Logic, Apologetics, and Evangelism


 

Logic, Apologetics, and Evangelism

 

Logic, Evangelism, and Apologetics (graphic)I often refer to logic and its use in biblical reasoning within my articles, and thus, I am often asked what materials I recommend through which to study this subject. Therefore, it is quite “reasonable” (pun intended) for me to provide here some recommended materials for the believers reviewing our website. 🙂

By the way, if you are not already familiar with my articles, you can review the following examples, which demonstrate the use of logic in developing sound Christian doctrine:

“Logic” is a skill that is also VERY necessary for use in apologetics. This is an evangelism-related discipline that can be defined as the branch of theology concerned with proving/defending Christianity itself. So on this same page I have recommended some additional resources that are geared that direction as well.

Since “apologetics” are rather useless if not intended toward leading a person to Christ—which is the MOST important function ANY Christian can perform on their Lord’s behalf—I have included the “best of the best” titles on evangelism itself here on this page too. However, please do not let their sequence at the bottom of this page mislead you into thinking that evangelism is “low” on my priority—or that it should be on yours. Rather, I discussed this subject last simply because I am questioned most often on the subject of logic. Apologetics then “flows” naturally from that subject, which “naturally” leads to the topic of evangelism. However, I consider the “last” discussion to be “first” in priority.

BOOK FORMATS: Regarding books, the links will take you directly to the paperback edition when available, or to the hardback edition if that is the only printed version. However, electronic “Kindle” editions are also available on several titles. So look for the link to other editions of the book (hardback, Kindle, etc.) on the page where you land on Amazon within the “formats” box, in order to view the other versions.

INTERNATIONAL READERS: When available, the links are provided to non-US Amazon websites ALSO for the convenience of our worldwide readership. Select the link that is closest to your own country to view the materials.

LINKS: All the links were converted to the “tiny URL” format because Amazon links are notoriously long, and have a tendency to become “broken” when copying/pasting them elsewhere. So although it took me a lot of extra time, I created convenient “tiny URL” versions to prevent link problems.

Furthermore, these new links are PERMANENT, and now part of the PUBLIC DOMAIN. So please feel free to copy them and use them yourself, whenever you are recommending these same books/materials to others (as I have already saved you the time in creating them).

 

Quick Links:

This page is written in expectation that readers will study it from the top down—because I have included some teaching on this page too. So it is very conversational in style, and sometimes assumes that you have read comments which I had previously made above that entry.

However, I realize that people might pop back to this page to find something that they read about before. So for your convenience, here is a list of the study materials discussed herein. Each title is linked to the item on this page, so by clicking the title you will jump down the page to that item’s description. My classification for each (i.e. in regards to this page) is included in parenthesis after the author’s name. All DVD videos are marked in the list in order to differentiate them from the books.

Study Materials Quick Links:

  • Starlight and Time” (available in both book and DVD formats) by Dr. Russell Humphreys (apologetics)

Several of the above items also include personal salvation testimonies and/or presentations of the Gospel. So see their descriptions to see which ones contain that important element.

Lastly, for those of you who would like to have help choosing the first few items to begin your studies of logic, apologetics, and evangelism, you can jump down to:

Therein I will give you my suggested “quick start” list of materials, suitable for most people.

For those of you who are new to this page, however, I would recommend that you begin by simply reading down the page to see what is on here, and to examine the included teaching—as well as introductory comments that I made at the start of each subsection.

 

Logic Studies:

Logic is a very fun and useful subject to study, but most materials out there are “secular” (i.e. non-Christian). Consequently, such books can seem “foreign” to the uses of which most Christians wish to apply them: Namely, toward forming and explaining Christian doctrine, and for use in apologetics and evangelism.

Thank God, there ARE a few GREAT Christian resources on the subject, however. So we will begin with these. I will then list some non-Christian materials that are excellent for further study, once the foundation has been laid with the Bible-based items.

By the way: Some of the items within this section cover BOTH logic and apologetics. So if you are looking for the latter, please look through this section too.

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"Discerning Truth" by Dr. Jason Lisle

The first and PRIMARY book that I recommend is Dr. Jason Lisle’s VERY excellent (but also short and inexpensive), “Discerning Truth: Exposing Errors in Evolutionary Arguments.” He wrote this specifically to explain some basic concepts regarding logical reasoning within apologetic contexts. Because of this, it also serves very well toward understanding principles that are relevant to evaluating Christian doctrine in general. It is a very short 144-pages (only about 120-pages of which are actual text), and is very reasonably priced. However, do not let either of those factors mislead you into thinking that this text has little value. No, no! It is an amazingly condense but POWERFUL book that I believe that ALL Christians should read.

I  have this book in my own personal library, and have read it SEVERAL times (it is a great and handy book for quick reviews). The audience for this book is any Christian—from a teen in high-school to adult. Some middle-school age kids with advanced reading skills will find this book very understandable as well.

Also, I highly suggest that you read it from the beginning up through chapter eleven TWICE before venturing past that point into chapters twelve through fifteen. This is because the latter chapters are “test and answers” types, wherein you are going to try out your new reasoning skills to see if you can spot the fallacies being made. So by reading the first sections (which are only about 80 pages) at least twice beforehand—in order to ensure assimilation and comprehension—you will find these latter sections much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

PLEASE NOTE: Some Atheists tend to HATE this book (as is the case also with several others on this page). So please do not be surprised to find some hostile “reviews” of this book on Amazon, made by people who are predisposed to attack it (and some of whom do not seem to have even read it). But for fun, you can look at the sub-comments under those “bad” reviews, because Dr. Jason Lisle often appears in there himself to refute their “review” and to point out which logical fallacies they used when writing it! Ha! 😉

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

To view the book, select the Amazon link above that is closest to your country.

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"Ultimate Proof" by Dr. Jason Lisle

I also highly recommend Dr. Lisle’s related book, “Ultimate Proof of Creation: Resolving the Origins Debate.” This book was actually written by Dr. Lisle BEFORE the book above, but the two chapters regarding logic that he had included in this excellent apologetics text received such exciting feedback that he decided to write the stand-alone text above on logic.

This one is primarily an apologetics book—but in addition to having the two logic chapters I just mentioned, it is itself an excellent demonstration of the proper APPLICATION of logic as well. In other words, it shows you how to use logic effectively when reasoning with other people (specifically in apologetic contexts). So this text is the “best of both worlds,” though I recommend beginning with “Discerning Truth” above.

Furthermore, this book is just great to build your faith and supercharge your enthusiasm. After reading it, you might be tempted to go out to search for an unbeliever to win to Christ—even the most educated people that you know! In fact, with the simple principles that you will learn, you will never have to feel inferior to the task of engaging people of any educational level—regardless of your own.

The wonderfully simple “ultimate proof” of creation is given early on within chapter three (after two foundational chapters). The remainder of the book builds upon that simple explanation by showing how to use it within dialogs with evolutionists. This is where you can really glean some nuggets of wisdom in applied logic and apologetics.

Again! Many of the Atheists who are aware of this book do NOT like this one either, so they have thrown in bogus “bad reviews” of this excellent work. So the same note I gave for “Discerning Truth” above applies to this title as well.

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

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"Ultimate Apologetics" DVD Set

My family and I must also highly recommend Dr. Lisle’s related DVD, “Ultimate Apologetics.” Obviously, this DVD set touches on ALL the topics that the two books above cover. There is an entire episode devoted to logic only, then one covering the “ultimate proof” specifically. Dr. Jason Lisle then goes into “Nuclear Strength Apologetics” for the last two DVDs, building upon those earlier foundations. These are VERY reasonably priced too, which is one reason we bought the entire set for our family.

The videos are each about an hour long, and take place at Answers In Genesis’ “Creation College.” There is humor throughout, and some PowerPoint-type of graphics for illustration—plus Jason is simply fascinating to listen to anyway. Our oldest two kids (ages 9 and 11) absolutely LOVE watching these with Donna and me! It is great family time (though the two little ones tend to get bored with them after about 15-20 minutes). The children pick up a surprisingly large percentage of the instruction as well. Dr. Lisle states repeatedly during the DVD episodes that these principles can be taught to children, and that he has actually done so. I believe it! Our kids really did grasp the concepts very quickly.

For adults, the DVDs work best overall when you also have the two books above to lay a foundation. It is a major blessing to read the information in the book format, because it covers more data than the DVDs can. However, it is also VERY helpful to “hear” these sessions being taught, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Hearing the instruction helps you to better assimilate the information that the books cover in more detail. But whether you review these with the books, or the videos by themselves, this DVD set is very enjoyable and helpful.

Again, there are some Atheists that tend to hate these DVDs, simply because of their subject matter (which, by the way, is called the “Genetic Fallacy,” i.e. rejecting something simply because of its source rather than because of its lack of merit—in this case, because it has a Christian source). So please keep that in mind when you see their “bad reviews,” as I noted for the two books above also.

Amazon.com (available from the USA only, but playable in Canada also)

This DVD set is only available from Amazon on their USA site, and is encoded to play only on DVD players sold within “Region 1: USA and Canada.” If you purchased your DVD player outside of Region 1, then you will not be able to play these DVDs on your unit (unless you have a work around that I do not know about).

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"Logic for Lawyers" by the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert

To take your studies in logic one significant notch higher, I would recommend the following book, written by an actual appeals court judge. “Logic for Lawyers: A Clear Guide to Legal Thinking” by the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert is a very popular book among legal professionals, and I found VERY interesting and helpful in several ways.

First, it is entirely designed to help you learn how to “present your case” wherein you are taking known facts, and logically reasoning from those, with a goal of bringing your audience to an intended conclusion. He discusses fallacies at length, sometimes in humorous ways. It will also give you a great introduction to the Common Law legal tradition that is the hallmark of the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere, with a brief description of the Civil Law tradition found in most other countries. Actual legal cases are discussed, with either their strong logic or fallacies dissected. Oh, I found this to be a great text to read!

While the book was specifically written for those entering law school or already within the legal profession, it is also very applicable toward theology. Let me explain…

Back in 2005, I was surprised when being tested within part of one of my Cornell University certification programs. The “Experiential Learning Assessment” that I was taking (based upon the excellent work of David A. Kolb) told me that, due to the way I “process” information when learning, I should consider a career in either law or theology. I was already doing the latter, of course, but I was quite astounded that theology was so similar in its mental-processes to that of the legal profession.

Further reflection on this, however, clarified the point. The Bible is actually a “law book” given by God—especially in the Old Testament, but EVEN in the New Testament (please note 1 Corinthians 9:21). Thus, those who taught its precepts during the Old Testament and Gospels periods were called “teachers of the Law,” and even Jesus reasoned with them along these same lines (after all…He is the Lawgiver Himself, and certainly knows how to talk about His Own precepts). Paul “reasoned from the Scriptures” throughout the Book of Acts, especially when in the synagogs. However, even when presenting the Gospel to the Athenians in chapter seventeen, Paul used a legal-case presentation method for his hearers. Furthermore, some of the greatest preachers within Protestantism were actually trained lawyers before they were preachers! John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Charles Finney, are only three that could be named; and in the case of BOTH Calvin and Finney, neither were formally trained in theology before entering the ministry proper. In fact, it was fairly common in the Nineteenth Century in the United States for men to first attend law school before going to seminary to learn theology.

So there is a huge benefit for Christians—and especially Christian ministers—to take their study of logic to the next level and learn how to “think like a lawyer” in regards to both examining the “cases” presented by others, and in forming your own “case” to promote sound doctrine and/or to evangelize.

As far as “readability” is concerned, I can say that the author did make the subject matter interesting. He was NOT dry and boring, as one might expect reading a book on legal logic. Moreover, readers who have first assimilated Dr. Jason Lisle’s fun Bible-based books above will have plenty of foundation upon which they can build with the information found within this more advanced text. I will note, however, that this text would be suitable primarily for adults with at least some college education (or the autodidactic equivalent), or perhaps a really advanced high school kid (such as one taking honors courses). Also, unless you are familiar with legal terms, you will have to look some words up online at Dictionary.com or elsewhere from time to time. (I own a legal dictionary, so I had an ideal reference on hand when I needed one.) But that is to be expected, given his target audience; and it is a good thing to learn such terminology anyway—especially for evangelizing and/or teaching Christian doctrine to lawyers and judges! 🙂

Please Note: The following links will take you directly to the book in question on the international Amazon site that you select. The first thing you will notice is that this is a bit expensive compared to the other books discussed above. However, there are usually lots of used copies available, which are more reasonably priced. I saved myself probably about 60% off of the regular Amazon price by buying a used copy. So unless you are one who insists on only buying a “new” book, I would suggest saving the money for buying other things by purchasing a used one. That said, if there are ONLY new copies for sale, and you can afford to buy one, this book is worth the regular Amazon price in my sincere opinion.

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

To view the book, select the Amazon link above that is closest to your country.

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"Introduction to Logic" by Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen

And for a more complete study of Logic…the “reasonable” thing to get is a logic textbook! So the one most highly recommended—and which was actually advised by both Dr. Lisle and Judge Aldisert within their books above—is the very popular “Introduction to Logic” by Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen.

This book is used within college courses, and thus, the CURRENT edition (which at the time of writing this is the 14th edition) is the most expensive one to buy because of the school demand. However, the good news is that because these have been so popular through the years, there is a HUGE abundance of used editions available online from Amazon. My rule of thumb is to buy the most recent used edition of a textbook, and thus, I bought the 13th edition pictured. You save somewhere around 70-90% or more off of the retail price doing it that way, but yet you still obtain a very recent edition of the work. Unless you need the current edition for a college course, there is no reason whatsoever to spend that extra money getting the “latest” edition. (After all, the formal study of logic is OVER 2,500 years old…so how much “new content” can be added to the latest edition anyway????)

(Note: If you are superstitious—which Christians should NOT be, because Jesus is Lord…and God created numbers…not the devil—then there is an alternative. You can use the links below to get to the Amazon website nearest to your country, and then browse around for a used 12th edition instead.)  😉

This book is an “A to Z” treatment of the subject, and is VERY good. Its coverage of informal fallacies is good, but relatively brief compared to the overall size of the text. Thus, you will probably find that the books by Dr. Lisle and Judge Aldisert treat informal fallacies a little more thoroughly within their particular contexts. Readability? This textbook is excellent for virtually anybody, from high-school age on up (and again, advanced middle-school age kids could probably do just fine with this one too, as with Dr.Lisle’s above).

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

To view the book, select the Amazon link above that is closest to your country.

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Apologetics Studies:

Now that we have covered the subject of logic (though some of the above also addressed apologetics too), we can move toward some materials that will help you defend the faith of Jesus Christ, the Bible’s inerrancy, and other such important topics. These subjects are VERY important for your own spiritual growth and to strengthen your OWN faith—but also have the double-benefit of preparing you to share your faith with others and to answer their objections or questions.

Again, please note Dr. Lisle’s book “Ultimate Proof of Creation” and his DVD set “Ultimate Apologetics” above, because those are my favorite apologetics resources in general. But along with those, here are some other excellent ones that we suggest…

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The primary TOOL of the Christian is their Bible. Upon God’s written Word, all our faith rests. If it is not true—or if any portion thereof is untrue—then the ENTIRE Christian faith is suspect. All valid Christian doctrine presupposes that the Bible is 100% true AND complete!

Consequently, the Bible has been assaulted by skeptics, heretics, and other religions, for thousands of years in an effort to destroy it, discredit it, and/or subvert it and its message. In short, the devil HATES God’s Word, thus those who work for the enemy of our souls despise it also.

"Discovering the Bible" DVD, hosted by Russell Boulter

This first DVD is excellent to explore the history of the Bible, and is thus highly recommended by our entire family. “Discovering the Bible” is a documentary program hosted by English actor, Russell Boulter. (I do not know what it is about us Americans, but we love listening to British and Australian accents. So Americans will find Russell’s English accent pleasant to their ears!) It is composed of four half-hour episodes, making two hours of program in total.

This DVD is very good—and comprehensive, for such a short set of episodes! The video quality is excellent, and there are some great scenes from the Holy Land (Israel), and use of movie clips to illustrate various points made. So it is truly entertaining to watch; and again, the entire family can enjoy it.

The four sections are (descriptions derived from the back cover):

  • Getting Acquainted: It’s the all-time best-seller since the beginning of printing. It has produced passionate controversy for centuries. What is the book that is like none other in the history of the world? Where did it come from? What does it consist of? Does it still speak to us today?
  • The Old Testament: An ancient book? Yes, but far more! It’s a kind of love letter and a still-living legacy that shaped the identity of a unique people. What about the Dead Sea Scrolls? The accurate preservation of the contents over millennia underscores the marvel of these writings.
  • The New Testament: It’s a book that centers on Jesus. But how do we know we have the actual words of Jesus? How were the books of the New Testament gathered and selected? What’s it all about? How does the New Testament build upon but differ from the Old Testament?
  • Survival, Spread, and Influence: Despite attempts of tyrants to destroy it, the Bible has endured and become the most translated and circulated book ever. It was translated into various art forms and given to us in English through heroic efforts. It’s the book that influenced the lives that influenced the world.

My least favorite part is the last section of the forth episode, where it discusses the “lives that influenced the world.” Some of their historical selections are VERY good, of course. However, I do not personally believe that all of the selections that they chose from the Twentieth Century were ideal to feature therein. For example, Billy Graham is a Freemason; and the late Mother Teresa, though a noble soul who was passionate to help people, believed in a works-based salvation (i.e. was heretical and likely unsaved). However, this video was produced in 1996 originally, and back then, details were fewer about such things because the Internet was still in its infancy. (Note: You can “Google” around to find data on those subjects if you want more information, as I do not want to get into those points here in detail.) But of course, I really do not think that that 2-3 minute long (give or take) section of the last episode is enough to ruin the experience that one gains from the rest of this wonderful two-hour documentary.

Overall, the documentary episodes are absolutely wonderful, the Holy Land videos beautiful—and the experts they interview bring forth some fascinating facts!

