From Godless to the Gospel 11-16-19 I spoke at Colson Fellows district meeting today, sharing a systematic framework for understanding the logical progression of evidences for the Christian Faith which starts with providing evidence for the existence of objective Truth, for the existence of God and for the truth that Jesus is God, culminating in the gospel message. The Colson Fellowship offers training in worldview, apologetics, and cultural impact from a Christian perspective. If you are interested in becoming a student with the Colson Fellows, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will connect you!
Well, the National Conference on Christian Apologetics is already behind us. What a weekend it was! Renewed friendships, exciting new sessions and getting to know folks who are passionate about sharing their faith. Good stuff. I enjoyed so much teaching this session that provides a 30,000 foot view of the major arguments and evidences for the Christian Faith. I also loved getting to meet like-minded Christians at my book table. And, oh, it was great to feature my fresh-off-the press study guide to enable readers to interact with my LifeGivers Apologetics book on which the session was based.
Enjoy this PDF deck of the powerpoint presentation!
The question of what happens to those who have never heard the gospel message after they die is a question that concerns both Christians and non-Christians alike. If they go to hell, it seems as though God is unfair. After all, they never had the opportunity to respond to the truth. If they go to heaven, then why do scriptures such as Acts 4:12 say that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation? Further, why would Jesus have had to die on the cross if it were possible to make peace with God and receive eternal life apart from faith in Christ? This seminar discusses various views on the question such as pluralism, inclusivism, implicitism, exclusivism and explicitism.
The powerpoint presentation contains all slides presented at Lee Park Baptist Church 9-7-19, plus three extra slides presented during the Q and A! The slides are in PDF format so no media is available, but the clips of Oprah, Only One Way and Billy Graham are accessible on youtube.
I just returned from speaking in the Women in Apologetics Conference at Biola in La Mirada, California. What I enjoyed most was interacting with several hundred women who were passionate about learning and sharing the rational reasons for our hope in Jesus Christ. This passion is spreading among Christian women across the nation, and I am so excited to be a part of a this groundbreaking movement.
Even ten years ago the landscape looked quite different. Our first women’s apologetics conference at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, about seven years ago was among the first apologetics conferences just for women. Since that time, we’re seeing women flooding into seminary apologetics programs and about half of our PhD student body at SES is comprised of women.
Some may wonder why we need apologetics conferences just for women. I think it is a legitimate question. The content of apologetics forms a single body of knowledge, so there is no distinct “women’s version of apologetics.” This body of knowledge is comprised of evidences for objective truth, existence of the theistic God, miracles, biblical reliability, and the deity and atoning work of Jesus Christ, in terms of general categories.
But, here’s the point. While the content of apologetics is the same for men and women, the way that women learn this content and deliver it is distinctive. For example, many Christian women avoid apologetics because they see it as a argumentative and academic, with very little connection to their daily lives. Some also believe that the content is just too hard to learn or they cannot bear the thought of adding one more to-do to their already overloaded plate of commitments.
But as more and more women are entering this field of study in seminary and are fulfilling their calling to teach other women, Christian women whose expertise lies in other areas, from homemaking to banking, are hearing these vital apologetics truths in women’s voices, with women’s relational concerns at the forefront. Because of this, Christian women as a whole are now seeing apologetics as a vital tool they can use to build their own faith as well as to provide somewhere to go in a conversation when their co-worker or college-aged kid asks a question or raises an objection to the claims of Christianity.
It’s a long time coming. Our brothers in Christ have paved the way for us. It’s not a competition. It’s time for us to move alongside them and to encourage each other as women, fulfilling our Titus 2 commission to mentor other women, and specifically to mentor them in understanding and embracing the rational basis for our faith.
This past week our high school students interfaced with people in three different locations: locally some students went into three of our local elementary schools to assist teachers and interact with students, others went to Kentucky to minister with the Joshua Project, and many of the seniors travelled to the Dominican Republic and ministered in villages and orphanages. I pray that the experiences stay with them and that their passion for missions was ignited. I love that Hickory Grove Christian School seeks out service opportunities in our city, in our nation, and throughout the world. All for you, dear Jesus.
Traditionally apologetics has been a discipline dominated by godly, vocal men. Even now, apologetics is often perceived as men debating on stage. But believe it or not women have a unique place in God’s kingdom work through apologetics. Here’s how.
Apologetics is not only helpful for us as believers to respond to unbelievers but to strengthen our own faith. My college years were pretty miserable. My professors taught views views diametrically opposed to everything I believed. They said humans were innately good, Darwinian evolution explained the development of all living things, and that tolerance required us to accept others’ beliefs as just as valid. All the biblical knowledge I had so diligently learned under the teaching of godly pastors and my parents while growing up was viewed as the product of magical thinking and indoctrination. The problem was that while I knew what I believed, those beliefs stood at odds with what seemed to be reasonable assertions and evidence to the contrary. I became very anxious and dreaded my classes, especially nursing, psychology, and philosophy (I dropped philosophy after three weeks and never returned.) I was desperate to find answers to these challenges, knowing if I didn’t find them, I would have to choose to accept Christianity as true in complete opposition to all the evidence to the contrary. My yearning to understand led me to Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and there began my journey into apologetics where I found that the evidence for Christianity was overwhelming.
You, too, as a Christian woman, can learn how apologetics can strengthen your own faith, and help you respond confidently to the questions and objections raised by family, friends, and co-workers.
We (our daughter Emily, Randy, and Tricia) headed to Kitali, Kenya, August 3-11, 2010. We all love missions, sharing about who Jesus Christ is and loving on people all over the world. But though Randy has headed up the Hickory Grove Baptist Christian High School senior mission trip for several years and Emily and Tricia have taken their own mission trips to Africa, this is the first time we went as a threesome to Africa. Pastor Jonathan of Lord’s Servants Ministries who has been integral in establishing and maintaining the orophanage served as our contact and really set a fire in our hearts when he visited Charlotte and shared about the needs he encounters everyday.
The Lord Jesus is at work in Kenya through many believers. We get to add our names to that list and are thankful. Randy worked on construction of a covered shed at the orphanage where the children could sit and do work at tables when it rained, and Tricia taught pastors and their wives how to share their faith through chronological Bible storying and apologetics, and also how to build their marriages. Emily loved on the children.
Tricia received a valuable gift from one dear Kenyan lady, a live chicken. This is a traditional sacrificial African gift and Tricia cherished it when she considered that someone gave her what they themselves would have been a feast for supper. Tricia provided a gift to the pastors, storying cloths that have 42 pictures representing 42 Bible stories in chronological order to help pastors know and share God’s Story.