Sunday, 3 November 2013

The God Who is There Reading List/Bibliography - Apologetics Series by D.A. Carson

Carson released an excellent apologetics series called 'The God Who is There'.

You can listen to or watch the series for free following the links in my previous post The God Who is There - Audio & Video.

Here you'll find the recommended reading list/Bibliography for each chapter. This post is from Justin Taylor's excellent blog.

Recommended Resources in Carson’s Leader’s Guide: Introduction

Guest Post by Andy Naselli
Audio and video for Don Carson’s The God Who Is There became available three days ago. These talks correspond to two of Carson’s books that Baker released last month:
  • The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story 
  • The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story: Leader’s Guide 
The Leader’s Guide may be the most overlooked resource in this new set of books, MP3s, and forthcoming DVDs.
One of my roles as Carson’s research assistant is to copy-edit his writings at various stages prior to publication. Before I read the Leader’s Guide for the first time, I thought, “This will probably be OK, but I wonder if Don can write in a way that really serves small groups. He’s a first-class professor, lecturer, preacher, teacher, etc., but can he write a good rubber-meets-the-road leader’s guide?” Dumb question. I should’ve known better. The Leader’s Guide blew me away. It’s penetrating and genuinely helpful in so many ways.
One helpful feature of the Leader’s Guide is Carson’s annotated recommendations of resources for every chapter. So over the next five days, I plan to publish a series of posts that lists those resources for each chapter. I’ll start here with some resources he recommends in the introduction.
General introductions to Christ and biblical Christianity
  1. Stott, John R. W. Basic Christianity. 50th Anniversary ed. Downers Grove: IVP, 2008.   [audiobook]
  2. Jensen, Peter. The Future of Jesus. 2d ed. Kingsford: Mattias Media, 2008. 
  3.  Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Dutton, 2008.   [audiobook]
Resources that can help me better understand the culture we live in and enable me to be a better discussion leader
  1. Smith, Christian (with Melinda Lundquist Denton). Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. ["They coin the acronym MTD: moralistic therapeutic deism."]
  2. Twenge, Jean M. Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before. New York: Free Press, 2006. 
  3. Kadison, Richard, and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004. 
  4. Honeysett, Marcus. Meltdown: Making Sense of a Culture in Crisis. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004. 
  5. Baker, Hunter. The End of Secularism. Wheaton: Crossway, 2009. 
  6. Carson, D. A. The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.  
  7. Copan, Paul. “True for You but Not for Me”: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2009. 
  8. Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, August 2008.
Resources on the New Atheism
  1. Hemmingway, M. Z. “Skepticism, Agnosticism, and Atheism: A Brief History of Unbelief.” Modern Reformation 17:2 (March/April 2008): 18–23.
  2. McGrath, Alister E. The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. New York: Doubleday, 2004. 
  3. Zacharias, Ravi. The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008. 
  4. Mohler Jr., R. Albert. Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008.  
  5. Habermas, Gary. “The Plight of the New Atheism: A Critique.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 51 (2008): 813–27.
  6. Craig, William Lane. Five Arguments for God. Edited by D. A. Carson. Christ on Campus Initiative. Deerfield, IL: Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, 2010.
  7. Berlinski, David. The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. 2nd ed. New York: Basic, 2009.  
  8. Hart, David Bentley. Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. 
  9. Ganssle, Gregory E. A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009. 
  10. Copan, Paul, and William Lane Craig, eds. Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2009. 
  11. Craig, William Lane, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. God? A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist. Point/Counterpoint Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 
  12. Doane, Darren. Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson. LEVEL 4, 2009.  
  13. Hitchens, Christopher, and Douglas Wilson. Is Christianity Good for the World?Moscow, ID: Canon, 2008.  
  14. Andrews, Edgar. Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything. Carlisle, PA: EP Books, 2009.  
  15. Wilson, A. N. “Why I Believe Again.” New Statesman, April 2, 2009.
  16. Flew, Antony (with Roy Abraham Varghese). There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. New York: HarperOne, 2007. 
Books similar to this one
  1. Bartholomew, Craig G., and Michael W. Goheen. The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004. 
  2. Cross, John R. The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus: A Clear and Simple Explanation of the World’s Best Seller. 3rd ed. Durham, ON: GoodSeed International, 2000. 
  3. Alexander, T. Desmond. From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008.  
  4. Chester, Tim. From Creation to New Creation: Understanding the Bible Story. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2003. 
  5. Roberts, Vaughan. Turning Points. Milton Keynes: Authentic, 2006. 
  6. Dever, Mark. What Does God Want of Us Anyway? A Quick Overview of the Whole Bible. IX Marks. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.  
  7. Smith, Colin S. Unlocking the Bible Story. 4 vols. Chicago: Moody, 2002. 
  8. Lloyd-Jones, Sally. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. Grand Rapids: Zonderkidz, 2007.   [Cf. my review.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

