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June 11, 2018 8:18 am
Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan burrow together bringing you the truth for a new generation.
This is TMG radio. What set apart Christ as Lord in your heart and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that you have do this with gentleness and respect. With that famous verse first Peter 315.
I welcome you to today's edition of truth for a new generation radio hi Alex McFarland here and wow I'm so excited about the show we got today were talking about apologetics and that verse that very famous verse. We quoted no doubt hundreds of times in the programs. It's only one of many verses in the Bible that speak to the issue of defending the faith. I've often said in the 21st century we present to explain and if need be, defend the gospel and of God with me right now. Amanda is doing that and doing it very well.
His name is been with court is originally from New York upstate New York I believe) that is correct Alex, how did you come via Southerner and I am a bona fide Southerner by the way have been in the South, probably at this point. More than half my life so I think that counts but I ended up in Nashville Tennessee as an engineer after college I worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority worked there for a while, got married, moved to Texas and then back up to New York State for a few more years and then back down to Raleigh, North Carolina, about 22 years ago so so I'm up there.
Call me a soldier here, here, and I'm honored to be called that, if you if you've lived in Texas, Tennessee, and the Carolina SC. It will take you as a southerner but even more importantly you're Christian and you're a defender of the faith and were glad about that. Thanks be to God for that.
When you went to engineering school. Were you a Christian. Already when when you're in college I was not you know II did. I was not evangelized up in upstate New York. I was not evangelized until I came down to North Carolina so I like to say that I came for such a time as this sure Esther 414 not had you heard the gospel or did you really understand the basics of that Christ, the son of God paid for our sins on the cross and you could have a relationship with Jesus did had had you heard that message. Yes, see, I was raised Catholic and my entire family, extended family, grandparents, all the way on down I went to actually Catholic grammar school.
From first grade through eighth grade and then I didn't have enough of it.
Alex all went to a Catholic high school all boy So I heard the gospel many times okay okay what what clinched it for you only what what compelled you to open your heart to Jesus, there's a question right there. You know, I have to say that there were there were men praying for me. Unbeknownst to me, they didn't tell me they're praying for me until after the fact. And there was a gentleman who I befriended at work who introduced me to Josh's book more than a carpenter in that book that being judgment. Yes, Josh McDowell said that book really kind of turned things around for me because having raised in the religion that I was raised in Alex. I always knew that Jesus Christ was God and that he was my Savior but it was it was not relationship was more of a of a mental assent to that Pam was in a heart transaction until it happened. Sure sure as you studied engineering. Were there things in your academic track that conflicted with belief in God, belief in Christianity didn't did you have any kind of an intellectual crisis of faith now and I have to say that I took geology and engineering school. It is all about the dinner on the drastic arrow and going back to old 14.8 billion years of the universe and in a 4.5 billion years of the earth which the evolution was a very big part of that but it never really faze me that there was something wrong with that, you know, and it's surprising now because as an engineer I which I try to be a logical thinker shirt, a critical thinker in. We have to be in that field, but I have to say shamefully Alex that I didn't really think there was anything wrong with evolution. In those days and minutes once I became a believer and started studying apologetics. It really became broadly in my face that there is definitely something that just doesn't add up how many students do you think you and I know I've got my opinions on this from my own research and interviewing people but how many young people do you think the completely Darwinian completely secular approach of modern education is an issue about faith, evolution, secularism, materialism for young people. That being an obstacle between them and God. In your opinion, how how many really put away from God because of that, I would say most yeah, definitely most of the reason for that is because as our Lord tells us through Paul in Romans one is that we actually push away the knowledge of God in wheat we fight that you do we suppress the truth in unrighteousness and the longer I've been a Christian and the more I actually witness and talk to people my peers in my students that that is actually that is so true. And, obviously, because it's it's Scripture, but I see it in the field as well. There there are young men and women in our country today and I teach high school Christian high school that now they don't, but others do reject the things of God and I believe it's because they suppress the truth you're going to hears about something very exciting. Now listen wherever you are in America, and especially those that are on the eastern seaboard because heroes of the cross and been the court that got a really great apologetics event coming up that we want you to be aware of. But listen to this.
On the way to record with you today. I was reading an article about an archaeological dig and not the Middle East. UC Berkeley had gone on an archaeological dig, and much of the city of Nineveh that had been excavated.
It's been plundered and you know been there a world heritage sites where they talk about you know the things that need to be preserved. The archaeological world is lamenting that the palace of snack, a rib had been excavated. There were incredible sculptures and these dumb freezes or the sculptures in the wall that terrorists and opportunist have smashed with sledgehammers. The pieces are being sold on the black market and they said that it was a world heritage site disaster of the highest magnitude. The city of Nineveh, which is an historical city. The palace of snack rib which is referenced in the Bible that now preservationists are lamenting that this archaeological reality is been plundered and vandalized and sold on the black market and none of these archaeologists are saying. Nineveh was a myth or hyperbole is an actual historical place little bit of inconsistency there is in there exactly my point. Ensuring that is that there are compelling lines of evidence. What we call empirical that is physical investigative will evidence for the reality of the Bible and we got to pull away and take a break in which the state and will get a come back to talk more apologetics with been what court on today's edition of TNG radio back after this. If you're a Christian parent.
You of course want to instill a biblical view of life in the hearts of your children, your pastor, you want to offer ministry that draws young families to your church.
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The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask the book study guide and video series. You'll find firstname.lastname@example.org that AFA store.net our country is falling apart, political unrest, social upheaval, the breakdown of the family. The rise of atheism.
The rise of Islam are religious freedoms are under attack. There's gender fluidity gender identity is making a mess of freedom of expression. So we need to put some skin in the game and love this nation. As Christians we are to stand strong.
There has to be some personal investment in the living out in the preservation of their stance on American is that you face help you become a champion champion for Christ in stand strong America Jason Jimenez and I lay out the facts about our nation. The current condition and how you yes you, your family, your church, community can be involved in keeping this great Republic stand strong America is a guide for encouraging wherever Christian program Alex McFarland talking with been with court about apologetics and for the record, that's not apologizing, were not saying I'm sorry oh I'm sorry I'm a Christian. Please like me anyway. No, that's not it at all. Apologetics is an ancient legal word really. That means to speak in defense off to justify your position to back up what you're saying in terms of Christianity were talking about apologetics and then you mentioned Josh McDowell and them.
I do want to talk about some of the books and perhaps authors that influenced you apologetics touches on things like how do we really know God exist.
How do we really know that the Bible is the true trustworthy infallible word of God, Jesus Christ, did he really exist. Was he really deity, the son of God. How do we know he rose from the dead apologetics touches so many other issues and I'm just going to throw it to you been what are some other issues that apologetics would speak to well I can tell you I have recently befriended in fact, the last truth for new conference I went to I met a young man there fairly young man who was an atheist and said he wanted to meet with me, Alex, and so we have been meeting at a little Panera for five times in the past couple of months.
Any I can tell you something he he has told me that he's an ex-Christian former Christian who walked away from the faith, because something dramatic happened in his lifetime, so that speaks directly to what speaks directly to the problem of pain and suffering, and I think that is such a hard and difficult crux for people to get over it, even for Christians. I think it's a challenge even for us to explain and try to understand how there could be a hell there is a all-powerful and all benevolent on the beloved benevolent God who still allows such what almost seems to be gratuitous pain-and-suffering. So I think that's one of the issues that I try to explain to people as best as I can as best as any human being can Alex and I and I think there's still some mystery in that but but I but but but that that would be one that you know Peter craved, who is a great writer. We've had him speak it TNG and and I really love his handbook of Christian apologetics published by inter-varsity craved said far and away the problem of pain and whether it's call the problem of evil.
The problem of suffering. But the question is basically this if God is good. If God is powerful.
If God is wise.
Why is there suffering and evil in the world.
Yes, if God is good, why doesn't he stop it. If he's wise. Doesn't he know what to do and if he's powerful, isn't he able and so what Christian apologetics does at least in response to the problem of evil is without compromising God's goodness. God's power or God's wisdom.
