mark 4:1-20 and the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 offer a few examples where Christ was saying Israel’s exile was ending.

- The Call of the Renewed People: Jesus was “telling his hearers to give up their agendas and to trust him for his way of being Israel, his way of bringing the kingdom, his kingdom-agenda” (p. 44). Jesus was reconstituting Israel around Him as seen in the summoning of the twelve, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, and his radical acceptance and forgiveness.

- Disaster and Vindication:

Jesus announced…"that God’s judgment would fall not on the surrounding nations but on the Israel that had failed to be the light of the world. Jesus himself and his followers…were now the true, reconstituted Israel. They would suffer and suffer horribly, but God would vindicate them" (p. 49).

This is seen in Luke 19:41-44 and Mark 13 and its parallels in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.

Wright goes on to explain that Jesus attacked the symbols of the second-Temple Jewish worldview as obsolete, and having no place in the kingdom of God. In fact the symbols were being “redefined in and around him and his work” (p. 55). He also makes the following very clear:

"Jesus’ clash with the Pharisees came about…because his kingdom-agenda for Israel demanded that Israel leave off her frantic and paranoid self-defense, reinforced as it now was by the ancestral codes, and embrace instead the vocation to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth" (p. 57).

Wright’s thorough description of each of these symbols and the symbols Jesus replaced them with gives this reader a better sense of how radical Jesus was to the first century Jews who heard Him.

3. Why did Jesus die? In particular, what was his own intention in going to Jerusalem that last fateful time?

Wright sums up the answer to this question by repeating what he has written elsewhere for he feels he can do no better and this reader does not intend to sum it up any better either:

"Jesus’ underlying aim was based on his faith-awareness of vocation. He believed himself called, by Israel’s god, to evoke the traditions which promised YHWH’s return to Zion, and the…traditions which spoke of a human figure sharing the divine throne; to enact those traditions in his own journey to Jerusalem, his messianic act in the Temple, and his death at the hands of the pagans (in the hope of subsequent vindication); and thereby to embody YHWH’s return" (p. 121).

4. Why did the early church begin, and why did it take the shape it did? Specifically, of course, what happened at Easter?

Wright tackles this question in chapter six of the book by presenting a historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus that this reader finds very impressive. I will not explain it in this review as I encourage that it be read in full. As a teaser, however, it is based on 1 Corinthians 15 and the expectations of first century Jews.

The answer to the question though is the resurrection from the dead of all creation sparked by the resurrection of Jesus.

5. How does all this relate to the Christian task and vision today?

As I was reading through the last chapter of the book that addresses this question, I was reminded of the call philosopher John Mark Reynolds places upon Christians to engage culture by creating and building beauty. Wright is calling us to the same and further proposes that Jesus’ resurrection was the beginning of the new world which all creation has been groaning for since the Fall and that “everything done on the basis of Jesus’ resurrection and in the power of the Spirit already belongs to that new world” (p. 180).

Wright calls followers of Christ to build a new world through the Spirit. A world that is founded on Jesus. A world that, because of Jesus and His resurrection, has already arrived.

Conclusion

If you are looking to understand Jesus as He would have been understood by His Jewish contemporaries, this is a excellent book to read. I am now more able to look at what Jesus said and did in the Gospels through the eyes of a first century Jew. And if you want a better understanding of the full impact of how Jesus’ death and resurrection was the culmination of history (God’s story), again, this book is worth reading. This understanding adds to this reviewer’s insight into the absolute uniqueness of the God of Israel.

DVD Review

The book also comes with a DVD in which Wright explores the concept of resurrection in the ancient world. Wright discovers that a man rising bodily from the dead was unheard of before the first century. In the ancient world death was permanent. Death was a door that opened to a spirit world, a door that could not be opened again by the one who had gone through it. He goes on to state that even though the Jews believed in a bodily resurrection, this belief correlated with the end of the world. Wright concludes that the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation for a group of first century Jews (the early Christians) proclaiming Jesus had risen bodily from the dead in the present world. This reviewer found that the DVD further solidified Wright's historical argument for the bodily resurrection of Jesus found in the book.

Thanks to
Intervarsity Press for the review copy.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Saturday, November 05, 2011

John Mark Reynolds and Objective Beauty

If you have not heard philosopher John Mark Reynolds, you should make a point to do so. During a conference I attended a few weeks ago at Mt. Airy Bible Church, Dr. Reynolds argued that beauty was objective. I found the arguments fascinating.

In this post, I want to highlight a 5 article series in which Dr. Reynolds outlines his case for objective beauty.





Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins and C.S. Lewis


Richard Dawkins: "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference." [1]

C.S. Lewis: "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." [2] 

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden, p. 55.
2. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lecture: William Lane Craig presents "The Evidence for God"

Here is a video of a lecture that Dr. William Lane Craig gave at Imperial College on October 18, 2011 entitled The Evidence for God.

For more resources by Dr. Craig, please see here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why Is God Not a Possibility?

As someone interested in apologetics, Chad asked me if I would be able to occasionally write posts for the blog. As you can see from the words you are now reading, I gladly accepted.

An article posted on 27 September on the Washington Post "On Faith" blog entitled, 'Atheism is cool’ says Archbishop of Canterbury, discussed the growing popularity of atheism due to the failure of the religious to appear rational before a questioning world for holding the beliefs that they do. So, I posted a response to the article to demonstrate that Christianity has a rational voice. I provided a brief version of the Cosmological Argument- meaning that evidence suggests that the universe, all space, time, and matter, had a beginning out of nothing. Therefore, something supernatural and eternal must be in place in order for the universe to exist and that God fits both of these attributes.

As a side note, I also posted the Minimal Facts argument for the resurrection of Jesus and few commented on that and none refuted any of the facts presented. In response to my post, one blogger asked, “Why is God the best explanation for the beginning of the universe?”

Another blogger posted a YouTube video of Lawrence Krauss giving a lecture on Quantum Mechanics and essentially said, “Here is your evidence for how the universe came from nothing.” Quantum Mechanics still admits a beginning and in a debate Dr. Krauss had with Dr. William Lane Craig in March Dr. Krauss kept asking the question, “Why does a beginning to the universe point to God?” In my limited experience discussing the origins of the universe with atheists, it seems that similar versions of this question pop up. The question I pose in response is this: Is God not a possibility? Dr. Craig, myself and other proponents of Christianity consider possibilities such as Quantum Mechanics. Why does it seem that atheists do not even want to consider God a possible cause of the beginning of the universe even after being presented with evidence that He is one? I have my thoughts. What do you the readers think?

Chase Deener


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Video: Dr. J.P. Moreland- "Arguing God from Moral Law?"


For those not familiar with Closer to the Truth, it's a great place to watch interviews with scholars, scientists, and philosophers of all stripes on questions concerning the cosmos, consciousness, and God.

In this video, Dr. J.P. Moreland discusses the relationship between God and morality.

You can watch it here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apologetics Ministries in Maryland?

Hello Readers,

First off, I just want to start off by thanking each of you for your readership. Admittedly, our posting has been sporadic as of late due to personal scheduling challenges. My apologies.

However, I have been invited to do an interview this week about Truthbomb Apologetics and other apologetics ministries in Maryland. Here is where you come in- if you are aware of any solid apologetics ministries in Maryland, please share via the comments. I would like to use the interview to promote sound apologetics ministries in the area.

Thank you so much for your help!

Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monday, September 05, 2011

Videos: Dr. Gary Habermas on What Jesus Said...


Philosopher and resurrection expert Gary Habermas was recently featured on the Day of Discovery Series titled What Jesus Said.

The following are 4 videos of Dr. Habermas from the series:

1. What Jesus said about the Resurrection, Pt 1

2. What Jesus said about the Resurrection, Pt. 2

3. What Jesus said about Who He Is

4. What Jesus said about following Him

As Dr. Habermas' site notes:

"These are very large files that we are not able to divide or compress any further. We suggest that you download the files and watch them on your computer as two separate steps. To do this, right click (PC) or click hold (Mac) and select the option to save the file from the resulting pop-up menu. The download time will vary depending on the speed of your internet connection."

Enjoy!

To learn more about Dr. Habermas, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Some Articles on the "Problem" of Adam and Eve

Due to certain groups such as Biologos and others, many even within evangelical circles are questioning the historicity of a literal Adam and Eve. Are there any good reasons to believe that Adam and Eve actually existed and that the biblical account in Genesis gets it right? I believe so and what follows are a few articles that serve to make a case for a literal Adam and Eve and further challenge some common evolutionary assumptions.


Speaking of Adam and Eve by Dr. Fazale Rana


For more resources dealing with this topic, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Voice of the Martyrs


We here at Truthbomb Apologetics encourage everyone to get informed and pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world at Voice of the Martyrs.

Sign-up for their free monthly newsletter here.

Request a free copy of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand's book Tortured for Christ here. To learn more about Pastor Wurmbrand visit here.

To find out more about how you can get involved, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Article: Why is the New Testament Silent on Slavery- or is it? by Paul Copan



Philosopher Paul Copan, author of Is God a Moral Monster?, has recently released an essay entitled Why the New Testament is Silent on Slavery- or is it?


For more resources from Copan, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Conference: Reason, Relevance, and Religion- Looking at Christianity's Place in Today's Culture at Mt. Airy, Maryland

Fall 2011 MABC Apologetics Conference - Mount Airy, Maryland

When you boil it down, isn't Christianity really about blind faith and mystery? That's certainly what we hear the world saying through every vehicle of the media. But it turns out to be the furthest thing from the truth. In this fast-paced and stimulating conference, some of the leaders in Christian thinking and philosophy will demonstrate that Christianity is really all about KNOWLEDGE! As the Apostle John said, we can "KNOW the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). The very best scholarship and thinking in history, philosophy, science, and cultural studies point to the truth of the Christian worldview. This conference will help equip you to make your case for Christ in a hostile world.

Free Kick-Off


Apologetics and Evangelism in a Skeptical Age
Thursday, October 6 7:00 - 9:30 pm with Craig Hazen

Conference Sessions: October 7-8


Join us for cutting-edge plenary sessions on basic apologetics and communicating your ideas with impact. Plus a fantastic slate of break-out sessions just before the lunch break.

Is the Bible Intolerant with Brett Kunkle Friday, October 7 7:00 - 9:30 pm

Finding Christ in Culture with John Mark Reynolds Saturday, October 8 9:00 am - 11:20 pm

Evidence for the Resurrection with Gary Habermas Saturday, October 8 2:00 - 4:00 pm






Saturday Break Out Sessions: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Marvin Patrick:"Answering Jehovah's Witnesses"

Steve Schrader:"Answering Mormonism"

Nabeel Qureshi: "Answering Islam"

Greg Gannsle: "Why Christianity Makes Sense"

For more information, and to register, see here
.

Mt. Airy always does an excellent job with their conferences. We hope to see each of you there!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Human/Ape Common Ancestry- Follow the Evidence!



I am continually taken a back by the free ride skeptics and atheists are many times given when it comes to their often touted claim that genetic similarities between humans and apes demonstrate that Neo-Darwinism is surely true.

For example, in Christopher Hitchens' much published debate with philosopher/theologian William Lane Craig, Hitchens made a sweeping statement regarding the genetic similarties in humans and apes as if this is powerful evidence for Darwinian evolution. Is that truly the case?

You decide...

Checkout these articles and be bold enough to follow the evidence wherever it leads!

Is there perhaps an alternative point of view? If so, are you willing to consider it?

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Four Functions of Apologetics by Kenneth Boa

As I was reading through an article this evening entitled What is Apologetics? by Kenneth Boa, I found these brief paragraphs helpful in addressing the often asked question, "What is the purpose of apologetics?"

Although Boa concedes that not everyone agrees that apologetics involves all four of these functions, I found them helpful in clarifying what one can aim to accomplish using apologetics.

Boa writes:

"The first function of apologetics may be called vindication or proof, and involves marshaling philosophical arguments as well as scientific and historical evidences for the Christian faith. The goal of this function is to develop a positive case for Christianity as a belief system that should be accepted. Philosophically, this means drawing out the logical implications of the Christian worldview so that they can be clearly seen and contrasted with alternate worldviews.

The second function is defense. This function is closest to the NT and early Christian use of the word apologia, defending Christianity against the plethora of attacks made against it in every generation by critics of varying belief systems. This function involves clarifying the Christian position in light of misunderstandings and misrepresentations; answering objections, criticisms, or questions from non-Christians; and in general clearing away intellectual difficulties that nonbelievers claim stand in the way of their coming to faith.

The third function is refutation of opposing beliefs. This function focuses on answering the arguments non-Christians give in support of their own beliefs. Most apologists agree that refutation cannot stand alone, since proving a non-Christian religion or philosophy to be false does not prove that Christianity is true. Nevertheless, it is an essential function of apologetics.

The fourth function is persuasion. By this we do not mean merely convincing people that Christianity is true, but persuading them to apply its truth to their life. This function focuses on bringing non-Christians to the point of commitment. The apologist's intent is not merely to win an intellectual argument, but to persuade people to commit their lives and eternal futures into the trust of the Son of God who died from them." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

1. Kenneth D. Boa, What is Apologetics?, The Apologetics Study Bible, p. xxv.