Furthermore, the documentary goes a long way toward refuting the many critics of the modern Bible—to include what I call the “King James Cult”—by giving the history of the Scriptures and original texts. The New Testament episode also reveals how the earliest Christians used the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament Scriptures) within their worship services, and that the apostles who wrote the New Testament were CITING from the Septuagint when quoting from the Books of Moses, Psalms, the writings of the prophets, and etc. (such use of the Septuagint is considered near to heresy by the “King James Cult” adherents, and most of them do not know this fact…but it is true, nonetheless). A very intriguing portion of that same episode is how papyrus “paper” was made, and the New Testament writings produced in a form known as a “codex,” which was essentially the invention of a bound book (i.e. instead of using then in scrolls or leaving them as flat sheets).

Anyway…I could go on and on. In short, this DVD is a favorite in our home, and I believe it will be in yours as well.

Amazon.com (USA)                Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

NOTE: This DVD is available from Amazon on BOTH their USA and UK websites, and is encoded for “All Regions.” This is marked clearly on the DVD case itself AND on the Amazon.com website. However, the UK website has it mistakenly labelled as “Region 1: USA import.” This is a mistake, because again, the DVD case itself says “Coded for All Regions” (and I posted a comment on there to clarify this fact). So no matter where in the world purchased your DVD player, you can play this DVD on your unit.

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"The Bible: Fable, Fraud, or Fact" by Dr. D. James Kennedy, et al

Without reservation, my family and I would like to recommend also to you this DVD by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, “The Bible: Fable, Fraud, or Fact?”. Therein, he teams up with Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. James Boice, Dr. Josh McDowell, Dr. Normon Geisler, Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Gleason Archer, and Dr. Clifford Wilson, to establish very logically and factually that the Bible not only is the written Word of God…but that is MUST be, because of its unique characteristics. As it says on the back of the DVD case, “Hear convincing evidence about the authenticity of the Bible from some of the world’s most respected scholars, archaeologists, theologians, and authors.”

The video quality it excellent, as were all of Dr. Kennedy’s specials. It moves from interview clips, to docudrama video, to graphics, to historic film clips, and then back again, in a way that is captivating for the entire family. ALL our kids (even the little ones) like watching this one, and it both educates them wonderfully AND holds their attention. The run time is about an hour long.

BTW: It is not necessary to agree theologically with every scholar or theologian that this remarkable DVD presents, because the topic itself is without controversy within biblical Christianity: Namely, that the Bible itself is the irrefutable Word of Almighty God. Thus, if you see a name or two in the list above that you might otherwise be in conflict with regarding other theological topics, you can disregard such controversies with this video. I cannot think of a single point made by any person in this program with which I did not FULLY agree—though outside of this program I might not agree with some of them on other points of doctrine.

Amazon.com (available from the USA only, but playable in Canada also)

This DVD is only available from Amazon on their USA site, and is encoded to play only on DVD players sold within “Region 1: USA and Canada.” If you purchased your DVD player outside of Region 1, then you will not be able to play this DVD on your unit (unless you have a work around that I do not know about).

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"The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict" book by Josh McDowell

Another very useful resource to have on hand is the classic work by Josh McDowell, updated and expanded somewhat in 1999, and retitled “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict.” I have the older 1992 edition of “Volume 1” of the original two-volume set, but this “new” edition combines both volumes into one convenient edition, and even updates it to address additional issues. So I will probably add it to my already-huge library at our house soon, but for now let me discuss this classic from my perspective of the older edition.

Josh McDowell began his “evidence” search as an unsaved college student who wanted to “prove” that the Bible was fabricated by men, and thus, a fraud—i.e. that it was NOT the Word of God divinely written through men. The end result was that his months of research did the EXACT OPPOSITE for him, and eventually led him to accept Christ. He then continued his studies and eventually became a very powerful expert in the field of apologetics.

Much of the book is focused on historical, archeological, scientific, and other sources, of factual evidence to support the authenticity of the Scriptures. He also addresses “gotcha” questions often used by skeptics—and refutes their criticisms wonderfully. Consequently, this text has been a VERY popular “handbook” for Christians for many years. It is a “go to” book that any Christian will enjoy having as a handy resource on their shelf—and ministers and Christians who want to be active in sharing their faith, will be especially blessed to have this tool to consult.

Again, many skeptics, heretics, and Atheists, hate this book! (I guess you could say that the measure of a good apologetics/evangelism book is how many people attack it…chuckle.) So you will find some bogus “reviews” on Amazon as you do with other books/resources on this page. That is just how things are within this genre of Christian resources.  😉

One common “complaint” that I noticed being made by skeptics on Amazon is that Josh McDowell uses “circular reasoning” to prove the authenticity of the Scriptures. Actually, this is NOT true in many topics covered by the book, and thus, such an argument is known in logic as a “straw man fallacy” (i.e. a twisting of the opponent’s position that enables an easier rebuttal, but which does NOT accurately convey the point made by the opponent—and thus, does NOTHING to truly refute the original argument of the opponent). However, there are times in apologetics when the argument is “circular”—but this is UNAVOIDABLE whenever discussing issues of origin. Thus, it is not always fallacious to think “circularly” anyway; a fact which renders their criticisms void.

Within ANY worldview—including the evolutionary worldview—it is unavoidable to use “circular reasoning” in defending one’s viewpoint. Such use of circular reasoning is NOT always fallacious, because you must first have some presuppositions upon which you are interpreting the evidence at hand. When does such “circular reasoning” constitute a fallacy? Simple. When the “circle” is vicious—or in other words, when it is self-conflicting, and thus, self-refuting.

For example: An evolutionist looks at a piece of evidence and—assuming first that his presuppositions regarding his evolutionary beliefs are valid and true—he interprets that evidence accordingly. That is circular reasoning, and again, is unavoidable when discussing such a broad topic as the theory of origins. However, it is self-conflicting, and thus, vicious in the case of the evolutionist (as Dr. Jason Lisle will explain within ALL of his marvelous materials that we discussed above).

