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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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Showing posts with label support. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Come Reason 2015 Ministry Report

Merry Christmas from Come Reason!

I hope you are beginning to settle in and enjoy the season of Advent. This is a special time of year, not simply because of the festivities surrounding the holidays, but because we celebrate the greatest gift, God's giving of his Son for us. What a blessing it is to recognize how a holy God would humble himself and become a man for our sakes!

 It's why this time is appropriate to reflect on all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us over the year. I wanted to do just that. God has been working mightily through the ministry in 2015. Here are just a few of the highlights:


I had the opportunity to teach in several different areas of the country this year. Most notably, I was able to join Ratio Christi in their student symposium at Charlotte, NC to equip the student leaders of clubs in major secular universities on how to better defend their faith. I truly appreciate all Ratio Christi is doing and I look forward to many more years of ministry partnership.

The "Come Let Us Reason" monthly apologetics class entered its elevenths straight year at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside. The church has been a blessing and I invite anyone on the Southern California area to come out to this free class (with childcare!) every second Monday of the month. You can see all the upcoming classes here. I also partnered with Pastor Daniel Eichelberger of Harvest to help teach their Deepening Your Faith series on Sunday afternoons. 2016 looks like a great lineup and you may join us for that, too!


This year, I led a group of students from Harvest on another Apologetics Missions Trip to Berkeley, CA. The interactions were great, and the students really got to sharpen their skills while witnessing to a very lost generation. I also was able to help prepare students from Upland Christian Academy on their upcoming Missions Trip. These are a special passion of mine. If you'd like to know how your church or group can participate, contact me here.

Other outreaches included moderating Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Fazale Rana in a discussion at the California State University San Bernardino, meeting with Harvest's The Well Club at CSUSB, and answering questions from skeptics at Riverside Community College—not once, but on two separate occasions.

Writing and Online

My writing has been busy, especially with the daily posts at The blog has grown tremendously over the past year, with 50,000 visitors reading nearly 100,000 pages. Add that to the over half a million pageviews the website saw in the last year and our online  presence is making a tremendous impact in nearly every country around the world. The Come Reason Podcast has seen nearly 250,000 downloads since we began and it continues to provide fresh, relevant apologetics content every week.

On other writing projects, Sean McDowell's A New Kind of Apologist, to which I contributed a chapter, is slated to be published in March. You can pre-order copies here, and don't forget to support Come Reason Ministries by using your Amazon Smile account!

Special Changed Lives Series Dec 28-31

There are so many more things I can tell about the ministry that I simply don't have room here! That's why I will send out four special emails from December 28th through 31st. If you aren't on our e-mail list, you can sign up here.


I'm thankful for all the opportunities that God has placed before this ministry; I'm even more excited for the unique things that 2016 offers—more on that next month. But I would like to ask for your support. It is your gifts that provide the income which allows me to minister in these ways. As the year ends, would you consider providing a gift to Come Reason? You may give securely online here. All gifts are tax-deducible as allowed by law. I truly appreciate it and thank you for your kindness and generosity.

Our volunteers and I want to wish you the merriest of Christmases and a blessed New Year.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Looking for More Like Caleb

The Book of Numbers tells of Israel at a crossroads. God had rescued them from the slavery of Egypt and demonstrated His power by wiping out the Egyptian army. Now, they faced a new challenge. Now, they stood at the edge of the Promised Land, scared to enter due to the giants living there.

It was then that the faithfulness of Caleb shone so brightly. Caleb sought to rally God's people, telling them not to be afraid. With God's help, they could defeat the giants and have the future the Lord desired for them.

We live in a day where Christians fell a lot like those Israelites. We've seen the blessings of God on our land and in our culture. But that past has faded as the giants of secularism, compromise, and immorality have overwhelmed the Christian in the pew. We are standing at a crossroads and God is waiting for his faithful to take up His cause and face those giants with knowledge and compassion.

The reason Come Reason Ministries exists is to equip and strengthen God's people to answer that call. My mission is to provide a thoughtful, attractive articulation of Christ to an increasingly hostile world. As the culture shrinks into darkness, by God's grace I desire to help Christians to confidently engage those seeking to undermine His truth.

Walking in Caleb's Footsteps

I want to see more Christians have the strength of Caleb to face the battles of today. Those who oppose the Gospel are grabbing the limelight and it's time to step up our efforts. We want to use the gifts that God has given, including this ministry, to serve his body and make an impact that cannot be ignored. We need to grow more Calebs for Christ.

Caleb made his mark on both the believer and the unbeliever and he provided a legacy for his descendants. Likewise, Come Reason's specific strategy focuses on three key areas of engagement: strengthening the Christian—especially the youth—in their ability to defend stand for their faith, reaching the lost, and ensuring the next generation of believers have the necessary tools to face their giants with confidence.

Strengthening the Church

The first group of Israelites failed to enter the land of promise God had given them. They failed to reason that the God who delivered them from Pharaoh could also deliver them from the giants. Today, the church has grown soft intellectually. People don't know the reasons why they believe what they believe, making them afraid to share their faith.

We need to strengthen Christians in the pew. This means pastors need to discuss how to better defend one's faith more often from the pulpit. Youth groups need to discuss the hot-button issues and offer a regular Q&A time where students can anonymously ask about things bothering them. Apologetics classes and conferences need to be more prominent. The Church needs to help the Christian who is afraid of the giants in the land by showing them the power of God's word and his equipping.

Reaching the World

Caleb not only encouraged his brothers, he also was a man of action. The Book of Joshua reports that when entering the land Caleb asked for the hill country, some of the most difficult terrain to conquer. Yet, he was wildly successful because he trusted in the Lord.

I want to reach the world with the message of the Gospel. That's why we leverage digital media so much at Come Reason. Our blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels are visited by thousands and thousands of people seeking answers to the big questions of life. I find myself regularly engaged in online debates with atheists and others using Twitter or Facebook. But we do it all in faith, asking the Lord to grow our efforts.

Providing for the Future

Joshua 14:14 declares “Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.” Caleb provided a future for those who followed after him.

It's no secret that the church is hemorrhaging its youth. Without a specific effort to reach kids in junior high and high school, we risk losing them forever. Let's treat our youth not merely as those who seek to be entertained, but as individuals seeking to understand their faith and their world for the first time.

As an organization that has been at the forefront of the struggle for truth since the 1990s, Come Reason is uniquely poised to make a significant impact for the Kingdom. We have a vision to spread convincing Christianity across the globe by stirring the hearts and minds of the lost and the church. We've done this through our teaching, our youth training initiatives, our on-campus engagements, and our publishing efforts, each of which has been very successful given our modest budget and limited resources.

I'd like to ask you to consider supporting Come Reason in our efforts to create more Calebs. All the materials we offer free of charge, but they do cost money. Will you consider partnering with us? To help support this blog as well as out other efforts, click here to give securely. All gifts are fully deductible as allowed by law.

Let's pray for more Christians to be like Caleb. And then let's get to work making it happen.

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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