Advent Two: The Gospel

Jesus was born in the manger not just to give us a beautiful picture of peace that we could celebrate once a year. When Jesus began his public ministry, we are told that he came […]

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Advent One: Virgin Birth

I thought I would celebrate Advent by having a series of posts on Jesus. I will start with the virgin birth. I will not try and prove the virgin birth but will discuss the purpose […]

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When the Jehovah’s Witnesses are Right

I had some nice Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door the other day. I have noticed that they are not near as pushy as they used to be and are quite pleasant. They handed me […]

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Calvinism and Arminianism

I must admit that I am shocked at Calvinist attacks on Arminians. I am sure that there are Arminians that attack Calvinists, but I rarely see it. Maybe Arminians are not as zealous for their […]

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Continuing Influence of C. S. Lewis

Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of C. S. Lewis. I saw someone today question the current influence of Lewis. He acknowledged that Lewis had influenced a past generation but wondered how much […]

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Christianity, Islam and Freedom of Religious Expression

I have had discussions with people about religious expression in Canada. There have been hints of limitations of freedom of religious expression for Muslims. Some Christians are standing up and saying that we must support […]

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Cross Bearing Disciples

Luke 14:27-33 Introduction I’m afraid that the Church in general has not always been completely honest with the people that we have tried to bring in. I don’t think we have been purposely dishonest, but […]

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Rob Ford: A Christian Response

I have no authority to give the Christian response to the Rob Ford scandal(s) but I can give a Christian response. I have been amazed at the interest and coverage of the Toronto mayor’s problems. […]

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Strange Fire

There has been much discussion about John MacArthur’s recent Strange Fire conference. I must confess that I have not read MacArthur’s speeches from this conference and so I can not respond in detail. I have […]

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Seeing the Big Picture

Earlier in the summer, I suffered from a number of health issues. I had a dramatic weight loss, severe joint pain, fainting, anemia and something odd in my lungs. Because I was between doctors, I […]

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Suffering and Faith

From time to time, we hear stories of people giving up their faith because of some difficult circumstances. To be honest, more often I hear about people who give up after observing other people’s suffering […]

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A Loving God and Hell

I heard on a podcast this morning a question about why God didn’t create a world where more or even all people went to heaven. No one is comfortable with the idea of people going […]

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Allah, Theos and YHWH

An ongoing debate concerns whether Muslims and Christians believe (I say believe rather than worship because I believe there is a difference) in the same God. I am not going to give my opinion here […]

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“Only” an Adjunct

Many apologists and other Christians of an academic bent that I have spoken to have a dream of being a professor. They start their education and even as an undergrad they are planning their promotion […]

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A New Way of Taking Notes

I have just completed a class on the Gospel of Mark at Acadia Divinity College, studying under Larry Hurtado. It was a great time and I learned a lot. As I was listening to the […]

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Ephesians at Tyndale

The syllabus for the course on Ephesians that I am teaching this summer at Tyndale is online. You can find it here. If you have ever considered university level biblical studies, this would be a […]

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The Riddle: UN Anti-Homophobic Video

This is a video put out by the United Nations bringing to our attention the danger that many homosexuals experience throughout the world. I must say that I agree with 90% of what is in […]

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Why I am Pro-Life

Many people consider the pro-life position to be based on a faith or religious system. Some suppose that people would be pro-choice if their religious teachers or tradition would allow them. That may be true […]

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Confessions of an Ex-Pastor

It always broke my heart when I would read stories of how a pastor had a bad experience at a church and quit ministry out of anger, pain and frustration.  I would hear those stories […]

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Exposing the Jesus Myth

Here is my presentation that I gave on the Jesus myth theory for the Network of Christian Apologists in Calgary. It is a basic introduction to the background, the evidence for Jesus and how Jesus […]

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The Historical Jesus and the Raglan Scale

I have been talking to a number of Jesus mythicists lately and they have been putting forth something called the Raglan scale.  This is a scale that puts together all sorts of categories common to […]

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Limits to Freedom of Expression

In Canada, as in many western countries, we take for granted our freedom of expression/speech.  This freedom is one of the things that I am thankful for as a Canadian.  However, that freedom is not […]

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May the Force Be With You!

