Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/24 - 08/31)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
What is the unborn?
Don't Buy "The Science Guy"
Dangers of the Lazy Apologist
Apologetics: Who Need's It?
5 Questions To Ask of a Book
Jesus on the Problem of Evil
The MA in Apologetics at HBU
'Apologetics in 3D' on Video
Ravi Zacharias Website Redesign
31 Actions to Advance Apologetics
C. S. Lewis’ Approach to Apologetics
50 Important Philosophical Questions
Sign Up for these Great Webinars
Darwin or Design? Conference Sept 2012
• Just downloaded: Columbine by Dave Cullen
Angry Anonymous Atheist’s Custom Keyboard
Lydia McGrew on identifying intelligent agents
Frank Turek Interviews William Lane Craig (MP3)
Stephen Law, his evil god, and radical skepticism
Apologetics Conference! Equip & Engage: New England 2012
Top Ten Things Augustine Contributed to Philosophy, Part II
Apologetics Conference: Contending With Christianity's Critics
Resources to Answer Bad Arguments Against Intelligent Design
Do extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? (Part 1)
Has The New Testament Been Substantially Edited Since It Was First Penned?
Brian Auten interviews philosopher Robin Collins on the fine-tuning argument
Bill Nye the Intolerant Science Guy: "Your Kids" Need to "Believe in" Evolution

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The Historical Reliability of Acts: Support from Extra-Biblical Primary Sources

Is the biblical document The Acts Of The Apostles historically reliable? It claims to be a historical record of certain important events during the early spread of Christianity in the Jewish and Greco-Roman world. But is it actually real history? This PDF document (provided by James Hickey) examines certain events, people, places and other elements that are documented in Acts, which are also documented and supported by ancient sources outside the Bible. Check it out:

The Historical Reliability of Acts: Support from Extra-Biblical Primary Sources (PDF)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Get Apologetics in Your Church 2: How Churches Can Respond to Doubt

How Churches Can Respond to Doubt
By Carson Weitnauer, director Telos Ministries

For many churches, it can seem rather counter-productive, if not outright foolish, to be deliberately setting up environments where people openly and boldly share their doubts about God and church. After all, what if the local atheists come more prepared - and are more persuasive - than the already busy and overworked church staff? Rather than growing the church, an ‘apologetics ministry’ could easily destabilize and threaten the very existence of the community. There are a variety of powerful motivations to not deal with doubt at your church. This article is written to directly address those concerns and recommend a wise course forward.

In particular, I want to convince you of two primary points:
  1. The church faces a very real problem in dealing with doubt – but it is a problem that must be boldly resolved for both pragmatic and Biblical reasons. 
  2. The Bible offers every church a solid guide for responding to doubt with love and wisdom – a strategy that leads people to faith, strengthens disciples, creates an enduring passion for evangelism, and honors God.
    [MP3 | RSS | iTunes Index]

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    The Homosexual Question: Sin?

    This talk is a seminar with Bobby Conway. Bobby is the the Lead Pastor at Life Fellowship Church and is also the One Minute Apologist. (Interview here.) In this seminar Bobby teaches on the subject of homosexuality. Is it biblically a sin? In this video, Bobby answers this question and many more. Go here for the video; part of the One Minute Apologist YouTube page.

    Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 25min)

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Thinker Profile: Gottfried Leibniz

    Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716): German rationalist philosopher who taught that reality is composed of monads—simple substances that have no spatial extension. God is the supreme monad and creates and conserves all other monads. Monads do not really interact with each other but appear to do so due to the "pre-established harmony" that God ordains. Leibniz argued that God could have created any possible world. Because God is perfect, Leibniz concluded that the actual world must be the best possible world. In addition to his many contributions to logic, Leibniz invented calculus (simultaneously with Newton).1

    1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), pp. 67-68.

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Apologist Interview: Bobby Conway

    Today's interview is with Bobby Conway, lead pastor of Life Fellowship in Charlotte, NC. He is also the founder of the One Minute Apologist, a creative YouTube apologetics ministry. He is also author of the book, Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die. He talks about his background, the need for apologetics in the church, incorporating apologetics into preaching, doing multimedia apologetics, advice for those studying apologetics, the On Guard DVD program, and more. Lots of great insights.

