Introduction to Biblical Apologetics, cont.

Introduction to Biblical Apologetics, continuation 

The Christian View of Knowledge

As we’ve already learned, the task of biblical apologetics is to spread and defend the Christian message while challenging other non-Christian systems. Before learning how to do so, it’s important that we consider some truths about how we know what we know.1 Understanding how believers and unbelievers think will help us become better apologists.

A Controlling Text

Paul gives us some important instructions regarding knowledge in 2 Corinthians 10:5 –

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Another translation puts it this way:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Note the following conclusions based on this text:

  • Christians must strive to “cast down” those systems of thought that are contrary to Biblical teaching. This seems to apply most specifically to the thought life of individual Christians. That is, they should not allow any anti-Christian ways of thinking within their own minds. But more broadly speaking, part of the apologetic task is challenging those philosophies and religions that contradict the Bible no matter where one finds them. It’s biblical to expose and challenge all anti-Christian ideas, whether within one’s own mind or in the broader culture.

  • In all our thinking, Christ is to be recognized as Lord. That is, the contents of the Bible, and especially the teachings of Christ and the apostles as found in the NT, should inform all our thinking. One does not try to defend or propagate Christianity from a supposedly neutral standpoint. Instead, biblical teaching should influence all thinking. Believers need to develop a Bible-soaked logic, a way of thinking that is saturated with biblical principles.

The Bible is the Standard

What is the basis for knowledge? How do we determine that something is true or false? Christians believe that the ultimate standard for determining the truth or falsity of anything is God’s Word. Scripture can be judged by no higher authority than Scripture itself. Believers accept a biblical world-view. Unbelievers adopt other grounds for determining truth, like personal or majority opinion, or even whatever works best. But Christians must base their thoughts on the Bible.

We do not judge the Bible on human terms. “It makes sense to me” is not the yardstick for judging the truth of biblical claims. Man’s intellect is not the highest standard. We submit to the Bible’s teaching; we do not stand in judgment of it.

Communication with Non-Believers

There is no such thing as neutrality when it comes to one’s views about the Bible, God, or Christianity. Everyone approaches the Bible with a set of ideas that are already set in place. Such views are called presuppositions. Christians believe that the Bible is true, that God is the creator and sustainer of all things, and that the highest duty of man is to honor and obey God. Christians know this because God has convinced them that such is the case. Non-Christians reject the Christian view and replace it with other ideas. Further, non-believers are blind to spiritual truth, spiritually dead, and under the influence of Satan, all of which prevents them from comprehending biblical truth. They think that the “message of the cross is foolishness” (1 Cor 1:18). So neither believers nor unbelievers approach the Bible from a neutral standpoint.

How can Christians and non-Christians communicate if they reject each other’s presuppositions? That is, if Christians believe the Bible and non-Christians reject the Bible, how can a Christian convince a non-Christian that he needs to be saved? The Bible teaches that non-Christians do have some knowledge of God, and that deep down they agree on some basic things even if they claim not to (cf. Rom 1:18-25). So based on this fact, believers can encourage unbelievers to admit what they know to be true—that God exists and that there’s a difference between right and wrong. We simply proclaim the message and trust that God will use it to draw people to Himself.

Also, keep in mind that in the evangelism process the believer is not trying to argue a non-believer into submission. He’s not trying to win a debate, thereby intellectually convincing the non-believer that the Gospel is true. He’s simply announcing the good news, planting the seed. It’s God’s business to make an unbeliever responsive to the message. In fact, without God’s work in the unbelieving heart, no one would respond positively to the Gospel. We can plant and water the seed, but God is the one who brings about a harvest (1 Cor 3:6).

The Danger of “Neutrality”

Some suggest that in defending and propagating the Gospel, believers should take more of a neutral attitude. That is, Christians should encourage unbelievers to take an honest, impartial look at the Bible and Christianity and judge it for themselves. People should not assume anything; they should simply look at the Bible like any other book—honestly and impartially. If the Bible seems to make reasonable sense, if it holds up to critical investigation, then it is acceptable. If not, then disregard it.

The problem with such an approach, as noted above, is that everyone starts with some presuppositions. Those who desire an impartial investigation of the Bible assume that they are qualified to engage in such an investigation. They presuppose that their own intellect is sufficient to judge whether the content of the Bible is reasonable. In fact, the Bible itself claims that the principles contained in it will not make sense to non-believers. The wisdom of God is foolishness to men (1 Cor 1:18f). Hence, from a non-believing, “neutral” point of view, the Bible will never be acceptable. It makes no sense, therefore, to encourage unbelievers to “impartially” judge the Bible. Rather, we must encourage and even demand that unbelievers submit to and obey the Bible whether they recognize its authority or not. We do not hold the Bible up for critical scrutiny. We simply proclaim its truths and let the chips fall where they may.

“You shall not tempt [make trial] of Jehovah your God” (Deut. 6:16). When Satan tempted Jesus to do so—to push God into offering proof of the veracity of His word (as quoted by Satan)—Jesus rebuked Satan, “the accuser,” with these very words from the Old Testament. It is not God whose integrity and veracity and knowledge is somehow suspect. It is that of those who would accuse Him and demand proof to satisfy their own way of thinking or living.2

In every area of life, the Bible demands submission to its principles. Christians must be committed to biblical thinking in every area. Paul asserts that all wisdom and knowledge are deposited in the person of Christ (Col 2:3-8). Every thought is in some way related to Jesus Christ. Christians must refuse to think like unbelievers. To attempt a supposed neutrality or independence in our thinking would be an act of disloyalty. We are dependent upon God and the Bible and have no right or ability to assert our intellects apart from God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7). Rational thought is based on a correct understanding of God and His Word.



Vain in their imaginations

Every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Their foolish heart was darkened

The light of the knowledge of the glory of God

Enemies of God in their minds

Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“What is truth?” (Pilate)

“Thy Word is truth” (Jesus)

We are not implying in any of this that the Bible is essentially unreasonable, mistaken, full of genuine contradictions and absurdities, or unable to withstand investigation. Christianity is not blind faith that simply believes irrespective of the evidence. Reason is not the enemy of Christian faith. Perhaps no other world-view has as high a regard for logic as Christianity does.3 Critics have been examining the Bible for centuries in their quest to find fatal flaws or any proof that the Bible is not trustworthy.4 While one must admit that the Bible does contain many things difficult to understand and that there are some problems not easily resolved, there are no obstacles so serious that they destroy or even reduce the Bible’s credibility, as we shall see.

Circular Arguments

Those who take a presuppositional approach to apologetics are often charged with circular reasoning. We say the Bible is true because we believe the Bible. We assume what we are trying to prove. But all reasoning starts either with God or with man. Christians are persuaded that the correct starting point is not man’s intellect but God’s Word. Unbelievers also engage in circular reasoning, assuming what they are trying to prove—that they have the intellectual capacity to sit in judgement of the Bible. They think they are rational because they are rational. So there’s no avoiding circularity in reasoning. The question is which circle you want to be in, God’s or man’s.

The Purpose and Place of Evidence

There is much evidence that supports biblical claims. Christianity is not a house of cards that will come crashing down due to a lack of supporting evidence. Our faith is built on a solid foundation of historical accuracy and verifiable events. Some scholars believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most well-attested event in all of ancient history. So there is no lack of evidence to back up the claims of the Bible and of Christianity.

People often say they reject Christianity because it fails to offer enough evidence to support its claims. In response, Christian scholars have accumulated a great many reasons to believe. However, we are on shaky ground when we base our faith solely on historical evidences. Historical studies can suggest that events actually happened, but they cannot prove it. They can persuade and remove doubt, but ultimately people do not convert to Christianity because they are intellectually moved by the proofs. God may use such studies to convince people of the truth of His Word, but conversion is not simply intellectual agreement to a series of statements. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). The Holy Spirit uses the Word to convince people of their need for salvation. A study of the evidences of Christianity may remove some of the obstacles that hinder belief, but evidences alone will never bring about conversion. After all, the devil believes what the Bible says (James 2:19).

Unbelievers often claim that one should not believe anything that doesn’t have good evidence. The problem is that we believe countless things without good evidence or proof. If we eliminated all belief in things for which we don’t have good evidence, we would get rid of a good many things indeed. It’s clear that we do have the right to believe things even without solid proofs in many cases. Even the statement “You must have proof before you believe” is unprovable. Those who make such statements should be shown how absurd such a claim is. A person’s beliefs may be perfectly rational even if he cannot prove them to others. This of course does not suggest that Christianity lacks good proofs, only that evidence or lack thereof neither establishes nor destroys Christianity.5


The Christian view of knowledge seeks to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. There is no such thing as independent, impartial, or neutral thinking. Christians seek to think God’s thought after Him; unbelievers rebel against God by asserting their own intellectual independence. All reasoning starts either with God or with man. Christians assert that God and His Word is the correct starting place.


  1. Why is it so important to consider presuppositions before launching into a study of apologetics? Because Christians need to understand their own viewpoint as well as the unbelieving viewpoint. They further need to know that everyone, even the skeptic, bases his thinking on his own set of presuppositions.

  2. Explain the idea of circular reasoning and why all systems of thought are to some degree circular. Circular reasoning is assuming what you are trying to prove. All systems of thought are somewhat circular. Even science and math start with axioms that are presupposed and upon which the whole endeavor is based.

  3. When the unbeliever dismisses the Bible, what is he presupposing? That he has the capacity to sit in judgment of the Bible.

  4. How important are Christian evidences in one’s conversion to Christ? Such may remove obstacles and influence one to study the Bible, but ultimately one is not converted simply because he believed the evidence.

  5. What do we mean by a Bible-soaked logic? Thinking biblically, letting the Bible influence all your thoughts and decisions.

1 The technical word for the study of knowledge is epistemology, based on the Greek word epistamai, meaning “to know” or “to understand.”

2 Bahnsen, “Answering Objections”

3 Nash, p. 74. Many religions include irrationality as a primary aspect of their faith. Christianity does not.

4 Skeptics assert that they have found fatal flaws, but Christian scholars and apologists have discredited such assertions.

5 Nash, p. 88f.

Introduction to Apologetics

Introduction to Apologetics

We live in an era in which society ridicules both the Bible and those who take its claims seriously. The prominent philosophies of the day have caused most people to view the Bible as a source of myth, fable, and old-wives tales. The Bible is the object of criticism and mockery, especially for those who have been educated in the secular university system. Who today actually believes that Noah built an ark, that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, or that Jesus really walked on the water? Such accounts are for the feeble-minded and weak. Further, everyone knows that the Bible is full of contradictions, false statements and inaccuracies. Science has disproved all the major claims of Scripture. Almost everything we’ve been taught about the origins of Christianity is false. The manuscripts have been corrupted and corrupt church leaders have imposed their own political agendas.

Christian truth-claims come under attack in many ways today. They are challenged as to their meaningfulness. The possibility of miracles, revelation, and incarnation are questioned. Doubt is cast upon the deity of Christ or the existence of God. The historical or scientific accuracy of the Bible is attacked. Scriptural teaching is rejected for not being logically coherent. Conscious life following physical death, everlasting damnation, and a future resurrection are not readily accepted. The way of salvation is found disgusting or unnecessary. The nature of God and the way of salvation are falsified by heretical schools of thought. Competing religious systems are set over against Christianity—or some try to assimilate it into their own thought forms. The ethics of Scripture is criticized. The psychological or political adequacy of Christianity is looked down upon.1

Others suggest that the Bible was never meant to be taken literally. Like most fables and morality tales, the stories of the Bible are rooted in historical reality but point to higher principles that are true. It doesn’t matter if Jesus rose from the dead or not. The moral principles Jesus taught are more significant than detailed accuracy of the account. This is the position that most Liberal “Christians” take.2

Those who do take the Bible seriously are not comfortable letting such criticism pass without comment. Students of the Bible have for many years argued for the truth of Scripture, defending both themselves and the Bible from their critics. If the Bible is what it claims to be, all allegations of error and inaccuracies must prove unfounded. Christianity is not a “blind” faith. It is established upon verifiable historical events. If the record of the Bible is found to be genuinely mistaken, especially regarding key elements of the faith, Christianity would instantly lose all credibility. If Jesus did not actually rise from the dead, or if a certified error or contradiction could be proved to exist in the Bible, biblically-based faith would also crumble.

Hence, those who have staked their eternal destiny on the truth of the Bible strive to respond to criticisms. If the Bible is verifiably mistaken or corrupt, no one would retain his commitment to it as the Word of God. Also, believers seek to present logical, reasonable responses to critics to show them that their criticism of the Bible is inaccurate or mistaken. Further, students of the Bible want to be able to give an answer to those who have genuine questions about the Bible or about Christianity.