You know that I was raised Anglican because when I hear someone say “May the force be with you,” I want to respond with “And also with you.” Today is May the fourth, which leads […]

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It’s All About Jesus

I love this quote by John Stackhouse, taken from his fantastic book Humble Apologetics.  This rings true to me and it is the desire of my heart for my apologetics ministry. “Since the heart of […]

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Similarity and Causation

Those who believe in the Jesus myth theory (JM) point out that there are many similarities between things in the Gospels and in pagan myths.  I would say that those similarities are far fewer than […]

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Valuing Revelation

One of the things that frustrates me is the emphasis on dividing over precise definitions of how we understand the Bible.  As a result, I am thankful that I came across this quote from Klyne […]

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The Danger of Blaming Muslims

With the recent bombing at the Boston marathon and the revelation of the identity of those involved as Muslim, there is a danger.  I have already seen a number of Christians on social media claim […]

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God and the Boston Tragedy

Any Christian response to the terrible bomb attack at the Boston marathon must begin with compassion and not pious platitudes.  We must pray for those who are  injured and those who have lost loved ones. […]

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What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Rob Bell’s previous book, Love Wins, was one of the most controversial books in recent memories.  That such an influential pastor would come out and claim that hell was not permanent and that all would […]

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The Church as a Thinking Community

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” […]

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Evangelicals and the Disabled

I have a lot of patience and there is not much that will get me angry.  Some time ago, I posted something on Facebook that was supportive of people with disabilities.  A very conservative Christian […]

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Tim Keller on Doubt

Many Christians believe all doubt is bad.  I really like what Tim Keller shares in his introduction to The Reason for God. “A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies […]

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Dallas Willard on Discipleship

This quote from Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy really expresses my vision for discipleship and the role that apologetics plays in discipleship. “After times of study and teaching, we will pay most attention precisely to […]

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Apologia Resources

In addition to this blog (and a few others), I also have a blog called Apologia Resources.  This blog is basically a record of the books I am reading and the books I have read. […]

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Jesus Myth Promo

I am going to be speaking to the Network of Christian Apologists in Calgary on May 11 2013 (note the change of date).  Here is a little promo video of Paul Buller and I talking […]

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No Liars in Heaven

Before I was a Christian, I had people witness to me in various ways.  One of those ways was by handing me tracts.  Some tracts were okay and then there were Chick tracts.  First, I […]

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Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

One of the areas that Christians need more understanding of is how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament.  The Bible of Jesus and the Apostles was what we call the Old Testament and […]

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Billy Graham & Me

The ministry of Billy Graham has been very influential in my life.  I had a very low opinion of televangelists.  But I remember the priest at the Anglican church I attended speaking highly of Billy […]

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Thoughts on King James Only

I had a conversation with one of my students about the King James Bible and the Textus Receptus.  Our conversation provoked some thoughts that I would like to share here.  First of all, I should […]

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Ephesians at Tyndale

Tyndale University College has a great opportunity for those with busy schedules who want to receive a theological education.  It is their modular program through which you can take a course on Thursday evenings over […]

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Available to Preach

Although I am very much interested in the academic side of theology and biblical studies, my passion is really for the local church.  I want to create thoughtful Christians, not just within the seminary or […]

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Hope’s Reason Daily

There are always things happening on the religious landscape.  The Internet makes much of that accessible but all that information can be overwhelming.  How can you get a good picture of what is happening and […]

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Six Things Christians Say

Steve McSwain wrote an article in the Huffington Post titled 6 Things Christians Should Just Stop Saying.  While I can think of plenty of things that Christians say that I disagree with or find annoying, […]

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Religious But Not Spiritual

We hear a lot about those who identify as spiritual but not religious.  These are people who have given up on organized religion and yet still have sense of spirituality, may believe in some god(s) […]

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Emergence Christianity

I have heard some people claim that traditional Christianity is on its way out and emergent Christianity is the only way forward.  Traditional Christianity must change or die.  I remain unconvinced.  Traditional Christianity may have […]

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Worldwide Evangelical Seminary

One of my fellow D.Min. students at Acadia Divinity College, Teemu Lehtonen, has started a new international seminary aimed at non-English speakers especially in the third world.  The school is called Worldwide Evangelical Seminary.  I […]

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You’re Not as Crazy as I Think

There are many apologetics books that give you information on how to pull apart another person’s views, but much fewer on how to communicate effectively and respectfully. A book that was recommended to me by […]

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Exposing the Jesus Myth

I will be speaking on April 13, 2013 at 7 pm  to the Network of Christian Apologists in Calgary at Rocky Mountain College.  I’m not physically heading out to Calgary, but I will be speaking […]

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An Alien Attack on Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins has many problems with religion.  Not only does he see religion as being false, he sees it as being dangerous.  The danger is not just in terms of religious violence but as an […]

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What Does ‘No Religion’ Mean?

