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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 When Handel’s “Messiah”—possibly the greatest musical expression of the Christian faith ever composed, whose libretto is nothing but Scripture and whose score is often the most perfect acoustic commentary on that text imaginable—was premiered, there were Christians who boycotted and protested it because it was first performed in a “secular” auditorium and not in a church.

Yes, we were that stupid.

Yes, some of us still are.

HANDEL’S “MESSIAH”

Premiered, Dublin, 1742

The pious found a way to be offended:

God’s Word sung in a public Music Hall!

It truly was a venue to appall,

Incapable of being comprehended.

Why, vulgar entertainments there were vended,

With doors thrown open wide to one and all.

To mix the Gospel with such folderol?

An error that could hardly be amended!

 

And what would these blasphemers think of next,

So careless of the Church’s reputation?

Why not associate with sinners?  Why,

You might as well proclaim the Sacred Text

Of God’s pure Kingdom and His great salvation

Out on a hillside underneath the sky.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

The Book
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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS SELF ON NEW BOOK

Donald T. Williams, The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019), $12.95, 139 pp., pbk.

ME: I’m going to interview myself? How does that work?

MYSELF: You ask yourself questions and then try to answer them.

ME: OK, tell me about this new book. Why do we need one more popular book on apologetics?

Dr. Williams Proclaiming the Gospel

MYSELF: Because the landscape keeps changing. The truth of the Gospel remains the same, but the questions we have to be prepared to answer in order to get a hearing for it shift. When I was young we only had to mount a straightforward defense of the Bible’s truthfulness. Now you still have to deal with that, but today’s skeptics are much more likely not to care about the Bible’s historical accuracy because they are convinced that it is an immoral book. It supports genocide, racism, slavery, male chauvinism, homophobia, etc. in their eyes. You’re not so much naïve if you base your life on it as immoral! I find that many Christian young people, even those who are interested in apologetics and can defend the Bible from the old charges, get caught flat-footed by some of these new challenges.

ME: Who is the audience for this book?

MYSELF: Christian young people first of all: high-school and college students who want help in answering the questions that come from their secular friends, or who are troubled by those questions themselves. Then, just as importantly, those who work with those Christian young people: Youth leaders, pastors, and parents.  It could serve as a textbook in a senior high-level apologetics class in a Christian school or for a college-level apologetic class as well. I tried to write it in such a way that it will be accessible to questioning youth but edifying and useful to those who are older. Some at least of both groups think I succeeded.

ME: What are some of the questions you deal with?

MYSELF: Each chapter title is a question we need to be prepared to answer if we are going to give a reason for the hope that is in us effectively today. I start with the most basic questions: Why should we believe the bible and why should we believe that Jesus rose from the dead to substantiate His claim to be the Messiah? It turns out that each of those answers is the key to the other. Then we look at questions about the nature of the Bible and how we relate to it. How for example do we know which books belong in it? Then we move to questions about how modern (or post-modern) people can believe in a religion that claims to have absolute truth and a supernatural God. Finally we deal with those aspects of the Bible’s teaching that strike our contemporaries as positively evil. What does the Bible really teach about racism, sexism, etc.? The answers may be shocking to bot h its friends and its enemies, but they are the only path to real human thriving because they come from the God who made us and gave us purpose.

Dr. Williams Answering Questions

ME: What do you want people to get out of this book?

MYSELF: I want them to believe in Jesus with new confidence, love Him with new fervency, and share Him with new boldness, to the glory of God.

ME: How can people get ahold of this book?

MYSELF: The easiest way is through Amazon. Here are the links:

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VFR66Z4

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1949586898

The Book

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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.” 

What does loving the Lord your God with all your (heart, strength, and) mind look like?  Sometimes, like this:

C. S. Lewis, Possessor of a Christian Mind

THE NEED FOR CRITICAL THINKING IN THE CHURCH

Why is it that the drive to integrate

Faith and Learning, Heart and Intellect,

Is treated as a spiritual defect?

When Jesus said the Truth would liberate,

Could he have meant his followers to hate

The Mind and all its works, or to reject

Unheard that Truth for fear it might infect?

It is a strange idea to contemplate.

 

The world is full of charlatans and liars,

And they can come quite cleverly disguised.

But has your estimate of who conspires

With them not ever had to be revised?

To love the Lord with all your mind requires

A certain willingness to be surprised.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

278

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 Do you ever recite the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed in church?  What exactly is taking place when you do?  They are not Scripture, but they are ancient summaries of Scripture made by the early church to protect essential teachings of the Gospel from dilution or corruption by various deviations taking place already in their times.  They connect us with our forebears in the faith and still let us summarize essential doctrine—and more.

The Council of Nicaea

CREDO

The content, the commitment we express

When mind and heart embrace the ancient Creed

Are faith and fealty.  That we confess

Our faith means it is more than just a guess:

Our Lord’s own blood is what has guaranteed

The content, so commitment we express.

Acknowledging the Law that we transgress,

We find forgiveness, know that we are freed

To faith and fealty when we confess.

We walk by faith, not sight; still, nonetheless,

We’ve tasted and we’ve seen, and so we feed.

The content’s the commitment we express.

This ceremonial assent, this “Yes!”

Flows gladly from both mind and heart:  the deed

Is faith and fealty when we confess.

Not just a ritual; it is more, not less:

We stake our very souls, for when we plead

This content, the commitment we express

Is faith and fealty when we confess.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

NEW BOOK IN APOLOGETICS!

New Book in Apologetics!

THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN’S SURVIVAL GUIDE: COMMON QUESTIONS YOUNG CHRISTIANS ARE ASKED ABOUT GOD, THE BIBLE, AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH ANSWERED, by Donald T. Williams, Phd.  Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019

What are some of the questions covered?

  1. You claim the Bible is inspired because it says it is, right (2 Tim. 3:16)? Isn’t that circular reasoning?
  2. You claim the Bible was inspired, but there was no inspired list of which books that is true of. So how can we know which ones to trust?
  3. With so many different copies that have so many differences, how can we even know what the Bible says?
  4. Why can’t the people who wrote the four Gospels get their story straight?
  5. Didn’t the Council of Nicaea just arbitrarily pick the books for the Bible that they agreed with and suppress all the rest with political power?
  6. People used to believe in miracles because they didn’t understand science. Don’t we know better than that now?
  7. That a man rose from the dead takes a lot of believing. How could you ever have enough evidence for a belief like that?
  8. Science has proved that human beings evolved over millions of years rather than being created in six days. Why are you still clinging to ancient myths?
  9. Just because the Bible is true for you, why does that make it true for me?
  10. How can you base your modern life on a book that was written for a primitive culture?
  11. Doesn’t the Bible support genocide?
  12. Doesn’t the Bible support racism?
  13. Doesn’t the Bible support slavery?
  14. Doesn’t the Bible support homophobia?
  15. Doesn’t the Bible support the oppression and abuse of women?
  16. There are so many religions, all sincerely seeking the same goal. What makes you Christians so arrogant that you think yours is the only way?
  17. What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
  18. If God is a God of love, why did he let my loved one die?
  19. How can it be just for God to impose an infinite punishment (Hell forever) for finite sins?

Order from Amazon or click here for an introductory discount from the publisher:

https://www.christianpublishers.org/apps/webstore/products/show/7860181

Donald T. Williams, PhD, is R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College.  A well-known Inklings scholar, he is past president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics and the author of eleven other books, including Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018).