Nonetheless, the “circular reasoning” evolutionist wants to always object whenever a Christian uses biblical presuppositions and does the same unavoidable “circular reasoning” (but without self-contradiction, and with far more evidence for his beliefs). Thus, such vocal skeptics are ALSO guilty of the “fallacy of a double-standard” in logic (commonly called “hypocrisy” in most other settings). They use a vicious form of “circular reasoning” to explain and/or defend their beliefs, and then object when Christians use a VALID form of “circular reasoning” to explain and/or defend their own.

So you can effectively disregard such absurd objections within the “review” section on the Amazon websites. Josh McDowell’s logic is very good in most instances, and he surely knows how to “make the case” and to push for the correct “verdict” within this fine work. 🙂

Lastly, let me note that this book is NOT really designed as a “reading” book. It is more topical in its format, and thus, it is best as a reference to look up issues rather than for a leisurely read. Nevertheless, if you want to sit down in a comfy chair and jump around from topic to topic, you will find it very hard to put this book down at times! So I personally believe that this is a “must have” for your personal library in regard to both apologetics and evangelism purposes, to be sure. Is also a handy book to enjoy for strengthening your own confidence in the inerrancy of the Scriptures, as well.

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"Starlight and Time" (book) by Dr. Russell Humphries

This next apologetics pick of mine is available in a book form (which I have), as well as in a new DVD video (which I plan to get soon). “Starlight and Time” by Dr. Russell Humphreys is widely referenced within Creation Science literature because it is such ground-breaking theory—which theory is also very congruent with the Scriptures.

One of the common arguments “against” the idea of the special creation of the universe by God is the fallacious reasoning that goes something like, “Well, some galaxies and stars that we see in the sky are billions of light years of distance away from the earth. Therefore, they MUST have been there at least billions of years in order for that light to have had time to reach the earth!” At first glance, this seems to be valid. However, this causes what in logic is known as the “fallacy of a false dilemma.” The speaker is essentially requiring the Christian to choose between either the Bible’s account for a special creation (roughly six thousand years ago) or the conclusion that the speaker had reached (erroneously) from the observable evidence. What makes this a “false” dilemma is that there can be (and is) a third alternative explanation, which accounts for BOTH the Bible’s testimony AND the observable evidence.

"Starlight and Time" DVD by Dr. Russell HumphreysThat third alternative (and its nuances) is the subject of this highly acclaimed book and related DVD production.

Again, as I have stated in regards to other products on this page, these materials by Dr. Humphreys are hated by Atheists and evolutionary fanatics (some of whom claim to be Christians, by the way). Consequently, there are some very negative reviews posted by some people; but with a little examination, you will see that these negative “reviewers” are using fallacious reasoning. In some cases, it would seem they have not really reviewed the book or DVD directly, but are simply basing their “reviews” upon the product description and reviews by others only—but without openly admitting that fact. (And again, that would constitute the “Genetic Fallacy,” among others.) So please do not let their silliness deter you from getting these materials. I highly recommend this book, and by extension, the DVD.

International Links for the Book:

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

To view the book, select the Amazon link above that is closest to your country.

 

International Links for the DVD:

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

NOTE: This DVD is available from Amazon on their USA, Canadian, and UK websites. However, at this time, I do NOT know if it is encoded for “All Regions” or not, because I do not have the DVD yet, and the Amazon websites do not say one way or the other. I suspect it is, because it is on these international websites. Nevertheless, once I get my own copy of the DVD and can examine the back cover, I will update this review to reflect my discovery on the matter. 

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"From Evolution to Creation" by Dr. Gary Parker

A very enjoyable video for the whole family is “From Evolution to Creation” by Dr. Gary Parker. This video is Dr. Parker sharing his personal testimony of how he, as a former evolutionary scientist, came to embrace Creationism, and ultimately became a born again Christian. He also shares some of the funny things that happened to him after he began lecturing as a newly born again Creation scientist. Throughout his live address to the large audience in the video, he provides some of the fascinating scientific truths that verify the Bible’s account of creation.

Dr. Gary’s demeanor is very cute and warm, and you just cannot help but like this loveable guy when you listen to him! All our kids really enjoy watching this video, as he seems almost “God-built” for kids to enjoy. But because of his subject matter, adults love it too. So this video is truly one for the entire family to enjoy.

By the way: Since I noticed that this video had not been reviewed by anyone yet, I just pasted my comments above into the Amazon review system for others to be blessed by too. However, that may invite evolutionists to write up their tripe (as they are too often prone to do), so I suggest that you should be wary of any negative comments that appear after mine. 😉

Amazon.com (available from the USA only, but playable in Canada also)

This DVD is only available from Amazon on their USA site, and is encoded to play only on DVD players sold within “Region 1: USA and Canada.” If you purchased your DVD player outside of Region 1, then you will not be able to play this DVD on your unit (unless you have a work around that I do not know about).

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"Dry Bones and Other Fossils" by Dr. Gary E. Parker and Mary M. Parker, and illustrated by Jonathan Chong and Ron Hight

And while we are discussing Dr. Parker… he and his wife created a wonderful children’s book for the little explorers! (I told you he was God-built for teaching kids…chuckle.)

“Dry Bones and Other Fossils” by Dr. Gary Parker and his wife Mary M. Parker, is illustrated by Jonathan Chong and Ron Hight. This delightful book is written as if the reader is going on a fossil hunt with the Parker family. Dr. Parker and his wife are in there as cute little cartoon characters, as are their kids Dana, Debbie, David, and Diane (yes…it seems that Gary and Mary liked names that begin with the letter “D”). This book was originally published in 1979, so the good doctor has more (and browner) hair in his cartoon form (chuckle)—and I am quite SURE that their four children are grown up by now! 😉

As I said above, Dr. Gary’s demeanor is very cute and warm, and you just cannot help but like this loveable guy. This same personality comes across in the text of the book. It is written as if he is teaching his own children, while occasionally addressing the ones reading the book as if they are along for the trip . It is really a great book for “reading time” with even your smallest kids (though I warn you that they want to study EVERY picture! Ha!). However, the content is quite educational even for adults, as he explains how fossils are formed, and even ties fossil data to the Christian worldview in regards to the Genesis account of Noah’s Flood and post-flood events. ALL our kids love it, and I found it very fun to read to the little ones. The Gospel message is worked into the story as well.