We we try to give responsiveness now some people and most classically Orthodox apologists like Josh McDowell or Ravi or CS Lewis or Norm Geisler, turmeric or myself would say our answer to the problem of evil has got to not only respond to evil, but affirm that the true nonnegotiable characteristics of God, absolutely. Some people like Rabbi Kushner back in the 70s Rabbi Harold Kushner said well God's doing the best he can. His power is limited, so basically cut God a break he would fix the world if he could, but he can't will that's unacceptable because we know God is omnipotent, has all power some religion some Eastern thought.
Talk about yen and Yang may be God's part. Good part evil so there's sin and suffering because God has an evil component will we know that not acceptable.
God is righteous God is holy and God is wise. So the problem of pain-and-suffering that you say is an issue for your friend there and by the way, I applaud you going to have coffee and talk about theology because apologetics in the 21st century has got to be relational business. Yes it does.
And he has confided in me, something that Tom is Christian Alex.
I'm a little bit ashamed of and it's this. He is confined we got a good relationship is going. He's still continuing continuing to want to meet with me but he did say this, he said no, then you're different than most Christians and I asked well how how so he said will most Christians that I would talk to and debated with them had conversations with these kinds of discussions have really gotten angry with me for some of my beliefs in the system is my friend Michael speaking to me saying I really really appreciate the fact that you're open-minded enough to at least acknowledge that there are some things that I believe that could be somewhat on-base and it's really Alex more that I think Chris as Christians we have to realize that the that atheists are atheist friends and and naturalist friends they have something to say that we should listen to. But the gospel they don't know we have to show that in love, we do and I think that a lot of atheists appreciate that when I wrote the book to and answers for atheist and I interviewed so many atheist it. It always did come down to the problem of evil, and I would always try to do my best to be collegial and cordial and not just say you're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong. You're wrong now rejecting the existence of God. Yes, that's wrong, but very often people arrive at the beliefs they have, misguided as they might be because were not only intellectual were emotional so we don't just think we feel and often times our feelings cause us to think incorrectly. This Ben has an important event coming up in Raleigh, North Carolina. It's good to be in Cary, North Carolina just outside of Raleigh. Yes, write the name of it is the reasons to believe apologetics conference and when is it July 22 is on a Sunday afternoon okay were blessed to have Dr. Alex McFarland. I'm super excited and I really appreciate the opportunity. So Sunday, July 22 Sunday, July 22.
They can email@example.com reasons to believe that work. Now listen folks, if you want to get strong on defending the faith. This reasons to believe. Conference is what you need. Have we got a ploy for a break stating looking a ton more apologetics within the court and we come back on this edition of truth for a new generation radio for centuries. The Bible has inspired humanity and shape the very world we live but how do we know this book is the word of God, not merely the words of man, what we believe about the Bible is based on what we believe about source. The God who speaks explores the evidence of the Bible's inspiration and authority to some of the world's most respected biblical scholars have essentially a geolocation, so it's true to say that Paul wrote Romans is equally true to say that God's decision. We saw this and that sets the Bible apart from everything else in the ancient world and its religious pantheon of gods and goddesses. The God who speaks is a feature-length documentary from the American family Association available now with the God who speaks.all first Peter 315 tells us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope we have were instructed to be prepared to defend our faith. This is Alex McFarland for the life answers teams students we train at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in South Carolina. The life answers. Teams are made up of students who will inspire and equip your congregation. These apologetics teams. We train speaking churches to youth groups and train Christians of all ages to address key issues of our times. From a biblical perspective like is there a God is the Bible true. What about gender and moral issues. Call me at 864977 2008 and we will arrange for the life answers team to come to your church and give a presentation that will benefit your people for years to come. 864-977-2000 eight and always be ready Alex for back continue radio with court case you're wondering Dylan Burroughs is traveling he is frequently with us on the show and he'll be back, but regarding Christianity in the palm of pain-and-suffering because oftentimes skeptics will talk about you know not only why does this happen like moral evil, terrorism, violence, natural evil, tsunamis, hurricanes, but then there is also the alleged crimes of the church and what have. Why did God allow the church to do so many evil things, you know, in reality, there have been examples of Christians behaving badly that history and and we agree that sometimes those who name the name of Christ don't always behave in a very Christlike way, but I always say this were not asking you to receive a Christian who might let you down but Jesus Christ, who certainly never will. I got a book here, Ben.
