10 Ways the Bible Uses Apologetics

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Apologetics

Apologetics is how we logically and philosophically justify our beliefs in the Bible and Jesus. These arguments draw from a wide range of fields and use a variety of persuasive techniques.

Does the Bible itself provide a universal, context-free, step-by-step apologetic system we can apply to any and every apologetic situation? No. But it does offer tools and principles we can apply to our current cultural location, enabling us to think biblically about apologetics.

In their online course, Apologetics at the Cross, Joshua D. Chatraw and Mark D. Allen explore how the Bible creates persuasive arguments, showcasing methods, strategies, and principles that can shape our own arguments and reasoning today.

The following post is adapted from their course.

1. The cross is the best argument for Christianity

If ever there has been a proof-text against apologetics, it…

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What Is Presuppositional Apologetics?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Apologetics

Presuppositional apologetics is one of the four main approaches to apologetics, along with classical, evidential, and experiential or narratival apologetics. Each of these approaches places a different emphasis on the roles of reason and special revelation (such as Scripture or miracles) in apologetics.

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Presuppositionalists are not very optimistic, if not altogether negative, about what reason apart from special revelation can achieve. Presuppositionalism asserts that reasoning does not take place in a vacuum; rather,…

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9 Ways Suicide Affects Others

Jeremy Bouma on 4 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Even in Our DarknessMemoir is, by nature, truth-telling. In his new moving memoir Even in Our Darkness, Jack Deer tells the truth about one of the most painful themes repeated throughout his life: suicide.

On January 21, 1961, Dad woke to an empty house, poured whiskey in his coffee, swallowed some barbiturates, and scribbled an angry note.

Sometime before noon, he walked over to the record player in front of the two windows in our living room. He put on Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date,” setting the turntable to repeat. Then he sat down on the red sofa with gold embroidery and picked up his childhood rifle. He shoved one .22-caliber shell into the chamber, pressed the muzzle between his eyes, and left a thirty-four-year-old widow with a tenth-grade education…

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12 Ways Evangelism Is Changing

Jeremy Bouma on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

You’ve heard it said the twenty-first century is markedly different from the twentieth. It’s not only because we have terrorism scares, self-driving cars, and Facebook. Church attendance is decreasing, religious Nones are increasing, and the way people view and interact with truth has changed.

Yet many Christians and churches are evangelizing as if we are still living in the twentieth century—and failing to make the unbelievable news about Jesus more believable.

Evangelism in a Skeptical WorldAlthough the essence of evangelism is the gospel—the message that Jesus Christ is Lord—the task of evangelism is our human effort of proclaiming this message. This task used to primarily mean quoting Scripture, or explaining the believability of the Christian faith through clever arguments.

Not anymore.

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10 Reasons Why People Reject the Gospel

Jeremy Bouma on 5 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Evangelism in a Skeptical World

Evangelism in a Skeptical WorldIf the gospel is the “good news about Jesus,” then why do so many people reject it? If Christians bear this “good news,” how can they better share it using methods that are effective in today’s post-Christian world?

Evangelism in a Skeptical World offers actionable advice for making the unbelievable news about Jesus more believable. It also explains why people often reject this news in the first place, equipping Christians to make it more enticing to non-Christians they know.

Here are at least ten reasons why people often reject the gospel, and what you can do about it.

1) The gospel doesn’t fit their plausibility structure

Plausibility structures “are accepted beliefs, convictions, and understandings that either green-light truth claims…

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What Is Evangelism?

Jeremy Bouma on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310534679Most Christians know that they should be engaging in the work of evangelism, but few know what evangelism is.

For example, is the stay-at-home mom who helps run the play group at her church doing evangelism if she incorporates Bible stories into the craft activities? Can a play group become an evangelistic play group?

Or does evangelism only occur in more “conventional” tactics: witnessing on the street, leading large crusades? Are those the only ways the gospel of Jesus Christ can be communicated, the only way people can evangelize?

In other words: What counts as evangelism? What is evangelism?

This word evangelism carries a lot of baggage, tradition, and emotion. Furthermore, most people have been poorly equipped with evangelism methods that are no…

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The Truth About God’s Love

Jeremy Bouma on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Even in Our DarknessTelling the truth is the essence of memoir. Jack Deere tells the truth about his own life in order to share with us the truth about life in his new book Even in Our Darkness.

In it, he offers an unvarnished look at the Christian life—with all of its disappointments and disasters, addiction and sin—to tell us something essential about the greatest truth: God’s love.

Below are some vignettes of his life showcasing the truth about God’s love, beginning with his early understanding of God’s posture toward humanity and ending with the ultimate truth about this love.

***

Jack’s dad was the first person to tell him about God, which left a lasting impression:

Dad told me we were born with immortal souls. After we died,…

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SIL International and Zondervan Academic Working Together to Aid Global Bible Translation Efforts

ZA Blog on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,.

Zondervan Academic providing dozens of academic resources, including online courses, to support efficient and accurate Bible translation work around the world.

Grand Rapids, Mich., March 8, 2018 — Zondervan Academic is pleased to announce their support of SIL International®, a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide. Zondervan Academic is providing to SIL some of the world’s top biblical resources to support efficient and accurate Bible translation work around the world.

SIL has developed Translator’s Workplace, a product built on the Logos Bible Software platform, so that those in a Bible translation role who are part of a private, managed group can access resources to aid their translation efforts. Translator’s Workplace acts like a library with unlimited loaning and loan periods. Zondervan Academic, which already distributes many of its titles digitally through Logos, has granted permission to Logos…

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The Truth About Shame and Grace

Jeremy Bouma on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310538141Memoir is truth-telling. About one’s own life, yes, but also life. As Elie Wiesel said, “with memoir you must be honest, you must be truthful.”

In Even in Our Darkness, Jack Deere has written a moving memoir that tells the truth. Through his unvarnished story of the Christian life, Jack guides readers in overcoming life’s disappointments and learning to hear God speak in unimaginable ways.

One pathway Jack offers guidance is through the shoals of shame, and the importance of grace in finding victory. Through unvarnished honesty, he explores how each of us have a role to play in other’s experience of both shame and grace.

In one childhood anecdote, Jack recalls cussing out his mother. The next day, his dad told him to go to the dreaded “Back Bedroom” for…

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The Truth About Suffering

Jeremy Bouma on 6 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310538141“I will say, with memoir,” Elie Wiesel is quoted as saying, “you must be honest, you must be truthful.”

Jack Deere tells the truth in his new book Even in Our Darkness. Not merely about his own life, but about life.

Deere’s story is one of beauty in a broken life brimming with the kind of authenticity and realism, failure and fortitude, darkness and light we need to help us and others make sense of life in all of its trueness.

Under Deere’s guidance, truth—his truth, life’s truth—is “profoundly unmasked, unsettling, and unforgettable.” Beginning with the truth about suffering.

There were three insights I gleaned from his raw, harrowing account of life.

Suffering is Mysterious

Deere’s opening paragraph illustrates the truth of suffering’s mystery with painful precision:

On the morning of…

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What Can Churches Do to Help with Mental Health Conditions?

Jeremy Bouma on 7 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310534815_394_600_90ADHD and autism, depression and anxiety, mood disorders and other common mental health conditions are all part of people’s lives this side of the fall.

Yet the very place that should offer healing and hope is often the least equipped to help. Further, it is the place least likely to be actively attended by people suffering with such conditions.

That place is the church.

Stephen Grcevich explains this in his new book, Mental Health and the Church:

The families I meet through my work as a child and adolescent psychiatrist are far less likely than other families in our community to be actively involved in a local church. This reality is a tragic departure from Jesus’ plan for his church. (16)

Thankfully, he wrote…

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How Much Exegetical Material Should You Share in Your Sermon?

Jeremy Bouma on 7 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

9780310536246The science of solid biblical interpretation is essential to effective preaching. Yet it must be paired with the art of contemporary communication to bring the message home.

But how much of that “science” and exegetical material should you share in your sermon in order to preach God’s Word effectively?

In other words: how much of the “then” should you share to help them get the “now” meaning and see the connection?

In their second edition of Preaching God’s Word, Terry G. Carter, J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays offer this insight:

 If your audience does not make the connection between the exegetical meaning in the text and the applicational meaning you are proclaiming to them, your message loses its tie to biblical authority.

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