Unfortunately, there are some negative reviews on Amazon.com for this wonderful text by people predisposed to hate the biblical account of the world around us (often regardless of how much evidence confirms the scriptural account). So let me once again advise you to disregard that tripe, as this is truly a great book to share with your children of all ages (and especially the little ones). It is also an enjoyable read for the parents as well.

By the way, the copy we have indicates that it is from this book’s TENTH PRINTING, completed in February of 2007. So this marvelous children’s book has been very popular for many years among Christian families, to be sure.

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"Why Do Men Believe in Evolution Against All Odds?" book by Dr. Carl E. Baugh of the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas

A skilled treatment of the impossibility of the “theory” of evolution can be found in Dr. Carl Baugh’s excellent, “Why Do Men Believe in Evolution Against All Odds?”. This book is very readable for a wide age-range too. My then-eight-year-old daughter decided to pick it up one day—and she read it from cover to cover by the next day! She then came to me and said, “That was very interesting. He made some very good points.” 😀

By the way: As a family, we had an opportunity to visit his Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas a number of years ago (when the kid count was still holding at only two…chuckle). We all met Dr. Baugh there (who I have talked with elsewhere as well), and we can attest that he is a very sincere and likable person. The museum is excellent, and we recommend that you visit it if you can.

Back to the book: Dr. Baugh not only shows the statistical impossibility of macro-evolution (i.e. verses micro-evolution, which nobody contests), but also reveals amazing evidence that supports a “young earth” creation (i.e. that which is described in Genesis). He also clearly proves the point that evolution is really a “belief system,” and thus, very much like a religion itself (though Atheists tend to get VERY aggravated when you point that out to them). It is also copiously illustrated with COLOR graphics and photographs, so you will really enjoy this.

Once again, evolutionists typically hate this book. So please disregard those “reviews” because of the obvious anti-God bias. This is a good book, regardless of what such people say.

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

To view the book, select the Amazon link above that is closest to your country.

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"The Truth Group: About Dinosaurs" DVD Premeir Episode

And for one ESPECIALLY made for the kids (and I must admit…the adults in our house like watching it too) let us recommend to you the very funny—but highly educational—”The TRUTH Group: About Dinosaurs” premier episode DVD! This hilarious…um…documentary?…is full of entertaining skits and belly-laughter tidbits, intermixed with some very good interviews of scientific experts and details about paleontological discoveries! (That’s “dinosaur science” for those of you not familiar with that last big seven-syllable word.) 😀

It is also quite evangelistic—and gives a truly GREAT presentation of the Gospel for people of all ages toward the end. So this one is a real winner, and certainly a favorite in our house.

At the time I am writing this, I only see good reviews on Amazon.com for this video. However, as with the other materials above, that might change one the evolutionists figure out what it is about. So please keep that in mind. 😉

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

NOTE: This DVD is available from Amazon on their USA, Canadian, and UK websites, BUT is ONLY encoded to play only on DVD players sold within “Region 1: USA and Canada.” If you purchased your DVD player outside of Region 1, then you will not be able to play this DVD on your unit (unless you have a work around I do not know about).

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Evangelism Studies:

Obviously, many of the materials further above have application in the field of evangelism, i.e. sharing your Christian faith with unsaved people who do not know the grace of Christ yet. However, what I will now suggest to you in this section are some materials that are especially geared toward TEACHING you how to effectively win the lost. Leading people to Christ is the core function of EVERY believer, but not many professing Christians seem to be equipped and/or comfortable sharing Jesus with others.

So these materials are overall the MOST important ones on this page, but work BEST in conjunction with some of the other materials above. After all, if you cannot logically explain the faith, or are ill equipped to defend the faith…then you will be somewhat hindered in your ability to SHARE the faith—even with those who are sincerely inquiring. So that is why I built this page with ALL these topics included together, because they all work together powerfully. 😀

____________________

 

"The Way of the Master" book by Ray Comfort

The first resource that I want to recommend to you in regard to learning how to BIBLICALLY and EFFECTIVELY share the faith of Christ with others, is also (in my opinion) the BEST book on the subject of evangelism currently in print (of which I am aware). Consequently, this is the VERY first book with which I recommend that you begin your studies: “The Way of the Master” by Ray Comfort.

How did JESUS reach people with the Truth about His Father and the Kingdom of God? Too often today, people ask the fallacious question, “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD?). The problem with that question is that it leaves itself open for the OPINIONS of fallible human beings to “fill in the blank” as they see fit! The question SHOULD be, “What Did Jesus DO?” (WDJD?). That closes the question up to ANY opinions, and drives the person to search the Bible to see what Jesus Christ of Nazareth did (and said) on the subject in question—either directly, in the Gospels and the Book of Revelation, or by His Spirit through the apostles who wrote the New Testament.

In regard to the subject of evangelism, the answer can be summarized as “God’s Law is shown to the proud, but His grace is given only to the humble” (please note James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5). The BIBLICAL way to evangelize someone is to bypass their intellect (i.e. the “battle field” of mere argument) by speaking directly to their consciences in order to permit the Holy Spirit to bring conviction for their sins—and thereby, reveal to them their need for salvation through Jesus Christ. This is done through the PROPER use of God’s Holy Law—a scriptural truth that was not only known, but effectively used by some of the greatest evangelists and preachers of history: Jesus Himself, plus Peter and Paul in the Book of Acts, and men throughout history such as John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Charles Finney, Charles Spurgeon, and many, many others.

Let me point out quickly that I did not learn the concept of the proper use of the Law in evangelism from this book, but rather from the combination of the influence of John Bunyan and Martin Luther—in conjunction with my own thorough examination of the Scriptures (see Acts 17:10-12). After the Lord opened my mind to this subject, I realized that although I could TEACH this subject, I still lacked the practical APPLICATION of these truths for use within actual evangelistic settings. So I prayed and asked the Lord to show me how to use these truths effectively when sharing my faith. Two days later I discovered Ray Comfort, and soon after, ordered this book.  🙂

Ray has “captured” this biblical truth, and explains it in such a wonderful way. He also quotes MANY theologians from history to corroborate the FACT that this approach as NOT “novel” or only “one method,” but rather that this is the ONLY biblical method of evangelism taught within the Scriptures themselves! Thus, if you obtain ANY book on the subject of evangelism, it should be THIS one in particular.

