The Bible does not try to prove the existence of God. It simply presupposes it. The existence of God is not dependent upon our belief. God either exists, or He does not. You can neither prove, nor disprove the existence of God.
Whether or not we believe in God depends upon our response to the evidence we have been given. Romans 1 tells us that God has given us ALL the information we need to believe that God exists from the created universe (General Revelation).
So why then do people reject the idea of God? The problem is NOT that they don’t have enough evidence, the problem is that their hearts are hard and they do not want to submit to God’s rule and authority in their lives. This is the main problem with the skeptic. He is not unconvinced primarily because of his mind, but rather his will is in rebellion.
Moving someone from the position of Hard Atheist, to Strong Agnostic is useful because it essentially removes an element of stubbornness, and puts the conversation on a more humble footing, where it belongs. The decision to accept the existence of God is not based on Omniscient knowledge, but rather on reasonable certainty, based on the evidence God has provided.
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, is a modern-day Christian apologetics classic. I have to place this book in the top ten books written so far on regarding understanding a Christian philosophy of of all of life.
This is a very linear, comprehensive work that seeks to answer the major questions of life and religion. The book begins with Epistemology and the fact that truth can be known. It then moves to Cosmology and addresses the origins of the universe. It addresses the questions of morality, the existence of miracles and the supernatural, the historicity of Jesus Christ and His claims to divinity, the compilation and canonization of the New Testament texts, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and includes some good appendix chapters that address things like “If God, Why Evil?” and “Isn’t That Just Your Interpretation?”
Another outline could be:
To give you an idea of the general acceptance of the overall soundness of this book, it is endorsed by: Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Phillip E. Johnson, Cal Thomas, William A. Dembski, Hank Hanegraaf, John Ankerberg & J. Buudziszeski.
As with all of the Hovel audiobook titles, the narration is excellent and the quality is superb.
448 pages. On a scale of 1-5, I’d give this a 4.5 overall.
Review by Israel Wayne.
Here is a guest thought from my friend, Josiah Meyer:
Here are some verses which would save some apologists a lot of time and heartache:
Proverbs 23:9 “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
Prov. 29:9 “When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.”
Ecc. 7:6 “For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility.”
Matthew. 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Some people just have no interest in truth, or at least have no interest at a certain moment, or in a certain context. There is a time and place to just say, “Enough. You’re not listening or trying to understand what I am saying. This conversation is going nowhere, and I think we both have better things to talk about, don’t you? If at some time in the future you are SERIOUSLY interested in my point of view, I am very much willing to return to this conversation!”
Josiah Meyer’s blog is: http://nolongerbechildren.wordpress.com/
In his book, Revolution, which focuses on the life of the American church, researcher and cultural analyst George Barna uses the term “mini-movements” to describe a number of forces that are shaping the landscape of modern Christendom. According to Barna, research is showing that the most dramatic life-changing catalysts at work among believers today are mini-movements that are not connected with any particular national denomination or specific local church effort.
What are some of these movements that are challenging people to become more serious in their faith and to embrace a comprehensive lifestyle of following Jesus in every area of their lives? The following are some of the movements that I think are the most significant in our day and age. They are not given in any particular order of chronology nor importance. They each have their place and are likely indispensable in the overall big-picture of God’s plan for our day and age.
I have to start with this one because it is the one to which I’m most intimately connected. The modern Christian homeschooling movement has been nothing short of a move of God on our land. It reflects the heart of Malachi 4:6, where God promises to turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and children to their fathers. Christian parents must take responsibility for the spiritual upbringing of their own children if they want to see Christianity survive the forces of postmodernism and Islamo-fascism rampant in our world today.
Beginning in the 1960s with John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, the return to a Biblical view of origins and the emergence of a new breed of Bible-believing scientists, has revolutionized the Christian world. I believe that the Creationist movement in many ways helped to inspire a new interest in Christian education, encouraging the expansion of Christian schools and later homeschooling in America. This was in many ways a movement of reformation, calling Christians back to believing in the inspiration and authority of the holy Scriptures.