    One Minute Apologist: Website | YouTube | Podcast

    Full Interview MP3 Audio here. (38 min)

    Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Ravi Zacharias on Tolerance

    "The truth is that all religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. In fact, some religions do not even believe in God. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not. Buddhism, for example, was based on Buddha's rejection of two of Hinduism's fundamental doctrines. Islam rejects both Buddhism and Hinduism. So it does no good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance and act as if everything is equally true. In fact, even all-inclusive religions such as Bahaism end up being exclusivistic by excluding the exclusivists!"

    —Ravi Zacharias

    “Why I Believe Jesus Christ Is the Ultimate Source for Meaning,” in Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe, ed. Norman L. Geisler and Paul K. Hoffman (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 268.

    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    Book Review: Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions by David Vandrunen

    In Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions, David Vandrunen outlines a basic approach to approaching contemporary bioethical issues that will allow laymen and expert alike to make better-informed ethical decisions. This approach incorporates a rich grounding on theology and the virtues as a way to guide actions that are God honoring.

    The book is organized in a very simple fashion (3 parts) that is localized around a central theme: life. Every ethical issue in this book deals with life--whether it's the beginning of life (part 2) or the end of life (part 3). David Vandrunen is clear in his introduction. When approaching ethical issues—ranging from, contraception to abortion or euthanasia—these issues should not be approached as a "stand-alone [dilemma] isolated […] from a person's broader moral life" (14). Vandrunen locates these ethical issues, correctly, in everyday life and in our character as people. "People facing difficult bioethical dilemmas," Vandrunen writes, "face them not as blank slates but as people with certain virtues and vices" (15).

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/17 - 08/24)

    Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
    Tactics & Common Ground
    Is God Good? Are Humans Bad?
    Communication by Richard Morgan
    What Is Literary Apologetics?
    Resources Dealing with Homosexuality
    Critical Thinking and Logical Fallacies
    Why the Church Will Always Need Apologists
    Tim Keller on why apologetics is essential
    Stand to Reason New Zealand Speaking Tour 2012
    Dawkins’ 747 Gambit: Replying to Richard’s Forum
    A Short Programmatic Argument for Biblical Inerrancy
    Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences: The Ring of Truth
    FREE ebook: Dallas Willard's "Renovation of the Heart"
    Eight tips for talking to non-Christians about Christianity
    How Did the Early Church Recognize the Canonicity of a Book?
    Top Ten Things Augustine Contributed to Philosophy, Part II
    A Defense of the Historicity of Jesus’ Divine Self-Understanding
    Objective Truth Is One Thing, But Objective Moral Truth Is Another
    Why the Resurrection of Jesus is the Best Explanation For What Happened To Paul
    John Lennox replies to Larry Krauss’s claim that Higgs boson “arguably more relevant than God”

    Apologetics 315 is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Would you support us monthly?
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    LDS Video Encyclopedia: Resources on Mormonism

    Searching for resources examining the claims of Mormonism? Here's an entire video encyclopedia on the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons. The LDS Video Encyclopedia has over 30 videos on the history and theology of Mormonism in their video index, each with a transcript of the content. It may be a handy resource when dealing with Mormons at your door.

    Check out LDS Video Encyclopedia here.


    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    How to Get Apologetics in Your Church 2: An Effective Model for a Youth Apologetics Home Group

    An Effective Model for a Youth Apologetics Home Group
    By James Klopfenstein

    I am an Electrical Engineer (avionics systems) with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I've been married to Sue for 30 years and we have 2 daughters (Amy 23 and Heidi 21). For the past 6 years, my wife and I have been leading a Sunday night home group in apologetics to help high school age youth prepare for secular college.

    I am proud to say that I have two daughters who majored in the sciences at secular state universities and both have kept their faith intact. I attribute this to 3 primary factors:
    1. The grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and the wooing of the Holy Spirit
    2. Both had a freewill bend to consider God and the truth of Christianity
    3. A family commitment to Christian apologetics training
    [MP3 | RSS | iTunes Index]

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Are You A Former Atheist?

    Are you a former atheist who has become a Christian? Were you once a "new" atheist but have now come to be a follower of Jesus? Are you interested in sharing your story? Would you like to share your testimony of conversion from atheism to Christianity? If so, Apologetics315 would like to hear from you.

    Here's what to do: Just fill in this quick form, sharing a bit about yourself and we'll get back to you.

    Thanks and blessings!

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Thinker Profile: René Descartes

    René Descartes (1596-1650): French philosopher and mathematician, generally regarded as the father of modern philosophy. Descartes was a rationalist who is well known for his attempt to gain certainty through a process of universal, methodical doubt in which he posed the possibility that his waking experience was indistinguishable from a dream world as well as the possibility that he was being deceived by an all-powerful evil genius. After establishing clear and distinct ideas as his standard for truth, Descartes defended soul-body (or mind-body) dualism and gave a number of proofs for the existence of God.1

    1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 33.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Will You Help Support Apologetics315?

    Dear Reader,

    First of all, thank you for being a follower of Apologetics315. I hope and pray that the resources that are provided here have been a great help to you in defending the faith.

    Each Monday you'll usually find an interview posted here. But this week I want to point you to two interviews with... me, Brian Auten. The reason? I'd like you to consider supporting the vision behind what Apologetics315 is doing. You can read about the vision here, a bit about me, as well as a few endorsements.

    The first interview is about the history and vision of Apologetics315.
    The second interview is a bit more about me and my take on apologetics.

    I'm passionate about seeing Christians equipped to defend the faith. I'd also like to grow Apologetics315 to be a greater tool for providing free apologetics resources for individuals, groups, and churches. So if you want to know more, please listen to the interviews. If you already know about Ap315 and feel you'd like to help it grow, please consider being a supporter.

    Thanks again for being a reader, and I appreciate your prayers as Apologetics315 enters its fifth year.

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    Thomas Cooper on Christian Evidences

    "I do not imagine, or expect, that I can win over, at once, to Christianity, the minds of sceptical workingmen, who may be listening to me. I know too well, by personal experience, how hard it is to part with sceptical convictions—how difficult it is to bring a mind, which has become strongly warped in the direction of unbelief, to enter upon a determined, steady, and persevering consideration of the Christian Evidences. And without this—without an earnest and devoted study of Christian Evidences—no thinking skeptic (for I am not addressing vulgar scoffers) can ever become a real Christian.

    "I seek no flighty converts from your ranks—no sudden passing over to our side from yours, of some hot, excitable partisan, who is incapable of thinking. I seek to lead you to accept what I believe to be Truth, by inducing you to practise the daily reflection, the steady conning over and over again of each item of the Christian Evidences, which effectually cured my doubts, and rendered me a settled and grateful believer. I would not lift up my finger, or stir a straw, to make a sudden and spasmodic conversion of any one of you, which would leave you helpless in your new belief, and incapable of giving a reason of the hope within you. Such a convert would be a very useless one. I want to enlist real soldiers for my Master."

    Thomas Cooper

    The Verity of Christ’s Resurrection from the Dead (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1875), pp. 131-32.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Book Review: If God... Then What? by Andrew P. Wilson

    Andrew Wilson’s If God Then What: Wondering Aloud About Truth, Origins & Redemption is a small, likeable and profound book that does not seek to bludgeon the lost into submission. Wilson prefers to call them back to God with a twitch upon the thread. The book is short – it would be ideal for Kindle – and its style is conversational. This has been described as “quirky”, but it is a clever rhetorical tactic. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, for example, casually chats with readers about his conversations with Nobel Laureates.

    In contrast Wilson discusses the DVDs he has viewed recently, his favourite authors, his school days and his holidays. In both cases the reader is taken into the author’s confidence. But Dawkins always seems like an academic talking down to lesser mortals. Wilson talks to us as our equal; he is as puzzled and awestruck by the universe as we are. Unlike Dawkins, he has stumbled upon his answers, and feels no need to boast about the discovery.

