Free Audiobook

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Here at Thinking Matters we love free stuff, so whenever something is free and of a high quality, we go for it!

The free audiobook this month is Delighting in God by A. W. Tozer; you can find it at christianaudio.com/free/. Usually it will cost you $15 (US), however, for one month only, it is free of charge.

Here is the summary from Christianaudio.com

Delighting in God is the message Tozer intended to be the follow-up to The Knowledge of the Holy. He demonstrates how the attributes of God–those things God has revealed about himself–are a way to understand the Christian life of worship and service. We are here to serve and adore him, but we can only fulfill that role by acknowledging who he is, which is the essence of the Christian life and the source of all our fulfillment, joy, and comfort.

Enjoy!

 

Alan Shlemon – New Zealand 2016 Tour Schedule

We are excited that Alan Shlemon – our keynote speaker at our Confident Christianity Conference – is arriving in just a few days.

Alan ShlemonAlan is a dynamic and entertaining speaker who speaks to thousands of adults and students around the world at churches, conferences and on university campuses on some of the most difficult challenges of our day.  He has dedicated his life to training Christians – both young and old – to thoughtfully articulate their faith and values, as he knows that when people are properly equipped, they’re more confident talking to others about what they believe and why they believe it.  Check out a video on his work here.

Here is his full public speaking schedule:

HAMILTON

Thursday 28th April

The Power of a Question: How to have conversations about God without losing friends

Alan will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.
7:00-9:00pm at Hamilton South Baptist Church, 131 Ohaupo Rd, Melville
A free event.  Click here for details.

AUCKLAND

Friday 29th April

The Power of a Question: How to have conversations about God without losing friends

This is our Auckland Confident Christianity Conference opening night – which is free for everyone – so bring a friend!
Alan will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.
7:00-9:30pm at Windsor Park Baptist Church, 550 East Coast Rd, Mairangi Bay
A free event.  Click here for details.

Saturday 30th April

Confident Christianity Conference

Our all-day conference will equip you to give both intellectually and emotionally satisfying answers to some hard questions and learn how to defend the Christian faith in a reasonable and compassionate way.  We have a line-up of top speakers who will sensitively and skilfully respond to some of the biggest objections that Christians encounter today – to help you live out a confident, yet gracious faith in your everyday life.  At the conference Alan is giving two talks on Islam, to give you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith.
8:30am-6:30pm at Windsor Park Baptist Church, 550 East Coast Rd, Mairangi Bay
Cost $40 Students and Youth and $69 Adults.  Click here for more information and to register.

Thursday 5th May

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: A full day apologetics and Christian worldview training workshop at Kingsway School

For Parents, Pastors, Youth Leaders and Christian Educators.  Topics include:

  • Who’s Waiting for Our Kids? Why Our Students Need Christian Apologetics
  • The Power of a Question: Engaging Our Culture with Conversations That Count
  • Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever
  • Addressing Homosexuality with Compassion: What Can I Say to my Gay Friend?

9:00am-3:30pm at Kingsway School, 100 Jelas Road, Red Beach, Auckland
Cost $45.  Click here for more information and to register.

TAURANGA

Sunday 1st May

If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?

The problem of evil is the most common objection to God. If God is good and all-powerful, how can he exist if he allows evil to continue? Though this sounds persuasive, this challenge is riddled with difficulties. Alan will walk you through the solutions to this challenge and explain how, far from undermining God’s existence, the presence of evil turns out to be a powerful evidence that God is real.
Bethlehem Baptist Church morning services at 9:00am and again at 10:45am – At 90 Bethlehem Rd, Bethlehem

A Closer Look at Islam

Islam is gaining more attention every day, but popular beliefs about Islam seem to be missing the true nature of Muslim beliefs and practices. Alan will demystify what Islam really teaches and examine how it stacks up to Christianity, giving you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith.
City Church evening service at 6:00pm – At 252 Otumoetai Road, Otumoetai.

Monday 2nd May

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: A full day apologetics and Christian worldview training workshop at Bethlehem College

For Parents, Pastors, Youth Leaders and Christian Educators.  Topics include:

  • Who’s Waiting for Our Kids? Why Our Students Need Christian Apologetics
  • The Power of a Question: Engaging Our Culture with Conversations That Count
  • Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever
  • Addressing Homosexuality with Compassion: What Can I Say to my Gay Friend?

10:00am – 3:15pm at Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre, 24 Elder Lane, Tauranga
Cost $45.  Click here for more information and to register.

CHRISTCHURCH

Friday 6th May

The Power of a Question: How to have conversations about God without losing friends

This is our Christchurch Confident Christianity Conference opening night – which is free for everyone – so bring a friend!
Alan will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.
7:00-9:30pm at Rutland Street Church, 12 Rutland St, St Albans
A free event.  Click here for details.

Saturday 7th May

Confident Christianity Conference

Our all-day conference will equip you to give both intellectually and emotionally satisfying answers to some hard questions and learn how to defend the Christian faith in a reasonable and compassionate way.  We have a line-up of top speakers who will sensitively and skilfully respond to some of the biggest objections that Christians encounter today – to help you live out a confident, yet gracious faith in your everyday life.  At the conference Alan is giving two talks on Islam, to give you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith.
8:30am-6:30pm at Rutland Street Church, 12 Rutland St, St Albans
Cost $40 Students and Youth and $69 Adults.  Click here for more information and to register.

Sunday 8th May

If God is Good, Why is there Evil?

The problem of evil is the most common objection to God. If God is good and all-powerful, how can he exist if he allows evil to continue? Though this sounds persuasive, this challenge is riddled with difficulties. Alan will walk you through the solutions to this challenge and explain how, far from undermining God’s existence, the presence of evil turns out to be a powerful evidence that God is real.
Rutland St Church morning service at 10:00 am – At 12 Rutland St, St. Albans

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever

Relativism has taken hold in our culture and the result is a deep confusion over our Christian understanding of truth, tolerance, faith, and the Bible. Alan will examine some specific challenges we face in our hostile culture and provide you with some tools to help strengthen our understanding of biblical truth.
Cornerstone Campus Church evening service at 5:00 pm – At The Foundry (UCSA Events Centre) 90 Ilam Road, Upper Riccarton

Monday 9th May

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: A full day apologetics and Christian worldview training workshop at Middleton Grange School

For Parents, Pastors, Youth Leaders and Christian Educators.  Topics include:

  • Who’s Waiting for Our Kids? Why Our Students Need Christian Apologetics
  • The Power of a Question: Engaging Our Culture with Conversations That Count
  • Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever
  • Addressing Homosexuality with Compassion: What Can I Say to my Gay Friend?

3:00pm-7:30pm at Middleton Grange School, The Grange Theatre (Preforming Arts Centre), 30 Acacia Ave, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch
Cost $45.  Click here for more information and to register.

 

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Alvin Plantinga on Air Conditioning and Counterfactuals

Some may think that philosophers and theologians are academics in ivory towers who have little to do with the affairs of men. However, some philosophers are also quite handy, so much so that they are called on as witnesses by the media. An example of this is Alvin Plantinga, a world-class philosopher and apologist, who was consulted regarding the level of education one needs to have to be qualified to service Air Conditioning units. According to the news report:

“I mean, you gotta be, like I say, you gotta have a Ph.D. in engineering just to use your thermostat,” said Alvin Plantinga, whose air conditioning unit stopped working. “And that seems over the top to me.”

He rounded off the news piece by making a counterfactual truth claim, saying that his current situation (of hot weather and a failed AC) would be much much worse if the temperature was a great deal lower:

You know, there are worse things. I mean if it were like say ten below zero, that would be worse.

This article was written in the spirit of the online publication The Babylon Bee, your trusted source for christian news satire.

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World – Apologetics Training Workshop

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World

Alan ShlemonA full day Apologetics and Christian Worldview workshop with Alan Shlemon – in Tauranga, Auckland and Christchurch.

We have a full day of practical training for parents, pastors, youth leaders and teachers where you will be equipped to better prepare your kids for an increasingly hostile culture.

Registration is only $45 for a full day of high quality training with one of the best apologetics communicators to visit NZ for a long time.

For more information and to register click here.

The Power of a Question – Alan Shlemon in Hamilton

The following event is coming up in Hamilton on Thursday 28th April:

The Power of a Question

How to have conversations about God without losing friends

With Alan Shlemon

Do you sometimes find yourself intimidated in conversations about your Christian faith and values?  Do you let opportunities slip by because you don’t know what to say? Visiting speaker Alan Shlemon wants to equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.

Alan ShlemonAlan Shlemon has dedicated his life to training Christians – both young and old – to thoughtfully articulate their faith and values. He knows that when people are properly equipped, they’re more confident talking to others about what they believe and why they believe it.

He is a dynamic and entertaining speaker who speaks to thousands of adults and students around the world at churches, conferences and on university campuses on some of the most difficult challenges of our day. He is in New Zealand for a Thinking Matters speaking tour and will be in Hamilton one night only.

WHAT: Training lecture with Q&A
WHEN: Thursday 28th April
TIME: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
WHERE: Hamilton South Baptist Church, 131 Ohaupo Rd, Melville, Hamilton
RSVP: Not needed – but please tell your friends!
COST: Free – but Koha (donation) welcome

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Challenge Response: A Real God Would Have Protected the Original Gospel Manuscripts

Welcome back people of the internet.

On Wednesday, we heard this challenge from our comrades at STR:

Christians claim that God directly inspired the authors of the gospel books, even to the point of dictating each word, so as to make the text inerrant. But if God was so concerned about getting the historical record of Jesus’s ministry correct, why would he have allowed those original, and supposedly inerrant manuscripts to be lost for the generations of Christians to come? Why would he not have protected these documents to ensure there would be no ambiguity as to the ultimate truths he was trying to convey. The loss of the original manuscripts is entirely consistent with a human-inspired product, not one overseen by an unlimited deity.

The interesting thing about this challenge, is that it has assumptions about what God would do in a given situation, when those assumptions may be better explained as what the challenger would do in that situation. Additionally, the objection assumes a theory of inspiration which is held by hardly anyone today. Many objections to the truth of Christian Theism begin in this way, failing even before they are finished.

Let’s take a look at how Alan responds to this question.

How do you think Alan did in responding to the challenge? Are there any other things he could have said?

If you liked this video, have a look at www.str.org, and also STR’s YouTube channel.

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Challenge: A Real God Would Have Protected the Original Gospel Manuscripts

From our colleagues at Stand To Reason comes this challenge:

Christians claim that God directly inspired the authors of the gospel books, even to the point of dictating each word, so as to make the text inerrant. But if God was so concerned about getting the historical record of Jesus’s ministry correct, why would he have allowed those original, and supposedly inerrant manuscripts to be lost for the generations of Christians to come? Why would he not have protected these documents to ensure there would be no ambiguity as to the ultimate truths he was trying to convey. The loss of the original manuscripts is entirely consistent with a human-inspired product, not one overseen by an unlimited deity.

Is this really the case? Could God have a reason for not wanting us to have the original manuscripts today?

Answer the challenge in the comments below and check back in on Friday to see Alan’s response.

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Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 6: Why It Matters – Adam4d.com

Over the last 5 days we have been examining 5 reasons for the resurrection as presented by Adam Ford of adam4d.com.

If you have missed any of the last 5 posts, don’t worry, take a look at Adam’s original piece.

To summarize, Adam pointed out that there are 5 good reasons to think Jesus rose from the dead namely:

  1. The Empty Tomb
  2. The Post-Mortem Appearances of Jesus
  3. The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus
  4. The Boldness of the Disciples
  5. The Explosion of Christianity

Taken in isolation, any one of these events can be explained without having to revert to non-naturalistic explanations. For example, the empty tomb could be explained by the disciples stealing the body; or the Boldness of the Disciples could be attributed to an “experience/vision” of the risen Christ.

However, taken in concert, it is hard to see how any naturalistic explanation accounts for all of these facts. Such an explanation, is a veritable “Frankenstein’s Monster” of an explanation, being neither simple, nor plausible, but rather a monstrous and freakish mishmash of doubtful and tenuous theories. In fact, such an attempt to explain the previously mentioned facts seems to betray the strongly biased presuppositions of the proposer; namely an unwillingness to entertain the thought of a non-naturalistic explanation. Without justification, such a presupposition seems arbitrary and even irrational, why not be open to the possibility of a supernatural intervention?

However, that is not the question for today. Rather, in light of the evidence we have examined together, what are the implications for us today in the 21st century. What if Jesus rose from the dead? What if he didn’t? Let us turn again to Adam, and see what He says.

Read more

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Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 5: The Explosion of Christianity – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1, part 2, part 3 and or part 4 check them out.

Today we are looking at a 4th piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the spread of Christianity after the crucifixion.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Tomorrow, we will conclude with why all of this matters.

Enjoy!

Read more

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Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 4: The Boldness of the Disciples – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1, part 2 and or part 3 please check them out.

Today we are looking at a 4th piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the boldness of the disciples who proclaimed the gospel message.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Enjoy!

Read more

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Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 3: The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1 and or part 2 please check them out.

Today we are looking at a third piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, an early persecutor of the church who became the apostle to the Gentiles.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Enjoy!

Read more