Saturday, November 16, 2013

NEW WEBSITE!

This website will be shutdown soon, but fear not.  The NEW version of Soul-Winning Students can be found at http://soulwinningstudents.org. Go there now to read all of the new articles and see all of the cool new features!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mail-A-Tract




One of my favorite methods of evangelism is sending gospel tracts in the mail.  You may be thinking, "Doesn't that get expensive?" Nope.  In fact it doesn't cost me a dime.  Something that is great to do is to look for mail that has this kind of envelope in it.


The key thing you are looking for is the "No postage necessary if mailed in the united states" in the upper right hand corner.  If the envelope has that on it, you can just put a gospel tract in it, seal it and put it in the outgoing mail.

The person who opens it on the other side will get a gospel tract in a very surprising setting.  Just imagine how monotonus the day is for the person on the other side of this.  They spend thier day opening envelope after envelops with the same boring information.  Then YOUR envelope comes along.  Instead of a credit card application, it has a gospel tract inside and you have just planted a gospel seed.  You can also do this with any letters you send out to pay bills or any other letter for that matter.  It is so simple.  You don't even have to talk to anyone.  Just insert a gospel tract and you are good to go

Monday, October 21, 2013

"...I Just Believe in One Less God..."




Definition of "atheist": one who believes that there is no deity

Sometimes you will get atheists, who will say something like "We are both atheists.  I just believe in one less god than you".  The problem with this is that the person either does not understand the definition of an atheist, or is twisting the definition to create an illusion in closeness of position.

An atheist believes that an entire category, or type, of thing(s) does not exist (in this case God/deity) .  A theist (someone who DOES believe in a god in one form or another) is someone who DOES believe that category of thing(s) does in fact exist.  This is a huge separation.  It would be like someone saying "We are both A-Universists (Someone who does not believe in the existence of the universe).  I just happen to believe in one less universe than you."  It's an entire category that one person accepts and one denies.  The attempt is to create an illusion of closeness in position, when the fact of the matter is that the theist and atheists are on completely opposite sides of this issue.

The next time an atheist tries to use this line on you, flip the statement on it's head and say something like "We are both theists, I just believe in one more God".  By doing this, you will show him how silly this statement is to having a real conversation about God. 

Don't let the atheist use this shallow, and frankly, lame, phrase against you.  Put them in their place and make them recognize that you are worlds (realities?) apart and that saying things like this does not further their case for a creator-less creation.  Theists do have a responsibility to defend their position (1 Peter 3:15), but the atheists are just as obligated to put forth arguments for their positions, which, in my view, ultimately fail.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A New Blogging Realm

I am happy to announce that I am now part of the blog team on J. Warner Wallace's website http://pleaseconvinceme.com.  My plan is to post there on a weekly basis, so stop by and give it a look-see sometime. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Get to the Gospel



I have been sick the past week.  I felt miserable.  My head had tons of sinus pressure.  I went through dozens of Kleenex, and I couldn't for the life of me get my ears to pop.  It stunk.  I needed some medicine.  Now if a doctor had sat down and started talking to me this week I really wouldn't have cared about the research behind the medicine.  I wouldn't have cared about the studies done on the medicine and the results.  I would have just wanted the doctor to give me the medicine.

It's kind of the same way with the gospel sometimes.  Many of us love to give a defense for our faith and rightfully so, we are called to do it.  But we also need to remember a crucial and important truth: THE GOSPEL is the power of God unto salvation.  Not our knowledge of textual criticism.  Not our philosophical arguments.  Not our ability to show amazing archaeological findings.  It is the gospel.  It is the medicine the sinner so desperately needs.

Sometimes, all we have time for is to put a stone in someones shoe, but when the opportunity presents itself, our goal should always be to give a clear gospel message as soon as we are able to.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: The Screwtape Letters


C.S. Lewis is one of my all time favorite authors.  I often fall asleep listening to an audio recording of "Mere Chrsitianity".  Lewis' knack for imparting wisdom in easy to understand and intriguing ways is perhaps best highlighted in The Screwtape Letters.  

The book is a series of letters from an elder demon, Screwtape, to his younger nephew demon, Wormwood.  While we are only privy to one side of the conversation via the letters, Lewis does an excellent job of filling in the important details throughout the one sided exchange as the demons conspire to "win" the soul of an unsuspecting man.  While the story was only mildly interesting to me, the simple and piercing wisdom found throughout this book is amazingly beneficial for readers who desire to kill sin in their lives more and more.

More than one time through the book, I would go back and read a phrase or passage because it had such an "elusive-obvious" ring to it.  Letter 26 was particularly penetrating as I saw some patterns in myself with my interactions with my wife, while though I had been thinking they were selfless, I am now starting to see some selfish motives that lie underneath them.  

