Writings & Speaking

Peer-reviewed publications

 

Professional Presentations

“The Relationship between Theology and Ethics: How Theology informs Ethics.” Presented at the University of Transylvania, Brasov, Romania, October 13, 2013.

 

Apologetics & Philosophy papers

 

Theology papers

 

Apologetics presentations

 

Ethics/Christian life

 

Audio messages (Podcast):

Apologetics & Theology

  • The Existence of God: (Sermon series) The answer to the question “Does God exist?” is possibly the most important key in the universe. If God does not exist then is there really any ultimate point to life? What about the burden of proof concerning the existence of God? Should theists have to prove the existence of God or should atheists be required to disprove the existence of God? Is there a relationship between the existence of God and morality? Upon what basis can we call things “good” or “evil” if God does not exist? Does scientific evidence support or deny the existence of a Creator? Even if there is substantive evidence for the existence of God, how does one know which God to choose? In this 7-part intellectually stimulating series we peel back the layers of the greatest questions of existence!
  • The Problem of Evil: (Sermon series) Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Are there any good people? Am I asking the wrong questions? Why does God let good things happen to bad people? How do I explain God’s goodness in light of human suffering? Does evil disprove or make God’s existence improbable? Is God willing to stop evil but unable? Or is it that God is able but unwilling? Are my choices the cause of my suffering? Is God punishing me? Does God care about me in my suffering? Such are the questions that we are faced with when encountering suffering. If you have ever faced these sorts of questions, I invite you to listen to this seven-part series on the Problem of Evil.
  • Supernatural: (Sermon series) David Hume, the skeptic-philosopher once wrote, “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature” and that miracle accounts only arise in “the most ignorant and barbarous” peoples. In other words, belief in miracles = stupidity/gullibility. The Western world, by and large, took Hume’s rejection of miracles hook, line, and sinker. We are children of the Enlightenment; natural doubters & skeptics. Only recent discoveries in science and advances in philosophy have reopened the door to justified belief in the miraculous. Yet, we find numerous instances of miracles recorded in the Bible. Were the biblical writers mistaken…or is it the skeptics who are mistaken? If God exists, doesn’t that open the door to miracles? If God exists, why couldn’t He temporarily suspend natural laws as a sign of His existence and character? If God exists and miracles are possible, it means that I should not limit my prayers. If God can work miracles, then what can He do in my life? Check out this series for an intriguing look into the fascinating possibility of miracles!
  • Dealing with Doubt: (Sermon series) Have you ever had doubts about the truth of Christianity? If you have, join the crowd. . . but is doubt the same as unbelief? If you doubt, does it mean that you don’t have faith or that your faith is inferior? Is it possible to believe in Christianity and not check your brain at the door? Check out this six-part sermon series on doubt and its solution.
  • Apologetics: (Teaching series) Apologetics is the search for and defense of Truth. A few of the topics covered in this 20+ session series include apologetic methodology, worldview implications, God’s existence, facts and fallacies, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Battle for the Bible: (Sermon series) Can the Bible be trusted? What did Jesus believe about the Old Testament? How does evidence for the resurrection relate to the reliability of the Old Testament? In this 3-part series we investigate the reliability of both the Old and New Testament as well as the curious nature of biblical prophecy.
  • The Glory of God: (Sermon series) Psalm 3:3 “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” God’s glory is the most all-encompassing topic we could ever begin to think about. God’s glory is what human friendships, magnificent inventions, beauty in nature, justice in society, and every good thing should point to. Come join us as we dive into a transformative journey into the glory of God! We’ll look at these four fascinating angles: 1) Is God truly knowable? How can I know Him? How much can I know about Him? 2) God’s holiness and wrath: What are they and how do they relate to the love of God? 3) God’s love: What is it and how does it affect how we view the world? 4) God’s power: does God know the future? If so, then how should I view world events and personal experiences that are laced with tragedy?
  • Systematic Theology: (Teaching series) Have you ever wondered about the age of the earth and how it relates to the veracity of the biblical text? What about Noah’s Flood? Did it happen? If so, was it a local flood or a global catastrophe? Is there any evidence for either? What exactly are Satan, demons, and angels and how do they function in the spiritual world? How do you even know, or can you prove that a spiritual world actually exists? How can Christianity be true when there are so many different denominations? If God knows the future then is there any element of human choice or free will? Is the future “open” or “determined?” How does this relate to evangelism and missions? What will happen to those who have never heard the Gospel or the name of Jesus? Will they go to Heaven or Hell? Is there another way for them to be saved? How can the Bible be true when it has been translated so many times? Is Hell merely a metaphor for the grave or is it a real place where real people go? What happens after death? What about the book of Revelation and the return of Christ?
  • Christ and Culture: (Sermon series) Do religion and politics reside in separate realms? Should they ever intersect? If so, when? What is the most effective means of caring for the poor? Is there a place for Christians supporting the death penalty? How should Christians address homosexuality? Is it simply an alternative lifestyle or is it a sin? If it is a sin, is it worse than other sins? When does life begin? What is a biblical stance on abortion? Whether you are on the extreme left-wing or a right-wing conservative or somewhere in the middle, you will benefit from the often overlooked aspects of biblical truth on how to have a free and virtuous society.

Exegetical Book Studies

  • Ephesians: (Sermon series) Ever wonder why life seems so full of questions with so few answers? What about all the different denominations? Why did God give me talents (or the lack thereof)? Who runs the church? Do you have to go to church to be a Christian? How do I deal with anger and angry people? What is the purpose of a job? What does it mean to be an imitator of God? How far is too far with my boyfriend or girlfriend? Has science and philosophy disproved God’s existence? How can I find God’s will for my life? What does the Bible say about alcohol? What kind of music should I listen to? What kind of music is appropriate for “church?” How is a marriage supposed to work? What are the roles of the husband and wife? Who wears the pants in the marriage? How should children react to parents’ rules? How should parents establish biblical guidelines for children? I’m single, how do I prepare for marriage? How can I honor God with my job when my boss is such a jerk? Does the Bible endorse slavery? How should I handle temptation? What is spiritual warfare and how do I prepare for it? Is Satan a real being or a mythical figure? Do angels and demons really exist?
  • Changed: The Fruit of the Spirit (Sermon series): Change: to make something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.Change is something that most of us know we need but few of us understand how to get. Bookshelves are bursting with tips on self-help and self-improvement that often bypass the source of the issue: the heart. Jesus didn’t teach self-improvement; He taught about a changed heart that leads to a transformed life. So how does something that drastic actually happen? Why do we need to be changed? What does a changed life really look like? Check out this 10-part series on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:16-26!
  • Habakkuk: When God Seems Unfair: (Sermon series) Have you ever looked at the world and asked the question, “Where is God in all this mess?” Our eyes have more than their fill of the ravages of terrorism and human rights abuses from dictatorial and oppressive regimes. Overseas aid allocated to alleviating suffering most often never makes it to those who need it because of the plague of government corruption. Using people to get possessions or power seems to have become the norm. Trust is rare and frustration is rampant. Where is God in all of this? When and how will God right the wrongs that plague our world? Is it even right to question God? Come join us for this six-session journey through the scintillating book of Habakkuk as we seek to uncover tools on how to walk in faith in a faithless world.
  • The Warrior: Engaging and Defeating the Enemy – Ephesians 6: (Sermon series) We are in a war. The signs are all around us. War, terrorism, divorce, theft, pride, unforgiveness, selfishness, pornography, gluttony, and other indicators reveal that the problems plaguing humanity go deeper than just the economy. Yet, the Bible contains a fail-safe battle plan for gaining victory over evil. Come join us as we gear up to be prepared to defend our families and homes against the lies of Satan and take the unstoppable Gospel of Christ into the spiritual darkness that surrounds us. Fear not because even the gates of Hell itself cannot stand before the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The question is not whether you will be in a battle but will you will be prepared when the battle comes to you. . .
  • Judges: Staying Faithful in an Unfaithful World: (Sermon series) The book of Judges presents a textbook illustration of a culture that has lost its moorings. 21st century Western culture has many similarities with Israelite society during the time of the Judges. We live in a crazy world. Crazy laws. Crazy relationships. Crazy families. Crazy people. Before we know it, the new crazy becomes new normal. If we’re not careful, our lives will began mirroring what we were at first ashamed of. The book of Judges contains timeless keys on how to remain faithful in an unfaithful world.
  • Through the Eyes of Jesus: Sermon on the Mount: (Sermon series) “Perception is reality,” or so they say. Our eyes can be deceived. In a world of smoke and mirrors, we have a desperate need to see clearly. In this series, Through the Eyes of Jesus: A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount, one will encounter Jesus’ shockingly counter-cultural but life-changing worldview. Jesus addresses issues such as how to deal with unreasonable people, how to resolve anger issues, how we’re to think about our money, how to pray, and many other important topics. The question is simply, “How does Jesus view the world?” Then one must ask, “Do I view the world the same way?”
  • Philippians: The Secret of Contentment: (Sermon series) What is the good life? Is it the absence of family and relational drama? Is it financial security? Where does friendship and popularity calculate into having a fulfilled life? Is true contentment possible or should we settle for something less? In a time of economic uncertainty, how are we to understand God’s plan? This series is a walk through the book of Philippians in a discovery of transformational truths that intersect these areas.
  • Luke: (Sermon series) Is the Jesus of the Bible the Jesus of history? Does the New Testament actually teach that Jesus was born of a virgin? What is the importance of Mary’s Magnificat? Does “being a prophet” always involve foretelling the future? What evidence is there that Jesus actually existed? What did Jesus actually come to do? If Jesus was human but also the Son of God, at what point did Jesus realize that He was the Messiah? What did Jesus do between the ages of 12 and 30(ish)? Is there any evidence that Jesus traveled to India and studied Eastern religion during his “Missing Years?” What was the significance of John the Baptist wearing a camel’s hair coat and eating honey and bugs? What are the scary facts about God’s wrath and judgment? How do I know if I have truly repented? What is “baptism by fire?” Does demonization or demon possession still happen today? How can I be sure that Christ can save me and keep me saved? Check out this study in the Gospel of Luke to get a clearer picture of the Historical Jesus…the Jesus of the New Testament.
  • Impact: What Difference Does Christ Make? – Ephesians 2: (Sermon series) Why are there so many hypocrites in the church? What about all the people who claim to follow Jesus but don’t live like it? What do I have to do to have a relationship with God? Do I have to “turn over a new leaf” to come to God? Why does the Bible stress the need for a relationship with God? How do I know if I am going to heaven? Is it possible to lose My salvation? If you have ever pondered questions such as these, check out this series! 

Christian Life (Evangelism & Discipleship)

  • Slow Fade: Backsliding in the Christian Life: (Sermon series) “Big” sins scare us. Murder, adultery, child molestation, grand theft auto, and terrorism cause most of us to recoil in horror. Satan would like nothing better. Christ-followers must be aware of the seductiveness of slowly fading from a passionate love for Christ. In C.S. Lewis’ classic work, The Screwtape Letters, portrays the correspondence of an experienced demon and his apprentice in the attempt to draw away their assigned human from following God. He records, “You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. . . Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” The point of this series is to expose these tricks crafted by the enemy intended to cause Christ-followers to slowly fade away from love and devotion to Christ.
  • Soundly Saved: How do I know I’ve truly been born-again?: (Sermon series) Have you had doubts about whether you’re truly going to Heaven? Can a person lose their salvation? This series examine what the Bible has to say about whether a person can lose their salvation and how to know if you’ve truly been saved.
  • Reach Out: (Sermon series) Do you have unbelieving family and friends? Do you find it difficult speaking to them about Christ? Oswald Chambers said, “So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.”
  • Rethinking Evangelism: (Sermon series) Evangelism means, “to share or announce the good news.” On the one hand, evangelism and evangelists are rarely viewed in a positive light in popular culture… even within church culture. On the one other hand, Christ-followers know they should share the good news of Jesus Christ yet it often seems easier to choose excuses rather than obedience. Sometimes we don’t think we know enough to fully explain the good news of Jesus Christ or answer questions that may arise. Others find difficulty starting a conversation or non-awkwardly transitioning from small talk to Jesus talk. Regardless of our level of social skills, Jesus calls all of His followers to share the good news.
  • Fearless: Fighting debilitating fear: (Sermon series) Fear can be absolutely debilitating. Yet we rarely talk about it. If we were honest, we have all suffered from fear. . . or are still suffering from fear. We often think it’s easier to avoid our fears rather than face them. God desires to free us from the fears that plague.

Christian Life (Finances)

  • Money Matters: How should faith affect finances?: (Sermon series) “How should my faith impact my finances? Why do churches talk about money so often? I’ve heard that Jesus talks a lot about money. If that’s true, why would Jesus emphasize money so often? Is tithing mandated in the New Testament? I’d love to give but I’m under a crushing amount of debt. Is there a way out? Is having money synonymous with being greedy? What is the Christian view of the economy? ” If you have pondered questions such as these you will benefit from this study of biblical finance. We will systematically deal with the main questions surrounding the Bible and money as well as investigate how to conquer debt and experience financial freedom. In a time where matters of economics dominate the media landscape, there is a truth that remains. Financial freedom is necessary to fulfill our purpose in taking the Gospel into all the world and making disciples from every people group on the planet.
  • Broke: Stress, Money, and the Gospel (Sermon series) Being broke is no fun. Life is tough as it is and mounting financial pressure often adds a seemingly unshakable stress. Most Christ-followers would say they should financially support their local church as well as missionaries who serve overseas. Yet, when you’re broke what do you have left over to give? In this 4-week series, we will look at the connection between money, stress, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ll examine a biblical approach to money, money myths, how to pull out of the ditch of crushing debt, as well as the connection between biblical giving and getting ahead in our personal finances.
  • Standalone messages
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