I was that annoying kid, growing up in a Christian home, that just couldn't shut up. I had so many questions, I drove everyone crazy! "Did Adam have a belly button?" "Was there really a magic apple?" "Why didn't Eve flip out when a snake started talking to her?"
As I grew up, I became what I consider a 'Christian Skeptic'.
A Christian Skeptic? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? NO! I had to understand clearly WHY I would believe something before I would place my faith in it. I studied as much of philosophy and religion as I could find; I finally pursued an advanced degree in Christian Apologetics (why we believe what we believe).
If you're anything like me, or know someone who is, then this course was created for you!
Lately, Christians have been accused of 'not thinking', or worse...
But, the field of Christian Apologetics is the study of What we believe, and Why
In this course, we cover 10 of the most troubling questions of the Faith - questions that most Christians have struggled with at one time or another, and that others outside the Faith may wonder about as well.
The Top 10 Questions ./ Issues of the Faith:
1) Can I Make It to Heaven If I'm 'Good Enough'?
2) Isn't the Trinity Illogical?
3) Isn't Christianity Just a 'Crutch' for Weak Minded People?
4) Can a Modern Person Believe in Miracles?
5) Aren't Christians Intolerant?
6) How Can A Loving God Send Someone to Hell?
7) Isn't the Bible Full of Contradictions?
8) What About the Heather - Are They Lost Forever?
9) Where Did God Come From?
10) Where Did Evil Come From, and Why Does God Allow It?
---Why Is the OT God So Evil?
---Why the Bible is So Special
---Why Christianity Makes Sense
If you're a Christian and often wondered about these questions, then this course is for you.
If you're a seeker looking for the Christian perspective, this course is also for you.
20 Videos, lots of resource materials, including the lecture notes and PowerPoint's are available for further study.
Taught by Michael Sutherland, Grad School Professor and author of the Christian Apologetics 101 Study Curriculum.
Many people think that Heaven is achievable by simply being 'good enough'... IOW, Jesus and His salvation isn't necessary - in this module we investigate whether this makes sense or not...
The doctrinal concept of the Trinity is that there is One God in Three Persons - but is that a contradiction? How can one make sense of that?!
Is Christianity just 'wish fulfillment'? Is Jesse Ventura right, that Christianity is a 'religion for losers'?
Aren't miracles disproven by science? How can a person living in the 21st century believe in Miracles?
Christian's claim that their faith is the 'only way to God'. Isn't that being intolerant of others?
Hell for an 'eternity' seems like quite a punishment - how could God be a 'loving God' and do that?
The Bible is an ancient document, and filled with all kinds of errors and contradictions; therefore it can't be True? Or is it? Here we study how to read the Bible accurately, with the 'difficulties' in mind...
If someone must pray to Jesus for forgivenenss of their sins, what happens to those poor folks who have no chance to ever hear about Him? Are they 'lost forever' because they had no chance? How is that fair?
Christians say that God created everything - so what created God?
If God is all powerful and all good, why does He not stop evil and suffering? If He can't, then He's not all powerful? If He won't, then He's not all good? And how could an all good God create evil anyway?
The Bible is a unique book, with a unique message - there is nothing else like it. Also, included is a memorization hack that helps us internalize the key messages of the Bible. And, we discuss an introduction to the study of Hermeneutics - the art and science of Biblical interpretation.
We all are on a Spiritual Journey - or what I call pursuit of a 'Life System': What we find important and why, and where we find purpose in life.
The big questions we all ask; those that separate us from the animals, and make us a special race. Why we ask them, and the various possibilities of answers...
What is it that makes Christianity so unique - different from all other 'religions'
The source of all joy and freedom: God's Grace
"...to he who is given much, much is expected..."
"...if your gift is teaching, then teach..."
ALL of us should have the same goal - to Live your BEST life!
Are you achieving your full potential? Physically? Financially? Spiritually?
Wasted potential is a sin - literally.
God expects us all to achieve our potential, in service to Him, which in reality is service to others. It's literally what we are designed to do.
Ironically, the selfish pursuit of happiness via self-gratification leads to disappointment and eventual destruction. BUT - the unselfish pursuit of utilization of our talents and interests in the service of others is how we find meaning, gratification, fulfillment, and yes - happiness.
Everyone has a skill and a desire. Matching them up with our life goals - our relationships, career and life priorities - is the path to personal happiness.
Many things block our ability to align our desires with our priorities. Perhaps it is fear, or a physical impairment, or debt, or pain. Most likely it is a misplaced understanding of the REAL priorities as mentioned above - a self imposed mental misunderstanding of the meaning of life and of our personal importance in the world.
Education, study, and self contemplation is the key.
This is why I study the philosophy of religion (specifically Christian Apologetics), personal training (keeping our bodies fit physically and mentally), and economics (personal finance). These big three enlighten and enable me (us!) to build a solid base of meaning and purpose, the physical ability to work out that place in the world, and the financial ability to have the time to pursue these objectives, and to practice giving to those in need (of our time, talent, and treasure).
After all, how can one fully attain their personal, God given potential if they don't see their unique and special place in the world, bathed in Love and Grace and Hope and Meaning? Or if they are unfit and poisoning their bodies, limiting their physical ability to do effective work? Or, if we are a slave to debt or to the wasted fruits of our labor?
When we have the proper focus, we are free to explore what talents and desires God has blessed us with, and fully pursue them, fulfilling our personal destinies. Whether a CEO leading a large corporation to create significant value for many, or a single mother struggling to raise her children the best she can to be strong adults in a challenging world, we all have a place and a purpose.
Are you fulfilling your place in the world and purpose in life?
We find all this out via a proper education - this is why I teach.
Mike leads a global organization in the business world, travels the world routinely, and has an MBA.
Upon completion of that degree, he decided to continue studies pursuing the 'ultimate questions' at Biola University in Los Angeles, accomplishing an MA in the Philosophy of Religion – Christian Apologetics.
He is the Director of Renew Your Mind Ministries, an instructor at the Lay Bible Institute, and an adjunct Professor at the local university. A two - time former elder at his church, Mike also teaches Kindergarten Children's Church as well as many adult Apologetics classes.
He has conducted numerous Apologetics Conferences and Pastor's retreats, focusing on the topics of Apologetics and Current Event Evangelism.
He teaches many who want to learn about his investment methods, personal finance classes, and mentors many young adults.
"...always give more than you take..."
"...teach a man to fish..."