Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

Is Christianity True? With Brent Simpson #67

September 19, 2022 Fearless Faith / Brent Simpson Season 2 Episode 67
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
Is Christianity True? With Brent Simpson #67
Show Notes Transcript

What is the best evidence for God?  How do we know Christianity is the way to God?  How do we know the Bible is the inspired Word of God?  Which denomination should I belong to?  These are just a few of the questions that are answered on this edition of Finish Strong!

Join Terry, Brian and Dan as they ask Pastor Brent Simpson the toughest questions about God and Christianity.  Brent pastors Arise Church in Brandon, Florida, and holds a degree in Apologetics (defending the faith.)

If you want to learn how to share your faith more effectively then you don’t want to miss this one!

Fearless Faith Website
ffaith.org

Brent Simpson Links
BrentSimpson.com
Arise Apologetics Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ariseapologetics/
Church  website: myarisechurch.com
Arise YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ARISEChurchTV 

Let Dan Wheeler, Brian Roland and Terry Steen know what you think of Finish Strong!
Open Finish Strong on the Apple Podcast app and scroll down until you see "Ratings & Reviews". There will be a link to click so that you can "Write A Review"

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Dan Wheeler:

Have you ever been asked why you believe in God? And you didn't feel like you had a really compelling answer? Or maybe somebody said something derogatory about Christianity or the history of Christianity, and you didn't know how to defend the faith? Well, this edition of finish strong will help you to always be ready to give a strong reason for why you believe in a personal God, who loves you so much that He died for you. We have a special guest today. I'm going to introduce him in a moment. He's very knowledgeable in the field of Christian apologetics. My name is Dan Wheeler, and I'm joined by my co host, Brian rollin and Terry Steen, guys, this is our 67th edition of this podcast. And I'm really excited about this one, because I don't know about you. But there are times when I felt like I've not been able to really convincingly state the evidence for God, have you ever felt

Terry Steen:

that way? You know, it doesn't matter how long you've been a Christian, I think that's always something that we tend to struggle with. And sometimes when you've been a Christian too long, you get all the church ease in there, then the person doesn't really understand or appreciate. And so it'll be so good if we can kind of bring that to a more comfortable level today.

Brian Roland:

Yeah, I'm not. And I find that unless, unless somebody really believes in the Bible as their foundation like I do, I'm kind of lost. I don't know where to take it from there. And most of the time only speak to someone that I know is on their deathbed. And I'm trying to witness to them and get them to spend eternity with us.

Dan Wheeler:

Well, our special guest today earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian apologetics. And we're going to learn what that means from Trinity seminary, a Master of Arts degree in ministerial leadership from Southeastern University, and he's completed a doctorate in leadership from Liberty University. He loves Jesus. He has a servant's heart and he and his wife, Ada, Pastor arise church in Brandon, Florida, and I am well happy to welcome pastor Brunson to the finish strong podcast pastor. It's been a while we've been working on this. We're glad this is finally coming to fruition.

Brent Simpson:

Yeah, man. I'm so excited to be with you guys. And Dan, it's been a pleasure to get to know you a little bit. And Terry, I've known you for a long time you've been a huge blessing to the kingdom of God and and love what you guys are doing and look forward to getting to know Brian a little

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, well, you will in this. You know, he's the one that kind of goofs around a little bit. We'll try to hold them in line. But Pastor first of all, what is apologetics? And why is it so important that you actually earned a degree in it?

Brent Simpson:

What a great question. Well, I'll start with this because it never fails. There's always somebody listening that thinks apologizing, and apologetics are the same thing. apologetics has nothing to do with apologizing. In fact, not long ago, somebody came up and they said, said I don't understand all this apologetics calm conversation, we should not be apologizing for our faith never fails. And that's okay. That's an honest assessment. But let's see if we can unpack it a little bit. So apologetics just is the defense of the faith that goes all the way back into the into the Latin and the Greek. And you'll find the early apologists, in fact, somebody by the name of Socrates that you might have heard of, was accused of worshipping false gods and worshiping other gods. And he made a defense of his stance that he wasn't worshipping false god. And it was called the apology. In fact, he had a pupil by the name of Plato that you might have heard of, not the stuff that kids play with, but the Plato and Plato wrote a defense of Socrates. And it was called The Apology of meaning the defense, if you go into the court of law, you have a defense attorney that's appointed to you, or that you acquire yourself but you have this person who's defending you. So apologetics is the defense of the faith. And so if somebody says, Well, why do you believe this? Or why do you believe that? Why do you believe the Bible is the Word of God? Why do you believe God created? Why do you believe there's purpose in life? If you give a response? It's an apology, or an apologetic response? Doesn't mean it's a good one, necessarily. But if you're responding to an objection to the faith, that's what apologetics is. And it frequently goes into why we believe what we believe. Because in order to defend something, you need to really understand why you believe it.

Brian Roland:

No, but I got a question for you. Today, everybody seems to want to follow their own truth. So is there such a thing as objective truth?

Brent Simpson:

Man, that's a that is a great question. We live in this world right now, where truth is subjective. And everybody has their own truth, which is a little ironic. In fact, you started hearing this phrase, your truth, a lot coming out of the me to movement and this this powerful moment of revealing truth. But here's the funny thing. They would say it's your truth that you were sexually assaulted. That's your truth, and it was said that way, but it's not actually your truth. It's the truth. If you were sexually assaulted, it's you might Be the one that knows this truth, but it's still the truth. Truth by its nature is always objective outside of oneself. It's true everywhere at all times, in all instances. Truth is objective. It's not Subjective Truth. So in that me to movement, if you were molested, or if you were sexually assaulted in some way, that is not just your truth, that is the truth. But we live in a world right now where everybody wants to have their own truth. And it just, you know, maybe we get into this, but it just doesn't play out, practically speaking. Because we can't have a society where everybody has their own truth. If you have that you have nothing to agree upon. And that's a foundational pillar of society is that agreement.

Terry Steen:

And Pastor Brent is we sit and as the months and the years go on, we see some of the statistics as to where our country in the world is going as far as more and more agnostics and more and more atheists, and it's kind of kind of priming the pump. For us to really have a strong response to be able to get into these guys minds a little bit. What would you say is the best evidence for God? Or where would we start in those settings?

Brent Simpson:

What a great question, Terry. There's so much that I'd love to respond. And I'm sure we'll get into this later on in the podcast or another episode we do have of what's happening in America right now. But there are all kinds of classical arguments for God like the cosmological argument, which kind of looks at the beginning of the universe in the formation of the universe, the teleological argument, which looks at the fine tuning of the universe, the moral law argument, which looks at why do we all have a moral law stamped upon our hearts, and there's a few others as well, those are some of the big ones that you hear of, I would actually argue that probably the best evidence for Christianity from those arguments is the is what's called the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which looks at the beginning of the universe and how nothing became something. Now that's some far beyond most of us to even comprehend. Because if I were to ask your audience and say, picture, nothing, you can't actually even do that. Because to picture nothing, you're still picturing something in your mind. You're picturing a blank room or an empty space, but even an empty space is still space. And so in the beginning, there was nothing no thing. We can't even comprehend what nothing is because of the way our minds are formed. Aristotle said it this way, Aristotle said nothing is what rocks dream about. Yeah. So we go from nothing, no thing though no space, time matter. Literally nothing, too, all of a sudden an explosion of something. In fact, oftentimes, I've run into Christians who have an issue with the Big Bang, and some of the science behind that and, and I for one, and I think most apologists would agree with me think the Big Bang is one of the greatest evidences for God that's out there right now. And they are still scientists are still trying to figure out what banked you will frequently hear people talk about two highly charged spaceport molecules that collided together and exploded and created everything. But here's the fraud problem is that science actually shows that before the point of creation, there was nothing no thing, no highly charged space molecules already that there was there was not even space for there to be space molecules in it. So there's nothing and then there's something and I love how my friend Dr. Frank Turk says it this way. He says I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. Because if you're going to tell me nothing created everything. I just have a little bit of a struggle with that. But what we see in the in the cosmological argument is incredibly powerful, deeper than we could probably talk about in these few moments we have today but you see that you have a something that explodes something that starts that is incredibly powerful, incredibly powerful, so powerful, that the universe right now is still running on the usable energy that started in the beginning, and will eventually end and according to science collapse back upon itself, or whatever bang in the beginning had more power than all of the energy in the entire universe combined, not just now. But for eternity past or from the time banged in the past, to now all of that energy, it had to have more energy than that, which is simply incomprehensible the amount of energy that is so whatever banked had to be incredibly powerful. That's the second law of thermodynamics kind of talks about that the law of entropy and science. So you have something that bang that was incredibly powerful. You had something that bang that was a immaterial because there's no material prior to the Big Bang prior to the start. There's no material, so it's immaterial. A lot of times people don't realize this, but prior to the Big Bang, there was no time. Time is some subjective in our universe based on distance and speeds and things like that, and, and so prior to the Big Bang, there was no such thing as time. So whatever bang had to be outside of time or timeless, and whatever bang also had to be incredibly intelligent because we have this universe that's designed that seems to function within order. We have these laws like mathematics that are, that are immaterial laws that are just out there, that even if we did not exist, they're still true. That's that objective truth. So mathematics still works, we have these moral laws, the same thing. So you could argue that whatever banked had to be moral, because that was somehow put into the universe. Whatever banked had to be, had to be immaterial, had to be spaceless. Because there was no space, there was nothing and then there was something so no space, so it has to be outside of space. And we could go into more depth on those things. But at the end of the day, when you look at what science shows us, I love how David would say in the Psalms, The heavens declare the glory of God. So if you look at the book of science, and what the heavens are declaring, you can, you can come to this place that whatever bang had to be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, unimaginably powerful. We have a word for that and Christianity omnipotent. We have a word for the eternal, the outside of time, being eternal, being infinite, had to be unimaginably powerful had to be omniscient, automat, unimaginably intelligent. At the end of the day, what you end up with is a scientific look at whatever bang sure does look a whole lot like what God has been seen as in Christianity, since long before science ever showed anything. We were believing this about God.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah. You mentioned Frank Turek and I'm reading his book right now, I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. And he talks about atheists actually have their own religion and that religion is they will not allow God to have a door, a foot in the door. That's he used they use that term don't don't allow God in we just can't. And even though they have so many holes in the theory of evolution, they just cannot accept that possibility. And he says, in many cases, even it's a moral question. People don't want to believe in a God because they don't want to have to answer morally to anyone would you agree with?

Brent Simpson:

Oh, absolutely. In fact, you you mentioned it. So I'll say this for any of your listeners. I don't get paid for this or anything. But his book was Dr. Geisler Norman Geisler, I don't have enough faith to be an atheist is the number one book I recommend to people. If people are interested in they're intrigued by this conversation about apologetics go find that book. Yeah, I don't make anything from it. But it really is a great primer to get involved. And so yeah, there's a there's a whole religion of atheism, it's called materialism. You could refer to it as secular humanism. That's kind of all part of it. But in a materialistic worldview, you only have what you can put under a microscope, what can be measured, which is that scientific worldview. So if it doesn't, if it can't be put under a microscope and measured, then it basically doesn't exist? Well, when we talk about God, God certainly can't be put under a microscope and measured, you can see the effects of God under a microscope, but you're not going to see God himself. So therefore, as soon as you as soon as you start out in that worldview, you have to eliminate the idea of God right off the bat, because he doesn't fit in that worldview. And so it creates its own religion, and it has very similar characteristics to the Christian religion in a lot of regards, again, if we talk about post Christianity, some that'll come up in some of that, but it's got its own religion. Absolutely. In fact, according to America's survey system, atheism is classified as a religion in America. Oh, wow. Here's the sad truth. It's the fastest growing religion in America, by the way to boy

Brian Roland:

bread, I have friends that have told me that we're all going in the same direction. We're all going to, we're all going to reach heaven, that we're all hidden. You know, we all believe in God, we're all getting there. But how do we know Christianity is true, as opposed to the other religions of the world?

Brent Simpson:

