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J. P. Moreland on Scientism

 

Discounting any belief that is not solidly proved by empirical evidence is the premise of scientism. Professor, scholar and author, Dr. J.P. Moreland, explores this concept and its implications to religious faith in his latest book. He says to Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, “Scientism has crept into public schools. There’s this claim that religious claims aren’t true.”

To counter this, Christians must provide more than dogmatic instruction, he says. “We must teach our kids why to believe instead of just what to believe,” he says. “When it comes to Christianity or any other belief they may have, if they don’t know why they believe it, then they won’t be able to maintain confidence in the face of opposition.”

It is also a mistake to conclude that the Bible must be taken on faith alone; archeological finds overwhelmingly support the narrative of the Bible, and its teaching embodies natural and supernatural wisdom. “Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived,” Moreland says. “He spoke with knowledge and authority. Jesus’ words can be trusted because He knew what He was talking about.”

Moreland confides that his toughest unanswered question surrounds suffering, especially among children. Yet, he has also seen God move miraculously. He also shares that he has personally experienced anxiety and depression.

Les asks through AskJJJ.com, “If the Jews had accepted Jesus as they did on Palm Sunday, and believed He was the messiah, would the death on the cross for all mankind’s sins have been required?”

Johnston confirms that Jesus’ death on the cross, and subsequent resurrection, was indeed necessary.

Dan writes through the website, “I consider myself an atheist. Do you accept call-ins like that, or are you more inclined to talk with someone who is like-minded?”

True to the nature of the show, Johnston confirms that his calls and questions are welcome. “This program is to have discussions with everybody,” he says.


Moreland, JPJ.P. Moreland is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Biola University. His scholarship is respected in Christian and secular arenas. He has authored or coauthored numerous books including the recent, “Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology.”

The Jeremiah Johnston Show Podcast Episodes 

Justin Brierley; Jeremiah takes a difficult anonymous call

 

Through his ministry with Premier Christian Radio, Justin Brierley gives listening Christians an example to follow in interactions with atheists and skeptics. He says, “We run away from having these kinds of conversations because we’re afraid. There’s a classic verse, I Peter 3:15, that says, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ What we often don’t get is the bit before that says, ‘Do not be afraid.’”

I Peter 3:14 “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’”

“We often enter these conversations guarded,” Brierley says. “To me, it’s more important to keep the conversation going. It breaks down barriers with someone who doesn’t have the same faith as you. This is another human loved by God. Be prepared to listen, don’t get defensive, and don’t have kneejerk responses when you hear something that offends you. Just be ready to listen.”

Referencing his work in Africa, Brierley testifies to the power of the Gospel to transcend regions and cultures. The Christian faith also applies across periods of time, he says. “Young people are now growing up with their peer group constantly at their side through their mobile phone – digital technology. That presents kinds of pressures on people’s mental health that we never had to deal with. It’s absolutely essential that the Church understands this, recognizes it and deals with it in fruitful ways. The Church needs to wake up to the fact that there is a mental health crisis and we’re called to be the answer to that.”

Addressing mental health, Johnston listens to a caller who has recently lost her son. “He was in his early 20s and had undetected mental illness,” she says. “I just wonder if you could address: are those people who have passed away and died this way with the Lord?”

Johnston quotes Romans 8:38-39 and 2 Corinthians 5:8. He tells listeners, “If you are a Christian, and you have struggled with anxiety and depression, you are not a second-rate, second-tier Christian. God can meet you right now in the midst of your adversity and pain, and He will bring you hope to transcend that anxiety and depression.” 


Justin BrierleyJustin Brierley is the author of “Unbelievable? Why After Ten Years of Talking with Atheists, I’m Still a Christian.” He presents Premier Christian Radio’s flagship apologetics and theology debate, “Unbelievable?” each Saturday in the UK. He was the editor of Premier Christianity magazine.

Chris Brown on intelligent and intentional parenting

 

Learning to manage money well starts with understanding that you are a manager rather than an owner, says Christian financial expert Chris Brown. “We have all of these messages coming at us: ‘buy this, do this, go here, and then you’ll be happy,’” he says. “The biblical way of looking at finances is completely the opposite – it’s from a heart of gratitude.”

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” Psalm 24:1

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” I Corinthians 4:2

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

“It’s all God’s, and He trusts us enough to manage His stuff,” Brown says. “If that really penetrates our heart, we’ll find ourselves handling money God’s way. People will avoid debt, save and budget.”

Giving becomes a privilege to a heart that is surrendered to God. Even young children can learn important, biblical, financial principles including tithing and saving. Whether it’s a piggy bank for younger kids or family financial planning sessions for older children, youth can get an early grasp on the importance of good stewardship.

For married couples, budgeting conversations can be more than a necessary talk. Instead, couples can approach budgeting as vision-casting to determine what they dream of for future outcomes. The main thing for each person, whether in leadership or in personal financial situations, is to not avoid examining one’s finances. The Church should be a source of help for each area of life, including money management.

Johnston urges a teenager who submitted a question to use Scripture as medicine in each life situation. “There are 7,487 promises in God’s Word, so you’re not going to run out of promises to meditate on,” he says. “There is so much hope in the Christian life.”


Chris BrownChris Brown uses his experience as a speaker, pastor and a financial expert to minister to Christians. He is affiliated with Dave Ramsey.

 

 

How God is moving in Russia and beyond

 

International evangelist, pastor, author and faith leader Rick Renner shares how the Holy Spirit drew him and his family to move to Eastern Europe in large part through letting Renner find a Russian Bible. Renner spent hours reading over it and comparing it to the Greek he knew, utterly captivated.

He says, “God had put a hook in my heart. I knew for some reason, I was supposed to learn the Russian language.”

It didn’t take long for God to confirm the calling on the Renner family, and Rick Renner ultimately established the Moscow Good News Church. He describes starting a new life on the other side of the world as an adventure.

“Rather than talk about how hard life was, we decided to turn every day into a scavenger hunt. When you’re in the will of God, you never lose,” he says. “You’ll flourish when you’re where God wants you to be.”

Just like a Bible was pivotal in confirming his calling, the Bible is paramount in carrying it out for Renner. Host Jeremiah Johnston and Renner both emphasize the importance of keeping Scripture central. Renner says, “The Bible is God’s sword. It is what slashes open the human heart and brings conviction. It brings encouragement. It brings everything we need. In fact, we’re told in 2 Timothy 3:17 that it equips us for life: ‘…so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ The Bible truly is the answer for every human need. I’m committed to the teaching of the Bible. It is the power of God, the music of God and the perfume of heaven. We have a responsibility to earnestly contend for the faith; we have a responsibility to maintain the purity of the faith.”

When it comes to unanswered questions from his own life, Renner says, “God is so clear in His Word. When He asks me to do something, my job is to say, ‘Yes, sir.’ When we say ‘yes,’ and we get in line, things usually become pretty clear. And the things we need to know, we eventually begin to see as time passes.”


Rick RennerRick Renner is the senior pastor of the Moscow Good News Church in Moscow, Russia, and the founder of Rick Renner Ministries. He teaching has reached searchers and believers throughout the world. Renner is known for drawing out rich meaning from the original Greek language and for tying in personal insights. He has authored more than 30 books in English and Russian, many of which have been translated into other languages.

 

The Best of Biblical Archeology

 

Christians have much more than faith to rely upon in standing on their beliefs. Dr. Jeremiah Johnston puts it simply: “We are truly living in the golden age of Christianity. Unlike any other religion or ‘ism’ in the world, Christianity says that it is verifiable with history. The first historian, Dr. Luke, begins his gospel this way in Luke 1:1-4:

‘Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who, from the first, were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.’”

Israeli archeologist Eli Shukron, who is credited with several major finds including the Pool of Siloam, says that, while archeology can’t prove the entire Bible, it does line up with the biblical narratives.

Dr. Craig Evans, who has taught and authored extensively on the historical Jesus and the New Testament, says, “To deny the existence of Jesus, not only do you deny literature – Christian, Jewish, Greek and Roman – but you have to ignore archelogy as well. If the writers of the gospels didn’t know what they were talking about, how did they get so much right?”

