Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Video: Why Should I Believe God Exists? Clemson University 2019 by Dr. William Lane Craig


This lecture was given by philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig in January of 2018.  Dr. Craig was asked to speak on some of the best arguments for the existence of God.  For those familiar with the Reasonable Faith animated videos, he uses many of them in his presentation.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Video: True for You but Not for Me by Paul Copan


Can something be true for you and not true for me?  In other words, is the truth relative or is the truth objective?  How you answer this question shapes the way you look at the world.

In this new video, from PragerU, theologian and philosophy professor Paul Copan provides an excellent road map through this tricky and vitally important issue.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, August 02, 2019

Answer Like Jesus by Alan Shlemon

Precise communication is an important part of being a follower of Christ.  After all, we are called to communicate a message.  If we cannot communicate clearly, we will be at a disadvantage when trying to share the gospel with others.

In this short featured article, Alan Shlemon of Stand to Reason challenges Christians to learn from Jesus regarding how to answer tough questions.  He writes:

"For someone with all the answers, Jesus didn’t always respond directly to challenging questions. Sometimes He answered a question with another question. Sometimes He answered a different question. On occasion, He didn’t give any answer.

Not much has changed since Jesus’ day. Challenges still abound. Today, His followers face a myriad of tough questions. Our views are not popular and, in fact, are often hated. If we answer a pointed question biblically, it often makes people upset. Perhaps we can take a cue from Jesus. Given that He’s the smartest person in history, why don’t we learn to answer tough questions like He did?"

Do you want to learn how to answer tough questions like Jesus?  Then check out Shlemon's brief article here.

To learn more about Alan Shlemon and his ministry, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

How Does the Bible Relate to Judaism?

The article below was written by Larry R. Helyer.  It was taken from The Apologetics Study Bible, Digital Edition based on The Apologetics Study Bible Copyright © 2007 by Holman Bible Publishers. 

Judaism should not be confused with the biblical religion of ancient Israel. Early Judaism arose in the aftermath of the destruction of the first temple (586 b.c.). The term Judaism originally appeared in the first century b.c. (2 Macc 2: 21; 8: 1; 14: 38) to describe the beliefs, customs, and rituals of Jews during the Hellenistic (Greek-influenced) era. Judaism has developed considerably over the intervening centuries. For example, official Judaism has been a nonsacrificial religion since the destruction of the second temple (a.d. 70). Observance of the mitzvoth (the commandments) replaces sacrifice, atoning for sin (Tob 4: 6-7,9-11; 12: 9-10). Judaism's roots, however, are deep in the OT. The fundamental ideas of modern Judaism, in all its diversity, maintain continuity with the biblical revelation at Mount Sinai. These ideas include ethical monotheism (belief in one God), God's gift of Torah (" instruction") to Israel, and the choice of Israel as a light to the nations. A striving for peace, justice, and righteousness for all peoples derives from the Prophets, and a spirituality grounded in everyday life stems from the wisdom and hymnic literature of the OT. The Torah outlines a way of life for the people of Israel and is nearly synonymous with Judaism. Embedded in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are 613 commandments. After the exile in the sixth century b.c., these 613 commandments were adapted, augmented, and hedged by other laws that became part of an ever-growing oral law (cp. Mk 7: 5; Gl 1: 14). In time the oral law was also attributed to Moses. Eventually (c. a.d. 500), the oral law was codified in the Mishnah (" repetition"). This in turn was commented on and augmented in the Gemara (" completion"). Finally, the Mishnah and Gemara were published in two massive works, the Palestinian Talmud (c. a.d. 400) and the Babylonian Talmud (c. a.d. 500). (Talmud means "learning" or "instruction.") For Orthodox Jews, the Babylonian Talmud, at some 2.5 million words, remains the authoritative guide for Judaism. The foundation of Talmud, however, remains the Torah of "Moses our Rabbi." Modern liberal Jews reject the belief that the Pentateuch was divinely inspired and written by Moses. While not treating it as an infallible guide for faith and practice, they nonetheless acknowledge its historical and symbolic role in providing Jewish self-identity. Modern Judaism maintains continuity with the OT in a number of significant ways. The annual festivals are primarily those prescribed in the Pentateuch. The essential ethical teachings of Judaism derive from the Mosaic Law, especially the Ten Commandments. Circumcision, dietary laws, and ritual immersion have their roots in the Pentateuch. The Prophets are appealed to for their emphasis upon social justice and mercy. Throughout the year, in synagogues, the Torah (Pentateuch) and haphtarah (selections from the Prophets) are read in a lectionary cycle. Most Orthodox Jews still anticipate a personal Messiah and a messianic age based upon the Prophets. For Israeli Jews, the Hebrew Bible (OT) is a national treasure avidly studied in both religious and secular schools. The modern Zionist movement appeals to the Bible as part of its cultural heritage. Archaeology and historical geography of the Bible are national pastimes in Israel. Increasingly, Jewish scholars are also studying the NT as a valuable source for understanding the development of early Judaism. A key issue distinguishing Christianity from Judaism (though both have the OT in common) has to do with fulfillment. Jesus taught His disciples to read the Scriptures christologically, or in terms of how they relate to Him, since the Scriptures speak of Him and His work (Mt 5: 17-18; Lk 24: 25-27,44-49; Jn 5: 39). Judaism denies that Jesus fulfills the messianic prophecies of the OT. For example, Jewish scholars interpret the so-called Servant Songs of Isaiah (42: 1-4; 49: 1-6; 50: 4-11; 52: 13–53: 12) as referring to the prophet himself, to an unknown prophet, or (most likely) to the people of Israel viewed collectively as the Servant of the Lord. Traditional Christianity, of course, sees these passages as prophecies of Jesus and His ministry (Ac 8: 26-35). Orthodox Jews, who still harbor hopes of a personal Messiah, await a Davidic descendant who will rule as king at the end times. Liberal Jews prefer to interpret these passages metaphorically as referring to an ideal age. Thus a major factor in the parting of ways between Judaism and Christianity centers on the meaning and mission of Jesus. For Judaism, there is no human failing, whether collective or individual, that requires special divine intervention and that cannot be remedied with the guidance of Torah. Salvation consists of faithful, though not perfect, adherence to the mitzvoth. God in His mercy forgives those whose intentions are upright. The NT, however, unambiguously proclaims the finality of Jesus Christ. He is God's last word to sinners (Heb 1: 1-3), the Word who became flesh, dwelt among us, and reveals the Father to sinners (Jn 1: 1-18). By His atoning death on the cross, He draws all people unto Himself (Jn 3: 16; 6: 35-40; 12: 32)."

God Bless,

Friday, July 19, 2019

Article: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality by William Lane Craig

I believe that philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig is absolutely right when he writes:

One of the most volatile and important issues facing the Church today is the question of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. The Church cannot duck this question.

In this featured article, Craig defends the following argument:

(1) We are all obligated to do God’s will.

(2) God’s will is expressed in the Bible.

(3) The Bible forbids homosexual behavior.

(4) Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will, or is wrong.

I encourage our readers to consider Dr. Craig's argument before denouncing it.  

You can find the entire article here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad