Apologetics youth leader Q&A: What works?!

youthgroup_t_nv.220114305_stdI asked members of the CAA and subgroups: “If you lead a youth group that successfully incorporates apologetics, I need to know as soon as possible. I want to brag about your success to other youth pastors who seek info. on this. I need to know your style, as well.

This is what some of them answered—and this is just a small sampling of those who could have answered…I didn’t give them much advance notice!

[Note: At the end of this post you will find an invitation to do some Q&A with Brett Kunkle on how to equip youth!]

‪Mark S. Phillips‪ I lead a new high school apologetics group, ‪Maryann. We’re finishing our first half-year of existence. They seem really interested in what is presented; one student commented that all he ever learned in church was “Daniel in the lion’s den and Noah’s big old ark.” The students I have don’t know much in the way of doctrine, but they seem to be more interested in knowing they can use their brains in the faith. My main focus to-date has been the resurrection. But because the kids I have all seem to have grown up in church, I have taken time to present video testimonies of atheists who converted to Christianity and why they did so. They really enjoy the videos from exploreGod.com and also the Case for Christ. I’ve covered a bit on logical fallacies, arguments for the existence of God, understanding a world view that includes metaphysics, helping them to know they don’t have to be intimidated when someone challenges their worldview, and the exclusivity of Christ. Hope this helps. [Read more...]

Four Reasons You Should Attend the 2014 CrossExamined Instructor Academy

6 Leadership Principles I Learned From My Trailblazing FatherThis past weekend I got to hang out with Frank Turek, a dear friend, co-laborer and mentor. Frank is the author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, and he was here in our neck of the woods teaching several services at a large local church. Susie and I joined him afterward and we spent the better part of two days together. We ate some barbeque, ran through the local woods (we found out Frank runs faster than we do), and talked about our work and passion to train Christians to think critically about what they believe. Frank does more than train Christians, however. Frank trains trainers.

Frank’s been a teacher and cultural influencer for years, but if you want to impact your culture exponentially, you’ve got to multiply your own efforts by creating additional trainers. That’s exactly what Frank does every year at the CrossExamined Instructor Academy (CIA). Frank has assembled a team of speakers and thinkers to help him train up the next generation of Christian Case Makers. This three day experience isn’t for beginners. It’s for people who have already started to step out and teach apologetics in their local churches and communities.  CIA will teach you how to present I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, including four categories critical to Christian Case Making: Truth, God, Miracles and the New Testament. You’ll also learn how to answer questions about those topics in a hostile environment. During these three days, in addition to hearing lectures and participating in discussions, participants will be asked to present a portion of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist and answer questions from the instructors. Like last year, I am part of the CIA faculty, along with Frank, Greg Koukl, Dr. Richard Howe, Brett Kunkle and Ted Wright.

If you’re a tent-making Case Maker, I think you should come and be a part of this incredible opportunity for the following reasons:

It’s a Great Place to Grow Your Knowledge Base There’s an extensive reading list required for everyone who attends the program, so you’re going to have to prepare yourself with additional knowledge before you even arrive on the campus of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES). But trust me; you’re going to learn a lot from the instructors and other participants. The people who come to this academy are gifted and knowledgeable. We all get to learn from one another and everyone comes away with something they didn’t know prior to the training.

It’s a Great Place to Refine Your Approach One of the best things about CIA is the emphasis on presentation. It’s one thing to know something, another to communicate what you know effectively (especially if you want to be winsome or influential). This year we are increasing our focus in this area. We want to make you better Case Makers and communicators. We’ve got special break-out sessions planned for you to accomplish this goal.

It’s a Great Place to Learn the Art of Influence If you want to influence a culture effectively, it all begins with your “platform”. I will be talking a lot about that this year; Frank scheduled me to teach one of the new breakout sessions where we’ll examine a number of successful strategies guaranteed to increase your audience and influence. If you’re a tent-making Case Maker like me, this will be the perfect opportunity to learn from one another.

It’s a Great Place to Connect with Other Case Makers Perhaps my favorite part of this training is the opportunity to meet all of you and “hang out in the halls” together. If you’re staying at the local hotel, we’ll be eating breakfast every day (as well as other meals on the SES campus). We’ll definitely learn from each other, but more importantly, we’ll get to know each other as brothers and sisters (and likely begin a relationship that will extend over the years).

If you want to become a more effective Christian Case Maker, I can’t think of a better, more concise, more focused opportunity. Join us at the CrossExamined Instructor Academy from August 14th to 16th as we encourage, critique, train and inspire each other to make the case for Christianity.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity and ALIVE

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Dissecting a camel tale – apologetics meets the media

camel

While browsing the news the other day, I ran across this article on CNN’s ‘Belief Blog,’ “Will camel discovery break the Bible’s back?” by Joel Baden, an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. I soon discovered it was one among many even more umm, ‘provocative,’ articles gaining popularity around the Internet. The conclusion of many of the articles was that this was yet ANOTHER devastating piece of evidence proving the Bible’s accounts are simply made up tales. [Read more...]

Black ‘Heart’ Friday Shopping!

2207307656_b71dc9d2efThanksgiving is a wonderful tradition where we are able to give thanks (to God) for all that we have been blessed with, especially family and friends. The following day, Black Friday, is an over-excessive nationwide shopping spree in the US, paying homage to the gods of materialism and ourselves, stuffing our lives full of typically unnecessary merchandise with money that we have yet to earn. What an amazing and tragic cultural event to ‘witness’! From the swamps of Asia to ultimate consumers paradise in the US, is a cultural adjustment only a few of us get to experience and something I would not wish on anyone. Considering the high intellectual plateau, the deep moral concern and amazing technological advancement we self-proclaim in the west, I sure was fooled after witnessing the last week in the US. I am convinced more than ever that there is one thing that connects mankind across nations, languages and cultures. [Read more...]

Transgender Issues + Euthanasia = Tragedy!

Copyright Facebook

A number of weeks ago, I stumbled across the tragic story of a Belgium transexual, Nathan Verhelst. She was born a female and given the name Nancy. Of Nancy’s birth, her mother said, “When I saw ‘Nancy’ for the first time, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a phantom birth.” She supposedly wanted a son. Another article speaks of the mother’s further rejection of Nancy as a child. These traumatic experiences eventually lead to unsuccessful sex change operations, bringing about “unbearable psychological suffering” that gave justification under Belgium law for Nancy, now Nathan, to euthanize herself. If it is not tragic enough that one soul had to endure this life of torment, this series of tragic events was all legally permissible by the government and law under which she lived. How can this be? [Read more...]