Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Preview: The Atheist Who Didn't Exist by Andy Bannister

About the Author

Dr Andy Bannister is a popular author, speaker and broadcaster. He speaks and teaches regularly throughout Canada, the USA, Europe, and the wider world, addressing audiences of all faiths and none on issues of philosophy, belief, and scepticism.  He is also the Canadian Director of RZIM.

He holds a 
doctorate in Islamic studies and enjoys mountaineering, juggling, and cats (although not simultaneously). He tweets frequently at@andygbannister.


About the Book

In the last decade, atheism has leapt from obscurity to the front pages: producing best-selling books, making movies, and plastering adverts on the side of buses. There's an energy and a confidence to contemporary atheism: many people now assume that a godless scepticism is the default position, indeed the only position for anybody wishing to appear educated, contemporary and urbane. Atheism is hip, religion is boring.

Yet when one pokes at popular atheism, many of the arguments used to prop it up quickly unravel.The Atheist Who Didn't Exist is designed to expose some of the loose threads on the cardigan of atheism, tug a little, and see what happens. Blending humour with serious thought, Andy Bannister helps the reader question everything, assume nothing and, above all, recognise lazy scepticism and bad arguments. Be an atheist by all means: but do be a thought-through one.

You can download Chapter 1 here for free!

To learn more about this new book or purchase it, go here,

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Favorite Apologetics Apps

As difficult as it might be to believe, I just recently purchased my first cell phone!  Please feel free to make fun of me in the comments!

I have been checking out the available apologetics apps and I wanted to share the ones that I have found most helpful.  They are all available for free!

1. The Cold-Case Christianity App- This one features the work of cold-case homocide detective J. Warner Wallace.  It offers articles, podcasts, videos, free bible inserts and more!

2. The Reasonable Faith App- With this free app you get access to Dr. William Lane Craig’s weekly Q&A, articles, audio and video of debates and talks, including Dr. Craig’s popular Reasonable Faith Podcast and Defenders Podcast.

3. The Cross Examined App- Featuring a "Quick Answers" section that helps you respond to popular objections to Christianity, the Cross Examined blog, speaker schedule, and radio recordings- this app can help you grow and defend the faith.

4. The gotQuestions? App- This application has over 4,400 of our most frequently asked questions about the Bible organized by topic, with a built-in search function, the ability to bookmark articles for easier future access, automatic downloading of new/updated articles, and the option to ask a question if the answer to your question is not already available in the app.

5. Reasons to Believe App- Get equipped with powerful new reasons to believe and enjoy content-rich apologetic material delivered to you, wherever you are.

6. The Stand to Reason App- Get equipped anywhere, anytime with Stand to Reason’s free iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad app. Stand to Reason trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, incisive, yet gracious defense for classical Christianity and classical Christian values.

What about you?  What is your favorite apologetics app?  Please share in the comments!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Apologetics Catechism Questions

As part of our family worship time at home, my wife and I catechize our kids.  If you are looking for a good catechism to start with, I would recommend this one.

As a Dad who is raising future Christian Case Makers, I long for my kids to understand what they believe and why they believe it.  Catechism is a great place to begin preparing your kids to be able to give an answer for the hope they have, but the catechisms I have seen, including the one I recommend above, do not include explicit apologetics arguments for the existence of God.

A few weeks ago I was reading an article by Stand to Reason's Greg Koukl entitled Making Apologetics Understandable and in the beginning of the piece Koukl briefly summarizes three of the main arguments for God's existence.  I realized these argument summaries would make great catechism questions for my girls!  

Please feel free to let me know what you think and if you like them, please feel free to use them with your own children.

1. What is the Cosmological Argument?

Answer: The argument for God based on the existence of the Cosmos.

2. What is the Teleological Argument?

Answer: The argument for God based on the design of the Cosmos.

3. What is the Moral Argument?

Answer: If there is no God, there is no anchor for objective morality.

4. What is the sum of the Cosmological Argument?

Answer: The Big Bang needs a Banger.

5. What is the sum of the Teleological Argument?

Answer: Every design has a designer.

6. What is the sum of the Moral Argument?

Answer: The moral law requires a Moral Law Giver.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Faith and the Whole Picture

