Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason Petersen

sjvengxI have read tons of apologetic books. From age of the earth to atheism, KJV onlyism to Roman Catholicism and now from evidential to presuppositional apologetics, I have read materials that covers basically those topics. But nothing has helped me look at apologetics in a more dissected view to see how it really works. I have been bogged by a jungle of terms and jargons that I didn’t see apologetics in a more understandable way. After picking up the book, Apologetics Made Simple, it dawned to me that I can view and understand  apologetics  in 5 important components.  Recently Delighting Grace connected to Jason Petersen, author of Apologetics Made Simple, and we talked about Christian handling apologetics, the presuppositional approach and his book  Apologetics Made Simple.

Delighting Grace: What are the reasons why Christians distance themselves when we talk about apologetics?

Jason Petersen: By the Holy Spirit, we know that faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). I think those who distance themselves mean well, and that they believe that the defense of the Christian faith is incompatible with faith itself. If we look at situations in the Bible that involve the defense of the faith such as Acts 17 and what the Bible says concerning defending the faith in 1 Peter 3:15, we see that the Bible does call us to defend our faith, but we are to do so in faith. We ought to exhibit the character of Yeshua when we defend the faith.

Delighting Grace: How about lack of civility? Can it hinder apologetics? What do you do when you face this kind of situation?

Jason Petersen: We do not have the power to frustrate God’s will, but we are accountable for how we behave. When someone is rude to us, we should not reciprocate. If someone will not listen when we proclaim the truth to them, we are to walk away (Proverbs 14:7, Matthew 10:14).

 

Delighting Grace: When the word apologetics comes up, we quickly picture it as Christians talking to unbelievers. But how about in church settings when we have talk it to our brethren? Is there a difference in approach?

Jason Petersen: We ought to treat everyone with the same love and respect of Yeshua. With another believer, you both should already agree that the Bible is the foundation for thought. After all, there is no need to convince someone who already believes the Bible is the Word of God that the Bible is the Word of God. The only difference would be the starting point of the person we are talking to.

Delighting Grace: Any personal story that you can share with us that you have applied apologetics?

Jason Petersen: There are many, but an example of the most common type of stories I have involve dealing with unbelievers that seem to think that Science reigns supreme over all. I recently had a discussion with an atheist named Kyle Rutherford, who says he is a scientist (I can’t remember in what field), and I explained to him all of the philosophical problems that involve claiming that the empirical method can allow us to know which propositions are true and which are not. He did not offer any response to my arguments and instead attempted to ridicule me. I departed from him because the Bible teaches us to leave the presence of a fool (Proverbs 14:7).

Delighting Grace: As I have point out previously, your e-mail address reveals you’re a presuppositional apologist. So for the readers can you tell us what’s it all about and how it differs from evidential apologetics?

Jason Petersen: Although I am a presuppositional apologist, I do believe that evidential apologetics does have its place and I have seen it bear fruit. God can use any form of apologetic for his glory so I am not dogmatic concerning how we do apologetics. I will, however, say that I think it is important that we approach our apologetic with a systematic mindset. If we are going to defend the truth of the Bible, we better darn sure be able to show how we know that it is true. This is why I am a presuppositionalist, and in particular, a Clarkian presuppositionalist.

It is hard to define evidential apologetics because there are various approaches and degrees of approaches. Some evidential apologists believe that we can show that the Bible is true apart from using the Bible. While I do think we can point to many things outside of the Bible that are consistent with the truth of the Bible, I do reject the notion that the truth of the Bible can be demonstrated apart from special revelation. It is one thing to point to things that are consistent with the truth of the Bible, but it is another to demonstrate it.

As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I start with an axiom, “The Bible is the Word of God.” From there, I can, using the verses in the Bible, show that the Bible is true because it is inspired by God and God does not lie (2 Timothy 3:16, Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2). This may seem strange to some, and perhaps some may be so inclined to reject such a notion as circular reasoning. I would argue that because my axiom is not demonstrable, the line of reasoning is linear, not circular. As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I believe the only way to know that the Bible is true is if the Holy Spirit dwells within you (Romans 8:16). I also believe that the use of evidence is permissible, but what it can accomplish, as it would be with trying to prove any other position with evidence, is limited. This is a topic that I plan to hash out more in my upcoming book, ‘Clarkian Apologetics.’

Delighting Grace: How do you respond to people who say apologetics is impractical to help someone’s Christian walk?

Jason Petersen: Seeing how Yeshua, the Prophets, and the Apostles all defended the faith, I would probably sarcastically remark that none of them must have gotten the memo.

Delighting Grace: Your book, Apologetics Made Simple is absolutely great. Can you tell us about that book?

Jason Petersen: Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Ever since I started doing Apologetics, when I would dialogue with unbelievers, I could tell that something was not quite right with the discussion. It seemed like the arguments against the faith of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were all rooted in semantics and linguistic gymnastics. Over time, I was able to more precisely point out where the faults were. In 2017, I decided to publish a book that would point out five critical keys to dealing with the tricks that those who oppose the faith that was given to us by God in the days of old that would make any apologetic method unstoppable. The five keys are as follows: dogmatism, systemization, language (and propositional truth), accuracy, and faith. This book is short and only takes about an hour to an hour and a half to read. I wanted the keys shared to be easily digested even by laypeople. Both laypeople and seminary professors have said great things about this book.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us the process of writing that book?

Jason Petersen: I did an outline of the five keys that I wanted to share, and then I expounded on those keys in every chapter. The way I write is pretty simple. Some will make a thorough outline while others will just write and “let it flow.” I do a combination of both. I do a basic outline, I let it flow, and then I read over it and determine if any changes need to be made or if I need to add to or subtract from what I’ve written. That is the approach that I took with this book.

Delighting Grace: Will you be writing books like that soon? I mean its short enough to understand the subject of apologetics and won’t eat up your time.

Jason Petersen: Apologetics Made Simple, will likely be the shortest book on apologetics that I will ever write. The books on apologetics that I will write in the future will be significantly more detailed. I won’t rule out another book that is as short as this one, but it is unlikely that I will make another Apologetics book that is like Apologetics Made Simple.

Delighting Grace: So Jason please invite our readers to get a copy of your book Apologetics Made Simple and also check out other stuff from you.

Jason Petersen: I would encourage anyone who is interested in apologetics to buy my book, Apologetics Made Simple. I am also an entrepreneur that has been blessed with financial success by God. I wrote another book called, Building Wealth Made Simple, that gives an outline on my philosophy of personal finance and investing. My author website is jasonlpetersen.com.

 

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The Quotable Round-Up #86

tpn6bjc

Howdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The message of the gospel is the message of reconciliation. The alienated sinner can be reconciled to God. That’s what we pray for, it’s what we teach, and it’s why we live. Some even die for it. It is the unparalleled message of reconciliation with God through the work of Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation.”

“The only reason God has kept us in the world is for the work of evangelism. Yes, we’re saved to worship, but God tolerates our imperfect worship on this side of eternity for the sake of adding to His kingdom. We’re also saved to be sanctified, but God tolerates our inadequate, incomplete sanctification to keep us here to evangelize. He endures all our consistent errors and failures because He has work for us here that we cannot accomplish in heaven.”

“The notion that God is a loving and compassionate Savior contradicts the core doctrines of the world’s religions. If you study the history of religion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a savior god among them. When men and demons design gods, that’s simply not how they design them. Demonic religious systems don’t concoct deities anything like the God of the Bible. Instead, they generally range from indifferent to severely hostile.”

“We need to understand that reconciliation does not start with the sinner, or some cosmic cry that God responds to. We don’t have to ask God to accept the sinner—we don’t have to coax Him into it through pressure or praise. He is not reluctant to save. Reconciliation begins with God—it’s woven into His glorious nature.”

“We don’t sit in judgment of God’s judgment. The question is not, why did God send bears out of the woods to destroy a group of boys who yelled “bald head” at a prophet (2 Kings 2:23–24)? The question is not, why did the ground open up and swallow people whole for violating Old Testament law (Num. 16)? The question is not, why did God displace and destroy the idolatrous Canaanites? The question is not, why did God destroy the globe and preserve only Noah and his family? Those questions are easy to answer: the wages of sin—no matter how great or small the sin might seem to us—is always death (Rom. 6:23).”

“True reconciliation requires God’s forgiveness. The only way reconciliation can occur is if the offended party is willing to forgive and remove the barrier sin creates. The sinner cannot reconcile himself to God. Only the Lord can effect reconciliation by choosing not to count our trespasses against us.”

