"Being unable to cure death, wretchedness, and ignorance, men [and women] have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things." ~ Blaise Pascal, Pensees (133).
"Our lives are empty. We cannot face the vacuum. So we fill our lives up with junk, with trash, with refuse.... we divert ourselves from our real needs.... We invent little problems and hold them close, fixating on them to block us from seeing the bigger problems." ~ Thomas V. Moore, Making Sense of it All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life, pp. 32-33.
"The only good thing for men therefore is to be diverted from thinking of what they are, either by some occupation which takes their minds off it, or by some novel and agreeable passion which keeps them busy, like gambling, hunting, some absorbing show, in short by what is called diversion" ~ Blaise Pascal, Pensees (136).
| Apologetics & Worldview |
Lecture 1: Why We Do Apologetics
This introductory lecture is in powerpoint PDF format.
Also, consider the watching the following video clip (10:46 minutes) by Dr. R. C. Sproul, a Presbyterian Calvinist and Reformed Scholar. He offers an oustanding introduction regarding the need for apologetics by discussing its history as used by the apostle Paul, as evidenced in the writings of the early church fathers (e.g., J. Martyr), and other pivotal thinkers in Christian (e.g., St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas).
Like R. C. Sproul states, there is a remarkable unity, coherency, and consistency between natural and special revelation. What God reveals himself in the Bible will not contradict what He reveals himself in nature. He concludes by reminding us that in every generation the Christian faith needs to be defended.
Lecture 3 C 12-Step Classical Method
This is Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Frank Turek's 12 Step Classical Methodology which will memorize for class purposes. Please consult Geisler and Turek's I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, to see how this method is "unpacked."
Lecture 4: The Existence of God
This supplement is in Microsoft Word. The powerpoint used in class is located on the right column of this web page under the title, "Arguments for God's Existence."
Lecture 5 d The Heart-in-the Hole Argument
This powerpoint discusses the reality of "spiritual incompleteness" apart from the God of the Bible. This outline is based upon Ramesh Richard's awesome book, Mending your Soul: The Spiritual Path to Inner Wholeness.
Lecture 7 The Reliability of the Bible
Here is an overview of the reliability of the Bible. This does not include historical verifiability argument (treating Scripture as a historical document). However, you are responsible for knowing this argument.
Lecture 7 b Inerrancy of Scripture
I recommend Thy Word is Truth by Edward J. Young; Total Inerrancy by Robert P. Lightner; Inerrancy (edited by Norman Geisler); Norman Geisler and William E. Nix; A General Introduction to the Bible; Josh McDowell's New Evidence That Demands a Verdict; Prophecy Knowledge Handbook by John F. Walvoord; Inspiration and Authority of the Bible by B. B. Warfield.
Apologetic Mid-Term Review
This-mid term review is in MS Word. I will distribute the take home closed-book exam 2nd week of March.
Lecture 8 Historical Argument for Jesus Christ
I very highly recommend reading Dr. Gary Habermas' writings on the historical argument for Jesus Christ: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus: Historical Records of His Death and Resurrection (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984); In Defense of Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (Joplin: College Press, 1996); The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980).
Lecture 1 Cumulative Case for Christian Faith
Introduction to a cumulative case approach (an integrative model) for the Christian faith. This is an introduction to the method and an examination of argument # 1: God uniquely accounts for the physical universe's beginning. It is in PDF.
Can Beauty Point Us to God?
This powerpoint is in PDF. This presentation has been expanded to include 8 different types of argument and more evidences from beauty for God's existence.
The Task of Apologetics
This exceptional handout is by the one and only Justin Tubbs. It s an awesome read and clears away many of the misconceptions by Christians regarding the value of and need for Christian apologetics.
Apologetics and Saving Faith
This is another exceptional handout by Justin Tubbs. This handout provides an excellent summary of the relationship between apologetics and the role of saving faith. In fact, it clears away common misconceptions and uninformed biases regarding the value of and need for apologetics.
Moral Law Apologetics
This presentation is largely based upon J. Budziszewski's work on moral apologetics. It is in powerpoint. I highly recommend J. Budziszewski's two outstanding articles, "Practical Responses To Relativism and Postmodernism: Part I" and "Practical Responses to Relativism and Postmodernism: Part II" in Philosophy: Christian Perspectives for the New Millennium, edited by Paul Copan, Scott B. Lulely, and Stan W. Wallace.
Here is an important article every student of theology and apologetics should read. It is by the late Dr. Roger Nicole.
Rational Answers, Reasonable Hope
Rational Answers, Reasonable Hope: Why Intelligent People believe in the Christian Faith. This powerpoint presentation is in PDF. It offers 10 reasons why the God of the Bible provides both a stable and consistent metaphysical foundation for explaining the important realities and phenonema encountered in our world and lives today. In other words, the biblical worldview has explanatory power! The approach is adapted from Kenneth Richard Samples, Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), 21-33. This is an excellent work worth reading!
Hope for Believers Who Doubt
This article is in PDF. This brief study compliments Dr. Gary Habermas' book, Dealing with Doubt & Os Guinness' God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt.
Lecture 1a Starting Point for Worldview Thinking
This presentation summarizes some of the explanatory power of the Christian worldview and the harmonization of both natural theology and special revelation. The question is raised, "What should the starting point for a Christian worldview be?" My response is that begins with the existence of God (1), then the historical reality, person, work, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, (2), and concludes with the (3) uniqueness and reliability of the Bible. All of these harmonized together provide a robust foundation for a solid Christian worldview.
Lecture 3 How to Write a Worldview Paper
Please be sure to follow this outline for writing your worldview paper. Make sure you paragraphs are comprehensive and in summary form. Always justify every answer you give. Thanks.
Bodily Burial vs. Cremation:
This powerpoint presentation is by one of my seminary students: Darrell Stein. He raises the following question: Cremation or Bodily Burial: Which Brings God More Honor?
We Become What We Behold: The Search for Significance & Value in an Image-Driven Age:
In this digital age our young people are surrounded by imagery. But sadly, much of the imagery does not correspond to how things actually are. Thus, in an effort to embrace an identity that is provocative and popular, but consumer-centered and imaginary, many people strive to become what is impossible in order to find fulfillment, meaning, and purpose. But because these efforts are in vain, the emptiness within them remains. So, this article explores what this means and how Jesus Christ can meet our deepest needs for significance and value.
The Decalogue of a Sensate Culture
This is a handout adapted from J. Budziszewski's What We Can't Not Know: A Guide (Dallas: Spence Publishing), 162-3. When parents say they want to allow their children to make up their own minds about religion, what in fact, are they teaching them? It is in PDF format.
The Banner of a Sensate Culture
Don't think, feel! The exhange of truth for feelings. Chart adapted and revised from material by J. Budziszewski's What You Can't Not Know (Dallas: Spence Publishing, 2003), 176-81. It is in PDF format.
Probing Our Sensate Culture
This handout involves three central terms to consider when contemplating the overwhelming and snowballing degeneration of the moral nature of our Western culture. This analysis is adapted from Os Guinness' very thought-provoking work, Time for Truth: Living Free in a world of lies, hype, & spin (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), 28-9. It is in PDF format.
The Philosophy and Power of Media.
This is an introduction to the power and philosophy of advertising, entertainment, media, and music as used in lecture 13 of CBS's worldview course. Consider the following quote by Marshall McLuhan's classic and pivotal work, Understanding Media: "We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us." It is in powerpoint PDF.
Evangelicals and the Arts
Here is a link to a July 27, 2007 Associated Press aticle on evangelicals and the arts. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19833395/. It is titled, "Evangelicals Seek 'Creators of Culture' Role." In this article, Dr. Steve Halla, the Director of the Theology and Arts program at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who was interviewed, asks an interesting question, ""If we as Christians believe that creativity and imagination is a gift from God, why have we neglected it for so many years?"
The Decalogue of Illiterate Evangelicals
Evangelicals, both church leadership and Christian parents in the home, who do not give utmost appreciation, attention, and respect to thoroughly understanding & teaching the Bible, are in fact, teaching future generations a powerful set of beliefs with terrible consequences. I developed this chart after listening to an account of a long-time evangelical attending a very large seeker-sensitive church; he has never read Paul's Epistle to the Romans; he has never been encouraged by his church leadership to bring and open his Bible in church; and he has never been motivated by his church leadership to thoughtfully, purposefully, and seriously study the Scripture. It is in PDF.
Evangelical Models of Christian Ethics
This chart summarizes four evangelical models of Christian ethics: (1) non-conflict absolutism (or unqualified absolutism); (2) conflict absolutism; (3) graded absolutism; (4) aretaic graded absolutisim. This chart is used in the below series on moral decision-making. It is in PDF.
Lesson 1: Basis and Justification for Moral Decision-Making
The 4 message series focuses on the choices in life we make, the habits we create, and the consequences we live with. This first lesson is concerned with the basis and justification for moral decision-making (moral values, duties, and accountability): God's revelation: God's natural moral law and Scripture. This particular lesson answers three questions: (1) How do we make moral decisions that honor God? Are we able to communicate our particular model of ethics to others in our disciple-making ministry. (3) What are we to do when we face a moral conflict/dilemma or hard-case situation? It is in PDF.
Lesson 3: Make it your aim to be well-pleasing to Jesus Christ
This is the third of a four part series on decision-making and the will of God. In sum, I suggest that the believer's master-value as a way of life ought to be one that qualitivately seeks to be "well-pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ." It offers an exposition of 2 Corinthians 5:9, considers how one can be well-pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ, and offers 55 indicators on how a Christian might know if this is indeed his or her practice.
Lecture 1: Biblical View of Sex
This series of lectures is developed for the course, "Biblical View of Sex." Lecture 1 is titled, "Sex-Saturated Culture." It is in powerpoint.
Question # 2: How can God send people to hell?
Here's a brief response to the following questions: "How could a 'loving' God send people to hell for eternity? Why does he have to send them to hell?-couldn't he just wipe them out or something? If Jesus is the only way, what about little kids in Africa that have never heard of Jesus?" It is in PDF.
In the same work, Kingdom Triangle, J. P. Moreland writes: