Tuesday, August 19, 2014

William Lane Craig: Are the Gospel Narratives Legendary or Historically Reliable?

The four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) present the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. However, since many people don't want to accept what the gospels say about Jesus, it has become common to pretend that the gospels are nothing but myths and legends.

In this short video, William Lane Craig offers five reasons for treating the gospels as historically reliable.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Greg Koukl: The Person and Teachings of Jesus

Here are some short videos by Greg Koukl (of Stand to Reason) on the person and teachings of Jesus.

Why Is Jesus the Only Way?

Why Do So Many People Reject Jesus?

Why Is Jesus Different?

Was Jesus Just a Great Teacher?

Why Did Jesus Say, "I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life"?

Was What Jesus Said True?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Do Differences in the Gospel Narratives Undermine Belief in Jesus' Resurrection?

I read the Gospel According to Matthew, the Gospel According to Mark, and the Gospel According to John when I was still an atheist. (I didn't read the Gospel According to Luke until after I became a Christian.) Obviously, I didn't believe in the divine inspiration of the texts. But something in the gospels made me start examining them more closely.

When I was an atheist, I was convinced that Jesus' followers invented the story of his resurrection in order to make sure that his message would continue to spread after his death. I believed that the four gospels were thus part of a conspiracy on the part of the disciples. As I read the gospels, however, I noticed a number of differences in various stories, including the resurrection accounts.

Many atheists today point to these differences as some kind of evidence that the resurrection never happened. But I took the differences as evidence that I was dealing with independent historical sources, all of which affirmed Jesus' resurrection. Since I could no longer believe that the disciples sat down and conspired to produce the gospels, I had to start wondering if they might be more reliable than I once thought.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How Does Belief in Jesus' Resurrection Affect Christians?

If Jesus rose from the dead, then at least one man has conquered death. What impact does belief in Jesus' resurrection have on Christians?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

China on Pace to Become World's Largest Christian Country by 2030

The church in China is growing so rapidly that it will soon pass the United States as the world's largest Christian nation. (On a side note, China is also set to pass the United States as the world's largest economy. Coincidence?)
Telegraph—Officially, the People's Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.

Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.

Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world's number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.

"By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon," said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.

"It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change."

China's Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre's Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.

By 2030, China's total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.

"Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this," Prof Yang said. "It's ironic – they didn't. They actually failed completely." (Continue Reading.)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Does Science Show That Jesus' Resurrection Is Impossible?

It's odd to see so many young atheists appealing to science without having the foggiest idea what science is. This is especially vexing when they say something like, "Science proves that miracles are impossible." A scientist can discover the way things normally happen, but this has nothing to do with whether God can raise someone from the dead.