Tagged: Apologetics

Are some Christian beliefs non-negotiable?

This is the third in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “The Last Apologist: A Commentary on Jude for Defenders of the Christian Faith,” available here.

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With an estimated 2.2 billion Christians in the world, worshiping in more than 41,000 denominations, one may legitimately wonder how we can possibly fulfill the prayer of Jesus that we all be as one (John 17:22).

But diversity does not necessarily mean division. The differences among the world’s Christian denominations generally have more to do with location, culture, worship styles, missionary efforts, and forms of church government than they do with major doctrinal differences.

Even so, it’s good to ask: What are the non-negotiable doctrines of the Christian faith?

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, refers to the process of discerning biblical truth as “theological triage.” On the battlefield and elsewhere, triage is the process by which medical personnel evaluate and prioritize the urgency of patient needs. A scraped knee can wait; a severed artery cannot.

Mohler suggests that a similar method be used in our churches to determine a scale of theological urgency – what some theologians call primary, secondary, and tertiary issues.

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Jude: A slave of Jesus Christ

last-apologist-thumbThis is the first in a series of excerpts from “The Last Apologist: A Commentary on Jude for Defenders of the Christian Faith,” available in print and Kindle editions here.


My business card is standard fare. It identifies me and describes my role at the MBC. It also tells how to get in touch with me. That’s what most business cards do: serve as practical, brief, and efficient introductions.

Some people, however, use business cards more creatively. Take Guangbiao Chen, for example, a Chinese tycoon and philanthropist. His business card details illustrious titles and heroic accomplishments:

  • Most Influential Person of China
  • Most Prominent Philanthropist of China
  • China Earthquake Rescue Hero
  • Most Well-Loved and Beloved Chinese Role Model

We’re only halfway through Chen’s list, but you get the idea. This may be one of the cheekiest business cards ever produced.

But how would you respond if someone handed you a business card that simply read, “Jude, a slave”? That’s how the author of the Epistle of Jude opens his letter. With profound humility, he models the manner in which followers of Jesus should defend the Christian faith.
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A verse-by-verse commentary on Jude

The epistle of Jude may be one of the most neglected New Testament books. Bible readers are tempted — in part by its brevity and in part by its similarity to 2 Peter 2 — to skip over Jude on the way to Revelation, or to give this short epistle little more than a glance.

That’s unfortunate, because Jude speaks volumes about the value of Christian apologetics. The Last Apologist: A Commentary on Jude for Defenders of the Christian Faith, is more than a verse-by-verse study. Each chapter explores key words and phrases, and poses thought-provoking questions that make this a handy resource for personal or group study.

Order your soft-cover copy or Kindle version from Amazon.

Last, you might want to check out the short video below.

 

A different kind of commentary

The Epistle of Jude may be one of the most neglected New Testament books. Bible readers are tempted – in part by its brevity and in part by its similarity to 2 Peter 2 – to skip over Jude on the way to Revelation, or to give this short epistle little more than a glance.

This is unfortunate, because Jude speaks volumes about the value of Christian apologetics. The Last Apologist is more than a verse-by-verse commentary. Each chapter explores key words and phrases, and poses thought-provoking questions that make this a handy resource for personal or group study.

Order your copy in print or Kindle versions.

For bulk orders at a deeply discounted price, send your request to cdowell@mobaptist.org.

Host an apologetics workshop at your church

2019 was a busy year for Christian apologetics in Missouri Baptist churches. Not only did the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network complete its fifth year of service with 16 certified pastors and lay leaders, but I was privileged to speak 65 times in 26 different locations throughout the year – including apologetics events in Florida and California.

Just to be clear, Christian apologetics simply is offering a reasonable defense of the Christian faith. The English word “apologetics” comes from the Greek noun “apologia,” which means “a defense.”

The apostle Paul applies the term to his ministry of defending the gospel (Phil. 1:7, 16), and the apostle Peter broadens its application to all Christians, urging us to be ready at  all times to offer a reason for the hope in us – and to do so with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15-16).
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