Christian Financial Management
When the late Larry Burkett first emerged on the scene in the late 1970s, talking about financial stewardship, he stuck out like a sore thumb. Today, there are hundreds of Christian financial coaches, and a number of national ministries dedicated to helping believers to become good stewards and managers of God’s resources. There is much work yet ahead, but the groundwork has been amply laid for this important movement to stir hundreds of thousands of Christians to channel their resources in Kingdom activities, rather than worldly pursuits and pleasures.
While all outreaches to the family are important, none is more vital than ministries that reach out to men and encourage them to take spiritual leadership of their homes. Most Christian men have not had the right kind of role models, and therefore feel inadequate to lead their wives and children according to the Scriptures. Groups like Promise Keepers broke ground in this effort of challenging men, and hundreds of ministries (some of them much more effective) have continued this endeavor.
Family-Integrated Church / House Church
In a world where the family is too often split apart by secular forces, many parents have been concerned that the common church practice of age-segregated learning/worship is further exacerbating the problem of disunity in the home. Tens of thousands of families have opted for a method of corporate teaching and worship that are not traditional, but are more Biblical in practice than the typical local church. Absent are “junior church,” age-segregated Sunday school classes, VBS and youth group activities. These family-integrated fellowships usually encourage fathers to lead family worship at home, and the church leaders often strive to avoid going around parents to teach their children.
The Worship Revolution
Among young people in America (and around the world), there is a renewed desire for authentic worship. All over the country there are massive gatherings of people who have come to cry out to God to move in our day. Sometimes these events are reminiscent of revivals of days gone by, and other times they are little more than Christian rock concerts, but increasingly there are select leaders within this movement who are promoting a God-centered (rather than man-centered, self-therapeutic) approach to worship. This movement began mainly in the UK and has found its way to American shores. There is also a renewed emphasis on songs that are theologically sound and vertically oriented (focusing on God, His work and His attributes), rather than a rehash of endless “God is my girlfriend” type songs that are presented as “worship.”
This may seem like an odd thing to include in the list, but we live in a visual culture, and no force has shaped modern American society more than television and the movies. Because of the blatantly objectionable content of films from the beginning of the “Silver Screen,” Christians abandoned film-making as an evil endeavor and left it to the dominance of unGodly people. As a result, billions of people receive their worldview through a media channel that is corrupt in it’s content and methods. That is changing as solid Christian believers are creating excellent films to the glory of God. All of the Arts need to be reformed, not just film, but this is perhaps the most unexpected and encouraging development I’ve seen in the past decade.
When I was a child, Christian worldview training and the teaching of apologetics were largely related to seminarians. Today there are numerous websites, including my own www.ChristianWorldview.net site, conferences, online courses, books, videos and many other resources for learning to understand and defend the Christian faith as it relates to all areas of life. This is one of the most important movements of our day.
I have seen a renewed emphasis on “deeper life” teachings in recent years, and a renewed desire to know Christ more. Thousands of people are reading books and articles on the revivals of days past, and desiring to see holiness restored to the Church. I have been able to participate in several conferences with a focus on repentance, forgiveness, forsaking sin and surrender to the Spirit of God. The old thing is the new thing. What a joy to see the “old” message returning in a new and fresh way. Our magazine, Brush Arbor Quarterly, reflects this emphasis.
Get on the Move
People who believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the totality of human existence, tend to be involved in many, if not all, of these movements. If you are unfamiliar with any of these movements, I would encourage you to check them out, and see if the Lord would have you join Him in what He is doing.
Preface by Israel Wayne: My ChristianWorldview.net site is a Christian Apologetics site, and I believe firmly in defending the faith, as affirmed by 1 Peter 3:15. However, for those of us who work in this field, we need to be reminded of the need to do this work with Spirit-led humility and and a Christ-like attitude. David Ravenhill puts it quite well in this guest editorial.
They say a bloodhound’s sense of smell is a thousand times greater than that of a human’s. This gives the bloodhound the uncanny ability to pick up a person’s scent days after the person has gone missing.Once the bloodhound finds his target he is rewarded by his handler for his efforts. The reward serves to encourage him to keep up the good work.