Apologetics has had a long history going all the way back to the New Testament itself. In the Book of Acts the Christians presented reasoned answers to various charges made against Christianity. To the Jews the church pointed out that Christ was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. To the Gentiles the church argued that God was calling them to turn from superstitious religions to the true God revealed in Jesus Christ. In all of their apologetics the early Church emphasized the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, they called it the central pillar on which all of Christianity either stood or fell.

Key Text: 1 Peter 3:15 Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

All Christians should be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks for the reason for their hope in Jesus Christ. Of course, for some Christians this will be a very special ministry calling, but all Christians should be able to explain what they believe, why they believe it, why others should believe it, and why contradictory systems are inadequate.

Apologetics involves responding to any intellectual challenge to the Christian faith. This means that apologetics deals, first and foremost, with answering the outright denials of Christianity which are found in atheism and in other religions. But apologetics also deals with answering the distortions of Christianity, which are found primarily in the cults, as well as in some professing Christian groups within the Christian community itself. Thus, Christian apologetics must answer all challenges to the orthodox, biblical Christian faith — no matter who the challengers are.3


  1. Meaning.

    1. The Greek Word apologia is used 20 times in the NT.

Acts 18:4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:8-9 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God… [and later] reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

Acts 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you.

Philippians 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.

Philippians 1:16 I am put here for the defense of the gospel.

1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

    1. Activities synonymous with apologetics

      1. Jude 3 you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

      2. Titus 1:3 he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior

“The preaching” is that set of basic truths that constitute the salvation message. This message should include: 1) God; 2) Sin; 3) Jesus; 4) Faith and repentance.

      1. Titus 1:9, 11 [Pastors must] encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach– and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

  1. Definition of Apologetics: “A verbal defense; a reply to a formal charge; an answer.” Apologetics is the justification and defense of biblical Christianity. Biblical apologetics focuses on spreading and defending the Christian philosophy of life while challenging non-Christian philosophies.

The apologist responds to the objections of unbelievers in a way which sets forth the objective truth of Christianity and the exclusive character of the Christian system. He or she offers reasons for belief, vindicating the Christian worldview over against competing systems of thought and living. The appropriate response to critics of the faith is that of reasoning with them, refuting objections, proving conclusions, and offering arguments.

Offering arguments in favor of certain conclusions should not be confused with being argumentative or contentious in one’s demeanor. Presenting a reason for the hope that is within us does not demand that we do so in an offensive or arrogant way.4

By the way, apologetics has nothing to do with apologizing (saying you’re sorry) for anything.

  1. Specific Purposes of Apologetics

    1. to defend or demonstrate the truth-claims of Christianity; to prove that Christianity is true

    2. to answer particular objections and/or criticisms of the Bible and Christianity

    3. to give an account of the foundational concepts of the Christian faith

      1. the existence of God

      2. the reality of divine revelation, the Bible

      3. the ability to know God and truth

    4. 0to reach non-Christian with the gospel (i.e., evangelism)

    5. to challenge non-Christian faith systems (e.g., Mormonism, Islam); to attack the foolishness of unbelieving or unorthodox thought

Summary: Apologetics consists of:

  • Proof: presenting a rational basis for faith

  • Defense: answering objections of unbelief

  • Offense: exposing the foolishness of unbelief and unorthodoxy

  1. Two approaches to Apologetics

    1. Rationalist: setting forth rational, logical arguments defending Christianity with the aim of convincing unbelievers. This approach focuses on reasons to believe and on defending the faith against criticism. This is often called “traditional” or “classical” apologetics because this seems to be the method used by the most prominent apologists of earlier centuries. Rationalists start from “neutral” ground and work toward proofs that the Bible and Christianity are true. Before one can meaningfully discuss historical evidences, one has to establish God’s existence. Without a theistic context, no historical event could ever be shown to be a divine miracle. Once God is proven to exist, one can show that the Bible is God’s Word, that Jesus is God’s Son, and that Christianity is the only valid faith.

The problem with a rationalistic approach to apologetics is that one must assume a standard of truth that exists apart from the Bible. The Bible, in order to be true, must meet this independent standard. The Bible becomes subject to man’s ability to reason—one must show the unsaved person that the Bible is truly reasonable.5 Further, rationalists seem to rely on weighty arguments and evidence to bring conversion rather than on a simple declaration of the Gospel message.

    1. Presuppositional: starting out with the notion that the Bible is true and that it’s God’s business to convince unbelievers of this fact. This approach focuses on presenting the truths of Christianity as fact without regard for how unbelievers respond to it.

Presuppositional writer John Frame states, “[We] should present the biblical God, not merely as the conclusion to an argument, but as the one who makes argument possible.”6 By demonstrating that unbelievers cannot argue, think, or live without presupposing God, presupposition-alists try to show unbelievers that their own worldview is inadequate to explain their experience of the world and to get unbelievers to see that Christianity alone can make sense of their experience.

The problem with this approach is that it assumes what it’s trying to prove, namely, that the Bible is true. However, this seems to be consistent with Peter’s admonition to recognize the Lordship of Christ in the apologetic task (1 Pet 3:15). There is no true neutrality—everyone accepts the authority of God’s Word or they do not, and not to do so is sin.

Both the testimony of history and the testimony of God’s Word have informed us that the world will not be convinced one whit of the truth of Genesis because of a mountain of creationist evidence or the discovery of Noah’s Ark. The world will not be convinced one whit of the truth of Exodus and Joshua because of a mountain of archaeological evidence. The “evidence that demands a verdict” will always return from the world a verdict of unbelief. The “search for the historical Je­sus” or for the “historical Paul” will never convince men that Christ died and rose for them or that the New Testament is authentic. These might attract the nod of approval from a humanistic world that operates from a foundation of intellectual autonomy, but they will do nothing to change the heart. The Holy Sprit can change the heart of the enemy of the gospel, but he never stoops to engage the enemy on their terms. He will only engage the enemy on God’s terms: the foolishness of the Word preached. Far be it from us to imagine we can improve on his meth­ods. The world may call us “anti-intellectual,” but God will call us wise.7

Why does which apologetic approach you take matter? Imagine this scenario: you are attempting to convince a friend that Jesus really did rise from the dead. You show your friend all the evidence from the Bible that the resurrection is a fact. But your friend does not believe the Bible. He says that you can’t use information from the Bible to defend the Bible. The rational apologist would then step back and show that the Bible is indeed trustworthy. The presuppositionalist, on the other hand, would keep preaching the Bible, knowing that God has promised to use the Word to draw unbelievers to Himself in spite of the unbeliever’s unbelief. One should not revert to the unbeliever’s world-view just because the unbeliever doesn’t accept the Christian world-view.8

Note: A third approach to apologetics, experience, is commonly used to defend the faith in many Christian circles. That is, Christians argue for the existence of God and the validity of Christianity based on their own personal experiences of God. This is the argument “I know God is real because I can feel Him in my soul.”9 Feelings of inner peace, confidence, excitement, security or conviction may seem beyond question to the one feeling them, but have little weight with others. Experiences are by nature subjective and personal. While individuals may find such experiences confirm and deepen their own faith, it is unlikely that others will be persuaded based on such experiences. Hence, it is unwise to use personal religious experiences as a primary apologetic resource. Personal testimonies may aid apologetics, but one’s experiences should not be the focus of an apologetic encounter.

