I have been studying apologetics quite a bit lately—specifically Jehovah’s Witness doctrine. There has been a theme in all the cults that claim to worship the God of the bible: works based salvation. Rather than trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ ALONE for salvation there is some additive. (Jesus + something=salvation).

While this seems to be the theme of such false religions there are a few other distinctive as well. They introduce another gospel that is contrary to the one true gospel of our Lord found in the pages of scripture. They claim the clear understanding of the bible cannot be grasped apart from an extra source (something the cult group produces to further “explain” the word of God). They teach the doctrines of men rather than the doctrines of the bible. They discourage personal bible reading apart from “study aids”. They steal glory from Jesus Christ and assign it to another person or name. For that reason I wanted to put together a short list of things that ought to be happening in, bible saturated, Christ exalting, churches and homes—that’s right Dads, I did say homes!

Proclaim the Gospel
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV) 1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

It’s that simple. We need to proclaim it to our own hearts that are prone to wonder, to our children, our spouses, friends, neighbors, teachers and telemarketers—anyone that will listen!

Romans 1:16 (ESV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Point to God’s Word as The Authority
I have to say that I do agree with something that Jehovah’s Witnesses have published. Read this excerpt from a Jehovah’s Witness publication:
… from among the ranks of Jehovah’s people … haughty ones … say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such “Bible reading,” they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago. (The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, pages 28–29)

Praise God!! Read those bibles so your family might love the doctrines of the bible and reject every form of man centered religion!!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Present the Doctrines of the Bible.
Paul did this and those he taught were able to spot false teaching based on the sound doctrine they had received from Paul.

Romans 16:17 (ESV) I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

Those that produce counterfeit money try to pass their work off on young inexperienced store clerks. They never go to the bank where the experts of authentic money are. Can your family detect counterfeit doctrine? Have they spent enough time with the truth that false teaching stands out like a sore thumb?

Promote bible reading.
The words “I’ve been reading my bible” ought to make our hearts glad as followers of Christ. The same is not true for the false teacher who fears his lies will be exposed by the light of scripture.

John 3:20-21 (ESV) 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

We should encourage regular bible reading in our homes and Dads need to be leading that charge. Wonderful things happen when God draws people to His word, both individually and as a family.

Praise Jesus Christ
We need to make much of Jesus Christ, the King of king and Lord of lords! While all around the world false religions defame the name of Christ and rob Him of either his supremacy or deity, His adopted sons and daughters with great humility and love should be shouting from the roof tops, in word and deed; “Jesus is THE way, THE truth and THE life!”

Acts 4:12-13 (ESV) 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Blessings,

Alvin

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John Piper:

“The folks at Westminster Bookstore have helped set up a remarkable website with serious reflections on the kinds of scientific and religious questions raised by the Dan Brown blockbuster Angels and Demons.

It’s the kind of place you could send your unbelieving friends who have questions.”

~Donovan

Sky News:

Pretty strong words, aren’t they?

The author of this article thinks otherwise though, and he’s not a Creationist.  Chris Beard, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, calls all the fuss “unbridled hoopla”. Though I disagree with some of his conclusions (because I don’t believe in Darwinian evolution), I appreciate the honest evaluation that Ida is not the so-called “missing link”. Read Beard’s article here

~Donovan

HT: Justin Taylor (yet again)

  • Old Testament professor and author, Walter Kaiser, wrote a brief post explaining why we can properly speak of Jesus being in the tomb for 3 days. Read it here. (HT: Tim Challies)
  • Justin Taylor references 1 Corinthians 5:7–“Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed”, and points us to Todd Bolen’s explanation of why we should watch this graphic video of a passover lamb being slaughtered.
  • Dan Philips references Justin’s post and the video, and dives into the theology of a sacrifice for sin found throughout Scripture. You can read his post, “A holy day — not a pretty day”, here.
  • Last year we posted an article by John Piper on the results of the resurrection. You can read it here.

Blessings to you as you meditate on Christ’s sacrifice for you, and all that is your in Him.

~Donovan

That’s Easter

April 8, 2009

These two short (less than 5 minute) videos are very well done. One of them addresses evidence for the resurrection, and the other addresses the significance of Easter in Christianity. Check them out here.

~Donovan

HT: Justin Taylor

150 years ago Charles Darwin published, On the Origin of Species,  a book we’ve probably all heard of, and a book that has shaped history in incredible ways… 

Marvin Olasky, editor in chief of World Magazine, notes, “Christians who respond with ridicule of Darwin get nowhere—but understanding a few terms of the debate can help to start a dialogue.”  His article on this is well worth the read. Read it here.

~Donovan

HT: Justin Taylor

Tim Keller @ Google

November 11, 2008

Tim Keller is a very helpful guide in addressing some of the questions/objections presented most often by those opposing Christianity today. The video below shows Keller’s lecture and Q&A session at the Google headquarters:

 

To see a similar lecture and Q&A session at Cal Berkeley, click here.  

Keller addresses these issues more thoroughly in his book “The Reason for God”.

~ Donovan

This sermon by Voddie Baucham is EXCELLENT!  It is absolutely essential that our entire worldview is formed by God’s Holy Word, and this sermon shows it powerfully and beautifully. It also shows how important a thoroughly biblical worldview is in evangelism…  

Click here to listen to it. 

(This message was originally given at a pastor’s conference put on by Desiring God Ministries in 2006.) 

Tim Keller is one of the sharpest minds in Christianity today. In his nearly two decades as a pastor in New York, he has had much experience tackling the questions of today’s skeptics… He is a very helpful voice on how to communicate biblical truth in a postmodern age.

This presentation at UC Berkeley is based on some of the material in his book, “The Reason for God: Belief in an age of Skepticism“. The lecture is followed by a Q&A session. To view or listen to this presentation, click here.

To read our earlier post on the book, click here.

This is another book I want to read soon… It’s by Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. I consider him one of the most sharp and insightful, biblically-centered theologians of our day, and a very helpful voice on how to communicate biblical truth in a postmodern age…

This is what he has to say about why he wrote this book:

“I’ve been working for some time on a book for the ordinary (which means very sharp) spiritually skeptical New Yorker. Ever since I got to New York nearly two decades ago I’ve wished I had a volume to give people that not only answered objections to Christianity (what has been called ‘apologetics’) but also positively presented the basics of the gospel in an accessible yet substantial way. I had some books that did the one and some that did the other, but only one did both—Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. As you know, I think Lewis’ book is peerless, and foolish would be the author who tried to replace him!

However, the issues in the public discourse around Christianity have become much more complex than they were in the mid and late 20th century. The questions are now not just philosophical (e.g. Is there evidence for God’s existence?) They are also now cultural (Doesn’t strong faith make a multicultural society impossible?), political (Doesn’t orthodox religion undermine freedom?) and personal. Also fifty years ago, when C.S. Lewis was writing, there was general agreement that rational argument and empirical method were the best ways to discover truth. That consensus has vanished. Today there are deep disagreements over how we know things and how certain we can be about anything. Most of the older books presenting Christianity now are only persuasive and even comprehensible to a very narrow range of people.

All this means that there is a great need for new literature that speaks to our time and says, “Christianity makes sense.””

This video sums up how Keller has tried to achieve that goal in this book:

For more information about this book, click here.

For Tim Challies’ review of this book, click here.

~Donovan