Apologetics Lesson 1 – How do you know God is real?

Reasonable is teaching an in-person apologetics series at University Baptist Church for the next few months. 10 tough questions, one hour lesson each, and a 60-second response. Following each lesson, we will post resources here on the RFH blog.

Apologetics Lesson 1 – How do you know God is real?

Thanks for joining us last week to kick off the Apologetics Study Series. Jonathan led the discussion on the question “How do you Know God is Real?” and looked at three responses: the Moral Argument, Kalam Cosmological Argument, and Fine-Tuning.

We appreciate everyone’s willingness to jump into the conversation and hope it was a good step toward equipping you to share and defend your faith with confidence! We should always seek to steer these difficult conversations to compassion and relationship, but we can also have confidence that God has given strong evidence of Himself throughout His creation.

Videos

60-second Response

There are three main arguments for the existence of God, including the Moral Argument, the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and the Fine Tuning Argument. The one that resonates most with me is the Fine Tuning Argument, which uses the surprising complexity and precision of nature’s physical constants that if altered, just ever so slightly, would change the Universe in such a way that life would no longer exist. For example, if gravity was changed by even a tiny faction of a percent no planets or stars would ever have formed. Because of the extreme complex nature of each of the universe’s physical constant, it is highly improbable that they were created by chance and much more probable that the complexity of the Universe is designed purposefully, by a Creator.

Additional Resources

Posted in Apologetics, Existence of God | Tagged | Leave a comment

RFH Brainstorm: Apologetics Ministry in Houston

Reasonable Faith Houston is seeking God’s plan for this ministry in the Houston area. We are currently in information gathering mode, looking at the needs of the community and the opportunities to serve through apologetics education and Christian defense. In our last blog post, we looked at what apologetics has to offer and dug into some statistics on the local community as we asked “Where is God Leading RFH to Serve?” Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Practical Issues | Tagged | 2 Comments

Where is God Leading RFH to Serve?

As Reasonable Faith Houston (RFH) continues to explore how apologetics can best be used to strengthen and grow the local Christian community, we turn to two foundational questions: “What does apologetics have to offer?” and “Who is the local Christian community?” Scott mentioned in last week’s blog post that we have been meeting with local church leaders and finding many are unfamiliar with apologetics. In addition to defining the term in those conversations, it’s important to discuss the value and potential impact this type of thinking might have on members of their congregations. Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Practical Issues | Tagged , | 2 Comments

What is Apologetics?

We’ve met with several ministers and lay leaders to discuss apologetics in the past two weeks. We are specifically seeking to understand how Reasonable Faith Houston can most effectively serve the local community. One of the most important reoccurring questions in the past couple of weeks has been “what is apologetics?” Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Practical Issues | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Christianity in a Pluralistic world?

At last week’s Reasonable Faith Houston Lectures, we talked about why Christianity stands out as different in a pluralistic world. Some people wonder why we make such a fuss about Jesus Christ and Christianity, since they take the stance that all religions are basically the same. They assume that all faiths are talking about the same thing, the same God, but are putting it in a different way. Continue reading

Posted in Christian Particularism, Christianity and Other Faiths | Tagged | Leave a comment

Shroud of Turin – Carbon Dating Witness

This post is part of a multi-part series investigating the evidence and arguments surrounding the Shroud of Turin. See the first post, Shoud of Turin, Could it Be Real?,  for an index.

This witness is complex, filled with as much passion and fervor as scientific analysis and investigation. 1988 was a pivotal year in the study of the Shroud, when the carbon dating findings were released from three laboratories that analyzed Shroud fibers and determined it was not 1st century material. In science, once new data is published, even if it is wrong, it takes mounds of additional contrary evidence to suppress the inaccurate data. In this case, three laboratories analyzed the fabric and came to the same conclusion on the date. Rather than throwing in the towel after all of our previous study, lets understand the activities and processes that led the labs to reach their conclusions. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Jesus | Tagged | Leave a comment

Shroud of Turin – Forensic Witness

This post is part of a multi-part series investigating the evidence and arguments surrounding the Shroud of Turin. See the first post, Shoud of Turin, Could it Be Real?,  for an index.

The Shroud of Turin is the most studied relic in antiquity…if at this point we can have your permission to associate it with “antiquity.”  We now turn our attention to the level and sophistication of the scientific methodologies and the specific forensic areas of study. Some of the forensic domains that have been used to investigate the Shroud are: medical, botanical, chemical, hematology, DNA, mathematical, and microphotographic analysis. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Jesus | Tagged | Leave a comment

Shroud of Turin – Sudarium of Oviedo Witness

This post is part of a multi-part series investigating the evidence and arguments surrounding the Shroud of Turin. See the first post, Shoud of Turin, Could it Be Real?,  for an index.

When we consider the “possibilities” of the Shroud it may be meaningful to the reader that there is more than one external witness. The Sudariaum of Oviedo is one such witness:

Housed in the Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain, and relatively unknown compared to the attention given the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo presents it’s own similarly interesting history and apparently related backstory. Equally puzzling, the Sudarium is a smaller piece of cloth that research shows may be closely related to the Shroud. Measuring 34″ by 21″, the Sudarium is a bloodstained cloth believed by many to have covered the head of Jesus of Nazareth while still on the cross or while he lay in the tomb. There is a biblical basis for this belief: John chapter 20 states that there was a cloth, separate from the burial shroud, that was used to wrap around Jesus’s head. We are mindful that this biblical text would open the flood gates for manufactured relics…but lets pause that thought for a moment. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Jesus | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shroud of Turin – Textile Witness

This post is part of a multi-part series investigating the evidence and arguments surrounding the Shroud of Turin. See the first post, Shoud of Turin, Could it Be Real?,  for an index.

Since 1578 the “sindon,” or Shroud, has been housed in a Turin, Italy, cathedral, hence the name, the Shroud of Turin.  It is believed by many to have wrapped the body of Jesus Christ after his death in Jerusalem, with the material itself provided by Joseph of Arimathea.  Over the course of years, the cloth has been decried as a hoax, forgery, and work of artist(s) by skeptics. Several studies have attempted to settle the debate. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Jesus | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shroud of Turin – Iconography Witness

This post is part of a multi-part series investigating the evidence and arguments surrounding the Shroud of Turin. See the first post, Shoud of Turin, Could it Be Real?,  for an index.

Per Wikipedia, “Iconography is the branch of art history that studies the identification, description, and interpretation of the content of images…” When it comes to the Shroud of Turin, iconography is another important domain for both advocates and skeptics. From the skeptics camp, Steven Schafersman has created an overview presentation that summarizes quite a few oppositions. We should review it if for no other reason than to drive investigative questions to answer the concerns with a topic. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Jesus | Tagged , | Leave a comment