Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Who are You in Matthew 2?

There are 3 characters in Matthew 2 that, I think, reflect the 3 approaches to Christ that we commonly find in our culture today.

Are you like Herod? Herod was the King. News of another King was a disturbing threat to his own throne. He was prepared to do whatever was necessary to protect his place in life. It seems to me there are many in our culture with this response to Jesus. They don't want there to be a new King in their lives. Kings require submission. We prefer our own rule to that of Jesus.

Or are you like the priests/teachers of Israel. They are not as prominent in the story, but they do represent something quite common in our culture. Herod comes to them for information about where the Messiah would be born. They know. They seem to know all the information about the Messiah, but something is missing. We don't get the impression that they were very passionate about finding Him. They were more interested in information than transformation. They knew some of the truth, but they were not in pursuit of The Truth.

I hope you are more like the maji. What is important about them is not whether they were kings or wise men or even astrologers. What is important about them is that they were in pursuit of the truth. They weren't concerned to maintain their elite status (bringing gifts to the baby of Jewish peasants). They weren't content with just the information the star gave them (choosing, instead, to focus on what the star pointed them to). They pursued truth until it brought them to The Truth: Jesus. And then they worshiped Him. They served Him by contributing gifts (gifts that, most likely, kept Him alive for the next months/years of his life).

The cool thing about being a wise man or woman is that it doesn't so much matter where you start out in regards to status or knowledge. It matters what direction you are going. If you are moving toward the Messiah, you are a wise man or woman.

So right now, at this moment, are you more like Herod (antagonistic toward the Gospel), the priests/teachers (aware of, but unmoved by, the Gospel) or the magi (in pursuit of The Truth of the Gospel... worshiping/serving Jesus)?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trinity Love

I believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential (in the sense that it is most consistent with) a theology of love. The Bible says that God is love. I am of the school of thought that LOVE is God's core characteristic. Indeed, all other 'attributes' of God are simply His love playing out in context. I believe belief in the Trinity is part and parcel with this theology.

The Father, Son & Spirit are, and always have been, a loving relationship. In trinitarian thought, love is not just something God does... love is something God is. God is a loving relationship. There was never a reality where only the Father existed. If such a time had existed, love could only be at best a potential attribute to be displayed at some future date.

In Islam, for example, God is rigidly one. He created, primarily, in order to have creation submit to Him. How could love be a core characteristic for Allah if, before creation, He was without relationship entirely? Likewise, how could the Christian God have love as a core characteristic without any essential relationship? The Christian God is love. The Christian God is the loving relationship b/w Father, Son & Spirit.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Spiritual Gifts: Dangers

Spiritual gifts are powerful and, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. The subject of spiritual gifts comes with four main dangers (flowing out of 1 Corinthians 12-14).

First, there is the danger of dismissal. There are a  number of reasons why someone might dismiss spiritual gifts. Maybe they've been led astray doctrinally (cessationism) or they are revolting again excess (charismania). Maybe they just aren't interested in serving ('just say a prayer' mentality). In any case, it is clear spiritual gifts are not to be ignored or dismissed. By no means should they be forbidden. By every means they should be eagerly desired.

Second, there is the danger of deception. The devil loves to counterfeit genuine spirituality. There are prophets and there are false prophets. There are teachers and there are false teachers. The church must be on guard. They must search the Scriptures. They must have discernment. They must have the gift of distinguishing between spirits. Otherwise the devil will be able to use false gifts to lead people astray.

Third, there is the danger of disorder. Spiritual gifts are exciting. But in the excitement some people forget that the gifts exist for the edification of the body. The display of spiritual gifts should not be a free-for-all. God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. Everything should be done in an orderly way. There are far too many examples of order being ignored in favor of so-called freedom. We need to rid ourselves of the thinking that anything having to do with the 'Spirit' must be without structure.

Fourth, there is the danger of division. Some gifts are displayed more prominently than others. This creates space for the twin temptations of pride and depression. A prominently gifted person may start to think they don't need the others. Someone with a behind the scenes gift may start to question their worth to the Kingdom project. Such mistaken notions lead to division within the body of Christ. The reality of this led Paul to spend a lot of ink on the body metaphor and on defining love in the middle of a discussion of spiritual gifts.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spiritual Gifts: Number

Just how many spiritual gifts are there?

