Answers to Atheists’ Attacks on Jesus

2016-12-22-answers-to-atheistsThis first video in a new, long apologetics series I will be covering is from Christian preacher/apologist Charlie Campbell, entitled “Answers to Atheists’ Attacks on Jesus.”

What I find interesting about this particular sermon/presentation is that Charlie covers a number of things not normally brought up in discussions like this — I was expecting the topics to be things like “If God is real, why does evil exist?!” and “If Genesis was true, how did Noah get all those animals on the Ark?!” These questions, I feel, require a lengthy discussion, so that people can understand the question fully and the context of Biblical events.

Instead, Charlie does a great job of covering simple and easily verifiable things, such as “Did Jesus even exist?” and “How do we know when the Gospels were written?” and “How do you explain scientific contradictions regarding Jesus?” He uses just a few minutes of discussion and data points for each — enough to show that these questions can indeed be answered accurately and succinctly — perfect for atheists who often have extremely short attention spans.

The film also reminds me of one of Chuck Missler’s videos, in which he uses a standard shot of himself and then uses slideshows and nice visuals to aid with whatever topic he is talking about. He’s also animated and shows a positive, upbeat attitude toward the Bible (and not defensive, frustrated or angry).

I would recommend checking out this video from AlwaysBeReady.com, and for the best value, pick up Always Be Ready’s USB Video Library, which has 30+ videos on it for $99.

Ben-Hur

2016-12-21-ben-hurBen-Hur is the latest Biblical video production from the makers of “The Bible” and “A.D. The Bible Continues” … and is certainly one of the most talked about films of the year: Mainly because of its massive $100 million budget and severe under-performance at the box office, making it known as a “flop.”

I went into this film not having watched the Charlton Heston version (which critics pretty much agree is the best incarnation of the Ben-Hur story) but liking what I saw previously in A.D. The Bible Continues.

The story is that of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince and his adopted Roman brother, as they grow up, become¬†jealous of each other, tear their family apart with violence and then come back together in peace. This fictional story all takes place during the time of Jesus, which is why many consider it a “Christian” film.

The biggest problem with the movie that I saw, however, was that the main characters didn’t feel Christian at all. The main character (Judah Ben-Hur) never once prays, and never once even recognizes/acknowledges that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And for all of his bizarre, jealous and military antics, his Roman brother also shows no remorse or faith changing moment, where he asks for God’s forgiveness and accepts Jesus into his heart. These main people and the entire story around them … all feel loosely thrown together with a sprinkling of Bible references on top.

The African trader plot (who befriends Judah and jumps through all sorts of hoops to help Judah … when all Judah did was heal his horse and slow them down once) also feels very poorly written.

I would just avoid Ben-Hur, unless you see it on TV or for cheap at RedBox (where I rented it) because it’s simply not a good or rewarding film, neither from a Christian perspective or a good-movie viewpoint.

Coming In 2017…

2016-12-16-derekprinceselfstudybiblecourseWith the end of 2016 almost here, I want to wish everyone who has stopped by a very Merry Christmas and remind them that at this time of year, it is our Lord Jesus Christ — who died on the cross for our sins — who needs to be remembered and thanked.

I also wanted to speak a bit about my studies over the past year, and what can be expected in 2017. Regarding my studies over the past 10 months or so, I would just like to say how awesome it feels to have completed the Bronze Medallion course from the Koinonia House. Those first four classes had a lot of content in them, and I learned a lot (even though I know I just skimmed the surface, especially across Old and New Testament studies).

Starting in 2017, however, I will be shifting my studying to trying something new — self study via a book-based Bible Course. Now, this isn’t one where I send answers off by mail or anything like that — no, this one is where I simply pay $20 for the book, and then spend a few months working my way through it. The book (which I just bought today, but had been eyeing for months now) has 20 lessons in it, and my goal is to do one lesson per week, starting January 1st.

I want to try a variety of learning approaches, and also want to see what kind of value can be had from a very inexpensive book like this. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and New Year, and I look forward to sharing my progress regarding the Derek Prince Self-Study Bible Course!

Koinonia House: Bronze Medal

2016-12-12-bronzemedalWell, it’s been awhile since I last did an update regarding my studies at Koinonia House, and I thought I’d report that I have now officially completed all of the requirements for the Bronze Medallion!

This particular medal’s requirements stated that four classes had to be completed and in late October I finished up the last one (Intro to Prophecy) … and then after that, my Bronze Medallion arrived in the mail, along with a very nice letter detailing the accomplishment I had just made in my studies.

The medallion is much larger than I expected, and is presented in an awesome wooden plaque (about the size of a normal sheet of paper), with a recessed area made specifically for the medal to sit in, so it can be put on display.

While I know that this is just a material thing, and works will not undo any sinful things you’ve done (only asking Jesus for forgiveness and repenting will), I am very proud of it. Next year, when my house is more in order (hopefully) and I have a dedicated area for things like this, I hope to put it up on display (just for myself). This medallion is something I was working towards in my studies as a student at Koinonia House and I am thrilled to have finally earned it!

The Atheist Delusion by Ray Comfort

2016-12-01-atheistdelusionThe Atheist Delusion by Ray Comfort is the latest video from Living Waters, and available to buy (for $4.99 if you’d like to support the business) or watch free online (via YouTube). Like his Way of the Master videos, this features Ray Comfort’s signature discussions with non-believers, and is meant to show a variety of ways to approach different kinds of atheists.

This longer-form video (which is about an hour in length) aims to be an overall primer for how to discuss key questions from atheists, albeit in summarized format. The visuals and information presented is well done, and the production values feel very polished (enough for you to potentially show this to others without them being instantly turned off — it looks and sounds worth watching).

The thing I enjoyed most about this film was that it showed a number of atheists who came from all walks of life — an old man, young college students, a young white and black girl, mid-thirties men, an obvious career woman, etc. What’s absolutely shocking to learn is that for how dead-set these atheists are, it’s very sad to hear and see how little they even know about the Word of God.

I think the most touching segment was from the late-twenties guy who obviously was hit hard by the information Ray presented. You could see in his mind all sorts of doors being opened and chains being broken. I mean, you could literally see the change in him, on screen. It was pretty amazing. The same was true for an older man, near a beach, who definitely had been through very hard things in his life. The fact that he was there that day so that could Ray talk to him was no coincidence. The same is true for the mid-thirties career woman — you could see in her eyes and hear her words start to accept the reality of the One True God.

This film shows that the atheists who haven’t went too far down the rabbit hole can be reached in a reasonable fashion … and that is something we can all be thankful for. I really do appreciate Ray Comfort’s message and approach to spreading the word, and I genuinely do think this film is worth watching — and if possible — donating to Living Waters for.