Friday, July 4, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
Tonight we had the pleasure to spend some time with prospective Pastor Ryan Bowman, at a youth pizza party and Q&A Session. Many good questions were asked, and this was an opportunity for the youth to get to know the man who may soon be leading our church, and for him to get to know the youth group at FBCE. Check out the audio from the Q&A Session below!
Monday, May 12, 2014
We wrapped up our study of “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” this week. Mr. Crews and Mr. Budde did a great job presenting the material. Hats off to you guys and gals for attending and hanging in there with this important material. We briefly discussed the problem of evil and the moral argument last night and showed how most atheists borrow from a Christian worldview.
Additionally, we introduced some conversational tactics for using when you get in a discussion about faith. Especially when someone else makes a claim against Christianity. The information is taken from an excellent book and study called “Tactics in Defending the Faith” by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason (www.str.org) We highly recommend this material, the website and his weekly podcasts. We provided the youth with a Tactics Quick Reference Guide card to help them navigate these sorts of conversations.
1) Gather information by asking, “What do you mean by that?”
2) Shift the burden of proof by asking, “How did you come to that conclusion?”
3) Lead the person to some important insight: “Have you ever considered…?”
We discussed continuing the “apologetics” discussion through the summer with a weekly movie night. There was interest and I promised I would publish the names of the DVDs here. We can pick an order and the best night to meet together to view, have food and discuss. We even have the option of screening some of these on an outdoor screen. Let me know what night works best for everyone Here are the titles:
1) Metamorphosis—The beauty & design of butterflies (explores intelligent design)
2) Unlocking the Mystery of Life—The Scientific Case for Intelligent design
3) The Privileged Planet—The Search for Purpose in the Universe
4) Darwin’s Dilemma—The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record
5) The Case for Faith—A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
6) The Case for Christ—A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus
7) The Case for a Creator—A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God
(Wed. nights will not work for me as I will be teaching a Wed. night Bible study for women called “The Thinking Series” which explores apologetics topics. I would like to invite the 11th and 12thgrade young women, and their moms and friends if they are interested, to join me; details to come.) http://www.apologeticscanada.com/conference-2014/thinking-series-2014/
For those of you heading off to college in the fall, be sure to let me know where you will be attending. I can let you know if there is a Ratio Christi Chapter on your campus and if not, we can talk about how to get one started. You can also visit this link to find out where we have chapters.http://ratiochristi.org/chapters
It was a pleasure working with you all. Check the blog even during the summer as I will post apologetics related info I think you should know as needed. Also, be sure to share your resource guides with your family and don’t forget to take them to college.
(If you did not attend D Groups on 5/4 and receive your resource guide, let me know and I will get one to you!)
Monday, April 28, 2014
Last night we delved into the deity of Christ. Is Jesus God or just a great moral teacher? In review, we’ve been dealing with the accuracy of the New Testament writings. We’ve established that we know they are accurate and an easy way to remember the evidences are to remember they all start with “E.” NT writers gave testimony that was early, eyewitness, embarrassing and excruciating. Secular historians and archeology provide extrabiblical and enemy testimony. There is actually testimony from the OT as well that would be considered “expected.” The OT predicted the arrival of a Messiah.
Check out this One Minute Apologist video on the Trinity.
1) OT Claims that Christ was the Messiah--Isaiah 42 and 53 predict a servant Messiah and suffering Messiah. These predate Christ by several hundred years. There are also Messianic passages in Genesis, Jeremiah, other Isaiah passages, Micah, Malachi and Daniel. Turek notes, “Jesus’ life serves as the box top for many pieces of the prophetic puzzle found throughout the Old Testament.”There have been at least 71 OT messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ.
2) Apostles claimed Christ’s deity.
3) Demons acknowledged that Jesus was God.
4) Jesus’ claims to be God—direct and indirect--In one of the most stunning claims of his deity, Jesus uses OT, Jewish wording that his NT Jewish audience would clearly understand. He referred to himself as, “I Am.” He also referenced a passage in Daniel about the Son of Man returning to judge the world with authority given by God. It is popular for unbelievers these days to say that Jesus didn’t claim to be God. They clearly have not read the evidence. However, a good question to ask them when they state this is, “If Jesus didn’t claim to be God, then why was he killed?” His crucifixion is difficult to explain unless he made that claim. Jesus also made many indirect claims to be God. He declared his deity implicitly through parables. He performed miracles. He acted as if he was God through divine actions. He accepted worship and commended those who acknowledged his deity.
In a famous statement and argument by C.S. Lewis, Lewis explores three possibilities—namely that Jesus was either Lord, a liar or a lunatic. Liar and lunatic do not fit the facts of his life—how he lived and what others thought of him. That leaves us with Lord. We can also show from our previous study of the evidence that he was not a legend either. “In light of Jesus’ miraculous deeds, his resurrection, his supreme conduct and teachings, the prophecies fulfilled, and the fact that he would be unlikely to die for his own lie, liar and lunatic are eliminated. All of the evidence points to the fact that he was The Lord.
We also discussed the important, but difficult to understand, concept of the trinity. We looked at an explanation that avoids heresies which states that The Trinity is three persons with one nature. And that Jesus is one person with two natures—both divine and human. The three “whos” are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All three of those “whos” have one divine nature. The Son, does not give up his divine nature, but he adds a human nature when he takes on skin and walks the earth as Jesus.
Some important things to remember about the Trinity: The Father and the Son are equal in essence but different in function. The Trinity may be beyond reason, but it’s not against reason. While we can’t comprehend an infinite God, we can apprehend the Trinity. The Trinity actually helps us understand how love has existed from all eternity. Tri-unity in the Godhead solves the problem. To have love, there must be lover (the Father), a loved one (the Son), and a spirit of love (the Holy Spirit).
(Much of the above is taken directly from Turek/Geisler’s book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.”)