Month: August 2009

Does God Commit Genocide?

Many atheists love attacking the Old Testament. This is especially true when God ordered the slaying of nations. Using the Israelites as the agents of divine judgement seems to strike a negative chord with many of those who object to Christianity. This gives them the opportunity to call the God of the Old Testament “evil”.

Dr. Fernandes and IBD vice president Matthew J. Coombe confront these objections with solid biblical understanding and scripture. If you’ve ever had this objection raised and wanted an answer, here they are:

New Videos Are Up

This last weekend I trekked over to Silverdale. Good news for me, the topic was “Assurance of Salvation”. I captured the entire thing on tape and now I’m in the process of editing it down into 30 second clips. Check the video section for the new “30 seconds with Phil Fernandes” clips.

I should also get some more events up. Dr. Fernandes is gonna be a bit busier with speaking engagements this year. If you would like to assist the Institute with travel or accommodations please feel free to contact us and let us know. We are always grateful for any help you can provide.

Keep an eye out for new videos in the coming days. The entire Sunday service will be available by the end of the week.

Blessings and grace from God our Father and Jesus Christ.

Refuting the Gnostic Gospels

The Christian World View is back! Wasting no time on small talk, Dr. Fernandes and IBD vice-president Matthew Coombe immediately get to the subject at hand. The gnostic gospels are often used by hyper-skeptical critics in their attempts to discredit the Word of God. Coombe and Fernandes show how theses objections are clearly unjustified and without merit. The works of Bart Ehrman are especially in view.

The Atheist Delusion: Audio Version

I’ve undertaken to create an audio version of Dr. Phil Fernandes’ latest book, “The Atheist Delusion“. Not that I’m a great speaker or an accomplished voice, that certainly isn’t true, but I, like most of you, have a day job. The commute is 40 minutes (depending on traffic) each way. That’s alot of time I could be using for something a little more valuable than the same-old, same-old.

With that in mind, I embarked upon a quest to “audio-tize” Dr. Fernandes’ book, “The Atheist Delusion” so that not only I, but everyone could enjoy it while on the road, at the gym or just waiting in line. In this modern world of iPods and mp3 capable phones, who doesn’t have the capability to enjoy their favorite music pretty much anywhere? Why not take Phil with you?  Learn to defend the Christian faith! Unlike many of things you listen to, this is something you won’t regret having on your favorite player.

One note I must make, though, is that the task of accurately reading the text is easy. Capturing the emotion in the text is hard. You’d think I could just read the text and let the reader decide …no. Not likely.  I’m not sure what happened. Maybe an obsessive-compulsilsion or a new-found respect for the text emerged, but I couldn’t help but add my own resolve to the words. Perhaps it’s in my nature.

Either way, it has been an intensive project so far. That said, both Dr. Fernandes and I have decided to place the audio in the site store. We’re hoping my effort will allow us to cover the costs of hosting this site.

Thanks for everyone who has supported the ministry and continue to support the work of the institute.

As a note, Dr. Fernandes’ has a number of great things in the works. Not only is there another book on the way, which rocks, but he’s also teaming up with other apologists to more effectively spread the word. The lone ranger days are over.

Blessings! More to come!

Godly Dependence

Originally posted on mjcoombe.com

by Matthew Coombe Vice President of the Institute of Biblical Defense

For the longest time I had considered myself in a way that was not biblical. It wasn’t an overt or intentional evil, but rather pride mistaken for strength. If you’ve ever seen the movie About a Boy, you know that protagonist is playboy with Peter pan syndrome who is not only incorrigible but believes himself to be a pillar of strength and independence. When questioned about the futility of trusting in himself he claims, “Some men are Islands, I am a bloody island!” But throughout the course of the movie he comes to realize his need for others, and eventually learns to love and trust.

I remember the first time I watched this movie, I was completely enthralled with the main character, he was me. The way he thought, the things he said, it was completely me. While the character learned relatively quickly his faults and became more dependent on others, my dependence came about after a much greater amount of time.

The two scripture verses I first memorized were both centered on dependence. One on God, and one on other believers. Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in him. “ If a single thesis can be gleaned from the entirety of the Old Testament it is God claiming, “I alone am worthy of worship.” Of all the things that worship entails it must occupy some dependence. Worship means “worthship” when you worshiping something you are claiming its ultimate worth. But words alone are not that significant, true worship is entailed by actions. And in order to react to God’s single thesis and worship Him, we must be dependent on Him. True worship cannot exist if one is claiming independence for they have not understood God’s single thesis—independence is self-worship.

The other verse was Proverbs 27:17, “As Iron sharpens Iron so one man sharpens the countenance of his friends.” This proverb contends the reader to surround himself with trusted people who can lift him when he falls, be some light when it is dark. It is a call for dependence on others.

Is independence then without effect? Absolutely not! It does however need to be focused! The independence the LORD blessed/cursed me with has become one of my greatest strengths, but only when it is directed at him. Even in scripture we see the interesting dichotomy of people who are both very dependent and independent. For example Paul, he is so focused on the will of God that he says things like, “I will try to find a way in the will of God to come and see you.” He is always talking about his concern for the church and specific people, but he was likewise able to do much of his ministry alone. He had found and continued on in the perfect balance.

Through years of breaking me, I have started to understand this balance. I now start my days with a prayer, “Lord I declare my absolute dependence on you.” This is good. But I need to learn to be dependent on God’s people too. I challenge you, examine yourself, of what do you trust and are dependent on? What is that source’s worthship?