What is Faith? (VIDEO)

Is Christian Faith Blind?

Here is a short video I did for Impact 360 Institute on “What is Faith?”

I also unpack this biblical definition more in Questioning the Bible.


Three Reasons the Story of Jesus Was Not Borrowed From Pagan Mystery Religions

A Quick Response to a Common Objection

Was the Jesus story borrowed and recycled from pagan mystery religions?

Is Christianity really just a copy-cat religion?

Let’s take a quick look at this common objection. The short answer is no. Here’s why.

The Quest to Find the Real Historical Jesus

During the first quest, the history of religions school was very popular among scholars. The idea was simply that Christianity was a copycat religion that had borrowed from other popular myths and created the Jesus myth.

This claim was soundly refuted and scholars (whether liberal, moderate, or conservative) have abandoned it. However, it is a favorite of Internet skeptics and it makes the rounds on YouTube. So I do want to offer three reasons the copycat myth is false.

First, Christianity emerged out of first-century Judaism that was monotheistic and exclusive.

The Jewish people had learned their lesson about worshiping other Gods (cf. being judged by Assyria and Babylon).

They were committed to one and only one God. The Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4 makes this clear, declaring, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

The New Testament teachings were clear as well, “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).

Second, the alleged parallels disappear once the specifics of each myth are examined.

A dying and rising Jesus is not a meaningful parallel with crops coming to life in the spring dying off again in the winter.

As Mary Jo Sharp notes, “The suggested “parallels”—such as themes of virgin birth, sacrificial death, and resurrection— are not paralleled in the content of the texts. There is no sound evidence of overlap within the details of these two types of texts. The biblical account of Jesus cannot be grouped into the genre of mythological literature based on either story details or structure.”

Lastly, if any borrowing was going on, it was the pagan mystery religions copying from Christianity.

Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy observe, “With the exception of Osiris, all the written accounts of these myths date after the birth of Christianity.”

If anything, mystery religions were copying from and being influenced by Christianity in the first two centuries because they had to compete to gain new converts and survive.

And when you look at all of the positive historical evidence for Jesus, it’s easy to see why professional New Testament historians and scholars have abandoned this theory.


Quick Read > What did the historian Josephus really say about Jesus?

What Parents Need to Know About Gen Z as Digital Natives

My recent conversation with David Kinnaman of the Barna Group about GEN Z

As parents and those who care about teenagers, what do we need to know about Gen Z as Digital Natives?

Over the past 18 months, I have had the privilege of leading our GEN Z study at Impact 360 Institute with the wonderful team at the Barna Group and David Kinnaman. The research findings are about to be released. (Sign up to watch the free Livestream here).

This will be the most comprehensive research to date on the worldview, attitudes, beliefs, spiritual and moral views, and cultural impact of Gen Z (the generation after Millenials). I have been writing about these issues and how to train students to build a lasting faith (Get your teenager ready). It’s what I wake up thinking about each day.

From the focus groups to the research design, it has been a fascinating experience! If you have a middle schooler or high schooler right now then they are a part of GEN Z. As parents, you will want to know what the world (and worldview) of the next generation is shaping up to be and what that means for how you parent your kids in today’s culture.

Here is just a short video conversation I had with David Kinnaman as we get ready to launch this research.

Check out these awesome, life-changing experiences for your teenagers!


Why We Must Go Back Before We Can Move Forward

Recovering the Ancient Paths

Where are you going?

A new year brings with it lots of emotions and thoughts. There are plenty of pathways to choose from. The problem is that they all don’t lead anywhere worth going.

We can be busy but be aimless. Or we can move with purpose on a road that will get us where we want and need to be.

To do that we must go back. We must go back to the ancient roads that God has revealed and walk in them. We are not clever enough to find our own way. For ourselves or for our families.

“Thus says the Lord,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.” – Jer. 6:16

There are so many voices clamoring for our attention–social media, news, entertainment, sensuality, success. There are so many forces that seek to undermine our faith and hope and that of our children.

It All Comes Down to This

But it all comes down to one very important thing. We have to choose to walk. (more…)

Who Chose the Books of the Bible? (VIDEO)

Where Did the New Testament Canon Come From?

Who Chose the Books of the Bible and Why? Where did the New Testament Come From? How was truth transmitted by the earliest Christians in a largely oral and illiterate culture? What did Christians read before there was a Bible? In this video, author, and speaker Jonathan Morrow shares about these questions and more at the Reasons to Believe AMP conference. This talk is based on the fuller discussion of these important issues in his book Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority.

Learn more here >>>