“We ought to cling to the vital doctrine of God’s sovereignty. But don’t ever let your view of sovereignty overwhelm or obscure the fact that sinners have a responsibility to respond to God—and we have a responsibility to beg them to do so. God accomplishes His reconciling work through—not in spite of—the obedience of faith from those He calls to be reconciled.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #85

tpn6bjcHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“Ultimately, the gospel is not for the proud, the arrogant, or those who believe they can get to God by themselves. God intentionally chose a foolish message to humble us and to guarantee that no one would boast in his or her own intelligence. He chose the cross to stifle any inclination in us to think we got to Him on our own. All the glory goes to God.”

“The world must hear the message of Jesus Christ, and we have the precious privilege of serving as His ambassadors and heralds. May we never be so content with our theology—never so satisfied with our salvation and sovereign grace—that we forget that our great God has not only saved us but has also called us to be the means by which He will save others.”

“Make no mistake: the rise of postmodern Christianity and the supposed wideness in God’s mercy isn’t a harmless, potentially helpful theological perspective. It’s a direct assault on the gospel work of the church and an affront to the integrity of countless believers who suffered and died throughout its history.”

“If you can’t even muster the temerity to speak the name of Christ in public, what confidence can you have that He is faithfully interceding on your behalf? If you’re ashamed of the gospel, it’s a strong indication that you have yet to believe it. True, saving faith must not be hidden away. It ought to be the most public thing about you.”

“True believers cannot lose their salvation, but they can forfeit their joy and usefulness. They can sow confusion, doubt and discouragement into their own lives. And they can cripple their spiritual growth by imbibing the lies of false teachers and charlatans. While God alone secures and protects our eternity with Him, He has called us to be on the lookout for one another (Acts 20:29–31).”

“When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, we’re not surprised to see manifestly that He is God. If God became man, we would expect His human life to be sinless. His was. If God, the holy true God, became man, we would expect Him to live in perfect righteousness. He did. If God became man, we would expect His words to be the greatest words ever spoken. They were. If God became man, we would expect Him to exert a profound, unequaled power over humanity. He did. If God became man, we would expect supernatural demonstrations. There were many. If God became man, we would expect Him to manifest the love of God. He did.”

“Jesus never sat down and said, “You know, we’ve got so much common ground; let’s find a connection and have a conversation about the truths we can mutually affirm.” He wasn’t interested in identifying common ground or accommodating ignorance. Only the truth—the full truth— could set an Israelite or anyone else free from the slavery of sin.”

Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John

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The millenial crowd is the in thing right now. If you know words like “lit”, “bae”, “tbh” or “jk” your the crowd I’m talking to. But beyond the slang , there is something that every generation will eventually face.  Whether you’re a millenial, Generation X or a Baby Boomer, like any other human being, it will come to a point that you’ll ask serious questions of your existence. “Who am I?”, “Why do I exist?”, and “What happens when I die?” are something to ponder out. And it do have a connection to the things we pursue. We connected to Theron St. John to find out what Millenials do when confronted with these “Why” questions on life.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one mistake most millennials do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: I am not sure I would say this is the one mistake, but a major mistake millennials make in their pursuit is they believe purpose is something they create. In other words, we live in a postmodern day and age where we are told there is no absolute truth. With no absolute truth, there is no ultimate purpose. Truth is relative, and purpose is left up to the individual to create. However, the reality is truth is absolute and it is found in God’s Word. It is in God’s Word we discover the ultimate purpose of life, glorifying God! To state it succinctly, then, millennials make a mistake when they believe they create their own purpose for life rather than understanding they can discover it and find it as it has been revealed by the Creator!

Delighting Grace: What do millennials think about when they hear the word “purpose”?

Theron St. John: When millennials hear the word “purpose”, the question, “Why do I exist?” comes to mind. One encouraging aspect I see from my fellow millennials is the desire to know “why”. They don’t want to go through life living out a meaningless existence. They know there is something bigger than themselves to live for. I think that is, in part, why millennials are viewed more as activists on issues than maybe other and older generations. That said, millennials miss the point on answering why they exist if they believe they are in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Humanity must look to the One who has created life to discover the purpose of life, because there is something more to life than what millennials are living.

