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Welcome to Answers To Tough Questions

ANSWERS TO TOUGH QUESTIONS (ATTQ) orbits around and is stirred by the great commandment (Mathew 22: 34-36) and the great commission (Mathew 28:18-20).  It’s these twin pillars which have birthed my vision.  Answers to Tough Questions exists to strengthen and come alongside the local Christian church in its mission to make disciples of the nations.  This is accomplished in the following ways: Through Seminars, Preaching engagements, Theology courses, Apologetics courses, Ethics courses, Comparative Religion courses, and online resources which focus on: apologetics, theology, philosophy, and culture.

I’m often asked why I focus on these areas.  Here are the following reasons: Apologetics strengthens the Christians’ ability to evangelize winsomely and boldly. Theology strengthens the Believers’ capacity to grasp the Bible’s core ideas. Philosophy strengthens the Disciples’ facility to think critically. Culture challenges Christ’s Followers to live authentically in its milieu. I’m glad you have stopped by.  Take some time to look around the site and the resources that are available to you and your church.  Please let me know how I can serve you.

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Summary of “NO LITTLE PEOPLE” by Francis Schaeffer

IMG_20170911_104919This is one of Schaeffers’ most powerful books.  In No Little People he focuses on the significance of the smallest details both in the life of God’s servants and the places in which they find themselves.  According to the Bible says Schaeffer, “With God there are no little people” (pg.5).  He then considers how significant a simple stick of wood was to become in Moses hands as a source of judgment—plagues, deliverance—Red Sea, and supply—water from the rock.   This stick, something “insignificant” became the rod of God.  As this rod became God’s, so to must the believer.  Essentially there are no little people, only those that are and are not consecrated to God.  That’s sobering!   At the end of the day we as believers must follow Christ’ humble approach of service, nothing else.  In fact, humility is not an option for honoring Jesus, but a requisite.

In the chapter The Weakness of God’s Servants, attention is given to just that—their weakness.  I found this sobering and encouraging.  It’s sobering because I can identify with my own struggles with sin.  It is among other things refreshing to know God reveals our heroes faults—to embarrassing heights often.  Why?  Because the Bible is a realistic book with flesh and blood, sweat and tears, highs and lows revealing the “mannishness” of man.  We even in the church are sometimes too blinded to this reality.  Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Joshua, Gideon, David, Solomon, Elijah, Peter, Paul represent different aspects of our common problem: sin before a holy God.  Honestly, I’m glad my name’s not in the bible and my deeds on display for all to see.  They may one day however, and that’s scary.

Lastly, not because there’s not much more to consider, but in the chapter David: Lawful and Unlawful Vindication the hard lesson is that personal sin can and too often does paralyze our duty to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before God.  Post Bathsheba and Uriah, David’s life was never the same.  Being in leadership is no small task however great or small the band may be.  Our actions have far reaching consequences the likes of which can be utterly daunting to consider.  Nonetheless, ponder I must for the sake of the Name of God.

This book is must reading for anyone in, aspiring to, or presently going into church leadership for it gives in my view a sober and realistic assessment of our human plight even though we are part of the covenant people.

Reflections From Isaiah 1: “WHO IS STUPID?  THOSE WHO FORSAKE THE LORD”

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I’m stunned and tremble that forsaking the LORD God of Israel is akin to becoming less rational than a beast of burden for, “an ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger but Israel does not know, My people do not understand” (v.3).

Like the beast of burden is weighed down with the yoke, Israel is weighed down with iniquity (v.4) as a result of abandoning the LORD and despising the Holy One of Israel.  What does this look like?  Israel still practices their religious rituals but the LORD rejects them all together:

Hear the word of the Lord, You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah.
11 “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
12 “When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? 13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
15 “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.
” (Vv.10-15)

 Religious ritual without the life of trust in Yahweh in the daily grind is not acceptable to Him.  God rejects mere duty when His own play the “hypocrite” by having blood on their hands (v.21, 23).  Thus God calls for repentance:

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.” (Vv.16-17)

When repentance occurs the God of heaven always extends mercy, for it is part of His character and when mercy is given, forgiveness occurs:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. 19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
20 “But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.” Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Vv.18-20)

Amazing!  The result of abandoning the LORD God is heightened irrationality.  It’s a sub-animalistic ability to reason because of sin.  A beast of burden is more rational than the image bearer we the LORD is rejected by them.  We don’t tend to think in those terms.  Many erudite, scholars, and sages of our age think that belief in God is irrational fantasy.  The opposite is true.  Many professing believers also believe that lie.