Yeah. Well, first of all, I would ask the friend that says that to me, what do you mean by Heaven? Because my husband doesn't have a bunch of virgins in it waiting on me to get there. My heaven is not an eternal emptiness, like you would see in Buddhism, where you just become one with the universe, even even the statement all roads lead to heaven, all religions lead to Heaven is is almost offensive towards every religion and shows the ignorance of somebody who would say that, because the simple statement is, every religion has a different view of heaven. And for the most part, they are radically different, right? I mean, none of us when as Christians are expecting to get to heaven and find virgins. It's kind of the opposite, right? You're, you're expecting to find Jesus and the perfection of Christ. And so I think that's the first thing that I would say, and then just recognizing the different religions and kind of kind of studying them at least enough to understand the radical difference. says if you're gonna say all religions lead to God, then you have to be able to say what many of us would say is ludicrous that, that Jim Jones and the massacre that happened with that, well, that was a religion. It was a cult, but it was a religion. So are you saying that all those people who quote drank the Kool Aid, it wasn't literally kool aid, but the all those people who drink the Kool Aid and committed suicide? Are you saying that they're all in heaven? Well, if you're gonna say All roads lead to heaven, then you have to really believe all roads lead to heaven. Now, most of us, if we're rational at all, would not agree with that. And we would say, Absolutely not, you shouldn't be drinking the Kool Aid and committing suicide. So if they will agree to that, and they say, Well, yeah, I know that one. That one's not. Well, now you just created a line. At some point, there's some religion, that's not right, that I don't agree with. So then it becomes a conversation of where is that line? And generally, when people make that statement, it sounds so nice in our culture, it's so gentle and loving and tolerant of everybody. But the truth is that it's actually ignorant of every religion and honestly, offensive to every religion. I mean, if you said that to a Muslim, he's gonna get probably a little frustrated with you, right? Christians were a little more tolerant, we allow it, Buddhists would allowed Hindus may not. So every religion is very different. The question really is which religion is true? And again, objectively true. And we can get into that conversation, you find out that there is a big chasm between the ability to find out what is true and what's not in different religions.

Terry Steen:

So Pastor Brent, if we just take the next step on that, if we're looking at Christianity, and the foundation of our Christianity is the Bible. What would be how do we know that it's the inspired Word of God? It tells us in the Bible that but any thought any further thought along those lines, what's what makes our Bible legitimate?

Brent Simpson:

So I'm gonna offend a few listeners right now. But I'm going to start by rebutting something you just said, the Bible is the foundation of Christianity. No, it's really not. Because Christianity existed prior to the Bible's existence. Think about that, every listener, think about that for a second, the Bible existed for quite a long time, before, before, I'm sorry, Christianity existed for quite a long time before the Bible actually existed. In fact, it existed for hundreds of years before the Bible as we know it existed where it was, you know, bound together and canonized and put into a systematic order under Constantine. And so it was hundreds of years prior to that. So what you have our letters floating around the foundation of Christianity is not the Bible, the foundation of Christianity is the resurrection. And so the resurrection is recorded in the Bible, which makes the Bible extremely important. And we're certainly not going to diminish the Bible at all. It is a foundational pillar of Christianity. But Christianity existed prior to the Bible. And so the resurrection of Jesus Christ is what changed everything. You have disciples who are running scared, they are not interested in following Jesus, they're hiding out from the Romans. And all of a sudden this resurrection happens and, and crazy stuff, these guys start being willing to die for their faith and, and even James, the brother of Jesus, who wants thought he was a lunatic, now starts leading the biggest church in the world in Jerusalem. And and these radical shifts start happening with these early believers because of the resurrection. Now let's take it a step further and really dive into what your question really was. Terry? How do you know the Bible is the inspired Word of God? Well, first of all, that is going to be a faith stance, because there's no way to prove that and saying, the Bible says it's the inspired Word of God as a circular argument and a bad argument. But you can look at different things about the Bible, and see where it does have these unique things that point towards it being respite inspired. For instance, the Bible is written over a period of 1500 years by over 40 authors on three different continents in multiple languages. And yet it all cohesively comes together to paint a beautiful picture of this Messiah coming. You can look at the very specific prophecies that are recorded in the Bible and see, I mean, these aren't these aren't Nostradamus prophecies where you know, there'll be an emperor who conquers the world, right? These are, these are very specific, proper prophecies, especially in the Old Testament, that come to be fulfilled in Jesus, for instance, you know, the Old Testament in multiple points, point or paints the picture of where Jesus would be born, specifically, the kind of life he would live the lineage he would come from, to the extent and maybe this is the greatest one that he would even be born of a virgin. That's pretty stinking specific for a prophecy that comes out hundreds of years before Christ, that this is who he's going to be. Right. So you look at you look at specific prophecies, you know, and I think those are the type of arguments you Who's to get to that place of the Bible? Now? I understand the question there, Terry, too. But if you're witnessing in the world that we live in right now, personally, I would not start with the Bible. I would start with the standard of truth that everybody agrees on, which in general is science right now, although it's kind of shifting. But I would start with science and then go to the Bible, which is an apologetic approach. There's a, there's an old apologetic question that asks this, is it true because it's in the Bible? Or is it in the Bible? Because it's true? Hmm. Let everybody ponder that for a while your brain is start hurting? Here's the thing doesn't matter which way you look at it. Is it true because it's in the Bible? Or is it in the Bible? Because it's true? Ultimately, it's true. If you grew up in a Christian America, as many of the listeners probably have, you grew up in an environment where the Bible was accepted as a standard of truth. And so you said, the Bible says, blah, blah, blah, that makes it true? Well, no longer do we live in that world where we can say the Bible says this. So that makes it true. But you can say this is true. And it's in the Bible. So you should accept at least this portion of the Bible, and you end up at the same spot. But you actually start with a with a standard that's agreed upon, so they will accept the Bible. Sometimes this makes sense for people if you flip it, assuming our audience is mostly Christian, if I were to come to the Christian in this audience and say the Koran says, blah, blah, blah, and that makes it true, then you would be like, yeah, I could care less what the Quran says. Most people around America today could care less what the Bible says, right? Hmm. But if you said, here's the truth, and we agreed on this truth, and I say, Oh, and this is where the Quran teaches this truth, well, at least for that section of the Quran, at least for that part, I have to accept the Quran in that part. We do the same thing with the Bible. In fact, this is the way I preach in our church, apologetically. I always start with the truth and then take it to the Bible. So that any agnostic atheist skeptic in the room that doesn't believe the Bible, at the very limited part, they have to accept the part I'm about to share right now, as as as truth.

