"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Thursday, March 9, 2023


The go to verses for Christian apologetics are:

1 PETER 3:14-15
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled." 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed

The word “defense” elsewhere in other translations is “answer” and in the Greek it’s apologia, which means: “a plea, an answer, a clearing of self-defense”. In this sense, it carries the same idea as a witness taking the stand in court and providing a testimony with the objective of clearing someone of an accusation, and, or to state a record clearly so that the truth is known in any given matter.

And notice the context in which this is given:

In the midst of persecution or suffering for the name of Christ, we are to remain faithful to the LORD in our witness (to “sanctify the LORD GOD in [our] hearts”), our testimony, our conduct, even when we are reviled we bless, and pray for those who persecute us and say all manner of evil against us in false witness (MATT 5:11). This no doubt will perplex and baffle the onlookers and may well provoke them to ask us “the reason for the hope that is in [us]”. Then we are to do so with meekness, gentleness and respect while maintaining our “good conduct in Christ”.

It's to these, who make inquiry that apologetics – the defense of “the faith” – is most useful. 
And notice that it's "the faith" and not merely "faith". We are not defending the act or lifestyle of faith (in whatever 'God' one may believe in), but rather we are defending "THE faith" that is, the body of doctrinal truth as revealed in Scripture.
Apologetics is more effective for the sincere inquirer or one who has honest doubts but is seeking for the truth, rather than for scoffers and ridiculers who will mock us no matter how we answer:

2 PETER 3:3-5
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,

ROMANS 1:17-22
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

This is not to say that we categorically avoid answering skeptics and naysayers, but that we need to be discerning and careful not to “cast [our] pearls before swine” (MATT 7:6). When we do share with these sort, and they reject the truth and the reasons we give, unless they repent and receive Christ, it will mean a greater judgment and subsequent punishment for them.

And in any case, a presentation of the Gospel along with apologetics to demonstrate the Scriptures to be the very Word of GOD should be preceded and accompanied with prayer, that GOD would open the sinner’s heart and eyes, to deal with any pride that may get in the way, that the LORD would grant them repentance and that any device of the devil in keeping that soul that GOD loves from the truth would be thwarted.

Last year Calvary Tucson had a conference on PROPHECY, which if you missed it, you can see all the videos in their archives in this previous TTUF article.

And next year, they plan on doing a conference on BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP – JESUS STYLE, which will prove to be a great blessing.

Now let’s go ahead and partake of the teachings given this year by such teachers and apologists as Frank Turek, Peter Gurry, Natashia Crain, Greg Koukl, David Guzik and Leighton Flowers. They made their presentations over the course of three days.

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SESSION 1: We started up the conference with Frank Turek:

Dr. Frank Turek, President of CrossExamined.org is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of five books: Hollywood Heroes: How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God, Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to make their Case, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct, and Legislating Morality. As the President of CrossExamined.org, Frank presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools, and secular college campuses. You can also download CrossExamined as an app either from Apple or from Google and enjoy podcasts, and helps that will provide apologetic material.

In this session Frank calls upon the body of Christ to rise up with boldness, with confidence, with the truth of GOD's Word and answer this generation of wicked lawlessness that rejects and denies the veracity of Scripture and the biblical JESUS!

TIME INDEX for the video

4:33 A quote from Joseph Goebbells, Nazi Propaganda Minister
5:49 We are commanded to defend the Christian faith (1 Peter 3:15)
6:36 How did Jesus respond to John the Baptist? (Luke 7:22-23)
8:21 three paths to find hope and identity
10:30 The new religion in America is more Me-ology than Theology
10:59 Your identity is not whatever you think about
11:30 three reasons why following your heart is not a good idea

12:07 #1 Our hearts are deceitful and selfish (Jeremiah 17:9)
15:48 Traps in the World (1 John 2:15-17)
17:01 second most important verse in the Bible (Proverbs 4:23)
21:07 #2 Our hearts are conflicting
22:38 Happiness requires restraint, a quote from C.S. Lewis
23:30 A quote from John Mark Comer
24:17 Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23)
23:23 #3 Our hearts are changing
30:51 A quote from Thomas Sowell
31:25 How do we guard our hearts? (John 17:3)
35:40 Stop trying to achieve your identity, receive your identity
36:11 Your identity is in Christ (John 1:12)
37:42 Love always protects, rejoices in the truth, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13)
38:49 Another quote from Thomas Sowell

Check out books written by Frank Turek here!

SESSION TWO: The next presentation was by Peter Gurry:

How can we be certain that the Bible we hold in our hands today is the same Bible as was originally written, in heart and in truth and intent by GOD? 
Scripture itself declares that His Word endures to ALL generations (PSALM 100:5) and that His Word is Truth (JOHN 17:17) and that ALL Scripture is GOD breathed and profitable (2 TIM 3:16). Peter will show us exactly how reliable the New Testament really is!