Another Note: Apologetics follows and presupposes a correct system of theology. One must determine the content of Christianity before he can defend and propagate it. The better you know the Bible and theology, the better you will be able to explain, promote and defend orthodox Christianity. It’s obviously counter-productive to defend and propagate false doctrine.

Conclusion: Apologetics is the study of the best ways to 1) explain Christianity to unbelievers; 2) defend Christianity against its critics; and 3) challenge unbelieving and unorthodox ideas about God. In this series we’ll follow this general outline, first looking at the validity of what Christianity teaches, then showing that many criticisms of Christianity don’t hold up under scrutiny, and finally exposing the weaknesses of unbelief and unorthodox ideas.


      1. What is apologetics? See conclusion.

      2. Why do we need to bother with defending Christianity? Can’t God defend Himself? God obviously doesn’t need our help to defend Him or His word. Nevertheless, we should be ready to give an answer because we are commanded to do so (1 Pet 3:15), because of biblical examples of doing so (e.g., Paul), and because apologetics is part of evangelism.

      3. What’s the difference between rational/classical apologetics and presuppositional apologetics? Rational apologetics seeks to defend the Bible using external information. It focuses on logical arguments and evidence external to the Bible. Presuppositional apologetics assumes that everyone has a basic understanding of God and that what they need to hear is what the Bible says even if they reject it.

1 Greg Bahnsen “Answering Objections” The Biblical Worldview</span><span style=’font-size:9.0pt; font-family:Arial;color:black’> (VII:2; Feb., 1991) Covenant Media Foundation

2 It’s important to use the term “liberal” accurately. A theological liberal is one who does not believe the Bible is literally true. He may see the Bible as a valuable record pointing to God, but he does not believe that the Bible is true in all it affirms. One should not use the term “liberal” in a theological context unless this is his meaning.

3 Christian Research Institute, What Is Apologetics?

4 Bahnsen, “Answering Objections”

5 Terms such as “likelihood” and “plausibility” frequently crop up in rationalist apologetics. The believer seeks to show the unbeliever that the Bible has good potential for being true.

6 From Five Views on Apologetics, Steven B. Cowan, ed.

7 Snoeberger, Mark, “Engaging the Enemy…But on Whose Terms? DBTS Journal, vol. 8 (Fall 2003), p. 84.

8 For example, one does not help a mentally ill person by adopting his (the sick person’s) skewed ideas.

9 Another example: “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.” He Lives by Alfred H. Ackley, copyright 1961, Rodeheaver.

Biblical Apologetics

Biblical Apologetics

Introduction to Apologetics

Introduction to Apologetics, continuation

The Meaning and Purposes of Apologetics

The Christian View of Knowledge

Part I: Defending the Validity of Christianity

Lesson 1: An Accurate Gospel Presentation

Lesson 2: The Reliability of the Bible

Lesson 3: The Resurrection of Christ

Lesson 4: The Deity of Christ

Lesson 5: The Trinity

Part II: The Weaknesses of Criticisms of Christianity

Lesson 6: Common Criticisms

Lesson 7: The Problem of Evil, Part 1 (Weak Solutions to the Problem)

Lesson 8: The Problem of Evil, Part 2 (Biblical Solutions to the Problem)

Lesson 9: Atheism and Agnosticism

Lesson 10: Pantheism and New-Age Mysticism

Lesson 11: Rationalism and Pragmatism

Lesson 12: Mormonism

Lesson 13: Jehovah’s Witnesses

Lesson 14: Islam [note to teacher: this lesson could easily take 2 class periods]


A Primer on Presuppositional Apologetics

A Presuppositional Apologetic Applied to Islam’s Teaching Regarding God and Salvation

Is the Text of the Old Testament Reliable?

Is the Text of the New Testament Reliable?

The author recommends that students read the following book as we progress through the series:

Every Thought Captive by Richard Pratt (P&R, 1979)

Other resources for the production of this series:

Greg L. Bahnsen, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith (Covenant Media Press, 1996)

Tim Davis’ Apologetics curriculum, Tri-Lakes Baptist Church, Brighton, MI.

John Frame, Apologetics for the Glory of God (P&R, 1994).

Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics (Baker, 1976)

Rolland D. McCune, Biblical Apologetics Class Notes, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Here’s Life, 1979)

Ronald H. Nash, World-Views in Conflict (Zondervan, 1994)

Can I Trust the Bible, Howard Vos, ed. (Moody, 1963).

Leading a Child to Christ

Leading a Child to Christ

By Mark Buhr and Barry Pendley

One evening, a man was startled to see his granddaughter choking in the driveway. He quickly sprang from his chair and ran frantically to help her. As soon as he reached her, he noticed a peculiar thing – her choking was deliberate. She explained to him that she had accepted Christ into her heart and wanted a better look, so she thought she would cough him up!

This true story simply shows that the gospel was not presented clearly to this child. This imaginative six year old took her teacher’s words literally. Since that time, that teacher has made some observations.

Say what you mean. The following phrases are frequently used by Christians when they give the gospel. However, to the young child, these phrases either give the wrong impression or no impression at all. It is the goal of the gospel giver to make sense to the child. The following statements by themselves are inadequate to convey the true idea of faith.

  • Ask Jesus into your heart (or life).
  • Come to Christ.
  • Give your heart to Jesus.
  • Believe in Jesus.
  • Accept Jesus as your personal savior.
  • Be born again.

Carefully lead a child. It has been said that children are the easiest to lead to the Lord. Children, for the most part, are easy to lead. To say that they are easier to lead to the Lord may not necessarily be true. It is difficult to stand by such a generalized statement. There are many factors that one should consider when leading a child to the Lord.
You are leading. Explain the gospel as clearly and as slowly as necessary so that when the child is ready to make a decision, it is of his own accord. Do not press the child to make a decision (manipulate) by saying things like, “You want to go to heaven, don’t you?”; “You want to be with your friends in heaven, don’t you?”, “You don’t want to go to hell do you?” etc. Don’t rush for a decision. Take your time! It is important that the child fully understand the message. If the child does not understand, he will be manipulated into an insincere decision.