Delighting Grace: Some Christians do pray to find purpose which is a great thing. But sometimes they just rely in praying more than pursuing something. So how much praying and pursuing must a Christian do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: This question reminds me of the oft-asked question, “What is God’s will for my life?” You are right to say praying for purpose and understanding of God’s will is a great thing. Most certainly, we should be praying regularly for God to give us wisdom in this. I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which reads, “pray without ceasing”. Following that verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. We see the revealed will of God is found in the Word of God. When it comes to particulars and specific issues in everyday life, we glean wisdom from God’s Word. Without giving a quantity of time, I’ll say this: In our pursuits, our prayer needs to be coupled with the study and application of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: As a single and a youth pastor, how should a millennial prepare to pursue marriage? How do you prepare yourself in marriage?

Theron St. John: Much could be said on preparing for and pursuing marriage, but if I may paint with broad strokes, I (and any Christian millennial) would be wise to pursue and prepare for marriage by developing and deepening a relationship with God and with His church. Of course, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ must be central and first. What this looks like in practical terms is depending on God in prayer to empower you by the Holy Spirit to make purity a priority in your life and to be wise in romantic relationships. As well, knowing God through His Word will show you where you need to grow in Christlike character and it will shape the qualities you ought to be looking for in a potential spouse (for more of this subject, please click here).

A second relationship a Christian millennial like myself should develop and deepen is with the local church. One of the worst things millennials can do when preparing and pursuing marriage is to neglect the wise counsel of brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians do not live autonomous lives but accountable lives. The place for such accountability is the local church. I know from experience the blessing of wise counsel given to me from faithful friends in the local church. I was delivered from some heartache and poor choices because I heard and heeded the wise counsel of those in my local church.

Delighting Grace: There had been floods of books in the 2000 and until now that attaches the word “purpose”. So how do “Something More” stand out among these “purpose” books.

Theron St. John: Something More stands out because of the book’s aim and audience. The aim of the book is to provide a basic framework for understanding our pursuit, identifying the problems, and pointing to the solution. The book is meant to serve as an evangelistic tool, equipping Christian millennials to take their non-Christian friends through the material. Because the book’s ideal audience involves reaching non-Christians, the book does not explicitly address the matter from a biblical worldview until the end of chapter 3 into chapter 4. In the typical Christian book on this topic, the worldview is stated upfront. My reasoning for the distinct structure is due to my target audience. I wanted to lay down some common denominators in our pursuit before showing how the Word of God exposes our problem and offers the solution. I believe the brevity of the book makes it useful as an evangelistic tool. (You can check selected quotes from the book by clicking here.)

Delighting Grace: I read Something More which is short and a great read. Can you tell us the process of producing that book?

Theron St. John: Since Something More is a self-published book the process was a little more flexible than it may have been otherwise. The idea for the book really started 2 ½ years prior. As I interact with those in my generation, I saw a need to produce a concise resource that would share the gospel in an engaging way. For about a year, I took down notes here and there when ideas on the book would come to mind. From there, the challenge was to write the books in a concise manner. Once I did complete that phase, I had friends who serve in student and campus ministry read the book and offer suggestions. After taking their suggestions, I had a couple of other people give feedback, and they edited the book’s grammar and structure. Case in point, the process of producing a book takes commitment and, if it is be done well, is a community project.

Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity Theron. Please do invite our readers to get a copy of “Something More”. Also invite them to check your blog and social media accounts. 

 Theron St. John: You’re welcome. I am grateful for the opportunity to share and for your graciousness in interviewing me. Below is how you can find more of my writings and connect with ‘Entrusted By God’:

Link to Something More book

Link to Blog: http://www.entrustedbygod.org

Link to FB: www.facebook.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Twitter: www.twitter.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Instagram: www.instragram.com/entrustedbygod

Delighting Grace: Any parting advice to a millennial who is down and can’t find purpose in his or her life?

Theron St. John: My counsel to them would be to examine where they have sought purpose in the past. From there, I would encourage them to recognize the symptoms of their problem but also look for the diagnosis of the problem. Only when the symptoms (fruit problem) lead us to a diagnosis (root problem) can we offer the proper solution. These three elements are covered in chapters 2–5 of Something More. First and foremost, they are revealed in God’s Word. So, if I had to condense the answer in a tweet-size sentence, I would say: If you are down and can’t find purpose, don’t look within yourself but look in God’s Word and look up at the cross of Jesus Christ.