Peter Gurry joined the Phoenix Seminary faculty in 2017 and teaches courses in Greek Language and New Testament literature. His research interests range across the history and formation of the Bible, Greek grammar, and the history of New Testament scholarship. He has presented his work at the Society of Biblical Literature, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the British New Testament Conference. He and his wife have six children, two cats, and a tortoise and are members at Whitton Avenue Bible Church. He has been known to enjoy cheap fast food, good typography, and Jack London stories.

TIME INDEX for the video

1:08 Father forgive them (Luke 23:34)
2:04 A quote from Bart Ehrman
3:17 A quote from Scott Adams
4:59 Textual criticism is needed because...
5:28 #1 The originals are lost
6:06 #2 Copying by hand is hard
7:02 #3 The surviving copies don't all agree
8:29 #4 God inspired authors, not scribes

9:14 The evidence - #1 Greek manuscripts
10:16 #2 Translations
10:57 #3 Citations
12:57 Greek manuscripts by century
14:29 A copy of 1 Peter and 2 Peter
16:03 Greek manuscripts by content
19:32 Earliest copy of Mark
20:01 A quote from the Egypt Exploration Society
22:40 Comparing Mark with ancient works
24:53 A quote from Giorgio Pasquali
26:03 Another quote from Bart Ehrman
28:11 Mark 1:1 in Sinaiticus
30:35 Mark 1:1 in GA582 (14th century)
34:37 And that is what we are (1 John 3:1)
35:30 How many variants are there?
39:43 How often do editors guess?
41:56 Is Christian doctrine affected by variants? (Acts 13:33)
43:54 Are variants found in important verses? Do variants undermine Christian doctrine?
44:24 A quote from John Frame
44:49 A quote from J.A. Bengel

Check out books written by Peter Gurry here!

SESSION 3: NAVIGATING DOUBT IN MINISTRY: A Round Table discussion with Peter Gurry (second from the right), Frank Turek (middle seat), Robert Furrow (pastor of Calvary Tucson that hosted this event; second from the left)) and David Guzik (far left); mediating this panel is pastor Adam Parsons (far right).

The fourth and final session of Day One was with Frank Turek who gave his famous presentation based on his book by the same title:

SESSION FOUR: I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE AN ATHEIST. Due to time constraints Frank Turek wasn’t able to provide his full treatment, but if you would like to see this, check it out here.

Otherwise, you can watch this presentation as given this year at Calvary Tucson:

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Apologist and writer Natashia Crain has a discussion with associate pastor of Calvary Tucson, Adam Parsons:

Natasha shows the deplorable state of the church at large, revealing incredibly low percentages of those IN THE CHURCH that hold to all of the foundational biblical doctrines. Her insights reveal that today's so-called Christian esteems their own authority over the authority of Scripture, making them guilty of idolatry: the worship of self over the worship of GOD!

Natasha Crain is a speaker, blogger, podcaster, and author of four books who equips Christians to think more clearly about holding to a biblical worldview in an increasingly challenging secular world. Her latest book is Faithfully Different: Regaining Biblical Clarity in a Secular Culture. She is also the author of three apologetics books for parents: Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side, Talking with Your Kids about God, and Talking with Your Kids about Jesus. Natasha is a frequent guest on radio and TV shows across the US and Canada. She has an MBA from UCLA and a certificate in Christian apologetics from Biola University. A former marketing executive and adjunct professor, Natasha lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. She writes at https://natashacrain.com/


TIME INDEX for the video

1:49 Natasha Crain's background
5:03 65 percent of Americans self-identify as Christians
7:29 6 percent (2% of Millennials) of Americans have a Biblical worldview
8:33 21 percent of Christians within the church have a Biblical worldview
9:34 A larger percentage of people are now listening and saying "I don't know if I like that. I don't know if that aligns with my goals and my values."
11:00 The nature of secularism
14:42 Four tenets of secularism
16:56 Popular level slogans and mantras where we see this authority of self-expressed that our kids are grabbing hold of
19:59 Helping our kids understand the worldview implications and steering them toward the Christian worldview
22:48 The definition of virtue signaling
24:57 The AIDA model
29:13 How can the Christian respond to the charge that secularism is better because it promotes real equality?
30:38 The definition and examples of Progressive Christianity
35:07 Moral arrogance, epistemological arrogance and Biblical arrogance

Check out books written by Natasha Crain here!

Relativism is alive and well, not just thriving today, but dominating the world view of non-Christians and even some professing Christians. Greg shows the vital difference between ontological truth (that which corresponds with reality, and is therefore objective) and the feel-good relativism that is accepting of everything - except the Word of Truth!

Greg started out thinking he was too smart to become a Christian and ended up giving his life for the defense of the Christian faith. A central theme of Greg's speaking and writing is that Christianity — if it's properly understood and properly communicated — makes the most sense of the world as we find it. Greg has spoken on more than 80 college and university campuses both in the U.S. and abroad and has hosted his own call-in radio show for 30 years advocating “Christianity worth thinking about.” An award-winning writer and best-selling author, Greg has written seven books, including Tactics — A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions; The Story of Reality — How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between; and Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air.

TIME INDEX for the video

3:15 The concepts of truth and faith
6:19 Subjective truth
8:20 Objective truth
10:12 Relativistic thinking and objective teaching
11:44 If moral and religious truth is subjective, there can't be any conflict between moralities or religious views
15:04 You do you and follow your own truth is what other people want to do for themselves but they don't really want other people to live that way towards them
16:35 "Religion is the opium of the people" - Carl Marx
24:36 What does it mean for something to be true?
25:47 Ice cream or insulin quiz
28:36 The discipline of God (Hebrews 12)
29:19 When it comes to our claims, historically and classically understood, we are making insulin claims from top to bottom
33:45 Faith is an act of trust
35:05 The burning bush (Exodus 3)
37:05 The people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses (Exodus 14:31)
39:20 Elijah’s Mount Carmel victory (1 Kings 18)
41:33 Jesus forgives and heals a paralytic (Mark 2)
43:49 Coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2)
46:37 He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs (Acts 1:3)
46:44 These are included in order that you might believe (John 20:31)

Check out books written by Greg Koukl here

We want to train our children to know the Bible, but what's equally important, and in some ways, more important, we want to teach our children WHY we believe the Bible. The majority of Christian youth who go to University don't know how to defend the faith, and provide reasons that verify that the Bible is in fact the Word of GOD. They are deluged with "scientific facts" on evolution and become disillusioned, experiencing a crisis of faith that few recover from.
It's vital that we equip our kids in apologetics!

There were three workshops presented at this conference, but unfortunately only one of them was recorded; nevertheless, this presentation is worth the watch:


A straight foward reading of Scripture taking it for what it says, brings forth "the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 COR 11:3). Greg talks about how we can bring the Bible to life for those who aren't familiar with, or antagonistic towards the Scriptures in this presentation. His call is for the saints to make what GOD says as the highest priority and not allow the world or friends to conform them to unbiblical beliefs (much more practices).

TIME INDEX for the video

2:43 Many who identify as Christians, seem to effortlessly embrace ideas that are completely at odds with a biblical understanding of reality
5:59 Christians have fallen into a trap that Paul warned against in Colossians 2
8:32 Many Christians seem to care more about what their friends think about them than what Jesus thinks about them
10:34 Trust in Jesus of Nazareth is necessary to escape eternal punishment for sin
14:00 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6)
15:30 The narrow way (Matthew 7:13)
15:59 If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins (John 8:24)
16:04 There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)
16:57 I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:1-2)
17:44 What must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30)
20:07 Why shouldn't we murder? (Genesis 9)
21:02 Are unborn human beings image bearers in the same sense that God was referring to in Genesis?
27:00 There is forgiveness with You, that You may be praised (Psalm 130:4-5)
29:59 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27)
34:05 Is it okay to get divorced for any reason?
38:58 One man, with one woman, becoming one flesh for one lifetime
43:53 The sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27)
48:56 The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

SESSION EIGHT: A LIVE Q & A PANEL DISCUSSION with David Guzik, Greg Koukl, Robert Furrow, and Natasha Crain; this was also mediated by associate pastor Adam Parsons.

TIME INDEX for the video

0:48 How do we handle when our own adult children may not follow Christ for themselves? What kind of actions or advice can we provide?
4:38 My husband was called to be a pastor later in life. We've experienced some hurtful opposition in ministry. We've tried to talk through this prayerfully and scripturally but its had a negative effect on one of our children. He's angry at God for allowing this to happen when we're trying to serve Him faithfully. How can we best minister to his hurt?
11:05 What is the difference between the prosperity as the world sees it and the prosperity that God gives us?
16:41 We teach our daughters not to be promiscuous and to use their lady charms to get what they want. How do we justify Naomi telling Ruth to take a bath, put on perfume and her best clothing and go lay at the feet of Boaz while he's sleeping?
23:12 The cultural narrative infiltrating our church, what can the church do better to address this?
33:16 As a believer, how do you draw the line of acceptance of a homosexual Christian living and practicing in homosexuality verses a divorced Christian, being divorced for a non-scriptural reason, becoming remarried and living in adultery every day because her former spouse is still living?
42:11 Why did God allow sin to happen?
49:05 Are there any historical precedents that we could learn from where that has happened, not just natural stuff but to reshape culture, then what could we learn from that today so that we could build a bridge back?

