Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Video: Who Defines What is Real? by J.P. Moreland


In this brief talk, philosopher J.P. Moreland addresses the following questions:
  • What is Scientism?
  • What is the difference between strong and weak scientism?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Is Theistic Evolution compatible with the Bible?
  • When is it okay to disagree with experts in a given field?
This talk was part of the event "Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique," hosted by Biola University.

If you are interested in hearing more from Moreland on these topics, I recommend his latest book Scientism and Secularism.  

You can learn more about J.P. Moreland here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Jesus: The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived

It was the late Dallas Willard who was fond of saying, "Jesus Christ is the smartest man who ever lived."  Have you ever thought of Jesus in this way?  If you are a Christian, it is important that you realize that seeing Jesus as intelligent and smart is critical to your discipleship.  Why? Simply put, if you don't think your teacher is very bright, you aren't going to learn much from Him.  Further, if Jesus is thought of as irrelevant to your intellect, you will not go to Him to learn how to live. And if you don't go to Him to learn how to live, then you are not His disciple.

The following are resources that will aid you in viewing Jesus perhaps in a way you have not considered before.


Articles


How Did Jesus Argue?  Jesus and Logic by J.P. Moreland

Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist by Doug Groothuis

Jesus the Logician by Dallas Willard

Who Is Your Teacher? by Dallas Willard

Jesus Used Logic by Dave Miller

The Apologetics of Jesus by Patrick Zukeran

Jesus: The Master of Critical Thinking by Juan Valdes

Audio

Jesus as a Logician and Apologist by Dallas Willard

Loving God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland

Books

Loving God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland

On Jesus by Doug Groothuis

The Apologetics of Jesus by Norm Geisler and Patrick Zukeran

The Great Omission by Dallas Willard

The Philosophy of Jesus by Peter Kreeft

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Jesus Valued Evidence and So Should You

When John the Baptist was in prison (Matt.11:2), he sent two of disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" In other words, "Are you the Messiah?"

Before we look at how Jesus did answer, consider what he didn't say-
  • "Tell John he just needs to believe because I said so."
  • "Tell John that he needs to have more faith."
  • "Shame on John for asking questions."
Jesus answered as follows:

"Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." (Matt. 11:4)

In other words, Jesus was saying, "Tell John to look at the evidence."

Is this true of us?  When people ask us questions about our Christian convictions are we able to "make a defense" (1 Peter 3:15) or do you simply tell them to have more faith or believe because the Bible says so?

Jesus valued evidence; therefore, so should we His followers.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Preview: Forensic Faith for Kids by Jim and Susie Wallace



About Authors


J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, truTV, and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, God’s Crime Scene, God’s Crime Scene for Kids, and Forensic Faith.




About the Book


Many young believers want to tell others about their relationship with Jesus but aren’t sure how to begin or can become rattled by questions. In fact, many young believers have their own questions about Christianity and struggle to find answers.

Detective J. Warner Wallace helps kids develop good investigative skills, so they can navigate tough questions about faith and share what they’ve learned with others.

As in their other Case Makers Academy books, J. Warner and Susie Wallace teach kids to think like detectives by reaching into their detective tool bag. While they search for clues to the real owner of a lost puppy, the cadets learn how to be confident in sharing with friends the truth of their faith in Jesus.

Learn more about the book here.

You can purchase your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Article: Try As We Might, It Won’t Be Easy to Abandon Our Religious Identity by J. Warner Wallace

In this featured article, author, speaker and cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace reports on data he has been collecting for the past 10 years.  The data he reports on demonstrates that while, "fewer people claim a Christian affiliation than ever before, and those who claim no religious affiliation are the fastest growing group in America. But while fewer people may belong to Christian churches or communities, Americans will likely retain some form of religious identity, especially if what’s happening in Europe is an indicator of things to come."

You can read the entire article here.

For more of Wallace's work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Debate Video: Michael Ruse vs. John Lennox- Science, Faith and the Evidence for God


In this featured video, John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University & Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, debate science, faith and evidence for God.  This debate was featured on Justin Brierley's Unbelievable?.  This discussion is part of Unbelievable?'s "Big Conversation" series.  The Big Conversation is a unique video series from Unbelievable? featuring world-class thinkers across the Christian and atheist community.  Exploring science, faith, philosophy and what it means to be human.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Jesus Among Secular Gods: Upcoming Group Study for Men and Women

Faith Christian Fellowship of Williamsport, MD, will be hosting a group study using the curriculum from the book Jesus Among Secular Gods, which is co-authored by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale.  The study will begin for men on Monday, September 24th.  The women's study will begin on Monday, October 1st.  The time for each will be 7:00-8:30 PM.  Sessions will be bi-weekly.

The study books can be purchased at your local LifeWay Christian bookstore.  For additional information, you can email Erin Croteau at ecroteau3@gmail.com.



God Bless,




Friday, September 14, 2018

Video: What is Molinism?


Molinism (a theological position named after 16th century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina), is an increasingly popular model for reconciling God's sovereignty and providence with human freedom and choice. Molinists maintain that God knows what we would do in counter-factual situations (middle knowledge), and that God uses this knowledge to accomplish his goals.[1] In this video, David Wood of Acts 17 Apologetics interviews William Lane Craig about the doctrine.  This is a great introduction to Molinism!

