Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week.


 

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Is Evidence That Demands a Verdict Fundamentalist Apologetics?

Two of the current apologists that I appreciate very much are Randal Rauser and Sean McDowell. So I was quite interested to read Randal Rauser’s review of Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh and Sean McDowell that was published in the Christian Post.

Evidence That Demands a VerdictWhile Randal Rauser has a different style than the McDowells, he doesn’t take the opportunity to totally slam them. When he appreciates something they have done in the book, he is willing to give them the credit. I appreciate that about Randal.

At the same time, Randal has some major concerns, not just about the book in particular, but what it represents. This is seen by the title of the review, “Fundamentalist Apologetics Comes of Age.”

This surprised me, as I have been able to get to know Sean a bit, even if only online. We have emailed back and forth and I have contributed to one of his projects. The last thing that comes to mind when I think of Sean is fundamentalist. I see him as representing the brightest and most respectful of young evangelicals.

It all comes down to what Randal means by fundamentalist. The term fundamentalist came from the summary of the fundamentals of the faith that were developed at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. These included:

  • Biblical inspiration and the infallibility of scripture
  • Virgin birth of Jesus
  • Belief that Christ’s death was the atonement for sin
  • Bodily resurrection of Jesus
  • Historical reality of the miracles of Jesus

By this definition, Sean would probably accept the description of fundamentalist, as would I. But that is not what Randal means by fundamentalist, nor what most people mean in contemporary conversation.

I don’t want to get into the full discussion of the historical background, but I would like to point you to Roger E, Olsen’s article, What Distinguishes “Evangelical” from “Fundamentalist?”

Thankfully, Randal provides the definition that he uses for his purposes. Randal states, “These characteristics include biblicism, biblical literalism, rationalism, triumphalism, and binary oppositionalism.”

Having read carefully Evidence That Demands a Verdict, I think that while there are hints of these characteristics, Randal is stretching things for his own purposes. For example, in this book and elsewhere, the description of “biblical literalism” is an over-simplification of the hermeneutic used by Sean. Sean is a solid biblical scholar who understand very much the complexities of genre and rhetoric.

Really what Randal describes, and what he expresses concern over, is simply evangelicalism. The type of beliefs presented in Evidence is reflective of much of evangelicalism and not just the small segment that would self-identify as fundamentalist.

Randal knows very well what happens when he describes something as fundamentalist, even if he defines it precisely in the body of his article. “Fundamentalist” is a term that is used to identify something as dangerous, isolationist and irrational. We have been trained to be very concerned about anything described as fundamentalist.

For example, we would walk away with a much different impression if Randal had titled his article, “Evangelical Apologetics Comes of Age.” Despite “evangelical” beginning to receive negative reactions, it is still a much more positive term than fundamentalist.

By describing Evidence as “Fundamentalist Apologetics,” Randal has dismissed the value of the book with a label, aside from the specific concerns listed in the body of the article.

As I said in my introduction, I’m thankful for the work of both Randal and Sean and all they do to present a Christianity worth considering. But in this case, labeling Evidence as fundamentalist distracts us from what could have been helpful critiques of the book.


You can read my review of Evidence That Demands a Verdict here.

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.

 

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across. Go and check them out.

 

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Sharing the Good News With Mormons – Review

Sharing the Good News With MormonsI have long been interested in groups that are considered sects or cults, especially those with a connection to Christianity. One of those groups is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called the Mormons.

I find Mormonism to be a bit of an enigma. On the one hand, I find their theology to be pretty unwieldy, especially when every president is able to add and subtract from previous beliefs. The original set of beliefs preached by Joseph Smith, Jr. when the Book of Mormon first came out was almost a different religion from the complex system preached by his immediate successor, Brigham Young. Add to that the absence of any archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon and it is hard to understand why people follow Mormonism.

On the other hand, Mormonism is very successful. Not just in the days of Smith and Young but even today, the LDS are doing very well and hold considerable power and influence. Some very intelligent and successful people are devout LDS. How do we navigate through this?

A helpful resource is Sharing the Good News With Mormons: Practical Strategies For Getting the Conversation Started, edited by Eric Johnson and Sean McDowell.

As with any edited volume that includes chapters by many different authors, the quality varies from chapter to chapter. Much of this is based on style, especially on the chapters on evangelism. Some of the strategies came across as more attractive than others, but that says as much about me as it does the authors.

The value of this book is that it covers a wide range of topics surrounding the subject of Mormonism. Each author comes at it from a different perspective, even when they are dealing with the same topics. I appreciated this variety.

While it includes chapters by some scholars, this is not meant to be a scholarly treatment of Mormonism. It is more of a practical help for ordinary Christians to have effective faith conversations with Mormons.

