Watch Lee Strobel’s ‘The Case for Christ’ on YouTube

Apologist Lee Strobel has graciously made ‘The Case for Christ’ available to watch on YouTube.

A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story in history–is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? 

Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like: How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?

To view ‘The Case for Christ’ on YouTube click here.

Zeitgeist Part One Exposed by Keith Thompson

Yet another excellent rebuttal of the erroneous claims made in part one of the movie Zeitgeist. Keith Thompson of Reformed Apologetics Ministries refutes the following claims:

Christianity borrowed from pagan myths;
The Bible was plagiarized;
Jesus wasn’t a historical figure;
Christianity was created for social control; and
The Bible is based on astrology.

This is part 1 of 8.

Zeitgeist: History Rewritten by Chris White

If you’re looking for more resources to successfully deal with people who bring up the ridiculous claims of Zeitgeist, check out this video from Chris White titled, “Zeitgeist: History Rewritten”.

H/T Keith Thompson

“Historical and Biblical Basis for the Trinity” by Keith Thompson

As a Christian it’s vitally important we understand the nature of our God and what exactly the New Testament authors and the early church fathers taught concerning the doctrine of the Trinity. For many skeptics, the doctrine of the Trinity is a fabricated concept which came to fruition at the Council of Nicea. If you familiarize yourself with the teachings of the New Testament and the early church fathers, it’s relatively easy to prove the early church held to the doctrine of the Trinity well before this.

Keith Thompson of Reformed Apologetics Ministries has written an excellent article that will more than help you begin to understand the basics of the historical and biblical basis for the Trinity. Also, check out his YouTube channel for resources, documentaries, and debates.

Historical and Biblical Basis for the Trinity

By Keith Thompson

Constantine gave you the Trinity.” Sami Zaatari

“There are many erroneous assertions and arguments made by people that seek to undermine the historicity and Biblical validity of the doctrine of the Trinity. Critics assert that there is no historical or Biblical basis for this belief. Many will go so far as to say the Roman Emperor Constantine invented the Trinity in the 4th century – a view not held by any serious scholars or historians. In this paper I will build a historical case for the antiquity of the doctrine of the Trinity and then build a Biblical basis for the doctrine as well.”

Click here to continue reading

“Did Jesus Claim Deity” Dr. James White vs. Shabir Ally

For those of you who missed the most recent exchange between Dr. James White and Shabir Ally on “Did Jesus Claim Deity”, the debate along with Ally’s rebuttal can be viewed here.

Ally has written a response to the debate titled, “My Reflections on the Ally-White Debate” which can be read here.

Dr. White has also offered up some post debate thoughts on his radio show which can be seen here.

Nor the Son: Does Matthew 24:36 Undermine the Deity of Christ?

Skeptics who argue against the deity of Christ will often quote Matthew 24:36 and raise the objection, “how can the omniscient Son of God not know something?” If you are having a conversation about whether or not Christ actually claimed he was God or if Christ truly was God, don’t avoid this verse, be the first to throw it into the conversation.

But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matt. 24:36

What Christians Believe: Jesus Fully God and Fully Man

To understand why Matthew 24:36 is an important verse, we have to understand that Jesus was both fully God and yet fully man. We don’t believe he was half God and half man, or that he was God only, or a mere man only. Jesus was both God and man (Colossians 2:9), sent down from heaven (John 6:38), from the Father (John 6:57), with the express purpose of redeeming mankind (John 6:40), through being put to death in the flesh as a sacrifice for the sins of his people (Hebrews 9:28), as was the will of the God the Father (Isaiah 53:10).

Jesus is fully God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Jesus is fully man: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14

Jesus is both fully God and man: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…” Colossians 2:9

So now the question remains, “if Jesus was fully God, how could he not have the attribute of omniscience? How could he not know something?”