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/10 - 08/17)

    Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
    Book Giveaway...
    The Problems of Evil
    Debating tips for atheists
    Why Don’t We Read the Bible?
    None of This Is Designed?
    Apologetics By Any Other Name
    Can Naturalists Know Anything?
    Mormonism: A Different Jesus
    Christian Apologetics Blog Directory
    David Clark on Conviction and Arrogance
    Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get” God
    Doubting Derren Brown (the foundation of morality)
    C.S. Lewis, D.L. Moody, and the Real Business of Life
    Ehrman’s Problem 16: Cosmic Issues He Doesn’t Understand
    Richard Dawkins On His Recent Encounter With John Lennox
    Denver Seminary > M.A. in Christian Apologetics and Ethics
    Top Ten Things Augustine Contributed to Philosophy, Part I
    William Lane Craig debates Peter Atkins: Does God Exist?
    Video: Seven Keys to Conversing with Cultists by Ron Rhodes
    The Probability of the Resurrection of Jesus by Richard Swinburne
    October 2012 Ratio Christi Apologetics Symposium (Charlotte, NC)
    Intelligent Design Conference Saturday September 15th, in San Diego
    Conference in September: Contending With Christianity's Critics - Dallas
    Best book for Christians making a case for the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus

    Apologetics 315 is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Would you support us monthly?
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    Advanced Apologetics Workshop

    The World Evangelical Leadership Forum (WELForum) provides some of the best content from world-class scholars, apologists, evangelists and leaders. Each year they host a conference in Hungary—the European Leadership Forum—bringing these great speakers to Eastern European believers and leaders. Today's featured resource is content from their Advanced Apologetics Workshop from 2009.

    Here are the lecture titles:
    • Advanced Use of Historical Evidence for the Resurrection - Gary Habermas
    • Intellectual Virtues in Apologetics - Stefan Lindholm
    • Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely - Gavin McGrath)
    • Foundations of Critical New Testament Scholarship - Hans Bayer
    • The Moral Argument in the 21st Century - Bruce Little
    • Emotional Doubt Innoculation - Gary Habermas
    Go HERE to listen/view the lectures, as well as find other great resources.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    How to Get Apologetics in Your Church 2: So You Want to Organize an Apologetic Event?

    So You Want to Organize an Apologetic Event?
    by Matthew Burford of Tactical Faith

    Excuse me for a moment my dear apologetic friends and let me quote one of my favorite sayings on leadership; “A leader is best when people barely know he exists.” Now before you guys go googling and find that I quoted from a Taoist philosopher and send me hate mail, let the proverb sink in. For those of you who want to see apologetic training in your local church or community, you must either lead, or pray for leadership. If you desire to lead, remember that first and foremost you are not in this for your own glory. I will reiterate what I just stated with a biblical proverb (this time for emphasis), “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” (NIV). See, that carries a bit more weight doesn’t it?

    We in the apologetic third column (as Greg Koukl likes to describe it) know what it is like to be disappointed when it comes to local church training. We desire to see and show brothers and sisters in Christ what we discovered for ourselves: Christian Apologetics is incredibly empowering both evangelistically and devotionally. It is frustrating when you know you have good evidence for the Christian worldview yet the evangelical church almost refuses to take notice. Of course, my friends, we all see it coming. We see the tide turning one church and community at a time. We have at our fingertips remarkable materials and speakers that when utilized correctly can equip believers and make them effective ambassadors for the faith. One of the ways we can add to the movement in our local communities and churches is through apologetic events. I have personally organized five or six events to this point and I have more coming in the near future. These events range from small to large churches and from local community settings to state-wide events. I am starting to understand where these apologetic events are useful in terms of our goal of equipping saints to defend the Christian faith. Yet, before I go further, I want you all to remember my earlier announcement: if you must lead something, do so with a humble spirit and do it all for HIS glory!.