It's a secular book, the wreck of Western culture by historian named John Carroll and it's talking about the Western world, which in this is a completely secular book was built on a Christian worldview science emerged from a Christian worldview. God is orderly and because the creator is an intelligent orderly being creation itself is intelligible and understandable. But this book is talking about how a Christian worldview gave the West, water, clean water, sanitation, sewers, antibiotics, reliable supplies of varied foodstuffs, civic police, the jumbo jet computers and skyscrapers and it said the Christian worldview built on earth, a city of light. But today that city lays in ruins and of quote why well because of our abandonment of God, morality and family. Now that's a secular history book about Western sieve.
Talk to me for a moment, you're an apologist you're an engineer what has been the impact of the skepticism we been talking about this rejection of God.
This abandonment of of Christianity. In this assumption on the part of so many that Christianity is the problem well. Unfortunately, we see signs of that every single day.
Don't wait in the headlines on the billboards in the movie theaters and in the ends. Unfortunately in schools. It breaks my heart when we have young people who can't even walk into a school anymore and beasts and feel that they're safe and one of the most safe havens that there has ever been. Throughout her throughout her history, Alex.
I've never when I was going to school had any kind of a concern, but yet our students have today and what has changed. Well, 50 years ago we we had prayer in schools 50 years ago, we were able to openly talk about Jesus Christ and and the things of God thinks of change since then what our culture has has gone and is in a stray direction away from the things of God and towards the things of man and it breaks my heart to see that because the culture doesn't understand the rep the repercussions of that the ramifications of the results of that kind of's of switch away and but unfortunate were seeing that today and and I believe that a lot of what we're seeing is a direct result of having abandoned faith. You know Ian Wilson. We've quoted him the British historian on the program and he talks about Britain and Europe. In the aftermath of Darwin. He talks about the fact that so many at first were glad of Darwin's publication of the origin and now we can party. Hey, there is no God in our past.
There's no judge in our future but by the dawn of the 20th century many of the very same people that celebrated the death of God were themselves committing suicide and they were in despair and Wilson says and this is a powerful quote they ate for the God they no longer believed in was a hunger for God so that so let's, wrap this up and again if you're just tuning in, were talking with been with court of heroes of the cross. Yes, we in America as professor that I quoted from Harvard a few years ago. He said were paying the price for having banished God from public life. Yes, I believe apologetics is a part of the pathway back to not only equip the saints but persuade the lost. Well, there's a lot to be said for that. Alex and hope is not lost. Hereafter I you know you are praying for in so many of us are praying for revival within America today and it's not impossible. The Holy Spirit can do that.
I think that at certain times in our inner Christiana? We tend to rely too much on who's president whose governor where senators are, though that is important and I think we don't pray enough. And I'm going back myself. By the way, when I say that*I want to find out I was like to find out how people got into apologetics sure what books or authors influenced you well.
I was introduced to the whole field of apologetics back in seminary about 10 years ago we had read one of these old stodgy books about the apologetics and you know it was very fun.
It wasn't very exciting and I didn't do well in the class but I I developed a love for the field in general and I started studying independently. CS Lewis surely not obviously it with that mere Christianity and then Frank Turk with us some of his work stealing from God and I have no faith to be an atheist Alex. Some of the books that you come out with as well just just oatmeal just just good solid meet in the field of apologetics.
And then I started taking classes at bile University out in California pursuing a Masters degree in Christian apologetics out there just loving every minute of it getting heavy into into the field and have just gone from there. When there were just about out of time and folks I want to encourage you to rise to the challenge of first Peter 315. Be ready be equipped.
Don't just assume it's the pastors job or quote somebody else is going to do it. Every Christian we need to know what we believe why we need to not only be able to explain and defend the faith that we need to be willing to do that and again July 22 July 22 at colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina, and online they can find out about that they can register and find out about it reasons the number two belief.org. Thank you for listening to today's edition of TNG radio then let court. Thanks for coming to be with us and folks keep on walking with Jesus and shining the light of the gospel to everyone around you will see you next time truth for a new in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new generation.com or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes and the number one TNG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 485, Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 that's PO Box 485, Pleasant Garden Carolina 71 will give firstname.lastname@example.org generation.com. Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TNG radio