We also have many insights as to what demons may (and I would argue likely) do to interfere in the lives of people.  For example, helping us focus on the bad breath of another person in church instead of the sermon.  Finding a church that suits our tastes and not based on the truth of scripture.  And one of the most interesting things that happened for me while reading it, was reminding myself when I say the phrase "the Enemy", this wasn't referring to Satan, but rather, God.  

The book has such an intriguing and unique perspective that it is a hard one to put down.  At 160 pages it is a short read, but because the language is a bit outdated and it is coming from a radically different point of view, it might be a little more difficult to read than most christian books.

I give it 5 out 5.

Monday, October 7, 2013

How Close Did Miller-Urey Come to Making Life?




The Miller-Urey experiments are very famous.  This experiment done back in the 1950's had a lot of attention because of the possibility they had of "creating life in the lab".  I think it is important for you to understand out there just how close they actually came to making life so that you can be better informed in your conversations with people about this topic.

If we were going to compare the parts of the cell (the smallest unit of a living thing, the smallest possible thing that we can call "alive") to the parts of the car, a full working car would be equivalent to a complete living cell.  DNA would be like blueprints to tell us how to build a working car.  Proteins would be like sections of a car (engine, frame, interior etc.) and amino acids would be like the basic chemicals (like plastic, metal and fabric) that are used to make the parts of the car and the blueprints.

So, if a working cell were a complete car, all that the Miller-Urey experiments accomplished was making very low quality plastic to build only a few parts of the car.

Not only that, the Miller-Urey experiments were done in highly controlled conditions that were significantly different than the conditions that were present at the time the first life forms appeared.  These experiments were designed by some of the most intelligent people on the planet.  So even with intelligent design, controlled, ideal and unrealistic conditions, the experimenters did not come anywhere close to producing life.  In short, they did not live up to the hype.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Science or Story?




Since the beginning of human history, people have loved to tell stories.  They are an integral part of any culture as they assist learning and help us to communicate meaning. However, people have also used stories to communicate things that simply aren't true or that don't have any support for their validity.

The next time someone tries to tell you something about evolution, the creation of the universe or how morality came to be, ask yourself:

Is this person giving me science (something with evidence to support it) or a story (just something they think happened but have no good reason for believing it)?

For example, it would be scientific for someone to tell you that there were a number of different kinds of animals and they lived at different times in the past.  We have the fossils of these animals, we can see that their body structures are different, and they are found in different layers of the earth indicating that some are older than others.  What is NOT scientific, is to say that the older animals were the great-great grandparents of these newer animals.  So in the diagram below, the different kinds of animals would be scientifically supported (we have fossils to help us observe what they were like).  However, the lines connecting these animals are NOT scientific.  They are simply a guess as to what happened.  And frankly, it is an illogical guess, as we have never seen one kind of animal give birth to another.  Ever.

The key whenever someone is trying to convince you something is true or false is to ask for EVIDENCE. One of Greg Koukl's great questions from his book "Tactics" is "What evidence do you have to back up your claim?"  It is amazingly effective.

Try and think about some science and stories people have told you before.  Which claims do you think are scientific, and which do you think are just "stories", and why?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Students and the Cell



Cell theory states the following:-
  1. All living organisms are composed of one or more cells.
  2. The cell is the basic unit of structure, function, and organization in all organisms.
  3. All cells come from pre-existing, living cells.1
Something would happen, in every class, every year as I started to teach about cells.  An observant student would raise his or her hand and ask something like: "If all cells come from cells that already exist, where did the first cell come from?".  Almost instantly, the students would begin to chime in saying "God made it", and some others would say "evolution".  

What I find funny about this is that even at a very young age, people recognize that there is a serious problem with the third statement in cell theory.  It is the opposite of everything we experience in everyday life.  Causality (which is just a fancy way of saying the idea that all effects have a cause that comes before it) is something that is experienced by everyone everyday, and no one has ever shown anything material that did not have a cause.  

Cells are amazingly complex.  They are a collection of information and machines working together to convert chemicals that living things take in, or "eat", into energy, new machine parts, instructions and new cells.  What do you think are the chances of something like this coming together by chance?  Basically zero, and every bit of our common sense from our youth tells us that is the case.  

Students: think for yourselves.  Question the "experts" who give you stories and theories, but no solid evidence.  Your are logical people, demand logical explanations.


"Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favorable properties of physics, on which life depends, are in every respect DELIBERATE... It is therefore, almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect higher intelligences.. even to the limit of God." (Sir Fred Hoyle, British mathematician and astronomer, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, co-authors of "Evolution from Space," after acknowledging that they had been atheists all their lives)2