Dan Wheeler:

You know, pastoral. A lot of people wonder, how was the Bible put together? And I know, from way back in my college days, there was these different councils, the Council of Trent, where they would pray over these scriptures. But how were they determined? That's a question that most people can't answer.

Brent Simpson:

That's a great question. So the, the books of the Bible first of all, to answer that, let's let's start with how they were written. And when they were written, there's different arguments for when I can make a really strong case that the Bible was written at a very, very early date. And you do that I can do it kind of quickly here, you can do that by looking at the book of Acts. So we know roughly the book of Acts is written because the book of Acts ends with Paul being in prison, and he's not yet dead. And we know when he was he was killed in the early 60s. We also know that the fall of the the temple in 87, he was a massive thing for the Jews. It's hard to express how monumental that would have been when the temple is destroyed. And none of that's ever mentioned anywhere in the New Testament, which is wild, because that would have been, again, it's hard for us to even comprehend what a giant moment that would have been in history for them. But at the minimum, let's see that we know when Paul was executed, and X ends with Paul not yet executed, but towards that end. But x is not the first book to be written by any means, in fact, acts as a sequel to a book earlier than that by Luke right? So Luke writes Luke, and then he kind of makes the sequel kind of a life of Jesus than the life of the early church, right. And so Luke is written sometimes before that. But we know from church history that Luke is also not the first gospel to be written. But there's actual gospels before that, and it's an argument whether it's mark or Matthew is the first gospel. That's why Matthew is the first one in your New Testament. A lot of the other arguments would say it's mark is the first gospel to be written. But it doesn't matter which way you look at that. It's important that you reflect back on you're talking 60s 50s, probably in the 40s, you have the first written gospel that we still have today, which is important because there could have been gospels that were written that we don't have today. So the first one that we still have today is probably as early as the 40s, which is incredible. When you look at the life of Jesus. I think a lot of Christians without really pondering it think, Oh, well, you know, that's, that's 40 years from the time of zero, right? Well, no, Jesus lived until roughly at 30. The best historical evidence shows that Jesus was probably born not in zero, but in in three BC or nowadays, they would say BCE, but three BC and then up about 30 is about the time of his death. So you have from 30 to the late 40s. So the very first gospel is written and so it's a very, very early timeframe. First of all, okay, so then you have these gospels that are written then you have the letters of Paul that are written that are sent all out the the epistles of Peter and others and and John writing his revelation and things like that. And all of those stuff are streaming out onto the church world. And from that point, in fact, it's a little funny because people will make a very late argument for the date of Revelation. That's without a doubt, the last book that's written. And sometimes people will make an argument of 90 to 95 is when it's written. But I don't know if you do the math, but that would put John probably around the age of 90 to 95. In a time period where people live to 45, they were doing really good. Takes a lot of faith to believe he was that old. Now he may be he was I'm not saying he wasn't. But so it's probably an earlier timeframe, even for revelation in the last book of John's life. Now, those books get passed all around the church and, and scattered throughout, we have what's referred to as an open transmission of the canon, compared to Islam, which with the Koran is a closed transmission, the difference being that when it's closed, one person has it in their their possession, they can control it. So it's a close transmission. Ours was an open transmission, it's sent out in letters and scribes writing it out all over the ancient world, literally being translated into other languages. There's over 5000, ancient manuscripts, you can piece the original Bible together with a 99.5% accuracy is