In the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally, actress Meg Ryan gives one of the most memorable performances in the history of the romantic comedy. In an attempt to prove a point, Ryan launches into a climactic re-enactment of the sacred intersection of eros and agape. She does this in the middle of a fancy restaurant, capturing the attention of every diner. [Read more…]
*UPDATE: One of the Few is available now at www.oneofthefewbook.com
*UPDATE: My initial pre-order campaign was a success with over 400 copies ordered! Thanks to everyone who helped support the campaign. Don’t worry, you’ll have another chance to order One of the Few as the publication date gets closer, currently set for November 2015.
Today I dropped some big announcements on my preorder campaign for One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview: [Read more…]
In the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismissed a rash of deadly attacks on U.S. troops as the last throes of a small group of “dead-enders.” Early tactical victories during the war led some to believe that these dead-enders, comprised of members of Saddam’s former Baath Party, Fedayeen paramilitary, and other loyalists, would be quickly rooted out, captured, or killed. Planners assumed that once the dead-enders found their end, peace and stability would become a possibility for the region.
Eleven years later, Iraq is again devolving into turmoil. Many Iraqi insurgents were indeed dead, but we are far from the end of Iraq’s struggle to overcome centuries of regional conflict. The Butcher of Baghdad is gone, but the floodgates he controlled with his violence and intimidation burst open, and a new river of unimaginable evil is now rising. [Read more…]
Apologetics. It sounds like you want to apologize for something. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia (áπολογíα), pronounced appo-LOH-jiyah.
Apologia means “speaking in defense” or “to give a defense of.”
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of information.
Your Faith Is Not Blind
Once you’ve heard the truth about God and his Son, there’s nothing wrong with quickly accepting that truth and living your life according to His Word. Being able to explain why you believe what you believe is not necessary for salvation.
But it is necessary for effectively carrying out the Great Commission to go forth and share God’s truth with every nation and tongue.
This is where apologetics comes in.
While it is true that God’s Word can stand on its own and needs no defending, it does not follow that we should shirk our responsibility to provide answers for anyone asking questions.
This charge to incorporate apologetics comes from the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:15:
“Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect. . .” (HCSB)
The Apostle Paul gives us a good example for how to teach the world about Christianity. Paul was known for becoming all things to all people.
When he was speaking to Romans, he related them like a Roman.
When he was speaking to Jews, he related to them like a Jew.
When he was speaking to Gentiles, he related to them like Gentiles.
Paul knew how to relate considering he a Jew, a Roman citizen, and a former persecutor of Christians.
Apologetics is described in the Apologetics Study Bible:
“Apologetics contributes to the restoration of a view of the Bible as a source of knowledge of its subject matter as opposed to a source of true belief to be accepted by a blind act of the will.”¹
“Thomas, I am going to send you to a doubting and questioning people. The spear-thrusted side of mine will one day be yours for telling the world hat you have seen, felt, and believed.”²
We live in a world full of doubting Thomases. Perhaps you used to be one. Perhaps you are one now.
It’s natural to have questions. It’s natural to seek answers. It’s natural for Christians to want to provide them.
If you want to be understood as a thoughtful and caring messenger of God’s truth, and not just another salesman hounding a generation swaddled in a blanket of marketing since birth, learning why you believe what you believe is a crucial aspect of developing a reasonable faith.
We are living in the midst of great apologists for the Christian faith.
The substance and content are there. The work has been done.
- If you’ve failed to explore the spiritual side of life, you are missing out.
Who is your favorite apologist?
Photo Credit: PD
¹ Bible: Understand Why You Believe (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2007), Kindle ed., loc. 1435.
² Ravi Zacharias, Walking from East to West (Grand Rapids:Zondervan, 2006), Kindle ed., loc. 240.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Have you heard the “good news“ of the Jesus of history? It goes like this:
A man so loved the world that he railed against the powers that be, only to fail and end up with billions of followers over thousands of years living their lives in his name under false pretenses.
Maybe that’s not such good news. Let me try again:
A nice guy with a good ethics curriculum did some teaching and then lied to his students by telling them they can find hope in him, be forgiven of all the stuff they don’t need forgiveness for, and then defeat death.
Okay, that sounds like bad news. Just give me a minute. I’m trying to get inside the head of a news contributor with a new book about Jesus (not) Christ. This author celebrates modeling your life after Jesus the man-and-only-man, not Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
(Click HERE for an in depth analysis of the “historical Jesus” from Dr. William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California)
If Jesus was not the son of God, why would that be a good idea? He rightly states that you can be a “follower” of Jesus without being a Christian. Many people “follow” Jesus out of curiosity, without any commitment to model their life after His. But he incorrectly states that you can be a Christian without being a follower of Jesus. The term Christian comes from the term Jesus Christ.
What shall we call the followers of the Jesus of history? Histrians?
What this author describes as the “good news” of Jesus, I refer to as the “bad news of the Jesus of history“:
For the world so loved to deny God, that they gave back His only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not flourish, but have everlasting delusion.
Following anyone based on a lie, lunacy, or false pretenses is a bad idea. Following Jesus-the-man-and-only-man would be a bad idea.
(Click HERE for more discussion on the person of Jesus by lead apologist for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Canada, Andy Bannister)
But Christians do not follow the Jesus of history. They follow Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Lord and God of all. There is only one God, with one Son, who delivered one message, and it truly is “good news“:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:21-23, many will follow Him and call out, “Lord, Lord,” to whom He will say, “I never knew you.”
Do you know Jesus, or are you just following Him?