A Matrix of OT Prophecy Regarding Israel

(From The Last 7 Chapters of Deuteronomy, Adapted from David L. Larsen, Jews, Gentiles and The Church, pp. 23-24)

The conditions of blessing to follow obedience26:3-13; 28:1-14
The coming apostasy31:16-21
The affliction that God would bring upon Israel, while still in the land, because of her apostasy28:15-60
Israel will be taken captive28:32-39, 48-57
The enemies of Israel will possess her land for a time27; 32
The land itself will remain desolate28:38-42; 29:23
Israel will be scattered among the nations28:63-67; 32:26
The time will come when Israel will be “few in number”28:62
Though punished, Israel will not be destroyed if she repents28:44-45
Israel will repent in her tribulation28:40-41; 30:1-2
Israel will be gathered from the nations and brought back to her divinely given land30:3-10

Recommended Books For The Study of Revelation

(Compiled by Pastor David P. Craig)

Commentaries Are Futuristic/Premillennial Unless Specified

Daniel L. Akin. Exalting Jesus in Revelation.

Donald Grey Barnhouse. Revelation: An Expositional Commentary.

Boyd Bailey. Two Minutes in the Bible Through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional.

Albert Barnes, John Calvin, Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry, Alexander McClaren, Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley. The Ultimate Commentary on Revelation: A Collective Perspective.

G.K. Beale. The Book of Revelation: New International Greek Testament Commentary. (Advanced; Beale is Amillennial)

G.K. Beale. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary. (essentially the same material as above without all the technical discussion and footnotes – still over 600 pages!).

Joel R. Beeke. Revelation (The Lectio Continua: Expository Commentary Series on the NT – Beeke is Amillennial).

Barry J. Beitzel. Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts Through Revelation.

Ben C. Blackwell, et al. Reading Revelation in Context: John’s Apocalypse and Second Temple Judaism. (Advanced)

James Montgomery Boice. Seven Churches, Four Horsemen, One Lord: Lessons from the Apocalypse (Chapters 1-6 – Last expositions he preached before dying of cancer).

D.A. Carson and G.K. Beale. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. (Advanced)

R.H. Charles. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John. (Advanced)

Douglas Connelly. The Book of Revelation Made Clear.

Scott J. Duvall. Revelation: Teach the Text Commentary Series.

Buist M. Fanning. Revelation Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Advanced)

Gordon Fee. Revelation (New Covenant Commentary Series).

Charles Lee Feinberg. A Commentary on Revelation.

Kenneth L. Gentry. The Book of Revelation Made Easy: You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. (Preterist/Postmillennial)

Kenneth L. Gentry. Navigating the Book of Revelation. (Advanced – Preterist/Postmillennial)

Robert H. Gundry. Commentary on Revelation. (Posttribulational view).

David Guzik. Revelation: Verse by Verse Commentary.

James M. Hamilton. Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches. (Historic Premillenial and Posttribulational)

William Hendrickson. More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation. (Amillennial)

David L. Hocking. The Coming World Leader: Understanding the Book of Revelation.

H.A. Ironside. Lectures on the Book of Revelation.

David Jeremiah. Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times.

David Jeremiah. Escape the Coming Night: A Message of Hope in a Time of Crisis.

David Jeremiah. When Christ Appears. (Daily Devotional)

Alan F. Johnson. Revelation: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. (Historicist/Premillennial)

Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Amillennial).

Craig S. Keener. Revelation (The NIV Application Commentary Series).

George Eldon Ladd. A Commentary on the Revelation of John. (Historic Premillenial and Posttribulational)

Tim LaHaye. Revelation Unveiled.

Clarence Larkin. The Book of Revelation.

Steven J. Lawson. It’s Time For The Church to Wake Up and Answer The Final Call.

R.C.H. Lenski. The Interpretation of St. John’s Revelation. (Advanced – Amillennial).

John MacArthur. Because the Time is Near: John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation.

John MacArthur. Revelation: The Christian’s Ultimate Victory (MacArthur Bible Studies).

David L. Matthewson. Revelation: A Handbook on the Greek Text. (Advanced)

J. Vernon McGee. Revelation: Thru The Bible Commentary.

Nathan M. Meyer. From Now To Eternity: Sermons from Revelation.

Chuck Missler. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary.

Leon Morris. The Book of Revelation (Tyndale NT Commentary Series). (Amillennial)

Robert H. Mounce. The Book Of Revelation: The New International Commentary on the NT. (Advanced)

Grant J. Osborne. Baker Exegetical Commentary on Revelation. (Advanced)

Timothy E. Parker. The Book of Revelation Made Clear.

Paige Patterson. Revelation: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture. (Advanced)

Richard D. Phillips. Revelation: Reformed Expository Commentary. (Amillennial)

Vern S. Poythress. The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation. (Amillennial).

Revelation (Navigators Life Change Series).

Ron Rhodes. 40 Days Through Revelation: Uncovering the Mystery of the End Times.

Adrian Rogers. Unveiling the End Times in Our Time: The Triumph of the Lamb in Revelation.

Charles C. Ryrie. Revelation: Everyman’s Bible Commentary.

Stephen S. Smalley. The Revelation to John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse. (Advanced)

Scotty Smith. Revelation: The Gospel-Centered Life in The Bible Study Guide With Leaders Notes.

Ray C. Stedman. God’s Final Word: Understanding Revelation.

R. Paul Stevens. Revelation: The Triumph of God (Life Guide Study Series).

Sam Storms. To The One Who Conquers: 50 Daily Meditations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3 (Amillennial Perspective).

John Stott. Revelation: The Triumph of Christ (John Stott Bible Studies). (Amillennial)

John R.W. Stott. What Christ Thinks of the Church: An Exposition of Revelation 1-3.

Charles R. Swindoll. Insights on Revelation.

Louis T. Talbot. The Revelation of Jesus Christ: An Exposition on the Book of Revelation.

Robert L. Thomas. Revelation Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary. (Advanced)

John F. Walvoord. Revelation (The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries).

William C. Weinrich. Revelation: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT Volume 12. (Advanced)

Warren W. Wiersbe. Be Victorious: In Christ You Are An Overcomer.

Michael Wilcock. The Message of Revelation: I Saw Heaven Opened (The Bible Speaks Today Series). (Amillennial).

Mark Wilson. Charts on the Book of Revelation: Literary, Historical, and Theological Perspectives.

Mark W. Wilson. Revelation (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary).

Stephen Witmer. Revelation: A 12-Week Study (Knowing The Bible Series).

N.T. Wright. Revelation for Everyone. (Amillennial)

N.T. Wright. Revelation: 22 Studies for Individuals and Groups (N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides).

Debates on Revelation’s Themes From Various Viewpoints

Darrell L. Bock, ed. Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond. Craig A. Blaising defends the Premillennial view; Kenneth L. Gentry defends the Postmillennial view; and Robert B. Strimple defends the Amillennial view)

Chad Brand, ed. Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views. (Robert L. Raymond presents the Traditional Covenantal view; Robert L. Thomas presents the Traditional Dispensational view; Robert L. Saucy presents the Progressive Dispensational view; and Tom Pratt presents the Progressive Covenantal view)

Robert G. Clouse, ed. The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views. (George Eldon Ladd defends the Historic Premillennialism view; Herman A. Hoyt defends the Dispensational Premillennial view; Loraine Boettner defends the Postmillennial view; and Anthony A Hoekema defends the Amillennial view)

Jared Compton, ed. Three Views on Israel and the Church: Perspectives on Romans 9-11. (Advanced: Michael J. Vlach defends A Non-Typological Future Mass Conversion view; Fred G. Zaspel and James M. Hamilton defend A Typological Future Mass Conversion view; Benjamin L. Merkle defends A Typological Non-Future Mass Conversion view)

William V. Crockett, ed. Four Views on Hell (Counterpoints first edition: John F. Walvoord defends the Literal view; William V. Crockett defends the Metaphorical view; Zachary J. Hays defends the Purgatorial view; and Clark H Pinnock defends the Conditional view).

John S. Feinberg, ed. Continuity and Discontinuity (Essays in Honor of S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments. (Advanced)

Edward William Fudge. Two Views of Hell: A biblical Theological Dialogue. (Edward Fudge gives the case for Conditionalism and Robert A. Person gives the case for Traditionalism)

Steve Gregg. Revelation: A Parallel Commentary Four Views (Revised and Updated).

Steve Gregg. All Your Want To Know About Hell: Three Christian Views of God’s Final Solution to the Problem of Sin. (Covers the Case for Traditionalism; Conditionalism; and Restorationism)

Alan Hultberg, ed. Three Views on the Rapture: Pretribulational, Prewrath, or Posttribulational. (Craig Baising presents the Pretribulational view; Alan Hultberg presents the Pre-Wrath view; Douglas Moo presents the Posttribulational view)

Thomas Ice and Kenneth L. Gentry. The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? Tow Evangelicals Debate The Question. (Thomas Ice defends the Futuristic view and Kenneth L. Gentry defends the Preterist view)

Timothy Paul Jones. Four Views of the End Times.

Benjamin L. Merkle. Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies.

C. Marvin Pate, ed. Four Views on The Book of Revelation. (Kenneth Gentry defends the Preterist view; Sam Hamster defends the Idealist view; C. Marvin Pate defends the Progressive Dispensationist view; and Robert L. Thomas defends the Classical Dispensationalist view).

Richard R. Reiter, ed. Three Views on the Rapture. (Paul D. Feinberg presents the Pretribulational view; Gleason L. Archer presents the Midtribulational view; Douglas Moo presents the Posttribulational view).

Ron Rhodes. The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies.

Preston Sprinkle, ed. Four Views on Hell (Second Edition with New Contributors: Denny Burk defends the Eternal Conscious Torment view; John G. Stackhouse defends the Terminal Punishment view; Robin A. Parry defends the Universalist view; Jerry L. Walls defends the Hell and Purgatory view).

Alan P. Stanley, ed. Four Views on The Role of Works at the Final Judgement. (Views Presented: “Christians Will Be Judged According To Their Works At The Rewards Judgement, But Not The Final Judgement” by Robert N. Wilkin; “Justification Apart From And By Works: At The Final Judgment Works Will Confirm Justification” by Thomas R. Schreiner; “If Paul Could Believe Both In Justification By Faith And Judgment According To Works, Why Should That Be A Problem For Us?” by James D.G. Dunn; and “A Catholic Perspective: Our Works Are Meritorious At The Final Judgment Because Of Our Union With Christ By Grace” by Michael P. Barber).

Michael E. Wittmer, ed. Four Views On Heaven (Zondervan Counterpoints Series).

Topical & Thematic Helps to Revelation

Randy Alcorn. Heaven: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything the Bible Says About Our Eternal Home – Clear Answers to 44 Real Questions About the Afterlife, Angels, Resurrection, and the Kingdom of God. (This is one of my top ten books that every Christian should read before they die!!!)

John Ankerberg, Ronald Showers, et al. The Most Asked Prophecy Questions.

Greg Bahnsen and Robert Booth. Victory in Jesus: The Bright Hope of Postmillennialism.

Richard Bauckham. The Theology of The Book of Revelation. (Amillennial Perspective)

Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser. Israel, The Church, and The Middle East.

Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser. The People, The Land, And The Future of Israel: Israel And The Jewish People In The Plan of God.

Darrell L. Bock, Elliott Johnson, et al. Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional & Progressive Views.

James Montgomery Boice. The Last And Future World.

D. Jeffrey Bingham and Glenn R. Kreider. Dispenpensationalism and the History of Redemption: A Developing and Diverse Tradition. 

D. Jeffrey Bingham and Glenn R. Kreider. Eschatology: Biblical, Historical, and Practical Approaches.

Ben Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, Jason Matson, eds. Reading Revelation in Context.

Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock. Progressive Dispensationalism.

Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Work Chung. A Case for Historic Premillennialism.

Loraine Boettner. The Millennium. (Postmillennial).

John W Bradbury, Hyman Appelman, et al. Israel’s Restoration: A Series of Lectures by Bible Expositors Interested in the evangelization of the Jews.

John W Bradbury, Charles H. Stevens, et al. The Sure Word of Prophecy.

Michael L. Brown, Craig S. Keener, et al. Not Afraid of the Antichrist: Why We Don’t Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. (Posttribulational)

David Brickner. Future Hope: A Jewish Christian Look at the End of the World.

Christopher Cone, Ron J. Bigalke Jr., et al. Dispensationalism Tomorrow and Beyond: A Theological Collection in Honor of Charles C. Ryrie.

Mal Couch. Dictionary of Premillennial Theology.

John Jefferson Davis. Christ’s Victorious Kingdom: Postmillennialism Reconsidered.

M.R. DeHaan. 35 Simple Studies in the Major Themes in Revelation.

Scott J. Duvall. The Heart of Revelation.

Millard J. Erickson. A Basic Guide To Eschatology.

Charles Lee Feinberg. God Remembers: A Study of The Book of Zechariah.

Charles Lee Feinberg. Millennialism, The Two Major Views: The Premillennial and Amillennial Systems of Biblical Interpretation Analyzed and Compared.

Charles Lee Feinberg. The Prophecy of Ezekiel.

Charles Lee Feinberg. Israel In The Spotlight.

Charles Lee Feinberg. The Minor Prophets.

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events.

