Sunday, May 31, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Video: Christian Apologetics by Voddie Baucham, Jr.

Voddie Baucham is a pastor that understands the need for apologetics.

To learn more about Voddie Baucham, Jr., go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, May 29, 2015

Reasonable Faith Podcast: Live in Downtown Dallas

In this excellent Reasonable Faith podcast, you can here the Q and A Dr. William Lane Craig did after delivering a talk at a Dallas pub on the resurrection of Jesus.

The talk was hosted by "The Bible and Beer Consortium."

This is a very enjoyable Q and A and well worth your time!

You can check it out here.

If you have never heard Dr. Craig speak on the resurrection, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Video: Answering Questions Non-Christians Ask by Michael Ramsden

For more about Michael Ramsden, see here.  If you have not had a chance to listen to him,  I encourage you to do so.  

Courage and Godspeed,

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Resources to Investigate the Reliability of the Gospels

In a recent Q and A question written to Dr. William Lane Craig at Reasonable Faith, a gentlemen wrote in questioning the reliability of the Gospels.  In his response, which you can read here, Dr. Craig included a list of books that would be useful for someone wanting to examine the historicity of the Gospels.  I thought it might be helpful to some to highlight that list here:

B = Beginner
I = Intermediate
A = Advanced

Blomberg, Craig. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2007. (B)

Carson, D. A., Moo, Douglas J., and Morris, Leon. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1992. (I)

Evans, Craig. Fabricating Jesus. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 2006. (I)

France, R. T. The Evidence for Jesus. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1986. (B)

Green, Joel, et al., eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 1992. (A)

Gundry, Robert H. Mark: A Commentary on his Apology for the Cross. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1993. (A)

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity, 1990. (I)

Hemer, Colin. The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1990. (A)

Johnson, Luke. The Real Jesus. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1996. (B)

Meier, John. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. 4 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1991-. (A)

Wilkins, Michael and Moreland, J.P., eds. Jesus under Fire. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. (I)

I would also add J. Warner Wallace's book, Cold-Case Christianity. (B/I) You can find our review here.

Also, you may want to checkout our "Research Materials for the Old and New Testament" here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Highlight: Why Trust Jesus? by Dave Sterrett

Chapter Six:  Why Trust Jesus When There Is So Much Disagreement about the Identity of the “Real Jesus”?

Mentioning Jesus in conversation causes quite a stir. Everyone feels the need to address the question of who Jesus is when His name is brought up. This is a result of Jesus living, as Josh McDowell states and Sterrett quotes, “one of the greatest lives ever lived.”1 However, this mutual interest in Jesus does not create agreement about His identity. Even among the writings about the life of Jesus there is not agreement. The Gnostic gospels, discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, paint quite a different picture of Jesus than the biblical Gospels and so Sterrett details three basic reasons that scholars place the biblical Gospels on a higher level:

1. The biblical Gospels were written by Jesus’ disciples and close associates in the first century. The Gnostic gospels were written by second and third century Gnostic teachers.

2. The biblical Gospels were widely distributed (attested to by the fact that we have over 5,000 manuscripts of the Gospels and only a few of the Gnostic gospels) and determined authentic and authoritative by the early church leaders.

3. The Gnostic gospels are wacky! For example, The Gospel of Peter states that a huge talking cross came out of the tomb at the resurrection of Christ and The Infancy Gospel of Thomas  details Christ causing sickness and even killings in order to heal and resurrect.

Even with the Gnostic gospels ruled out, how can we know the real Jesus is portrayed in the biblical Gospels? Sterrett provides three sources of evidence to bolster our confidence in knowing the true identity of Jesus:

1. From non-Christian writings we are able to conclude that:  Jesus was a Jewish teacher; Many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms; He was rejected by the Jewish leaders; Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius; Despite a shameful death, his followers, believing he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by AD 64; All kinds of people from the cities and countryside worshipped Jesus as God by the beginning of the second century.2

2. The Gospels are eyewitness accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Additionally, the New Testament writers were either apostles who were eyewitnesses or gatherers of information from apostles who were eyewitnesses. This understanding of being eyewitnesses comes out in their writing. For example:
  • Peter said, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty”3
  • Luke wrote, “God raise this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”4
  • Paul declared that Jesus was seen after His resurrection by His disciples and “more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”5
3. Finally, we know who Jesus is by the prophecies He fulfilled. Sterrett writes:

God wanted us to trust in Jesus, His Son, so much that in one twenty-four-hour time period, at least two dozen specific prophecies were fulfilled in Him-all spoken at least four hundred years before his birth!6

Here are a few of those prophecies fulfilled in Jesus:
  • The price of His betrayal will be thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15).
  • His hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16; Luke 23:33).
  • His heart will rupture (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34).
  • He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).7
With all of this evidence we can be confident in who Jesus really is and confident that we can place our trust in Him.