If you are interested in Mormonism and are perhaps already having conversations with Mormons, I recommend Sharing the Good News with Mormons.

 

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you should check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you should check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts for you to check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Blog

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week.


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Top Ten Apologetics Blogs – Feb. 2018

There are some great apologetics blogs out there, both single and multi-author blogs. I have compiled a list of the top ten in each category. I use the Alexa ranking to determine who makes the list. I promise that I didn’t cheat to get my blog in the top ten! You can find my master list here. If you would like to see your blog rise in the ranks, consider blog coaching.

Single Author Apologetics Blogs

  1. Cold-Case Christianity
  2. Hope’s Reason
  3. James Bishop
  4. Canon Fodder
  5. Wintery Knight
  6. Apologetics 315
  7. Sean McDowell
  8. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes
  9. The Tentative Apologist
  10. Thinking Christian

Multi-Author Apologetics Blogs

  1. RZIM Global Blog
  2. Evolution News
  3. Stand to Reason
  4. Cross Examined
  5. Bethinking
  6. Reasons to Believe
  7. Reasons for Jesus
  8. The Poached Egg
  9. Veritas Forum
  10. Christian Apologetics Alliance
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Evidence That Demands a Verdict – Review

Evidence That Demands a VerdictOne of the first books on apologetics that I ever read was the original Evidence That Demands a Verdict. That book totally blew me away. I had come out of a number of years as an atheist and still had my skeptical nature. I had assumed that Christianity was only about a blind leap of faith, something I struggled to make. I had no idea that there was actual evidence for the truth of Christianity.

Now many years later, I’m in a different spot. I have had the opportunity spend years studying and researching the evidence. It is from that perspective that I read the new and expanded Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh and Sean McDowell. Josh McDowell has many years of speaking to the truth of Christianity, ministering on the front-lines. His son, Sean is one of the best new apologists on the scene. He is able to blend top notch scholarship with a respectful and humble manner.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this new version of Evidence That Demands a Verdict . It is definitely not like many other books on the market. It relies on extensive quotations more than is appropriate for most books. However, this book is in many ways an apologetics reader, presenting people with some of the best scholarship that is out there. The purpose of the book is not to offer radical new perspectives but to compile what is already out there and present it in an accessible form. In this, the book succeeds nicely.

One of my frustrations is that many apologists equate apologetics with philosophy. I come from more of a historical and biblical perspective than a philosophical one. While Evidence That Demands a Verdict does include some philosophical arguments, it is by far focused on presenting evidence for the reliability of the Bible. I was very pleased with this.

I appreciated that Josh and Dean were very fair in presenting other view points. Often, they would present multiple Christian arguments, just putting them out there for people to discover, without pushing one narrow interpretation. There was a humility to the arguments and acknowledgment that there are some things that we just don’t know.

I will confess that I have sometimes struggled with the title, Evidence That Demands a Verdict . My concern was that it could seem like they were suggesting that all you had to do was look at the evidence and you would have to become a Christian. It was just a matter of plugging in values into the formula and you got the desired outcome.

That is not what Josh and Sean are trying to do. They do not deny the role of the Holy Spirit or any other aspects of conversion and discipleship. The verdict that is demanded is not necessarily submission to Jesus as Lord. The verdict that is demanded is that the Bible should be taken seriously. Those who reject the Bible are challenged to look at the evidence and to put the Bible back on the table for discussion.

I’m thankful for Josh and Sean McDowell and their addition to modern apologetics with Evidence That Demands a Verdict. I pray that God will use this edition just as he did the original for so many years.

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I have come across. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you should check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts you might find interesting.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you might appreciate.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you might find interesting.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts for you to check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related blog posts that I came across.


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Apologetics Study Bible for Students

Apologetics Study Bible for StudentsI usually don’t get too excited when I get messages on Twitter. Normally, they are just automatic messages in response to a new follower. But a while back, I got a good one.

It was a message from Sean McDowell inviting me to submit an article for the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. They were publishing a second edition of the study Bible because they were switching translations from the Holman Christian Standard Bible to the Christian Standard Bible and they decided to update some of the articles at the same time.

In case you are wondering what I wrote on, my topic was a Christian view of yoga. But I’m excited for more than just having my name in print.

An apologetics study Bible aimed at students is close to my heart. I left the church and became an atheist when I was in my mid-teens. I had no idea at the time there was something called apologetics. I figured you either took the leap of faith or you didn’t.

Thankfully there is much more available in terms of resources. The Apologetics Study Bible for Students is one of them. I encourage you to check it out.

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that are worth checking out.


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5 Living Christians I Would Like to Meet

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about five living christians I would like to meet. They included:

  1. Billy Graham
  2. Eugene Peterson
  3. N.T. Wright
  4. Ravi Zacharias
  5. Rick Warren

Since Billy Graham is now dead and at the time I am updating this, Eugene Peterson is dying. I thought I would come up with a new list.

Here are five living Christians that I would love to sit down with and have a chat.

  1. Tim Keller
  2. Craig Keener
  3. Sean McDowell
  4. Derwin Gray
  5. John Lennox

What Christian would you like to meet?




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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across recently. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that are worth checking out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that are worth checking out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that are worth checking out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you might find interesting.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts for you to take a look at.

 

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you should check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I have come across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts for you to check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts for you to check out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related blog posts I came across this week.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related blog posts that I came across this week.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you might find helpful.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week. You may find something that interests you.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and take a look.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I cam across this week. Go and check them out now.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Have a look.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Take a few minutes to check them out.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out right now.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that you might want to check out.

Some Additional Resources:


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related blog posts that I came across this week. You might find them interesting.

Additional Resources


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related blog posts that I came across. Make sure to check them all out.


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Top Ten Apologetics Blogs – September 2016

There are many great apologetics blogs out there. I have compiled a list of the top ten apologetics blogs based on Alexa ratings. We have some changes in the list from last time. Make sure to check out each of these blogs. They are all filled with valuable apologetics resources.

  1. Bethinking
  2. Cold-Case Christianity
  3. Cross Examined
  4. The Poached Egg
  5. Wintery Knight
  6. Apologetics 315
  7. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes
  8. Ezra Institute
  9. Sean McDowell
  10. The Tentative Apologist
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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I came across this week. Have a look.

Recommended Books:


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. I hope you enjoy them.

Recommended Books:


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Make sure to go and check them out.

Recommended Book:

Apologetics Study Bible (USA) (Canada)

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Redeeming Doubting Thomas

If you were one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, how would you like to be remembered by history? Simon gets to be the Rock. James and John get to be the Sons of Thunder. Thomas? Thomas gets to be Doubting Thomas.

I must confess that I have a soft spot for Thomas and I feel that he gets treated unfairly. So, I was quite pleased when Sean McDowell wrote a piece on Thomas that addressed his supposed doubting. Here is a part of his post and I encourage you to read the full article.

Thomas is my favorite apostle. I love his inquisitive nature (John 14:5) and his demand for evidence (20:24-29). Thomas may have even been the boldest apostle! When Jesus announced to his disciples that he was going to Judea, they tried to stop him (11:8). And yet Thomas was not dissuaded. He boldly proclaimed: “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (11:16). Thomas may have even first evangelized India and died there as a martyr. As I demonstrate in my book The Fate of the Apostles, the stories and traditions surrounding the apostle Thomas are utterly fascinating. In fact, Thomas was one of the most commonly cited apostles in the early apocryphal traditions.[i]

And yet most people simply remember Thomas as a doubter. How unfortunate! The great irony is that Thomas wasn’t even a doubter. That’s right, Thomas was not a doubter. Let me say it one more time to be sure it sinks in—“Doubting Thomas” was not a doubter.

You can read the full post by Sean McDowell here.

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts I discovered this week. Go check them out and feed your mind.

Recommended Book:

God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe by J. Warner Wallace (USA) (Canada)

Recommended Video:

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across. Go and check them out.

Recommended Book:

The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby and Paul R. Eddy (USA) (Canada)

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I have discovered this week. Make sure to go and check them out.

Recommended Book:

Humble Apologetics: Defending the Faith Today by John G. Stackhouse (USA) (Canada)

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Go and check them out.

Recommended Book:

How to Talk to a Skeptic: An Easy-to-Follow Guide for Natural Conversations and Effective Apologetics by Donald J. Johnson (USA) (Canada)

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. You should check them out.

Recommended Book:

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Francis Beckwith and Greg Koukl (USA) (Canada)

 

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Sean McDowell and Ken Humphreys on the Martyrdom of the Apostles

UnbelievableI recently listened to the debate between Sean McDowell and Ken Humphreys on the Unbelievable? podcast. One of my main areas of research is the Jesus myth theory and Humpreys is a mythicist, so this was of some interest to me. Having listened to the debate, I thought I would share some random thoughts.

  • Justin Brierley continues to amaze me at how respectful he is to all sides. He does a fantastic job on this show.
  • If some people paid attention to Sean because of who his father is, they should now do it because of who Sean is. Sean is a talented scholar and apologist.
  • Sean provides an excellent example in this debate, not just of intellectual quality, but of how to keep cool in a frustrating conversation.
  • Ken provided as a good a reason not to hold a mythicist position as Sean’s arguments. I don’t think that was his intention.
  • This conversation nicely illustrates how mythicists attempt to do history in a way that no historian does.
  • Sean was absolutely correct that the Gospels can be used as historical sources, even if they are Christian scripture. Those studying the history of Islam use the Qur’an as an important source, even though Muslims hold it as scripture.
  • It blew my mind that Ken is actually contemplating that the Apostle Paul might not have existed. That is radical even for mythicists.
  • I’m reminded that even though I enjoy writing about the Jesus myth, I could never debate a mythicist. I may have the knowledge, but I don’t have the patience. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I listened to Ken. There may have been some physical damage.
  • I’m thankful that there is a show like Unbelievable? where these kinds of discussions can take place.

If you are interested in Sean McDowell’s book on the apostles, you can get it here: (USA) (Canada).

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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related posts that I came across this week. Make sure to check them out.

Recommend Book:

The Jesus Legend by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Greg Boyd (USA) (Canada)

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Top Ten Apologetics Blogs – June 2016

I’m so thankful for the great number of quality apologetics-related blogs that are available. Each has their own strength and area of specialization.

Here is the updated list of top ten apologetics blogs based on Alexa ratings. Make sure to check out the rest of the apologetics blogs here.

  1. Bethinking
  2. Cold-Case Christianity
  3. Cross Examined
  4. The Poached Egg
  5. Wintery Knight
  6. Apologetics 315
  7. Come Reason
  8. Sean McDowell
  9. Stand to Reason
  10. Ezra Institute
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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

Here are some apologetics-related blog posts that I discovered this week.

From My Archives:

8 Myths About Apologetics

Recommended Book:

Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath (USA) (Canada)

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Understanding the Trinity

Orthodox Christianity includes an understand of God as a Trinity. There is one God, who is three persons. This is one of the most difficult doctrines for people to understand. Here are a number videos that seek to help explain the Trinity.


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Midweek Apologetics Roundup

There is a tremendous amount of good quality apologetics content available. Here is some of what I have found this week. Make sure to check out these posts.

From My Archives:

10 Reasons Why There Really Was a Historical Jesus

Recommended Book:

The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas by Paul Copan and Kenneth Litwak (USA) (Canada)

 

 

 

 

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Are Christians Narrow Minded?

Have you ever been accused of being narrow minded? How did you respond? In this short video, Sean McDowell addresses this question and puts it in its context. There is a simple way for us to respond to this accusation.

I would encourage you to check out Sean’s website, where you will find a great selection of apologetics resources.


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Sean McDowell on the Value of Women in the Bible

It is common to hear that Christianity in general and the Bible in particular is anti-women. But is that true? It is easy to make assertions, but what does the Bible really say? Sean McDowell does a great job of addressing this topic in this video.

If you like what Sean McDowell has to say, you might want to check out his book that he has edited, A New Kind of Apologist.


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Top Ten Apologetics Blogs – March 2016

One of my aims is to promote and encourage Christian bloggers, especially in the area of apologetics. To this end, I have been compiling a top ten list every quarter. For those who ask, I use the Alexa rankings. There are other tools but this is the one that I have chosen to go with.

There has been some change in the top ten list, partially because I have added to my list of apologetics blogs (which you should check out).

So here are the top ten apologetics blogs for March 2016. Congratulations to all those in the list and thank you for your blogging efforts.

  1. The Poached Egg
  2. Cold-Case Christianity
  3. Cross Examined
  4. Wintery Knight
  5. Apologetics 315
  6. Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes
  7. Sean McDowell
  8. Stand to Reason
  9. The Tentative Apologist
  10. Always Have a Reason
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Apologetics for a New Generation

Like many people, one of my introductions to apologetics was Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict.  It is great to see Josh’s son, Sean McDowell, involved in apologetics.  Sean has edited a book on apologetics called Apologetics for a New Generation.

Apologetics for a New GenerationTo be honest, this book sat on my shelf for a while before I got around to reading it.  The reason I was not motivated was that I assumed it was an Evidence that Demands a Verdict for teens book.  Since I am not actively involved in youth ministry, I did not feel like reading it.  That was a bad assumption.

While many of the articles are relevant to youth ministry and are written by people knowledgable in that area, the chapters in this book speak far beyond the limits of youth ministry.  Sean has edited a book that has brought together some very talented apologists, pastors and scholars, including: Dan Kimball, Brett Kunkle, Josh McDowell, John Mark Reynolds, Craig Hazen, Alan Shlemon and others.  Each author has a different perspective, but each shares the desire to equip Christians to be successful in presenting Christ in a clear and understandable way.  This book acknowledges that there have been some major shifts in culture and that these must be taken into account when we do apologetics.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend it for anyone interested in apologetics and not just for those involved in youth ministry.

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