Jesus Emptied Himself and Took on the Form of Man

Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8

During Jesus’ earthly ministry he walked and talked as a man, ate as a man, endured hardship as a man, and endured temptation as a man. Obviously if Jesus was the Son of God as he claimed he was, he didn’t have to do any of these things. This means he willfully and purposely chose to do them. Why would the Son of God choose to have the limiting attributes of man? Hebrews 4:15 says,

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Christ in the flesh was fully divine, yet he chose to empty himself of his divine attributes and glory, so that we would have a sympathetic high priest to intercede on our behalf. Jesus during his earthly ministry taught us what it looks like to be wholly dependent on the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:1 states, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert…“. Matthew 12:28 explains that Jesus was able to drive out demons by the Holy Spirit, “it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons…“. Jesus showed us how to pray (John 17, Matt. 6:9-13), he was tempted yet overcame temptation (Heb 4:15, Matt. 4:1), he increased in wisdom through study (Luke 2:52), and he taught us dependence on the Holy Spirit for ministry. Jesus being fully God, laid aside his glory, in order to take the form of man. Which is why Jesus prays at the culmination of his ministry in John 17:5, “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” Jesus clearly demonstrated and claimed attributes of deity during his earthly ministry as well as demonstrated that he was fully man, choosing to partake in the limiting attributes of man for our benefit and redemption.

How Does This Tie Into Matthew 24:36?

In light of the verses we have covered discussing Christ being fully God and yet being fully man and choosing to have the limiting attributes of man, when Jesus says, “…concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” we notice two things:

1. He calls himself “the Son“; and

2. he says, “no one knows…the Father only“.

Jesus makes a clear claim to being fully divine in this passage by calling himself “the Son“. We have seen in other passages as well where people understood him to be claiming this (John 5:18). He also makes a clear claim to being fully man by saying he has limited knowledge of the Father’s plan while on earth. This doesn’t contradict Christ claiming to be God or being God, but rather supports the Christian’s point of view that Christ is BOTH fully God and fully man. Christ himself demonstrates both of these truths in one sentence by calling himself “the Son” and saying no one knows but, “the Father only“.

Using a text wherein Jesus explicitly calls himself “God’s Son” in an effort to disprove his deity is an absurd position for the skeptic to take. Matthew 24:36 has two explicit statements supporting Jesus as both God and man. In light of a mountain of supporting scriptures, these statements don’t contradict each other or disprove Christ as God, but rather support the truth as Colossians 2:9 states, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…“. Not to mention the very chapter that contains verse 36 speaks about Christ’s second coming to execute his judgment and establish a Kingdom that will never pass away. No mere man would make these claims and no one would understand a mere man being able to do such things. Not only does verse 36 support the deity of Christ, but the entire chapter supports the deity of Christ.

The Real Roots of the Emergent Church

This is an important documentary on the Emerging/Emergent Church by Elliot Nesch of Holy Bible Prophecy. To obtain a free DVD, click here or make a donation here with your request. Check out their web site for more articles and documentaries.

Because diversity characterizes the Emergent Church movement, it is difficult to paint everyone in the movement with a broad brush. Some have observed that defining the Emergent Church is like nailing jello to a wall. All participants agree on their disillusionment with the institutional church, but do not all agree on where the church is destined to go from here. They share a common concern with many evangelicals over the state of the modern church, especially the mega-church phenomenon and “seeker-friendly” churches. For this reason, many evangelicals who observe the Emerging Church are fascinated by it, drawn to its creative approaches to worship, genuineness of many of the leaders and desire to reach Gen Xers. However, these evangelicals fail to look beyond it to understand its underlying theology, or lack thereof.

This Christian documentary film The Real Roots of the Emergent Church will take an honest look at the leaders of the Emerging Church movement such as Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, Rob Bell, Tony Campolo, Steve Chalke, Peter Rollins, Dan Kimball, Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Spencer Burke and others. Who are they and what are they teaching? Become familiar with the postmodern Emergent Church and its popular tactic of literary deconstruction applied to the Bible. This film takes an in-depth look at what the Emerging Church believes concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, absolute truth, hell, homosexuality, mysticism, contemplative prayer, other religions, and eschatology in comparison to the Bible. Much more than candles and couches!

Subjects of this film were contacted for direct interviews. Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones and others were contacted in April 2011. No response. At a Love Wins book signing, Rob told us he would be willing to do an interview and to contact his church which was done several times with no response. We do not fault them for that knowing they are all probably very busy people. But for this reason we have resorted to their own public statements. This film is our way of joining the conversation.

Did Jesus Claim to be God: How did people react?

To view examples 1-14 of the “Did Christ Claim to Be God” series, click on the “Did Christ Claim to be God” tag at the bottom of this post, or in the categories section of the web site.

When dealing with the claim that Jesus never said he was God, it’s always important to point out how the crowd reacted to what Jesus said. One thing is for sure, claiming to be the Son of God, sent from the Father, eternally existing, with the power to resurrect and give eternal life will get a reaction from people. Were people unclear about what Jesus was saying?

They wanted to kill him.

In Mark 14, Jesus is brought before the High Priest and is asked, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” To which Jesus rightly replies, “I am“. How does the High Priest respond to Jesus?

The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?

They all condemned him as worthy of death.” Mark 14:63-64

Not only does Jesus point blank answer the question that he is the Son of God, but the High Priest accuses him of blasphemy. All those who were in the room and heard Jesus’ words condemned him as worthy of the death penalty. There is no ambiguity in this passage.

In John 5 the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. Jesus speaks out in his defense and says, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” How did they react to Jesus’ words?

For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:18

The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus, because he was “making himself equal with God” and “calling God his own Father“. There was no doubt in their eyes about what Jesus was saying. Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God and they reacted as such. Jesus even expounds on his relationship as the Son of God in the following verses, giving even more evidence that the Jewish leaders understood him rightly.

In John chapter 10, Jesus is walking among the Jews and they ask him, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus immediately tells them that he has told them plainly, and then goes on to say he will give eternal life to all who hear his voice and he and God the Father are one. As if claiming to be able to bestow eternal life and being one with God wasn’t enough evidence Jesus was claiming to be God, watch how the crowd reacts:

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him…” vs. 31

We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” vs. 33

Once again Jesus is accused of blasphemy, and condemned as worthy of being killed. His accusers even make it clear, “you a mere man, claim to be God.” Does Jesus stop them and say, “hey that’s not what I was saying”? No, Jesus replies, “do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

They acknowledged Jesus was God.

In John chapter 11 we read Jesus talking with Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus. Martha says to Jesus, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus then says to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” So what is Martha’s response to Jesus claiming to bestow eternal life and claiming to be the resurrection and the life?

Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:27

Was Jesus unclear to Martha? Was Martha confused about what Jesus was claiming? Absolutely not. She affirms in her own words Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God and that she believes Jesus was who he said he was.

Earlier in John chapter 6, Jesus is talking with his disciples and some Jews who had gathered to hear him teach. Jesus lays out for them that he has been sent from heaven, to give eternal life, and he is the true bread of life who eternally satisfies men. Jesus gives a litany of the most blatant examples of attributing to himself deity found in the scriptures. After the disciples and Jews grumble about what Jesus has claimed, Jesus says:

Does this offend you? Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” John 6:61-66

After Jesus gives reference to being eternally preexistent and speaking the words of eternal life he says, “yet some of you don’t believe”. Believe what? What was Christ claiming that they wouldn’t believe? It even says many of those who were following Jesus completely left him. Peter makes it plain what Jesus was claiming in the next verses:

You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-68

Perhaps one of the most point blank examples of people being clear about what Jesus was claiming can be found in Matthew 16. Jesus asks Peter, “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16

Notice what Jesus says after Peter confesses this. Does Jesus say, “whoa whoa, I’m just a great teacher” or “hold on Peter I’m just a prophet”. If Jesus is a mere man and isn’t claiming to be God, does he stop Peter from blasphemy when he claims Jesus is the Son of God? No, he affirms that what Peter has said is correct.

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:17

The argument from bystanders and witnesses.

If you are going to make the argument that Jesus never claimed to be God, you have to ignore or come up with a way to explain Jesus’ claiming the attributes of deity, claims of being eternally pre-existent, calling God his Father, implicating himself as the Son of God, saying he was sent down from heaven, with the mission of bestowing eternal life, calling himself the Son of Man a clear reference to deity found in Daniel 7, and a myriad of other unavoidable statements, attributes, and actions.

One of the most important aspects of Jesus’ claims to deity is seeing how the people around him reacted. It is clear from scripture that those who were with Jesus and heard his words:1. found them so difficult to swallow that they abandoned him; 2. confessed that he was the Son of God; or 3. they wanted to kill him for claiming to be the Son of God which is ultimately what got him crucified. Simply put, without Jesus’ repeated claims of deity and attributes of deity, there is no charge for blasphemy. An accusation which is leveled against him over and over again in the Gospels by those who were eye witnesses to his teachings.