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. Israelology: The Missing Link In Systematic Theology.

A.C. Gaebelein. The Jewish Question.

Kenneth L. Gentry. Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating The Book of Revelation. (Advanced – Preterist/Postmillennial)

Kenneth L. Gentry. Postmillennialism Made Easy.

Kenneth L. Gentry. The Beast of Revelation. (Preterist/Postmillennial)

Mitch Glaser. God’s Plan and Purposes for the Jewish People.

Robert Horton Gundry. First the Antichrist: A Book for Lay Christians Approaching the Third Millennium and Inquiring Whether Jesus Will Come to Take The Church Out of the world Before the Tribulation. (Post-tribulational).

Robert H. Gundry. The Church And The Tribulation: A Biblical Examination of Posttribulationism. (Post-tribulational)

Daniel J. Hays. The Temple and the Tabernacle: A Study of God’s Dwelling Places from Genesis to Revelation.

Daniel J. Hays and Scott J. Duvall. Dictionary of Prophecy and End Times.

John Hart, ed. Evidence For The Rapture: A Biblical Case for Pretribulationism.

Ed Hinson. 15 Future Events That Will Shake The World.

Ed Hinson and Thomas Ice. Charting the Bible Chronologically: A Visual Guide to God’s Unfolding Plan.

Ed Hinson and Mark Hitchcock. Can We Still Believe in the Rapture?

Ed Hinson, Mark Hitchcock, and Tim LaHaye. The Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy: A Comprehensive Survey from the World’s Foremost Experts.

Mark Hitchcock. 101 Answers to Questions About the Book of Revelation.

Mark Hitchcock. 101 Answers to the Most Asked Questions About The End Times.

Mark Hitchcock. 55 Answers to Questions About Life After Death.

Mark Hitchcock. Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons.

Mark Hitchcock. Heavenly Rewards: Living With Eternity In Sight.

Mark Hitchcock. Iran and Israel: Wars and Rumors of Wars.

Mark Hitchcock. Is America in Bible Prophecy?

Mark Hitchcock. ISIS, Iran, Israel: And The End of Days.

Mark Hitchcock. The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy: What You Need To Know In These Uncertain Times.

Mark Hitchcock. The Coming Apostasy: Exposing the Sabotage of Christianity Within.

Mark Hitchcock. The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy.

Mark Hitchcock. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days.

Mark Hitchcock. The End Times Survival Guide: Ten Biblical Strategies for Faith and Hope in These Uncertain Days.

Mark Hitchcock. The Late Great United States: What Bible Prophecy Reveals About America’s Last Days.

Mark Hitchcock and Thomas Ice. The Truth Behind Left Behind: A Biblical View of the End Times.

Mark Hitchcock. Showdown with Iran: Nuclear Iran and the Future of Israel, the Middle East, and the United States in Bible Prophecy.

Mark Hitchcock. Who Is The Antichrist?

David L. Hocking. Israel’s Right To The Land.

Anthony Hoekema. The Bible and the Future. (Amillennial).

Barry E. Horner. Eternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of Israel.

Barry E. Horner. Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged.

H. Wayne House and Randall J. Price. Charts of Bible Prophecy.

Herman A. Hoyt. The End Times: Biblical Eschatology.

H.A. Ironside. The Lamp of Prophecy or Signs of the Times.

David Jeremiah. Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us About The End of Days.

David Jeremiah. Answers to Your Questions about Heaven.

David Jeremiah. Is This The End? Signs of God’s Providence in a Disturbing New World.

David Jeremiah. The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse.

Timothy Paul Jones. Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy.

Woodrow Kroll. Facing Your Final Job Review: The Judgment Seat of Christ, Salvation, and Eternal Rewards.

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. Preaching And Teaching The Last Things: Old Testament Eschatology for the Life of the Church.

J. Marcellus Kik. An Eschatology of Victory. (Postmillennial)

George Eldon Ladd. Crucial Questions About The Kingdom of God. (Historic Premillennial & Posttribulational).

George Eldon Ladd. The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second Advent and the Rapture. (Historic Premillennial & Posttribulational).

George Eldon Ladd. Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God. (Historic Premillennial & Posttribulational).

George Eldon Ladd. The Last Things: An Eschatology for Laymen. (Historic Premillennial & Posttribulational).

George Eldon Ladd. The Presence of The Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism. (Historic Premillennial & Posttribulational).

Tim LaHaye. A Quick Look At The Rapture and the Second Coming.

Tim LaHaye and Ed Hinson. Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation: Clarifying The Meaning of Every Prophetic Passage.

Tim LaHaye and Ed Hinson. The Essential Guide To Bible Prophecy: 13 Keys to Understanding The End Times.

Tim LaHaye and Ed Hinson. Target Israel: Caught In The Crossroads Of The End Times.

Tim LaHaye. Who Will Face the Tribulation? How To Prepare for the Rapture and Christ’s Return.

David L. Larsen. Jews Gentiles and the Church: A New Perspective on History and Prophecy.

Robert P. Lightner. Last Days Handbook: Revised and Updated.

Erwin W. Lutzer. How You Can Be Sure You Will Spend Eternity With God.

Erwin W. Lutzer. One Minute After You Die: A Preview of Your Final Destination.

Erwin W. Lutzer. The King is Coming: Ten Events That Will Change Our Future Forever.

Erwin W. Lutzer. Your Eternal Reward: Triumph and Tears at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

John MacArthur. The Second Coming.

Keith Mathison. From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology. (Postmillennial).

Keith Mathison. Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope.

Alva J. McClain. Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks.

Alva J. McClain. The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God.

Gerald R. McDermott. Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land.

Gerald R. McDermott, ed. The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land.

J. Vernon McGee, John F. Walvoord, et al. The Prophetic Word in Crisis Days.

Robert McKenzie. Identifying the Seed: An Examination and Evaluation of the Differences between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.

Benjamin L. Merkle. Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies.

J. Richard Middleton. A New Kingdom and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology.

Chuck Missler. Daniel’s 70 Week’s.

J. Dwight Pentecost. Things To Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology.

J. Dwight Pentecost. Thy Kingdom Come: Tracing God’s Kingdom Program and Covenant Promises Throughout History.

Randall Price, ed. What Should We Think About Israel?

Randall Price. Jerusalem in Prophecy: God’s Stage For The Final Drama.

Randall Price. The Temple And Bible Prophecy: A Definitive Look At Its Past, Present, And Future.

Ron Rhodes. Israel On High Alert: What Can We Expect Next In The Middle East?

Ron Rhodes. The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies.

Ron Rhodes. The End Times In Chronological Order: A Complete Overview to Understanding Bible Prophecy.

Marvin Rosenthal. Prewrath Rapture of the Church.

Kim Riddlebarger. A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times.

Kim Riddlebarger. The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist. (Amillennial)

R.J. Rushdoony. God’s Plan For Victory: The Meaning of Postmillennialism. (Postmillennial)

Michael Rydelnik. The Messianic Hope: Is The Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?

Michael Rydelnik and Edwin Blum. The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

Charles Ryrie. Dispensationalism.

Charles Ryrie. The Basis of the Premillennial Faith.

Robert Saucy. The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism: The Interface Between Dispensational and Non-Dispensational Theology.

Renald E. Showers. Maranatha — Our Lord, Come! A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church.

Renald E. Showers. The Coming Apocalypse: A Study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End Times.

Renald E. Showers. The Pre-Wrath Rapture View: An Examination and Critique.

Renald E. Showers. The Sign Of His Coming: Understanding the Olivet Discourse.

Renald E. Showers. There Really Is A Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology.

Renald E. Showers. What On Earth Is God Doing? Satan’s Conflict With God.

R.C. Sproul. The Last Days According To Jesus: When Did Jesus Say He Would Return? (Preterist and Postmillennial)

Sam Storms. Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative.

Louis T. Talbot. God’s Plan For The Ages.

Louis T. Talbot. The Prophecies of Daniel In The Light of Past, Present, and Future Events.

Amir Tsafarti. Israel and the Church: An Israeli Examines God’s Unfolding Plans for His Chosen Peoples.

Amir Tsafarti. The Day Approaching: An Israeli’s Message of Warning and Hope for the Last Days.

Amir Tsafarti. The Last Hour: An Israeli Insider Looks at the End Times.

Michael J. Vlach. Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths.

Michael Vlach. Has The Church Replaced Israel?

Michael Vlach. He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical of the Kingdom of God

Michael Vlach. Premillennialism: Why There Must Be A Future Earthly Kingdom of Jesus.

John F. Walvoord and Mark Hitchcock. Armageedon, Oil, and Terror: What The Bible Says About The Future

John F. Walvoord. Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation.

John F. Walvoord. The Nations, Israel and the Church in Prophecy.

John F. Walvoord. End Times Prophecy: Ancient Wisdom For Uncertain Times.

John F. Walvoord. Every Prophecy in the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times.

John F. Walvoord. Every Prophecy About Jesus.

John F. Walvoord. Major Bible Prophecies.

John F. Walvoord. The Final Drama: 14 Keys To Understanding The Prophetic Scriptures.

John F. Walvoord. The Millennial Kingdom.

John F. Walvoord. The Rapture Question.

John F. Walvoord. The Return of the Lord.

John F. Walvoord. What The Bible Says About Your Future.

William C. Watson. Dispensationalism Before Darby: Seventeenth-Century and Eighteenth-Century English Apocalypticism.

Matt Waymeyer. Amillennialism and the Age To Come: A Premillennial Critique of the Two-Age Model.

Stephen J. Wellum and Brent E. Parker. Progressive Covenantalism: Charting A Course Between Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies.

Wesley R. Willis, John R. Master, et al. Issues in Dispensationalism.

Leon Wood. The Bible & Future Events: An Introductory Survey of Last-Day Events.

Andrew M. Woods. Ever Reforming: Dispensational Theology and the Completion of the Protestant Reformation.

Andrew M. Woods. The Coming Kingdom: What Is The Kingdom and How Is Kingdom Now Theology Changing The Focus of the Church?

Resources on Bibliology: The Study of the Bible

(Compiled by Pastor David Craig)

Authority, Canonicity, Study, Translations and Application:

(1) Can We Have Confidence the Bible Is The Inerrant Word of God?

For The Beginner:

John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs. Taking A Stand for the Bible: Today’s Leading Experts Answer Critical Questions About God’s Word.

John Ankerberg and John Weldon. The Reliability of the Bible.

Gleason L. Archer. New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties.

Matthew Barrett. God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture.

Craig L. Blomberg. Can We Still Believe The Bible?

Darrell L. Bock. Can I Trust The Bible?

F.F. Bruce. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?

Charlie H. Campbell. Archaeological Evidence for the Bible: Discoveries that Verify People, Places, and Events in the World’s Most Influential Book.

Barry Cooper. Can I Really Trust The Bible? 

Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder. In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture.

John Dickson. A Doubter’s Guide To The Bible: Inside History’s Bestseller for Believers and Skeptics.

Norman L. Geisler and Thomas Howe. Making Sense of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers From Genesis to Revelation.

Greg Gilbert. Why Trust The Bible?

Michael Guillen. Amazing Truths: How Science and The Bible Agree.

Hank Hanegraaf. Has God Spoken? Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration.

J. Daniel Hays. A Christian’s Guide To Evidence For The Bible: 101 Proofs From History and Archaeology.

Joseph M. Holden and Norman L. Geisler. The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and The Bible: Discoveries That Confirm the Reliability of Scripture.

David Jackman. Opening Up The Bible.

Timothy Paul Jones. Why Should I Trust The Bible?

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable & Relevant?

Titus Kennedy. Unearthing The Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring The Bible To Life.

D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. What If The Bible Had Never Been Written?

Don Kistler, ed. Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Position On The Bible.

Erwin W. Lutzer. 7 Reasons You Can Trust The Bible.

John MacArthur. Why Believe The Bible?

John MacArthur. Final Word: Why We Need The Bible.

Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett. Is The Bible True…Really? A Dialogue on Skepticism, Evidence, and Truth.

Jonathan Morrow. Questioning The Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority

J.I. Packer. Fundamentalism And The Word of God.

Rene Pache. The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.

A.W. Pink. The Divine Inspiration of the Bible.

Vern Sheridan Poythres. Inerrancy And The Gospels.

R.C. Sproul. Can I Trust The Bible?

R.C. Sproul. Scripture Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine. 

Don Stewart. 10 Reasons To Trust The Bible.

James R. White. Scripture Alone: Exploring The Bible’s Accuracy, Authority, And Authenticity.

Peter J. Williams. Can We Trust The Gospels?

Intermediate to Advanced:

Richard Bauckham. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Second Edition). 

Craig L. Blomberg. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels.

Craig L. Blomberg. The Historical Reliability of the New Testament.

D.A. Carson. Collected Writings On Scripture.

D.A. Carson, ed. The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures.

D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, eds. Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon.

D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, eds. Scripture And Truth.

John D. Currid. The Case For Biblical Archaeology: Uncovering the Historical Record Of God’s Old Testament People.

F. David Farnell, ed. Vital Issues in the Inerrancy Debate.

John Frame. The Doctrine of The Word Of God.

Paul Helm and Carl R. Trueman. The Trustworthiness of God: Perspectives on the Nature of Scripture.

K.A. Kitchen. On The Reliability of the Old Testament.

Eta Linnemann (translated by Robert Yarbrough). Biblical Criticism On Trial: How Scientific Is Scientific Theology?

John MacArthur and many other contributors. The Inerrant Word: Biblical, Historical, and Pastoral Perspectives.

John Warwick Montgomery, ed. God’s Inerrant Word: An International Symposium On The Trustworthiness Of Scripture.

(2) How The Bible Was Formed: The Canon of Scripture

For The Beginner:

Richard Brash. A Christian’s Pocket Guide To How God Preserved The Bible.

J. Danie Hays and J. Scott Duvall. How The Bible Came To Be.

Timothy Paul Jones. How We Got the Bible.

Jeff Lasseigne. Unlocking the Scriptures: What the Bible Is, How We Got It, and Why We Can Trust It.

Charles Leach and R.A. Torrey. Our Bible: How We Got It and Ten Reasons I Believe The Bible Is The Word Of God.

Greg Lanier. A Christian’s Pocket Guide To How We Got The Bible.

Neil R. Lightfoot. How We Got The Bible (Revised and Expanded 3rd Edition).

John Piper. A Peculiar Glory: How The Christian Scriptures reveal Their Complete Truthfulness.

Ryan M. Reeves and Charles E. Hill. Know How We Got Our Bible.

Lawrence H. Schiffman and Jerry Pattengale. The World’s Greatest Book: The Story of How The Bible Came To Be.

W.H. Griffith Thomas. How We Got Our Bible and Why We Believe It Is God’s Word.

Intermediate to Advanced:

F.F. Bruce. The Canon Of Scripture.

F.F. Bruce. The Books and The Parchments: Original Languages, Canon, Transmission and How We Got Our English Bible.

F.F. Bruce, J.I. Packer, Philip Comfort, and Carl F. H. Henry. The Origin of the Bible.

John S. Feinberg. Light In A Dark Place: The Doctrine of Scripture.

Norman L. Geisler. Biblical Inerrancy: The Historical Evidence.

Norman L. Geisler and R.C. Sproul. Explaining Biblical Inerrancy: Official Commentary on the ICBI Statements.

Norman L. Geisler, ed. Inerrancy.

Norman L. Geisler and William C. Roach. Defending Inerrancy: Affirming The Accuracy Of Scripture For A New Generation.

Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix. From God To US: How We Got Our Bible.

Stanley N. Gundry, ed. Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy.

Cahrels E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger. The Early Text of the New Testament.

Michael J. Kruger. Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and  Authority of the New Testament Books.

Michael J. Kruger. The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate.

Arthur G. Patzia. The Making of the New Testament: Origin, Collection, Text & Canon.

John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy. The Lost World of Scripture: Ancient Literary Culture and Biblical Authority.

(3) How To Study Your Bible: Biblical Hermeneutics/Interpretation

For The Beginner:

T. Desmond Alexander & David W. Baker. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship.

Max Anders. 30 Days To Understanding The Bible (Revised and Updated). 

Bill T. Arnold & Hugh G.M. Williamson. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship.

Clinton E. Arnold, ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: New Testament (4 vols.).

Kenneth E. Bailey. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in The Gospels.

Kenneth E. Bailey. Paul Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians.

Richard Bauckham. The Bible In The Contemporary World: Hermeneutical Ventures.

David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina. Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics.

Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen. The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place In The Biblical Story.

John A. Beck. Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.

John A. Beck. The Basic Bible Atlas: A Fascinating Guide to the Land of the Bible.

Barry J. Betzel. The New Moody Atlas of The Bible.

Craig Blomberg. Interpreting The Parables (Second Edition).

Darrell L. Bock and Buist M. Fanning. Interpreting The New Testament Text.

Mark J. Boda & J. Gordon McConville. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series).

James Montgomery Boice. The Parables of Jesus.

Chad Brand, Eric Mitchell, et al. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Thomas V. Brisco. Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography  of Biblical History.

D.A. Carson. Exegetical Fallacies.

Mitchell Chase. 40 Questions About Typology and Allegory.

Tim Chester. Bible Matters: Making Sense of Scripture.

John D Currid and David P. Barrett. Crossway ESV Bible Atlas.

Jason S. DeRouchie. How To Understand And Apply The Old Testament: Twelve Steps From Exegesis To Theology.

J.D. Douglas, Merrill C. Tenney, et al. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. The Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary.

ESV Exhaustive Concordance.

ESV Expository Commentary (volumes on the whole Bible – still not complete).

ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.

ESV Study Bible.

ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible.

Craig A. Evans & Stanley E. Porter, eds. Dictionary of New Testament Background.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How To Read The Bible Book By Book.

Hans Finzel. Unlocking The Bible: Three Steps To Personal Bible Study.

Al Fuhr and Andreas J. Kostenberger. Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the Lenses of History, Literature and Theology.

Frank E. Gaebelein, ed. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 volumes).

Scott M. Gibson and Matthew D. Kim, eds. Homiletics and Hermeneutics: Four Views On Preaching Today.

Joel B. Green, ed. Dictionary of the New Testament: Gospels (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series).

Steve & Jackie Green. This Dangerous Book: How The Bible Shaped Our World And Why It Still Matters Today.

Nancy Guthrie. Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways The Bible’s Story Changes Everything About Your Story.

Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid. Dictionary of Paul And His Letters.

Michael S. Heiser. Brief Insights on Mastering The Bible: 80 Expert Insights on the Bible, Explained in a Single Minute.

Michael S. Heiser. Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Study: 80 Expert Insights on the Bible, Explained in a Single Minute.

Holman New Testament Commentary (12 volumes).

Holman New Testament Commentary (19 volumes).

R. Kent Hughes. Preaching the Word: New Testament Set (many volumes).

Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum. Christ From Beginning To End: How The Full Story of Scripture Reveals The Full Glory Of Christ.

David Jeremiah. Study Bible ESV.

Dennis E. Johnson. Walking With Jesus Through His Word: Discovering Christ In All The Scriptures.

Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F.F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch. Hard Sayings of the Bible.

Walter C. Kaiser Jr., and Moises Silva. Introduction To Biblical Hermeneutics.

Craig S. Keener. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament.

William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard Jr. Introduction To Biblical Interpretation. (Third Edition).

Woodrow Kroll. How To Find God In The Bible: A Personal Plan For The Encounter Of Your Life.

Woodrow Kroll. Taking Back The Good Book.

C.S. Lewis. The C.S. Lewis Study Bible.

Tremper Longman III, & Peter Enns. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship.

John F. MacArthur. How To Study The Bible.

John F. MacArthur. The ESV MacArthur Study Bible.

John F. MacArthur. The MacArthur New Testament Set (33 volumes).

Vishal Mangalwadi. The Book That Made Your World: How The Bible Created The Soul Of Western Civilization.

I. Howard Marshall, A.R. Millard, et al. New Bible Dictionary.

Ralph P. Martin & Peter H. Davids. Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series).

Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton. Let The reader Understand: A Guide To Interpreting And Applying The Bible.

J. Vernon McGee. Briefing The Bible: A Trusted Tool To Get You Started Studying Every Book of the Bible.

J. Vernon McGee. Thru The Bible: Genesis through Revelation (5 volumes).

Henrietta C. Mears. What The Bible Is All About.

Chuck Missler. Learn The Bible In 24 Hours.

D.L. Moody. How To Study The Bible.

Andrew David Naselli. How To Understand And Apply The New Testament: Twelve Steps From Exegesis To Theology.

Lindsay Olesberg. The Bible Study Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide To Essential Practice.

James Orr. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (5 Volume Set).

Grant R. Osborne. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation.

Charles Pfeiffer and Everett Harrison. The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Pillar New Testament Commentary Set (Eerdmans, Incomplete – 15 volumes).

John Piper. Reading The Bible Supernaturally.

Robert L. Plummer. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible.

Vern S. Poythress. Reading The Word Of God In The Presence of God: A Handbook For Biblical Interpretation.

Michael Rydelnik, Michael Vanlaningham, et al. The Moody Bible Commentary.

Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.

James S. Sire. Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread The Bible.

Matt Smethurst. Before You Open Your Bible: Nine Heart Postures For Approaching God’s Word.

Colin S. Smith. Unlock The Bible in 30 Days.

Wilbur M. Smith. The Incomparable Book: To Guide You As You Read It Through.

Klyne R. Snodgrass. Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus.

R.C. Sproul. Knowing Scripture.

R.C. Sproul. ESV Reformation Study Bible.

R.C. Sproul and Robert Wolgemuth. What’s In The Bible? A Tour Of Scripture From The Dust Of Creation To The Glory of Revelation.

Robert H. Stein. A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible.

John R.W. Stott. The Bible (God’s Word For Today).

John R.W. Stott. Understanding The Bible (Expanded Edition).

James Strong. The New Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

Charles R. Swindoll. Searching The Scriptures: Find The Nourishment Your Soul Needs.

Charles R. Swindoll. The Swindoll Study Bible (NLT).

Merrill C. Tenney. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of The Bible (5 Volume Set).

The Apologetics Study Bible (CSB).

R.A. Torrey. How To Study The Bible Intentionally.

Merrill F. Unger. The New Unger’s Bible Disctionary.

Merrill F. Unger. The New Unger’s Bible Handbook.

Douglas Van Dorn. Christ In The Old Testament: Promised, Patterned, and Present.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Craig G. Bartholomew, et al. Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer. Is There Meaning In This Text? The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge.

W.E. Vine. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old and New Testament Words.

Henry A. Virkler. Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation.

John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews & Mark W. Chvalas.  The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament.

John H. Walton, ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament (multiple volumes).

John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds. Bible Knowledge Commentary (2 vols.).

Rick Warren. Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word.

Warren W. Wiersbe. Wiersbe Bible Commentary, 2 Vol. Set.

Warren W. Wiersbe. Delights & Disciplines Of Bible Study.

Warren W. Wiersbe. Wiersbe Study Bible (NKJV).

Michael Williams. How To Read The Bible Through The Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ- Focused Reading of Scripture.

Paul H. Wright. Rose Then And Now Bible Map Atlas With Biblical Backgrounds and Culture.

Mark Yarbrough. How To Read The Bible Like A Seminary Professor.

Intermediate to Advanced:

John S. Feinberg, ed. Continuity and Discontinuity (Essays in Honor of S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments. (Advanced)

Graeme Goldsworthy. According To Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God In The Bible.

Graeme Goldsworthy. Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation.

Michael Graves. The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What The Eary Church Can Teach Us.

Christopher A. Hall. Reading Scripture With The Church Fathers.

Elliot Johnson. Expository Hermeneutics: An Introduction.

Andres J. Kostenbeger, Darrell L. Bock, and Josh D. Chatraw. Truth in a Culture of Doubt: Engaging Skeptical Challenges to the Bible.

Stanley E. Porter, ed. Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views.

Rhynne R. Putnam. In Defense of Doctrine: Evangelicalism, Theology, and Scripture.

E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brian. Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders To Better Understand The Bible.

E. Randolph Richards and Richard James. Misreading Scripture With Individualist Eyes: Patronage, Honor, and Shame in the Biblical World.

Anthony C. Thistelton. Hermeneutics: An Introduction.

Robert L. Thomas. Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old.

Timothy Ward. Words of Life: Scripture As The Living And Active Word Of God.

(4) Translations of the Bible and Language Helps

For The Beginner:

D.A. Carson. The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism.

Kevin DeYoung. Why Our Church Switched to the ESV.

Leland Ryken. Choosing a Bible: Understanding Bible Translation Differences.

Leland Ryken. The ESV And The English Bible Legacy.

Leland Ryken. The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation.

Leland Ryken. Understanding English Bible Translation: The Case For An Essentially Literal Approach.

Mark Ward. Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible.

Paul D. Wegner. The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible.

James R. White. The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?

Intermediate to Advanced:

Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland et al. The Greek New Testament: With Dictionary (Greek and English Edition)

Robert Alter. The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary.

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgatensia.

Colin Brown. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (4 volumes).

Philip Comfort. The Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts (2 Volumes).

ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament: English Standard Version (English and Ancient Greek Edition)

ESV Greek-English New Testament: Nestle-Aland 28th Edition and English Standard Version (English and Ancient Greek Edition)

Greek-English Interlinear ESV New Testament: Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28) and English Standard Version (ESV) (English and Ancient Greek Edition)

Greek-English Parallel New Testament ebook: NA28-ESV: Nestle-Aland 28th Edition and English Standard Version

J.P. Green. The Interlinear Hebrew/Greek-English Bible (4 volumes).

R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer., et al. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

Hebrew-English Interlinear Old Testament: Bible Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS)/(ESV).

Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 Volumes).

John R. Kohlenberger III, Edward W. Goodrich, et al. Greek-English Concordance to the New Testament.

John R. Kohlenberger III. The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament.

Bruce Metzger. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament.

Barclay M. Newman and Florian Voss. The Text of UBS 5, readers Edition (English and Greek Edition)

The Hebrew-English Interlinear ESV Old Testament: Biblia Hebraic Sttgartensia (BHS) and English Standard Version (ESV) (English and Hebrew Edition)

The Zondervan Greek and English Interlinear New Testament (NASB/NIV)

(5) How To Read and Apply Your Bible

Kay Arthur, David Arthur, et al. How To Study Your Bible Workbook: Discover the Life- Changing Approach to God’s Word.

Mike Bullmore. The Gospel and Scripture: How To Read The Bible.

Kevin DeYoung. Taking God At His Word: Why The Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me.

Daniel M. Doriani. Getting The Message: A Plan for Interpreting and Applying The Bible.

Daniel M. Doriani. Putting The Truth To Work: The Theory and Practice of Biblical Application.

J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. Grasping God’s Word: A Hand-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (4th Edition).

Sinclair B. Ferguson. From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading and Applying the Bible

George Guthrie. Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word.

Brian Hardin. Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You.

Matthew S. Harmon. Asking The Right Questions: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible.

Howard G. Hendricks and William D. Hendricks. Living By The Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible.

Life Application Study Bible (Available in NIV, KJV, Living, NAS, and NKJV – has a plethora of notes focused on understanding and applying the Scriptures).

R.T. Kendall. The Parables of Jesus: A Guide to Understanding and Applying the Stories Jesus Taught.

Jack Kuhatschek. Applying The Bible.

Robertson McQuilkin. Understanding and Applying the Bible (Revised and Expanded Edition).

NIV Application Commentary: New Testament Set (20 volumes).

NIV Application Commentary: Old Testament Set (available in 12 volumes).

Nick Pickowicz. How To Eat Your Bible: A Simple Approach to Learning and Loving the Word of God.

Charles F. Stanley. Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Edition (NASB).

Books To Help You Appreciate Israel As The Apple of God’s Eye

(Compiled by Pastor David P. Craig)

Biographies and Histories of Jews Who Have Come To Faith In Jesus

Ernest Cassutto. The Last Jew of Rotterdam.

Jim Congdon. Jews and the Gospel at the End of History: A Tribute to Moishe Rosen.

Julia Fisher. Israel’s New Disciples: Why Are So Many Jews Turning to Jesus?

Elwood McQuaid. Halina: Faith In The Fire.

Elwood McQuaid. ZVI: The Miraculous Story Of Triumph Over The Holocaust.

Anita Pittman with Jan Markell. Trapped in Hitler’s Hell: A Young Jewish Girl Discovers the Messiah’s Faithfulness in the Midst of the Holocaust.

Andrew Klavan. The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ.

The Rose Price Story. A Rose From The Ashes.

To An Ancient People: The Autobiography of Rabbi Leopold Cohn.

Ruth Rosen. Controversy: The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen And The Founding of Jews For Jesus.

Matt Sieger, ed. Stories of Jews For Jesus.

Lorna Simcox. The Search.

Corrie Ten Boom. The Hiding Place.

Stan Telchin. Betrayed!

Ruth Tucker. Not Ashamed: The Story of Jews for Jesus.

Edith S. Wiegand. Out Of The Fury: The Incredible Odyssey of Eliezer Urbach.

Richard Wurmbrand. Tortured For Christ.

Historical and Prophetic Fiction

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Left Behind Series: (1) Left Behind; (2) Tribulation Force; (3) Nicolae; (4) Soul Harvest; (5) Apollyon; (6) Assassins; (7) The Indwelling; (8) The Mark; (9) Desecration; (10) The Remnant; (11) Armageddon; (12) Glorious Appearing; (13) Kingdom Come: The Final Victory.

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Before They Were Left Behind Series: (1) The Rising: Antichrist is Born; (2) The Regime: Evil Advances; (3) The Rapture: In The Twinkling of an Eye.

James Michener. The Source. (Not Christian based – but a lot of good accurate history)

Joel C. Rosenberg. Marcus Ryker Series: (1) The Kremlin Conspiracy; (2) The Persian Gamble; (3) The Jerusalem Assassin; (4) The Beirut Protocol.

Joel C. Rosenberg. The Last Jihad Series: (1) The Last Jihad; (2) The Last Days; (3) The Ezekiel Option; (4) The Copper Scroll; (5) Dead Heat.

Joel C. Rosenberg. David Shirazi Series: (1) The Twelfth Imam; (2) The Tehran Initiative ; (3) Damascus Countdown.

Ray Bentley and Bodie Thoene. The Elijah Chronicles: (1) On The Mountain of The LOrd; (2) The Threshing Floor; (3) The Cyrus Mandate.

Bodie Thoene. The Zion Diaries Series: (1) The Gathering Storm; (2) Against The Wind.

Bodie Thoene. The Zion Chronicles Series: (1) The Gates of Zion; (2) A Daughter of Zion; (3) The Return to Zion; (4) A Light to Zion; (5) The Key to Zion.

Bodie and Brock Thoene. The Jerusalem Chronicles Series: (1) When Jesus Wept; (2) Take This Cup; (3) Behold The Man.

Bodie and Brock Thoene. The Zion Covenant Series: (1) Vienna Prelude; (2) Prague Counterpoint; (3) Munich Signature; (4) Jerusalem Interlude; (5) Danzig Passage; (6) Warsaw Requiem; (7) London Refrain; (8) Paris Encore; (9) Dunkirk Crescendo.

Robert Whitlow. Chosen People Series: (1) Chosen People; (2) Promised Land.

Israel and The Church

Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock. Dispensationalism, Israel, and the Church: The Search for Definition.

Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser, eds. Israel, the Church, and the Middle East: A Biblical Response To The Current Conflict.

Chad Brand, ed. Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views. (Robert L. Raymond presents the Traditional Covenantal view; Robert L. Thomas presents the Traditional Dispensational view; Robert L. Saucy presents the Progressive Dispensational view; and Tom Pratt presents the Progressive Covenantal view)

Michael L. Brown. Our Hands are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the Church and the Jewish People.

Michael L. Brown. 60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices.

Jared Compton, ed. Three Views on Israel and the Church: Perspectives on Romans 9-11. (Advanced: Michael J. Vlach defends A Non-Typological Future Mass Conversion view; Fred G. Zaspel and James M. Hamilton defend A Typological Future Mass Conversion view; Benjamin L. Merkle defends A Typological Non-Future Mass Conversion view)

Stuart Dauermann. Converging Destinies: Jews, Christians, and The Mission of God.

Ronald E. Diprose. Israel and The Church: The Origins and Effects of Replacement Theology.

Craig A. Evans. A Handbook on The Jewish Roots of the Church.

Leslie B. Flynn. What The Church Owes The Jew.

Louis Goldberg, ed. How Jewish Is Christianity? 2 Views On The Messianic Movement.

Barry E. Horner. Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged.

Thomas Ice. The Case for Zionism: Why Christians Should Support Israel.

Walter Kaiser. Jewish Christianity: Why Believing Jews and Gentiles Parted Ways In The Early Church.

Gerald R. McDermott. Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People of the Land.

Elwood McQuaid. The Zion Connection: Evangelical Christians And The Jewish Community…Destorying The Myths Forging An Alliance.

Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler. The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read The Same Stories Differently.

J. Randall Price. What Should We Think About Israel?

Stan Telchin. Abandoned: What Is God’s Will for the Jewish People and the Church?

Sandra Teplinsky. Why Care About Israel? How the Jewish Nation Is Key To Unleashing God’s Blessings in the 21st Century.

Amir Tsafarti. Israel And The Church. An Israeli Examines God’s Unfolding Plans For His Chosen Peoples.

Michael J. Vlach. Has The Church Replaced Israel? A Theological Evaluation.

Israel’s History

Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess. Ancient Israel’s History: An Introduction to Issues and Sources.

John Bright. A History of Israel.

David Brog. Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle For Peace.

F.F. Bruce. Israel and The Nations: The History of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of the Second Temple.

F.F. Bruce. New Testament History: The Jews, The Romans, And The Church.

Danny Danon. Israel The Will To Prevail.

Charles Feinberg. Israel at the Center of History & Revelation.

Daniel Fuchs and Harold A. Sevener. From Bondage To Freedom: A Survey of Jewish History From The Babylonian Captivity To The Coming of the Messiah.

Daniel Gordis. Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn.

David L. Hocking. Israel’s Right to The Land.

H. Wayne House, ed. Israel: The Land and the People: An Evangelical Affirmation of God’s Promises.

Paul Johnson. History of the Jews.

Flavius Josephus. Complete Works.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. History of Israel: From the Bronze Age Through The Jewish Wars.

Erwin W. Lutzer. Hitler’s Cross: How The Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi Agenda.

Elwood McQuaid. It Is No Dream: Israel, Prophecy and History—The Whole Story.

Eugene H. Merril. A History of Old Testament Israel.

Dennis Prager. Why The Jews? The Reason For Antisemitism.

Ian Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III. A Biblical History of Israel.

Craig Von Buseck. I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel.

Leon Wood. Israel’s History.

Leon Wood. The Prophets of Israel.

Jewish Apologetics and Evangelism

John Ankerberg. The Case for Jesus the Messiah.

Eitan Bar. Refuting Rabbinic Objections to Christianity & Messianic Prophecies.

Darrell L. Bock. To The Jew First: The Case for Jewish Evangelism in Scripture and History.

Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser. The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology.

Andrew Alexander Bonar, R.M. McCheyne, et. al. Mission of Discovery: The Beginnings of Modern Jewish Evangelism.

Michael L. Brown. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: General and Historical Objections, Vol. 1.

Michael L. Brown. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections, Vol. 2.

Michael L. Brown. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Messianic Prophecy Objections, Vol. 3.

Michael L. Brown. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: New Testament Objections Vol. 4.

Michael L. Brown. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Traditional Jewish Objections, Vol. 5.

Michael L. Brown. The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the Mysteries of the Hidden Messiah.

Victor Buksbazen. The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel.

Mitch Glaser. The Gospel in the Passover.

Mitch Glaser. Isaiah 53 Explained.

Steven Barry Kaplan. The Green Velvet Missionary: God Stories From A Jewish Believer.

John MacArthur. The Gospel According To God: Rediscovering the Most Remarkable Chapter in the Old Testament.

Randy Newman. Engaging with Jewish People: Understanding their world; sharing the good news.

David Parker, ed. Jesus, Salvation and the Jewish People: The Uniqueness of Jesus and Jewish Evangelism.

Moishe Rosen. Yshua: The Jewish Way To Say Jesus.

Moishe Rosen and Ceil Rosen. Witnessing To Jews: Practical Ways To Relate To The Love of Jesus.

Barry Rubin. You Bring The Bagels, I’ll Bring the Gospel: Sharing the Messiah with Your Jewish Neighbor.

Avi Snyder. Jews Don’t Need Jesus & Other Misconceptions.

Tuvya Zaretsky. He Said then She Said: Helping Jewish-Gentile Couples Find Spiritual Harmony.

Theological Helps in Understanding Israel In God’s Plan

Ray Bentley. The Holy Land: Unlocking End-Times Prophecy Through The Lives of God’s People In Israel.

Paul Benware. Understanding End Times Prophecy (Revised and Expanded)

D. Jeffrey Bingham and Glenn R. Kreider. Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption: A Developing and Diverse Tradition.

D. Jeffrey Bingham and Glenn R. Kreider. Eschatology: Biblical, Historical, and Practical Approaches.

Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock. Progressive Dispensationalism.

Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser. Messiah in the Passover.

Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser. The People, The Land, And The Future of Israel: Israel And The Jewish People In The Plan of God.

Darrell L. Bock, Elliott Johnson, et al. Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional & Progressive Views.

Chad Brand, ed. Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views. (Robert L. Raymond presents the Traditional Covenantal view; Robert L. Thomas presents the Traditional Dispensational view; Robert L. Saucy presents the Progressive Dispensational view; and Tom Pratt presents the Progressive Covenantal view)

David Brickner. Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles.

David Brickner and Rich Robinson. Christ in the Feast of Pentecost.

David Brickner. Future Hope: A Jewish Christian Look at the End of the World.

Michael L. Brown. The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the Mysteries of the Hidden Messiah.

Gary Burge. Jesus and The Jewish Festivals.

Jared Compton, ed. Three Views on Israel and the Church: Perspectives on Romans 9-11. (Advanced: Michael J. Vlach defends A Non-Typological Future Mass Conversion view; Fred G. Zaspel and James M. Hamilton defend A Typological Future Mass Conversion view; Benjamin L. Merkle defends A Typological Non-Future Mass Conversion view)

Christopher Cone, Ron J. Bigalke Jr., et al. Dispensationalism Tomorrow and Beyond: A Theological Collection in Honor of Charles C. Ryrie.

John S. Feinberg, ed. Continuity and Discontinuity (Essays in Honor of S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments. (Advanced)

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events.

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. Israelology: The Missing Link In Systematic Theology.

A.C. Gaebelein. The Jewish Question.

Benjamin L. Gladd. From Adam and Israel to the Church: A Biblical Theology of the People of God.

Mitch Glaser. God’s Plan and Purposes for the Jewish People.

Ed Hinson and Thomas Ice. Charting the Bible Chronologically: A Visual Guide to God’s Unfolding Plan.

Mark Hitchcock. Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons.

Mark Hitchcock. Iran and Israel: Wars and Rumors of Wars.

Mark Hitchcock. ISIS, Iran, Israel: And The End of Days.

Mark Hitchcock. Showdown with Iran: Nuclear Iran and the Future of Israel, the Middle East, and the United States in Bible Prophecy.

Mark Hitchcock. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days.

Barry E. Horner. Eternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of Israel.

Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal. The Feasts of the Lord: God’s Prophetic Calendar from Calvary to the Kingdom.

David Jeremiah. The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse.

Elliott Johnson. A Dispensational Biblical Theology.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations.

Barney Kasdan. God’s Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays.

Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice. Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy.

Tim LaHaye and Ed Hinson. Target Israel: Caught In The Crossroads Of The End Times.

David L. Larsen. Jews Gentiles and the Church: A New Perspective on History and Prophecy.

Alva J. McClain. The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God.

Gerald R. McDermott, ed. The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land.

Robert McKenzie. Identifying the Seed: An Examination and Evaluation of the Differences between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.

Elwood McQuaid. The Outpouring: Jesus in The Feasts of Israel.

Zola Levitt. The Seven Feasts of Israel.

Benjamin L. Merkle. Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies.

Sam Nadler. Messiah In The Feasts of Israel.

J. Dwight Pentecost. Things To Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology.

J. Dwight Pentecost. Thy Kingdom Come: Tracing God’s Kingdom Program and Covenant Promises Throughout History.

Randall Price. Jerusalem in Prophecy: God’s Stage For The Final Drama.

Randall Price. The Temple And Bible Prophecy: A Definitive Look At Its Past, Present, And Future.

Ron Rhodes. Israel On High Alert: What Can We Expect Next In The Middle East?

Ron Rhodes. The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies.

Ron Rhodes. The End Times In Chronological Order: A Complete Overview to Understanding Bible Prophecy.

Rich Robinson. Christ in the Sabbath.

Ceil Rosen and Moishe Rosen. Christ in the Passover.

Michael Rydelnik. The Messianic Hope: Is The Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?

Michael Rydelnik and Edwin Blum. The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

Charles Ryrie. Dispensationalism.

Robert Saucy. The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism: The Interface Between Dispensational and Non-Dispensational Theology.

Bruce Scott. The Feasts of Israel: Seasons of The Messiah.

Renald E. Showers. The Coming Apocalypse: A Study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End Times.

Renald E. Showers. The Sign Of His Coming: Understanding the Olivet Discourse.

Renald E. Showers. There Really Is A Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology.

Renald E. Showers. What On Earth Is God Doing? Satan’s Conflict With God

Stan Telchin. Messianic Judaism Is Not Christianity: A Loving Call To Unity.

Amir Tsafarti. The Day Approaching: An Israeli’s Message of Warning and Hope for the Last Days.

Amir Tsafarti. The Last Hour: An Israeli Insider Looks at the End Times.

Michael J. Vlach. Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths.

Michael Vlach. He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical of the Kingdom of God

Michael Vlach. Premillennialism: Why There Must Be A Future Earthly Kingdom of Jesus.

John Walvoord. Armageddon, Oil, and Terror: What the Bible Says about the Future.

John Walvoord. Israel in Prophecy.

John Walvoord. The Nations, Israel and the Church in Prophecy.

William C. Watson. Dispensationalism Before Darby: Seventeenth-Century and Eighteenth-Century English Apocalypticism.

Stephen J. Wellum and Brent E. Parker. Progressive Covenantalism: Charting A Course Between Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies.

Wesley R. Willis, John R. Master, et al. Issues in Dispensationalism.

Leon Wood. The Bible & Future Events: An Introductory Survey of Last-Day Events.

Andrew M. Woods. The Coming Kingdom: What Is The Kingdom and How Is Kingdom Now Theology Changing The Focus of the Church?

CONTRASTS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Adapted From: Lewis Sperry Chafer (Systematic Theology: Vol. IV; C3)

24 CON-TRASTSISRAELTHE CHURCH
BIB-LICAL REVELA-TIONWith respect to primary application, Israel occupies nearly four-fifths of the text of the Bible.The Church with respect to primary application, occupies slightly more than one-fifth.
(2) THE DIVINE PUR-POSEEvery covenant, promise, and provision for Israel is earthly.Every covenant or promise for the Church is for a heavenly reality, and she continues in heavenly citizenship when the heavens are recreated.
(3) THE SEED OF AB- RAHAM In view of the fact that Abraham is not only the progenitor of the nation of promise but is also the pattern of a Christian under, it is significant that there are two figures employed by Jehovah respecting Abraham’s seed—the dust of the earth (Gen. 13:16), and the stars (Gen. 15:5; cf. Heb. 11:12). The extent of this Abrahamic covenant is expressed in Romans 4:16: “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Aside from Ishmael’s line and the children of Kiturah concerning whom there is no revealed divine purpose, the children of Jacob, or Israel, and without reference to Esau, are counted as the physical seed (cf. Gen. 22:2; Heb. 11:17) of Abraham; for with these God has made covenants respecting their earthly privilege.Contrariwise, the heavenly seed of Abraham are not progenerated by Abraham, but are generated by God on the efficacious principle of faith; and, because of the truth that this faith was exercised specifically by Abraham (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-3, 17-24), those of like faith are Abraham’s spiritual seed. It is written, “So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Gal. 3:9). A vital distinction is drawn by the the Apostle between Israel after the flesh and that portion of Israel within Israel who are saved.Those who are saved are styled “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), and the statement that “they are not all all Israel, which are of Israel” ( Rom. 9:6) is a reference to the same distinction. The use of these passages to prove Israel and and the Church to be the same is deplored in the light of the truth which these Scriptures declare.
(4) BIRTHIsraelites become what they are by physical birth. They are each one begotten by parents and their inheritance is transmitted by human generation.Christians become what they are by spiritual birth. They are begotten directly by God and are therefore His legitimate offspring. Their inheritance is immediate in that each is a child of God.
(5) HEAD-SHIPAbraham is the head of the Jewish race, and they are properly designated as “the seed of Abraham.” Though born of Gentile stock, Abraham was set apart by God to the high honor of being the progenitor of the elect earthly people.Over against this it may be said of Christians, though when magnifying the element of faith they are called “Abraham’s seed” (Gal. 3:29), God is their Father and by the Spirit they are joined to Christ and He, the resurrected Lord, is their new federal Head.
(6) COVE-NANTSGod has made unconditional covenants with His earthly people. He will yet make a new covenant with them when they enter their kingdom. That new covenant will govern their conduct and will supersede the Mosaic covenant of the Law (cf. Jer. 31:31-33; Deut. 30:8). This new covenant for Israel will be in four parts.These four features are the present blessings of the Church. This heavenly people are sheltered under a new covenant made in His blood. It is individual in its application and everlasting. It is individual in its application and everlasting. It guarantees every divine grace upon those who believe in Christ in Christ as Savior.
(7) NATION-ALITYIsrael belongs to the earth and to the world-stem. Though above all nations in Jehovah’s reckoning, they are still in the world as one of its nations.Over against this and forming the strongest contrast is the fact that the Church is composed of all nations, including Israel, and sustains no citizenship here, but instead the believers are strangers and pilgrims.
(8) DIVINE DEAL -INGThe fact that, in the present age, Israelites, like Gentiles, are shut up to their individual responsibility respecting claims of the gospel, doubtless misleads those who do not consider the wide range of human history which the Bible covers. They fail to realize that the present divine arrangement is exceptional and that God has in other ages dealt with nations—especially Israel—as a whole. The present arrangement is restricted to the one age in which responsibility is altogether personal.
(9) DISPEN-SA-TIONSThe earthly people, though their estate may vary, are present in the earth in all ages from the beginning in Abraham on into eternity to come.The Church is restricted to the present dispensation. The dispensation now operative itself is characterized by her presence in the world. It was introduced for her sake; and is therefore unrelated to that which goes before or that which follows.
(10) MINIS-TRYIsrael was appointed to exercise an influence over the nations of the earth (cf. Ps. 67:1-7), and this will yet do perfectly in the coming age; nevertheless there was no missionary undertaking and no gospel proclaimed. Israel maintained her self-centered worship. She faced inward toward the tabernacle or temple and all her benevolence was consumed on her own worship.Immediately upon her formation, the Church is constituted a foreign missionary society. It is her obligation to face outward and to those of her company is given the task of evangelizing the people of the earth in each generation. 
(11) THE DEATH OF CHRISTThat nation which demanded the death of Christ and who said by their officials, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” is guilty of that death; yet they will be saved as a nation on the ground of that sacrifice.A present and perfect salvation to the praise of God is the portion of the Church through the offering of the Lamb of God.
(12) THE FATHERTo Israel God is known by His primary titles, but not as Father of the individual Israelite.In distinction to this, the Christian is actually begotten of God and has every right to address Him as Father.
(13) CHRISTTo Israel, Christ is Messiah, Immanuel, and King with all that those appellations imply.To the Church, Christ is Savior, Lord, Bridegroom, and Head.
(14) THE HOLY SPIRITOnly in exceptional instances and for unusual service did the Holy Spirit come upon an Israelite, and the Spirit withdrew as freely as He came, when the purpose was accomplished.The strongest contrast is to be seen here, in that the Christian is indwelt by the Spirit; in truth, he is not saved apart from this relation to the Spirit (Rom. 8:9).
(15) A GOVER-NING PRINCI-PLEFor fifteen centuries the Law was Moses was Israel’s rule of daily life. It is written: But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments” (Ps. 103:17-18).
Unlike this, the members of Christ’s Body, being wholly perfected in Him, are under the beseechings and directions which grace provides.
(16) DIVINE ENABLE-MENTThe law system provided no enabling power for its achievement. That system is declared to have failed because of the weakness of “the flesh” to which it was evidently addressed (Rom. 8:3).To the Church, however, as certainly as superhuman requirements are laid on her members, so certainly as superman requirements are laid on her members, so certainly supernatural power is provided for every demand. It is on this account the Apostle could say “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” The reason, of course, is that “ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).
(17) TWO FARE-WELL DIS-COUR-SESSeveral days before His departure from the world, Christ addressed a farewell discourse to the nation of Israel which contemplated her future and that in its relation to His return (Matt. 23:37-25:46).Quite removed from this snd wholly different in all its features, Christ, the night before He was put to death, gave His parting message to the Christians. When these two addresses are contemplated side by side, it is seen that the widest distinction are indicated between Israel and the Church.
(18) THE PRO-MISE OF JESUS’ RETURNAs seen in His words specifically addressed to Israel, Christ returns as her King in power and great glory, at which time she will be gathered from every part of the earth by angelic migration into her own land (Deut. 30:1-8; Jer. 23:7-8; Matt. 23:31). Over against these great events promised to Israel is the return of Christ for His own Bride, when He takes her with Him into heaven’s glory (John 14:1-3). The contrasts between these two situations may be drawn out to great lengths and with equally great profit.
(19) POSI-TIONIsaiah declares, But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (41:8-10). Though individuals in Israel attained to great usefulness, as did the prophets, priests, and kings, yet they never reached a higher distinction than when they were servants of Jehovah.
Contrariwise, the individuals who compose the Church are forever in Christ and are members in the family and household of God.
(20) Christ’s Earthly ReignThose of the elect nation are appointed to be subjects of the King in His earthly kingdom (Ezek. 37:21-28).Those who comprise the Church are to reign with the King as His Consort in that kingdom (Rev. 20:6).
(21) PRIEST- HOODThe nation of Israel had a priesthood.The Church is a priesthood.
(22) MARRI-AGEAs a nation, Israel is likened by Jehovah to His wife—a wife untrue and yet to be restored (Jer. 3:1, 14, 20; Ezek. 16:1-59; Hos. 2:1-23; Isa. 54:1-17; cf. Gal. 4:27).In marked distinction to this situation respecting Israel, is the revelation that the Church is to Christ as one espoused and to be married in Heaven (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7-9).
(23) JUDG-MENTSIt is clearly predicted that Israel must come into judgment (Ezek. 20:33-44; Matt. 25:1-13).It is clearly declared that the Church will not come into judgment (John 5:24; Romans 8:1).
(24) POSI-TION  IN ETER-NITYIn his enumeration of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem the writer to the Hebrews asserts that there shall be those present who are identified as “the spirits made perfect.” Such can easily refer to the saints of the OT who, while in this life, were styled just men. This designation occurs upwards of 30 times in the OT and always with reference to those who were in right relation to God.In this same enumeration of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem there is recognition also of the “church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:22-24).
CON- CLU- SIONIn concluding this extended series of contrasts between Israel and the Church, it should be observed that, in certain respects, there are similarities between these two groups of elect people. Each, in turn, has its peculiar relation to God, to righteousness, to sin, to redemption, to salvation, to human responsibility, and human destiny.They are each witnesses to the Word of God; each claim the same Shepherd; they have doctrines in common; the death of Christ avails in its own way for each; they are alike loved with an everlasting love; and each, as determined by God, will be glorified.

Answering the Question – “Why Should I Trust The Bible?”

*#7 In the Series: Knowing What & Why You Believe – November 2, 2020 – Pastor David Craig 

USING THE ACRONYM: “H.I.S. L.A.W.S”

(Acronym adapted from Pastor Bob Sears)

HarmonyThough written over 1600 years by 40 plus authors on 3 different continents and in 3 different languages about scores of controversial subjects, the Bible’s teachings are supernaturally harmonious from cover to cover.
ImpactCountless millions of people from diverse cultures all over the world have had their personal lives changed forever for the good and found spiritual meaning in life from the message of the Bible.
SeersThe Old and New Testament prophets (“seers”) spoke dozens of general and specific predictions which have been historically fulfilled. Among the most significant are Isaiah 53 (O.T) and Matthew 24 (N.T).
LongevityIn spite of repeated attempts throughout history both to destroy and discredit the Bible, it still exists in virtually its original form and is still revered and circulated more widely than any other book on earth.
AccuracyThe Bible’s detailed record of historical data has been repeatedly shown (by other writings and archeological discoveries) to be accurate to an exact degree. This testifies to its writers’ reliability.
WritersThe biblical writers obviously meant their readers to accept their writings as a message from God (e.g.: O.T.: the repeated instances of “Thus says the LORD…” N.T.: 1 Th. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
Son of GodJesus, reported to be the authoritative Son of God by the biblical writers, plainly taught the full inspiration of both the Old and New Testaments (e.g.: O.T.: Matthew 5:17-18. N.T.: John 14:23-26, and 16:13).

The Case for the Infallibility of the Bible

(R.C. Sproul, Reason to Believe, pp. 30-31)

The case for the infallibility of Scripture proceeds along both deductive and inductive lines. It moves from the premise of general trustworthiness to the conclusion of infallibility. The reasoning proceeds as follows:

Premise A: The Bible is basically a reliable and trustworthy document.

Premise B: On the basis of this reliable document we have sufficient evidence to believe confidently that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Premise C: Jesus being the Son of God is an infallible authority.

Premise D: Jesus teaches that the Bible is more than a generally trustworthy; it is the very Word of God.

Premise E: The Word, in that it comes from God, is utterly trustworthy because God is utterly trustworthy.

Conclusion: On the basis of the infallible authority of Jesus, the church believes the Bible to be utterly trustworthy, i.e, infallible.

Helpful Resources:

Ankerberg, John & John Weldon. The Reliability of the Bible.

Blomberg, Craig L. Can We Still Believe The Bible?

Cowan, Steven B. and Terry L. Wilder. In Defense of The Bible.

Jones, Timothy Paul. Why Should I Trust the Bible?

Lutzer, Erwin W. Seven Reasons You Can Trust The Bible.

McDowell, Josh. Is The Bible True Really?

Answering the Question – “Does God Exist?” – Part 2

*Series: Knowing What & Why You Believe – October 26, 2020 – Pastor David Craig 

(Notes Adapted from Dr. William Lane Craig)

REVIEW FROM SESSION 5 – DOES GOD EXIST – PART 1:

3 Reasons Why God’s Existence Makes A Difference

  • Reason 1: Life is Ultimately Meaningless Without God
  • Reason 2: Without God We Live Without Hope
  • Reason 3: If God Exists, You Can Know His Love Personally

Does God exist? Here are 5 Good Reasons to Believe That God Exists:

  1. God makes sense of the origin of the universe.
  2. God makes sense of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.
  3. God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.
  4. God makes sense of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  5. God can be immediately known and experienced.

(3) GOD MAKES SENSE OF OBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES 

IN THE WORLD.

  • Does God exist? If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist. To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is right or wrong independently of whether anybody believes it to be so.
  • It is to say, for example, that Nazi anti-Semitism was morally wrong, even though the Nazis who carried out the Holocaust thought that it was good; and it would still be wrong even if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everybody who disagreed with them. And the claim is that in the absence of God, moral values are not objective in this sense.
  • Many theists and atheists alike concur on this point. For example, the late J. L. Mackie of Oxford University, one of the most influential atheists of our time, admitted: “If . . . there are . . . objective values, they make the existence of a God more probable than it would have been without them. Thus, we have a defensible argument from morality to the existence of a God” (J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982], pp. 115-16). But in order to avoid God’s existence, Mackie therefore denied that objective moral values exist. He wrote, “It is easy to explain this moral sense as a natural product of biological and social evolution . . . .” (Ibid., pp. 117-18).
  • Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science, agrees. He explains, Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says “love thy neighbor as thyself,” they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction . . . And any deeper meaning is illusory (Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm [London: Routledge, 1989], pp. 262-269).
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, the great 19th century atheist who proclaimed the death of God, understood that the death of God meant the destruction of all meaning and value in life. I think that Friedrich Nietzsche was right.
  • But we must be very careful here. The question here is not: “must we believe in God in order to live moral lives?” I’m not claiming that we must. Nor is the question: “Can we recognize objective moral values without believing in God?” I think that we can.
  • Rather the question is: “If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist?” Like Mackie and Ruse, I don’t see any reason to think that in the absence of God, human morality is objective. After all, if there is no God, then what’s so special about human beings? They’re just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time.
  • On the atheistic view, some action, say, rape, may not be socially advantageous and so in the course of evolution has become taboo; but that does absolutely nothing to prove that rape is really wrong. On the atheistic view, apart from the social consequences, there’s nothing really wrong with your raping someone. Thus, without God there is no absolute right and wrong which imposes itself on our conscience.
  • But the problem is that objective values do exist, and deep down we all know it. There’s no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of the physical world.
  • The reasoning of Ruse at best proves only that our subjective perception of objective moral values has evolved. But if moral values are gradually discovered, not invented, then our gradual and fallible apprehension of the moral realm no more undermines the objective reality of that realm than our gradual, fallible perception of the physical world undermines the objectivity of that realm. Most of us think that we do apprehend objective values. As Ruse himself confesses, “The man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says, 2+2=5” (Michael Ruse, Darwinism Defended [London: Addison-Wesley, 1982], p. 275).
  • Actions like rape, torture, and child abuse aren’t just socially unacceptable behavior—they’re moral abominations. Some things are really wrong. Similarly love, equality, and self-sacrifice are really good. But if objective values cannot exist without God, and objective values do exist, then it follows logically and inescapably that God exists.

We can summarize this argument as follows:

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values do exist.
  3. Therefore, God exists.

(4) GOD MAKES SENSE OF THE HISTORICAL FACTS CONCERNING THE LIFE, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS.

  • The historical person Jesus of Nazareth was a remarkable individual. New Testament critics have reached something of a consensus that the historical Jesus came on the scene with an unprecedented sense of divine authority, the authority to stand and speak in God’s place. That’s why the Jewish leadership instigated his crucifixion for the charge of blasphemy. He claimed that in himself the Kingdom of God had come, and as visible demonstrations of this fact he carried out a ministry of miracles and exorcisms. But the supreme confirmation of his claim was his resurrection from the dead.
  • If Jesus did rise from the dead, then it would seem that we have a divine miracle on our hands and, thus, evidence for the existence of God. Now most people would probably think that the resurrection of Jesus is something you just accept on faith or not. But there are actually three established facts, recognized by the majority of New Testament historians today, which I believe are best explained by the resurrection of Jesus: His empty tomb, his post-mortem appearances and the origin of the disciples’ belief in his resurrection. Let’s look briefly at each one of these.

Fact #1: Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers on Sunday morning. According to Jacob Kremer, an Austrian scholar who has specialized in the study of the resurrection, “by far most scholars hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements about the empty tomb” (Jacob Kremer, Die Osterevangelien–Geschichten um Geschichte [Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1977], pp. 49-50).  According to D. H. Van Daalen, it is extremely difficult to object to the empty tomb on historical grounds; those who deny it do so on the basis of theological or philosophical assumptions.

Fact #2: On separate occasions different individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus alive after his death. According to Gerd Ludemann, a prominent German New Testament critic, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ” (Gerd Ludemann, What Really Happened to Jesus?, trans. John Bowden [Louisville, Kent.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995], p. 8). These appearances were witnessed not only by believers, but also by unbelievers, skeptics, and even enemies.

Fact #3: The original disciples suddenly came to believe in the resurrection of Jesus despite having every predisposition to the contrary. Think of the situation the disciples faced following Jesus’ crucifixion:

1. Their leader was dead, and Jewish Messianic expectations included no idea of a Messiah who, instead of triumphing over Israel’s enemies, would be shamefully executed by them as a criminal.

2. Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyone’s rising from the dead to glory and immortality before the general resurrection of the dead at the end of the world.

  • Nevertheless, the original disciples suddenly came to believe so strongly that God had raised Jesus from the dead that they were willing to die for the truth of that belief. Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar at Emory University, states, “Some sort of powerful, transformative experience is required to generate the sort of movement earliest Christianity was” (Luke Timothy Johnson, The Real Jesus [San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1996], p. 136). N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “That is why, as an historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him” (N. T. Wright, “The New Unimproved Jesus,” Christianity Today [September 13, 1993], p. 26).
  • Attempts to explain away these three great facts—like the disciples stole the body or Jesus wasn’t really dead—have been universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. The simple fact is that there just is no plausible, naturalistic explanation of these facts. Therefore, it seems to me, the Christian is amply justified in believing that Jesus rose from the dead and was who he claimed to be. But that entails that God exists.

We can summarize this argument as follows:

  1. There are three established facts concerning the fate of Jesus of Nazareth: the discovery of his empty tomb, his post-mortem appearances, and the origin of his disciples’ belief in his resurrection.
  2. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” is the best explanation of these facts.
  3. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” entails that the God revealed by Jesus of Nazareth exists.
  4. Therefore, the God revealed by Jesus of Nazareth exists.

(5) GOD CAN BE IMMEDIATELY KNOWN AND EXPERIENCED.

  • This isn’t really an argument for God’s existence; rather it’s the claim that you can know God exists wholly apart from arguments simply by immediately experiencing him. This was the way people in the Bible knew God, as professor John Hick explains:
  • God was known to them as a dynamic will interacting with their own wills, a sheer given reality, as inescapably to be reckoned with as a destructive storm and life-giving sunshine . . . They did not think of God as an inferred entity but as an experienced reality. To them God was not . . . an idea adopted by the mind, but an experiential reality which gave significance to their lives (John Hick, “Introduction,” in The Existence of God, ed. with an Introduction by John Hick, Problems of Philosophy Series [New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1964], pp. 13-14).
  • Philosophers call beliefs like this “properly basic beliefs.” They aren’t based on some other beliefs; rather they are part of the foundation of a person’s system of beliefs. Other properly basic beliefs would be the belief in the reality of the past, the existence of the external world, and the presence of other minds like your own.
  • When you think about it, none of these beliefs can be proved. How could you prove that the world was not created five minutes ago with built-in appearances of age like food in our stomachs from the breakfasts we never really ate and memory traces in our brains of events we never really experienced?
  • How could you prove that you are not a brain in a vat of chemicals being stimulated with electrodes by some mad scientist to believe that you are here listening to this lecture? How could you prove that other people are not really androids who exhibit all the external behavior of persons with minds, when in reality they are soulless, robot-like entities?
  • Although these sorts of beliefs are basic for us, that doesn’t mean that they’re arbitrary. Rather they are grounded in the sense that they’re formed in the context of certain experiences. In the experiential context of seeing and feeling and hearing things, I naturally form the belief that there are certain physical objects which I am sensing.
  • Thus, my basic beliefs are not arbitrary, but appropriately grounded in experience. There may be no way to prove such beliefs, and yet it is perfectly rational to hold them. You’d have to be crazy to think that the world was created five minutes ago or to believe that you are a brain in a vat! Such beliefs are thus not merely basic, but properly basic. In the same way, belief in God is for those who seek Him a properly basic belief grounded in our experience of God.

We can summarize this consideration as follows:

  1. Beliefs which are appropriately grounded may be rationally accepted as basic beliefs not grounded on argument.
  2. Belief that the biblical God exists is appropriately grounded.
  3. Therefore, belief that the biblical God exists may be rationally accepted as a basic belief not grounded on argument.

Now if this is right, then there’s a danger that arguments for the existence of God could actually distract one’s attention from God Himself. If you’re sincerely seeking God, God will make His existence evident to you. The Bible says, “draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4.8). We mustn’t so concentrate on the proofs that we fail to hear the inner voice of God speaking to our heart. For those who listen, God becomes an immediate reality in their lives.

We’ve seen five good reasons to think that God exists:

  1. God makes sense of the origin of the universe.
  2. God makes sense of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.
  3. God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.
  4. God makes sense of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  5. God can be immediately known and experienced.

These are only a part of the evidence for God’s existence. Alvin Plantinga, one of the world’s leading philosophers, has laid out two dozen or so arguments for God’s existence. (Alvin Plantinga, “Two Dozen [or so] Theistic Arguments,” Lecture presented at the 33rd Annual Philosophy Conference, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, October 23-25, 1986 – Now compiled in the book: Jerry L. Walls and Trent Dougherty, eds. Two Dozen (OR SO) Arguments For God [The Plantinga Project]. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018). Together these constitute a powerful cumulative case for the existence of God. THEISM is the more reasonable to believe than Atheism.

*You can subscribe to Valley Baptist Church San Rafael on YouTube to hear the Apologetics lectures from the series: Knowing What and Why You Believe, as well as Pastor David Craig’s sermons on the book of Daniel in the Series: Going Against the Flow of Culture.

Resources On Apologetics From Dr. William Lane Craig

Dr. William Lane Craig’s website: www.reasonablefaith.org

Cowan, Steven, and Stanley N. Gundry, eds. Five Views On Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000. (W.L. Craig presents the case for the Classical View).

Craig, William Lane, and Joseph E. Gorra. A Reasonable Response: Answers To Tough Questions On God, Christianity, And The Bible. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2013.

Craig, William Lane. Does God Exist? Pine Mountain, GA: Impact 360 Institute, 2014.

Craig, William Lane, & Meister, Chad. God Is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2009.

Craig, William Lane and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong,. God? A Debate Between A Christian And An Atheist. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

_______. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

_______. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010.

Answering the Question – “Does God Exist?” – Part 1

*Series: Knowing What & Why You Believe – October 19, 2020 – Pastor David Craig 

(Notes Adapted from Dr. William Lane Craig)

Does God exist? Here are 5 Good Reasons to Believe That God Exists:

  1. God makes sense of the origin of the universe.
  2. God makes sense of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.
  3. God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.
  4. God makes sense of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  5. God can be immediately known and experienced.
  • C. S. Lewis once remarked that God is not the sort of thing one can be moderately interested in. If God does not exist, there’s no reason to be interested in God at all. On the other hand, if God does exist, then this is of uttermost importance.

3 Reasons Why God’s Existence Makes A Difference

Reason 1: Life is Ultimately Meaningless Without God

  • If God does not exist, life is ultimately meaningless. If your life is doomed to end in death, then ultimately it does not matter how you live. In the end it makes no ultimate difference whether you existed or not. Your life might have a relative significance in that you influenced others or affected the course of history. But ultimately mankind is doomed to perish in the heat death of the universe. Ultimately it makes no difference who you are or what you do. Your life is inconsequential.
  • Thus, the contributions of the scientist to the advance of human knowledge, the research of the doctor to alleviate pain and suffering, the efforts of the diplomat to secure peace in the world, the sacrifices of good people everywhere to better the lot of the human race—ultimately all these come to nothing. Thus, if atheism is true, life is ultimately meaningless.

Reason 2: Without God We Live Without Hope

  • If God does not exist, then we must ultimately live without hope. If there is no God, then there is ultimately no hope for deliverance from the shortcomings of our finite existence. For example, there is no hope for deliverance from evil. Although many people ask how God could create a world involving so much evil, by far most of the suffering in the world is due to man’s own inhumanity to man. The horror of two world wars during the last century effectively destroyed the 19th century’s naive optimism about human progress. If God does not exist, then we are locked without hope in a world filled with gratuitous and unredeemed suffering, and there is no hope for deliverance from evil. If there is no God, there is no hope of deliverance from aging, disease, and death. Although it may be hard for you as who are younger to contemplate, the sober fact is that unless you die young, someday you—you yourself—will be an old man or an old woman, fighting a losing battle with aging, struggling against the inevitable advance of deterioration, disease, perhaps senility. And finally and inevitably you will die. There is no afterlife beyond the grave. Atheism is thus a philosophy without hope.

Reason 3: If God Exists, You Can Know His Love Personally

On the other hand, if God does exist, then not only is there meaning and hope, but there is also the possibility of coming to know God and His love personally. That the infinite God should love you and want to be your personal friend! This would be the highest status a human being could enjoy! Clearly, if God exists, it makes not only a tremendous difference for mankind in general, but it could make a life-changing difference for you as well.

Now admittedly none of this shows that God exists. But it does show that it makes a tremendous difference whether God exists. Therefore, even if the evidence for and against the existence of God were absolutely equal, the rational thing to do, I think, is to believe in Him. That is to say, it seems to me positively irrational when the evidence is equal to prefer death, futility, and despair over hope, meaningfulness and happiness.

5 GOOD REASONS TO BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS:

(1) GOD MAKES SENSE OF THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE

  • Have you ever asked yourself where the universe came from? Why everything exists instead of just nothing? Typically atheists have said the universe is just eternal, and that’s all. But surely this is unreasonable. Just think about it for a minute. If the universe never had a beginning, that means that the number of past events in the history of the universe is infinite. But mathematicians recognize that the existence of an actually infinite number of things leads to self-contradictions.
  • For example, what is infinity minus infinity? Well, mathematically, you get self-contradictory answers. This shows that infinity is just an idea in your mind, not something that exists in reality. David Hilbert, perhaps the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century, states, the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea (David Hilbert, “On the Infinite,” in Philosophy of Mathematics, ed. with an Introduction by Paul Benacerraf and Hillary Putnam [Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1964], pp. 139, 141).
  • But that entails that since past events are not just ideas, but are real, the number of past events must be finite. Therefore, the series of past events can’t go back forever; rather the universe must have begun to exist. This conclusion has been confirmed by remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.
  • In one of the most startling developments of modern science, we now have pretty strong evidence that the universe is not eternal in the past but had an absolute beginning about 13.8 billion years ago in a cataclysmic event known as the Big Bang. What makes the Big Bang so startling is that it represents the origin of the universe from literally nothing. For all matter and energy, even physical space and time themselves, came into being at the Big Bang.
  • As the physicist P. C. W. Davies explains, “the coming into being of the universe, as discussed in modern science . . . is not just a matter of imposing some sort of organization . . . upon a previous incoherent state, but literally the coming-into-being of all physical things from nothing” (ABC Science Online, “The Big Questions: In the Beginning,” Interview of Paul Davies by Philp Adams, http://aca.mq.edu.au/pdavies.html.).
  • Of course, alternative theories have been crafted over the years to try to avoid this absolute beginning, but none of these theories has commended itself to the scientific community as more plausible than the Big Bang theory. In fact, in 2003 Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which is, on average, in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be eternal in the past but must have an absolute beginning. Vilenkin pulls no punches:
  • “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning” (Alex Vilenkin, Many Words in One: The Search for Other Universes [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p. 176).
  • That problem was nicely captured by Anthony Kenny of Oxford University. He writes, “A proponent of the Big Bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the universe came from nothing and by nothing” (Anthony Kenny, The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Proofs of God’s Existence [New York: Schocken Books, 1969], p. 66).
  • But surely that doesn’t make sense! Out of nothing, nothing comes. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing? Where did it come from? There must have been a cause which brought the universe into being.

We can summarize our argument thus far as follows:

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
  • Given the truth of the two premises, the conclusion necessarily follows. From the very nature of the case, this cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being which created the universe. It must be uncaused because we’ve seen that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes. It must be timeless and therefore changeless—at least without the universe—because it created time. Because it also created space, it must transcend space as well and be immaterial, not physical.
  • It must also be personal. For how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect like the universe? If the cause were a mechanically operating set of necessary and sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without the effect.
  • For example, the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0˚ Centigrade. If the temperature were below 0˚ from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to begin to freeze just a finite time ago. So if the cause is permanently present, then the effect should be permanently present as well. The only way for the cause to be timeless and the effect to begin in time is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions.
  • For example, a man sitting from eternity could freely will to stand up. Thus, we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its personal Creator.
  • Isn’t it incredible that the big bang theory thus confirms what the Christian theist has always believed: that in the beginning God created the universe? Which makes more sense: that the Christian theist is right or that the universe popped into being uncaused out of nothing?

(2) GOD MAKES SENSE OF THE FINE-TUNING OF THE UNIVERSE 

FOR INTELLIGENT LIFE.

  • During the last 40 years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions given in the Big Bang itself. Scientists once believed that whatever the initial conditions of the universe, eventually intelligent life might evolve. But we now know that our existence is balanced on a knife’s edge. The existence of intelligent life depends upon a conspiracy of initial conditions which must be fine-tuned to a degree that is literally incomprehensible and incalculable.

This fine-tuning is of two sorts:

First, when the laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, you find appearing in them certain constants, like the gravitational constant. These constants are not determined by the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants.

Second, in addition to these constants there are certain arbitrary quantities which are just put in as initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate, for example, the amount of entropy or the balance between matter and anti-matter in the universe. Now all of these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants or quantities to be altered by a hair’s breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed and life would not exist.

  • For example, the physicist P. C. W. Davies has calculated that a change in the strength of gravity or of the atomic weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. The cosmological constant which drives the inflation of the universe and is responsible for the recently discovered acceleration of the universe’s expansion is inexplicably fine-tuned to around one part in 10120.
  • Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of the Big Bang’s low entropy condition existing by chance are on the order of one out of 10 10 (123). Penrose comments, “I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010 (123)” (Roger Penrose, “Time-Asymmetry and Quantum Gravity,” in Quantum Gravity 2, ed. C. J. Isham, R. Penrose, and D. W. Sciama [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p. 249).   And it’s not just each constant or quantity which must be exquisitely finely-tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers. Now there are three possibilities for explaining the presence of this remarkable fine-tuning of the universe: physical necessity, chance, or design.
  • The first alternative holds that there is some unknown Theory of Everything (T.O.E.) which would explain the way the universe is. It had to be that way, and there was really no chance or little chance of the universe’s not being life-permitting.
  • By contrast, the second alternative states that the fine-tuning is due entirely to chance. It’s just an accident that the universe is life-permitting, and we’re the lucky beneficiaries. The third alternative rejects both of these accounts in favor of an intelligent Mind behind the cosmos, who designed the universe to permit life.

Which of these alternatives is the most plausible?

  • The first alternative seems extraordinarily implausible. There is just no physical reason why these constants and quantities should have the values they do. As Paul Davies states,
  • “Even if the laws of physics were unique, it doesn’t follow that the physical universe itself is unique. . . . the laws of physics must be augmented by cosmic initial conditions. . . . There is nothing in present ideas about ‘laws of initial conditions’ remotely to suggest that their consistency with the laws of physics would imply uniqueness. Far from it. . . . . . . it seems, then, that the physical universe does not have to be the way it is: it could have been otherwise” (Paul Davies, The Mind of God [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992], p. 169).
  • For example, the most promising candidate for a T.O.E. to date, super-string theory or M-Theory, fails to predict uniquely our universe.
  • In fact, string theory allows a “cosmic landscape” of around 10500 different universes governed by the present laws of nature, so that it does nothing to render the observed values of the constants and quantities physically necessary.
  • So what about the second alternative, that the fine-tuning of the universe is due to chance?
  • The problem with this alternative is that the odds against the universe’s being life-permitting are so incomprehensibly great that they cannot be reasonably faced. Even though there will be a huge number of life-permitting universes lying within the cosmic landscape, nevertheless the number of life-permitting worlds will be unfathomably tiny compared to the entire landscape, so that the existence of a life-permitting universe is fantastically improbable.
  • Students or laymen who blithely assert, “It could have happened by chance!” simply have no conception of the fantastic precision of the fine-tuning requisite for life. They would never embrace such a hypothesis in any other area of their lives—for example, in order to explain how there came to be overnight a car in one’s driveway.
  • Some people have tried to escape this problem by claiming that we really shouldn’t be surprised at the finely-tuned conditions of the universe, for if the universe were not fine-tuned, then we wouldn’t be here to be surprised about it!
  • Given that we are here, we should expect the universe to be fine-tuned. But such reasoning is logically fallacious. We can show this by means of a parallel illustration. Imagine you’re traveling abroad and are arrested on trumped-up drug charges and dragged in front of a firing squad of 100 trained marksmen, all with rifles aimed at your heart, to be executed. You hear the command given: “Ready! Aim! Fire!” and you hear the deafening roar of the guns. And then you observe that you are still alive, that all of the 100 trained marksmen missed!

Now what would you conclude?

  • “Well, I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that they all missed. After all, if they hadn’t all missed, then I wouldn’t be here to be surprised about it! Given that I am here, I should expect them all to miss.” Of course not!
  • You would immediately suspect that they all missed on purpose, that the whole thing was a set-up, engineered for some reason by someone. While you wouldn’t be surprised that you don’t observe that you are dead, you’d be very surprised, indeed, that you do observe that you are alive. In the same way, given the incredible improbability of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life, it is reasonable to conclude that this is not due to chance, but to design.
  • In order to rescue the alternative of chance, its proponents have therefore been forced to adopt the hypothesis that there exists an infinite number of randomly ordered universes composing a sort of World Ensemble or multiverse of which our universe is but a part. Somewhere in this infinite World Ensemble finely-tuned universes will appear by chance alone, and we happen to be one such world.

There are, however, at least two major failings of the World Ensemble hypothesis:

First, there’s no evidence that such a World Ensemble exists. No one knows if there are other worlds. Moreover, recall that Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin proved that any universe in a state of continuous cosmic expansion cannot be infinite in the past. Their theorem applies to the multiverse, too. Therefore, since the past is finite, only a finite number of other worlds can have been generated by now, so that there’s no guarantee that a finely-tuned world will have appeared in the ensemble.

Second, if our universe is just a random member of an infinite World Ensemble, then it is overwhelmingly more probable that we should be observing a much different universe than what we in fact observe.

  • Roger Penrose has calculated that it is inconceivably more probable that our solar system should suddenly form by the random collision of particles than that a finely-tuned universe should exist. (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison in The Road to Reality [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005], pp. 762-5.) So if our universe were just a random member of a World Ensemble, it is inconceivably more probable that we should be observing a universe no larger than our solar system.
  • Or again, if our universe were just a random member of a World Ensemble, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since such things are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range.
  • Observable universes like those are much more plenteous in the World Ensemble than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On atheism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no World Ensemble.
  • So once again, the view that Christian theists have always held, that there is an intelligent designer of the universe, seems to make much more sense than the atheistic view that the universe just happens to be by chance fine-tuned to an incomprehensible precision for the existence of intelligent life.

We can summarize this second argument as follows:

  1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
  2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
  3. Therefore, it is due to design.