    [MP3 | RSS | iTunes Index]

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    On Guard Apologetics Conference Videos

    This year The Reasonable Faith Tulsa Chapter hosted the 2012 On Guard Christian Apologetics Conference at the Church at BattleCreek in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This conference had a number of excellent speakers, and videos of the conference are now online. (Audio here.) Here are links to the talks available:

    • William Lane Craig - What is Apologetics?
    • Gary Habermas - The Resurrection of Jesus
    • Mike Licona - Who was Jesus? (part 1 / part 2)
    • Paul Copan - Can We Be Good Without God?
    • Panel Interview
    You can also see the YouTube Channel here, or one full page of videos here.


    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Thinker Profile: Sigmund Freud

    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): Austrian physician and psychological theorizer, founder of psychoanalysis. In philosophy of religion, Freud is known for his theory that belief in God is an illusion that arises out of the Oedipal complex, in which a child has a relation to what appears to the child to be an all-powerful father, on whom the child is dependent and whose good will the child desires. Freud does not appear to have noticed that his psychological theory, which holds that the child also resents and envies the powerful father, could provide an equally reductionistic explanation of anti-religious beliefs. Nor did he consider the possibility that the child's relation to the parents, rather than being a mechanism for the formation of an illusion, could be a divinely ordained model whereby God provides a conception of himself.1

    1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 47.

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Apologist Interview: Doug Powell

    Today's interview is with author, designer, musician, and apologist Doug Powell. He talks about his creative design and music background, how he got into apologetics, the integration of creativity and apologetics, his interactive book and app Resurrection iWitness, the development of the New Testament canon, the need for clarity in apologetics presentations, speaking tips, the Biola Apologetics program, advice for apologists, and more.

    Doug's books include:
    Resurrection iWitness / app here
    New Testament iWitness / app here
    Jesus iWitness / app to come
    The Holman Quicksource Guide to Christian Apologetics

    Full Interview MP3 Audio here (37 min)

    Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Keith Ward on the Origin and Nature of the Universe

    "To the majority of those who have reflected deeply and written about the origin and nature of the universe, it has seemed that it points beyond itself to a source which is non-physical and of great intelligence and power. Almost all of the great classical philosophers — certainly Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Locke, Berkeley — saw the origin of the universe as lying in a transcendent reality. They had different specific ideas of this reality, and different ways of approaching it; but that the universe is not self-explanatory, and that it requires some explanation beyond itself, was something they accepted as fairly obvious."

    Keith Ward
    God Chance and Necessity, Oxford, One World Publications, 1996 p.1. 

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Book Review: God, Philosophy, Universities by Alasdair MacIntyre

    What good is philosophy anyway?  Those not interested in the life of the mind sidestep discussions that probe human ways of thinking.  Yet The Church, celebrating philosophy as from the hand of The Personal Eternal Creator (Proverbs 8), should honor the “love of wisdom” more than anyone (170-71).  Indeed, for Christian higher education, proper thinking about how we learn and live is essential in training future generations.  Alasdair MacIntyre’s masterwork After Virtue is augmented in God, Philosophy, Universities as character education is given a historical Christian intellectual infrastructure.

    Philosophy is “of crucial importance for human beings in every culture . . . philosophy aids in answering the seminal questions “Who am I?,” “Why am I here?,” and “What happens after life?” (165).  Thinking formation must be accessible for the common person (176).  MacIntyre’s chapter on Augustine (21-32), for instance, clearly shows the importance and benefits within the limits of philosophy.  While pursuit of wisdom in itself cannot give adequate knowledge of God nor lead us to Truth (25) “the project of understanding is not one only for those engaged in teaching, studying, and enquiring within universities.  Every one of us in our everyday lives needs, in a variety of ways, “to learn and to understand” (69).  For the Christian “the ends of knowing and of loving God” (82) are a pastoral guide for “plain persons” (92) so that
    By developing habits of obedience to the natural law, habits that are also expressed in the exercise of the virtues, we direct ourselves toward the achievement not only of the common goods of social life, but also of our individual good, that good by the achievement of which our lives are perfected and completed (89).