Leighton brings forth a simple but effective argument (while not having an argumentative demeanor while doing so!) on the fallacies of Calvinism. Aside from Dave Hunt's book, What Love Is This? this presentation is one of THE best I've heard that reveal the unscriptural basis of the tenets found in Calvinism (Watch Dave's video based on his book here).

Dr. Leighton Flowers was named the Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists in 2018. In addition to preaching on a wide range of biblical subjects, Leighton regularly travels to churches of all sizes to conduct seminars that specialize on evangelism and apologetics. He has participated in debates with leading apologists and led training conferences for the Annual Convention, Conclave, Apologetic Conferences, and the SBC Annual Convention. Previously, he served as the Director of Youth Evangelism for Texas Baptists for 13 years. Leighton and his wife Laura, a Licensed Therapist in Richardson, have four children (Colson, Cooper, Esther and Caden) and live in North Garland just outside of Dallas where he also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Theology for Trinity Seminary.


TIME INDEX for the video

6:25 What is Calvinism?
8:15 What is Provisionism?
8:57 The T.U.L.I.P. acronym
9:52 T =Total Depravity
18:13 Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 4:7)
19:13 U = Unconditional Election
21:15 L = Limited Atonement (John 3:14-15)
27:13 I = Irresistible Grace
32:04 P = Perseverance of the Saints
33:19 2 different views of predestination

Check out books written by Leighton Flowers here

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
DAY THREE: The Two Last Sessions with David Guzik and Leighton Flowers

David affirms what the Scriptures tell us: that GOD is a GOD of mercy and grace, love and compassion, but He is also a faithful and righteous and holy Judge. We can't pick and choose Scriptures based on our own preferences, but must acknowledge GOD in all of His attributes!

(For more on the FOUR PRIMARY OFFICES of GOD, check out this TTUF series!)

David Guzik is a pastor, Bible teacher, and author of a widely used Bible commentary. David has been in Christian service for more than 35 years, including two church plants and more than seven years as a missionary in Germany, as director and teacher for an international school (Calvary Chapel Bible College Germany). David’s podcasts are available on iTunes and on an RSS Feed for Android users. You can find more of David’s video teaching on his YouTube Channel. Enduring Word, David’s daily radio program, can be heard on many stations across the country and on the internet.


TIME INDEX for the video

2:23 All through the Bible, God is presented as judge, and a just judge (Psalm 50:6; Zephaniah 3:5; Psalm 9:7-8)
3:43 God’s role and place as judge (Genesis 18:23; Genesis 18:25)
7:19 The extent of God’s jurisdiction as judge (Genesis 18:25; Numbers 31:17)
14:01 Objections to God’s judgment
18:35 Six answers to objections to God’s justice -
#1 The We Want Justice Answer (Isaiah 40:14)
21:11 #2 The Smartest Person Answer
22:05 #3 The Evidence Not Made Public Answer
22:48 #4 The “Justice Nerve” Answer
23:55 #5 The “God Is Judge and I’m Not” Answer
27:19 #6 The Judging God Answer
30:48 Jesus as judge (John 5:22; John 5:26–27)
34:20 The really good news about God’s justice (Romans 3:26)
40:53 God’s justice and our justice

Check out books written by David Guzik here!

Leighton presents Paul the apostle not only as a powerful apostle and evangelist but as an apologist whose heart is for his countrymen, actually willing (if it were possible) to give up his own salvation if it could save them!
He shares many insights into the Scriptures and how the doctrines of salvation impacts how effective our evangelism will be!

TIME INDEX for the video

3:53 Paul witnessed from morning until evening (Acts 28:23)
5:14 What motivated Paul in his evangelism? - #1 Paul loved the people he was talking to (Romans 9:1-3)
7:21 #2 Paul holds out hope for them (Acts 28:23-28)
31:01 We are called to be apologists as well as evangelists (2 Corinthians 5:11)
31:57 #3 Paul was prayerful (Romans 10:1; Romans 10:21)
33:36 Just as your theology will drive your methodology, so too your theology will drive your prayer life

As an added treat, check out this interview with Leighton Flowers and Kyle Peart and Flynn Huseby of ONCE LOST ministries (I will add this link as it becomes available).
Also, ONCE LOST has done interviews with other able apologists; check these out here once these become available!

As an extra added treat, check out David Guzik’s teaching after the Conference, when he presented:

This concludes this 2023 Conference. LORD willing (if we haven’t yet raptured!) we will have next years conference on: BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP – JESUS STYLE!

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