Faith & Self Defense

Building Confidence Through Evidence

Book Review: Inductive Bible Study

The full title of the book is Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the Lenses of History, Literature, and Theology (B&H Academic, 2016).

My first thought on seeing this title in the B&H Academic catalog was to ask “why?” Why do we need another book about how to study the Bible inductively?

I asked the question because of a book about inductive Bible Study I used in Bible college more than 40 years ago – Methodical Bible Study: A New Approach to Hermeneutics by Robert Traina (Asbury Theological Seminary, 1952). Though written 65 years ago, I couldn’t imagine the need for another book about how to study the Bible inductively. I have used the lessons learned in Dr. Traina’s book for more than four decades, so why something new?

While that may seem a strange way to begin a book review, I had to smile when I read the beginning of the Author’s Preface to their book on Inductive Bible Study. The authors asked the same question I did and gave a good reason to consider their new book.

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.13

Christians should be thinkers and thinkers should be readers. Christian apologists should be critical thinkers and should read critically. That’s the purpose for this special series.

As we have seen so far in our series about A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists, the writings of Christ’s Apostles are vital to sound doctrine; the writings of the disciples of the apostles and the disciples of the disciples of the apostles are important to understanding how they defended the teaching of Christ and His Apostles. Christian apologetics is by definition a “defense” of the Christian faith.

We continue now with our look at some of the leading Christian apologists of the 2nd century. Next up is Tertullian.

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Book Review: Reformation Theology

The full title of this new book is Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary (Crossway, 2017). Its publication is certainly timely as we approach the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this October (October 31, 2017).

I understand Michael Horton’s concern about the upcoming anniversary –

“Frankly, I’m a bit ambivalent about this anniversary. If it is another occasion for liberals to hail Luther’s “Here I stand!” as the harbinger of modern autonomy, or for conservatives to celebrate Protestant values, or for confessionalists to rewatch the Luther movie and dredge up polemical grudges, then it will be at best a colossal waste of time. If, on the other hand, it is an occasion to allow God’s Word once again to break into our self-enclosed circles with a word of radical judgment and radical grace, then it will be a happy anniversary indeed.” Prologue, p 34

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.12

We are currently looking at the writings of some of the leading Christian apologists of the 2nd Century.  If you are reading this from your living room, office, porch, breezeway or other comfortable location, let’s remember that many early apologists wrote from prison or on their way to martyrdom. Defending the faith has never been about being comfortable. It’s about being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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Book Review: Dictionary of Christianity and Science

The Dictionary of Christianity and Science (Zondervan, 2017) is an exceptional resource for Christians who are engaged in apologetics, evangelism, and discipleship.

Christianity and science is a hot topic on college and university campuses. Many atheists claim science has “proven” that Christianity is not true and that God does not exist. The first question I ask atheists who say that to me is – “which science”?

They look puzzled and wonder what I mean. I then ask them if the science they believes disproves Christianity is astronomy, biology, chemistry or some other system of knowledge.

To make a general statement that “science” has proven Christianity untrue and God non-existent is to show how little the person knows about science.  As we see in The Dictionary of Christianity and Science, that atheistic claim cannot be supported from true scientific investigation.

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Book Review: Rational Faith

The full title of Dr. Stephen Davis’ book is Rational Faith: A Philosopher’s Defense of Christianity (Veritas Books, IVP, 2016).

I enjoyed reading it on several levels, one of them being that Dr. Davis is a Christian professor who has taught at secular colleges most of his adult life. His words are those of someone who knows from first-hand experience how the secular world views Christians and Christianity.

“The bottom line is that today in American secular colleges and universities Christian students (as well as Christian professors) often have a difficult time. In many ways the university gives them the impression that their religious beliefs are outmoded, superstitious and naive, and that their ethical views are old fashioned, oppressive and enslaving. The secular world thinks that Christians are inflexibly dogmatic about their beliefs and major in condemning other people.” Introduction, pp 10-11

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.11

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” 

Before we continue looking at the writings of early Christian apologists, I’d like to share something important for us to remember as we read post-Scriptural Christian writings.

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.10

We are looking at the writings of Christian apologists from the 2nd Century AD. Some were disciples of disciples of Christ’s Apostles. Irenaeus of Lyons was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John. One of Irenaeus’ best known writings is the multi-book series, Against Heresies.

Irenaeus called out heretics by name in Against Heresies. They claimed to be Christians and teachers of the Gospel, but Irenaeus demonstrated with both Scripture and logic that they were not true to the Gospel of Christ.

Do you think that’s a good idea for Christians to do today? Should we name names? Why or why not? Let’s see what we can learn from one of the leading Christian apologists of the 2nd century as we ask God for wisdom in how to address modern heretics and their heresies.

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.9

We began this special series about A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists several months ago with these words –

Christian apologists must be thinkers. That means they must also be readers. Thinkers read. Readers think. The goal is to become a better thinker for the purpose of becoming a better truth communicator with both Christians and non-Christians. The goal is not to keep what you learn to yourself or amaze your friends with “feats” of knowledge. The goal has not changed since Jesus and His apostles told Christians what to do with the gifts the Lord gave them: 1. glorify God, 2. make disciples (teach them to obey Christ), and 3. equip the saints for their work of ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ (to name a few). Your passion for representing Jesus Christ to the world will drive what you read, how often you read, who you talk with, and what you tell them.

We are currently looking at the Apostolic Fathers in the 2nd, 3rd and early 4th centuries and how they fought many important battles for orthodox Christianity as passed to them from Jesus Christ through His Apostles and the disciples of the Apostles. The writings of these brave men are important for modern Christian apologists to read because the battles they fought are similar to what we fight today.

