Happy New Year to everyone!
This month there are a number of impactful results to discuss from our apologetics efforts along with an upcoming opportunity in March.
5th Grade Sunday School
During our first teaching Sunday of the new year recently, two parent couples of students in my fifth grade church Sunday School class walked in to share information. They did not know each other so it was quite coincidental and exciting. One couple waited patiently while the other couple spoke to me. First they expressed how much their two kids in my class enjoyed the apologetics lessons. Remarkably, they said that they were constantly talking about the lessons at home. These types of feedback are so heartwarming and rewarding to know my efforts are meaningful.
The first group of parents also mentioned they are homeschool teachers and wanted to arrange to review and purchase the full curriculum of materials for Apologetics for Tweens so they can implement it during their ongoing homeschool program. Also, the mother asked if I would be teaching any lessons on Revelation because one of her sons was obsessed with it and asks questions about Revelation almost every night. Ironically, that son had begged me to teach a Revelation lesson the first week of class and I promised I would. As it turned out, he was sick that week and missed the lesson. Anyway, I took down their email and forwarded four prior Revelation lessons for them to review with their son. I typically teach one or two Revelation lessons each year and coincidentally, that very week taught a Revelation lesson to go along with one of the adult bible study groups where I participate. They were ecstatic and then committed to purchase the complete curriculum set next Sunday.
Then the second parent couple stepped up after hearing all the prior conversation and said they confirm all the same input. They have a daughter in my class who loves apologetics and talks about it and asks questions all the time. Previously I had also taught their son a couple years back who still asks about learning more about apologetics. So they also wanted to let me know how much the teaching means to their family. They are also homeschool teachers and went off with the other parents to compare ideas and notes and spend time discussing homeschool challenges.
Afterwards, our Children’s Pastor mentioned to me after class that she is constantly getting positive feedback about our teaching lessons and she wanted to also purchase the complete curriculum set the next Sunday as well for her grandkids. God is moving in mighty ways in our Sunday School class!
Adult Bible Study Class
I also write a weekly apologetics addendum to support the bible study lesson each week for an adult class where I attend for my own learning and devotion. This week the teacher mentioned about my lessons that he receives many favorable comments about how valuable it is to clarify important topics about Christianity and related worldly issues. Often times during class when an apologetics-related question comes up, he asks my input so apologetics is alive and well in our class. He said he would recommend that all the adult classes receive my weekly lesson.
After the class that Sunday, we had a group lunch. The teacher’s wife and another couple both came to me and commented that the apologetics addendum is the very first thing they read each week before doing anything else related to that week’s lesson. The teacher’s wife said she always thought apologetics went over her head before and was too deep. She said that because my writing was geared to fifth graders that it was perfect for her to understand. She laughed and we both thought that was pretty funny. I guess we are not smarter than fifth graders all the time. The other class member expressed similarly that he reads the apologetics addendum first and that he absorbs the material better than the regular lesson content. Praise God!
Great Homeschool Convention
In March I will attend the Southeast Great Homeschool Convention as well as present as one of their speakers to support my Apologetics for Tweens curriculum. A couple thousand homeschool teachers typically attend so this should be a wonderful opportunity to gauge the interest for apologetics for tweens.
Social Media and Apologetics
Facebook has many, many discussion groups on innumerable topics. One in particular where I am a member is called Religion Discussion Group. It touts 23,000 members. Naturally, when I joined I soon discovered that most of the people who make original posts are atheists, Muslims, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, with only occasional posts by Christians. So I decided to engage and represent Christian apologists with refutations of the false doctrine and misinformation that many spew out to innocents. Realize that many members are interested in discussing and learning and may not have formal training and knowledge to understand all the issues. When posters take advantage of this ignorance and naiveté, I feel obligated to correct dishonest information so that thousands each day are not deceived. This really irritates the posters and they often resort to animus and name calling and mean talk when they run out of arguments and cannot address logical refutations and evidence.
Here are some of the typical original posts that require apologetics answers. My short answer follows each:
- There is no evidence for God (or science has disproven God)
- Creation of the universe and first life point to a transcendent Creator
- An atheist has no belief (not that they believe there is no God)
- No, an atheist has always been the belief there is no God. Some wish to change the definition to avoid defending a belief which they cannot
- Jesus never existed. He is a myth.
- All major Bible scholars agree He existed, including the famous non-Christian New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman
- Christianity was started by the Roman Emperor Constantine in AD 300’s
- No Christianity began immediately following Christ as thousands each day became Christians (Antioch in Acts is when the name Christian was given)
- Jesus was only a man not God
- He claimed to be God and was arrested because of it (John 10:33). He did miracles, predicted and fulfilled His resurrection, forgave sins and accepted worship, all of which only God can do.
- If you do not believe in a young earth you must believe in evolution and deny the Bible
- No the Bible does not give the age of the earth. The Hebrew word for day is yom and has many definitions that are all used in Genesis Chap 1 and one of them is a long period of time. Evolution has nothing to do with the age of the earth.
- The Book of Mormon has the latest Revelation from God
- No Rev. 22:18-19 says scripture cannot be added to or taken away. Gal. 1:8 and 1 Tim. 6:3 say that even if an angel preaches a different gospel than the apostles, it is false and they are cursed.
- Muslims and Christians worship the same God because the name Allah means God
- No Islam denies Jesus is God so they cannot be worshiping the same God
- The Trinity is never mentioned in the Bible and was made up hundreds of years later
- The word Bible is never mentioned either. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have the nature and attributes of God so they are all God
- The other gospels prove there are contradictions with the Bible
- There are no other gospels. The supposed ones of Thomas, Barnabas, Judas, etc. were evaluated and unapproved as part of the scriptural Canon because they were not written by the apostles and contradicted the actual gospels
- The Bible is corrupt because of all the different versions
- No the 5700 Greek partial and full manuscripts we have over centuries compare to 99% accuracy using textual criticism Different versions merely translate based on word for word, thought for thought, or a balanced combination, all of which say the same thing but make it easier to understand for different purposes.
If you were unable to answer these unfortunate postings above, perhaps you should consider some apologetics training. We already know that Apologetics for Tweens is understandable for fifth graders so it can be a great introduction for anyone of any age as well.