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (08/03 - 08/10)

    Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
    Apologetics Group Directory
    Jesus Is Evidence That God Exists
    Master of Arts in Apologetics at HBU
    Spiritual Dangers and Apologetics
    Jonathan Edwards on Truth and Reason
    Call it what it is—the Westboro cult
    Why Should Christians Study Philosophy?
    Gary Habermas on the Resurrection (video)
    In Defense of Apologetics, by Tim Keller
    Recommended Apologetics Book Directory
    An Apologetics Reading Plan for Beginners
    John Lennox on information in DNA - Video
    New Essays on the Philosophy of Alvin Plantinga
    The Cosmological Argument in 15 minutes (video)
    7 Tips for Talking with Your Neighbors about Jesus
    William Lane Craig asks: can we be good without God?
    New from Phil Fernandes: HiJacking the Historical Jesus
    William Lane Craig & Laurence Krauss Debate Transcript
    Indispensable Apologetics: An Interview with Ravi Zacharias
    Which is More Likely? Miracles or Lies? Objection Examined
    I’m Grateful to Be A “One Dollar” Apologist (You Should Be Too)
    A Look at Oral Tradition/The Orality Phase of the Jesus Story
    How Should We Share Our Faith On-line (or Should We Do It At All)?
    Doug Axe explains the chances of getting a functional protein by chance
    Responding to Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses: Sept 28 & 29, Bradford England

    Apologetics 315 is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Would you support us monthly?
    • Shopping via Amazon? If you use this link, a bit of your purchase goes to fund Apologetics 315. Thanks for those of you using the link, as it helps Ap315.

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    Debate: William Lane Craig vs Andrew Pyle—Does the Christian God Exist?

    In this audio, Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig debates philosopher Andrew Pyle on the topic: Does the Christian God Exist? This debate took place at Bristol University during the 2007 UK Reasonable Faith tour. The video of this debate can be found on Youtube here, as well as on here.

    Full Debate MP3 Audio here (2hr)

    Want to hear every audio debate by William Lane Craig?
    Check out the audio debate feed here.

    Thursday, August 09, 2012

    How to Get Apologetics in Your Church 2: How to Organize an Apologetics Conference

    How to Organize an Apologetics Conference
    by Mikel Del Rosario

    How do you pull off a big apologetics event? That's a question I get asked a lot by people who are looking to get their churches exposed to apologetics on a larger scale. It's one thing to get invited to speak alongside big names like J.P. Moreland and Greg Koukl, but it's another thing to actually put the event together. I know, 'cause I've done both.

    In this guest post, I'll explain how I partnered with a large church, an apologetics organization and Biola University to bring the first-ever apologetics conference to Rocklin, California. I'll also share the results, what I learned, and the advice I'd give to anyone who's interested in doing something like this at their church.

    [MP3 | RSS | iTunes Index]

    Wednesday, August 08, 2012

    10 Apologists You Should Invite

    If you've thought of inviting an apologetics speaker to your church or event, you may have been a bit intimidated by the task. There are a number of considerations that come into play, ranging from the speaker's qualifications, experience, and expertise, to the speaker's fees and availability. These are important issues. The goal of this blog post is to suggest 10 great apologists that I think you should consider inviting to your church or event.

    Before we look at the list, here are three reasons why these people are on it: Availability, affordability, and applicability. By availability, I mean that you're going to have better luck getting these speakers than other more popular speakers whose schedules aren't open. By affordability, I mean that most speaking fees are going to go up with the popularity and "draw" of the speaker. But most people don't need an in-demand or "heavyweight" apologist for their purposes. By applicability, I mean that the skill-set, knowledge, expertise, and experience of these apologists fully meets or exceeds what is needed for most people's needs. And finally, I believe these are good people that you can trust and put confidence in.

