Monday, September 26, 2022

The Scientific Case for Life


Last week, we offered the following Biblical Pro-Life Argument from Dr. Sean McDowell:

1. The Bible prohibits taking innocent human life.
2. The unborn is an innocent human being.
3. Therefore, the Bible is against abortion, which is the taking the life of an innocent human being.

To see the support for the premises, see here.

This argument was meant to demonstrate that the Bible is indeed pro-life, but as McDowell argues further in his book,1 P2 is also supported by science.  He offers 3 reasons that science shows the unborn is an innocent human being.  He writes:

"First, the unborn is alive.  People sometimes claim that we don't know when life begins, but scientifically speaking, there's no doubt.  The mom is alive.  The dad is alive.  The sperm is alive.  the egg is alive.  There is no stage in the process of development when the unborn is not living...

Second, the unborn is separate from the mother.  The unborn may be dependent on the mother, but it is a distinct organism from the mother.  We know this because the fetus has a unique DNA fingerprint, can have a different blood type from the mother, and if the parents are of different races, it can develop a different skin color from the mother.

And finally, the unborn is human.  There is a simple way to know the unborn is human: consider the parents!  Since beings reproduce after their kind, if we want to know what type of being an offspring is, ask a simple question: what type of parents did it have?  If the parents are human, the offspring is human.

The science is clear: at fertilization, the unborn is a living, individual human being, separate from the mother."2

Courage and Godspeed,

1. It should be noted that the work this comes from, A Rebel's Manifesto, is written for a popular level.  For a more exhaustive treatment of the science that supports the fact that the unborn is an innocent human being, go here or here.
2. Sean McDowell, A Rebel's Manifesto: Choosing Truth, Real Justice, and Love Amid the Noise of Today's World, 168-169.

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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Life After Death

 "If a man dies, will he live again?"  -Job 14:14 (NASB)

Job asked the universal question.  He put into words the yearning of all humanity.  This ancient question echoes across the centuries and remains the central question of life.  Inscriptions on tombs of tribes extinct for centuries offer mute testimony to man's ancient quest for immortality.

Posed as an anxious question, Job referred to death as "the king of terrors" and a "journey of no return."  Death imposes for many a certain fear and anxiety.  The question exposes Job's hope and quest for immortality.  

The schools of philosophy cannot answer Job's question.  It is beyond the realm of science and technology.  This ancient, anxious, and argued question finds its answer only in Christ.  The Risen Lord alone could declare with ultimate authority: "He who believes in me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).  The resurrection of Jesus Christ once and for all indisputably answered Job's age-old question, "If a man dies, will he live again?"

Beethoven's 6th symphony sounds the crash of the storm, followed by the first tremulous notes of new hope, broadening into a song of thanksgiving.  That is something of what happened between Good Friday and Easter.  And because of that, when storm and death strike, we have a hope that is an anchor for the soul.  

Christ's resurrection solved the riddle of death.  It means that the worst has been met and conquered, and no matter what, the last word will be victory.

You can be confident in Christ that death is not the end but the beginning of eternity.1

1Taken from When Life Gets Tough: Finding Peace and Strength in Times of Trouble by Harry Gariepy.

God Bless,

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Biblical Pro-Life Argument


In his latest book, A Rebel's Manifesto (see our review here), Dr. Sean McDowell concedes that, "[t]he Bible is silent about abortion because it was unthinkable to the Hebrew mind."1 However, he goes on to argue that "a simple case can be made that the Bible is pro-life." His argument is as follows:3

1. The Bible prohibits taking innocent human life.  

The Ten Commandments condemn murder (Exodus 20:13), and Jesus reaffirmed that human life should be protected (see, for example, Matthew 19:18).

2. The unborn is an innocent human being.  

The same words are used in both the Old Testament and New Testaments to describe the born and the unborn.  In the Old Testament the Hebrew word geber was used to refer to a person at conception and a grown man (see Job 3:3; Exodus 10:11; Deuteronomy 22:5; Judges 5:30).  In the New Testament, the word brephos is often used for unborn, newborn, and younger children (see Luke 1:41, 44; 18:15; 1 Peter 2:2).  Scripture makes no relevant distinction between a pre-born fetus and a newborn baby.

3. Therefore, the Bible is against abortion, which is the taking the life of an innocent human being.  

Whether in the womb or out of the womb, the Bible condemns the unjust taking of innocent life.4

To learn more about Sean's case for the unborn, checkout this book A Rebel's Manifesto.  

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Sean McDowell, A Rebel's Manifesto, p. 167.
2. Ibid.
3. For those who are unfamiliar with deductive arguments, here is a short summary for how they work.
4. Ibid. 

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Friday, September 16, 2022

4 Archaeological Finds that Confirm the Exodus Account

The story of Israel's exodus out of Egypt has long been dismissed by most in the skeptical community.  However, in his book Introducing Christianity to Mormons, Eric Johnson draws on the work of archaeologist Titus Kennedy and shares 4 discoveries from Egypt that support the biblical account. 

They are as follows:

1. The Papyrus Brooklyn: A papyrus manuscript discovered in Egypt from the seventeenth century BC-a century or two before the Exodus-contained Hebrew servant names.  The list showed how Hebrews lived in Egypt before the Exodus.  

