GI-1: THE ARGUMENT FOR GOD FROM THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE (Part 1)

When you look around at the night sky, what do you see? Have you ever seen the Aurora Borealis? Imagine if you could travel through the universe and see it all like it really is. That would be amazing. Psalm 19:1-2 says, The heavens declare the glory of God,      and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech,      And night to night reveals knowledge. Is there anyone out there? It there a Creator God? If the atheist is right about the non-existence of God, then there are no eternal consequences for what we do in this life. Let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. If there is no God, as atheists argue, we’re just wasting our breath. But, if that’s true then for the Christian all that we have done in this life is point people to a source of love, forgiveness, mercy, hope, peace, well-being, joy, etc. In essence…a better life. What’s wrong with that? It’s my breath to waste, isn’t it? On the other hand, if there is a God…well, that changes things. I asked an atheist I know, “If you’re wrong about there being no […]

E22-Why Believe Christianity Part 2

  In this episode we’re looking at part 2 of Why Christianity?, “Does Christianity pass the test?” I think the biggest test, the ultimate test is not so much is it true, as much as if IT IS true does it change lives? If so, how? Join me as I explore questions regarding the reliability and truthfulness of the Bible and how Christianity answers life’s important questions. Please watch this episode. Then please click like, follow and subscribe. Thank you.

E21 Why Believe Christianity? Part 1

“Why believe Christianity?” This is a two part series. In part 1 I’ll present Christianity as a worldview. In part 2 we’ll see if Christianity passes the truth test. In this episode, I’ll examine the questions like… “What is truth?”, “Shouldn’t beliefs be based on truth?”, “What exactly is a “worldview?”, “Why do worldviews matter anyway?” and more. Please don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe. Thanks for watching!

Why Should I Believe In Christianity? (Review)

A guest review by: Kristi Mair “I’m convinced not only that Christianity is true, but also that it’s possible to know that Christianity is true.” (20) Why Should I believe Christianity? by James N Anderson is 225 pages of pure, fresh air. He provides a real, concrete analysis of the reasons we need a triune God to make sense of the cosmos, humanity, and our human experiences and endeavors. If you have questions on the meaning of the universe, life and our daily interactions with it, this book is absolutely for you. Why Believe? What sets this book apart from the rest on reasons for belief is that Anderson’s eye is purely on the non-Christian reader. He assumes no prior knowledge of Christianity and doesn’t belittle, diminish or distract us from the tensions and mysteries behind the Christian faith. Yet, nor does he leave the reader riddled with skepticism. He keeps the conversation going showing how difficulties in one area do not undermine the strength of others, before artfully turning these difficulties into reasons for belief: If a transcendent God were to take on human nature, wouldn’t we expect that to be mysterious at some level? (189) This is no […]

The Jewish Setting of Jesus’ Life in a Nut Shell

In previous articles on discipleship I have provided my readers with more of the first century Jewish context and what it meant to be a disciple of Yeshua, which is Jesus’ name in Hebrew. It’s what his mother, brothers, sisters and disciples called him. It means God’s salvation. In Greek it is Iesous (yay – SOOS). This was the Greek speakers’ and translators’ attempt at pronouncing Yeshua. In Greek there is no sound for “sh” and when a word ends in “ah”, it is the feminine ending. So, if they pronounced it Yesouah, it would have been understood as the name of a female. The masculine ending is “ous”. So his name in Greek became Iesous. That became Jesu in Latin and, eventually, that evolved into Jesus in English centuries later. Christ, or Christos, is the Greek form of the Hebrew Messiah or Mashiach. Jesus Christ is not his first and last name. Both Mashiach and Christos mean anointed one. It’s His title; Jesus the Christ, or Yeshua the Messiah. In this article I will provide more context into the Jewish setting of Jesus’ life. In the Gospel of Matthew, and other gospel passages, we learn that Jesus was thoroughly […]

The Heart of Jewish Discipleship (Part 3)

In the previous two articles of this series, we began exploring discipleship in 1st century Israel; how this important topic may have been understood by Jesus’ Jewish disciples. In Part 1 we learned that the heart and core of Jewish Discipleship is the art of imitation! In Luke 6:40, our Rabbi Jesus said, “Every disciple, after he has been fully trained, will be like his Teacher.” When the disciple was fully trained, he became a carbon copy of his teacher, a mirror image, who would then pass on what he had learned from his rabbi to others, who then passed on what they learned, etc. Discipleship was much more than just learning some elementary principles of the faith. The goal of a 1st century, Jewish disciple was to become fully trained so that he could become just like his teacher. In Part 2 we learned four imperatives of a disciple: Memorize Their Teacher’s Words Learn Their Teacher’s Traditions and Interpretations Imitate Their Teacher’s Actions Raise Up More Disciples No Lukewarm Disciples In Revelation 3:20-22 Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and […]

The Heart of Jewish Discipleship (Part 2)

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) When Jesus said go and make disciples, it was a Jew speaking to other Jews within the context and culture of 1st century Judaism. Those words had a very specific meaning and were clearly understood by His 1st century Jewish listeners. Since then, those words have been translated into Greek, and then into Latin, before being translated more than 1000 years later into English. To more fully understand what Jesus said, we first need to ask how those 1st century Jews who first heard those words would have understood them. Only then are we in a position to ask what might those words mean as we apply them to our modern efforts of discipleship. In Part 1 (https://equip412.com/2019/11/06/the-heart-of-jewish-discipleship-part-1/),  I talked to you about the kind of absolute dedication and loyalty that disciples held for their Master. In our churches, Christian schools and colleges, or in our culture, there is nothing to compare that to. Imagine if, rather than just hanging out in school and having […]

The Heart of Jewish Discipleship (Part 1)*

The heart and core of Jewish Discipleship is the art of imitation!! In Luke 6:40, our Rabbi Jesus said, “Every disciple, after he has been fully trained, will be like his Teacher.” When the disciple was fully trained, he became a carbon copy of his teacher, a mirror image, an exact replica. He then passed on the teaching to disciples of his own, who in turn, when fully trained, became teachers and raised up disciples of their own. Discipleship was much more than just learning some elementary principles in the faith, like we typically do today. The goal of a 1st century, Jewish disciple was to become fully trained so that he could become just like his teacher. A true disciple was expected to be able to repeat his Master’s teachings word for word! He was expected to live in such a way that was a mirror image of his teacher. That was at the heart of Jewish discipleship. How it Worked In the days of Jesus, all young boys (and in some cases girls) were taught by their local rabbi the Torah and the Prophets beginning at age 5; meaning that at age 5, they began to memorize the […]

E20–Jesus’ Resurrection: A Look at the Facts (Part 2)

In this episode, Jesus’ Resurrection Part 2, we’re going to learn 3 more facts in support of Jesus’ resurrection. What caused Paul, a persecutor of the early church, to become largely responsible for the spread of the gospel in Asia Minor, Greece and Rome? What caused Jesus’ half-brother James, to go from skeptic, to becoming the leader of the Jerusalem church? And, what are the facts surrounding the empty tomb? Join me as we search for the answers to these questions and more.

SALVATION AND IMITATING OUR RABBI*

In order to gain a fuller understanding of salvation, I want to, first, examine how it was viewed by the ancient Greek mind compared to the ancient Hebrew mind. Second, I want to consider how our salvation is to be lived out accordingly. GREEK MIND To the ancient Greek mind, the concept of salvation is centered entirely on the state of the soul. Salvation is right thinking by its very definition. Simply to ‘believe’ in a certain set of creeds is to know the right things. The appearance of creeds in the early church is important because they began to form what became known as the “confession of faith,” which became necessary to be received into the Christian Church. The confession of faith was what decided who was a Christian and who was not. A person who agreed with or “confessed” the correct set of beliefs gained the standing of being “saved.” It was about intellectually agreeing with a certain set of doctrines. How many times have we heard teaching in the church that emphasizes mainly right thinking? Non-believers are pleaded with to “believe in Jesus” by raising their hand, walking an aisle, praying a prayer, or signing a card. […]