Although I’ve taught for years about the deity of Jesus, this was a special opportunity to speak to Muslims who have only heard what their polemicists have told them, namely that Jesus is not God, and that the Bible has been corrupted.
It is clear to me that the transgender battle lines are being drawn in the United States, with President Obama and the progressives on one side, churches on the other, and even many normally-indifferent Americans speaking out against allowing men into girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms because they “feel” like women.
False rumors and urban legends are not new phenomena, but with the advent of the Internet, there is now no end to weird, strange, and often demonstrably false claims. Such is the case when a friend gave me a copy of a note provided by a skeptic.
Last year I had the privilege of helping organize the first Intelligent Faith Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (about three hours from where I live). The event was such a success that now it is an annual event.
I recently returned from my teaching trip to Kenya and Uganda. As I am recovering from jet lag, I wanted to share with you a recent email from our dear friend in Uganda who set up a radio interview for me and all my teaching opportunities in Uganda.
Arthur Magezi and I were driven in a beat-up car to the bush outside Kamuli, to an area called Makanga. It took one hour on marginal dirt roads to reach the Makanga, and we passed several small villages along the way. When we arrived at the church, I was not totally surprised at what I saw.
Here in Iowa, the harvest begins in about a month. October is typically the month when the corn and beans take precedence over most everything else. As the weather gets cold, it is a spectacle to see the farmers working late into the night to get their crops out of the field.
On short notice I was asked by my old friend, Bishop Samuel Munai, to be a keynote speaker at a three-day conference at Lake Nakuru, Kenya for a thousand pastors. Laurie gave me the “okay,” and on August 21 I left for Kenya, East Africa, for my ninth mission trip to Kenya.
One of the criticisms leveled against Christianity is that our primary sources for the life and teachings of Jesus—the four gospels—are anonymous. In addition, critics often add that the gospels were likely written a long time after the events, at locations far removed from Palestine, by unknown writers who were not witnesses to the events.
Our Indonesia trip was as eventful and successful as any we’d been on before. Laurie and I can only stand in amazement at how blessed we were to see with our eyes the opportunities to build up the church in Indonesia.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has the distinction of being the site of the worst flooding to hit the United States in 50 years (2008 flood) and for being in the bottom five areas in the country when rated for “Bible Friendliness.” What does a community like Cedar Rapids need? A flood of truth.
In 2008 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was hit with one of the worst floods ever in the United States. You might not have heard about it, because, unlike Katrina, Iowans didn’t whine and expect the government to come and rescue them. More than 5,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and there was $3 billion in damage to buildings and crops. From that great flood sprang a unity among the churches in Cedar Rapids. A Christian organization called “Serve the City” was created that united dozens of churches and ministries, and has continued to be the focal point for prayer and evangelism in the Cedar Rapids area.
Last fall I ran into a fellow at church, and told him about the campus apologetics (“defense of the Christian faith”) ministry of Ratio Christi, and how I’ve been speaking at apologetics conferences both in the U.S. and around the world. He was from Cedar Rapids, and he told me about a man, Charles Daugherty, who was the head of Serve the City, and who was the “go to guy” who might want to see an “Intelligent Faith” conference in Cedar Rapids. I looked up Charles online and sent him an email.
Two days later I received an email from Charles and another man who is studying apologetics, and they essentially said my email was an answer to prayer. I had conversations with Charles and sent him information on how to organize an apologetics conference. He took that information to his leaders at Serve the City, and they were all excited to have Cedar Rapids host an event. I was asked to be one of three keynote speakers, and helped them arrange for two others—J. Warner Wallace and Frank Turek, both nationally-known Christian apologists. Jim Wallace is a retired cold-case homicide detective and author of the book Cold Case Christianity. Frank Turek is co-author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and heads up an organization called “Cross-Examined.”
The Intelligent Faith Conference begins tomorrow, February 6, and goes through Saturday, February 7. Last I checked there were about 600 registered, and they are expecting more to sign up at the event. On Sunday I’ve been asked to preach at River of Life Church’s Sunday morning service in Cedar Rapids. It should be a great jammed packed weekend.
Please pray for effectiveness in my speaking this weekend. Cedar Rapids is listed by the Barna Group as one of the least “Bible Friendly” areas in the country (95th out of 100, below Las Vegas). There is a great opportunity to see Christianity blossom in Cedar Rapids, including reaching the campuses with their own chapters of Ratio Christi. The committee wants the apologetics conference to be an annual event. So much has come from that one idea from a guy I met at church. The Lord works in strange and wonderful ways.
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