Yet, the remedy from said evil and irrationality is repentance which includes right thinking (according to reality—that so many deny is real and true) and the evidence is “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, Plead for the widow”.

Are you someone who thinks you’re smarter than everyone else around?  How do you compare to God’s standard?  May holiness to the LORD be the cry of our hearts so we don’t slip below the intelligence of a donkey.  SDG

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS TRUTH…AND IT’S A GOOD THING!  SURE ABOUT THAT?

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There’s no such thing as truth, and it’s a good thing!  Really, this kind of nonsense has flooded the minds of Western civilization.  It has undermined the Christian faith and is decimating what remains of Western civilization.  Why?  Because it’s false and rots the root system of reality. If there’s no such thing as truth, then our faith is worthless!  During his high-priestly prayer, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

What does that mean?  Why should we care?  And what happens when his words are ignored? These questions and more will be considered in the seminar sponsored by Sovereign Grace Fellowship: Trusting God’s Word: Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture

TOPICS

  • Who do You Ultimately Take Your Orders From? – Scripture’s Authority (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • What do You Ultimately Bank On? – Scripture’s Inerrancy (John 17:17)
  • How Are Your Ultimate Needs Met? – Scripture’s Necessity (1 Peter 1:23)
  • Where do You Go for Ultimate Answers?– Scripture’s Sufficiency (Matthew 4:4)

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS SEMINAR?

 Truly anyone attending will benefit from the topics covered; Parents wanting to faithfully raise their children according to God’s commands; Pastors and Leaders desiring to strengthen those under their care; students longing to be emboldened in their witness for Christ; Followers of Jesus determined to live humbly under God’s truth; and the Skeptic whose questions have not been satisfactorily answered.

SPEAKER INFO follow link:

Seating is limited so SIGN-UP TODAY!

Summary of “Art and the Bible” by Francis Schaeffer

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In this book Art and the Bible, Schaeffer argues for the necessity to see all of life under the Lordship of Christ Jesus which includes art.  The Bible is not averse to art “religious” or “secular”.  The paradigm from which to work is that God created the whole man, in Christ the whole man is redeemed, Christ is the Lord over the whole man and the Christian life, and Christ will in the future redeem the whole man body and soul.

The Bible does use art in the tabernacle, Solomon’s temple and makes use of things in nature and their modifications.  The issue is not to make art an idol, not that it’s forbidden.  While there’s much he covered, at the end of the day we as Christians are to make sure that the body of our artistic work presents a faithful picture of the Christian worldview.

Among other things, every Christian is to endeavor to make their lives a work of art in how it’s read and seen by all men.   The question is: Are we God-centered or Man-centered?  Faithfulness to Christ and the good of mankind requires the former, rather than the latter to be the orb of the “masterpiece.” Note: page 386 on how David is an exemplary model for the artist.

YOU CAN’T TRUST THE BIBLE…PERIOD! SAYS WHO?

The chatter seems endless.  Everyone has a view of ultimate reality.  Whose words fuel the reason you live?  During his temptation, Jesus said, “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

What does that mean?  Why should we care?  And what happens when his words are ignored? These questions and more will be considered in the seminar sponsored by Sovereign Grace Fellowship: Trusting God’s Word: Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture

TOPICS

  • Who do You Ultimately Take Your Orders From? – Scripture’s Authority (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • What do You Ultimately Bank On? – Scripture’s Inerrancy (Psalm 12:6)
  • How Are Your Ultimate Needs Met? – Scripture’s Necessity (1 Peter 1:23)
  • Where do You Go for Ultimate Answers? – Scripture’s Sufficiency (Matthew 4:4)

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS SEMINAR?

 Truly anyone attending will benefit from the topics covered; Parents wanting to faithfully raise their children according to God’s commands; Pastors and Leaders desiring to strengthen those under their care; students longing to be emboldened in their witness for Christ; Followers of Jesus determined to live humbly under God’s truth; and the Skeptic whose questions have not been satisfactorily answered.

SPEAKER INFO follow link:

Seating is limited so SIGN-UP TODAY!

 

Seminar: TRUSTING GOD’S WORD “Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture”

Answers To Tough Questions

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The reason I started Answers to Tough Questions was to strengthen believers and to engage skeptics.

Either through writing or speaking, my desire is to practically engage ultimate issues and see how they are lived out in our lives.

The chatter seems endless.  Everyone has a view of ultimate reality.  Whose words fuel the reason you live?  During his temptation, Jesus said, “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

What does that mean?  Why should we care?  And what happens when his words are ignored? These questions and more will be considered in the seminar sponsored by Sovereign Grace Fellowship: Trusting God’s Word: Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture

TOPICS

  • Who do You Ultimately Take Your Orders From? – Scripture’s Authority (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • What do You Ultimately Bank On? – Scripture’s Inerrancy (Psalm 12:6)
  • How Are…

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Summary of “Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History” Francis Schaeffer

IMG_20170827_083008Many years ago in Bible College I took a class called Hebrew History and the book of Joshua was our starting point.   I don’t remember much of that class’s content, but I do recall the texture of wonder in my soul as musings of the text were considered, both in class and in my study.

According to Schaeffer, a major theme (and I agree) is the significance of our choices.  The book of Joshua centers on this reality of our “choices.”   Between the God Who is There or the idols that surround us, we are to choose whom we will serve.  God’s faithfulness to his promise to the fathers of Israel possessing the land was realized, but there was much to be gleaned by the “choices” God’s covenant people made—either negatively or positively.

Joshua before his death distributes the land to the different tribes of Israel and finally gives them his last “speech” (Joshua 24: 14-15):

14 “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

The focus is not on their “stuff” but on their “loyalties” whether it is Godward or Manward—their worship is the ultimate issue.   And their worship like ours is seen in the choices that they daily made.  In Chapter 2 Joshua chose to recognize that Israel’s true leader was the Captain of the host of the LORD who was before him.  Chapter three focused on the national portion of the Abrahamic covenant.  The Jews chose to cross the Jordan—from that time until now, their choices would either result in blessing or cursing (i.e., the conditional aspects of the covenant).  Chapter 4 and 8 show how Rahab and the Gibeonites chose to deceive in order to become part of the people of God—they knew and heard of the renown of God’s name.

In chapter 5 two memorials were erected: one of stones and another of circumcision, both of which were signs of remembering and obeying the God of the covenant however impractical it seemed to the eye.  Chapter 6 shows how Achan’s choice to disobey God’s command lead not only to the temporary defeat of Israel’s army but also brought death to him and his kin.  Moreover, in the chapter 7 at Mt. Gerizim and Ebal blessing and cursing was established within the covenant—choose life Israel.  Chapter 9 Caleb once again shows himself faithful to God while standing opposed to Israel’s disobedience of taking the rest of the land.  He chose God, as he had done 40 years prior.

Chapter 10 the two and a half tribes that returned east of Jordan chose to serve the living God and those west of the Jordan lovingly and passionately entreated them thinking that they had turned to serve the gods of the land.  In chapter 11 the cities of refuge are set up and the one who has accidently committed homicide has a choice to run and be safe from the avenger of blood in this place.

The whole book demonstrates how choice—our choices effect history in a deep way; our family, our affiliations, our nation.  We are not to “Forget who we are” as Scripture constantly reminds.   We are not machines, but created in God’s image and we must choose rightly, not like Adam, but like Abraham.

What struck me here is that we can’t make a choice in the present that we are not in the habit of making in the past.  The little choices are not little in the least bit, instead they are monumental and oh the blindness within that argues contrarily.  Joshua understood this so well that at the end of his life both his “life” and “words” matched his professed convictions.  Israel knew it.  What a man, what a Great God he served.  What will you choose with the little time left on earth believer? The God of creation or the idols that promise so much but can’t deliver?  Whose word will you ultimately bank your life on?  The Creators or the creatures?

YOU CANT TRUST THE BIBLE! SAYS WHO?

 

The chatter seems endless.  Everyone has a view of ultimate reality.  Whose words fuel the reason you live?  During his temptation, Jesus said, “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

What does that mean?  Why should we care?  And what happens when his words are ignored? These questions and more will be considered in the seminar sponsored by Sovereign Grace Fellowship: Trusting God’s Word: Reclaiming our Confidence in the Truth of Scripture

TOPICS

  • Who do You Ultimately Take Your Orders From? – Scripture’s Authority (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • What do You Ultimately Bank On? – Scripture’s Inerrancy (Psalm 12:6)
  • How Are Your Ultimate Needs Met? – Scripture’s Necessity (1 Peter 1:23)
  • Where do You Go for Ultimate Answers?Scripture’s Sufficiency (Matthew 4:4)

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS SEMINAR?

 Truly anyone attending will benefit from the topics covered; Parents wanting to faithfully raise their children according to God’s commands; Pastors and Leaders desiring to strengthen those under their care; students longing to be emboldened in their witness for Christ; Followers of Jesus determined to live humbly under God’s truth; and the Skeptic whose questions have not been satisfactorily answered.

SPEAKER INFO follow link:

Seating is limited so SIGN-UP TODAY!

 

Summary of “No Final Conflict” Francis Schaeffer

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In No Final Conflict, Schaeffer among other things argues for the primacy of the Bible as God’s final self-disclosure to man which is both transcultural, and trans-time.  While special revelation (i.e., the Bible) shows us God’s redemptive plan, general revelation (i.e., the Creation) displays the other aspect of His glory.  When theologians and scientists relegate the Bible to the mere subjective, relativistic corner, it is held that only science can give us knowledge.  However, the Scripture’s self-affirmations don’t give us this capital.

Where the Bible touches on History and the Cosmos it gives us true knowledge, if not, then Evangelicalism is a sham, grounded merely on a weak view of Scripture.  If Scripture is not faithfully applied to the raging culture war, he quotes Martin Luther:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” [pg.122]

 Scripture is the biggest issue today.  This is the biggest issue is both the nature and reliability of Scripture and depending on our view, it will determine whether or not we are truly Evangelical. 

Schaeffer further argues for the Bible’s historicity through the unity of Genesis in its genealogical statements, the nature of Scripture, the limits of our knowledge of both Special and General Revelation and the need to humbly ascertain the two.  At the end of the day, if Evangelicals acquiesce to a weak view of Scripture (i.e., it’s a myth, not a reliable source of historical knowledge) then God will in the end not have spoken.  Only man will have spoken through his culturally conditioned era.

If this weak view of Scripture is received and practiced, the difficulties that lie ahead will wipe out many professing believers, AND the lost will not be found.  Instead they will dance into eternity without the redemptive knowledge of God, but only into His wrathful presence.

We need Holy hot orthodox boldness so that we may winsomely love our neighbor and lay down our lives for them.  Gone are the days where we can leave said decision for tomorrow, the time to act is now, the time to truthfully love as God commands is also now.  What will the Master say to us when on that day our faces meet?  Well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your master, or, depart from me I never knew you, you workers of iniquity.

Summary of “Genesis in Space and Time” Francis Schaeffer

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In “Genesis in Space and Time” Schaeffer focuses on the first eleven chapters of Genesis and in step with its title, he argues for the monumental events as actual historic happenings that make sense of life and man’s past as we know it today, unlike any other account of origins we possess.

Schaeffer argues for the historic space-time ex-nihilo creation, God creating man in His own image, an actual historical moral Fall of man, the subsequent abnormality that exists between the Creator and the creature, and Gods promise of rectifying said abnormality are set forth.

A God-less worldview can only observe the effects of said abnormality (i.e., sin), but is incapable of knowing why these things occurred.  Moreover, moderns don’t know how these abnormalities are to be remedied.  Our problem is a moral rebellion against God. Christ alone is the solution.