William Lane Craig finally made it on CNN, in this case to respond to the Amazing Atheist Guy.  I am sure that there is much that could be said about this exchange.  However, I must […]

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Experiencing God Without Losing Your Mind

As an ordained pastor, apologetics is not just an academic pursuit for me, it is something that I believe needs to get into the church.  I have experimented with some apologetics resources in my previous […]

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Axiome

I am very much interested in what Christians are doing within the Canadian context.  One of the hardest areas of Canada to reach is that of Quebec.  As a French Canadian (who unfortunately does not […]

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What Are the Limits of Darwinism?

Dr. Michael Behe gave a presentation on “What Are the Limits of Darwinism?” at the University of Toronto in November of 2012.  This events was sponsored by Power to Change.  If you are interested in […]

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Apologetics on Twitter

For those of you on Twitter, I have a favour to ask of you.  I really believe it is important to increase awareness about apologetics.  My request is that tomorrow (Feb. 1, 2013), that you […]

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Was Jesus Omniscient?

Orthodox Christian theology teaches that Jesus is God incarnate.  When we speak of God, we speak of a being who is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.  The problem is that when the disciples asked Jesus about […]

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Nativity Cave and Gentile Myths

Was Jesus really born in a cave?  And was that a cave a reference to existing pagan myths about the birth of god-men or other images?  If you are interested in the supposed pagan connections […]

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Common Miracles

One of the common obstacles to faith is belief in miracles.  In fact, after the enlightenment, there was a move even among some church leaders and theologians to remake Christianity into an miracle-less religion.  The […]

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Why I am Welcoming But Not Affirming

Both society’s and the church’s attitude toward homosexuality has changed dramatically in the last fifteen or so years.  In Canada, same-sex marriage is both legal and an accepted part of society.  Even within the church, […]

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Veritas in Brantford

The Veritas Forum is going to be making some presentations in Brantford ON on Jan. 14-16, 2013.  I was ordained at Queensway Baptist Church, one of the sponsoring churches of this event.  The topic is […]

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Cold-Case Christianity

A number of years ago, Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ made a huge impact on the Christian community and on skeptics.  Why?  It was not because it was answering the hard questions for the first […]

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Hope’s Reason Ministries

I have had a recent change in what ministry looks like for me.  I have been an ordained pastor for eleven years and have been pastoring at a two-point charge for the last nine years. […]

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Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

My favorite Christmas carol is Charles Wesley’s classic, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.  Not only is Wesley my favourite hymn writer in general, this particular carol is filled with theological truth.  This is a great […]

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Anti-Christmas

I hate to do this on Christmas Eve, but since this is my 666th post on this blog, I decided that I needed to post on the Antichrist.  What do we know about the Antichrist? […]

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Religion Soup

Acadia Divinity College, were I study, has a series called Religion Soup.  These include debates featuring Craig Evans, Bart Ehrman, Mike Licona and Dale Martin.  You can find these debates on Youtube at this playlist.

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A Child and a Son

I believe strongly in defending the Christian faith and putting forth the strongest argument possible.  At the same time, I am a firm believer in not overstating our case or presenting claims not supported by […]

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Top Five New Testament Books

Since I recently posted some recommended books on apologetics, I thought I would also recommend five books that deal specifically with the New Testament. Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright Jesus and […]

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Apologetics Canada Conference 2013

I am very much interested in the apologetics activity that is taking place in Canada and so I am pleased to share with you information about the Apologetics Canada Conference that is taking place March […]

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Zechariah, Mary and the Asking of Questions

An important part of apologetics is about the asking of questions and the wrestling with the potential answers. Although some people are uncomfortable with questions, they are essential to a healthy and strong faith. I […]

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Are School Shootings the Judgment of God?

People around the world are trying to make sense of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It is a terrible tragedy and it has touched us all.  I believe there is an important place […]

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Richard Carrier vs Mark Goodacre

One of the topics that I am interested in is the evidence for the historical existence of Jesus.  One of the few people with scholarly credentials that denies the existence of Jesus is Richard Carrier. […]

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Why Did God Let This Happen?

As a parent of elementary school aged children, the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has really touched a nerve.  This is every parents’ worst nightmare.  You assume that when you […]

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Hope’s Reason: A Journal of Apologetics Vol. 2 No. 2

I am hoping to get volume three together this month.  But until then, make sure to check out volume two of Hope’s Reason: A Journal of Apologetics from last year.  There are some great articles […]

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What in the World?

I have had quite a few conversations, both in person and online, about the meaning of the world.  I have seen people very concerned about the world in the sense of the things that are […]

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A Vision For a Healthy Church

This is my final sermon a pastor of First Baptist Church Meaford. Romans 15 Introduction The time has come for my last message to the church.  I wanted to share something that would be helpful […]

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How to Disagree

Romans 14 Introduction In John 17, Jesus prays a prayer for the future church, a prayer that is aimed at us.  In his prayer, Jesus prays for something very specific.  It is not for beautiful […]

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The Vampire Syndrome

Do you remember those old vampire movies?  The vampire would attack his victim, a chain with a cross would come into view and the vampire would flee in fear.  The sign of the cross created […]

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I Can See Clearly Now

Romans 13 Introduction There are a number of moments in my life that were turning points.  One of them was when I got my eyes checked for the first time.  After being encouraged to get […]

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Ancient Philosophy

If you are interested in ancient philosophy, especially that of Plato and Aristotle, you may like a course taught a UC Berkeley taught by David Ebery.  You can download the audio of this course from […]

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Why Christians Should Not Use the Word Sodomite

From time to time, I hear Christians referring to homosexuals as Sodomites.  I once suggested in public that this was not appropriate and I was challenged on it.   After all, the Bible speaks about […]

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The Power of Love

Romans 12 Introduction There are many things that people of different religions and philosophies disagree on but there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on: the importance of love.  It doesn’t matter of you […]

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Let God Be God

Romans 9 Introduction It is very interesting for me to see the change in perspective from being a son to being a father.  This is especially true with regard to ideas of fairness.  Now things […]

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Osiris and Jesus

Since one of my areas of interest is the Jesus myth theory, I thought would point people to a podcast episode by Glenn Peoples on the comparison between Osiris and Jesus.  You can find the […]

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Annihilationism and Evangelism

I was recently listening to a podcast about annihilationism, that is the belief that the wicked do not suffer for eternity in hell but are simply destroyed.  I am not planning on discussing the merits […]

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Romans 9 and the Jesus Myth

There are a number of different versions of the Jesus myth theory.  However, for any of them to work, they need to deal with Paul.  Many mythicists claim that Paul never speaks of the earthly […]

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Say Hello to a Great Podcast

I enjoy listening to good podcasts and I recently got around to Glenn Peoples’ podcast called Say Hello to My Little Friend.  I am really enjoying it.  Glenn is a very gifted philosopher and theologian […]

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Abundance of Blessings

Romans 8 Introduction What is Christianity all about?  Is Christianity all about bad news or about good news?  I have seen descriptions of churches that were completely about what they were against and not at […]

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Bad History and the Historical Jesus

I have been listening to an audio course on iTunes on the Historical Jesus, taught by Thomas Sheehan.  You can find the course on iTunes here. I can’t believe how offended I have been as […]

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Did Jesus Have a Wife?

The Da Vinci Code book and movie made popular the idea that Jesus was married and had children, although that idea had circulated in many forms before that.  Now a scholar is putting forward a […]

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Trapped

Romans 7 Introduction Look at your life.  Is it the way you want it to be?  I do not mean do you have the possessions you want or have you accomplished what you want.  I […]

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Who Needs Scholarship?

I had someone recently comment on my Facebook page about the role of scholarship.  It started with a comment about a book that presents a variety of theological positions.  If theologians cannot agree with each […]

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Early Middle Ages

I have just listened to a very interesting course on the Early Middle Ages, taught  by Paul Freedman at Yale University.  It deals with some important church history, the rise of Islam and many other […]

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The Difference Between Buddha and Jesus

Siddhartha Gautama’s path to becoming the Buddha began with observing four sights.  I take the wording from this site, from which you can get some more information on Buddhism. One day, as Siddhartha was touring […]

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Masters in Apologetics

I often get asked about schools that offer apologetics training.  I will present here a list of schools that have Masters’ programs in apologetics.  Some of these schools have distance education, some do not.  Some […]

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Unification Church

With the death of Sun Myung Moon, it is worth looking at the beliefs of this sect.  Moon claimed that the Unification church (the Moonies) found its origin when Jesus appeared to him in a […]

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Peter’s Denial of Jesus: By the Numbers

If you asked most people how many times Peter denied Jesus, you would overwhelmingly get the answer of three.  It seems pretty straight forward.  You might be surprised then to discover that many people actually […]

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On the Cutting Edge of Apologetics: The MA in Apologetics at HBU

I am pleased to have Holly Ordway present this special guest post promoting an exciting new program. I’m delighted to be writing this guest post as the Chair of the new Department of Apologetics at […]

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Being a Slave

Romans 6:15-23 Introduction How do you understand your relationship with God?  Do you see yourself primarily as a worshipper?  That would mean that your main role would be to praise God.  Do you see yourself […]

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