Archeologists themselves rely upon Bible passages, knowing that the places, historical figures and event accounts are reliable; they would not heavily reference the texts if the writings were myths, Evans emphasizes.

Dr. Scott Stripling adds that archeology further illumines Scripture. “We can’t deny the relationship once we’ve excavated the material,” he says.

“We have a faith that is rooted in evidence,” says Johnston.


Eli ShukronS.StriplingCraig Evans Special guests Eli Shukron and Dr. Scott Stripling, archeologists, and historian and professor Dr. Craig Evans, are each experts in biblical history.

David Limbaugh shares how he went from skeptic to committed Christian

 

Coming to faith was the culmination of the work of the Holy Spirit and his own research for author and attorney David Limbaugh. With a legal background, Limbaugh says he mined for evidence around him and in the Bible itself. The messianic prophecies of the Old Testament helped convince him that the Christian faith is valid.

“It’s so amazing when you see that the Bible is integrated. The Bible is internally self-proving. There’s such an overwhelming body of evidence confirming the truth of Christianity, that even if I do have some lingering doubts from time to time, I know the body of evidence is so strongly in favor of the reality of Jesus Christ being who He says He is,” he says. “So, I don’t ultimately have doubts I can’t reconcile.”

While it has been claimed that “man made God in his image,” rather than the other way around, Limbaugh says, “Christianity is grounded in history; it’s not just some idea that man made up. The Bible is accessible to all of us. I think we have a duty in obedience to minister in whatever area we can.”

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston affirms that, as believers, we are instructed to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others, as written in Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Lee, a show listener, asks, “How can I overcome the fear of sharing my faith?”

Not only does God tell us to share the Gospel, but He empowers us to do it, Johnston says, referencing Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Once a person comes to faith, he or she can still struggle with condemnation from others or with internal guilt. Johnson replies to Cole, who asks, “How can I get over my past that still haunts me?”

Johnston says, “We learn from the past but we don’t live there. We build for the future.

Make sure you forgive yourself because God has already done it.”


David LimbaughDavid Limbaugh is the author of several New York Times bestsellers. His most recent work is “Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.” As a lawyer, nationally syndicated columnist and political commentator, he has shared his expertise on hundreds of national and local television and radio shows. Limbaugh has practiced law for more than 30 years.

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Greg Laurie and the Jesus revolution

 

Greg Laurie writes about the Jesus Movement in his latest book, which he entitles, “Jesus Revolution,” as a nod to the 1971 Time Magazine cover of the same name. The move of God that brought about so many conversions to Christianity can be learned from and its lessons applied to current evangelistic outreach, Laurie says.

Speaking with show host, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, he outlines the main characteristics of the Jesus movement:

  1. A sense of anticipation; expecting God to move
  2. Heartfelt and passionate worship
  3. Bible exposition
  4. Evangelism
  5. A readiness for the return of Jesus
  6. An openness to the move of the Holy Spirit

“Revival is restoration. If you want to see revival, do revival-like things,” Laurie says.

Johnston and Laurie iterate that sharing the Gospel must be done in a way that is winsome, and with terminology that listeners can understand. Whether the conversation is one-on-one or is an address to a stadium crowd, the speaker should empathize with the perspective of listeners.

Ultimately, even as culture changes and worldviews change, the message of the Bible and of the Gospel carries power that reaches every generation. While we cannot control God’s Spirit, Laurie suggests believers can “pre-prayer” for revival, as outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

A new believer named Daniel asks, “What’s the first, most important step in my Christian journey to be a good witness?” Johnston replies that he should live for Jesus Christ, and then maintain relationships with others who also need to hear the Good News. He says, “Make no mistake, the world would be a far different place if there were no Christians. Don’t allow the cultural confusion to confuse your spiritual life. There is more evidence available today to prove the validity of Christianity than at any other time in history.”

 


Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian FellowshipGreg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. His sermons, crusades, devotions, books and ministry advance the Gospel and inspire the next generation of truth-seekers and truth-speakers. His latest book is “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today.”

 

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Sean McDowell on role-playing the resurrection

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston and Dr. Sean McDowell practice sharing their evidence for the validity of Christianity surrounding its central tenet, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Dr. Johnston shares these power tips for showcasing the truth of the bodily resurrection of Jesus:

  1. The resurrection of Jesus is the only way we ultimately make sense of the suffering in our lives.
  2. He foretold it in Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31 and Mark 10:33-34.
  3. He demonstrated resurrection power.
  4. It’s not what his Jewish disciples anticipated.
  5. The written sources and archeological finds overwhelmingly support the Christian narratives.
  6. It is the only convincing explanation for the conversion of those who didn’t follow Jesus during his earthly ministry.
  7. It is the only convincing explanation for the fact that everywhere the Christian faith goes, culture is changed.

McDowell says his two-part advice for talking with unbelievers is first, ask questions, and secondly, listen. He says that both believers and unbelievers grapple with the problem of suffering.

“I think Christianity offers the best answer to the problem of evil of any worldview,” McDowell says. “When we suffer, God hasn’t abandoned us. He hasn’t left us alone. When we believe that God is good, it helps us transcend what we’re going through, even if He doesn’t give us the answers we want.”

Johnston advises a caller named David, who asks, “What are some good resources for people to look into to learn more about the Christian faith?”

In addition to reading supplementary materials, Johnston says that believers should read their Bible from cover to cover.

“There are answers to your questions and they are found in the Word of God,” Johnston says. “There is more evidence today to prove the claims of Christianity than at any other time in history. We are truly living in the golden age of the Christian faith. In I Peter 3:15, we’re told, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ That verse is for every single one of us.”


Dr. Sean McDowell is an apologist, extensive author, and an associate professor at Biola University. McDowell is a sought-after speaker who inspires Christians to share their faith, and seekers to examine the evidence for Christianity. In addition to his own scholarship, McDowell has written several books with his father, Josh McDowell.

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

John Gibson and Jeremiah on faith and business integration

 


Welcoming respected business leader John W. Gibson, Jr. to the show, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston asks,

“Is it possible to maintain a vibrant Christian faith and also be successful in the business world?”

Unequivocally, Gibson states that it is possible to be a leader professionally and spiritually.

“It does mean that you have to have a set of standards and values,” Gibson says.

Gibson expounds on the importance of considering consequences, duty, truth, and both short-term and long-term ramifications for each decision.

Caller Philip Nation, a pastor, asks, “How can we help people make this shift in their own lives from just consequence-based thinking to more of a faith-based, Kingdom-expanding decision-making for leaders in the community?”

Gibson replies, “Can I sleep at night? Does it violate any of my principles and my duties? You have to do what the Holy Spirit leads you to do even if the consequences for yourself are not necessarily the best.”

Johnston points to the biblical figure of Phoebe, mentioned in Romans 16:1-2. He holds her as an example of a businessperson who makes a difference in his or her sphere.

“Wherever you’re listening from, let the light of Jesus shine through you,” Johnston says. “Make a commitment to be a second Phoebe.”

Gibson encourages listeners to allow their faith to come up naturally in conversation, and to be bold at times as the Holy Spirit directs.

“We’re depending on the Holy Spirit to open up the people we’re meeting with – not us,” he says. “You have to take the risk the Holy Spirit puts before you. I’ve never done what the Holy Spirit led me to do and not seen fruit from it.”

In addition to seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, Gibson advises people to seek wise counsel as well.

Gibson says, “Great leaders always ask for help. It’s very biblical. We look for great advisors. As a leader, you have to be prepared to make a decision when you have contrary advice. Every time I’ve asked for help and found the right helper, it’s been outstanding.”


John W. Gibson, Jr. is chairman of Energy Technology with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. John W. Gibson, Jr. is chairman of Energy Technology with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. He has served in numbers leadership roles including president and CEO at Landmark Graphics, Paradigm Geophysical, Tervita and Halliburton. He has served as a distinguished lecturer on ethics, and recently completed a book on ethical leadership. He has served in many volunteer capacities.