2. Tomb of Rekmire: A mural from the time of the Exodus in 1450 BC discovered in Egypt depicts bricks made with mud and straw.  Another text known as the Louvre Leather Roll shows how a certain number of bricks were required to be manufactured even with a lack of materials or the slaves were punished. 

3. Nomads of YHWH: Hieroglyphic inscriptions date to 1400 BC and describe the "land of the nomads of YHWH," the earliest evidence of Yahweh, the most intimate name for God.  These were written on the walls of two different Egyptian temples as well as a temple pillar and showed how the only people who worshiped Yahweh were the Israelites.  

4. Merneptah Stele: Dated 1219 BC, this is a ten-foot-high Egyptian stone monument with 28 lines of hieroglyphics describing military campaigns by Pharaoh Merneptah.  There is a section on the stele that spells "Israel" in Egyptian hieroglyphs referring to a group of people, not a country.1

Johnson concludes:

"It is realistic to believe that a 40-year exodus of God's people did take place.  Of course, faith is required for some biblical events...but there is so much evidence to make belief in the  biblical people and the places reasonable."2

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Eric Johnson, Introducing Christianity to Mormons, p. 49-50.
2. Ibid.  

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Apologetics315 Podcast: Frank Turek and Hollywood Heroes


In this recent podcast, Brian Auten and I chat with author, apologist and speaker Frank Turek about his new book, co-written with his son Zach, Hollywood Heroes: How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God.

This was a fun podcast that covered a variety of popular Hollywood movies including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and various superhero films/characters and what they can teach us about Christianity.  

We also had a chance to catch-up with Frank, see how he is doing and ask him for some advice regarding a few apologetics issues.

You can listen here.  

You can learn more about Hollywood Heroes here.  Get your copy here.

Finally, to learn more about Frank and his ministry Cross Examined, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

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Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Late New Testament Scholar Bruce Metzger on the New Testament Canon


"[T]he canon is a list of authoritative books more than it is an authoritative list of books.  These documents didn't derive their authority from being selected; each one was authoritative before anyone gathered them together...For somebody now to say that the canon emerged only after councils and synods made these pronouncements would be like saying, 'Let's get several academics of musicians to make a pronouncement that the music of Bach and Beethoven is wonderful.'  I would say, 'Thank you for nothing!  We knew that before the pronouncement was made.'  We know it because of sensitivity to what is good music and what is not.  The same with the canon."1

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1998), 90, as quoted by Eric Johnson in Introducing Christianity to Mormons, p. 36.

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Monday, September 05, 2022

Book Preview: Introducing Christianity to Mormons by Eric Johnson


About the Author

Eric Johnson (MDiv) works with Mormonism Research Ministry and has written and coauthored several books, including Answering Mormons' Questions, Mormonism 101, and Sharing the Good News with Mormons.  He currently lives in Sandy, Utah, with his wife and three daughters.

About the Book

One of our greatest challenges as Christians is sharing the truth with those who believe they’ve already found it. When witnessing to current or former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s essential that you can compassionately delineate biblical teachings from Mormon doctrine while tactfully advocating for Christ.

For every believer who prays for loved ones in the LDS Church—or loved ones who gave up on religion after leaving Mormonism—Introducing Christianity to Mormons is the guidebook you need to witness to them. Inside, you’ll find

- real-life conversations that give you helpful ideas for what to say in your discussions
- contrast points between Mormonism and Christianity that illuminate God’s truth
- biblical apologetics that allow you to minister to former LDS members wounded by their experience with the Church

Get ready to present the case for Christianity with confidence and grace. This book will empower you to share your faith and give you the language to do so effectively with people in the Mormon community.

Notable Recommendations

“Have you tried to share your faith with an LDS (Mormon) friend only to walk away confused by the discussion? Eric’s book offers the Christian great insights on Mormon beliefs, along with guides for more meaningful discussions.”

- Sandra Tanner
Cofounder of Utah Lighthouse Ministry, coauthor of Mormonism: Shadow or Reality

Introducing Christianity to Mormons is a unique book. Eric has studied and taught Christian beliefs for years, and so he captures the heart of core doctrines with clarity. And yet he has spent his life studying the LDS Church and engaging Mormons, so he presents Christian beliefs in a respectful and understandable fashion. This is the first book I will now recommend for those with an LDS background who want to understand Christian teachings.”

- Sean McDowell, PhD
Biola University professor, coauthor of Evidence That Demands a Verdict and More Than a Carpenter

“With every passing year, the distinctions between Christianity and the LDS Church are increasingly confused. Most contemporary LDS consider Mormonism a denomination of Christianity, even though their founders would never have described it that way. Now more than ever, we need a guide to help us navigate the differences and engage our LDS friends with compassion and truth. That’s why this book is so timely. No one does a better job than Eric when it comes to understanding the differences, focusing on the essentials, and reaching Mormons with love and urgency. If you know Mormons, let this book prepare and guide you every step of the way.” 

- J. Warner Wallace
Dateline-featured Cold-Case Detective, author of Cold Case Christianity

To order your copy, go here.

To learn more about Eric Johnson's ministry, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

What is the Book of Mormon? by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.

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