I’ve been trying to avoid using the word ‘faith’ recently. It just doesn’t get the message across. ‘Faith’ is a word that’s now misused and twisted. ‘Faith’ today is what you try to use when the reasons are stacking up against what you think you ought to believe. Greg Koukl sums up the popular view of faith, “It’s religious wishful thinking, in which one squeezes out spiritual hope by intense acts of sheer will. People of ‘faith’ believe the impossible. People of ‘faith’ believe that which is contrary to fact. People of ‘faith’ believe that which is contrary to evidence. People of ‘faith’ ignore reality.” It shouldn’t therefore come as a great surprise to us, that people raise their eyebrows when ‘faith’ in Christ is mentioned. Is it strange that they seem to prefer what seems like reason over insanity?
It’s interesting that the Bible doesn’t overemphasize the individual elements of the whole picture of faith, like we so often do. But what does the Bible say about faith? Is it what Simon Peter demonstrates when he climbs out of the boat and walks over the water towards Jesus? Or is it what Thomas has after he has put his hand in Jesus’s side? Interestingly, biblical faith isn’t believing against the evidence. Instead, faith is a kind of knowing that results in action. The clearest definition comes from Hebrews 11:1. This verse says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In fact, when the New Testament talks about faith positively it only uses words derived from the Greek root [pistis], which means ‘to be persuaded.’ In those verses from Hebrews, we find the words, “hope,” “assurance,” “conviction” that is, confidence. Now, what gives us this confidence?
Christian faith is not belief in the absence of evidence. It is the proper response to the evidence. Koukl explains that, “Christian faith cares about the evidence…the facts matter. You can’t have assurance for something you don’t know you’re going to get. You can only hope for it. This is why the resurrection of Jesus is so important. It gives assurance to the hope. Because of a Christian view of faith, Paul is able to say in 1 Corinthians 15 that when it comes to the resurrection, if we have only hope, but no assurance—if Jesus didn’t indeed rise from the dead in time/space history—then we are of most men to be pitied. This confidence Paul is talking about is not a confidence in a mere ‘faith’ resurrection, a mythical resurrection, a story-telling resurrection. Instead, it’s a belief in a real resurrection. If the real resurrection didn’t happen, then we’re in trouble. The Bible knows nothing of a bold leap-in-the-dark faith, a hope-against-hope faith, a faith with no evidence. Rather, if the evidence doesn’t correspond to the hope, then the faith is in vain, as even Paul has said.”
So in conclusion, faith is not a kind of religious hoping that you do in spite of the facts. In fact, faith is a kind of knowing that results in doing, a knowing that is so passionately and intelligently faithful to Jesus Christ that it will not submit to fideism, scientism, nor any other secularist attempt to divert and cauterize the human soul by hijacking knowledge.
Tom Price is an academic tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Oxford, England.
Published on JuLY 23, 2015 in A Slice of Infinity.  “Our gift and invitation to you, that you might further examine your beliefs, your culture, and the unique message of Jesus Christ.”

"Helping the thinker believe, helping the believer think."  To learn more about Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, go here. http://www.rzim.org/

To receive A Slice of Infinity in your daily email, go here. http://www.rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/

Monday, July 27, 2015

Discrimination: The Most Hated People Group in America

Every American matters

In the subject series, Brian Fisher of Online for Life discusses how and why the preborn are the most hated people group in America.  Below is an excerpt from the series:

We Americans pride ourselves on being a just society. We want equal rights, fairness for all. We puff up our chests while reciting the Declaration of Independence and claiming we are the most civilized society on the planet.
 
And yet, we’ve killed over 57 million of our own citizens in just four decades, and we’ve chosen victims who have no ability to defend themselves. We are the most egregious of bullies, picking on an entire class of humans who can’t fight back.
 
Civilized? Hardly.
 
We continue to discriminate against a class of humans for our own selfish benefit, creatively disguising the mass killings as our right.
 
Because we, as a country, hate the preborn.

You can read all three installments below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Stand firm in Christ and stand firm for the preborn,
Chase

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Was Jesus Born?- Understanding Colossians 1:15

Colossians 1:15 states:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."

At first glance, this verse seems to be saying that Jesus was "born" and if this is the case, He cannot be an eternal being i.e. God as Christians claim.

However, as James Boccardo explains, this is clearly not the case:

"Another translation of this word for 'firstborn' could be 'ruler.'  One of the reasons it's translated 'firstborn' is because this word has to do with the inheritance rights of the firstborn in a family during biblical times.  Think Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob here.  It is being used here in Colossians to refer to Jesus as the one who has the rights over all creation.  It does not have to do with Him being created.

The best verse...here is Psalms 89:27.  It is talking about David:

"I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth."

In this verse, the word for 'firstborn' is the same word that's used to describe Jesus in Colossians 1:15. What's the big deal?  David wasn't the firstborn in his family!  To make it even worse, David was the last born.  Clearly, this word means something different than being born first or created.  It means 'ruler' or 'one who has the rights to something.'" [1]

So, the next time a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness comes knocking on your door, you'll be ready!

But what about when when John writes "only begotten Son?"  See here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Footnote:
1. James Boccardo, Unsilenced: How to Voice the Gospel, p. 150-151.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Debate: Does God Exist? John Lennox vs. Michael Shermer


This debate between John Lennox and Michael Shermer took place in 2008 at the Wesley Conference Centre in Sydney, Austraila.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

James Boccardo on Sharing the Gospel

"I hear professional athletes say they still get nervous before playing in a big game.  I hear musicians say the same thing about concerts.  You know what's funny about it?  They still go out there and do it.  I still get nervous sometimes when I share the gospel with people, but I'm going to play through it.  It's no different than what an athlete or a musician would do.  Shouldn't we be just as brave as they are?

So, if you want to share the gospel, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I still misjudge situations and say the wrong things.  I still feel awkward sometimes when someone says something harsh back to me.  Just the other day, someone walked away from me.  He didn't even say anything!  We started talking, and he just walked away.  I know that he wasn't rejecting me, but it felt that way.  One the flip side of being nervous, feeling awkward, and getting rejected, you might see people put their faith in Jesus.  Sometimes the reward can be much bigger than the feeling of nervousness or any rejection you might face.

All the people I've ever known who started sharing the gospel had to be uncomfortable for the first few times.  After that, they always end up telling me that it wasn't that hard.  After they get over their initial fear, they're excited and ready to try it again.  They would all tell you that you're missing out if you're not sharing your faith." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

1. James Boccardo, Unsilenced: How to Voice the Gospel, p. 48-49.