My oldest kids thoroughly grasped its truths, so this book is good for most ages, (i.e. those with at least moderate reading skills). However, I do recommend that you read it twice initially, in order to work the concepts into your thinking very well—and be sure to look up the Scriptures he cites within your OWN Bible (and even mark them for future reference). This is especially important to do if you have been taught things that you discover are contrary to the scriptural method contained in its pages.

You will probably also want to read it again and again over time to continuously refresh and sharpen your skills in this most important aspect of the Christian life. (I have been planning recently to pick it up again and re-read it myself, in fact.)

Reviews on this book in Amazon are overall VERY positive. A handful of negative comments seem to be either Atheists, or people with theological “axes to grind.” Nevertheless, the vast majority rate it five-stars, which I certainly concur with in my own opinion.

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

To view the book, select the Amazon link above that is closest to your country.

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"One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven" book by Mark Cahill

The next soul-winning book that I recommend is more geared toward “motivation,” though it still has some godly instruction on practical evangelism in a manner VERY compatible with the “Way of the Master” text above. Mark Cahill’s “One Think You Can’t Do in Heaven” really lays out a bold standard for active evangelistic efforts.

A former college “Academic All-American” in basketball, he has a very “get the job done” attitude toward reaching the lost. In fact, Ray Comfort himself says of Mark, “If you look up the word ‘zeal’ in the dictionary, you will find Mark Cahill’s name. He’s the only man on earth who makes me feel lukewarm. If you want to serve God with more passion, open the pages of this book and warm yourself on its hot coals.” I agree, and certainly enjoyed the book.

My oldest son (age 11) has read it too, and he was really “fired up” by its content to win souls for Jesus Christ. So the “readability” of this book is very excellent, just as it is with Ray’s book above.

Once again, the reviews on Amazon.com seem overwhelmingly positive for this text as I write this, so many Christians seem agree with our personal preference for this wonderful book.

Amazon.com (USA)       Amazon.ca (Canada)       Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

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Now to close out the evangelism section, I will feature two of Ray Comfort’s three MAIN books geared toward reaching Atheists and/or teaching its readers how to reach them. I will note first, however, that these are the “best of the best” of his three titles along these lines, and I recommend them over the third. Why? Well, as can be expected when writing over and over again on a similar topic, these books can become repetitious—and the two I selected for this page overlap the least, in my opinion. Furthermore, these two are published by WND Books, which seems to have a MUCH better editorial staff than Bridge-Logos, who publishes the third “Atheist” directed book (and many of Ray’s other titles).

Nevertheless, feel free to browse his other titles on Amazon once you get over there by clicking on the author link at the top of the page under the book title, which will say “Ray Comfort.” That will provide you a list of ALL his books on the particular Amazon site that you are visiting. We have twelve of his books in our personal family library, and can say the instructional content of all of the ones we have reviewed is good, in our opinions.

"Nothing Created Everything" book by Ray Comfort

The first title to discuss briefly is Ray Comfort’s “Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution.” This excellent book is a combination of applied apologetics and evangelism, and thus, will serve you well to sharpen your use of both in harmony with each other. The basic premise is, as the title suggests, a direct “frontal assault” on the absurd evolutionary concept that “absolutely nothing” created everything that now exists.

Whenever discussing “origins” with an evolutionist, they will typically tend to avoid that subject because of its obvious absurdity. It is simply a FACT that “nothing” cannot “spontaneously create” everything that exits. That is concept is patently irrational.

Of course, it is not surprising therefore that many evolutionists will argue, “No, no. I don’t believe that. I believe that everything began with a ‘big bang’ from a piece of matter at the center of the universe, which was so dense that all matter and energy were already contained therein; and then all this spread out from there to form the universe after it exploded.” Of course, this merely evades the questions: Where did that piece of “dense” matter come from????? Where did the laws of physics, chemistry, logic, and etc., all come from to make this “spontaneous order out of chaos” happen????? Moreover, why does the modern observance of all those laws seem to give evidence that “spontaneous order out of chaos” cannot ever happen?????

The obvious answer to these questions is that the universe CREATED by some eternal being (i.e. God). The only alternative explanation is that the universe—and all the laws that govern it—came from “nothing”…that absolutely “nothing” created everything.

But again…evolutionists do not give up very easily, and they will often still deny believing that “nothing” is the irrational “creator” of the universe (and, thus, is at the core of their belief system). However, in science there is a concept known as “causality,” i.e. asking the question, “What cases this?” and tracing the origin. So a tree came from a seed, which came from a tree, which came from a seed, and so on. However, you eventually hit the point of the “first cause.” Where did either the ORIGINAL tree or the ORIGINAL seed come from? In the Christian worldview, we simply go to Genesis chapter one and point out that on the third day, God—an eternal being Who does not have a “first cause”—made the first tree.

But what does the atheistic Evolutionist have to come to as a “first cause” or “beginning”? Well, that certain organic “accidents” happened to cause either the first tree or seed. But we then still have to go back to the origin of those organic materials, and ultimately the origin of matter, energy, and all the laws that govern the universe. So what is the ONLY necessary answer too the questions of causality for all these things (i.e. origins)? “Nothing” is the starting point of the universe…and thus, “nothing created everything.” Thus, this absurdity is at the very core of evolutionary theory—even when evolutionists deny this fact. (Note: People with an ulterior motive will deny just about anything, in order to protect their hidden agenda.)

Ray’s book will prove to be a fun read as you explore the absurdity of this evolutionary concept even further. It will also demonstrate how to discuss these things with Atheistic evolutionists.

And of course, given the subject matter this book covers, I should not have to tell you that this text gets “hammered” by quite a few ANGRY evolutionists within the “reviews” on Amazon. In fact, as I write this, the angry evolutionists have more reviews on Amazon.com than the happy Christians!   😉

Both of my oldest kids have read this one, and found it very intriguing. So it is suitable for virtually all age ranges.