In my reading, I've come across many answers to that question. It really depends on how one answers some key considerations, such as:

What biblical LISTS are listing spiritual gifts?
What biblical non-list verses mention spiritual gifts?
Are there 'extra-biblical' spiritual gifts?

A related question, which we will deal with separately, has to do with whether some of the gifts are actually duplicated in other passages while using slightly different words. For now, however, I simply want to share my thoughts on these 3 important questions.

What biblical LISTS are listing spiritual gifts?
There are many lists in the New Testament. For example, there are lists of apostles, lists of virtues, and lists of vices. There are also, indisputably, lists of spiritual gifts. What is not indisputable, however, is which lists belong to this collection. The most common understanding is that the lists are found in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. I find this quite agreeable (with one caveat that I will mention in answer to the 3rd question).

What biblical non-list verses mention spiritual gifts?
We should not trap ourselves into thinking that all spiritual gifts must have been mentioned in list form. There are some spiritual gifts (usually using the same Greek word(s) for gift) mentioned in isolation from the bigger lists. There is debate on most of them as to whether the biblical authors intended them to be considered as spiritual gifts, but in most cases I find no reason to reject them as such. Some of the suggested additions would be gifts like hospitality, singleness, marriage, vows of poverty, martyrdom, music, and craftsmanship. My inclusion of these will make even more sense in light of my answer to the third question.

Are there 'extra-biblical' spiritual gifts?
I don't see why not! We have no reason to believe that Paul, for instance, was attempting to compile a complete list of spiritual gifts. Indeed, we have plenty of reason not to believe that (since each list contains both overlap and distinction). Paul included examples, perhaps picked especially for the recipients of each letter. There are probably lots of 'extra-biblical' gifts. This is why I have so willing to accept non-list gifts and (to fulfill my promised caveat) the lists from the controversial ending of Mark 16 (whether it is original or not, there are no good reasons for rejecting its list of sign-gifts).

Answering these questions in these ways will make it impossible to do a COMPLETE study of the spiritual gifts, but that's OK. My only aim is to do a helpful study.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Spiritual Gifts: Categories

I've come across DOZENS of attempts to categorize the spiritual gifts. I don't think categorizing them is very important, but it may be helpful for those hoping to better understand them. It could also be somewhat harmful, if we fail to recognize that our categories are extra-biblical and imperfect. So keep in mind that what you're about to read is just my attempt to be helpful. I do not insist upon these categories dogmatically.

I believe that some of the spiritual gifts are PRIMARILY intended as signs pointing toward the authority of Jesus and His movement. Sign gifts witness to unbelievers, perhaps especially those who are religious seekers. They tend to be on the more sensational side insofar as they are intended to get the attention of people so that they open themselves up to the Gospel.

Some of the spiritual gifts mentioned in Scripture (and seemingly many of those not mentioned in Scripture), may be classified as serving gifts. Since loving sacrifice is central to Christianity, it is not surprising that service gifts make up a category among the spiritual gifts. Serving gifts often look like applications of the fruit of the Spirit. Those with these gifts often work behind the scenes.

A third category of gifting has to do with speaking. It is not that those given spiritual words to share are not servants that necessitates a third category, it is that revelation from God is integral to the church being and doing what it is called to be and do. We need a word from God and those who have been given speaking gifts bring those words to us effectively.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spiritual Gifts: Definition

I'm going to be blogging about spiritual gifts in preparation for a teaching series on this subject. I'll start with a working definition. This definition is fresh in that I made it up after doing my research, but it is subject to further insight.

Spiritual gift
A special ability, proficiency, or status that God providentially grants to particular individuals by the Spirit for the purpose of continuing Jesus' work of drawing unbelievers and building up believers.

By 'special ability' I refer to gifts largely disconnected from the person's previous experience. By 'proficiency' I mean the heightening or sanctification of a previously existing God-given talent. By 'status' I am including certain offices, institutions, and states of existence that are gifts of God to the church.

God gives these gifts providentially, by His wise choice, to particular people (not to everyone). Of course, the main recipients are Christians. That being said, there may be circumstances where a non-Christian individual is given a spiritual gift for a specific purpose.

The purpose of spiritual gifts is to continue the work of Jesus Christ. The church is the body of Christ on earth. Nearly all of the gifts were demonstrated in his 3+ years of ministry. There are 3 main ways that God uses spiritual gifts: 1) As a sign to unbelievers to confirm His presence 2) As a means to growing the body of Christ in maturity and 3) as a way of meeting basic human needs.

I think that this definition is broad enough to account for the biblical material and yet concise enough to be useful for discussion.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The Matthew Never Knew has recently passed 300,000 all-time hits

Did it take almost a decade? Yes

Were most of those me? Probably

This milestone will also serve as a transition point. I have tentatively decided to start blogging more often. Maybe not quite as often as I did from 2005-2008, but more than I did from 2011 till today (check the post amounts in the blog archives on the left). The posts will mostly be about theological things that I've been thinking, series' that I've been teaching, and excerpts from books/curriculum that I've been writing.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

BBC Blog-List Retiring

In 24 hours I am retiring the BBC Bloglist (located on right hand side of my blog). For many years it served as a hub for friends from Bethany Bible College (now Kingswood University), but most everyone has switched to facebook or simply stopped blogging. I am going to be re-focusing my own blog a bit and think it's time to make this move.

Just wanted to post this explanation in case anyone from BBC is still reading this and wonders why it is gone.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Broken Un-Promises

I've been thinking a lot lately about the promises of God. More specifically, I've been thinking about how loosely the concept is defined and how often the promises are broken (hint... a lot).

The problem seems to be that the Bible is not the encyclopedia that many people seem to want it to be. You can't go to the book of 2nd Promises and the chapter on 'promises having to do with my love life' and find the appropriate verse. The Bible is a narrative... a story. It contains all sorts of statements from God and a lot of them could potentially be taken as promises.

And this is why it becomes so important to understand what is and is not a promise... and whether or not there are different kinds of promises. Are proverbs promises? Are some (all?) promises conditional? Do earthy sounding promises always find their fulfillment on earth?

You see, if I think that Proverbs 22:6 guarantees that if I do my best at training my kids in God's way then they'll automatically (eventually) become believers... I might end up thinking God broke a promise. If I felt Jesus was going to come back in 1988 because that's a generation after Israel became a nation again, it may have left me lost in my faith. If I think that passages in Isaiah and James can be combined to make every sickness go away, it may leave me incredibly disappointed with God in a bed (or next to one) at a hospital or, worse, yet, a funeral home.

As a quick aside, there's also the issue of non-biblical 'promises' of God. If I really believe that God called me to plant a church in Kelowna, BC (Canada) and then it never happened or failed miserably... does that mean God failed?

Clearly this is a life-affecting issue. I perceive that there are many disappointed Christians (and ex-Christians) out there as a result of the apparently broken promises of God. The sad thing is, I think this disappointment is needless. I don't believe that God has ever broken a promise, but I also don't think He's made nearly as many as some people think. Proverbs are principles, not promises. Some prophecies were (and are) set in stone, but many of them were (and are) conditional. Jesus had a healing ministry, but healings are signs pointing to the ultimate message of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Savior. Miraculous healings are still possible, but were never meant to be the norm. In fact, it would be more accurate to think of Jesus' words 'in this world you will have trouble' as a promise than some of the more instantly gratifying verses that some suppose are promises.

My point is that it doesn't make much sense to be disappointed with God for not keeping promises that He never made, so we should make sure we think through these issues pretty carefully. It's not enough to just Google a list of Bible promises. It's not enough to just 'feel' God has promised you something. It could be that there are actually a small set of actual promises from God. They might not include things like ease and earthly happiness (they might even mean the opposite!), but you can bet they are eternally beautiful.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Limited Negatives

‘Limited Negatives’ as Conversation Starters

A "limited negative" is a statement, usually (though not always) constructed as follows:

“Not A…but B

But which actually means:

“Not only A…but also B” or, perhaps, “Not merely A…but primarily B

Such an idiom becomes recognizable when it would be absurd or contradictory to take an absolute-sounding statement absolutely.

Obvious Examples (to prove the literary device exists)

Matthew 10:20
For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

John 12:44
Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.

John 6:27
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.

1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Obvious Counter-Examples (to provoke caution)

Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath.

3 John 1:11
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Ephesians 5:18
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

12 Potential ‘Limited Negative’ Passages for our Consideration

Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:19-20
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

Matthew 10:34
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword

Luke 12:4
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.

Luke 14:12-13
When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.

John 1:13
Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

John 7:24
Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Philippians 2:4
Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self

Friday, August 23, 2013

I'm pretty sure I'm right about certainty

Lately I've been thinking that our culture has been so impacted by the so called 'Age of Reason' that we actually believe that certainty is an attainable goal for matters of significance. If we can be certain that 1+1=2 and that a water molecule contains 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atom, then surely we can be certain about matters like global warming and the existence of God!

Not so fast... Maybe the more important something is, the more factors there are involved and the less certain we can be. Maybe relationships, the most significant of all things, are for that very reason resistant to such a thing as certainty. Instead, relationships are risky ventures. 1+1 does equal 2, but who cares? 1 person plus 1 person demands trust. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

This may sound overwhelmingly negative to many in our culture. We've been trained to demand certainty. We've been taught that if we look long enough and in the right way, we'll never have to leap. I risk causing depression by insisting that such a pursuit is hopeless except in trivial matters. But my goal is not to demonstrate that our goals are unattainable. Rather, I aim to show that our goals have been wrong all along.

We never should have allowed certainty the place of pride. Certainty is not a treasure worth seeking. Truth is. Beauty is. Love is. This is rather obvious once we think for more than a moment. Would I rather be absolutely certain that my wife is faithful (attainable only, perhaps, by implanting some sort of chip in her brain or having her drink a love potion of sorts) or experience her faithfulness day after day? I think those are the options.

But we desire certainty. We crave it. And when we inevitably don't find it, we are left with two bad options. Some decide to force the issue. They attempt to convince themselves of their certainty even though the attempt to find it has fallen short. This usually takes the form of dogmatism, unwavering opinions, and ridicule towards alternative possibilities. Others admit defeat. Craving certainty and finding none, they give up on most everything of significance. They become indifferent and jaded.

I think I see the former course more often in people older than me and the latter in people younger, but that is just an untested observation. In any case, both options are bad news. The devil dances in delight at a fork in the road like this. What a victory for him to have us choose between two errors without even thinking of turning around and heading back to where we got off-track.

The road is a good analogy, by the way, for what we may have been on before we took this turn for the worse. We are travelers, after all. We are headed somewhere. We have a destination, but we are not there yet. And because we aren't there, we can't be certain exactly what that destination will look like or that we're taking the right route. It's not that we are driving blind. There are plenty of signs, fellow passengers, and fueling stations along the way (though most men refuse to ask directions!). But even with a great map or GPS, we're lacking absolute certainty.

My point is... who cares? Getting there has always been half the fun. Getting out on the road is risky, but it's the only way to get to God knows where. Our lack of certainty along the way is not an indication that there isn't certainly a destination beyond our wildest dreams, only that we travel by good old-fashioned faith. It's actually more reasonable to risk the roads than to hold tightly to a dead-end sign or simply stay at home forever.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Speculative Theology on Satan

I am the only person I know that holds the view I am about to describe

And I say that humbly, not with pride.

Most likely, I am wrong.

I believe that God created a being whose purpose was to test humanity. Tests can be beneficial. We can use them to learn and grow. Tests are morally neutral. This testing angel tested Eve. She failed the test. Her failure created a test for Adam. He failed too. All of creation was impacted by the failure of those made in God's image, even the testing being. The failure and subsequent corruption of human beings led to the corruption of the testing agent. His motive for testing humanity changed from a desire to obey His Creator to a desire to deceive his subjects. He started to want humans to fail the tests he gave. The more humans failed, the more corrupt he became. His role of testing changed into one of temptation. The Fall of Man led to the Fall of Satan.

This theory solves a long-standing conundrum I have had. Why did Satan fall? I know why Adam fell: Peer pressure from the world (Eve). I know why Eve fell: The presence of a tester (Satan). I didn't know why Satan fell. It seems to me that there are only 3 factors that lead us to sin.

1. Our corrupted/fleshly desires (sin nature, however understood)
2. Our corrupted/fallen world (peer pressure)
3. The tempter (and/or any 'staff' such a being may have)

One or more of those elements in always present when we sin. But none of those elements were present in the case of the Tester (unless he tested himself?). What could have possibly motivated a good being to go bad given the absence of these three factors? I can think of no such thing (though, as I said, I could be missing something).

But if Satan was performing a God-given and morally neutral role in testing Eve... and if Eve failed the test, then Satan could have subsequently been corrupted by the impact of human sin on creation. His role became distorted just as the created order fell out of whack. It was, and is, creation gone wild.

Just a theory.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


This morning I read an article about Stephen Hawking’s latest speech on the origin of the universe. The headline read: Stephen Hawking lays out case for Big Bang without God. Having just explained the ‘First Cause’ argument for the existence of God this past Sunday, I was naturally curious to see what counter-argument he is touting these days.

The article begins by describing the interest in Hawking’s speech. He spoke to a “packed house.” People had waited 12 hours to get their hands on the free tickets. The line to get into the lecture was about a quarter mile long. Another auditorium and an outdoor jumbotron were used to manage the masses. $1,000, apparently, wasn’t enough to take a ticket of someone’s hands. All that to say… people were excited to hear what Stephen Hawking had to say about the origin of the universe. People are interested in the big questions of life. Where did we come from? Why are we here?

After dismissing a number of outdated scientific theories, Hawking’s advocated M-Theory. What is M-Theory, you ask? It is the belief that there are lots of universes. These other universes exist in other dimensions that we don’t have access to. They are sometimes called parallel universes. The article states that, “Hawking sees that theory as the only big idea that really explains what he has observed” (He also feels quite lucky to have landed in one of the universes suitable for life).

So the case for a first cause (The Big Bang) without God is the belief in multiple parallel universes. You may be wondering WHY such a theory is put forward. Let me explain. Hawking admits that the universe appears to be designed (the ‘Design’ argument happens to be the second argument we discussed this past Sunday). Hawking knows it is a worthless endeavor to try to explain this appearance of design as a statistical anomaly. But how else can it be explained? If it is incredibly unlikely that the appearance of design in our universe may be explained by random chance… then why not posit an infinite number of universes? If there’s a near infinite number of universes, a few of them are bound to ‘appear’ designed!

Take a second to think about the move Hawking is making here. To avoid belief in an invisible God, Hawking is willing to believe in the existence of a near infinite amount of universes that he can’t see or observe. Not only does this, to my mind, require far more faith than most any religious system… it also doesn’t happen to explain the origin of the universe (which, I thought, was the whole purpose of the lecture)! Indeed, it multiplies the problem. If you thought it was hard to explain the origin of one universe… try explaining a billion or more!

What would motivate such an intelligent man to come up with such a faithful theory? What is it about G-theory (The God theory) that makes M-Theory so attractive? We find clues to this in the article as well. Early in the lecture, Hawking quipped, “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?” Hawking sounds like a person who has some issues with God from the outset. He’s an angry God. Let me say this… if I felt God was primarily characterized by anger, I’d be looking elsewhere too.

Later in the speech Hawking observed that Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy. He then joked, “I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition.” This reference to church history, once again, shows that Hawking may have less issue with the divine in concept that he does with religion in general. Based on these two quotes, in fact, I would suggest that Hawking’s atheism is motivated more by a distorted view of God and the downfalls of religion than by the scientific facts. He admits the evidence seems to point toward God, but he’d rather appeal to invisible universes than bow to invisible God.

I don’t claim to be nearly as smart as Stephen Hawking when it comes to the inner workings of the universe. I can, however, say this confidently: Belief in M-Theory is motivated more by an anti-God philosophy than it is by actual evidence. Such being the case, one could easily argue that Hawking is just as faithful, if not more so, than your average believer in God.

Friday, April 12, 2013

10 Arguments for the Existence of God

10 Arguments that God exists

#1 The First Cause Argument
Anything that begins to exist has a cause. Most people now agree that the universe at some point in the past began to exist. Therefore, the universe must have had a cause. We can rightfully label that cause the Creator.

#2 The Design Argument
Any careful observer recognizes that the universe displays a high degree of apparent order/design. This could be explained either by chance or by actual intelligence behind the design. But it is so statistically improbable that chance can account for the order/design we observe that intelligence becomes a superior explanation. That intelligent designer can be labeled as God.

#3 The Moral Argument
Throughout history human beings have shared a common sense of right and wrong. The atheistic view cannot adequately explain the source of our shared morality, let alone its existence to begin with. Theism can and does explain it. The source is God.

“The cosmological (first cause) argument shows that God is infinitely powerful; the teleological (design) argument reveals that he is intelligent; the moral argument demonstrates that he is moral.” (Norman Geisler)

“If I find myself with a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, I probably was made for another world.” (C.S. Lewis)

#4 The God-Shaped-Hole Argument
Our sense of need generally corresponds to known realities (hunger exists… so does food). A vast number of people (including many famous atheists) testify that without God they feel they are missing something they desperately need. A God-shaped-hole suggests there is a God.

#5 The Beauty Argument
The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach… A Beautiful sunset… The first breath of a newborn baby… When we recognize utter beauty in this world it points beyond itself to a cosmic artist: God.

#6 The Soul/Spirit Argument
The existence of our personalities...    The many reports of spirits/ghosts and/or out of body experiences. Such facts/reports serve as evidence of the immaterial realm. If such a realm exists, the existence of God becomes likely.

#7 The Miracles Argument
Throughout history, there have been numerous reports of miracles. Even if some miracle reports are false, it is unlikely that they are all illegitimate. Miracles, by definition, point to the existence of a deity.

#8 The Common Consent Argument
Almost all people in every era have believed in some form of deity. It is unlikely that the vast majority of people throughout history have been completely wrong about the existence of a higher power. Therefore, God is likely to exist.

#9 The Experience/Testimony Argument
Many people throughout human history claim to have had an experience with the divine. One could argue that it is highly improbable that all such people have been utterly mistaken. It is far more likely an explanation that a divine being exists and has been experienced.

#10 The Jesus Argument
Jesus Christ claimed to be God. He demonstrated his trustworthiness through his life & teachings and his claims were verified through miracles and his resurrection from the dead. Given these realities, it is far more likely that Jesus was who he claimed to be than any other option (the other options include that Jesus is just a legend… that he was a lunatic… or that he was a liar). If Jesus is who He claimed to be then there is a God: Jesus.

“Of course none of the clues we have been looking for actually proves God. Every one of them is rationally avoidable. However, their cumulative effect is, I think, provocative and potent.” (Timothy Keller)


“Though there cannot be irrefutable proof for the existence of God, many people have found strong clues for his reality—divine fingerprints—in many places.” (Keller)

“The atheist is not able to escape the inexplicability of an impersonal first cause.” (Zacharias)

“Perhaps the most popular and intuitively plausible argument for God’s existence is the so-called argument from design.” (former atheist Antony Flew)

“Virtually no major scientist today claims that the fine tuning was purely a result of chance factors at work in a single universe.” (Flew)

“Though we have been taught that all moral values are relative to individuals and cultures, we can’t live like that. In actual practice we inevitably treat some principles as absolute standards… what gives us the right to do that…? Nothing gives us the right. Yet we can’t stop it.” (Keller)

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Heffner.” (Muggeridge)
“The atheist uses a merely material thing to explain a spiritual thing. That is a far sillier version of the category mistake than the one the ancients made; for it is possible that the greater (Zeus, spirit) caused the lesser (lightning) and explains it; but it is not possible that the lesser (molecules) adequately caused and explains the greater (morality). A good will might create molecules, but how could molecules create a good will?” (Kreeft & Tacelli)

“If you insist on a secular view of the world and yet you continue to pronounce some things right and some things wrong, then I hope you see the deep disharmony between the world your intellect has devised and the real world (and God) that your heart knows exists. This leads to a crucial question. If a premise (there is no God) leads to a conclusion you know isn’t true (napalming babies is culturally relative) then why not change the premise?” (Keller)

“Sartre found atheism ‘cruel,’ Camus ‘dreadful,’ and Nietzsche ‘maddening.’ Atheists who consistently try to live without God tend to commit suicide or go insane. Those who are inconsistent live on the ethical or aesthetic shadow of Christian truth while they deny the reality that made the shadow. But believers and unbelievers evidence a definite need for God.” (Geisler)

“Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man” (Atheist Albert Camus)

“My life now consists in the wish that it [atheism] might be otherwise… and that somebody might make my ‘truth’s appear incredible to me.” (Nietzsche)

“I needed God… I reached out for religion, I long for it, it was the remedy. Had it been denied me, I would have invented it myself.” (Sartre)

“There are many reports of purported miracles, ancient and modern, some of them quite well documented.” (Swinburne)

“In the case of religious experiences, as in the case of all other experiences, the onus is on the skeptic to give reason for not believing what seems to be the case. The only way to defeat the claims of religious experience will be to show that the strong balance of evidence is that there is no God.” (Swinburne)

“Today’s atheist evangelists hardly even try to argue their case… Instead, they train their guns on well-known abuses in the history of the major world religions. But the excesses and atrocities of organized religion have no bearing whatsoever on the existence of God.” (Varghese)