Irenaeus of Lyons was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John. Irenaeus was a leading Christian apologist during the 2nd Century AD. We learn much about prominent heresies of the 2nd century from reading his multi-book series, Against Heresies.

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A Reading Plan for Christian Apologists – Part 3.8

The men who followed the Apostolic Fathers in the 2nd, 3rd and early 4th centuries fought many important battles for orthodox Christianity as passed to them from Jesus Christ through the apostles and the apostolic fathers. The writings of these brave men are important for modern Christian apologists to read because the battles they fought are similar to what we fight today. Plus, we can learn from the deep devotion they presented in both their lives and ministries.

In our last study we began looking at what Irenaeus of Lyons is known best for – his multi-book series, Against Heresies. We now turn to Book II.

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Evangelistic Apologetics – The Church Under Attack (Part 28)

Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:7-10

Church ApologeticsWith all the seemingly complex arguments aimed at Christianity today, the basic argument for Christianity is simple – Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son. He came to earth in the form of a man, lived a perfect life, gave His life for His sheep, and rose from the dead so whoever believes in Him “will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

How can such a simple message with the promise of an awesome outcome for believers be so hard to understand by so many? We have an enemy who is also God’s enemy. Satan, ‘the thief,’ is here on planet earth to ‘steal, and to kill, and to destroy.’

What that means for us is Spiritual WAR!

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 9

In our last post we heard from Dr. John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford. Dr. Lennox is also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School, Oxford University, and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, as well as being a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum.

In this post we will hear from Ravi Zacharias and members of his RZIM team. Ravi Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Zacharias is one of the best-known Christian apologists in the world today and has written or edited more than 25 books. Some of his RZIM team members include John Lennox, Abdu Murray, Stuart McAllister, Vince Vitale, Os Guinness, Michael Ramsden, Amy Orr-Ewing, and John Njoroge.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 8

In our last post we heard from father and son, Josh McDowell and Dr. Sean McDowell. Josh has been in ministry (Josh McDowell Ministry) for more than 50 years. His son, Sean, is an Assistant Professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University. Both men are International speakers on the subjects of Christianity and apologetics.

In this post we will hear from Dr. John Lennox, who is Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford. Dr. Lennox is also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School, Oxford University, and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, as well as being a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 7

In our last post we heard from Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ and more than 20 other books about evidence for Christianity. Strobel is a former atheist and award-winning legal editor for The Chicago Tribune and has spent more than 25 years sharing evidence that supports the truth of Christianity.

In this post we will hear from Josh McDowell and Dr. Sean McDowell. One of the first books about apologetics that I read as a young Christian was Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands A Verdict. Josh has been in ministry (Josh McDowell Ministry) for more than 50 years. His son, Sean, is an Assistant Professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University. Both men are International speakers on the subjects of Christianity and apologetics.

 

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 6

In our last post about Christ’s resurrection, we heard from Jonathan McLatchie. Jonathan is a Christian writer, international speaker and debater on multiple topics.

In this post we will hear from Lee Strobel.  He is the author of The Case for Christ and more than 20 other books about evidence for Christianity. Strobel is a former atheist and award-winning legal editor for The Chicago Tribune. He has spent more than 25 years sharing evidence that supports the truth claims of Christianity and equipping Christians to share their beliefs with others.

Strobel is a Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University and travels across the country sharing his testimony, encouraging believers, and challenging skeptics.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 5

In our last post we heard from Dr. Mike Licona, co-author with Dr. Gary Habermas of The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus.

Our next presenter on the subject of Christ’s resurrection is Jonathan McLatchie. Jonathan is a Christian writer, international speaker and debater in areas as diverse as  Darwinian Evolution (Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in forensic biology, a Master’s degree in evolutionary biology, a second Master’s degree in medical and molecular bioscience, and is a PhD student in cell biology), Intelligent Design, Islam and atheism.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 4

In our last post we heard from Dr. Gary Habermas, a leading scholar on the topic of the historical reliability of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. One of his best-known books on the subject is The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, which he wrote with Michael Licona.

Dr. Mike Licona has authored other books about the Resurrection including The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach and Paul Meets Muhammad: A Christian-Muslim Debate on the Resurrection. He is an Associate Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University and the President of Risen Jesus, Inc.

Dr. Licona is also a well-known speaker and debater on the issue of the Resurrection of Christ and the historical reliability of the Gospel accounts.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 3

Dr. Gary Habermas is one of the world’s leading voices for the historical reliability of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy at Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity where he teaches courses about Miracles, Religious Doubt, and the Historical Jesus. He has also been a Visiting or Adjunct Professor at about 15 different graduate schools and seminaries.

Dr. Habermas has written extensively about examining the relevant historical, philosophical, and theological issues surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. His books include –

Dr. Habermas is also an accomplished speaker and debater.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 2

As Christians rapidly approach another celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are looking at some of the best arguments for His rising from the dead.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

In our last post we looked at arguments from the One Minute Apologist. Those videos are excellent to share with friends and family because they are short and highlight the best arguments for the reality of the resurrection.

In this post we will look at in-depth arguments for the resurrection of Christ from one of the best-known Christian philosophers and debaters, Dr. William Lane Craig.

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Arguments for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part 1

Christians believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. In fact, the resurrection of Jesus is a MUST for the Christian worldview to be true. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then our faith in Him is empty and we are without hope in this world.

“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

What are some of the best arguments for the resurrection of Jesus Christ? As we approach another celebration of the Resurrection, we will look at some of the strongest arguments for the reality of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
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