*You can subscribe to Valley Baptist Church San Rafael on YouTube to hear the Apologetics lectures from the series: Knowing What and Why You Believe, as well as Pastor David Craig’s sermons on the book of Daniel in the Series: Going Against the Flow of Culture.

Resources On Apologetics From Dr. William Lane Craig

Dr. William Lane Craig’s website: www.reasonablefaith.org

Cowan, Steven, and Stanley N. Gundry, eds. Five Views On Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000. (W.L. Craig presents the case for the Classical View).

Craig, William Lane, and Joseph E. Gorra. A Reasonable Response: Answers To Tough Questions On God, Christianity, And The Bible. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2013.

Craig, William Lane. Does God Exist? Pine Mountain, GA: Impact 360 Institute, 2014.

Craig, William Lane, & Meister, Chad. God Is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2009.

Craig, William Lane and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong,. God? A Debate Between A Christian And An Atheist. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

_______. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

_______. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010.

_______. The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. Eugene, OR: Wipe and Stock Publishers, 2000.

Answering the Question – “Who Made God?”

*#4 in the Series: Knowing What & Why You Believe – October 12, 2020 – Pastor David Craig 

Introduction

  • Those of us who are parents have had a conversation with our young children that goes something like this: “Dad, who made me?” “God made you.” “Who made the sun and the moon?” God made the sun and the moon.” “Who made the animals?” “God made everything.” “Dad, who made God?”
  • To ask the question, “Who made God?” commits a category fallacy. It assumes that God is a contingent (dependent), caused entity. However, Philosophy and the Bible assert that by definition God is uncaused and eternally existent.
  • Asking the question, “Who made God?” is like asking, “How did Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata taste?” Or “Did you hear the color of that rose?” It just doesn’t fit. God wants made just like a song doesn’t taste, and you can’t hear the color of a rose.
  • This category fallacy was made by the famed atheist, Bertrand Russell, when he made the statement, “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.” But its not true that everything has a cause. Only that which begins to exist must have a cause.
  • “The Second Law of Thermodynamics reveals that the universe must have a beginning since it is running out of useable energy. Therefore, the God who made the universe must be without a beginning. Why? Because the Law of Causality says that everything that has a beginning had a beginner. It is ridiculous to assert that nothing can make something but is entirely reasonable to assert that something (i.e., God) can make something out of nothing. Therefore, God is the uncaused (eternal), first (originator) cause (Creator) who created everything that exists.” ~ Norman L. Geisler, The Bible’s Answers To 100 Of Life’s Biggest Questions, p. 27).

The Aseity of God (God’s Independence and Self-Existence)

“With respect to the doctrine of God, his attribute of self-existence. God’s very nature is to exist; he is not and cannot be dependent on anything or anyone. This attribute underscores the Creator-creature distinction: whereas the Creator is completely independent, creatures are completely dependent, contingent on his will for their existence. Proof that God is self-sufficient is that he “made the world and everything in it” (Acts 17:24). Because he has life in himself (John 5:26), he is able to give ‘life and breath and everything’ to his creatures (Acts 17:25). Though independent, God has designed his people to glorify him.” ~TBCDOT, Gregg Allison

“A reference to the fact the basis of God’s life is within himself and is not caused by anything external.” ~ TCDOCT, Millard Erickson

“The view that God is entirely self-sufficient and not dependent on anything else (Lat. aseitas, “self-existence,” from a se “of itself” or “from himself”) ~ TWDOTT, Donald K. McKim

“The doctrine that God has life within himself and depends on nothing else for his existence. He is the living God, he gives to all and needs nothing (Jer. 2:13; John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25).” ACDOTT, Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson

“God exists by his own power. He alone is self-existent. Aseity, meaning “self-existence,” is the characteristic that separates him from all other things. God is the only one who can say, ‘I am who I am’…The grand difference between a human being and a Supreme Being is precisely this: Apart from God I cannot exist; apart from me God does exist. God does not need me in order for him to be. I do need God in order for me to be. This is the difference between what we call a self-existent being and a dependent being…In him we have our being. It is because of his self-existence that we can exist at all. You and I exist in his power and by his power. We are because he is.~ R.C. Sproul, Enjoying God, pp. 29, 32, 39.

“God has of himself all that he has, while other things have nothing of themselves. And other things, having nothing of themselves. And other things, having nothing of themselves, have their only reality from him.” On the Fall of the Devil 1 (Anselm [1033-1109 A.D.] Major Works. 194).

“God is exclusively from Himself, not in the sense of being self-caused but being from eternity to eternity who He is, being not becoming. God is absolute being, the fullness of being, and therefore also eternally and absolutely independent in His existence, in His perfections, in all His works, the first and the last, the sole cause and final goal of all things. In this aseity of God, conceived not only as having being from Himself but also as the fullness of being, all other perfections are included.” ~ Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, p. 152

Some Ramifications of God’s Aseity

(1) God is not needy. He doesn’t need you and He doesn’t need me. In fact, He doesn’t need the world at all. It’s not as if He was bored, twiddling His thumbs, desperately lonely prior to creating the world. God is not dependent on the world for His happiness and self-fulfillment. Instead, He possess life in and of Himself. More precisely, He is the fullness of life in and of Himself. 

  • In view of God’s independence and self-sufficiency, perhaps we wonder, why He would care about us if He remains entirely without need? God created us not because He needed us but because He loved us. He loved simply because He chose to do so. We bank on Him, not Him on us!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love he predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.” ~ Ephesians 1:3-10 

(2) God doesn’t need to be defended. He can defend Himself. He can move people and nations. He can shut down and raise up things and people. That’s why the Scriptures says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, ‘says the Lord’ (Romans 12:19). God will one day execute complete justice on those who have rebelled against Him and not repented of their sin and put their trust in Christ.

(3) As the Creator of all things, God owns all things. “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).

(4) When we give something back to God, we give Him only what He has first given us. We are stewards of God’s land (Luke 12:42; 16:1-8; Titus 1:7)., accountable to use these blessings for His glory. Everything in creation remains his, even after He has given it to us, so even our own possessions are His.

(5) God owes us nothing. “Who has given to me, that I should repay Him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.” ~Job 41:11

(6) We are totally dependent upon God for existence, sustenance, and where we will spend eternity.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” ~ Romans 11:36

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.” Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. ~ Acts 17:22-34

Jesus, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” ~ Matthew 25:46

Jesus, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” ~ John 3:17, 36

Food For Thought: It’s a whole lot easier to believe that Something took nothing and made something than it is to believe that nothing took nothing and made something.

*You can subscribe to Valley Baptist Church San Rafael on YouTube to hear the Apologetics lectures from the series: Knowing What and Why You Believe, as well as Pastor David Craig’s sermons on the book of Daniel in the Series: Going Against the Flow of Culture.

Resources on God’s Aseity

  • Barrett, Matthew. None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God. (Chapter 4, “Does God Depend On You?”). Grand Rapids: MI: Baker, 2019.
  • Conway, Bobby. Does God Exist? (Chapter 2, “Who Made God?”). Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2016
  • Copan, Paul. If God Made The Universe Who Made God? 180 Arguments For The Christian Faith. (Chapter 23, “If God Made the Universe, Who Made God?”). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2012.
  • Feinberg, John. No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God. (Chapter 6, “The Attributes of God”). Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2001.
  • Frame, John. Systematic Theology. (Chapter 19, “God’s Attributes: The Self-Contained God). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013.
  • Geisler, Norman L. & Jason Jimenez. The Bible’s Answers To 100 Of Life’s Biggest Questions. (Chapter 4, “Who Made God?).  Grand Rapids: MI: Baker, 2015.
  • Jones, Mark. God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God. (Chapter 7, “God Is Independent”). Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2017.
  • Kinson, John M. Who Made God? An Ex-Atheist Scientist Investigates. Kindle Ebook.
  • Sproul, R.C. Enjoying God. (Chapter 2, “Who Made You, God?”). Grand Rapids: MI: Baker, 2017.
  • Tozer, A.W. The Knowledge of the Holy. (Chapter 6: The Self-sufficiency of God”).
  • Wilkin, Jen. None Like Him. (Chapter 3: “Self-Existent”). Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2017.

Handling the Objection – “There Is NO GOD!!!”

Series: Knowing What & Why You Believe – October 3, 2020 – Pastor David Craig 

Using the G.O.D. Acronym As Evidence for GOD

(Adapted from The Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Toughest Questions by Norman L Geisler & Jason Jimenez)

(1) The G in G.O.D. is for GOODNESS

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” ~ Romans 2:1-2

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” ~ Romans 2:12-16

  • Romans 2 teaches that there are OBJECTIVE MORAL LAWS about what is good that are universally binding on all of humanity and by which we are to abide.

The MORAL LAW ARGUMENT:

  1. A Moral Law implies a moral lawgiver.
  2. There is an objective moral law.
  3. Therefore, there is an objective moral law giver.
  • Moral laws not only describe certain behaviors but also prescribe what ought to be. We know in our hearts that we should do good and not bad because there is an objective moral law that governs all of humanity.
  • If there is no God, then there is no ultimate moral standard by which we can differentiate between what is right and wrong. Evidence demonstrates that moral laws are objective for all humans on the basis that God is the objective moral lawgiver.
  • We all know that we should do to others what we want them to do.

The Golden Rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Matthew 7:12

  • We all know that we should do to others what we want them to do to us. Thus, we know that stealing, rape, and murder are wrong because we do not anyone to do those things to us.

(2) The O in G.O.D. is for ORIGIN

  • There is overwhelming evidence that the universe had a beginning. In 1915, Albert Einstein developed the general theory of relativity. This theory is now almost universally accepted because of all the scientific evidence for it. Essentially, this theory holds that time, space, and matter all had a beginning point.
  • In the 1920’s Edwin Hubble discovered evidence of the expanding universe – demonstrating that the universe had a beginning. The argument for the origin of the universe can be stated in this manner:
  1. Everything that had a beginning has a cause.
  2. The universe had a beginning.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
  • Premise 1 is based on the Law of Causality, every effect must have a cause. Based on science and pure reason, we know that something cannot come from nothing.
  • Premise 2 identifies that the universe must have a cause greater than itself. This is evidence produced by an enormous S.U.R.G.E.

SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS: The universe is running out of useable energy. It’s like the unwinding of a clock.

UNIVERSE EXPANSION: The universe is is spreading from a begging point.

RADIATION ECHO: There are traces of afterglow from the expansion of the universe from the begging point.

GALAXY SEEDING: A great mass of energy has been discovered in outer space just as many scientists predicted.

EINSTEIN’S THEORY: This shows that the universe had a beginning and that time, space, and matter are all needed for everything to exist.

(3) The D in G.O.D. is for DESIGN

The Design Argument can be explained like this:

  1. Every complex design has a designer.
  2. The universe has a highly complex design.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a designer.
  • All reasonable persons infer a designer when comparing the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore to the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Common observation shows that it took a designer to produce Mount Rushmore, while the Grand Canyon came about by the gradual succession of wind and erosion.

The Design of The Universe

  • One example of design is the very finely tuned constant of the universe: gravity. If the gravitational force were even slightly altered, the world could not sustain life.

The Design of the World – There are two essential reasons that only the earth in all of the universe is able to sustain life. Let’s look at two:

  1. The placement of the earth – The earth is uniquely placed in the Milky Way galaxy (between the Sagittarius and Perseus spiral arms) so as not to be threatened by hazardous conditions of giant molecule clouds or supernova explosions. Another amazing fact of the earth its its proximity to the moon. The size of the earth and the distance to the moon causes the earth’s axis to tilt perfectly at 23.5 degrees (allowing for annual seasons to occur).
  1. The condition of the earth – The earth’s atmosphere has the perfect amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen to be a habitable planet to survive and thrive. For example, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. If the amount were any higher, it would create massive fires; if it were any lower, life would  suffocate.

Thought To Ponder: Isn’t it ironic that so many people who pride themselves on being mindful believe that the universe is the product of mindlessness?

The Design of Human Life

  • The amount of genetic information contained in the human brain alone exceeds all the information in all the books in the Library of Congress. Therefore, common sense tells us that just as it takes a sculptor to sculpt a statue like Rodin’s “The Thinker,” we must assume it takes a Creator to create the amazing detail of human life.

Summary

  • We have looked at three good reasons to show that it is more likely that God exists than that He doesn’t exist.
  • We have used the acrostic: G.O.D. = Goodness; Origin; and Design.
  • Something cannot come from nothing. If something exists now then something has always existed. Self-existence means that something has the power, within itself, of being. This power is eternal and presents no rational difficulty. Self-creation is irrational because for something to create itself it must be before it is.
  • The God of the Bible is self-existent and eternal. God created the world out of nothing.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:1

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” ~ Romans 1:18-20

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” ~ Hebrews 11:1-3

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.” ~ Psalm 14:1

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” ~ Hebrews 1:1-3

Resources from R.C. Sproul on Apologetics:

  • Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics (Co-authored with John Gerstner and Arthur Lindsley). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984.
  • Defending Your Faith: An Introduction To Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020.
  • Does God Exist? Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2019.
  • If There’s A God Why Are There Atheists? Why Atheists Believe in Unbelief. Orlando, FL: Ligonier Ministries and Christian Focus, 2018.
  • Not A Chance: God, Science, and the Revolt against Reason. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014.
  • Reason to Believe: A Response To Common Objections To Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016.
  • The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding The Concepts That Shaped Our World. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2000.