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Category Archives: Apologetics

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Apologetics Conference at First Central Bible Church

 
 

Coming this fall to First Central

Below is a letter mailed out to the congregation of First Central Bible Church profiling four events and programs coming this fall to the church.

 

Learn how to answer people’s objections about faith

Book Review: Faith is for Weak People”: Responding to the Top 20 Objections to the Gospel, by Ray Comfort

When you try to share your faith, do you ever feel like you are going into battle unarmed because you don’t know how to answer people’s questions and objections? Would you like to learn so you can have a ready answer?

Evangelist Ray Comfort has spent his entire career sharing the gospel with nonbelievers and answering people’s objections to it. He has written a helpful book designed to equip Christ followers to do the same. In his book, “Faith is for Weak People”: Responding to the Top 20 Objections to the Gospel, he shows his readers how to answer twenty objections to Christianity. His list includes:

  • “If God is supposed to be in control of the world, why does it seem so out of control?”
  • “How can I believe that God is love when there is so much suffering in the world?”
  • “What sort of God would threaten to torture people in hell forever just because they don’t believe in him?”
  • “Why should we believe the biblical account of creation when evolution, which is proven science, says something different?”
  • “Why does God allow evil?”

In answering each question, the author uses stories, personal examples, illustrations, interviews, and Scripture to show how to deal with each pressing issue. Each chapter also includes study questions designed to help you think deeper and fully understand the concepts.

What I found most helpful in the book is his approach to evangelism. He starts by asking, “Do you believe in an afterlife?” “Are you a good person? Do you think you’ll go to heaven?” After listening to their responses, he then uses the 10 Commandments to show that no one is good and allowed to enter heaven. As he explains,

Using the moral law like Jesus did gives me a level playing field, because I’m not talking to the sinners’ contentious intellect. I have moved to his conscience. This puts even Einstein at a disadvantage. If I’m speaking to someone’s intellect, they respond with the intellect. They are in control. But if I’m speaking to their conscience, it does the talking: “Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their hearts accusing or else excusing them” (Rom. 2:15).

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2019 in Apologetics, Books, Evangelism

 

It is reasonable and rational to believe in Christianity

Book Review: The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind, by Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias has written a thought-provoking book aimed at those seeking to better understand the Christian faith. The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind addresses the most common struggles, obstacles, and questions that Ravi hears from both skeptics and Christians alike.

As the author explains in the introduction,

Today, many people think it is naïve to believe in God because there is not enough evidence for His existence. Others conclude that even if He does exist, He has insufficiently revealed and inadequately explained Himself; therefore He has not convinced us that He is real. Even less has He affirmed that the claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ are true and lead to a worldview that offers the most coherent and logical answers to life’s four essential questions—origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

For the Christian this is where the battle must be fought, for no worldview suffers more from the loss of belief in God than the Christian one. And unless the “logic” of God—the evidence He has provided us of His existence—is defended, is sought after, is fully engaged with our hearts and minds, every essential of the Christian faith will be deemed illogical and untrue, thereby making them unworthy of rational assent.

The question then is, how does a person come to view this “logic” (this “evidence”) as a reason to believe in a God on whom all other essentials of the Christian faith are built, by which life must be governed, and with which your personal beliefs, your culture, and the unique message of Jesus Christ are examined? The purpose of this book and the way it is designed to be used, is to guide you on that journey.

As the subtitle indicates, the book focuses on 52 key issues including “The Pathway of Pain,” “Behind every question,” “Christianity without Christ?” “Does prayer matter?” “Scandal of the Cross” “Are you lonely?” and many more. The book is designed to be read one topic or question a week. Each topic is relatively short—2 or 3 pages followed by two “Reflection Questions” and two ideas for “Personal Application.” By taking the time to work through the various ideas and arguments, one will gain the conviction that God is real, the He loves us, and that He desires to fulfill the longings of our hearts.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2019 in Apologetics, Books, Evangelism, Quotes, Theology

 

Intellectual proof for serious questions about the Bible

Book Review: Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World (The Completely Updated and Expanded Classic), by Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell, Ph.D.

I was first introduced to Josh McDowell and Evidence that Demands a Verdict in the mid-70’s when I was a student at Biola University. The book was instrumental in helping me get a better grasp on the trustworthiness of Scripture. His second volume, More Evidence that Demands a Verdict added and built on that earlier foundation. Both books were instrumental in my research, writing papers, and helping answer questions in sharing my faith.

Josh McDowell has now partnered with his son, Sean, who teaches apologetics at Biola to update and expand his classic work. The updated version is close to 900 pages of valuable resources on the Bible and Jesus. Part 1 deals with evidence for the Bible. Part 2 provides evidence for Jesus. Part 3 adds evidence for the Old Testament. Part 4 contributes evidence for truth. This last section provides answers for postmodernism and skepticism. In the Appendix, the authors provide responses to the challenges of Bart Ehrman, who is one of the leading critics of Christianity today.

The book is written in outline form. Coupled with a complete table of contents, it makes it easy to find and research the specific question you want to answer regarding the reliability of the Bible or evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, to name just two of the many topics covered in the book.

The updated version is a valuable and welcome resource for serious students of Christianity. It is a welcome addition to any library.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2017 in Apologetics, Biola University, Books

 

Insight on reaching the next generation

meet-generation-zBook Review: Meet Generation Z: Understanding and reaching the new post-Christian world, by James Emery White

The cultural landscape has changed dramatically. We have the rise of the “nones,” those who when asked about their religious identity respond by saying “nothing.” Now we have Generation Z, the first truly post-Christian generation, and numerically the largest.

Pastor and author James Emery White has written, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and reaching the new post-Christian world, to share insights about this new generation and how to reach them with the gospel.

If the heart of the Christian mission is to evangelize and transform culture through the centrality of the church, then understanding that culture is paramount. It is toward that end this work is offered as a hopeful complement to my earlier works: Serious Times and The Rise of the Nones.

White divides the book into two parts. Part 1 describes the challenges facing the church today. He includes the latest research on the new post-Christian realities facing the west before describing the characteristics of Generation Z. Part 2 focuses on how the church should respond to this challenge. The author presents ideas on how we can become countercultural as well as how to speak to culture in ways that are winsome and compelling. He also includes suggestions on new approaches to evangelism and apologetics. The author closes the book with three sermons preached at his church on issues relevant to our culture—gay marriage, mapping out the spiritual world, and using science as a pre-evangelism bridge.

Having read and benefited from his previous book, The Rise of the Nones, I found this one helpful as well. It provides insight on the cultural realities and gives food for thought on how the church should adapt and respond to the challenge.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in Apologetics, Books, Church, Evangelism

 

Why Jesus 2016

Daryl Witmer and AIIA is hosting Why Jesus 2016, the Northern New England Conference on Evidence for Christian Faith. The event will be held on May 7 in Bangor, ME. Click on the link or the photo below for more information.

AIIA1 AIIA2

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2016 in Apologetics, Evangelism