(Theron St. John and the author of this blog also contributes articles on Top Christian Books (TCB Media). Check them out and all other stuff at www.topchristianbooks.online)

 

The Quotable Round-Up #83

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the late Jerry Bridges book titled “Who Am I?” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took our place on God’s death row and actually died in our place to satisfy the justice of God so that God might fully pardon us without violating his justice.”
— Jerry Bridges

“On our good days we think God must surely be pleased with us and is smiling at us. We forget, as we saw earlier, that all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). On our bad days we tend to think we have lost the favor of God because of our sin. We forget that he no longer counts our sin against us because Jesus has already born that sin in his body on the cross.”

“(This) faith is like the two sides of a coin. On one side is “renunciation.” On the other side is “reliance.” In order to trust in Christ we must first of all renounce any trust in our own perceived righteousness. Then we must rely completely on the finished work of Christ in both his life and death. That’s how we are justified.”

“In the plan and purpose of God the Father, he caused Jesus to become sin for us—again, with Jesus’ cooperation, despite the unimaginable anguish and torment involved. God took all of our collective sin down through the ages, all of it, and laid it upon Christ. Every sin that we commit in thought, word, deed, and motive was heaped upon him. He was made to be sin.”

“By his perfectly obedient life over thirty-three years, Christ earned the blessings of God. By his death on the cross he experienced the curse for disobedience. As our representative, all that he did in both his life and death accrues to our benefit.”

“Everything good in me or around me, whether spiritual or material, is a gift from God. More importantly, as one who has trusted in Christ as my Savior, I know that he has taken on himself the accountability for all my sins and has fully paid the penalty for my every act of disobedience.”

“When we begin to answer the question, “Who am I?”, we need to start with the most basic truth about us: we are created beings. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). While being made in God’s image puts us on an entirely different plane from any of the animals, we are still creatures. This makes us both dependent upon God and accountable to God.”

The Quotable Round-Up #82

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from Theron St. John’s book titled “Something More” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at Lulu.com.

“Inquiring about identity is an essential element in finding one’s purpose.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“Understanding the purpose, or aim of life, will enable one to endure the ups and downs of life.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“When someone can identify who they are at the core of their being, when they realize their purpose for life, and when this search for purpose couples with the pursuit of joy, the hoped-for result is to find satisfaction.”– Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“Maybe the reason our relationships, possessions, and achievements fail to provide us with purpose and fulfill us with satisfaction is not because we are searching for what cannot be found. Maybe the issue is not in the objects in and of themselves. Maybe the vanity of our search stems from our ruling desires and expectations. In other words, the problem is not that we are looking for happiness. The problem is that we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. We settle for lesser things.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“We can only unearth the root problem in our pursuit when we discover how far we’ve drifted from the grand and glorious purpose for our lives.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

The Quotable Round-Up #81

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from R. C. Sproul’s book titled “The Truth of the Cross” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a holy God Who’s wrathful. But there is no wrath for those whose sins have been paid. That is what salvation is all about.”
— R. C. Sproul

“The Greek word crisis means “judgment.” And the crisis of which Jesus preached was the crisis of an impending judgment of the world, at which point God is going to pour out His wrath
against the unredeemed, the ungodly, and the impenitent. The only hope of escape from that outpouring of wrath is to be covered by the atonement of Christ.”
— R. C. Sproul

“The idea of being the Substitute in offering an atonement to satisfy the demands of God’s law for others was something Christ understood as His mission from the moment He entered this world and took upon Himself a human nature. He came from heaven as the gift of the Father for the express purpose of working out redemption as our Substitute, doing for us what we could not possibly do for ourselves.”
— R. C. Sproul

“Christ came and paid the ransom in order to secure the release of His people, who were held captive to sin. Christ gave this ransom voluntarily, that He might redeem us from our bondage and bring us to Himself as His beloved bride.”
— R. C. Sproul

“When the Bible speaks of ransom, it speaks of that ransom being paid not to a criminal but to the One Who is owed the price for redemption, the One Who is the offended party in the whole complex of sin—the Father. Jesus didn’t negotiate with Satan for our salvation. Instead, He offered Himself in payment to the Father for us. By so offering Himself, He made redemption for His people, redeeming them from captivity.”
— R. C. Sproul

“It is important that we understand that God manifests no enmity toward us. He has never broken a promise. He has never violated a covenant. He has never sworn a vow to us that He failed to pay. He has never treated a human being in this world unjustly. He has never violated us as creatures. In short, He has kept His side of the relationship perfectly. But we have violated Him. We are the ones who violate the creature-Creator relationship. By our sin, we show ourselves to be God’s enemies. Therefore, with respect to enmity, He is the injured party, the violated One.”
— R. C. Sproul

“What do we mean when we speak of God’s justice? In the ancient Jewish mind, justice was never abstract. That’s why, in the Old Testament, justice inevitably was linked with the concept of righteousness. Righteousness means doing what is right. Therefore, God’s justice has to do with His internal righteousness, His character, which defines everything He does. God never acts according to injustice. He never violates any of the standards or canons of righteousness. A simple definition of God’s justice is “His eternal, immutable commitment always to do what is right.”
— R. C. Sproul

The Quotable Round-Up #76

tpn6bjcHowdy  to all! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring a mix bag of quotes from Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”, Tony Reinke’s “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You”, and Al Mohler’s “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love. To possess him entails possessing love. We therefore obey as loving creatures with hearts changed by the Spirit of Christ. In light of this, one fundamental point needs to be clearly made: God accepts and rewards our works not because of any intrinsic merit in ourselves, but because our good works are performed by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, for God to reject our good Spirit-wrought deeds, he would not only be rejecting us, but also himself.” — Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”

“We find no stingy God in the Scriptures who keeps the heavens shut and refuses to bless his people. No, if he will ‘tear open’ the heavens and send his Son to die for our sins, ‘how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:32).” — Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”

“If we understand that our Father knows our needs before we ask him, we won’t feel compelled to try to impress God with our prayers and elicit a certain response through some sort of feigned earnestness. Instead, by faith we will see a sovereign God who is ready and able to answer our prayers, and who directs all things for our good and his glory.” –Al Mohler “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” 

“Prayer is not persuasion. Prayer is about God’s will being done—not our own. We must come to God and learn to pray “your will be done” just as Jesus did. If God’s will is truly perfect, then why would we want to persuade him to do something that is less than perfect? It is true that Scripture encourages us to bring our deepest concerns, anxieties, and needs before God—the Bible, in fact, is full of illustrations portraying as much—but we must not bring our needs to God thinking that we do so to break down a wall of hostility or complacency. We must bring our needs before God humbly, willing to submit to his perfect plan.”–Al Mohler “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” 

“Prayer is never an isolated event. When we pray, we convey our entire theological system. Our theology is never so clearly displayed before our own eyes and before the world as in our prayers. Praying forces us to articulate our doctrines, convictions, and theological assumptions.” –Al Mohler “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” 

Technology even in the most evil hands of man is not outside God’s ruling hands.” –Tony Reinke “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You”

“The presence of the Holy Spirit in us, as he enables us to do good works, plays an important role in whether God accepts and rewards the good works of believers. The Spirit enables us to do good works in accordance with the commandments of God. We do not simply obey “externally” but also “internally” due to a changed heart. Thus, the root of love must be present in all of our good works. otherwise, they fail to be good.” — Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”

 

 

Book Review: Graciousness by John Crotts

crotts_john-_graciousness_cover__52015-1515524014-315-315Truth be told, Christians has a bad reputation when speaking in truth. We have a tendency to run over everyone whether believers or unbelievers, that crosses our firmly held beliefs. The results are so ugly to look at.

John Crotts latest book takes you upfront that speaking for the truth requires more than zeal but love. “Graciousness” unravels the importance of doing so that is pleasing to everyone and to God. It’s a short book but lots of important aspects of being gracious are discussed. In a 100+ pages of “Graciousness”, the author balances the book for having the first half as setting up the case and the second as cultivating grace in the life of a Christian. For readers it important to have that balance because we want the takeaway part (and that’s why in the first place you pick up this book.)

I have been following Jeff Durbin’s video and I’m really floored on how he is gracious in talking to with unbelievers. Most of us may have spoke to JW or a Mormon and it might be more of an episode WWE than having a friendly conversation. For us being friendly or gracious is a sign of compromise. “Graciousness” begs to differ as it draws examples on how Jesus and the Apostle Paul’s encounters with people and encourage us to do the same.

