Thursday, December 11, 2014

Four Challenges to the Apologetic Life

For this posting, I found some of my notes from a few years ago, that caused me to reflect over the last several weeks of my life as a minister in the arena of auto sales. Before I get to that though, I would like to be a little transparent, and ask your prayers with what I am sharing.

Over the past several weeks, I have been trying to dig myself out of a rut of discouragement. Be rest assured though, this discouragement has NOT come from living out my Christian faith in my semi hostile job environment.

Quite the contrary, it has been a battle working long hours with some bright spots and highlights of conversations that the Lord has opened up. But my desire is for more time in a day to be able to share with you in this blog. Working long hours and coming home tired so that I have no energy to do what I am doing now.  And that weighed into the periodic spiritual battles we engage in make for a really wearying day.

But such are the joys in the midst of the raging of the cultural setting I find myself. So what's all this got to do with what what is following my asking for your prayers? Let me share with you some things on what it is like to live the apologetic life and things that you can engage in full force or in part.

Allow me to share with you four challenges that we have as apologists,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Addressing the Deception of Religious Relativism

A half of a year has gone by since I addressed the subject of religious relativism. Back in April of this year, I addressed the question, "Are All Deities the Same? What's the Difference?" In that posting, I addressed the three major monotheistic religions and how they differed from the religions of the East (i.e., Hinduism and Buddhism). Then I took those three monotheistic religions and showed how they differed from one another.

The other night, at our Ratio Christi meeting, a question came up in our Q & A, which has resurrected my writing juices and created a path to address and do more writing on the subject. One of our students stated that her Western Civ professor was making statements like "all religions are essentially the same and say the same thing." 

I am sure this is a popular view in many people's minds. But I want to inform you, the reader, that this view is simply not true, and promotes a great ignorance about nature of the world religions. Sure we hear it not just from the professorial lectern, but also from the media and even government officials pontificating their views.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Practical Definition for Apologetics

Having just returned from from the National Christian Apologetics Conference and Ratio Christi Symposium, I have been thinking on the interactions I had with fellow apologists of the weekend. After some reflection, I cannot help thinking about the condition of the church in light of its misunderstanding of the spiritual discipline of apologetics. 

Let me say that it is both troubling and encouraging at the same time. As Charles Dickens wrote in the opening of his work, A Tale of Two Cities, "it [is] the best of times, and it [is] worst of times." The reason for this is because the church at large seems to be refusing, except in some circles, to engage the culture with the truth of the gospel. But engage the culture how?  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Prayer and the Apologist

Due to logistics at the coming SES national conference and Ratio Christi Symposium, my wife Kathy and our daughter Christine would not be able to make this year's conference.

Last year they were unable to make any of the conferences due to travel time conflicting with commitments to their involvement with the homeschool co op.

So I shared with them that the year 2014 would be different. I promised them that this year, they were going to a conference "by hook or by crook." And this year it happened, as they were able to attend the Truth for a New Generation apologetics conference, in Spartanburg, SC.

While they were down in Spartanburg, SC and I up here in the "Burg," I kept track of their conference times, and continued perusing the sessions and speakers.  In my perusing, I noticed one  seminar, "Prayer and Apologetics" which was given a couple of times and it really caught my attention.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Part 2: A Clear Look at History Cracks the “Josephus Mirror Code”

This posting first appears at the blog for the Christian Apologetics Alliance

Earlier this month, I started a series of responses to another blog author posting a note on our Ratio Christi at Germanna Community college Facebook page. The comment was a promo for his book entitled, The Josephus Mirror Code and the author is Paul Amatucci.[1] His note was a multi leveled attack on the authenticity and the historicity of the life of Jesus and the gospel records.

It is one of the premises from his comment on our wall that I will be addressing in this post. The premise is that "the New Testament documents do not have any contemporary historical evidence written by anyone outside of those documents to prove that Jesus Christ and his followers ever lived" and "there was a 61 year gap between the events of the New Testament and Josephus' writings."

This creates just one piece of the puzzle in his book. My purpose for this post is to not some much toward the demand for contemporary documents as much as it is to show the problem with his statement. If there is any relevancy toward a demand for contemporary sources, that will be paled in light of the other problems with his premise.  Let's first look at the what Mr. Amatucci might be implying as contemporary.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Things Not to Say to Those Who are Suffering from a Loss

Supposing you have just lost your spouse or a parent and someone comes up to encourage you with words they that they truly believe are biblical. But when they do share those words, their message to you is without compassion or empathy. Is this possible?

In all fairness, many are oblivious to the application of words which can prove to be rather hurtful, without realizing it. Are words like, "God is sovereign" or "God has a plan" biblical? Yes. The question then becomes are they the right words for the right time?

In fact it is highly likely you and I have said something like this, not realizing how we could be adding more pain to the one who is suffering. This posting is going to deal with these statements along with a statement that is just plain unbiblical that some folks will say at a funeral. Lastly, I want to attempt to give a solution to help you and I do better in ministering to the suffering from an "apologetic of touch."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why So Much Opposition to Apologetics When it is All About Discipleship?

This morning I had the privilege of reading Eric Chabot's piece entitled, Why Does Opposition to Apologetics Come from Mostly Within the Church?  In his posting he brings in a series of five issues that are potential catalysts for this opposition. What I would like to do in my posting on this very same issue is springboard off of his first point, and perhaps may have a  posting on another of these points. Please go the linked article to read his posting.  

When bringing up the subject or the discipline of apologetics, have you ever had someone ask you, "what am I apologizing for?" Some folks who have heard that word, meaning giving an explanation for why you and I believe what we believe, will joke about the word, "apologetics." Others will be serious with that question.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Why Worship a God that has killed thousands upon thousands of people?


It has been a few weeks since my last posting. Things have changed with my job. I am still a "tent maker apologist" working a full time job in car sales. But with the changes in ownership and the increase in time, and demands, I have been in a "battle" to find that precious commodity we all desire. . .TIME.

The increase in schedule has me scrambling to find time for my responsibilities as a speaker, a teacher and a Ratio Christi Chapter Director. The increase in time and getting home later has challenged my energy to post blogs here on The Real Issue and the Christian Apologetics Alliance. Please pray for a change as you can see where my passion really lies.

My job helps take care of the responsibilities of taking care of my family and feeding needy women and children. . . Mine!  A good thing to all of this, is that my commitment to not stay quiet in sharing the gospel and engaging peoples' objections has not been squelched. Lately I have been involved in meeting other believers who are new to the employment where I work, and meeting folks open to discussing their views on life and values in light of the events of our culture and political arena.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Are all Deities the Same? What's the Difference?

Not too long ago, I received a text message from one of our students in our Student ministry at church. His text was asking for my thoughts regarding his friend toying with the idea of leaving his Christian faith for another religion. The religion that his friend was dabbling with was Buddhism.

One thing that this friend knew that many others do not know is that there is a difference between the Judeo Christian view of God, and Buddhism. If there was no difference there would be no need of leaving one for the other. So let's get down to the real issue on this subject.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is Atheism a Lack of Belief? Certainly Not!

by Rob Lundberg

How do you respond to the challenge from the "popular atheist," who says "atheism is a lack of belief?" As we look at this question, I want to get to the real issue of matter. The first time that I really encountered this "definition" was a couple of years ago at the Reason Rally up at the DC Mall (2012).  

One of the several conversations we had was with two young "skeptics" who defined their atheism as a "lack of belief." But there is a problem with this re-definition of atheism. What is the problem?

Two Problems with the Re-definition.

In past postings, I have defined atheism as the philosophical position that denies the reality of the God of theism or other divine beings. I have also explained that atheism is also a worldview. For most of us, these concepts are pretty clear.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Answering the "God of the Gaps" Argument from Atheists


Some of us have heard this illustration, but it bears worth repeating. It is around the Easter season and the pastor's children's sermon was before the choir special. This particular Sunday, the pastor had all the children seated in front of him, and asks them to guess what he is describing. "Children, I am thinking of a little furry animal with a fluffy tail, and long ears and hops around."  Little Johnny in the back of the group raises his hand and says, "Pastor, I'll bet the answer is a bunny rabbit, but I think the real answer is Jesus." This is because little Johnny has been taught that Jesus is the answer for 'everything.' A cute story, however we live in a culture where, for an increasing many, Jesus and the evidence of God existence is not an acceptable answer.

As it is with my opening illustration, a similar challenge is thrown down when Christians are conversing with atheists on the issues of faith and science or the question of intelligent design versus macro evolution. In those conversations, the atheist may throw down a question where the Christian's only answer is "God" to their vehemently skeptical inquisitor's question. The atheist then accuses the Christian for throwing down what they call "god of the gaps" and dismisses the answer. How does the Christian respond to this?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Absolute Truth as Narrow Minded or Intolerant

by Rob Lundberg

Have you ever been called intolerant or narrow minded because you believe in absolute truth? The charges of intolerance and narrow mindedness are some of the more popular charges thrown down at Christians in light of our belief in absolute truth. Intolerance and narrow-mindedness are cultural hot buttons that paint Christians as a "horse with blinders on its eyes, limiting its vision of the world; or that of an ostrich with its head buried in the sand, completely oblivious to the surrounding world."[1]

This gauntlet thrown down by those who believe truth is relative is very self-defeating and misled for a few reasons. Let's get to the real issue to see what those reasons are, and how we can answer them.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Apologetics Training on the Home Front

by Rob Lundberg


This posting is of a different nature from what I normally write about.* However this one has been on my heart and mind for quite some time. So this month I would like to share from the heart as a Dad, as the “bread winner” of our home, and as one of the many tent making $1 apologists that the Lord has placed in the marketplace of ideas.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Responding to the Feelings Barrier for Determining Truth


Have you ever heard anyone make statements like the following: "I feel it is only right to (fill in a moral choice or issue)" "Something bad happened, it can't be true!"  This is the "Walt Disney method" for determining truth, where a person uses their feelings and emotions to create the foundation for one's reality.  In this posting, I want to address the real issue of the use of feelings and emotions as a means for determining truth.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Answering the Relativism Barrier to Truth

This posting is a continuation of subject matter that I have been training my daughter Christine in her homeschool apologetics curricula. In my last couple of postings, we have been looking at a couple of the different barriers that are put down by those who disagree with the starting points of absolute truth.

In this posting I want to give a short answer to the barrier of relativism coming from those how say that "truth is relative." Like the previous two objections where someone might say no one is able to discover truth, or the barrier of saying that we need to doubt everything this one is very easy to turn around and give a clear response to affirming the absolute nature of truth.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Doubt Everything! Should I doubt that too?

Continuing on in our series answering some of the objections coming against our belief in absolute truth. There is a second objection that some people throw down is rooted in "skepticism." That objection is "doubt everything that claims to be true."

This objection of being skeptical about everything is rooted and grounded in  philosophy of uncertainty. In fact it is not really all that new in that it has its roots began in ancient times before Christ. In a not so ancient time, like the eighteenth century, we would find a "champion" of this form of skepticism in the likes of David Hume (1711-1776).

David Hume was a Scottish philosopher who was one of the preeminent thinkers during the Enlightenment. Hume claimed that all knowledge of "mattes of fact" or any knowledge not grounded in meanings of terms, is based upon our senses. Within the discipline of religious thought, Hume became famous for his arguments that belief in miracles was irrational because the evidence of a past experience will always outweigh the testimony in favor of miracles.[1]

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What's Wrong with This Picture? When Churches Pitch Reason from Faith


This picture hit Facebook and caused a stir among many of us in the apologetics community. Some were face palming, others were just tweeting and commenting with UGH! There were even some questioning if this was for real, being suspicious that it was of a Photoshop picture. For me, I thought it would make a good blog posting of how some are helping along the conflict between faith and reason.

It is not my desire to further the viral nature of the picture. Nevertheless my intent is to address the message on the billboard (in the picture), and show how it could be an indicator for why a reasonable faith causes skittishness and is perhaps an unwelcome conversation in many churches across our land.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Answering the “you cannot prove a universal negative” gauntlet

It has been a few days since my last posting, having been under the weather and resting up. However it is time to get back to “the real issue” of addressing another atheistic gauntlet. 

Let's suppose that you're in a conversation with an atheist when all of a sudden the person says to you, “You cannot prove a universal negative!” How do we respond to this objection?

In this post I want to address this, since it will sometimes come up as an objection, particularly with one who is a little more aggressive than the cordial atheist. By the way, when I am using the term atheist, I am using it in the context of one who believes that God does not exist. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Limits of Apologetics: the Difference Between "Faith That" and "Faith In"

We are taking my daughter through an apologetics book by Norman Geisler and Joseph Holden, entitled Living Out Loud: Defending Your Faith, as part of her apologetics training in our home.

Last night we were discussing what apologetics does and what apologetics does not do and talked about it from the perspective of the differences between "faith that" and "faith in."  What do I mean by these phrases?

Well not too long ago I was in a conversation with a guy who is really big on evangelism, and gave me the perception that one doesn't need to have reasons for their faith. His thinking was that you just go after the conscience, where the "faith in" resides, and leave the rest to God. The problem with that is that the mind, where the faith that rests, is omitted, forgotten or even abandoned in this approach. What is the difference and why are BOTH important?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Post List for Sunday January 12th's Outreach at the Religious Freedom Event in Fredericksburg, VA

In case you missed this week's series on my time at the Religious Freedom Monument this past Sunday, January 12th, here is a list of the postings so you can have them "at the ready."

Let me share you with you that it was an enlightening experience and one that gave some confidence in my listening and sharing with those who are antagonistic to the historical Christian faith.  

Atheism is a bankrupt worldview and folks who embrace such a worldview need to see this from those who are ready to engage the atheistic worldview with "gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15).  Here are the links to this week's posts.
If you have any questions about this event or want any information about how you can be a part of future outreach events please feel free to email me at  I will be more than happy to answer your questions and share with you more about what we can offer you as a ministry.

Here is a recommended resource that will assist you in understanding the atheistic worldview and in the defense of the faith: 

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 5)

Yesterday I shared with you a part of the dialogue with one gal who confronted my question to Glen. I want to move now to my time with Glen at the Religious Freedom Monument.  Glen was the one who made the statement about the eagerness of atheists desiring to talk to someone about their skepticism, with the hopes of telling people how to move away from "blind or delusional faith" into the new age of "reason." Folks this is a serious wake up call.

What I mean by that is, they are looking to engage you and I with their skepticism.  Not too long ago I had a local pastor call me and told me he was visited by someone taking up the clarion call to draw people away from the faith. He was visiting his church during the morning worship service.

In this posting, I want to share with you three highlights of my time with "Glen" (no quotes following hereafter). We talked about several things in the half hour to forty five minutes, but they all hinged around these three highlights. I will share more subjects as they emerge in future postings.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 4)

When Atheist's Start with Reason from Evolution

We finally come to the fun part of this series, where I get to share some of the dialogue and some of the subject matter that seems popular to those embracing this "popular (new) atheism." Keeping the tools in the back of our minds, it is vitally important to keep your bearing when talking to people who reject the Creator, God, especially when someone comes bursting into the conversation and gets in your face with their own answer.

Let me back up a bit. When I asked "Glen" where reason came from he immediately told me, "Evolution."  But before we were able to pursue a dialogue, I want to tell you how one younger woman came bursting into the conversation, and how you can cordially diffuse an interrupting objection.

To "peel the onion" a little deeper about the dialogue, I mentioned earlier that there were four atheists involved in the visit. That is true, however two of them each wanted a copy of the first chapter of "True Reason" that I had also given to "Glen." I told them that the book was an intelligent response to Richard Dawkins and others; and that they could get the book on Amazon and in e-book format, if they wanted to pursue the topic further.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 3)

Where Do I Begin the Conversation?

In yesterday's post, I gave you three tools that you need when going out into the arena to dialogue with people who do not agree with our Christian worldview.  This morning I want to carry that a little further before sharing on some of the topics that Sunday's atheists wanted to talk about in a one on one dialogue. I will dovetail in future posts along with my responses to the gauntlets or "throw down cards" that atheists like to play in supporting their worldview.   Here are a few thoughts to keep in the back of your mind when you go out and be a case making ambassador for Christ.

Understanding Your "Arena" 

First off, like any ambassador, we need to understand the environment or what I like to say, "arena", where we are ministering. The event's central theme for this past Sunday was religious freedom. As I shared with you last time, I did a little research about this event, knowing it is an annual event and everyone was welcome.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 2)

Striking up a conversation 

This morning as I think about this past Sunday afternoon, I want to share with you how the conversation got started.  Some of my co-workers marvel at how I can start us a conversation on spiritual matters from just listening to something that another person says about faith, God, church, culture, right and wrong, or some other facsimile thereof.

There are a few tools to think about when it comes to striking up a spiritual conversation, that I use and you can too to be a case maker/apologist/evangelist.  They are prayer, be observant, and LISTEN.  Here is how they work.

Tool #1:  Prayer. This is the most important tool.  No matter whether you are at a coffee shop like Starbucks or Blackstone's Coffee, whenever you go out on mission to do evangelism or not, you always, always, always need to go prayerfully. Pray is a discipline in our Christian walk.  Some folks like to call it, "being prayed up."  But if you are maintaining a walk of continual prayer, you will find the Lord moving and shaking things up that will help with the other two tools.

This past week the story of Sunday's event hit the local paper and its internet page. When I first saw it, I asked the Lord, "okay, is this something where I can and possibly be an ambassador for the Christian faith? Or is this going to be a waste of time where I could be doing something better?  As it came to mind off and on throughout the remainder of the week, the thought for me to go became very strong on Saturday evening.  The rest is history.

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 1)

Yesterday afternoon I took advantage of an opportunity to go and check in on the annual Religious Freedom Celebration that takes place in Fredericksburg, VA.  It is an annual event, because it is here in the "Burg" where Thomas Jefferson penned his Religious Freedom Amendment.

The parade event started off at the train station, which marched about a mile and half to the Religious Freedom Monument. It would be there that the celebration was to take place. Those marching were people from some of the major religious representatives, which included a the local Muslim center and a few skeptical groups.  Yes, as you might imagine, the intentions for my going to this event. Those intentions were twofold.

My first intention was to see if this event would be enough to give a religious pulse for this area.  I found out that it wasn't any like that at all.  About 150 people marched, and let's just say that there was little to no evangelical representation in the parade. The Fredericksburg Humanists and the Fredericksburg skeptics and Coalition of Reason all brought up "the caboose."  Their reason for marching was to show that people who are skeptical about their "religious views" were not alone and that those groups were there to help them pick up their skeptical pieces.  Interesting.

My second intention was to see if I could get involved in some conversations with some of these folks.  And I would like to speak to this in this posting with just a couple of thoughts.