Polycarp – How a church father with a funny name gives us strong evidence for the early use and high esteem of the New Testament documents

How do we know the books that we have in the New Testament are the right books? Why isn’t the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Mary included with the other four gospels? And didn’t the teachings of the disciples and apostles get corrupted over the centuries? Christians often get tested with these questions. While I hate to admit it, this is also the quiz that most believers flunk. We need to be better prepared and that requires a little understanding of early church history. So let me introduce you to a guy who went by the funny name of Polycarp. His life and martyrdom are a big part of the answer to these … Read more

7 powerful passages from The Book of Acts that show that the Apostle Paul used evidence and reason to turn the world upside down for Jesus.

Well-meaning Christians argue that using evidence and reason doesn’t bring people to faith. We’re just supposed to preach the gospel and let the Holy Spirit do his job. Paul is the model missionary, and he said that preaching Christ with eloquent speech would empty the cross of its power. (1 Corinthians 1:17) On the surface, arguments like this sound right. People do need the aid of the Holy Spirit to come to Christ. Plus, faith does come by hearing the word of Christ. (John 16:7-9, Romans 10:17) But if we look closer at Paul’s teaching and life, we will see that Paul absolutely relied on logic, reason, argumentation, and evidence to defend the truth of … Read more

Bart Ehrman says that God has a problem. If we have free will in Heaven, what’s to stop us from sinning in the afterlife? And if God takes away free will in Heaven, then why doesn’t he take it away so we stop doing evil now?

The problem of evil comes up a lot when talking to non-believers. If you haven’t got the question about why an all-good, all-powerful God allows evil, you need to step out more. Why are there suicide bombers, school shooters and people that eat Tide Pods? Why does God allow such pointless evils? The standard Christian rejoinder is that God gave man free will. He doesn’t want Stepford Wives, he wants people who can make free choices. Free will makes love possible, but it also makes evil possible as well. Now that’s not a bad response to the problem of moral evil. There’s a problem, though. Christians are also committed to the idea that the saints … Read more

Skeptics say “we don’t know who wrote the gospels, but it wasn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John”. They’re using a double standard. Here are 6 ancient sources that show that we know who are the genuine authors of the Four Gospels.

Double standards are the worst. Have you ever been on the wrong side of a double standard? Of course you have. To use an example, let’s say I have someone drop by my house unexpectedly. I have four kids so things are bound to get messy. Let’s pretend that there’s an empty pizza box sitting on the counter, crumbs on the floor, toys are strewn about the living room and a pile of dishes in the sink. While this feels awkward for me, my wife is going to feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious about it.  Why? Because she is far more likely going to get unfairly judged over it. Even in this day where sexism … Read more

Killing the Canaanites: Why can’t atheists like Richard Dawkins tell the difference between genocide and justified capital punishment?

Critics of Christianity (and Judaism) have said that the God of the Old Testament is worse than Hitler, Stalin and Mao Zedong put together. Richard Dawkins has famously wrote in his book The God Delusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” Dawkins must have had his thesaurus handy when he wrote that, but I digress. It’s not as if Dawkins and other critics have no basis for these claims. Deuteronomy 20:16-17 reads “… in the cities of these … Read more

WWJD: How did Jesus deal with skeptics?

We can gain knowledge about the subject of Christian apologetics until our eyes bug out of our heads. But knowing how to apply that information in our everyday lives is another animal. And a big part of learning effective communication is knowing our audience. I’m old enough to remember those cheezy WWJD bracelets from the ’90s. I’m sure they decorated the wrist of many a Newsboys concert-goer. They do raise a good question that we’ll apply here. What did Jesus do when faced with doubters? Let’s look at a couple of examples: The open-minded doubter – John the Baptist Yes, even a spiritual stalwart like John the Baptist went through a period of doubt in … Read more

Here are 3 intelligent former atheists who became Christians because of the Moral Argument. Every Christian that is serious about sharing their faith should begin to master this argument today.

There’s a dizzying array of arguments for the existence of God. For a newbie looking to get into apologetics, it can be intimidating trying to figure out where to start. You have the cosmological argument, but it helps if you know something about cosmology, physics and even math. There’s the argument from the origin of life, but now you’re talking about chemistry, DNA, information theory and it can feel overwhelming. There’s the ontological argument, but that requires understanding modal logic and let’s be real here, has anyone in the history of the universe come to faith because of the ontological argument? Sorry, St. Anselm. If you’re looking either for ammo to argue against naturalistic atheism … Read more

How Bart Ehrman turns differences into contradictions: Did the women at the tomb of Jesus see a man at the tomb, two men, or two angels? It doesn’t depend on which Gospel you read, but how you read the Gospels.

Here is a favorite ploy of skeptics and critics of the four gospels: Find two stories that use different words, give different details, name different people and emphasize different things. Throw a flag and cry ‘contradiction!’ But differences in the account aren’t necessarily contradictions. Bart Ehrman has made a career of claiming otherwise. Here is a snippet of Bart in his debate on the resurrection with William Lane Craig: Read one story in Matthew, then the same story in Mark, and compare your two stories and see what you come up with. You come up with major differences . . . Did they see a man, did they see two men, or did they see … Read more

The story of the conversion of Paul is so nice Luke told it thrice. But is there any evidential value in Paul’s testimony as we read in Acts, or are there contradictions?

There are three accounts of Paul’s conversion to Christianity found in the Book of Acts. They’re all a little bit different, and because of that, some critics have cried foul. I don’t think these skeptics are paying very close attention. What are the differences that critics point to? Biblical scholar Darrell Bock tells us in The Holman Apologetics Commentary on the Bible: The biggest differences in the accounts have to do with whether the men traveling with Saul see the light and hear nothing (22:9) or stand speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one (9:7). . . . Another difference is that Ananias does not appear at all in the Acts 26 account. . . . … Read more

Unless you’re 100% certain that the unborn are not human, there’s no possible justification for abortion

When does human life begin? Pro-life advocates argue that life begins at conception. They’ll tell you this stance isn’t merely theological or philosophical – it’s just good science. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at some quotes found in actual embryology textbooks: “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm…unites with a female gamete or oocyte…to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” – Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, … Read more