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"You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can't Make Him Think" book by Ray Comfort

And lastly, let’s discuss Ray Comfort’s rather provocative book, “You Can Lead and Atheist to Evidence but You Can’t Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics.” As the title clearly suggests, this book is a discussion specifically about Atheists and how they are often denying evidence that is presented to them—even while at times demanding evidence from Christians for their faith!

Ray regularly ministers to Atheists in love with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in hopes of helping them get out of denial and into a saving faith. (So he is an experienced expert on this subject, I can assure you.) So the book is filled with actual statements and questions from Atheists, and stories of some really absurd statements they have made, and/or reactions that they have had to the facts and biblical truths that he has presented them.

At the core of this apologetic book, however, is another solid presentation of the Gospel worked into the text using same biblical method that he explains in “The Way of the Master.” So again, this book is marvelous at showing one how to harmonize apologetics with the genuine scriptural approach to evangelism.

My oldest read this, and I think my second oldest did too. (I lose track of who read what sometimes.) So again, I believe this book is good for most reading levels and ages. It is also VERY funny at times.

Once again, many Atheists hate this book…and their “reviews” among the OVER 250 that are on Amazon.com reflect this fact. But then again…that is a VERY GOOD sign, is it not? 😉

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Wondering Where to Start?

With so many fascinating materials described on this page, I can imagine that some people reading this would appreciate having a simple “quick start” list of items that I recommend to get them going. So I suggest the following sequences for the adults and their kids.

Each title is linked to its description above. So by clicking on one you will jump upwards on this page. Under those descriptions, however, I have another quick link that will bring you back to this “Wondering Where to Start?” section if you wish to return to this list.

For Adults and Mature Pre-Teen and Teens:

Books:

  1. I recommend that you begin first with “Discerning Truth” by Dr. Jason Lisle, in order to sharpen your logic skills as an overall strengthening of your biblical reasoning abilities. This will help you to better identify good Christian teaching verses the fallacious false doctrines of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (as well as simply poorly-formed doctrines and opinions of sincere, but ignorant, preachers and lay people). It will also serve as an excellent foundation for building both your apologetics and evangelism skills. As I stated above within the description of this book, I recommend that you read it from the beginning through chapter eleven twice (which is only about 80 pages of text) in order to absorb the information well before moving into the “test and answer” chapters of twelve through fifteen.
  2. Then I recommend that you jump straight into Ray Comfort’s very excellent “The Way of the Master” book. This will provide you a firmer grasp of the biblical use of the Law WITH the Gospel, in order to effectively evangelize family, friends, and strangers. Again, this is the scriptural method that Jesus and the apostles used while they were upon the earth, and that of the greatest preachers of Church history thereafter. Oh, and like I stated in the description of this book above, you may want to read “Way of the Master” through twice to ensure absorption and understanding of the excellent biblical instruction within its pages.
  3. Then I would suggest moving to Dr. Jason Lisle’s outstanding “Ultimate Proof of Creation” in order to further strengthen BOTH your logic and apologetic skills. This book will also help you to have absolute confidence in the veracity (truth) of the biblical worldview in the face of evolutionary skeptics and their pseudo-science arguments. So this is a marvelous “next step” indeed.

DVD Video:

  1. I would suggest beginning with “Discovering the Bible” as hosted by Russell Boulter, in order to give you a very firm foundational understanding of the history and divine origin of the Scriptures themselves. This is a very important step, as you need to have the utmost confidence in the Bible as the foundation for your OWN faith before you can share your faith with others.
  2. Then I would suggest moving to Dr. Lisle’s very interesting “Ultimate Apologetics” DVD set. Coupled with what you have learned in other materials I just suggested above, this video set will “pump you up” and have you BOLDLY looking for skeptics with which to share the Gospel. 😉

After absorbing the above suggestions for books and/or DVDs, you will have a good handle on the fundamentals—and even grasp some of the fairly advanced concepts found within logic, apologetics, and evangelism. You can then prayerfully see how the Lord leads you from there in regards to studying other items from the many materials that I have suggested on this page.

 

For the Children/Family Materials:

Books:

  1. Without question in my mind, the first book to begin with for the little ones (ages 2 to 102…chuckle) is “Dry Bones and Other Fossils” by Dr. Gary Parker and his wife, Mary. You will have a lot of fun with this book reading it to your children, and the older kids will enjoy reading it by themselves over and over again. (Ask me how I know.)  😉
  2. For kids who are a bit older and have at least moderate reading skills, you may want to consider Dr. Carl Baugh’s excellent and color-illustrated book “Why Do Men Believe in Evolution Against All Odds?” first. As I said above, my then-eight-year-old daughter loved it, and quickly absorbed the information. Yet, it was likely written with only adults in mind, so the content is very high-quality. I think the reason why kids can grasp it so well is that the graphics are of such high quality, and so well-illustrate the points being made in the text. Regardless, this is a book for ALL ages, and not just for your kids—but it is great for them too.

DVD Video:

  1. The TRUTH Group: About Dinosaurs” premier episode DVD is, in the opinion of our entire family, the best one to start with for the kids from 2 to 102 also! The nutty skits are very funny and entertaining, but yet they load it up with some fascinating scientific facts to confirm the Bible’s account of dinosaurs and special creation. So from the littlest ones in your household up to the oldest, this is a fun family video that is filled with good instruction as well. Again, this DVD has a solid Gospel presentation toward the end also.
  2. From Evolution to Creation” by Dr. Gary Parker is a great choice for your another family-kids oriented DVD. As I said above, Dr. Gary is just “God-built” for kids, but yet really gives you the “meat” of how the scientific evidence confirms the biblical account of creation, Noah’s Flood, and etc.

 

Well, I hope this page has proven to be a blessing to you and your family. Please hit the Facebook “like” button if it has, or even consider “tweeting” it to your Twitter list, or emailing to to your friends and family, in order to share this resource with others for their benefit. Thanks.

From our family to yours, and always in Jesus,

-Rich and Donna Vermillion, and  family

 

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