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Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Christmas Faith-Defending Challenge

A couple of years ago, I decided to offer a Christmas Faith-Defending Challenge, asking donors to prayerfully consider giving $25 to at least three worthy organizations dedicated to training Christians on how to "contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." While Christian apologetics is not well known in many circles, the work that these ministries do is proving more and more vital to young believers who are challenged both intellectually and morally; and challenged with an increasing intensity. Many of the organizations are quite small and every donation can make a huge difference in their ability to carry out the calling God has uniquely equipped the to do.

So look at the list below, choose three (or more if you desire) and meet the challenge! You will truly be a blessing to them and make a difference in the Kingdom.
  1. Apologetics 315 Ever since Brian Auten got the itch to blog his apologetics homework back around 2007, Apologetics 315 has been one of the top resource sites for gathering and disseminating apologetics information. The weekly apologist interviews along with the Top 16 Apologetics podcasts and the growing list of apologetics ministries and materials put Brian at the forefront of internet resources for both apologists and lay people. Since my last challenge, Apologetics 315 has completed its registration with the IRS and donations are tax-exempt..
    Support Apologetics 315 here
  2. Christian Apologetics Alliance The Christian Apologetics Alliance is a relatively new group that formed through social media as a way to help train budding apologists in ways to better their craft. It has grown into a full-fledged ministry with a speaking referral service, an online publication, a special apologetics for parents group, and much more. They are still in the process of gathering funds to file for a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt license, but all gifts given to the org are deductible upon its completion. The CAA currently accepts donations via PayPal.
    Support the CAA here.
  3. Come Reason Ministries 1996 marked the beginning of the web site, one of the first apologetics sites on the Internet. Since then, the ministry has grown to include a wealth of online resources like podcasts, YouTube videos, articles, blogs, and live teaching events. Over 20,000 people each month access the site articles with visitors coming from most every country on earth.

    Currently, Come Reason takes up about 50% of my workday but provides only 10% of my income. As we receive more and more requests for help and materials, I want to be able to focus exclusively on providing answers and apologetics materials to those who need it.
    Support Come Reason here.
  4. Evangelical Philosophical Society If all your favorite apologists could be considered superheroes in battling worldviews, the Evangelical Philosophical Society would be the Hall of Justice where they all congregate. The EPS has done a stellar job putting out one of the top-ranked scholarly journals on the philosophy of religion (Philosophia Christi) as well as the annual EPS Meeting where scholars can meet and discuss the latest issues in the field of apologetics. Beyond the academic arena, they host the annual EPS Apologetics Conference, where each of the over 30 speakers present for free in order to keep the costs down for the general public. The EPS basically covers their costs with memberships and subscriptions, so any donations provide a bit of a cushion to the great work they do.
    Support the EPS
  5. Illustra Media We live in a visual age and if you want to get your message across, you will need to do so visually. Concepts such as the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum or the origin of life are especially difficult to discuss without a model. Luckily, apologists have Illustra Media to handle the tough task of making compelling DVDs on such intricate topics - and they do so with beauty and finesse. Using computer animation along with interviews from high-visibility personalities such as Lee Strobel and Dr. Stephen Meyer, Illustra makes a compelling case for the Creator that is as faith affirming as it is awe inspiring. All this even though the two founders operate basically out of their house!
    Support Illustra Media here
  6. JP Moreland/Eidos Christian Center Another well-known figure in philosophy and Christian apologetics is Dr. J.P. Moreland, who authored the phenomenal Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview (with Craig), Scaling the Secular City, and many other popular books. However, most people don't know that Moreland, as an in-demand speaker, also has his own nonprofit ministry, Eidos Christian Center. The main goal of the organization is to help support selected speakers and authors who are doing great work in promoting the Christian worldview. There are many churches and groups who may not be able to afford a speaker the caliber of Moreland, but Eidos seeks to stand in that gap, providing the funds necessary to get solid Christian thought into the minds of the larger culture. JP's been a huge influence on me in my growth as an apologist and his organization needs to be more recognized.
    Support JP Moreland/Eidos Christian Center here.
  7. Ratio Christi Ratio Christi is a unique organization reaching out to college students. Rather than creating a whole new ministry, they leverage existing Christian clubs and study groups on college campuses and universities across the country, and pair them up with a trained apologist who can help answer the tough questions that students or their professors will invariably raise. The idea of meeting people where they are is practical and I love the idea of empowering apologists to come out of the study (or away from the computer screen) and meet real students with real needs. Their San Jose State University club was just kicked off campus along with other Christian groups as part of the university's draconian "diversity" policy.
    Support Ratio Christi here.
  8. Mike Licona/Risen Jesus Mike Licona's monumental work The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach delivers over 700 pages of support for the contention that the resurrection of Christ is as strong a fact of ancient history as there ever can be. Many talk about his book replacing N.T. Wright's The Resurrection of the Son of God as the new standard work on the topic. Licona has been very active in conferences where he teaches on topics such as addressing so-called biblical contradictions and how to understand the historical nature of the Gospels.
    Support Mike Licona/Risen Jesus
  9. Mary Jo Sharp/Confident Christianity Speaking of women in apologetics, Mary Jo Sharp has not only embraced her calling, but she's running with full gusto. From conference speaker to author to a couple of very stimulating debates against Islamic scholars, Mary Jo and Confident Christianity are showing what an apologetics ministry with focus and purpose can accomplish - even with a miniscule budget. Her clear style resonates well with both students and women's groups. A donation here could help Confident Christianity cover travel expenses so she can reach even more people with a smart and winsome Christian faith.
    Support Confident Christianity here
  10. Stand to Reason's Brett Kunkle & Alan Shlemon Stand to Reason is one of the flagship apologetics ministries in the country. Led by Greg Koukl, the team there is always providing top-notch teaching and material, whether on the radio, on the web, or in person. While STR is pretty well known, less so is its powerful student impact leader, Brett Kunkle and speaker Alan Shlemon. Kunkle has been doing a remarkable job with junior high and high school students, preparing them for the absolute war of worldviews they will face when heading off to college. He is the originator of the Apologetics Missions Trip concept; taking kids "in the field" to talk with atheists, Mormons, and others hostile to Christianity. Shlemon has been cutting his own path in focusing on cultural issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage, and Islam. Both gentlemen do not get paid by STR, but must raise their own support - so your gifts can mean quite a lot!
    Support Brett Kunkle   Support Alan Shlemon
There we are. These are ten different apologetics organizations that could really use your support. For $75 you can be a huge blessing to these organizations and also truly help advance the Christian worldview. Blessings to you this Christmas season and during the New Year. May you continue to take every thought captive for Christ.

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