When asked about how he would witness to someone if he only had one hour to speak, Francis Schaefer said he would spend 45–50 minutes showing him that he is a sinner who does not match God’s standard. Then he would spend the last 10–15 minutes preaching the gospel.

Will Metzger in his book [amazonify]0830823220::text::::Tell the Truth[/amazonify] notes the danger in approaching the gospel in a too simplistic fashion.

For Paul, the only right method of evangelism was the teaching method. Therefore, Scriptural evangelism has extensive – not minimal – instruction as its goal. In place of this Scriptural stance, since about 1900, a new method of packaging the gospel has now come into evangelicalism. We are to make the gospel readily transferable so as to gain the mental assent of the hearer. This has led to the idea of “the simple gospel,” which we all supposedly know as soon as we become Christians. But this approach encourages us to think of the gospel as a pill that will cure all. . . . Thus many of us abridge our analysis of the disease (sin), instead of taking time to expose the person’s sinful nature which creates the sickness. Our object has become merely to convince people to take the cure. They do not need to know the problem – just the answer.

Remember that the gospel message is the same for both children and adults. You may present the message in different ways, but the message itself must be explained. There are no legitimate shortcuts here.

Note some truths about the salvation of children:

  • The Lord Jesus specifically invited children to come to Him.
  • All who respond to Christ with understanding can be saved.
  • Children are saved in the same way as adults.
  • Children are saved to the same degree as adults.
  • Children can often understand more than we give them credit for.

You are a fallible human tool. God is using you to explain His Word. He does not give you the ability to read a child’s mind. So, avoid telling a child “You are saved!” Let the Holy Spirit, by means of the Word of God, assure the child of that.

You are to use discretion. If the opportunity comes to lead a child to the Lord during an invitation; be inquisitive. This will help you “weed out” children who only want to follow their friends, go to the bathroom, or do something else.

Don’t overlook the basics. Child educators universally recognize that children have difficulty understanding abstract concepts. Given that truth, many have attempted to boil the gospel down to simple truths. The danger is this: “Have they boiled the gospel down too far?” Some have. They speak voluminously of God’s love that they fail to mention the most basic elements of the gospel. So, what are the basic elements? In other words, what elements of the gospel are so important that if one fails to mention them, he has not communicated the gospel? The following propositionally lays out a solid plan for explaining the gospel to children.

  1. God is . . . the holy Creator who expects you to obey Him (Acts 17:24-27).
  2. You are . . . a sinner who does not obey Him (Ro 3:23; Isa 53:6).
  3. God hates sin and must punish sin . . . Therefore, sinners will go to Hell after they die (Isa 64:7; Ro 6:23; 2Th 1:8).

Christ is . . . God the Son who became a man and died on the cross in order to make one way of salvation. Since sin must be punished, you deserve Hell for punishment. However, because Jesus Christ was sinless, He was able and did take your punishment (Jn 3:16; Ro 5:8).

Therefore, man needs to repent of his sin. Repenting means that you turn from sin and follow God (Ac 8:22; Ac 26:20)

And man needs to place faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Faith is knowing that these things are true, believing them, and trusting in Christ as your Savior and Lord (Ro 10.9).
The last two points, repentance and faith, are the most commonly overlooked elements in child evangelism. For proof, look at a number of tracts used for child evangelism. Rarely will you find these two concepts explained. If you neglect to mention the concepts of repentance and faith, then you have not communicated the gospel. Notice how the Bible repeats these themes in certain gospel passages.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Ac 3.19).

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Ro 3.22).

I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus (Ac 20.21).

Your goal as a gospel giver is to communicate the entire message of salvation. There are many legitimate ways to present the gospel, but if one forgets to mention either of these two elements, he has not given the gospel.

What should we say? We have noted some misleading (vague) phrases at the beginning of this study. Now, the question comes, “What should we say?” The following are helpful replacements:

  • You need to reject your sin and believe in Jesus to forgive you.
  • You need to trust in Christ and what He did for you on the cross.
  • You need to ask God to forgive your sin and trust in Him.
  • You need to seek God’s forgiveness and commit your life to the Lord.

Are there other ways I can explain the gospel? There are many tracts for children today. Not all are the same. Most tracts written for children leave out the concepts of repentance and faith. Be wise and diligent in your search for biblically sound tracts.
Children like pictures. Use illustrations that help them visualize the gospel (or elements of it). Whatever illustration you use, make sure that children understand that salvation only comes through repenting and believing in Christ alone.

Biography: John Newton: More Than a Hymnwriter

During his first pastorate in Olney, John Newton produced an amazing 282 hymns. Among those hymns are well-known favorites such as Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds, and Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken. But Newton was more than a hymn writer.

Abolitionist By the age of 30, Newton grew to despise the trading of slaves. He quit the slave trade and became an ardent slavery abolitionist. One of Newton’s long-time friends was the aunt of a young man by the name of William Wilberforce. God used Newton’s influence to move Wilberforce against the slave trade. Wilberforce was a well-known British Parliamentarian who helped abolish slavery. Incidentally, the very year John Newton died, the United States enacted a law prohibiting the importation of slaves from Africa.

Biblical counselor Newton’s closest friend was William Cowper. Together, they produced a hymnal called Olney Hymns. Given Cowper’s physical condition, this was a major accomplishment. Throughout his life Cowper battled moments of extreme melancholy (depression). It was at those times that Newton counseled him to get out of his bed, cross the street, and work in the orphanage. Some would consider this prescription to be unloving. In fact, this was sound biblical advice. Also, consider Cowper’s own words of Newton:

“A sincerer or more affectionate friend no man ever had.”

Defender of the faith Newton was a prolific writer. Among his writings were biographies, histories, and various letters to friends. He wrote a series of letters to a preacher friend exhorting him to reject Arminian theology. The following are some excerpts from these letters.

For I believe fallen man, universally considered as such, is as incapable of doing the least thing towards his salvation, till prevented by the grace of God, as a dead body is of restoring itself to life. . . . he is so blinded by Satan, so alienated from God by nature and wicked works, so given up to sin, so averse from that way of salvation, which is contrary to his pride and natural wisdom, that he will not embrace it, or seek after it; and, therefore, he cannot, till the grace of God powerfully enlightens his mind, and overcomes his obstacles.

Newton spilled much ink in support of Calvinistic theology. He championed the cause of God’s sovereignty and warned others of the natural man’s spiritual inability. Why would Newton devote so much effort to promote Calvinism? Because for Newton it was neither dispensable nor trivial. Speaking of the doctrine of unconditional election, Newton wrote:

. . . if it [unconditional election] be indeed absurd, shocking, and unjust, the blame will not deservedly fall upon me, for I did not invent it, but upon the Scriptures, where I am sure, it is laid down in as plain terms that God created the heavens and the earth. . . .

Newton also warned Christians not to invoke mystical practices when determining God’s will. The following words are fitting even for our generation of Christians:

Some persons, when in doubt, have opened the Bible at a venture, and expected to find something to direct them in the first verse they should cast their eye upon. It is no small discredit to this practice, that the Heathens, who knew not the Bible, used some of their favourite books in the same way: and grounded their persuasions of what they ought to do, or of what should befall them, according to the passage they happened to open upon.

Although Newton is most known for composing hymns such as Amazing Grace, he has left us much more. He was instrumental in abolishing slavery. He is an example of a loving but honest biblical counselor, and a defender of the faith.

John Newton (1725–1807): The hymn writer who experienced “Amazing Grace”

Best known as the author of Amazing Grace, John Newton has one of the most remarkable testimonies of any hymn writer. God took Newton, a wretched slave trader, and made him into one of the most distinguished and influential Christians of his day.
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear . . . John Newton was born to a sailor and his wife in London, England. His father was often on voyages, leaving Newton alone with his mother. Newton appreciated his father despite his cold, stoic manners. Yet, it was his mother who left an indelible impression on Newton’s mind.

Newton’s mother was a Dissenter. That is, she was a faithful Christian who did not join the Church of England. She made it her life’s career to invest all of her energies to educate young Newton. She taught him many hymns, catechisms, and required him to memorize Scripture. So precocious was Newton that by the time he was four, he was able to read the Bible by himself and had memorized two catechisms (Watt’s and Assembly’s) including proofs.

Just days before his seventh birthday, while his father was out to sea, his mother died. At this juncture, life changed remarkably for Newton. His father remarried. Though his father and new mother loved him, he no longer enjoyed their careful involvement. Newton befriended “idle and ungodly” children. He was sent to a school with an especially harsh schoolmaster. Some of his harshness however was of benefit to Newton. By the time he was ten, he learned to proficiently read Latin.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares . . . By age 11 Newton learned the sailing trade from his father. However, Newton proved himself to be unreliable. On one occasion, his father granted him three days leave. He made arrangements to visit friends of his first mother, in Kent, England. These friends had a daughter, Mary Catlett, of whom he said “I was impressed with an affection which never abated.” He extended his stay with her family for three weeks leaving no notice with his father.

In 1743 he was drafted by the British Navy. It did not take Newton long to prove himself to be an irresponsible soldier. Again, he went AWOL to visit Mary in Kent. For this and similar irresponsibilities, he was flogged and kicked out of the Navy. Those discharged from the Navy, were often sent to work on slave boats. He recalls that within one hour’s time, he went from sleeping comfortably on a British navy ship to working on a slave ship headed for India. This new assignment marked a turning point in Newton’s life. Slave dealers were not usually fond of discharged navy sailors, mainly due to their unreliability.
Shortly after he boarded the slave ship, he contracted a serious illness. His sickness was so great that he barely had the energy to lift a cup to his mouth. The captain’s wife, interpreting his lack of energy as characteristic of a lazy worker, especially despised Newton thinking him to be an unprofitable worker. When her husband was absent, she enjoyed inflicting misery upon Newton. She starved him and ordered her servants to throw limes and stones at him. She also taunted him by eating lavish meals in his presence, offering him only her dinner scraps. His situation was so grave that, feeling compassion for him, many slaves secretly brought him food.

In 1747 a sailor friend of Newton’s father found him in a hermit like state on the Gold Coast. He took pity on Newton and gave him free passage back to England on his ship. He showed great mercy to Newton, supplying him with food and clothing. Having the freedom to relax and enjoy the passage, Newton devoted himself to reading. Ironically, he read books that commented on Scripture. He said, “I did so with indifference as if I were reading a novel.” One night, after reading Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ, a fierce gale threatened to sink the ship. The ship was in no shape to endure a storm as the sails and cordage were already in disrepair.

During the storm, one of Newton’s friends was swept overboard. Water started to fill the hull of the ship. The sleep deprived crew made repairs to, and pumped water from, the ship’s hull. In God’s providence, the ship was loaded with beeswax and wood, keeping the wreck afloat. Still weeks from home, the crew survived by eating the pig’s feed as the animals were lost during the storm. The crisis was so bleak that whispers of cannibalism could be heard among the crew. The captain blamed their troubles on Newton often calling him “Jonah.” Virtually every hour the captain threatened to throw him overboard.

With their last meal boiling in a kettle, they spotted Ireland. Exhausted from the laborious trip, with the looming thoughts of death, Newton had time to think of his spiritual condition. God used two things to awaken his conscience, the Scripture he learned as a young boy and Kempis’ book. On May 10, 1748, he trusted in Christ as his Savior and new Master.

The Lord has promised good to me . . . Although he was saved, he continued to work on slave ships for a number of years. In time, Newton became the captain of his own ship. The captain of another slave ship befriended him, taught him from the Scriptures, and educated him about the doctrinal battles of the times. It did not take long before Newton became one of the most respected slave ship captains. He even held Sunday services on the slave ships. The spiritual growth and maturity Newton showed, proved his worthiness to Mary’s father, who then allowed them to marry.

Newton came to despise slave trading and became a surveyor of tides in Liverpool. It was here, by God’s providence, that Newton was exposed to the preaching of George Whitefield, one of the greatest preachers the world has known. Newton then began studying Greek, Hebrew, and Latin to prepare himself for the ministry.

In 1764 he became an Anglican curate (pastor) at Olney, England. Newton, with the help of his friend William Cowper, wrote a new hymn every week. These hymns were compiled into the hymnal known as the Olney Hymns. It is in that hymnal that Amazing Grace first appeared in published form. In 16 years he wrote nearly 300 hymns during his ministry in Olney.