“Graciousness” is an essential read for people who have been engaging in theological debate to friends who have conflicting views of the Scripture over a cup of coffee. It should be in every apologetics reading list and be read after a long apologetics book.  You’ll find refuge here. It’s a much needed stop over before we engage in a theological conversation. An over flowing graciousness is what every believer as you tell the truth that is edifying to everyone and glorifying to God.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

Check my book review of this book on Amazon: https://goo.gl/6Azejk

Check my book review of this book on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/LZWgm9

The Quotable Round-Up #57

paper_zpshrjhwlqwHere are some of the quotes from the book “We Destroy Arguments” by Stephen Feinstein. If you enjoy these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“Christians are not out there to prove that a god exists, but instead that the biblical God exists. We are to prove that this biblical God has made Himself clearly known to all people at all times with clear distinct revelation that has left people without excuse. You cannot accomplish this by using piecemeal arguments that only demonstrate one sliver of the Christian worldview at a time. Instead, the Christian worldview as a whole is what is to be presented. Yet, it is even more than this. Christianity must be presented not only as an entire system, but as the only system of truth that is even possible.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“When 1 John 4:8 declares that God is love, we need to ask, “Love of what?” If the answer is love of the world, then the divine attribute of love depends on the existence of the world, once again removing the independence of God and the creator-creature distinction. Furthermore, an attribute by definition is something that God must possess to in fact be God. If love could not exist until the creation existed, then God also could not have existed as God until He first created the creation! The position becomes logically self-defeating. Yet, if God is one, and yet three persons, then God can share love in an absolute sense being an absolute person and still be absolutely independent of creation. John 17:24 clearly teaches that the Father and Son loved each other in eternity past, thereby demonstrating from Scripture that God’s attribute of love is independent of the creation. Thus, the Trinity actually is necessary in order to keep every single one of God’s communicable attributes intact.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Under the Christian, metaphysical worldview God is only one God and is a perfect unity, but is also a unity of a plurality (three persons). Since God is a unity of plurality, it is not difficult to see creation in a similar light. We are all made from the dust of the ground making us one with creation (unity), but we are different ontologically from plants, animals, rocks, and other humans (plurality). There is no absolute unity devoid of plurality, and there is no absolute plurality devoid of unity. Only the Christian worldview accounts for this, and even though many secular philosophers and pagan religions reject a universe of both one and many, nearly all people live their day-to-day lives as though it were true.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Dependence on God leads to consistent and true knowledge and a consistent view of reality that makes learning and discovery possible. Independence from God leads to millions of inconsistencies on various views of reality, and it renders the idea of true knowledge and standards as impossible.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Atheism can be theoretical or practical, or both. The theoretical atheist outright denies the existence of God, whereas the practical atheist just lives as though there is no God. Based on the definition of practical atheism, agnostics truly are atheists just in disguise. After all, if they truly did not know whether or not God existed, would they not show up to church every other week and try to live in obedience to Scripture half of the time in order to shore up their bets? Yet, just about every agnostic most of us have ever met never goes to church and live their lives as though no God exists. Their words do not comport with their actions but instead are a mere attempt to take some misconstrued highroad of humility.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Ultimately, the combination of atheism and idolatry is the unbeliever’s way of suppressing the truth of God that is within them, and yet being able to navigate through the world with set standards. When the Christian apologist begins to critique unbelieving thought, unbelievers will move thoughtlessly back and forth between these two positions making it difficult to pin them down. For example, when you press their relativism to its conclusion, they will then appeal to reason (their idol) to support the items that they feel are absolutely true. When you then push them with reason into a self-defeating position, they will effortlessly move right back into their atheistic relativism. It will take patience and skill to reveal this to them, and ultimately it will take the work of the Holy Spirit.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“If a Christian presuppositionalist pushed epistemology with such atheists, he could easily reveal to the atheist the impossibility of objective truth in an atheistic worldview. Thus consistent atheism requires the extreme of relativism, which itself is self-defeating. After all, would not a declaration that there is no absolute truth be in of itself an absolute truth? Furthermore, the atheist who holds to relativism is never consistent with it. After all, he acts as though reason and logic are trustworthy (absolute) and would seek justice if robbed (a moral absolute). Thus, the unbeliever committed to atheism in either its theoretical or practical form is left in a state of absolute certainty (rationalism) and absolute uncertainty (irrationalism) simultaneously and cannot account for it.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”