How to Share the Gospel: Animation from Christianity Explored

Interesting animation on how to share the gospel about Jesus the King from the ChristianityExplored website


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Apologetics Reading List for Beginners

An Apologetics Reading Plan for Beginners(From the Apologetics 315 page)

Are you new to apologetics? Perhaps you're wondering where you should begin your reading. Because there are so many apologetics books out there—many which may be heavy reading for those new to apologetics—it would be helpful to have a sort of "top 10" reading plan for apologetics beginners.

The ten books on the reading plan below are selected specifically for the beginner in apologetics. They are on the list because of their accessibility and their quality of content. The order is provided as a progressive reading plan for those just getting started. Working through this list should give the novice a good foundation before moving on to more advanced titles.

1. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
All of Lee Strobel's books are required reading for two reasons. First, they are good introductions to the subject and provide a good overview of the material from some of the best scholars in their fields. Second, the writing style is very accessible, taking you alongside a journalist in his investigation of the evidence for Christianity. In this particular title, Strobel focuses on the life and identity of Jesus.

2. The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
This book is just as readable as The Case for Christ, but this one delves into the evidence for the Creator. Another thing that makes this good reading for the beginner is this: whatever areas you find particularly interesting can be pursued further by reading the sources interviewed in the book.

3. The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
In The Case for Faith, Strobel moves from making a positive case for Christ and a Creator to defending Christianity from some common criticisms and objections. This one deals with the hard faith questions such as the problem of pain and suffering and issues of doubt. Again, all three of the Lee Strobel books are a great starting point for the beginner.

**Interlude: Watch the The Lee Strobel Film Collection
At this point, now you can take a break from your reading and actually watch a series of three DVDs that are about an hour each. These excellent documentaries follow the same content as the books, along with interviews with experts and specialists. This is a great refresher for what you have read and also makes for a great small group resource and a DVD to lend to a friend.

4. Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics by Doug Powell
Now it's time for something different. This odd-shaped and colorful book (with more graphics than words) will introduce you to the wide landscape of apologetics by outlining, diagramming, and illustrating all of the key arguments for the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, the beliefs of other world views, and common objections. This is very helpful in providing visual categories for the content you are taking in. If certain things you have read up till this point have been overly academic, then this book will give you a sort of pictorial overview. This is also useful as a "primer" on the key topics and helpful to establish a bird's eye view. Illustrations of the ideas are also great for sharing with others what you have learned.

5. Love Your God With All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland
Ok, so you have taken in some of the key content and ideas that Strobel presents in the "Case for" series. But what does intellectual engagement look like? What does it look like to "love God with all your mind"? In this book you'll be challenged to live a vibrant life of intellectual engagement with your faith. This is a classic book that every apologist should read, and that's why it finds itself firmly in the foundational books recommended here.

6. Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl
Information without application results in stagnation when it comes to apologetics. That's why it's time for a good dose of Tactics, which will train you not only to use apologetic content in everyday life, but it will also train you to be a better, more critical thinker. This is another "must read" book, and mastering its contents early in your apologetic studies will put feet to your faith.

7. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Mike Licona & Gary Habermas
The resurrection of Jesus is central to Christianity. This book equips you to understand and defend the resurrection from an historical perspective. Not only does the book have useful diagrams, summaries, and an accessible style, but it also comes with a CD-ROM with interactive software for teaching you the material. This is an essential book for the apologist.

8. Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists by Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow
Now it's time to look at some of the most common objections that have come against Christianity since the rise of the new atheism. There's no better book at dealing with these in a concise yet dense way, while providing additional reading suggestions and introducing some of the key apologists that deal with these questions. If you really want to master this material, consider taking part in the Read Along project for this book.

9. I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist by Geisler & Turek
Geisler and Turek have authored a great apologetics book that also takes a step-by-step approach to showing that Christianity is true—and it's filled with lots of information. This gives the growing beginner a ton of good content, while strengthening the framework of a cumulative case for Christianity. This book will help to grow your overall general apologetic knowledge as well.

10. On Guard by William Lane Craig
Finally, it's time to dig deeper into some of the more philosophically rigorous arguments with William Lane Craig. On Guard is, in essence, a shorter, more concise and accessible distillation of his weightier apologetics book Reasonable FaithOn Guard has illustrations, argument maps, and sidebars which aim to make the material easier to grasp and engage with. This book will introduce the newer apologist to Craig's time-tested arguments for the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus. While it is still not light reading, this will serve the reader well before moving on to more advanced material. Highly recommended.

So what's next? If you've worked through this list, well done! You might want to dig a little deeper by going through the great apologetics textbook by Douglas Groothuis: Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. You can study this book in depth with the Read Along program here. After that, then delve into the topics that have interested you most in your reading. Do this by reading books by the experts that Lee Strobel interviewed or the apologists that have been referenced in Is God Just a Human Invention.

Final Note
As stated before, there are a lot of apologetics books out there. However, if you begin with these, you will have a pretty good foundational understanding of the landscape. From here you can (and should) do deeper study in areas of interest. While this is no definitive list (I'm sure those commenting will have their own suggestions), it should be a great place to get started.

Kingdom: God Reigns (Mars Hills Talk)

The Kingdom of God sermon is culmination of the Doctrine series. You’ll learn that heaven and hell are literal physical places, and you will spend eternity in one of them. The Kingdom of God is an amazing evidence of our perfect, holy, and loving God redeeming his people.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Books by Tim Chester Total Church, Everyday Church and You Can Change for $1.99 each (ebooks)

Ebooks of Chester's books Total Church, Everyday Church and You Can Change for $1.99 each. They're great. Really it's a no brainer, just buy the books!

You can pick them up from eChristian which is a great christian electronic shop (same as

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Free NLT (New Living Translation) for Olive Tree Bible Study App (Best iphone/android bible software)

Go to for a free copy of the NLT for the Olivetree Bible Study App (available free in the app store and google Play). The Bible study App comes with the ESV, one of the best word for word translations.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

IN CHRIST We are: The House of the Living God

Here are some of the main bible passages which show we are the House/Temple of the Living God. We want to be a people who are growing increasingly aware that God is powerful, present and active and then speak (prayer & worship) and listen (Word & Spirit) to God with great confidence. If you want to do some further study then have a look at these passages in context.

2Co 6:16 - 7:1
16 [...] we are the temple of the living God;
as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.

Ex 25.8 "Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.  

Ex 29: 45 "I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God.  46 "They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God.

Ex 40: 34Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to theLord, saying,
“He is good;
    his love endures forever.”

Jn2: 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was speaking about the temple of his body.

Acts 2 
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

Heb 4:14-16 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NASBStr)
Heb 9:11-12
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Heb 7:25-26
25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him,
since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens

Rv 21: 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God

Eph 2: 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Eph 3
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.