Stand firm in Christ,

1. Page 105.
2. Page 109 referencing Michael Wilkins and J.P. Moreland.
3. Page 111 referencing 2 Peter 1:16.
4. ibid referencing Acts 2:32.
5. ibid referencing 1 Corinthians 15:6.
6. Page 113.
7. Pages 113 and 114.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Christians Should Be Involved in Politics

In this brief video apologist Frank Turek makes that case that if you don't think being involved in politics is important then you don't think preaching the gospel is important.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, May 22, 2015

Article: The Future of the Church by Brett Kunkle

Where is the US church heading?  In this featured article, Brett Kunkle of Stand to Reason uncovers some clues regarding where the church could be headed.  The picture he paints is not a pretty one and we foolish to ignore him.  Let us "contend for the truth!"

You can check it out here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Debate Video: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? - John Loftus vs. David Wood

As I have shared before, Christianity is unique among religions because it offers a historic truth test. It was the Apostle Paul that wrote, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Cor. 15:14).  Here, Paul stacks the truth of Christianity on a historical event- the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  This can be investigated by any sincere seeker.

In this debate, John Loftus and David Wood debate the question, "Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?"  I have written about Loftus here and here.  

You can here David Wood's powerful testimony here.

Enjoy the debate and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

Courage and Godspeed,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chuck Colson on Practicing Apologetics

"If our culture is to be transformed, it will happen from the bottom up – from ordinary believers practicing apologetics over the backyard fence or around the barbecue grill."

Courage and Godspeed,

HT: Reasonable Theology

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Article: Three Paradoxes of Atheism by Neil Shenvi

I have found Neil Shenvi's work to be very helpful in the past and I read a another great article on his website entitled Three Paradoxes of Atheism.

In the article, Shenvi contends that "at the very heart of atheism are several extremely unexpected paradoxes, areas in which atheism is shown to be in tension with a commitment to realism and a life consistent with truth."

The paradoxes include truth-seeking, moral reflection and moral motivation.  

You can checkout the article here.

I also recommended Neil's article Do Objective Moral Values Exist?  

I have written on the moral argument in the past here and here.  You can also hear a talk I did on how to present the moral argument here.

Courage and Godspeed,


Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Highlight: Why Trust Jesus? by Dave Sterrett

Chapter Five:  Why Should I Trust Jesus When All I Need to Do Is Trust Myself?

Sterrett addresses pantheism when answering this question because a main tenet of pantheism is trusting in self.1 I think he also addresses it because of the great influence pantheism has had in Western society. He notes Star Wars, Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey as examples of this influence. He even writes of the seepage of pantheistic thought into the minds of Christians. So before Sterrett answers the question, he first details how pantheism contradicts what Jesus taught in order to demonstrate that Jesus cannot fall under the pantheistic umbrella. The contradictory teachings he lists follow:

  • Pantheism teaches that God is impersonal. Jesus teaches that God is personal.
  • Pantheism attempts to defy the simple laws of logic. Jesus holds that logic is undeniable.
  • Pantheism teaches that the universe is God. Jesus teaches that God made the universe.
  • Pantheism teaches that the universe is eternal. Jesus states that that the universe had a beginning.
  • Pantheism teaches that you are part of God. Jesus teaches that you are made in the image of God but separate from Him.
  • Pantheism teaches that sin is an illusion. Jesus states that dealing with sin is the reason He came to earth.
  • Pantheism does not emphasize absolute truth. Jesus emphasized worshiping in spirit and in truth.
Having made it clear that pantheism teaches trust in self and that Jesus teaches trust in Him, Sterrett answers the question of this chapter with the following truths:

1. We are limited in knowledge, but Jesus Christ is all knowing. We see evidence of the omniscience of Jesus in His encounter with Nathanel in John 1 and with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.

2. We had nothing to do with our creation; Jesus Christ designed us and sustains us. For example, the Apostle Paul wrote of this in Colossians 1:15-17.