    So here's the list of 10 great apologists I think you should invite to speak at your church or event:
    1. Greg Koukl - Greg is the perfect first-choice to introduce apologetics to your church. Although I would consider him one of the best speakers and communicators, bringing him to your event or church is not something that's going to be outside the budget for most churches or special events. More info.
    2. J. Warner Wallace - Jim would be my first choice for inviting to a men's retreat or an apologetics weekend. He's a great speaker and brings a cold-case detective's perspective to apologetics. He's winsome and knows his stuff. More info.
    3. Timothy McGrew - Tim is one of the sharpest thinkers you'll ever meet—he's a great scholar and teacher as well as excellent communicator. Ask him to speak on the reliability of the Gospels or historical evidence for the resurrection, just to get started. More info.
    4. Doug Groothuis - Doug knows apologetics, and he wrote a book that proves it. He's also an excellent speaker to consider for addressing a wide variety of apologetic issues. More info.
    5. Peter S. Williams - Based in the UK, Peter is a careful philosopher (debating side-by-side with William Lane Craig), but also all about communicating the message of Jesus. Invite him to introduce your church to apologetics, or bring him to your university student group. More info.
    6. Lenny Esposito - Lenny is another apologist I would suggest for introducing your church to apologetics. He can speak to a wide variety of issues, is a capable debater, and good communicator. More info.
    7. Mary Jo Sharp - Mary Jo is also both an excellent communicator and capable debater. She can speak to your church or event on a variety of issues. She speaks to women's groups too. More info.
    8. Brett Kunkle - Brett is one of my first picks for a youth event or university-based outreach. He's got his hand on the pulse of the next generation, is familiar with a wide variety of issues, and can make complex ideas accessible to everyone. More info.
    9. Alan Shlemon - Alan, like Brett and Greg, is another Stand to Reason guy. (STR can be recommended simply across the board.) Alan's particularly adept at addressing the issue of Islam, while able to hit a wide variety of topics, like all the STR guys. More info.
    10. Phil Fernandes - Phil is a great go-to man for a wide variety of apologetics topics. He's a good debater, prolific lecturer, author, and excellent teacher. He's also a pastor. He's a perfect pick for speaking to other pastors (and their churches) about getting apologetics into the local church. More info.
    By the way, some apologists will speak to your group via Skype (including myself). This may also be an option, though it may vary from speaker to speaker.

    Are there other apologists to invite? Of course! These are just my quick-pick list of 10 that I would be confident recommending. Do you have a particular issue you need addressed and need a speaker? Let me know and perhaps we can offer further suggestions.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2012

    Thinker Profile: Thomas Reid

    Thomas Reid (1710-1796): Scottish philosopher widely regarded as the founder of the school of Scottish realism, or Common Sense philosophy. Reid interpreted the philosophy of David Hume as the skeptical outcome of the theory of ideas or mental representations begun by René Descartes and John Locke. He developed a form of realism in which sensations are not the direct objects of perception but instead are the means whereby we are directly presented with objects. His thought has had a great influence on Reformed Epistemology. Reid stressed the need to begin with an attitude of trust in our human faculties (reason, perception, memory, testimony) without insisting on rational proof of their reliability.1

    1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), pp. 100-101.

    Monday, August 06, 2012

    Apologist Interview: Ted Turnau

    Today's interview is with Ted Turnau. Ted is a college lecturer who teaches Cultural Studies and Religion in Prague, Czech Republic. His interest is in issues of popular culture, imagination, and how they relate to the Christian faith. He is author of Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective. He talks about how he got into apologetics and cultural studies, defining popular culture, the themes in Popologetics, apologetics and popular culture in conversations, thinking deeper than just the "issues," the limits of engaging with culture, wrong ways of interacting with culture, tools for understanding the world view of pieces of popular culture, a theology of popular culture, practical ways of using popular culture as a means of engagement, advice for apologists today, recommended resources for engaging with culture, and much more. Find Ted's Movie Night Kit here. Popologetics preview here.

    Full Interview MP3 Audio here (57 minutes)

    Subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

    Sunday, August 05, 2012

    George Campbell on Evidence for Christianity

    "God has neither in natural nor in revealed religion left himself without witness; but has in both given moral and external evidence, sufficient to convince the impartial, to silence the gainsayer, and to render inexcusable the atheist and the unbeliever. This evidence it is our duty to attend to, and candidly to examine. We must prove all things, as we are expressly enjoined in holy writ, if we would ever hope to hold fast that which is good."

