Monday, September 24, 2012

Announcement: Dr. Frank Turek will be at Mt. Airy Bible Church on November 18, 2012

Mt. Airy Bible Church will be hosting Dr. Frank Turek of Cross Examined on November 18, 2012.  Dr. Turek will be speaking on The Problem of Evil.

To learn more, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Gospel of Jesus' Wife?

The media has been ablaze regarding a 4th Century Coptic Manuscript that claims Jesus had a wife.  

Blogger J.W. Wartick shares the following regarding the text:

"Apart from the fact that it is 4th century and therefore a few hundred years after the events and during primetime for Gnostics making up facts about Jesus to undergird their own theological leanings, many seem to think this is somehow evidence against Christianity."


Wartick goes on to offer an outstanding collection of resources responding to the discovery here.


To her credit, Karen King, the Harvard Scholar who unveiled the fourth-century papyrus, admitted:


"This is the only extant ancient text which explicitly portrays Jesus as referring to a wife. It does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married, given the late date of the fragment and the probable date of original composition only in the second half of the second century." [1]


Of course, to my knowledge, many of the major media outlets didn't feel the need to report that.


Added 9-22-12

New Testament Scholar Dan Wallace weighs in on "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife" here.

HT: Apologetic315 via twitter

Added 9-28-12

Video: Did Jesus Have a Wife?  -William Lane Craig

Enjoy!


Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Source:


1. Karen King, Jesus said to them, 'My Wife,"  http://news.hds.harvard.edu/files/King_JesusSaidToThem_draft_0917.pdf, 2012.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Announcement: Defending the Faith Conference at Mt. Airy Bible Church in Mt. Airy, MD


Mt. Bible Church is hosting an apologetics conference entitled Defending the Faith: A Firm Foundation for Sharing the Gospel, Friday, October 5, 7 – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 6, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

There is no cost to attend but donations will be accepted.  

The conference features philosopher Dr. Gregory Ganssle, Cross Examined instructor Steve Schrader, Larry Moody, Pastor Marvin Patrick and Craig Shaffer and others.

I am grateful to be speaking on the topics of "Jesus the Intellectual" and "In Defense of Apologetics."

The agenda is as follows:

FRIDAY NIGHT:
          Intro/Music 7:00 – 7:15

Plenary 1 7:15-8:15 Reaching Professionals and Doubters (Larry Moody) [multipurpose room]

Plenary 2 8:30-9:30 True for You but Not for Me? (Steve Schrader) [multipurpose room]

SATURDAY:
Intro/Music 8:30 – 8:45

Plenary 3 8:45-9:45 The God Question: Creator or Crutch? (Marvin Patrick) [multipurpose room]

Breakout Sessions 10:00-11:00
• Jay Auxt: Sideling Hill – A Witnessing Tool [room 301]
• Chad Gross: In Defense of Apologetics: Why Apologetics is Biblical and Necessary [room 224]
• Bob Perry: Defending the Pro-Life View [room 250]
• Jack Keebler: Your Apolo-moment: Making a clear case for your faith in 60 seconds or less [cafeteria]
• Dr. Gregory Ganssle: Biblical Pictures of Apologetics [multipurpose room]

Plenary 4 11:15-12:15 Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? (Craig Shaffer) [multipurpose room]

Lunch 12:15-1:45

Q&A Panel 1:45-2:15 [multipurpose room]

Breakout Sessions 2:30-3:45
• Chad Gross: Jesus the Intellectual [room 224]
• Pastor Marvin Patrick: The Problem of Evil [room 250]
• Joshua Moody: How to transition from small talk to spiritual things [cafeteria]
• Jay Auxt: Global Warming – A Witnessing Tool [room 301]
• Pastor Robert Welty: How Can a Loving God Send Someone to Hell: A Response to Rob Bell's 'Love Wins’ [multipurpose room     ]

Plenary 5 4:00-5:00 Thinking About God (Dr. Gregory Ganssle) [multipurpose room]

You can email the Mt. Airy Bible Church office at office@mabcmd.org to sign up.

I hope to see you there!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Common Objection #18- "Jesus Never Existed."

When someone makes the claim that Jesus never existed, you may be tempted to respond like this.

Then, you may want to follow that up with this.

However, the best way to respond to such claims is always with good evidence and when it comes to Jesus' existence, we have more than enough data to satisfy the honest inquirer that Jesus did indeed walk this earth.

In Lesson 10 of TrueU: Is the Bible Reliable?, Dr. Stephen Meyer presents some of this evidence:


"In religious sources, in the Bible itself, you’ve got the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which now look increasingly like very significant historical sources in their own rights.  We don’t just need extra-Biblical sources to corroborate them—they’re very significant pieces of historical writing.  We have the Acts of the Apostles, the NT letters, the ancient creeds of the Christian church; we’ve got the apocryphal literature.  We have the Gnostic gospels that come later that are maybe not as historically valuable, but still mention Jesus as well.  We have the writings of the early church fathers.  We have the Mishnah, a Jewish source, which gives an unflattering picture of Jesus, but one which nevertheless establishes his historical existence. 

Jesus of Nazareth as a Historical Person
:


  • Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  • The Acts of the Apostles
  • New Testament letters
  • Ancient creeds
  • Apocryphal literature
  • Gnostic gospels
  • Early church fathers
  • The Mishnah (ca. 70-200 A.D.)
  • Historians of the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D.
And we have all the historians of the 1st and 2nd century.  I just mentioned a few, but in addition to Joesphus and Tactitus, there’s Bar-Serapion and Justin Martyr, we’ve also got Suetonius, Pliny the Younger Lucian, Celsus. 

Historians Mentioning Jesus

  • Titus Flavius Josephus, Yosef Ben Matityahu (ca. 37-100 A.D.)
  • Publius Gaius Cornelius Tactius (ca. 56-117 A.D.)
  • Mara Bar-Serapion (late 1st century A.D.)
  • Flavius lustinus, Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165 A.D.)
  • Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 69-130 A.D.)
  • Pliny the Younger, (ca. 61-113 A.D.)
  • Lucian of Samosata (ca. 125-180 A.D.)
  • Celsus (late 2nd-century A.D.)" [1]
For those interested in a more in-depth look at the ancient non-Christian sources attesting to Jesus' existence and deeds, please see here.

For a look at more of our answers to common objections, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Resources:

1. TrueU: Is the Bible Reliable?, Lesson 10: The Trial of Jesus with Dr. Stephen Meyer.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Dallas Willard on Logical Thinking

"...one can be logical only if one is committed to being logical as a fundamental value. One is not logical by chance, any more than one just happens to be moral. And, indeed, logical consistency is a significant factor in moral character. That is part of the reason why in an age that attacks morality, as ours does, the logical will also be demoted or set aside--as it now is."

You can checkout a great article by Willard [one of my favorites] entitled "Jesus the Logician" here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad