Asking a difficult question

So you think I’m going to hell?

In our conversations with others about God – we will eventually encounter difficult questions like these:

“So you think I’m going to hell?”

“Do you think everyone who doesn’t believe like you are going to hell?”

“But why do I need Jesus?”

How do we answer such a pointed questions without sounding judgemental and bigoted?

Rather than being caught out – these questions are actually wonderful opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Check out this short clip where Greg Koukl outlines a tactical and gracious way you can answer these questions so you’re not caught out:

Who is Alan Shlemon?

Alan Shlemon of Stand to Reason will soon be joining us in New Zealand to partner with us, and enjoy some legendary kiwi hospitality!

But wait I hear you ask… “Who is Alan Shlemon?”

To meet the man, watch this video, and to find out more, visit his page.
http://www.str.org/training/speakers/alan-shlemon

Stand to Reason (logo)

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.

Stand to Reason (logo)

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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Faith Refocused

What is Faith and how does it relate to the world?

Does a weak faith help people believe in things that are unlikely, and a strong faith believe in things that are truly false?

Why is it reasonable to trust God?

This video helps to answer such questions and more. Enjoy!

how to be an atheist

An Interview on “How to Be an Atheist”

In a new video from Crossway Books, Justin Taylor sits down to talk to Mitch Stokes about his provocatively titled book How to Be an Atheist: Why Many Skeptics Aren’t Skeptical Enough.

Stokes was an engineer before he studied philosophy under intellectual heavyweights Wolterstorff and Plantinga. His previous book, A Shot of Faith (to the Head), expertly navigated deep philosophical and scientific waters to help readers get an understandable grasp of the rationality of theistic belief. His new book, How to be an Atheist, encourages skeptics to be more skeptical about the certainty of their skeptical beliefs. It sounds like an interesting read.

Can a Scientist Trust the New Testament? by N. T. Wright

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N. T. Wright recently spoke at St Andrews University on the trustworthiness of the New Testament. The message was a part of the James Gregory lectures, a series of public talks by eminent national and international speakers on a wide range of contemporary issues in science and religion.

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The New Atheists’ Questionable Knowledge of History

John Dickson examines some of the historical claims about the gospels and the life of Jesus made by the New Atheists.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Dickson is the director of the Centre for Public Christianity and Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University. You can check out more of CPX’s videos on their vimeo channel or on their website.

Sean McDowell and Michael Shermer talk about the Fine-Tuning of the Universe, Objective Morality, and the Evidence for God

Christian apologist Sean McDowell and skeptic Michael Shermer discuss whether theism or atheism better explains morality and the universe. McDowell is a great communicator and the videos are a good introduction to the issues involved in the debate. The conversation was hosted by Cross Examination, a show produced by The Salvation Army to stimulate thinking and discussion.

Objective morality and God: Part 1

Objective morality and God: Part 2:

The Fine-Tuning of the Universe:

Does atheism or theism better explain the universe?:

Evidence and God:

Ravi Zacharias on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The theme at the Ligonier National Conference conference this year was standing for the truth of God’s Word. At the conference, Ravi Zacharias gave a message on the resurrection, discussing it’s context, why it matters, and what it means for us today. You can listen or view the rest of the conference talks at Ligonier.org.

The Complete Video Archive of the Reasonable Faith UK Tour

The full video archive of Dr William Lane Craig’s speaking engagements from the Reasonable Faith UK Tour has been posted on YouTube. Every debate, lecture, Q&A session, and conference discussion is online and presented in chronological order. That’s almost twenty hours of solid apologetic content.

View the playlist here.

Amy Hall

Amy Hall – If God is good, why is there evil and suffering?

If God is good, why is there evil and suffering?  How can we reconcile the existence of evil with a good, powerful and omniscient God?   In this clear and enlightening presentation Amy discusses the various reasons why it is reasonable to believe that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing the evil we see in the world.

Amy works for Stand to Reason (http://www.str.org) by contributing to their online content, blogging and responding to apologetics questions sent to Stand to Reason.  She has an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.

This presentation was recorded at Thinking Matters Tauranga (New Zealand) as part of a 10 day speaking tour of New Zealand with Brett Kunkle (Stand to Reason) and Jay Watts (Life Training Institute) in September 2012.  This presentation comes from the full NZ Tour DVD set (includes 9 sessions by Brett, Amy and Jay) which will be available shortly from Thinking Matters for NZ$60 (freight free in NZ).  Keep an eye on the blog for news of its availability.