Jesus’ Resurrection: Atheist and Theist Dialogue – Antony Flew and Gary Habermas

http://www.veritas.org/talks – Did Jesus die, was he buried, and what happened afterward? Join legendary atheist Antony Flew and Christian historian and apologist Gary Habermas in a discussion about the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join the third and final debate between Flew and Habermas, one that took place shortly before Flew admitted there might be a God, just before his death.

Over the past two decades, The Veritas Forum has been hosting vibrant discussions on life’s hardest questions and engaging the world’s leading colleges and universities with Christian perspectives and the relevance of Jesus. Learn more at http://www.veritas.org, Uploaded by

Chuck Colson on the Washington atheist rally, March 24,2012

Uploaded by  on Mar 20, 2012

Chuck explains why the atheist rally in Washington called the Reason Rally is so poorly named, and why Chirstianity is still the most adequate worldview.

You can see the Worldview Grid shown in the background of this video here (in powerpoint presentation form on the http://www.colsoncenter.org website).

Atheists marching on the National Mall – Richard Dawkins to be main speaker

Interesting article. Please see my notes on the last paragraph and try not to fall of your chair when you read it:

From Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY:

Atheists, humanists, skeptics and free thinkers are descending on the hallowed civic ground of the National Mall this Saturday for a Reason Rally.

Organizers expect more than 10,000 people to celebrate unbelief, dance to punk band Bad Religion, hear a score of speakers led by celebrity British atheist Richard Dawkins, and shout out for separation of church and state.

Dwayne Windham, 34, says he booked a $160 round-trip bus ticket from Austin, not to wage war on religion but to show force for thoughtful atheism. „The majority of us just want rational public policies based on facts, not someone’s book of cobbled together fantasies. Atheists have to carry our weight on an intellectual and a moral basis. The worst thing you could do is be immoral and stupid,” says Windham.

The second worst thing is to go unnoticed and afraid, says American Atheists president and rally organizer David Silverman. He estimates that „99% of all atheists are closeted. We have to take back the word ‘atheist,’ because it has been demonized by critics.”

Now this next paragraph just totally blew me away:

The Reason Rally is the day before the atheists’ annual conference in nearby Bethesda, Md. The conference theme is „Come out, come out, wherever you are.” Speakers will include atheists of every race and ethnicity, including „Pastor M,” a clergyman who will speak in disguise so he can keep his pulpit even though he’s lost his faith.

Say what? A clergyman lost his faith but he still wants to hold on to his pulpit? You mean his church doesn’t know it? They have a guy who doesn’t believe, and he is leading and  preaching to them and they don’t know that he has no faith?  Absolutely astounding.

You can read the entire article here – http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-03-14/atheist-rally-washington-dc/53656042/1?csp=34news

Atheist Student Saved by the Sovereign Truth of God (via) I’ll be honest

Michael was challenged with the true Truth while on a college campus and he soon came to realize that his philosophy and atheism could not stand against the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a great video to pass on to young people and especially college kids as Michael discusses how he delved deep into philosophy scrambling to find anything that even remotely seemed like „truth” to him, personally. Instead of finding answers it sunk him down low and he found no value in it. Then he took a class on the varieties of religion and he started to value people with faith. He then started reading Richard Dawkins and considering God through Dawkin’s writing. Then came the Kirksville  Evangelical outreach. Michael was sitting and mocking an Ill be honest card about how you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. He was mocking it with 2 of his friends. Then a girl from Columbia went up to them and engaged them in a conversation. This led to Michael thinking more and more and after about an hour his friends left and tried to pull him away. His discussion with the girl lasted 3 hours.

Michael was trying to get at her any sort of argument he could come up with. No matter how hard  the questions he threw at her, what struck Michael was that every single response she gave was essentially the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the good news of His coming, His dying and the reality of sin. There was discussion of what he was bringing up but there was no argumentation. She would say, this doesn’t really matter. What matters is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. By the time they split, there was a real drive for Michael to want to read the Bible. To see what she was talking about. To see if any of it was true….(these notes are just from the first 8 minutes. There’s much more insight in the following 14 minutes)

Watch the video, it is a tremendous learning experience for me as to how to talk to a non believer. The student who talked to Michael did not argue, did not delve into philosophy, she answered all of Michael’s questions with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think our biggest impediment in engaging non believers is the fear that we won’t know how to answer their hard questions, we feel we are lacking in rhetorical skills. But we do know the Gospel, and that is enough to get us to start conversations and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

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Ravi Zacharias and Friends

Apologetics Beyond the Pew: A Conversation with Ravi Zacharias and Friends
Source http://tiu.edu/ Carl F.H.Henry’s Center for Theological Understanding on April 12, 2010. This lecture was given before Ravi Zacharias’s trip to  Romania and Armenia (2010).

  • When you look back upon the landscape of  the last 25 years, or 30 years, there were voices, sounding forth at that time,  of the changes that were coming. I remember listening to Everett Coop and Francis Schaeffer in the 1980’s sounding the alarm of what were then being seen as the moral underpinnings from which extensions would be made and decisions would be made. Who would have ever thought that you would hear ethical theories that we now listen to from the voice of Peter Singer and others. Not just liberal in their thinking, but radically so. At the end of a spectrum of thought, where we not only do not know how to define human life, but, we define it in ways that could actually be stunning and shocking. And, once the shock value is gone they become common ideas and carried into ramifications.
  • We no longer can define what life is. We cannot define what sexuality is. We do not know how to define what marriage means. I remember when Chuck Colson had invited me and a few others to New York some months ago, from which emerged the signing of the Manhattan Declaration, I remember phoning my wife from New York and saying, „I never dreamed of the day when you would have a room full of men and women trying to define a thing like life, marriage, sexuality. Things that you thought would be self evident or that would have some input of the sacred…now totally desacrilized and almost defying any kind of definition or any kind of parameter. But people like Schaeffer warned us of this.
  • Zacharias lists 4 changes he believes have come about in the last 25-30 years:
  1. The popularization of the death of God of the atheistic mindset and the willingness (popularizations) to live with its ramifications a la Hitchens and Dawkins and Dennett and Harris who say what Huxley said, „I want this world not to have meaning because a meaningless world frees me to my own exploits of sexual and political freedom. (Hypocrisy is the charge that vice brings to virtue …deep in their own thinking they know some things are wrong)
  2. It is the third world’s attack upon Western ideas with the pantheistic and postmodern underpinnings to it that has actually made the ideas that shaped the West look juvenile and everything else that comes from abroad look very sophisticated. I have a question for people like that. „Why did you come to the West?” Because there were some moral assumptions that were a quest of the Judeo-Christian framework; even if you didn’t want to give credit to the world view  that framed them, you liked what you saw in the outworking. Do you know that the Chinese government has just commissioned writers to rewrite the history of missions in China because the leadership in China recognized that Missions has not been given a good and fair name? They want to acknowledge the benefit that Missions has done in the last century, principally in two arenas: in education and health and well being for the Chinese people. Think of this statement, „We take these truths to be self evident that we are all created equal…with inalienable rights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Let me ask you this question, „Do you know of any other world view that would have framed that statement, other than the Judeo-Christian faith?” There are ideas in the Gospels that are not presented anywhere else. Take for example that no where else is there an offer of sacrifice, or of forgiveness,  such as the cross of Christ.
  3. The power to inform through the visual. We now take truth through the eye gate not through reason and so it comes through the back door of the imagination. We’re intended to see through the eye with the conscience. Most people see today with the eye, devoid of a conscience. We’ve got a visually conditioned culture. On the movie Avatar- brilliant in cinematography and now English movies are just beginning to resemble Hindi movies. That’s all it is. Bollywood was 30 yrs ahead on this kind of stuff and 30 yrs ago we would have sat and laughed at this kind of stuff and now it is so engaging. Isn’t it interesting? A Hollywood technocrat, who sees the military as the culprit for destroying lives has never bothered to ask how many souls and consciences Hollywood has destroyed.  We’ve got a generation raised with the visual that has never cerebrally addressed these issues of systemic contradiction.
  4. A youth oriented world as a culture molding point, which means the young ought to really be an audience to whom we speak and how we speak to them. The question is how we reach a generation that thinks with its eyes or listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings? That’s the challenge.
  • I’ll give you 3 simple responses
  1. We are going to need an apologetic that is not merely heard, but is also seen. If the Christian life is not seen, it will become nothing more than theoretical.
  2. An apologetic that is not merely argued but that is also felt. You cannot have a persuasive preacher if the preacher is not coming through as being persuaded. woe be to me if I preach not the Gospel. Passions are very real, therefore the passion for the Gospel will also have to be real, if it is to appeal to a generation that lives so much with the pathos and the reality of the felt word.
  3. It is an approach that rescues not only the ends of bringing them into the knowledge of Christ, but the means where we do not compromise the Word in process. The Word has a lasting, abiding value as a carrier of truth.

Lessons from an Inconsolable Soul Learning from the Mind and Heart of C. S. Lewis – Desiring God

Born November 29, 1898 was one Clive Staples Lewis. His friends called him Jack. We know him as C. S. Lewis. He died just shy of 65 years old on November 22, 1963, the same day as John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Davdi Mathis over at Desiring God writes a birthday note along with a link to this John Piper tribute to Lewis in his biographical address „Lessons from an Inconsolable Soul.”

1) It Seems I Shouldn’t Find Lewis So Helpful

My approach in this talk is personal. I am going to talk about what has meant the most to me in C. S. Lewis—how he has helped me the most. And as I raise this question, as I have many times over the years, the backdrop of the question becomes increasingly urgent: Why has he been so significant for me, even though he is not Reformed in his doctrine, and could barely be called an evangelical by typical American uses of that word?

He doesn’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, 1 and defaults to logical arguments more naturally than to biblical exegesis. He doesn’t treat the Reformation with respect, but thinks it could have been avoided, and calls aspects of if farcical. 2 He steadfastly refused in public or in letters to explain why he was not a Roman Catholic but remained in the Church of England. 3 He makes room for at least some people to be saved through imperfect representations of Christ in other religions. 4 He made a strong logical, but I think unbiblical, case for free will to explain why there is suffering in the world. 5 He speaks of the atonement with reverence, but puts little significance on any of the explanations for how it actually saves sinners. 6

In other words, Lewis is not a writer to which we should turn for growth in a careful biblical understanding of Christian doctrine. There is almost no passage of Scripture on which I would turn to Lewis for exegetical illumination. A few, but not many. He doesn’t deal with many. If we follow him in the kinds of mistakes that he made (the ones listed above), it will hurt the church and dishonor Christ. His value is not in his biblical exegesis. Lewis is not the kind of writer who provides substance for a pastor’s sermons. If a pastor treats Lewis as a resource for doctrinal substance, he will find his messages growing thin, interesting perhaps, but not with much rich biblical content.

The Ironic Effect of Reading Lewis

So you see the kind of backdrop there is for this message. How and why has C. S. Lewis been so helpful to me when I think he is so wrong on some very important matters? Why don’t I put Lewis in the same category as the so-called “emergent” writers? At one level, the mistakes seem similar. But when I pose the question that way, it starts to become pretty clear to me why Lewis keeps being useful, while I think the emergent voices will fade away fairly quickly.

In fact, I think posing the question this way not only explains why he has been so helpful to me, but also goes right to the heart of what the life and work of C. S. Lewis were about. There was something at the core of his work—of his mind—that had the ironic effect on me of awakening lively affections and firm convictions that he himself would not have held.

Something About Lewis

There was something about the way he read Scripture that made my own embrace of inerrancy tighter, not looser. There was something about the way he spoke of grace and God’s power that made me value the particularities of the Reformation more, not less. There was something about the way he portrayed the wonders of the incarnation that made me more suspicious of his own inclusivism, not less. There was something about the way he spoke of doctrine as the necessary roadmap that leads to Reality, 7 and the way he esteemed truth and reason and precision of thought, that made me cherish more, not less, the historic articulations of the biblical explanations of how the work of Christ saves sinners—the so-called theories of the atonement.

It may be that others have been drawn away by Lewis from these kinds of convictions and experiences. I doubt very seriously that more people on the whole have been weakened in true biblical commitments than have been strengthened by reading Lewis. I am sure it happens. I am sure that for many, for example, who have taken the road to Roman Catholicism away from evangelicalism, Lewis has played a part in that pilgrimage. He devoted his whole Christian life to defending and adorning what he called “mere Christianity”—“the Christian religion as understood ubique et ab omnibus [everywhere by everyone].” 8 “I have believed myself to be restating ancient and orthodox doctrines. . . . I have tried to assume nothing that is not professed by all baptized and communicating Christians.” 9 This means that he rarely tried to distance himself from Roman Catholicism or any other part of Christendom. He rarely spoke about any debates within Christianity itself. 10

A Pastoral Price to Pay

There is a price to pay when you set yourself this kind of agenda. You will almost certainly omit things essential to the gospel. Not that you yourself do not believe those things, but since virtually all important doctrines have been disputed from within the church (not just from outside), the effort to omit what’s disputed runs the risk of omitting what’s essential. We all should be warned about this, because the disputes in the New Testament letters themselves are virtually all disputes within the church, not with those outside. In the marketplace and the synagogue, Paul argued for the gospel with unbelievers. But in his letters, he defends and defines the heart of the gospel not by disputing with those outside the church, but with those inside the church. He did not consider these disputes—for example in Galatians—as peripheral skirmishes but rather as part of what “mere Christianity” actually is.  This dispute is what the Reformation was about.

Therefore, Lewis set himself a lifelong task that no pastor should follow—namely, to adorn and defend only those truths that he thought all Christians always and everywhere have believed. 11 Lewis was not a pastor. He was a professor of English Literature from 1924 to 1963, first at Oxford and then at Cambridge. He did not have to open the Scriptures week after week for a group of people over the course of 30 or 40 years. He didn’t have to explain to his flock the fullness of God’s written revelation. He was a scholar, a writer of science fiction, children’s books, poetry, essays, and apologetics. In these spheres, he chose his focus. He called it “mere Christianity.” Within that limited focus (which he would say is infinitely large), he fell short of saying many important things regarding the gospel of Christ. But if I focus not on what he failed to say, but on what he said and did, I find that even for me—for one who considers some doctrines to be crucial that he neglected—even for me, the blessings of his work have been incalculable.

2) Why Lewis Is So Helpful to Me

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Gene Cook Jr. – an address to the Bellevue, Washington atheists

Gene Cook, Jr. (of unchainedradio.com) tells atheists four things they cannot account for: Morals, Uniformity of Nature, Concepts Laws Universal, Human Dignity. Mr. Cook addresses the following Bellevue area atheist organizations:

  • The Lynwood Draft Al Gore Meetup
  • The Seattle Skeptics Meetup
  • The Seattle Humanism Meetup
  • The Eastside Atheist/Agnostic Meetup
  • The Seattle Atheist/Agnostic Meetup
  • The Eastside Brights Meetup

This city/area is where Pastor Mark Driscoll pastors the Mars Hill Church campuses and often refers to it as the most unchurched area in the United States.

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The Essence of the Unwasted Life, John Piper in San Luis, Obispo 2008 (Part 1)

What Is the Ultimate Aim of the Life That Truly Counts

From The Regional Conference, San Luis Obispo

March 28, 2008  by John Piper

Here is a sample clip (4 minutes):

You can listen to the full message below – Click on the Image to play.        http://www.desiringgod.org/player.swf

The Origin of the Unwasted Life, John Piper, San Luis Obispo 2008 (Part 2)

Click on image for video.

What Must Happen for Such a Life to Be Lived?

Regional Conference, San Luis Obispo  March 29,2008

Topic: The Unwasted Life

Why is it Christians Believe What They Believe? (Lee Strobel)

I never tire of listening to Lee Strobel’s life story, as he poignantly and honestly describes his life lived under atheism and the journey he undertook to learn whether the Jesus of the Bible really lived, died and was ressurected because as he says, „If all that is true, then it has major implications for our lives”. Enjoy, one of Chicago’s finest journalists, who today worships the living God!

Is God Dead? Atheism vs Christianity. Debate (2 hours) at Wheaton College

April 2008 – Setting: Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, Cole Memorial Chapel- Cicero’s Podium, a Great Issues Debate Series (a  worthy 2 hour debate)

Peter Kreeft (Professor of Philosophy, Boston College) vs Michael Tooley, (Professor of Philosophy and College Professor of Distinction, University of Colorado, Boulder).

Please click on image below to access my Apologetics Page with additional material:

Atheism and the escape from reason (via) Logosapologia.org

(Via Logosapologia.org website)

A debate from William Lane Craig and Lawrence Krauss.

6 videos – Total length: 2 hours, 16 minutes. March 30, 2011 – NCSU – Dr. William Lane Craig debated Lawrence Krauss on the evidence for God’s existence.

Now posted at Youtube DrCraigvideos

Videos in this playlist (6)

Is Good from God?: William Lane Craig vs Sam Harris at Notre Dame University April 7, 2011

Christian vs. Atheist Debate – Scholar and philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig debates Sam Harris (author of Moral Landscape and Letters to a Christian Nation) about Morality and God. Harris hardly responds to any of Craig’s contentions and arguments, while Craig shows that atheism (as presented by Harris) doesn’t stand a chance against theism. They debated April 7, 2011 at Notre Dame University.

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Is Good from God?: William Lane Craig vs Sam Ha…, posted with vodpod

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John Lennox – Is faith delusional? Atlanta Civic Center (Classic lecture)

John Lennox has a multi media apologetics page at Monergism.com

Introduction excerpt from lecture in video below:

John Lennox:   Honorable Governor of Georgia, ladies and gentlemen- It is a delight for me to be invited to address you this evening and of course as you know, to every lecture belongs a biography. I am an ulster Irishman, of Scottish descent, with an English wife and Welsh children, and Scottish grandchildren. And, so I can moderately claim to represent the United Kingdom.

I turned up in Cambridge in the middle of last century, to study mathematics and in my first week as a student, one of my fellow students said to me, „Do you believe in God?” Then he said, „Oh sorry, I forgot. You’re Irish. They all believe in God there and they fight about it.”

And that raised in my mind, not for the first time, the question under discussion tonight.

Was my faith in God simply a product of my Irish heredity and genetics? My parents were believers in God. And, so were my grandparents. So, automatically I take on their faith. And, so I wanted to know the answer to the question.And I set about on my first days as a student at Cambridge to get to know people who did not share my worldview. So I started to discuss with atheists. That led me to learn the German language and travel for twenty odd years behind the iron curtain. It led me also to learn Russian and spend the last twenty years in many discussions and debates at Universities and Academies of Science in the former Soviet Union in order to understand what it is that motivates atheism.

So that is my background and it has led me recently to debate with Dawkins and Hitchens.

This event took place in 2009. Subject: Faith, reason and evidence.(Some interesting anecdotal evidence from communist times lived behind the Iron Curtain and evidence for the delusion of atheism) John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford and adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

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Descent of modernism into atheism

A bitter rift among Atheists? (via) SkyeBox

I came across this interesting article  by Skye Jethani titled Atheism Has Fundamentalists Too.(It was written 1 year ago, but valid today for its information. Did you know atheists now celebrate Blasphemy Day?)

If you landed on this page and have no belief in God, I invite you to read my tab at the top of the blog page-titled God and the Gospel.  And if you would like to listen to some Christian Philosophers (we call them Christian Apologists) visit this page and listen to Ravi Zacharias or Alvin Plantinga. Watch Jesus among other Gods a lecture with visual effects by Ravi Zacharias to understand how we, as Christians view God among all the other gods of this world. And if you wish, feel free to leave a comment.

Atheism Has Fundamentalists Too

The rift between traditional and „new” atheists show all the signs of a church schism.

Popular “New Atheists” like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins and proving to be controversial reformers among faithful atheists. In a rift that seems more reminiscent of a church schism, traditional atheists are increasingly uncomfortable with the flame-throwing rhetoric of the new atheists.

For example, Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair and author of the book God Is Not Great, told a capacity crowd at the University of Toronto, “I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred and contempt, and I claim that right.” His words were greeted with hoots of approval.

Religion is “sinister, dangerous and ridiculous,” Hitchens tells NPR, because it can prompt people to fly airplanes into buildings, and it promotes ignorance. Hitchens sees no reason to sugarcoat his position.

“If I said to a Protestant or Quaker or Muslim, ‘Hey, at least I respect your belief,’ I would be telling a lie,” Hitchens says.

A full report on the rift among atheists can be read on NPR’s website. The story recounts how the new atheists are no longer content with a live-and-let-live approach to those adhering to religious beliefs. Instead, they are on the march to demean and destroy the religious faith of others.

Last month (2009), atheists marked Blasphemy Day at gatherings around the world, and celebrated the freedom to denigrate and insult religion.

Skye Jethani concludes:

You can’t help but see the irony in this. The new atheists are becoming the very thing that they hate about religion–intolerant, militant, dogmatic, and aggressive. This only shows that anything can become a religion, even anti-religion, and twisted. The problem isn’t religion, but the broken human beings who practice it–including Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

click here to read the entire article.

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