    —George Campbell
    A Dissertation on Miracles, Introduction (p. 12)

    Saturday, August 04, 2012

    Book Review: Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey

    Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey exposes secularism as a destructive and divisive force in the modern world and suggests means to address it. Pearcey is the well-known heir apparent to Francis Schaeffer in style and content. Having been a student of Schaeffer at L’Abri, she co-authored The Soul of Science with Charles Thaxton in 1994, then became widely known after co-authoring How Now Should We Live with Charles Colson in 1999 and more recently the widely successful Total Truth (2004). The book reviewed here, Saving Leonardo, consists of two sections. The first describes the growth of international secularism as a monolithic worldview especially focusing on its cultural affect. The second section traces the history of secularism contrasting Enlightenment and Romantic worldviews. Drawing on Schaeffer’s concept of a two-story worldview, Pearcey brings it into the twenty-first century illustrating how the fact / value spilt has infiltrated philosophy, the arts and popular culture. She states her purpose clearly, “The goal of this book is to equip you to detect, decipher, and defeat the monolithic secularism”[1] and that goal is met in admirable fashion. This presentation will give a broad overview and summary of the book offering several points of analysis along the way.

    Friday, August 03, 2012

    Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (07/27 - 08/03)

    Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
    How to Witness to Mormons
    Pain, Suffering, and Purpose
    The Great Chick-fil-A Controversy
    Is It Wrong to Have Doubts About God?
    What About the New Atheists? - Video
    Historical Details In The Book of Acts
    MA in Apologetics at HBU - Spring 2013
    J.P. Moreland on the Value of Apologetics
    Tactics for defending traditional marriage
    Like what Apologetics315 is doing? Want to help?
    Alvin Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism
    Video: Amazing Molecular Machines, and Still So Much to Learn
    Contending With Christianity's Critics Conference: Sept 29th, Dallas
    Three Great Apologetic / Evangelistic books for giving to others
    Book Review: Christian Apologetics: An Anthology Of Primary Sources
    William Lane Craig lectures on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus
    Advice for Christians who discuss their faith with atheists… from an atheist
    Registration Is Now Open For 2012 UK Intelligent Design Conference In England

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    The Next Read Along with Apologetics315

    Last week we concluded our Read Along project of the book Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists by Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow. You can find the index page here. That was the second Read Along project by Apologetics315.

    The first Read Along was with the book Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Doug Groothuis. The index is here.

    Both of these Read Along projects are excellent study tools for becoming a better Christian apologist. They include chapter introductions by the authors, PDF study guides, discussion questions, and summaries. Please consider making use of them freely for personal or group study.

    In a few weeks we will begin another Read Along project—this time with a slightly different approach. More about this as the project unfolds. In the mean time...

    Thanks for Reading Along!

    Thursday, August 02, 2012

    How to Get Apologetics in Your Church 2: Lessons Along the Way

    Lessons Along the Way
    by Daniel Hannon

    In the previous essay series “How to Get Apologetics in Your Church,” I talked about how there are many possibilities and paths to take to get an apologetics ministry started in your local congregation. There is no hard-and-fast formula or rule, but rather the process depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which are your own interests and how open and receptive your church is to the apologetic enterprise. My own experience began with formal training through Biola University’s MA in Christian Apologetics program, which helped prepare me for teaching opportunities in both a Sunday school class and small group setting in my local church. For this essay, I’d like to take a just a few moments to relate some lessons I have learned so far and to give some advice to those just starting out in their own endeavors.

    [MP3 | RSS | iTunes Index]

    Wednesday, August 01, 2012

    Alleged Contradictions in the Gospels by Tim McGrew

    In this lecture, entitled Alleged Contradictions in the Gospels, Dr. Timothy McGrew explores and answers 7 alleged contradictions between the Gospels. This is about 60 minutes of content followed by fifteen minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is here. Handout PDF here. Visit the Library of Historical Apologetics. This is part 5a of the series—part 1 here; part 2 here; part 3 here, part 4a here, part 4b herepart 6 here.

    Full MP3 Audio here. (1hr 12min)
    Video on YouTube here.

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