3. We are constantly changing, but Jesus Christ does not change. This is affirmed by Scripture. Hebrews 13:8 is an example.

In the light of these truths, and the truths of the previous chapters, I once again encourage you to…   

Stand firm in Christ,

1. Trust in self is needed to escape samsara; an endless cycle of death and rebirth. This escape happens when the realization that we are truly divine and that the divine is all there is achieved through our own merits. When this realization occurs we become one with the divine. This results in pantheism being contradictory because another main tenet is that the idea of an individual self is an illusion.

Forthcoming:  A summary of Chapter Six:  Why Should I Trust Jesus When There is So Much Disagreement about the Identity of the “Real Jesus”?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Word About Honesty

I've made an observation based on hundreds of conversations with people on tough moral issues. I've met few who were really interested in doing what's right.  This may seem like a strong statement, but in the course of conversation it becomes obvious.
Sure, they give reasons for their views, convincing even themselves that they have a genuine interest in morality.  Their true colors show, however, when their reasons turn out to be bad ones. They fish around for other justifications.  They begin twisting the facts to fit their views. They reject or ignore contrary points instead of refuting them.
As their options diminish, their search gets more frantic.  It soon becomes clear they never had any intention of being ethical at all.  Their justifications were only rationalizations all along.
Instead of changing their opinions and, ultimately, their conduct, they become angry.  Stripped of the appearance of being moral, they leave mad, still bent on doing what they intended to do in the first place.
Why do we do that? Because the moral demands of the truth are often an unpleasant burden to bear. When self-interest is at stake, we change the rules. We resort to contorted, disfigured arguments. We attack individuals rather than ideas. We take refuge behind the claim that the question is complicated, when it's not really difficult at all. In the end we fire our final salvo, "It's my right!" - the last refuge of the libertine.
Those who are interested in what's true, however, let their judgments rest on the evidence. When the facts go against what they want, they make the difficult choice for the right reasons. They remain loyal to what's true and good, not to what's convenient.
Stand firm in Christ,
Koukl, Greg. Precious Unborn Human Persons. Pages 8 and 9.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Video: Why Parents Need to Become Good Christian Case Makers

In this featured video, apologist and author J. Warner Wallace explains why parents must become effective Christian Case Makers.  This is a topic near and dear to my heart and I agree with Jim wholeheartedly.

Follow Jim on YouTube here.

I've written on raising your kids for Christ here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Share Your Thoughts: John MacArthur on God's Existence

I follow C.S. Lewis on Twitter. Yes, you read that correctly. You can follow him here. He (read that tongue and cheek please) tweeted the following quote from Pastor John MacArthur that I found intriguing.

“To the honest and open mind, God is self-evident.” ―John MacArthur

God being self-evident has long fascinated me and I was curious to hear your thoughts.  I will share my thoughts at a later date.

Do you agree with Pastor MacArthur or not?  Why or why not? Please share in the comments!  All views are welcomed as long as they are stated charitably.

Courage and Godspeed,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Are Christians Less Intelligent Than Atheists? Here’s What All Those Studies REALLY Say by Natasha Crain

I greatly enjoy Natasha Craig's blog and if you haven't signed up to receive her posts via email, you need to do so.

Mrs. Crain "equips parents [to] raise kids with the deeper roots of faith needed in today's secular world."

She has written another helpful post on the studies that supposedly demonstrate that Christian are less intelligent than atheists.

You can check it out here.  Do you want to do something intelligent right now?  Follow Natasha's blog!

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, May 11, 2015

Resources: The Best Christian Case Making (Apologetics) Content on Twitter

J. Warner Wallace has put together an impressive list of Twitter resources for apologetics.

You can check it out here.

We are also looking forward to Jim's forthcoming book God's Crime Scene.  For a preview, go here.

You can find our review of his prior book, Cold-Case Christianity, here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Answering Bible Difficulties

Have you ever heard someone claim that the Bible is full of errors or contradictions?

On the Defending Inerrancy website they have cataloged common objections skeptics make about the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  A very handy resource to be sure!

You can check it out here.

Courage and Godspeed,


Friday, May 08, 2015

Video: Is Atheism Winning the Battle for Science? William Lane Craig, Craig Hazen, Jeff Zweerink

In this video, Dr. William Lane Craig, Jeff Zweerink and Craig Hazen discuss the topic, "Is Atheism Winning the Battle for Science?"  

This talk was part of the 2014 "Unbelievable?" conference in the UK.


Courage and Godspeed,

Thursday, May 07, 2015

New Testament Scholar Craig Blomberg on the Gospels

“Where the data of the Gospels can be tested, they consistently have proven to be remarkably accurate, especially in John. Archaeologists have unearthed the five porticoes of the pool of Bethesda by the Sheep Gate (John 5:2), the pool of Siloam (9:1-7), Jacob's well at Sychar (4:5), the "Pavement" (Gabbatha) where Pilate tried Jesus (19:13), and Solomon's porch in the temple precincts (10:22-23). As recently as 1961 an inscription was discovered in Caesarea, providing for the first time extrabiblical corroboration of Pilate as Judea's prefect during the time of Christ. Since the, discovery of an ossuary (bone-box) of a crucified man named Johanan from first-century Palestine confirms that nails were driven in his ankles, as in Christ's; previously some skeptics thought that that Romans used only ropes to affix the legs of condemned men to their crosses....In 1990, the burial grounds of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest, and his family were uncovered in Jerusalem. These and numerous other details create a favorable impression of the Gospels' trustworthiness in the areas in which they can be tested.”

You can checkout 59 confirmed or historically probable facts in the Gospel of John here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Another Trinity Analogy

I had the opportunity to preach this past Son-day at my home church and I used my favorite analogy for the Trinity, the musical chord.  You can check out that analogy here.

I came across another great analogy when reading Nabeel Qureshi's excellent book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.  You can see our review here.

As Qureshi explains, in Islam, "God's essence, or the very thing that makes Him God, is that He is one: independent, unique, sovereign, set apart, and completely unified.  There can be no division within Him whatsoever.  Distilling this theology in the context of Muslim-Christian dialogue boils down to this: Tauheed (The Islamic doctrine of Allah's absolute unity and self-reliance), Islams most fundamental principle, is antithetical to the Trinity." [1]

You can understand why the concept of the Trinity, that God is Three in One, was difficult for Nabeel, then a Muslim, to accept!  However, while in a college class, he began to open up to the concept.

He writes:

"I vividly remember the exact location of my seat because it was there that I first opened up to the Trinity, a moment still etched in my mind.

Projected in the front of the room were three large depictions of nitrate in bold black and white.  We were studying resonance, the configuration of electrons in certain molecules.  The basic concept of resonance is easy enough to understand, even without a background in chemistry.  Essentially, the building block of every physical object is an atom, a positively charged nucleus orbited by tiny, negatively charged electrons.  Atoms bond to one another by sharing their electrons, forming a molecule.  Different arrangements of the electrons in certain molecules are called 'resonance structures.'  Some molecules, like water, have no resonance while others have three resonance structures or more, like the nitrate on the board.

Although the concept was easy enough to grasp, the reality proved to be baffling.  Mrs. Adamski concluded her lesson by commenting, 'These drawings are just the best way to respresent resonance structures on paper, but it's actually much more complicated.  Technically, a molecule with resonance is every one of its structures at every point in time, yet no single one of its structures at any point in time...

How could something be many things at once?  Many different things?  We were not talking about the attributes of something like a steak, which can be hot, juicy, thick, and tender all at once.  We were talking about separate spatial and electrical arrangements.  What the professor said would be akin to saying that Nabeel is eating steak in Texas while simultaneously napping in a hammock in the Caribbean.  As wonderful as each would be individually, it made no sense to say I might be doing both at once.

I was perplexed, and what made it even worse was that no one around me seemed bothered in the least.  I looked around the room, agape at their blind acceptance.

But was it really blind?  The professor was teaching rarefied science, describing the subatomic world.  At that level, things happen that make no sense to those of us who conceptualize the world at only a human level.  Even the apparently simply idea of atoms is baffling when we think about it.  It means that the chair I am sitting on is not actually a solid object, innocently supporting my weight.  It is almost entirely empty space, occupied only in small particles moving at incomprehensible speeds.  When we think about it, it seems wrong, but it's just the way things are in our universe.  There's no use arguing about it.

I turned my glance away from the other students, concluding they had not blindly accepted a nonsensical concept.  They had just realized before I did that there are truths about our universe that do not fit easily into our minds.

My eyes rested on the three seperate structures of nitrate on the wall, my mind assembling the pieces.  One molecule of nitrate is all three resonance structures all the time and never just one of them.  The three are separate but all the same, and they are one.  They are three in one.

