Daily Archives: August 22, 2013

Cold Case Christianity: Unbelievable? Is There Enough Evidence Beyond the Gospels to Make Their Testimony Reliable?

During my recent interview on Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley (airing Saturday, August 24th2013), a caller asked about corroboration and wanted to know if there was enough evidence beyond the Gospels to verify the reliability of their testimony. I began by helping him understand the nature of evidential corroboration and the limited information typically offered by such evidence. Every piece of corroborative evidence typically addresses (and verifies) only a “touchpoint”, a small aspect of the testimony from which we infer the “reasonability” of the larger account. Corroborative evidence is always limited; it only addresses a small aspect of the event under consideration. Even with these limits, however, the Gospels are still well corroborated. I’ve written a chapter about this in my book, Cold-Case Christianity, but here is a brief summary of the evidence “beyond the Gospels”:

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28 Ways to Conclude Your Sermon: A List of NT Doxologies and Benedictions

Ever wanted just the right verse to read at the end of your worship service, or to conclude your sermon, but couldn’t think of one? Couldn’t remember where it was? This handy list should help.

Read More here: http://www.christianity.com/blogs/eric-mckiddie-pastoralized/28-ways-to-conclude-your-sermon-a-list-of-nt-doxologies-and-benedictions.html

The Power of the Broken Body (Church)

Mention the word church and a vast array of images enter the mind. A steepled building housing a congregation; a movement of God across the centuries and the world; “one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic”; “visible and invisible”; “militant and triumphant”; “local and universal.”

More images come from the Scriptures verbatim. The bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the branches connected to the life-giving vine of Christ. But a most provocative and instructive biblical image is “the body of Christ.” We are tempted, especially in the West, to view this body as successful, full of well-ordered, well-dressed, well-mannered people. But the Scriptures describe the church as a broken and weak body that, by God’s grace, confounds the world by also being a hopeful body.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/power-broken-body/

The Mindset of a Leader – John MacArthur

1 Timothy 2            Code: B130822

So far in our series on the roles of men and women in the church, we’ve laid out the guidelines for male leadership in detail. If you’re gifted to lead, by this point you have a good idea what your job is. But be careful not to jump into leadership and forget your place. You’re a sinner saved by the grace of God, just like everyone you’re leading. You have no reason to boast. Leaders who forget that wreak spiritual havoc in the church.

Many contemporary church leaders fancy themselves businessmen, executives, entertainers, psychologists, philosophers, presidents, or lawyers. Yet those roles contrast sharply with the symbolism Scripture employs to depict pastors and spiritual leaders in the church.

In 2 Timothy 2, for example, Paul uses seven different metaphors to describe a spiritual leader. He pictures the minister as a teacher (v. 2), a soldier (v. 3), an athlete (v. 5), a farmer (v. 6), a workman (v. 15), a vessel (vv. 20–21), and a slave (v. 24). Each of those images evokes ideas of sacrifice, labor, service, and hardship. They speak eloquently about the complex and varied responsibilities of spiritual leadership. Not one of them pictures leadership as glamorous.

That’s because it’s not supposed to be glamorous. Leadership in the church is not a mantle of status to be conferred on the church’s aristocracy. It isn’t earned by seniority, purchased with money, won through style, or inherited through family ties. Its requirements are faultless character, spiritual maturity, skill in teaching, and a willingness to serve humbly.

God has ordained that leadership is to be a role of humble, loving service. Church leadership is ministry, not management. God calls leaders not to be governing monarchs but humble slaves, not slick celebrities but laboring servants, not charismatic personalities but faithful shepherds. The man who leads God’s people must above all exemplify sacrifice, devotion, submission, and lowliness.

With the trends in the church where they are, nothing is more sorely needed today than a return to biblical leadership principles. Solid men willing to take on the true realities of leadership are appallingly rare, yet they are needed more than ever to stop the inexorable march of feminist values.

So, men, take the lead. Don’t avoid leading or others will follow your example of cowardice. Set a good example by being faithful in prayer, living above reproach, maintaining a pure and orderly lifestyle, and humbly serving other Christians.

Next time we’ll turn our attention to the role of women in the church.

But for now, think about the destructive power of pride. Have you seen pride blind you to the sin tucked into the corners of your life? How does a high-minded church leader negatively affect those in his care?


(Adapted from Divine Design.)

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130822     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Dates, Doctrines, & Dead People (Conclusion) – Nathan Busenitz

This post wraps up our list of 10 reasons why church history is important … and why you should care about it. To access the previous three articles (for the complete list) click here (Part 1), here (Part 2), and here (Part 3).

Read More here: http://thecripplegate.com/dates-doctrines-dead-people-conclusion/

Free: Essential Apologetics PowerPoint Series

In partnership with The PowerPoint Apologist, Apologetics 315 is offering a series of 12 Free PowerPoint presentations, released monthly. These cover 12 essential topics in apologetics. These are free to download, modify, and use for your own apologetics presentations. (However, please retain the final two slides featuring the PowerPoint Apologist and Apologetics 315 resources.)

The eighth in the series looks at the case for the resurrection of Jesus and answers naturalistic alternative theories:
“Why Jesus?—The Resurrection of Jesus”
Download it here. Slideshare here.

Read More here: http://www.apologetics315.com/2013/08/free-essential-apologetics-powerpoint.html

Overcoming Objections to Evangelism

Our churches love to see conversions and hear the testimonies. But why don’t they want to share the gospel?


Here are three common objections to evangelize I’ve heard people offer, and some guidance for helping our people overcome them.

Read More Here: http://www.9marks.org/blog/overcoming-objections-evangelism

‘Obama, don’t you care? Christian blood is everywhere’ – U.S. Copts demonstrate against administration’s silence against Muslim violence

(BizPacReview) Over 200 Coptic Christians in Nashville, Tenn. took to the  streets Monday in a mass demonstration calling out the Obama administration for  its lack of response and begging Americans to “pray for Egypt” while calling for  an end to the terrorism inflicted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Chanting, “Obama, Obama, don’t you care? Christian blood is everywhere,” and  “We love Egypt. We love U.S.,” the crowd also shouted “‘eid wahda,’ an Egyptian  phrase that translates as “one hand,” meaning that the Egyptian people, both  Christians and Muslims, were united with the army against terrorism, which they  blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood,” the Associated Press reported, according to  The Tennessean.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/obama-dont-you-care-christian-blood-is-everywhere/

What’s in a Name? (Understanding of Dispensationalism)

Scripture Thoughts

An uproar in the online blog world this week started with David Murray’s post at Ligonier, actually an excerpt from his book, in which he suggested – rather casually, in passing – several reasons why preachers avoid teaching the Old Testament.  Reason #4 was quite out of place amongst the others: Dispensationalism, or rather the author’s mistaken concept of dispensationalism based on lack of familiarity with what dispensationalism actually believes and teaches, plus John MacArthur’s comments in this interview.   Jesse Johnson at the Cripplegate soon responded, and then David Murray at his blog featured a guest post from Dan Phillips, also in response to this erroneous idea that dispensationalism leads to neglect of the Old Testament.  The comments continue at those two posts, but what I want to focus on, here, is an overall look at some of the common doctrines (and some myths) associated with…

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How to Spot a Liberal Seminary


When evaluating a seminary on the spectrum of conservative to liberal, right  to left, no one can know everything about all seminaries. So, here is a little  toolkit of implements with which to diagnostically delve around in their  doctrinal statement.

Unearthing the truth may take some CSI inspired sleuthing on your part.  Some seminaries, who covet the sobriquet “conservative” without earning it, may  surreptitiously conceal what they really teach for the sake of recruitment.

The clues to discover the species of poultry you are hunting for are to be  found nesting in passages that have contentious interpretive conundrums with  both a conservative and liberal solution. If a seminary’s faculty consistently  falls on the side of the more liberal views, then that is a quacking sound which  belies the presence of a duck. Let the hunt begin…

Read more: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2013/08/how-to-spot-liberal-seminary.html

Gallup: Unemployment Rate Jumps from 7.7% to 8.9% In 30 Days

Outside of the federal government’s Bureau of Labor statistics, the Gallup polling organization also tracks the nation’s unemployment rate. While the BLS and Gallup findings might not always perfectly align, the trends almost always do and the small statistical differences just haven’t been worthy of note. But now Gallup is showing a sizable 30 day jump in the unemployment rate, from 7.7% on July 21 to 8.9% today.

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What Does It Mean to Fear God? – R.C. Sproul

What Does It Mean to Fear God? – R.C. Sproul answers. “If we really have a healthy adoration for God, we still should have an element of the knowledge that God can be frightening. ‘It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Heb. 10:31). As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God’s judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God.”

Read More Here

More August 2013 Presuppositional Apologetics links

The Domain for Truth

Foundationless picture

These are Presuppositional/VanTillian/Covenantal apologetics links from around the web between August 15th-21st 2013.  What other links did we miss?

1.) The Toothpaste Proof of God’s Existence

2.) Greg Bahnsen’s Critique of the Unification Church

3.) Not Many Were Wise

4.) Is God a Jerk?

5.) Collection of  Dr. Scott Oliphint Interviews

6.) One and the Many Problem

7.) Making Faces–Article by Dr. Oliphint

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Question 33-Puritan Catechism

Reformedontheweb's Blog

CharlesSpurgeonQ. What is adoption?

A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, (1 John 3:1) whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God. (John 1:12; Romans 8:17)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

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New podcast posted: Examining reports of new chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and escalating violence against Christians in Egypt.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

podcast(Washington, D.C.) — We’ve just posted a new podcast. It is the fourth in the new series.

In this new podcast, I focus onthe reports todayabout the alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria. I also discuss the escalating violence in Egypt, including the attacks on more than 40 churches, and discuss how the U.S. government is considering handling these two nightmare scenarios.

To listen to this podcast — or to the previous three podcasts — please go to www.joelrosenberg.com,orclick here.

Feel free to post  your comments on the podcast on our “Epicenter Team” page on Facebook, and please let others know about the podcast, as well.

Thanks so much.

>> To read Damascus Countdown, a New York Times best-selling novel about how the prophetic destruction of Damascus might unfold, please click here.

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