And when this flesh and heart shall fail . . . At the age of 55, Newton moved to London and spent his remaining years as a pastor there. In his final years, he continued to minister in spite of many ailments. Just before he died of “consumption,” he became blind and suffered a poor memory. He often testified to his parishioners, “My memory is nearly gone, but I can remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”

Book Review: Law & Grace by J. Alva McClain


The careful student of God’s Word recognizes that there is a discontinuity between the Old and New Testament. That is, he sees a very real difference between the people of Israel and the Church. They are distinct in many ways including their future blessings and way of life.

This distinction between Israel and the Church raises many questions for those who desire to apply the Old Testament. Should the interpreter directly apply Old Testament principles to New Testament believers? If so, in what way? If not, why not? More precisely, since the entirety of Scripture is “useful” (or “profitable” kjv 2Ti 3.16) how should the New Testament believer view the Mosaic Law? Many volumes have been written with the sincere goal of aiding the modern believer in his interpretation of the Old Testament.

Alva McClain’s work, Law and Grace, is an essential read for those with any of the above questions. As an introduction to the subject of the Law, this book is a must. McClain aptly demonstrates that the Old Testament Law was designed to show sinners their plight. With this divine purpose (though there are others) in mind, he shows that the Law has never brought salvation to the Israelites, Gentiles, or Christians.

Yet, the Law is not to be ignored. The last three chapters are especially helpful. In those McClain discusses the dangers of putting Christians under the Law. He also demonstrates that the Law is profitable and should be studied by every believer.

At times, this book is somewhat pedantic. This should not frustrate the reader. The book is only 80 pages with 10 chapters. The brevity of each chapter allows the reader to quickly reread portions that were not assimilated the first time. Besides that, the reader will appreciate the wealth of information found in such a brief book. Furthermore, the believer will gain a new appreciation for the Law and its divinely intended roles.

Book Review: Thoughts for Young Men by John Charles Ryle


John Charles Ryle was a bishop of Liverpool, 1880–1900. He was a prolific writer who enjoyed wide circulation of his writings. More than two million of his publications were distributed in his day.

However, that was the nineteenth century. Since that time, his name has become virtually unknown among mainstream Christians. The republication of his book, Thoughts for Young Men, brings this nineteenth century writer to twentieth century believers. He writes in an expressive, clear style. One may not realize (with the exception of a few archaisms) that this book was written over a century ago!

Thoughts for Young Men is rather brief, but in it Ryle covers many subjects. In pastoral-like fashion, he challenges young men to take life seriously. He identifies the many dangers facing young men – pride, fear of man, bad friends, and an undisciplined mind. The strength of this book lies in his ability to apply truth using many vivid illustrations.

Since J.C. Ryle was Anglican, one can expect to stumble across an occasional misapplied OT principle. In particular, he refers to Sunday as the Sabbath. Also given his theological perspective, on a couple of occasions he speaks of the means of grace. Overall, the book does not suffer because these are treated as minor points.

One of the most unfortunate things about this book is its title, Thoughts for Young Men. Every parent would do well to encourage their teens, guys and girls, to read this book. Mature Christians will also benefit from this book.

This is a quick read, but one which has been and will be reread by this reviewer.

Book Review: When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch


Some writers have an exceptional ability to write about a familiar subject in a refreshing, thought provoking way. With his book, When People are Big and God is Small, Ed Welch does just that.

Ed Welch is a counselor at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Pennsylvania. Unlike many counseling centers today, CCEF is thoroughly biblical in its approach to man’s problems. You will not be disappointed as you read Welch’s book.

In his desire to make this book readable and understandable to those familiar with psychobabble, Welch uses commonly used terms like peer pressure, codependency, and self-esteem to introduce his topic. Yet by the end of the book, the reader will begin assigning the biblical term, a fear of man, to such new fangled problems.

Welch divides his book into two parts: How and Why We Fear Others and Overcoming the Fear of Others. In the first section, Welch probes the minds of those who fear man more than they fear God. You will be surprised as you read how the fear of man ensnares the minds of Christians. He exposes the fear in all of us. In the second part, Welch amply supplies biblical principles so that one can eradicate the fear of man and develop a fear of God.

The strengths of this book are many, but at least this should be stated. Unlike the majority of self-help books, Welch does not merely state his opinions, he uses Scripture profusely. The bulk of the book (over two-thirds) is devoted to fixing man’s problems. He does not simply bemoan the fact that people fear man more than they fear God. He gives biblical solutions.

Global Warming: More Than a Hoax

Global Warming: More Than a Hoax

The following are some quotes from those who believe that Global Warming is real and is the most critical problem facing our society.

“Among the steps needed to defend ourselves is quick action to fortify emergency response capabilities worldwide, to shield or relocate vulnerable coastal communities and to prepare for increased migration flows by environmental refugees.Mark Hertsgaard

“According to the grimmest forecasts, extreme global warming could give us a future where erratic and chaotic weather, rising sea levels, and melting snowpack usher in an epic of drought, crop failure, famine, flood and mass extinctions and the political instability that invariably accompanies dwindling resources. ” Atty Robert Kennedy,

“…climate change could unleash a series of interlocking catastrophes including mega-droughts, mass starvation and even nuclear war as countries like China and India battle over river valleys and other sources of scarce food and water.

In an article titled, “Global Warming Could Slam Food Supply,” “But computer model projections shown to ABC News by eminent climatologist Steve Schneider at Stanford University, and other calculations from California state water boards, now warn that because of global warming the mountain snowpack so essential to all the food is most likely to be not only melting out too fast in the spring, but diminishing drastically — by as much as 90 percent, according to some computer models — before the end of the century, well within the lifetime of today’s kids. [emphasis mine. correction made based on discussion below]

We should not be surprised at the secular interpretation of climate and its changes. However, what is surprising is that Christians are being duped and duping others on this issue. See Christianity Today’s synopsis of articles which show that many in the evangelical community are promoting this hoax.

This is not new. Many leading Christians get caught in the “Chicken Little” atmosphere. Remember the Y2K crisis? In 1999, many Christian leaders were creating an atmosphere of fear in our churches. Consider Gary North, a leading Presbyterian leader. In his article “Blind Mans Bluff” which this appeared on his site, Gary said the following:

“We are heading for a disaster greater than anything the world has experienced since the bubonic plague of the mid-14th century.”1

Consider the number of doomsday prophecies of the past decades. Every one of them have been proven false by time…

  • 1970s: Global Cooling. Those who advocated for global cooling made wild predictions that within 30 years, we would all be suffering from starvation because of the lack of crops. Now, thirty-years later, we have Global Warming. Also, there is not starvation. The government is sponsoring bills to help curb obesity.
  • 1970s: Energy Crisis under President Jimmy Carter. It was predicted that we would run out of fossil fuels. This spiked an unnecessary fuel crisis.
  • 1970s: Population Bomb: It was believed that the world’s population world was increasing at such a radical pace that there will not be enough room, food and resources. China adopted the inhumane measures of limiting their society to one child per family. This has so ravaged their nation that now in 2008, they are now reconsidering their practices.
  • 1999: Y2K computer glitch would affect banks, traffic signals, create food shortages and be a catastrophe. Not one incident was recorded.

As believers, what are we to think of doomsday prophecies like global warming and how are we to react to them?
What are We to Think of Doomsday Prophecies, especially Global Warming?

We are to Reject People Who Make Non-Biblical Doomsday Prophecies.

There is an underlying need in sinful human nature to be able to predict the future. It used to be that false prophets were dealt with severely. Today, they win the Nobel Peace prize.

What is behind this need to “prophecy?” Why is it that people want to predict the future? It can be boiled down to one word—pride.

In Job 38:22-30, God challenges Job’s proud spirit by asking a series of rhetorical questions about the weather and climate. With these series of questions, God highlight’s Job’s inability to control the climate. Here are a sampling of the questions:

  • Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? (vv 22,23)
  • What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? (vs 24)
  • Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? (vv. 25-27)
  • Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? (vv. 28-30)

God made it clear to Job that it is arrogance to believe that man can control the climate. We can look back and see what the climate has done. We can make short term educated guesses to what the weather will do. However, to make predictions such as the Global Warming pundits make is just plain arrogance. They predict that the climate will change up to 11.5 degrees farenheit in the next 30 years. This never happened before and is 11 times greater than any fluctuation in the past 2,000 years. With all of the satellite pictures and meterology equipment at our disposal, weathermen cannot predict with any real accuracy what will happen more than two weeks into the future.

Why do people make claims that the temperature will rise as it never has before? Why are they acting as if they have special knowledge? It is human nature to play God. Only God possesses the knowledge of our future climate.

We are to Reject People Who Ignore Clear Biblical Statements That There Will Be No Doomsday Such as Global Warming.

Let’s contrast what the Global Warming pundits are saying with what the Bible clearly states:

The Global Warming advocates predict the following:

The world’s overall temperatures will increase to as much as 11.5 degrees causing the glaciers to melt, raising sea levels and covering most of our coastal metropolitan cities.

What the Bible says:

Genesis 8:22: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

The Global Warming advocates say:

“We are risking the ability of the human race to survive” Climate Change panel chairman

What the Bible says:

Genesis 9:11: “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

We are to Give Careful Thought Before We Believe in Global Warming

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. (Pr 14:15)

This proverb describes a “simple” person. “Simple” comes from the Hebrew word which means “open-minded,” “easily persuaded.”

These people believe “anything.” Literally, this is “every word.” They do not discern, but believe every word anybody speaks.

On the contrary, we are to be prudent, sensible people. How does this apply to the Global Warming issue? Here are a few practical suggestions…

  • Prudent people discern what the Global Warming people are saying. Did you notice that the “Global Warming” phrase is now being redefined as “Climate Change?” That is significant. Those who are teaching that there is a warming trend want to be able to cover themselves in case there is a cooling trend by using the phrase “climate change.” This is what propogandists do. They subtly change definitions and terms.
  • Prudent people believe the Bible before they believe the scientific community. The above passages show that we will always have “cold and heat.” We will have cycles of weather.
  • Prudent people do not get excited about the claims that there is going to be a Global Warming catastrophe. They are able to see that politics and money are the driving forces of this issue.
  • Prudent people realize that the Global Warming advocates are repeating the same dogma the Global Cooling and Population Bomb people produced in the 70s.2 However, Global Warming advocates are not willing to make the same mistake their precedessors made in the 70s. It was said that Global Cooling would bring catastrophes within 10 to 30 years. Now that at least 30 years has gone by and there were no catastrophes. Now, the Global Warming community project disasters out to 50 to 100 years. Why? Is it because they will not be here to explain why the catastrophes did not happen?
  • Prudent people will consider the good education coming from Heartland Institute and their Manhattan Declaration.

How Are We to React to Doomsday Prophecies, especially Global Warming?

Perilous times provide Christians an opportunity to express their faith in God.

Assume for a moment that Global Warming were true (as the advocates suggest), what should our response be? Consider Joseph (Genesis 50:19–21) who faced many real crises throughout his life. He was a humble young man who focused on God’s sovereignty. In the midst of real crisis, he told his brothers…

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

God used the evil actions of the brothers to save their own lives and the lives of many others. Joseph looked back on his life and realized that God’s plan incorporates both evil and good.

When calamities come, we can be confident that they are no surprise to God. God, in his wisdom and strength, planned and uses these things to accomplish his purposes. Therefore, when Christians are faced with turmoil, they can be confident that “all things will work together for good!” (Romans 8:28)

As believers, we are not to spread fear over the Global Warming issue. Instead, we should use this as an occasion to share our faith. People around us need stability. They need hope. They need to be saved. Take this global warming issue as an opportunity to spread the Gospel.

Worry is sin.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?… 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Mt 6:25, 34)

The phrase “do not worry” comes from one Greek word which has a stronger meaning “do not be anxious.” There are plenty of things to be “anxious” over. We have real threats—terrorism, peer pressure, materialism, apathy, etc. From this passage we can draw at least two conclusions…

  1. Anxiety is a lack of trust in God to take care of us. Since He has, and continues to take care of our basic necessities, He will take care of our greater needs.
  2. Anxiety tends to focus on things that are not true (vs 34 cf. Php 4:8). We cannot know the future with any degree of certainty. Only God knows the future. For believers, who can only know the past and the present, we are to focus on godly living in the present. Does that mean that we do not concern ourselves with the future? No. We simply are not to grow anxious over the future that we miss opportunities for godly living here and now.


Global Warming is truly more than a hoax. It is fast becoming a pernicious problem for Christians. It is a battle between faith in science or the Bible. Like many doomsday prophecies, there are underlying motivations. We have identified two—politics and money.

The Global Warming issue provides us an opportunity to exercise our faith. As you meet those who advocate these kinds of doomsday prophecies, take careful, prudent thought. Use it as an occasion to spread the Gospel.3

1 Since his website is no longer in existence, we do have 🙂 See the following quote in context here.

2See this insightful article which compares the statements of Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore.

3An article on ways to use Global Warming for spreading the Gospel will be available soon.