That's when it clicked: if there are things in this world that can  be three in one, even incomprehensibly so, then why cannot God?" [2]

As I have said before, the Trinity is unique and there is nothing that one can point to that is a strict analogy or parallel to it; however, I find analogies such as this one are helpful in demonstrating that the Trinity is not self-contradictory or illogical.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Nabeel Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, p. 191.
2. Ibid., p. 194-196.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

If Jesus was God, Why Didn't He Know When He Would Return? offers a very clear and concise answer to challenging question:

Speaking of Jesus' Second Coming, Matthew 24:36 (and Mark 13:32) tells us, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

When Jesus spoke these words to the disciples, even He had no knowledge of the date and time of His return. Although Jesus was fully God (John 1:1,14), when He became a man, He voluntarily restricted the use of certain divine attributes (Philippians 2:6–8). He did not manifest them unless directed by the Father (John 4:34;5:30;6:38). He demonstrated His omniscience on several occasions (cf.John 2:253:13), but He voluntarily restricted that omniscience to only those things God wanted Him to know during the days of His humanity (John 15:15). Such was the case regarding the knowledge of the date and time of His return. After He was resurrected, Jesus resumed His full divine knowledge (cf.Matthew 28:18Acts 1:7).

Matthew 24:36 clearly states that the Father alone knows when Jesus' return will be. Verses such asJohn 5:30;6:38;8:28-29;10:30;12:49;14:28,31; and Matthew 26:39,42 demonstrate Jesus' submission to the Father as well as their Oneness in the Godhead. Yes, they are both God. But some things Jesus had apparently chosen to "give up the rights" to be privy to during His earthly ministry (see Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus, now exalted in Heaven, surely knows all, including the timing of His Second Coming.

For more great answers to tough questions, checkout

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, May 04, 2015

Book Highlight: Why Trust Jesus? by Dave Sterrett

Chapter Four:  Why Should I Trust Jesus When Life Seems to Be Going Just Fine without Him?

The answer to this question lies in our own longings and desires; for the good things in life, while created by God for our enjoyment within bounds, were never designed to meet our deepest need.

To support this answer, Sterrett points to the words of Tom Brady during a 60 Minutes interview in which he expressed a longing for something more even though at the time he had already won three Super Bowl rings. He also discusses the writings of Solomon and Augustine to bolster this answer. Both of these men indulged in the best the world had to offer and yet found it lacking. Both of them concluded that only a right relationship with the Lord brings fulfillment.

Sterrett writes that the following are lessons we learn from these men and from others:

·         Having more things does not ensure more happiness. He writes:  True happiness comes in knowing, trusting, and experiencing God. Nothing else can fill us up.1

·         We must not resist inner restlessness or conviction of the soul. It may be that God is using this to draw us to Himself. If we genuinely seek to know Him He will respond.

·         We can give thanks to God for temporal pleasures but fix our thoughts ultimately on eternal pleasure found in Christ. Echoing 1 Timothy 6:19 Sterrett writes:  Those who say yes to Him will store up future treasure and even now begin to “experience real life.”2

Only a right relationship with God brings true contentment. Only trusting in Jesus as Savior and Lord facilitates this relationship. Why? Only He conquered sin and death, the two things separating us from God, through His death on the cross and through His resurrection.

Stand firm in Christ,

1. Page 83.
2. Page 86.

Forthcoming:  A summary of Chapter Five:  Why Should I Trust Jesus When All I Need to Do Is Trust Myself?

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Article: Why Would a Loving God Allow the Earthquake in Nepal? by Lenny Esposito

Lenny Esposito isn't one to back down from a challenge as evidenced by his willingness to tackle the topic of "Why Would a Loving God allow the Earthquake in Nepal?"

I encourage you to checkout his article here.  For more of Lenny's work, I encourage readers to visit Come Reason Ministries.

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, May 01, 2015

Featured Resource: Inspiring Philosophy YouTube Channel

The mission of is "to build the worlds largest apologetic library. To have a answer in video form for...generations to come, for any and every objection to Christianity offered."

And I highly recommend their videos.  They are very well done and easy to understand.  These videos cover arguments for the Existence of God, Defending Christianity, Explaining Christianity. Philosophy of the Mind and Explaining Quantum Theory.

I also encourage readers to visit their YouTube Channel here.

I don't know of another resource on the internet quite like Inspiring Philosophy.  Do you desire to understand the arguments and counter arguments for and against Christian Theism?  If so, this resource will serve you well!


Courage and Godspeed,