On November 17, 2013, I had the opportunity to speak at my home church Faith Christian Fellowship. I am grateful for a pastor that is willing to give me these opportunities to learn.
What I have learned as I have spoken at few different area churches is that there is only so much information you can pack into 50 minutes and I always wish I had more time. Further, when I go back and listen to my own messages to critique them (I am my own worst critic), I find myself wishing I would have clarified a statement or pointed out a resource.
So, above you will find my most recent talk, Is Jesus Really the Only Way to Heaven?, and I encourage you to take the time to read the footnotes as well. In them I plan to point listeners to some great resources and clarify or expound on a few comments I made. Finally, I will provide references for those who want to dig a little deeper or checkout some of the materials I refer to or used.
Courage and Godspeed,
1. Charles Templeton, Farewell to God, p. 27
2. For more of Ravi Zacharias's work, see here.
3. Survey as quoted by Doug Groothuis in Christian Apologetics, p. 567; also see here.
4. The paper by Dr. Norman Geisler that I refer to can be found here. In it, he writes:
"A. T. Robertson said the real concern is with about a “thousandth part of the entire text.” So, the reconstructed text of the New Testament 99.9 percent free from real concern."
Here, admittedly, the estimates of the NT reliability range from 98.33%-99.9%, but regardless of what percentages one holds to, the reliable of the NT is incredibly high and the variants so often referred to have no impact on any one central Christian doctrine.
5. Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, p. 252.
6. Regarding my point that "Ehrman believes that we have what originally written down," I should have been more concise. The point I was making is that Ehrman believes that the NT has been accurately preserved. He writes in Misquoting Jesus, regarding Professor Bruce Metzger, whom he refers to as "one of the great scholars of modern times" the following:
"If he [Metzger] and I were put in a room and asked to hammer out a consensus statement on what we think the original text of the New Testament probably looked like, there would be very few points of disagreement...." [p. 252]
Obviously, Metzger believed that the New Testament had been accurately handed down and so by inference we can conclude that Ehrman does as well because he admits that his position in this area differs little from Metzgers'. However, this surely does not imply, nor am I trying to do so, that Ehrman believes what is recorded in the NT.
A great article that supports my position can be found here.
7. A great book that deals with many of Ehrman's claims is Timothy Paul Jones's book Misquoting Truth. Further, you can find some great online resources here and here.
8. For an outstanding book on the reliability of the Gospels, see Jim Wallace's work Cold-Case Christianity. Our review is here.
9. For examples of how the Bible is confirmed by archaeology, see here or here.
10."Taking the Roof Off" is one of the many tactics Greg Koukl teaches in his book Tactics. This book should be required reading for all of those that want to learn different tactics to use when discussing their Christian convictions. Our review of the book is here. Finally, you can find a lecture here by Greg Koukl on how to discuss your Christian beliefs without sounding defensive.
11. You can order your own "Contradict" bumper sticker here.
12. My point when I said I wanted to ask the atheist gentlemen how he knew what was right and wrong was not meant to imply that atheists are not moral. My conviction is that atheism itself cannot ground objective moral truths.
13. My goal in this talk was to address a broad type of religious pluralism. I was operating under the assumption that most people who claim that "All religious lead to God" believe that God is in heaven. Surely, some of the religions mentioned don't even believe in a heaven; however, pointing out to folks that religions all teach things that contradict is a great way to shake their confidence in the idea that "all roads lead to the same place." Were I addressing pluralism in a more academic manner, I would surely be a bit more precise, but my goal in this talk was practicality. Further, here I am indebted to Aaron Brake and his excellent article The Six Blind Men and the Elephant: A Case for Religious Pluralism?
14. Norman Geisler, If God Why Evil?, p. 115.
15. Ibid.; p. 116. (Problem in Logical Form)
14. I believe I heard Frank Turek make a comment like this in a talk he did at Hood College years ago; however, a similar point is made on p. 46 of his book I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
15. One of the many articles that tell of some of the accounts former Muslims are reporting can be found here.
16. The Greg Koukl video can be found here.
17. You can read Strobel's interview with Charles Templeton in Strobel's book The Case for Faith, p. 7-18.