The same thing could be said for the spiritual bloodhounds that delight in finding and exposing heresies in the Body of Christ. These spiritual sleuths spend most of their time tracking down the latest errors and then seemingly delight in enjoying the praise they receive as their reward.
Now I’m not against exposing error –I’ve done my fair share of it over the years. What I am against, however, is the way in which it is so often done, as well as the motivation behind it. For some it has become their livelihood like the Bible Answer Man, while for others, they seem to delight in being the final authority on revival or some other chosen area of truth.
Some years ago I was invited to speak at a conference arranged by one of these ‘hounds’. Having never met the man before, I agreed to be one of the speakers. Little did I know that this man had been extremely critical of a personal friend of mine not to mention the revival that began under his ministry. When I learned that he had never set foot in any of these revival meetings and yet wrote as though he had firsthand knowledge of what had transpired, I declined his offer to speak.
Some weeks later I was contacted by this man’s father who politely asked why I had withdrawn from his son’s conference. When I gave him my reasons he agreed wholeheartedly with my decision. The father in one of his e-mails expressed to me his own concerns over his son’s attitude and wrote, ‘the tears are bouncing off the keyboard as I write’. I have no doubt that this godly father shared many of the concerns that his son shared. The difference between them however was significant – one wept while the other whipped. My father often said, ‘You have no right to whip before you weep’. Jesus wept over Jerusalem before He entered the Temple to cast out the money changers.
Jesus in His letter to the Church of Ephesus states, ‘I know…that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you have found them to be false.’
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan gives us these insightful words of wisdom as he comments on Jesus statement.
Listen to what he writes:
… Is it more than likely that their very opposition to false men and doctrine partook of the nature of lack of love? I would speak very cautiously at this point, for the Lord commended these things, and they were right, but I am quite sure that there may be right things done in a wrong spirit. I seldom find men strenuously fighting what they are pleased to call heterodox teaching, and in bitter language denouncing false doctrine, without being more afraid for the men denouncing than for the men denounced. There is an anger against impurity which is impure. There is a zeal for orthodoxy which is most unorthodox. There is a spirit that contends for faith which is in conflict with faith. If men have lost their first love, they will do more harm than good by their defense of the faith. Behind the denunciation of sin there must always be the tenderness of first love if that denunciation is not to become evil in its bitterness. Behind the zeal for truth, there must always be the spaciousness of first love if that zeal is not to become narrowed into hate. There have been men who have become so self-centered in a narrowness that they are pleased to designate as holding the truth, that the very principle for which they contend has been excluded from their life and service. All zeal for the Master that is not the outcome of love to Him is worthless…
For all those like myself who may relish picking up the scent of heresy, it’s time to ask the question, why? What I’m doing may be legitimate, but ‘why’ may be illegitimate. What if God was as hard on us as we have been on others? Remember James’ warning ‘ .…judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment’. ( James 2:13)
Let’s learn to weep before we whip!
Ravenhill was born in England in 1942. He graduated from Bethany Fellowship Bible College in Minneapolis where he met and married his wife Nancy. In their early years, David and Nancy served with David Wilkerson’s first Teen Challenge Center in New York City. Following that they worked with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) for six years which included two years in Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea. From 1973-1988 David was on the pastoral team of one of New Zealand’s largest churches, the New Life Center in Christchurch. David & Nancy returned to the States in 1988. The following year they joined the senior leadership team of Kansas City Fellowship under the leadership of Mike Bickle.
From 1993 David served as the senior pastor of a thriving church in Gig Harbor, Washington. He resigned in 1997 to commence a full time itinerant ministry throughout the United States and overseas. David also taught in the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry in Pensacola, Florida as well as maintaining a busy itinerant ministry. During and following their time in Pensacola David traveled with Evangelist Steve Hill and the Awake America Crusades.
David & Nancy have three grown daughters, two son in laws and seven grandchildren.
David has written five books published by Destiny Image.
The Ravenhills have recently relocated to Siloam Springs, Arkansas from where he continues his itinerant ministry.
Visit his blog here: http://davidravenhill.wordpress.com/
Visit his website here: http://www.davidravenhill.net/