Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Article: Three Ways to Ignite Your Teenager's Passion for God by J. Warner Wallace

As a father of one teenage daughter and another pre-teen, this article by J. Warner Wallace really challenged me.  I hope you find it helpful as well.

He writes:

"If you’re investing in the lives of young people, you’ve probably experienced the paralysis of apathy. As a youth pastor, I almost always had someone in my group who appeared disinterested. It’s difficult to teach the truth to young people when they aren’t really listening. But that didn’t stop me. Because I loved my students, I wanted them to become passionate believers. Here are three things I learned that helped me ignite a passion in my students and kids..."

To check out the three things Wallace learned, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

One of the Most Overlooked Reasons Why We Should Trust the Bible by Michael J. Kruger

In this featured article, New Testament Scholar Michael J. Kruger argues that one of the most overlooked reason to trust the Bible is often overlooked and is...JESUS!

He writes:

"Christians don’t overlook Jesus generally. He is central to about everything Christians think and do. But, strangely, he is not often the ultimate court of appeal when they are deciding what to think about the Bible. But, just a few moments of reflection suggest he should be."

You can see the rest of this thought-provoking piece, see here.

To learn more about Dr. Kruger and his work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

HT: Sean McDowell via Twitter

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Common Objection #34- "Jesus never claimed to be God!"

Some people argue that Jesus never claimed to be God.  I reject this claim. Now, don't misunderstand me.  He didn’t use those exact words, but He clearly claimed to be God nonetheless.

Remember when God first appeared to Moses in the burning bush? Moses asked God for His name and God answered Moses as follows:

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

Now, it is important to understand that at the time of this interaction between God and Moses, Israelites revered the “I AM” name of God. This beloved title was not to be given to anyone or anything other than God Himself.  Now fast forward to Jesus’ time here on earth.  One day the Pharisees come along and they are questioning the power, authority and teachings of Jesus. They actually accuse Him of being demon possessed!  Consider John's record of what happened:

"The Jews answered him [Jesus], 'Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?'  Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.  Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.  Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.'  The Jews said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon!  Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.'  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?  And the prophets died!  Who do you make yourself out to be?'  Jesus answered, 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.'  But you have not known him.  I know him.  If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.'  So the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?'  Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'  So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.'"  (John 8:48-59).

The Pharisees knew exactly what Jesus meant.  He was claiming to be God.  They were planning to stone him for blasphemy. 

Bible teacher J. Warner Wallace explains the implications of this passage:

“When Jesus took on God’s holy title as his own, He was stating the modern equivalent of ‘I am God.'  He did this repeatedly over the course of his ministry (see Mark 14:62, John 18:5-6, John 8:24 and John 8:28).  So while you may not find the expression ‘I am God’ in the Gospels, you’ll certainly find the ancient equivalent.  It’s no wonder that the Jewish religious leadership would eventually want Him executed.”1

Moreover, in John 10:30, Jesus makes this astonishing claim- "I and the Father are one."  Here, Jesus is claiming that He and the Father are one in nature or essence.  He was claiming deity.  The Jews understood this completely.  Why did they want to stone Him?  As the Jews themselves stated, "...because you, being a man, make yourself God" (John 10:33b).

So, even enemies of Jesus understood that he was claiming to be God.  

Courage and Godspeed,

1. J. Warner Wallace, Jesus Specifically Said, "I am God," Nov. 7, 2016.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Did Jesus Make a Mistake about His Disciples Seeing the Kingdom Come in Their Lifetimes?

The following response is from the helpful website Defending Inerrancy

You can find more solutions to Bible difficulties here.

PROBLEM: Jesus told His disciples that some of them would not see death until they saw Him coming in His kingdom. Yet during the life of the apostles, Jesus never returned to set up His kingdom.

SOLUTION: This is a question of when this was going to take place, not whether it would. There are three possible solutions.

First, some have suggested that this may be a reference to the Day of Pentecost where Christ’s Helper, the Holy Spirit, came to descend upon the apostles. In John’s Gospel (14:26), Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, and, in the beginning of Acts (1:4–8), He tells them not to leave Jerusalem until they have received the Holy Spirit. But this hardly seems to fit the description of seeing Christ coming in His kingdom (Matt. 16:28).

Second, others believe this might be a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in a.d. 70. This would mean that He would return to bring judgment upon the city that rejected Him and crucified Him. While this is a possible explanation, it does not seem to account for the fact that Jesus appears to be coming for believers (those “standing there” with Him), not simply coming in judgment on unbelievers. Nor does the judgment on Jerusalem in A.D. 70 adequately express seeing the “Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (v. 28), a phrase reminiscent of His second coming (cf. 26:64). Nor does it explain why Jesus never appeared in A.D. 70.

A third and more plausible explanation is that this is a reference to the appearance of Christ in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration which begins in the very next verse (17:1). Here Christ does literally appear in a glorified form, and some of His apostles are there to witness the occasion, namely Peter, James, and John. This transfiguration experience, of course, was only a foretaste of His Second Coming when all believers will see Him come in power and great glory (cf. Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7).

Courage and Godspeed,

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Book Preview- The Genealogical Adam and Eve The Surprising Science of Universal Ancestry by S. Joshua Swamidass

About the Author

S. Joshua Swamidass (MD, PhD, UC–Irvine) is a scientist, physician, and associate professor of laboratory and genomic medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis, where he uses artificial intelligence to explore science at the intersection of medicine, biology, and chemistry. He is a Veritas Forums speaker and blogs at Peaceful Science.

About the Book

Evolutionary science teaches that humans arose as a population, sharing common ancestors with other animals. Most readers of the book of Genesis in the past understood all humans descended from Adam and Eve, a couple specially created by God. These two teachings seem contradictory, but is that necessarily so? In the fractured conversation of human origins, can new insight guide us to solid ground in both science and theology?

In The Genealogical Adam and Eve, S. Joshua Swamidass tests a scientific hypothesis: What if the traditional account is somehow true, with the origins of Adam and Eve taking place alongside evolution? Building on well-established but overlooked science, Swamidass explains how it's possible for Adam and Eve to be rightly identified as the ancestors of everyone. His analysis opens up new possibilities for understanding Adam and Eve, consistent both with current scientific consensus and with traditional readings of Scripture. These new possibilities open a conversation about what it means to be human.

In this book, Swamidass
  • untangles several misunderstandings about the words human and ancestry, in both science and theology
  • explains how genetic and genealogical ancestry are different, and how universal genealogical ancestry creates a new opportunity for rapprochement
  • explores implications of genealogical ancestry for the theology of the image of God, the fall, and people "outside the garden"
Some think Adam and Eve are a myth. Some think evolution is a myth. Either way, the best available science opens up space to engage larger questions together. In this bold exploration, Swamidass charts a new way forward for peace between mainstream science and the Christian faith.


"It is unusual to find a professional scientist with a keen interest in theology, but Joshua Swamidass, a computational biologist, is just such a person. The Genealogical Adam and Eve is a scientifically informed and biblically engaged study of human origins. Many will find shocking its claims concerning universal common ancestors in the relatively recent past. Agree or disagree, the reader will find this to be a stimulating and thought-provoking book."

William Lane Craig, professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology and Houston Baptist University

To learn more about this book, go here.

Order your copy here.

Bonus- Sean Mcdowell has a helpful interview with Swamidass here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, January 13, 2020

Philosopher Randal Rauser on Apologetics

"The Greek word apologia refers first and foremost to a formal defense of one's beliefs.  And what could be wrong with that?  But while I definitely resonate with that pursuit, I also believe that one should only defend one's beliefs because one believes them to be true.  This means that I view apologetics as a quest for truth.  And if we're really serious about that, then apologetic debate should be as much about revealing weaknesses in one's own view as illuminating their strengths, for if our views fail to match up to the truth in any way, we should want to know.  Serious dialogue is a fantastic testing ground for our beliefs in the manner of iron sharpening iron."1

For more from Dr. Rauser, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber, An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar..., p. 14.

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