Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Truthbomb Apologetics!

"The Bible is most of all a Story.  It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back His lost treasure.  It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves His palace, His throne-everything-to rescue the one He loves.  It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is-it's true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story.  The Story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story.  And at the center of the Story, there is a baby.  Every Story in the Bible whispers His name.  He is like the missing piece in a puzzle-the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture." [1]

Merry Christmas!

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible, p. 17.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Parents and Santa Claus

I grew up believing in Santa Claus.  I vividly remember getting up early Christmas morning, much to my Dad's chagrin,  and running out to the living room to find presents under the tree and Candy Canes hung all over the Christmas tree (this was something "Santa" did every year at my home).

I also remember the day that I found out Santa Claus didn't exist.  I believe I was around 7 years old and I was in my Grandmother's kitchen.  I started asking my Mom questions about the Easter Bunny [who I always believed was creepy!] and she allowed my questions to lead me to the logical conclusion that the Easter Bunny didn't exist.  I quickly drew the conclusion that Santa must not be real either.  My Mom confirmed that my reasoning had led to a sound conclusion.

I remember feeling disappointed and I wondered why parents would allow, or even encourage, their children to believe in things that don't exist; however, I cannot say that I was crushed or horrified. [1]

Now I have my own children and my wife and I had to decide what to teach them about Santa Claus.  We decided not to teach them that Santa Claus is real.  No flying reindeer with glowing red noses.  No strange man coming into your house at night, eating all the sweets and then leaving through the chimney, unless you don't have one, in which case I was told by one child that Santa simply turns into magic dust and goes through the keyhole!

The main reasons my wife and I decided not to teach our girls about Santa are:

1. I have no good reasons to believe that a man exists who flies around in his sleigh guided by magical reindeer delivering presents to boys and girls all around the world.

2. It would be a lie.  I also want my children to know that everything my wife and I say to them is true to the best of our knowledge.

3. Santa is strangely "god-like" in many of the popular stories and myths that circulate about him.  For example, claiming that "He sees you when your sleeping; he knows when you awake" seems to make him omni-present, an attribute which can only be properly used to describe God.

I believe that it is for each family to decide what they will teach their kids about Santa Claus.  Parents may want to consider simply teaching their kids about St. Nicholas.  Here are some great resources that are available to aid you in doing just that:

1. DVD- Buck Denver asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas?- This video discusses various Christmas traditions such as the origin of the name "Christmas," why we put trees up and who was St. Nicholas?

2. Veggietales DVD- St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving- The story of St. Nick told Bob and Larry style!

3. Book- The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving by Dandi Mackall

4. Book- Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer

Are there any resources that you would recommend?  Do you have any thoughts on Santa that you would like to share?

Courage and Godspeed,

Wintery Knight has also blogged on Santa here.


1. It should be noted that I did not grow up in a Christian household.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Using "Merry X-mas" to Witness

I have a relative who used to be agnostic.  He has since become a theist.  He used to jokingly say things like, "Merry X-mas" to me in an attempt to get under my skin.  I also recall a very godly woman I knew, who has since gone on to be with the Lord, telling me that she would never say, "Merry X-mas" because it was an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas.  However, is that the case?

According to gotquestions.org, no:

"In Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the word for “Christ” is Χριστός, which begins with the Greek letter that is essentially the same letter as the English letter X. So, originally, Xmas was simply an abbreviation of Christmas. No grand conspiracy to take Christ out of Christmas. Just an abbreviation."

So, the next time someone tries to be clever and wish you a "Merry X-mas" in an attempt to "X" out Christ, share with them the real meaning of "X-mas" and the life changing message of the gospel.

Merry X-mas!

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, December 03, 2012

Book Review: Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves

God is Love.  Through acceptance and abiding in this Love we learn to love aright in a fallen world.  From it we worship in spirit and in truth.  It is the foundation upon which we function as a disciple of Christ.   We grow in knowledge from the overwhelming awe this love invokes within our hearts and mind.  God, being Pure Love, gives sinful creatures the ability to love Him.  It is truly breathtaking when one takes the time to meditate, pray, and study out God as love.  But not many Christians embark on such a spiritual journey.  Why?  Because one word will ultimately surface when studying God as love because it cannot be avoided:  Trinity.  The oddity, the complexity, the mystery of the Trinity is alluring to many who believe in the God of Bible, but those same things which attract can cause one to regard it as a part of faith best left unknown.  Yet if there is one area of truth which the church needs today in this world of relativity, it is the Trinity; known and understood to the best of our ability this side of Paradise.  Not just for our own faith, but to share with all who will hear that our God is the only God who loves, and thus because of the Trinity. 

As someone who spent a few years curiously picking up random literature with a focus on the Trinity, and putting them down because of their complexity, I was delighted to have Michael Reeves book arrived in our mailbox.  As soon as my husband opened the package and showed his excitement over the content, the book was snatched from his hand to mine and the pages were turning.  It came at just the right time, as I had felt a pressing need to delve into the truth of the Trinity for months, but I wasn't sure with which book to begin.  And here it was, delivered to our house.  It was just what this disciple of Christ needed to begin her journey with the Trinity, and Love.

With witty writing, strong evidence from the writings of early church fathers and historians, as well as clear and precise explanations to accompany historical writings, Reeves has written a book that is easy to read, yet makes the reader stop periodically to ponder the content.  I would describe it as Trinity 101.  I hope the following details of the book will encourage you to read it for yourself and use it as a springboard to study the being and nature of God. 

I begin with a quote from the Introduction:  “….what we assume would be a dull or peculiar irrelevance turns out to be the source of all that is good in Christianity.  Neither a problem nor a technicality, the triune being of God is the vital oxygen of Christian life and joy” [p. 18].  Reeves goes on to say that his hope and prayer, as the reader goes forth into his book, is that the “knowledge of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will breathe fresh live into you.” 
[p. 18] If read with the full intent to know God more, the answer to his prayer will find its fullness in you.

Throughout the book, Reeves adopts a writing style of repeating and building, repeating and building.  For some this may seem a weary read, but I argue that it is necessary.  What is continually repeated is that the Father loves the Son, and that love is through the Spirit.  This is repeated in every chapter and built upon so that one understands: if the Father were God alone, there would be no love because it would be a selfish love; the Son has always existed with the Father so that there is One who loves and One who is loved; there cannot be love with a mutual Spirit of love.  Love is found pure in the Trinity; and because the love the Father has for the Son was so beautiful and pure, it was shared through creation and given to the creatures made in His image.  In that love we have the beauty of creation.  We have the beauty of salvation.  We have the beauty of a Christian life empowered by the Spirit, given by the Father and Son, because of love.

Brilliantly, Reeves takes the reader into the final chapter (and the 5th one at that!) to challenge atheistic arguments such as those found in Christopher Hitchen’s book God is Not Great (that God is a Ruler, a Big Brother, a Stalin-in-the-sky) as well as the New Age and neo-paganism dislike and foundation that God is greedy, selfish, and a huge bore.  Reeves also addresses evil and God’s wrath in this chapter.  We quickly come to understand that the Trinity answers these counterfeit claims of God’s being extremely well and Reeves allows the reader to build strong support for such claims.  This is accomplished through the repeating and building of the book from the introduction to the conclusion.  The last paragraph of the last chapter thus begins, “And so we come to where we started: Jesus as the bright lane to knowledge of the true God. As the Glorious Spirit-anointed Son, he reveals the Father.  He reveals God to be Father, Son and Spirit – and thus he reveals the only God who is love, and he shows us the true glory of that love on the cross.  In him we see a God far beyond the bores and tyrants we all rush to reject.  In him we see the good God.  And how good he is" [p. 128]!

A strong and full introduction, five chapters written with wit and wisdom, and a challenging conclusion to the one who names himself a disciple of Christ comprises this book.  It allowed this reader to finally begin to truly grasp that God is love.  We live with dim reflections here in this fallen world, but we do have a choice as to how dim that reflection is by how much we delight and desire to know God.  This book will allow the dimness to decrease a few more degrees; it will allow the reader to see more fully the God who allowed him to see in the first place.

This book review was written by Danielle Gross.  She holds a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and is a homemaker.  She also home schools our two girls.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Counterpoints: Antony Flew and Francis Crick

Francis Crick: "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved." [1]

Antony Flew: "Those scientists who point to the Mind of God do not merely advance a series of arguments or a process of syllogistic reasoning.  Rather, they propound a vision of reality that emerges from the conceptual heart of modern science and imposes itself on the rational mind.  It is a vision that I personally find compelling and irrefutable." [2] 

You can find our other "Counterpoints" posts here.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Francis Crick, What a Mad Pursuit, (1988), p. 61.
2. Antony Flew, There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, 112.