Courage and Godspeed,

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Four Functions of Apologetics

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

Footnote:

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

Thursday, September 06, 2018

The Clearest Statements in the Bible about Jesus Being the Only Way to Salvation

If you are committed the authority of the Bible, you must hold that Jesus is only way to salvation. This isn't simply a matter a interpretation.  The Bible couldn't be more clear on the topic.  Consider these statements attributed to those who learned from Jesus and Jesus Himself:

John 14:6-  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me."

Acts 4:11-12- "He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone.  And there is salvation is no one else; for here is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

Acts 16:30-31- And after he brought them out he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved."

1 Timothy 2:5- For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Jesus the Messiah.

1 John 2:23- Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

1 John 5:11:12- "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

Luke 10:6- "The one who listens to you listens to me and the one who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

Luke 12:8-9- "And I say to you, everyone who confesses me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

John 3:18- "He who believes in him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

John 3:36- "He who believes has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

John 8:24- "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."

John 10:7-8b- "Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and robbers."1

In this age of pluralism and hyper-political correctness the Body of Christ must stand for the truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

I argue that Jesus is the only way to salvation here.

For those who may question the reliability of the Book of John, see here.

Finally, if you are looking for a great, concise resource on the exclusivity of Christ, I recommend Greg Koukl's small booklet entitled Jesus the Only Way.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. As quoted by Greg Koukl, Jesus the Only Way, p. 7-8

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Ben Shapiro Interviews Ed Feser


Although I do not consider myself a Thomist (yet), if anyone could convince me to be one, it would be Ed Feser.  In this interview with conservative Ben Shapiro, Feser discusses logical proofs for God's existence, the rise of atheism and why he believes the popularity of religion is on the decline.

I would also encourage readers to checkout Dr. Feser book, 5 Proofs for the Existence of God.  You can learn more about it here.

Feser's blog is also excellent.  You can check it out here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Frank Turek on Miracles

"...even in the Bible miracles are relatively rare.  There are approximately 250 occurrences of miracles in the Bible.  From Abraham to the apostles is about 2,000 years.  If you were to spread those miracles out evenly, there would be one miracle every eight years (even less frequent for miracles done before crowds).  Of course, miracles did not occur every eight years-they occurred in bunches...The main point is that miracles were are still rare even in the Bible.  Most events in the Bible were natural, regular events like they are today, which enable miracles to stand out when they occurred...Since the primary purpose of miracles is to confirm new revelation, and since miracles have to be rare to have their intended effect, it's not wonder that miracles are not as frequent today."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Frank Turek, Stealing from God, p. 189.

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Monday, September 03, 2018

Book Preview: Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? by Ian Hutchinson

About the Author

Ian Hutchinson is a plasma physicist and professor of nuclear science and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born in England, educated at Cambridge University, and received his doctorate from Australian National University. His research group explores the confinement of plasmas hotter than the sun's center, aimed at producing practical energy from nuclear fusion reactions, the energy source of the stars.

A frequent Veritas Forum presenter, Ian has written and spoken widely on the relationship between science and Christianity. He is the author of over two hundred research articles, and his books include Principles of Plasma Diagnostics and Monopolizing Knowledge.

About the Book

Plasma physicist Ian Hutchinson has been asked hundreds of questions about faith and science:

- What is faith and what is science? Are they compatible?
- Are there realities science cannot explain?
- Is God's existence a scientific question?
- Is the Bible consistent with the modern scientific understanding of the universe?
- Are there scientific reasons to believe in God?

In this comprehensive volume, Hutchinson answers a full range of inquiries with sound scientific insights and measured Christian perspective. Without minimizing challenging questions, he explores how science and Christianity are mutually supportive and intellectually consistent.

Both God and science truthfully address our curiosity and destiny. Find answers to your deepest questions.

Notable Recommendations

"Scientific thinker Stephen Jay Gould famously declared science and religion to represent non-overlapping magisteria. Here Ian Hutchinson, a top scientific thinker, insightfully explores the limits of science and faith and where their claims intersect. A valuable yet delightfully readable voice at the intersection of philosophy of science and philosophy of religion, offering scientifically and theologically plausible arguments structured around many of today's important questions."


- Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological
Seminary

"In this concise volume readers will encounter a remarkable array of topics relating to science, faith, theology, and philosophy that any thinking person should welcome. Hutchinson fields the questions capably and offers thoughtful answers that will provide stimulating insights on these fundamental issues. The book will arm Christians to confront their own deepest questions and those pressed on them by an unbelieving world. It will also provide non-Christians with a sound entryway into the rationale of Christian belief."

- John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College, author of The Lost World of Genesis One

"The questions Ian Hutchinson has been asked, and which he answers in this book, are the questions I have been asked and attempted to answer. Hutchinson is a scientist and a Christian, and has a pastoral heart for those who have deep and enduring questions about the Bible and science and these questioners don’t want pat and simplistic answers. "Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?" belongs on the shelf of every pastor, every youth pastor, and anyone who teaches the interface of science and faith. It’s that valuable."

- Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

To learn more about this work, go here.

You can order your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad