God’s Word of Truth: Believing, Understanding, and Responding to the Biible

God’s Word of Truth is available in the Russian language. It has not been published in English. Below is a comment about the book by Sergei Golovin who encouraged me to finish the work and was in charge of getting it published in Russian..

“Being deeply rooted in the God’s word, books by Dr. Lynn Gardner in Russian translation became very effective instruments for spreading the teaching of Christ in post-communist context of former Soviet Union countries. Those nations were deprived of the biblical truth for several generations and comprehension of it is pretty fragmented and incomplete there quite often. Shortage of proper Apologetics often results superficial and easy shakable beliefs, shortage of Exegetics produces unclear understanding of the Scripture, shortage of guidance in its application to one’s life restrains growth in Christ. That is why I was very glad to find out several years ago about the book God’s Word of Truth Dr. Gardner plan to write with an integral approach to all three aspects of learning the Bible: why, how and what for.”

The Allure of Gentleness by Dallas Willard–A Review

Product Details

 The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus by Dallas Willard (HarperOne, 2015), 187 pages.

Based on talks and lectures on apologetics given by the renowned professor and author and edited by his daughter after his death. “Dallas Willard not only assures us of the truth and reasonableness of the Christian faith, but also explores why reason and logic are not enough to explain Jesus’s message, we must also be like Jesus, characterized by love, humility, and gentleness.” (inside the book cover)

Willard explained the nature of apologetics. “A biblical apologetic is the best use of our natural faculties of thought in submission to the Holy Spirit to remove doubts and problems that hinder a trustful, energetic participation in a life of personal relationship with God.. . . Now, this goes all the way from believing in God to believing the right things about God.” (page 39) “The ultimate apologetic is the life of the individual who is living out of the resources of the kingdom of God.” (page 143).

His closing comment on apologetics is as follows:

“We must help others all the way through this process in a way that goes beyond traditional apologetics—presenting arguments responding to presuppose objections. We must adopt a teaching posture that presupposed inquiry to arrive at knowledge and the will to communicate, a posture of joint discovery and of understanding together. These are natural and essential parts of living in community with others. So maintain a teaching posture as you go, and work with those around you in the gentle manner of Jesus. If you do, it will indeed be a service to all to carry out the work of apologetics.” (page 170)

As I read the book, I liked his emphasis on gentleness and joint discovery of understanding. I found interesting his discussion of reason, the myth of the big band, the myth of cosmic evolution, and the problem of evil and suffering. I had a hard time following his discussion of God speaking to us. I found his Renovation of the Heart very helpful.

God’s Word of Truth–New Book to be Published in Russian

God’s Word of Truth:  Believing, Understanding, and Responding to the Word of God,  H. Lynn Gardner

I have written a new book entitled God’s Word of Truth: Believing, Understanding, and Responding to God’s Word. When I was planning this book, I thought of what my Bible college experience taught me about the Bible. I learned why I can believe it to be the Word of God. I also learned principles for interpreting the Bible so I can do my best to understand the author’s intended meaning in any text. I also learned to take God’s Word seriously in my personal life and in the church. In this book I have stated basic information about believing, understanding, and responding to the Bible, the Word of God.

Plans for publication in English are indefinite at this time. I shared my plan for the book with Sergei Golovin three years ago. Since then he has encouraged me to finish the project so it could be translated into Russian. I have sent the files with the manuscript to him and he has sent them for translation.

The following is a statement by Sergei about the book:

Being deeply rooted in the God’s word, books by Dr. Lynn Gardner in Russian translation became very effective instruments for spreading the teaching of Christ in post-communist context of former Soviet Union countries. Those nations were deprived of the biblical truth for several generations and comprehension of it is pretty fragmented and incomplete quite often. Shortage of proper Apologetics often results in superficial and easy shakable beliefs; shortage of Exegetics produces unclear understanding of the Scripture; shortage of guidance in its application to one’s life restrains growth in Christ.

That is why I was very glad to find out several years ago about the book, God’s Word of Truth, Dr. Gardner was planning to write with an integral approach to all three aspects of learning the Bible: why, how and what for. Now, when the book is complete, with great joy and praises to the Lord we are starting its translation into Russian for the greater glory of the Kingdom!

Sergei Golovin, Ph.D., D.Min. Christian Center for Science and Apologetics founder and president (Ukraine)
—-

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Word of Truth:

 

Believing, Understanding, and

Responding to the Word of God

 

 

 

H. Lynn Gardner

 

 

 

 

I have written a new book entitled God’s Word of Truth: Believing, Understanding, and Responding to God’s Word. When I was planning this book, I thought of what my Bible college experience taught me about the Bible. I learned why I can believe it to be the Word of God. I also learned principles for interpreting the Bible so I can do my best to understand the author’s intended meaning in any text. I also learned to take God’s Word seriously in my personal life and in the church. In this book I have stated basic information about believing, understanding, and responding to the Bible, the Word of God.

 

Plans for publication in English are indefinite at this time. I shared my plan for the book with Sergei Golovin three years ago. Since then he has encouraged me to finish the project so it could be translated into Russian. I have sent the files with the manuscript to him and he has sent them for translation.

 

The following is a statement by Sergei about the book:

 

Being deeply rooted in the God’s word, books by Dr. Lynn Gardner in Russian translation became very effective instruments for spreading the teaching of Christ in post-communist context of former Soviet Union countries. Those nations were deprived of the biblical truth for several generations and comprehension of it is pretty fragmented and incomplete quite often. Shortage of proper Apologetics often results superficial and easy shakable beliefs, shortage of Exegetics produces unclear understanding of the Scripture, shortage of guidance in its application to one’s life restrains growth in Christ. That is why I was very glad to find out several years ago about the book God’s Word of Truth Dr. Gardner was planning to write with an integral approach to all three aspects of learning the Bible: why, how and what for. Now, when the book is complete, with great joy and praises to the Lord we are starting its translation into Russian for the greater glory of the Kingdom!
Sergei Golovin, Ph.D., D.Min. Christian Center for Science and Apologetics founder and president (Ukraine)
—-

Alister McGrath’s New Biography on C. S. Lewis

Alister McGrath. C. S. Lewis: A Life, Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013.

McGrath’s work is a welcome addition to the voluminous literature on Lewis. It represents exhaustive research and insightful analysis. The reader comes to know Lewis the man, his character, and his ideas. McGrath clearly explains Lewis’ ideas and places them in the context of their development. New information requires reassessment of some events in Lewis’ life.

The work provides detailed information about Lewis’ family dynamics (mother, father, and brother) and his relationships with Mrs. Moore, Joy Davidman, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, other literary figures, and the Oxford faculty.

McGrath provides a brilliant analysis of Lewis’ literary works, especially The Chronicles of Narnia and recognizes his significance among twentieth century writers. I found his analysis of Mere Christianity and other apologetic works less insightful.

The last chapter assesses Lewis’ influence. McGrath states, “Lewis’s rise to fame in the United States was linked with the wartime revival of interest in religious questions, which persisted until late in the 1950s–but then began to fade. During the 1960-s, religious interest and concern switched from theoretical questions to practical issues. Lewis seem ‘much too theoretical and abstract’ to the younger generation.” (p. 363) McGrath says Lewis’ prominence “receded in the 1960s” and he had “few champions ” in the 1960s. He says Evangelicals in the 1960s “clearly regarded him with suspicion.” (364-365) He says Lewis’ popularity surged again in the seventies.

This tracing of Lewis’ influence in America does not square with my experience and what I observed during the mid twentieth century. As a student in Ozark Bible College in the late fifties and early sixties, I brought and read several of Lewis’ books. His books were discussed at the college. I attended Wheaton Graduate School in the mid-sixties. Lewis’ influence was very much alive in Wheaton at that time. After Lewis’ death in 1963,Wheaton professor Clyde Kilby began collecting Lewis materials for “The C. S. Lewis Collection.” In 1965 the Wheaton College Library Committee accepted Kilby’s proposed Lewis’ collection. Because of an endowment of the Collection, in 1974 it was renamed The Marion E. Wade Collection. But that date does not document the beginning of the collection as McGrath seems to indicate. I began teaching in Bible college in 1967 and used Mere Christianity as a required text each semester from then until 2005.

 Having read many books by and about Lewis over the past fifty years, I found McGrath’s book to be the most definitive biography of Lewis available today. His exhaustive research in all the Lewis correspondence and other primary sources adds credibility to McGrath’s work. This is a thorough, well-written, honest portrait of C. S. Lewis.

Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Christianity Stands True Forthcoming

College Press will release a second edition of the basic primer on evidences, Christianity Stands True, in January. This updated edition will include three new chapters in addition to the former ten, questions on each chapter, and an updated list of resources. The first edition has had five printings in English and is available in six foreign languages.

Jeff Robertson, professor of apologetics and Distance Learning Consortium Coordinator, introduces and summarizes the new edition.

“It is a pleasure to see this new addition to what has already been a very useful book in the field of Christian evidences for 20 years. H. Lynn Gardner’s Christianity Stands True provides a concise, readable overview of basic evidences for the reliability of the Bible, the deity of Jesus, and the inspiration and authority of the Bible.

Now he has added chapters on the nature of Christianity, the reasonableness of Christian faith, and the defense of Christian truth.  This provides the added benefit of placing the evidences for the Christian faith within a broader context. The three new chapters help us: 1) evaluate Christianity in relation to other major worldviews; 2) understand what is meant by the foundational concepts of reason, truth, and faith; and 3) see why and how we can defend Christian truth.

In rounding out the work by addressing these overarching concerns that are always present when we study Christian evidences, Dr. Gardner has made a strong work even stronger.  I highly commend it to the use of both individual Christians and churches, for the building up of Christian faith.”

Apologetics Books Published Since 2009

Prepared by H. Lynn Gardner, November 2011

 

Baker, Hunter. The End of Secularism. Wheaton: Crossway, 2009. $17.99.

 

Beilby, James. Thinking About Christian Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Do It.

Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2011. $17.00.

 

Berlinski, David. The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretentions, reprint edition.  Basic Books, 2009. $16l.95.

 

Blomberg, Craig L. The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel: Issues & Commentary.

Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2011. Paperback ed., $24.00.

 

Copan, Paul. Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2009. $19.99.

 

Copan, Paul. Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011. $14.99.

 

Copan, Paul. Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion. Routledge, 2012. $55.42.

 

Copan, Paul. True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith,  rev. ed.  Bethany House, 2009. $14.99.

 

Copan, Paul and William Lane Craig, eds. Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics.  Nashville: B & H Academic, (April) 2012. $24.99.

 

Coppenger, Mark. Moral Apologetics for Contemporary Christians: Pushing Back Against Cultural and Religious Critics. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2011.  $24.99

 

Cowan, Steve and James Spiegel. The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2009.

 

Craig, William Lane. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010. $16.99.

 

Craig, William Lane and Chad Meister, eds. God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2009. $19.00.

 

Craig, William Lane and J. P. Moreland, eds. A Companion to Natural Theology. Blackwell, 2011. $44.95.

 

Demski, William A. The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World. B & H. Academic, 2009. $22.99.

 

Demski, William and Thomas Schirrmacher, Paige Patterson, eds. Tough-Minded Christianity: Honoring the Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery. Nashville: B & H Publishing, 20009. $31.99.

 

DeWeese, Garrett J. Doing Philosophy as a Christian.  Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2011. $22.00.

 

Downey, Patrick. Desperately  Wicked: Philosophy, Christianity and the Human Heart.

Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2009.  $18.00.

 

Edgar, William and K. Scott Oliphint, eds. Christian Apologetics: Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader (Volume 1, To 1500). Wheaton: Crossway, 2009. $39.00.

 

Edgar, William and K. Scott Oliphint, eds. Christian Apologetics: Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader (Volume 2 From 1500). Wheaton: Crossway, 2011. $55.00.

 

Gardner, H. Lynn. Commending and Defending Christian Faith: An Introduction to Christian Apologetics. Joplin: College Press, 2010. $33.00.

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Is it Arrogant to Believe Christianity Is the Only True Religion?

christianity

When is tolerance a virtue and when is tolerance no virtue? What is tolerance? Traditionally tolerance has meant respecting other people’s right to hold different views than we hold and do things we don’t approve. Recently some have used tolerance to mean that all views are equally true and all practices are acceptable. Tolerance in the traditional sense is a virtue. Tolerance in the new meaning is no virtue.