what they say. And so it gets sent out all over until the church starts to come together. Now, as all the church history is history majors will remember, the church is under persecution for a long time. And its ebbs and flows with how difficult the persecution is. But they're not coming together with a general assembly to discuss hot topics, because they're going to be killed or persecuted or rejected in some way. So they're not coming together. Well, what happens is when Constantine has his conversion experience, and there's a lot of debate on what that really was, but Constantine essentially believes and gives his life to Christ, or whatever you will believe about that. But he, he makes Christianity illegal at that point, when now all of a sudden, for the first time since the death of a resurrection of Jesus, which is the start of Christianity. For the first time since it started, Christianity is not suffering persecution. In fact, it's legalized. Well, once it's legalized, now we can all come together. And these church elders that were already there, these Bishop type people that are already there can come together and say, Hey, what books have you been reading? What books have I been reading? Which ones are part of what we now call the canon of Scripture, which can and just means rule? Think of it like a yardstick? So it's a measuring stick? This is what Scripture is. So the canon of Scripture and so in 313, they get together, and they talk about are what are the what are the measuring sticks? And there seems to be some kind of basic things who the author was, or things like that, that they measured together. But there wasn't, you know, sorry for the Davinci Code and all that, but there wasn't some big fight. You know, the early Bishop didn't have the other bishop in a headlock, you know, trying to figure it out. No, it was similar to, I've heard it explained this way, this is how I would explain it. Let's say that, that all of us got together in a room and we said, what is a hymn? What belongs in our hymn books? And one person said, you know, well, we should we should put Garth Brooks the dance in the hymn book. Everybody would go, No, that's a great song. We love that song. We could listen to that song, but it's not kind of Oh, no, it's not a hymn. Right? Yeah, same kind of things happening. And so somebody else would say, Well, what about him? I'll fly away. And everybody say, Yeah, well, that's, we know, that's him. We all sing that in our churches. Well, we came together as the early church leaders and assembled and said, What are the books that we're all using? The letters, I should say? None of them were books. They were all letters and manuscripts of biographies. But what are the ones that we're all using in our churches, pull those together. And in 313, they assembled the first canon of Scripture, in 353, I believe it was they come back together and finalize that, and they add the book of Revelation. Somebody always asks, they always ask this question, why come revelation was not put in the initial canon of Scripture? And I always respond, have you ever read the book? It's a tough one. Yeah, it's got a few metaphors in there. It's got a few allegories, and it can be a tough one to try to interpret. And so it took a little bit longer for them to interpret that and add that into the cannon. But, but that's essentially a short version of a long story of how we got the canonized Bible.

Brian Roland:

Overall, we're really kind of running out of time. But I got one question I want to throw in here and takes us a little bit off the subject of the canon. But when discussing our faith with others, how important is it that we share our personal experience with them?

Brent Simpson:

I think it's enormously important. In fact, when we talk about the standard of truth right now, being subjective, because there's such an emphasis on subject If truth, then people usually accept your Subjective Truth. Now, it's probably not enough to maybe lead them all the way to Christ because you need an objective experience out there. But your Subjective Truth is extremely powerful. It is still the number one way of evangelism. I don't care what happens. apologetics is wonderful signs and wonders are wonderful. But our personal stories of how we found Christ, how he changed our lives. I personally think that will always be the greatest evangelism we can ever have.

Dan Wheeler:

Terry, did you want to go with our final question here?

