Defending the Christian Faith With Holiness respect and truth- (Kregel 2015)
Available June 27th, 2015
Abundant life is available to all, and we must be equipped to show why following Jesus leads to life. If you desire to help others experience life as it was intended, apologetics is a tool to help you.
I was not drawn to apologetics by apologetics. That is, it was not the arguments and facts themselves that attracted me. I was drawn to the field because of the destructive lies permeating society. It makes me mad to see folly be sold as wisdom. And it hurts to watch men and women find death instead of life. I am not one to sit on the sidelines and watch lies take advantage of people. So I sought out a way to help, and I found apologetics.
I wrote Relational Apologetics to help you know how to defend the Christian faith and lead others to Christ. It will help you integrate apologetics into your daily life and show others the goodness of God. It is good to have answers but it is another thing to know how to talk to people. That is what this book seeks to help you with. In Relational Apologetics you will find more than answers. You will learn how to winsomely persuade people through respectful conversations to follow Christ and find the good life they are seeking.
So, Relational Apologetics is about your life becoming a defense of the Christian faith. Every relationship you have is an opportunity for you to connect people to their creator by displaying your hope, both in word and deed. Apologetics, defending your faith, is not just about answering questions and “proving” that God exists. It is about showing that He is real by the way you live. It is about demonstrating the power of God through your holiness. And it is about drawing people to Jesus through your kindness.
It is a joy to pastor.
Pastoring is not about growing a church or a franchise. It is about living in a community with other believers serving them according to the gifting God has given you. To be a pastor means to be near the people God has placed you with. You cannot only pastor from the stage.
This nearness means pastoring will be messy. The sins of others weigh heavy on your own soul. But there is little that can compare to the joy of seeing people fight the fight of faith and seek to follow Jesus at all costs. It is a blessing to share in the lives of others.
My desire for Crosspoint is that we become a force for good in our town and beyond. We are not saved to become monks. We are to be God's instruments in the restoration of this world. This means that we are to be in the business of renewing society whenever we have the chance. Simply, we need to be a people that take care of others. True religion is taking care of those in need (James 1:27). Now, this social mindedness does not come at the expense of the gospel. We must also be a people that fearlessly proclaim the good news that all can be saved by having their sins forgiven through faith because of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross.
As the church seeks to spread the gospel and do good works in their communities, life will spread. This is my desire. I trust that the Lord will use me and those at Crosspoint to cultivate life in our town and beyond.
Ratio Christi College Prep
Between 50-90% of teenagers leave the church within their second year of College. 88% of unmarried young adults (ages 18-29) are having sex. Less than 1/2 of 1% have a biblical worldview. The statistics go on and on. The situation is worse than we thought. We must do something about it.
Whatever you think about the value of statistics, you probably know a teenager that is a representative of one or all of the above stats. You didn't need the numbers, you have the face of one of those youth in your mind. So what is to be done? We understand the problem. What is the solution? How can we help teenagers survive the cultural attack on their faith?
The short answer is that teenagers need a community of adults that display a holy lifestyle, create a safe place that allow questions to be asked, and provide them with answers to their questions about God and Christianity. That is what we building at Ratio Christi.
We are in the initial stages of building a grassroots movement to equip adults to disciple teenagers and train them in worldview, evangelism, and apologetics. We are training adults in culture awareness, biblical discipleship, effective evangelism, and gospel centered apologetics so they can lead local youth apologetic clubs.
If you would like to learn more about what we are doing and how you can become a part of the solution, contact us today to find out how you can be involved. The Lord has quickened the hearts of many in the church to reach this generation, and he is using RCCP to equip them. Please come along side us. We will not be able to do this without you.
New Testament Research
Einstein once said that his only exceptional quality was his curiosity. I'm glad to take that quality upon myself. I need to have answers. I've spent nearly two years studying the historical reliability of the New Testament under the guidance of renowned New Testament scholar Jan Van Der Watt. I am particularly interested in the nature of history and its implications on theology.
What is history? How certain can we be that an event happened or that a statement was made in the past? We don't have direct access to history. Our access is through artifacts and sources. Artifacts can tell us a bit about a time before us but require our interpretation, the assigning of meaning to things like the discoveries of pottery and architecture. Written sources give us more detail and insight but come colored by the unique experiences of the one recording what they thought important. So can sources be trusted? We've all heard that history is written by the "winners." Is that true, and if so can we trust the history of the "winners"? Does personal bias necessarily equate to a mis-reperestentaion of the "facts"? Were, for example, the New Testament writers driven by an ideology that distorted their reporting of history? These questions and more drive my work.
The answers to these questions about history have obvious implications on theology. Christianity is a historical religion. The center of our faith is a historical event: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And as the apostle Paul said, if there is no resurrection of the dead then our faith is in vain. If Jesus did not come back to life physically in history, our theology and faith are worthless. Those outside Christian ranks see the truthfulness of Paul's words and have accordingly focused their attack on the historical credibility of the New Testament. They ask some good questions that require a honest answer.
But many before me have done the work I am doing now. And there is good reason to trust in the historicity of Christian claims. That is to say, we are right for believing that what we think happened did happen.
So if my questions are your questions, or if my questions have stirred up questions, you are welcome here. Ask as many questions as you like. You will find answers.