One of the most frequent objections to Christianity is that Christians are arrogant to claim that Christianity is the only true religion. Blair, a twenty-something woman from New York City, expresses this objection, “How could there be just one true faith? It’s arrogant to say your religion is superior and try to convert everyone else to it. Surely all the religions are equally good and valid for meeting the needs of their particular followers.”[1]

David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons in Unchristian cite evidence that today’s Christians are widely viewed as hypocritical, insensitive, arrogant, and judgmental.[2] I do not defend Christians who do not practice what they profess, who are harsh, unkind, and unloving, who are self-centered and egotistical, and who self-righteously condemn any who do not agree will them. But does the mere fact that we believe Christianity is the only true religion make us insensitive, arrogant, and judgmental?

Pluralism believes that all major religions are equally valid and basically teach the same thing. However, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism all reject Jesus as God in the flesh and that he is the only Savior of the world. They can’t all be true. If they are all true, then they are all false because they contradict each other.

Is it arrogant to say one religion is true and the others are false. “It is no more narrow to claim that one religion is right than to claim that one way to think about all religions (namely that all are equal) is right.”[3] Is it narrow minded or arrogant to say 2 + 2 = 4 and not 3 or 5? Truth is narrow. Truth excludes falsehood.

The biblical view is that Jesus Christ is the only savior and faith in him is necessary to salvation. There is no other Savior or way to be saved.

John 3:16-18: One can be saved by believing in Jesus, those who do not are condemned.

John 14:6: Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father but by Jesus.

Acts 4:12:  No one will be saved except through the name of Jesus.

Rom 10:9-10: Only those who accept the lordship and resurrection of Jesus will be saved.

1 Tim 2:5: Jesus is the only mediator between the one God and men.

If Jesus is God in the flesh and died for our sins and rose from the dead than he is the only true Savior.


[1] Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York: Dutton, 2008), 3.

[2] David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity and Why it Matters (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2007), 81.

[3] Keller, 13.

Commending and Defending Christian Faith Now Available


Commending and Defending Christian Faith:

An Introduction to Christian Apologetics

H. Lynn Gardner

Foreword by Gary R. Habermas

(Joplin, MO: College Press, 2010)

Endorsements:

“. . . an excellent introduction to apologetics.”

Norman L. Geisler, Distinguished Professor of Apologetics, Veritas Evangelical Seminary (www.VeritasSeminary.com)

“. . . specifically crafted for convenient use as a college textbook. . . . can be required along with a second text of Christian evidences to create a well-rounded approach to this subject.”

Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor, and Chair Department of Philosophy and Theology, Liberty University

“His handling of the introductory and background issues . . . is thorough, sound, and much needed.”

Jack Cottrell, Professor of Theology, Cincinnati Christian University

“. . . contemporary and timeless introduction to the field that is both scholarly and devotional.”

David Peters, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Florida Christian College

“. . . strong defense of the concept of objective truth from God.”

Johnny Pressley, Dean of the Graduate Seminary, Cincinnati Christian University

. . . mandatory reading for preachers, youth ministers, campus ministers, youth workers of all sorts, and anyone else who seeks to direct others’ spiritual journeys.”

David Embree, Director, Christian Campus House, Instructor, Department of Religious Studies, Missouri State University

A “how-to-think-about-apologetics” book.

Introduces the basic terms and concepts, key thinkers, and fundamental apologetic issues and questions. States the what, why, and how of apologetics preparing persons for further study of reasons for faith and answers to objections. It does not present the case for Christianity or answer attacks but rather introduces one to the study of Christian apologetics.

Contents:

Part One, Challenges to Christian Faith, helps the reader understand doubt and unbelief which make apologetics necessary.

Part Two, Foundations for Apologetics, discusses concepts essential to the defense of the truth of the Christian faith, including reason, knowledge, truth, and faith.

Part Three, The Practice of Apologetics, discusses reasons for apologetics, defense of the faith in the New Testament and in church history, methods of defense, practical uses of apologetics and guidelines for apologetics.

Audience:

The audience would be Bible college, seminary, and university students as well as leaders and thinkers seeking to defend the faith. It seeks to instruct and motivate Christians to be prepared to present an intelligent and effective case for Christianity.

The book challenges Christians to be good thinkers in how they go about defending and commending Christian faith. It could serve as a first book for beginning a serious study of apologetics.

Objectives:

  • Be prepared to deal with doubt and unbelief.
  • Be acquainted with the role of thinking, knowing, truth, and faith in apologetics.
  • Know why we should defend the faith and how the faith can be defended.
  • Learn from defenders of the faith in the New Testament and in church history.
  • Gain practical suggestions and guidelines for giving a defense of your faith.

H. Lynn Gardner taught apologetics for forty years in Bible colleges, serving eighteen years as academic dean. A graduate of Ozark Christian College, California State University, Wheaton College, with a doctorate from the University of Arkansas. Included in his seven books are Where Is God When We Suffer? What the Bible Says about Suffering and Christianity Stands True: A Commonsense Look at the Evidence. www.lynngardner.info.

ISBN 978-0-89900-947-6: hardback, 501 pages.   Apologetics/Theology/General Bible

List price: $32.99. College Press—1-800-289-3300; email—books@collegepress.com

Internet price: $28.00, www.collegepress.com

The Gardners Accept Invitation to Serve in Jordan

Barbara and I have accepted an invitation from the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) in Amman, Jordan, to teach for two weeks in August, 2010. I will teach a course entitled, “Worldviews,” which will focus on defending the Christian faith and worldview in response to other systems of thought. Barbara was asked to assist the seminary librarian.

Several years ago it was our goal for retirement to assist Bible colleges and seminaries in this way. But my pulmonary fibrosis and subsequent double lung transplant canceled those plans. I checked with my doctor at Barnes Hospital about this invitation. He asked, “Do you want to go?” I answered that I would like to. He said, “That’s why we do transplants.” They gave some safety tips for the plane trip, since I am immunosuppressed.

This evangelical seminary provides Bible-believing theological education for Arab Christians in the Middle East. I see this as an opportunity to give a strong background in apologetics to these students who will go back as leaders in their respective countries. Barbara will work with the librarian on principles of librarianship.

Jordan is a modern country, progressive in many ways and friendly with the United States. The country has freedom of religion with Christianity being a minority religion.

The seminary has weathered several financial crises but has been able to provide this valuable teaching program. They will take care of us after we get into the country, but we will need to pay for our plane tickets over and back. The Christian Church of Carl Junction has established a fund, Gardner Jordan Fund, for those who would like to make a tax-deductible gift to assist in the plane expense. Checks should be written out to Carl Junction Christian Church. The address is 103 Hodges St., Carl Junction, MO 64834.

Classics of the Christian Faith


Five Classics

These five books are classics of Christian literature. They speak to the heart issues of Christianity in a forceful and dynamic way. They lead readers into a deeper understanding of the Christian faith. Here is food and guidance to help you grow in spiritual maturity and discipleship. Why not read several of these books as a project this summer? Why not fast from TV, videos, movies, the Internet and feed your soul?

Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Perhaps the most widely read apologetic for Christianity written in English in the twentieth century. Sold millions of copies. Logical reasoning in defense of the Christian faith by a former atheist.

Stott, John R. W. Basic Christianity, 50th anniversary edition. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.

Clear and easy-to-read introduction to the Christian faith. Over 2.5 million sold.

Packer, J. I. Knowing God, 20th anniversary edition. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

Believing ignorance of God is the source of weakness in churches, Packer helps the reader gain a personal relationship with God through the knowledge of the living God from the Word of God.

Stott, John R. W. The Cross of Christ, 20th anniversary edition. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

Powerful book stating the doctrinal meaning of the cross, answering misunderstandings, and making personal application of the cross to our lives. Many consider this the best book on the cross.

Foster, Richard J. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, 25th anniversary edition. New York: Harper and Collins, Publishers, 1998.

Practical guidance for one seeking a closer devotional walk with God and growth in spiritual maturity.

Three Potential Classics

Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998.

A relentless search for the evidence answering the question “Who is Jesus.” Worthy of serious attention from every believer and skeptic.

Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Dutton, 2008.

A refreshing and intellectually stimulating case for the reality of God. Contemporary and relevant as the author draws illustrations from his encounters with skeptics and seekers in his New York ministry.

Willard, Dallas. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs: Nav Press, 2002.

Challenging instruction for growing in our spiritual walk, shedding sinful habits, and progressively taking on the character of Christ. Practical guidance for being transformed in heart and life into Christlikeness.