Terry Steen:

Yeah, I'd be happy to do that. Because there's so much so many denominations, so many different schools of thoughts throughout our country. I know you're a part of a fellowship. There's so many out there. What what is your thoughts on how to tell someone which one to follow? What's, what's the rule of thought there?

Brent Simpson:

Yeah. Well, at the end of the day, we all have a truth that we believe. And hopefully we're open to being wrong about that, you know, the older we get, sometimes the less we're willing to consider being wrong. But hopefully, we're willing to consider being wrong about those truths. And if we found another truth that we consider to be a greater truth, we would choose that truth. It's like the teacher who once said to me, you always think or you always think you're right. Well, of course, I always think I've right because if I thought I was wrong, I would change it to be what I think is right. Makes sense? Well, here's the deal. We're dealing with theology and the nature of God understandings of God, God is infinitely beyond us. At our very best, we are a dog trying to do tricks for a master, there are certain things we will never fully comprehend. There are certain things. And so we all do the very best we can to understand God, through the great books, God has given us the Bible, obviously. But then you have the book of nature. Romans one talks about that, that, that that we are without repentance, because we do have this global book that God has given us, and we have our consciences and our morality that God has given us. And so God speaks to us through these great books. I'm a fan of Augustine, who said, All truth is God's truth. And we take all that combined and try to come up with our own theologies. Of course, we all think we're right. But we got to be open to going, Hey, we could be wrong. Here's the thing that sometimes I'll talk to an agnostic or an atheist who tries to make it a big deal that there are many different denominations. At the end of the day, every denomination or virtually every denomination agrees on fundamental things. What did I say before the Bible is not the foundation of Christianity? The resurrection is right. And so every denomination agrees with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, if you find one that doesn't, they're not Christian. There are some very fundamental things like the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the important importance of the church, the sacraments, these kinds of Cardinal doctrines are agreed upon unanimously, what actually makes us different is usually the practice of those. You know, you get us charismatics, man, and we're loud and proud and marching around and being loud and worship, and then you walk into a Presbyterian Church, and it might be very quiet. And, and, but but it's not actually the the theology often that changes all that much. It's really the practice of it. And you do end up with Calvinism and Arminianism. But even with those, you might believe the other one's wrong, and you're right, or vice versa. But rarely do you find somebody that says they're not going to heaven, because they're Calvinist or Armenian, you just have a different opinion. And so I think you end up with all different with all different beliefs, because we're all trying to find truth. And so if somebody's asking what they should believe denominational, I personally would say, read the Bible, and follow that and see which denomination, I would say this specifically read the New Testament. Because reading the whole Bible, first of all, is long Second of all, the New Testament is where we get most of our theology for practicing church. So read the New Testament and then look around at denominational doctrines and, and beliefs and say, which one do you think matches that the best? I have my opinion, you may have yours, but it's okay. If we disagree, figure out which one you think matches that the best.

Dan Wheeler:

That's great. Your brunch I told these guys, you would be fantastic and you did not disappoint. We could go on for hours. In fact, we'll do another episode of finished strong with you, you have so much to offer. But thank you so much for being with us today.

Brent Simpson:

Yeah, absolutely. It is a privilege. I love what you guys are doing. I'm a huge fan. So keep up the good work.

Dan Wheeler:

Thank you. Hey, guys, what do you think as we wrap it up, we need to finish strong. That's our theme here. Finish strong our lives by knowing what we believe and why you believe it. And when you listen to pastor Bryant, you realize, wow, there's a lot to learn is

Terry Steen:

there surely is and you know, it all comes back to that great commission that the Bible talks about at the very end of Matthew and that's what this episode is all about. If we can and accomplish that great commission then we are not fulfilling everything that God's asked us to do. I tell

Brian Roland:

you to learn a lot of new things today, but especially about the cosmological argument, I jotted that down. And I finally figured out why people call me rock as a nickname. I was nothing I think of nothing. There's nothing Oh,

Dan Wheeler:

you don't dream to dream? Well, now I know what Brian dreams about. Same thing as rocks. Hey, guys, it's been great. I'm going to close with this verse. First, Peter 315 says, be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. And I'll call pastor brunch recommendation, pick up that book. I don't have enough faith to be an atheist by Tarik and Geisler. It is fantastic. It's not a quick read. But it's fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us. God bless. And we'll see you soon for another edition of finished strong.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finish strong and fearless faith. Check out their website F faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong