The Apologetics Group's Weblog (TAG)

April 6, 2010

The Great Debate – Predestination vs. Free Will

How can sinful men become acceptable in the eyes of a perfectly holy God? Jesus famously gave the answer in John 3:3 when he declared that unless a man is “born again” he cannot ever see − much less enter − the kingdom of God.

Simple enough, right?

Well, apparently not. There may be no more controversial issue in the annals of Christianity than how exactly this process of being “born again” works. Is it a monergistic act − meaning a sovereign and unilateral operation on the part of God as He shows mercy on particular sinners? Or does man play a part, working with God synergistically? And, of course, all manner of other questions spring forth from this dichotomy: Does saving grace extend equally to all men? What part, if any, does man play in the process? Once you are born again, can you lose your salvation? The list goes on.

There may be no better way to consider both sides of these profound questions than to listen to skilled apologists for each side challenge and rebut each other’s perspectives. And so we welcome you to The Great Debate: Predestination vs. Free Will as four gifted theologians square off along what is commonly termed the Calvinistic/Arminian divide.

“I’ve always enjoyed a good debate; the point/counterpoint exchange can be an interesting and very efficient way to crack open and understand an issue. “The Great Debate” does just this with the transcendently important issue of just how man is saved from sin.” Jay Rogers, President of Media House International

Hosted by Brian Marshall of Appleseed Ministries, the four scholar/debaters are:

Dr. Bruce Ware: Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Joe Dongell: Professor of New Testament Studies, Asbury Seminary
Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner: Professor of New Testament Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Jerry Walls: Professor of Philosophy, Asbury Seminary

You can get your copy here:

The Great Debate – Predestination vs Free Will

(c) The Apologetics Group

The Apologetics Group – through its parent company Reel to Real Ministries, Inc. – is a non-for-profit educational ministry.

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March 26, 2010

How Can They Hear? The Power of the Public Proclamation of the Gospel

Go. Stand. Speak… delves into the doctrine of public preaching with experts such as Dr. George Grant, Paul Washer, Greg Gordon, Pastor John Reuther, Rusty Lee Thomas, David Legge, Ray Comfort, Stuart Migdon, Michael Marcavage, Jeff Rose, Shawn Holes, Sean Morris and other Christian leaders and uncovers the big question – Is this quiet, new move of public preaching something that is simply a trend, or is it again the beginning of a move of God where He is simply doing what He always has done, calling His ministers to go and preach His message of repentance and faith where the people gather in the public, regardless of culture, current trends, or the popularity of the message and method? The Apologetics Group and Go, Stand, Speak Ministries presents this Brand New DVD to be released in the summer of 2010 about the forgotten power of public preaching.

I’m as excited about this project as any other we have done for one big reason: I believe God will use it to spark the enlistment of hundreds, if not thousands, of public preachers to proclaim His gospel of the Kingdom…
Eric Holmberg

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14

March 24, 2010

The Bible on Slavery, Sexism and Homosexuality — Bishop N.T. Wright

March 22, 2010

What Would Satan Sing?

We thought this was a terribly clever song – a sort of audio-visual “Screwtape Letter”.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

March 17, 2010

Amazing Grace – The History and Theology of Calvinism

Just what is “Calvinism?” Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists deny the Arminian definition of free will and label it heresy? Why did the Roman Catholic Church condemn the Reformed teaching of predestination and election and embrace free will theology? And why do so many Protestants, perhaps unwittingly, agree with Rome on this issue?

“Amazing Grace – The History and Theology of Calvinism” is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. This fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Part One explores the history of the debate. It begins with the pivotal dispute between Augustine and Pelagius and continues through the semi-pelagian controversy; focusing particularly on the debate between Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus. Many viewers will be shocked to discover that free-will theology was NOT the doctrine of the Reformation but instead the teaching of an increasingly apostate Roman Catholic Church. The history section ends with a definitive historical explanation of the issues that arose during the Calvinist/Arminian controversy. By examining the five points of Arminianism and the Synod of Dort’s response, the viewer will clearly see that the Protestant Church understood how the Gospel would be compromised if Arminianism prevailed.

Part Two opens the Word of God, our ultimate authority for life and faith. The five points of Arminianism are put on trial as what would later come to be known as the “five points of Calvinism” are clearly and forcefully presented.

Part Three asks and answers the provocative question: If Calvinism is true, if God is absolutely sovereign; then why should we evangelize? It also explores the vital issue of how to and to whom the gospel should be presented so as to be faithful to the great doctrines of God’s sovereignty, man’s depravity, and the miracle of amazing grace.

Rich in graphics, dramatic vignettes, and biblical analogies, Amazing Grace – The History and Theology of Calvinism also features many of the finest reformed thinkers and pastors of our time: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. George Grant, Dr. Stephen Mansfield, Dr. Thomas Ascol, Dr. Thomas Nettles, Dr. Roger Schultz, Pastor Walt Chantry, Dr. Joe Morecraft, Dr. Ken Talbot, Pastor Walter Bowie and Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Come learn what the great Baptist preacher C.H. Spurgeon meant when he said,”…to deny Calvinism is to deny the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“This video series boldly, clearly, and winsomely sets forth the glorious, saving grace of God in its splendor and will help thousands to understand the gospel better and so to be filled with praise for their Savior.” Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Associate professor of historical theology and social ethics, Knox Theological Seminary, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

“I want you to know that ever since my wife and I bought our first copy when it was new and being mentioned in World Magazine, we have been excited about the product. We’ve ordered more copies for friends. This year my church asked if I would facilitate an eight-week discussion using your DVD. Week after week in our Adult Sunday school some twenty or thirty people have sat riveted by your presentation. The message and the abundant quantity of Scripture, the well-known and not so well-known speakers – all of them excellent communicators, as well as the extremely high production quality – camera angles, lighting, sets and sound, the humorous vignettes have captured everyone’s attention. The Doctrines of Grace are, of course, a wonderful gift from our Lord, but your production is an excellent instructional tool, and if others and their churches are benefiting the way we have been, then I think the Lord must be pleased.” Jack Blake, Charlotte, North Carolina

THIS DVD COMES WITH NEW, VASTLY EXPANDED AND IMPROVED STUDY GUIDE FREE! Over 220 pages of study notes, questions and answers, essays, historical notes, and the entire transcript of the video as a downloadable PDF. Get your copy here:
Amazing Grace – The History and Theology of Calvinism

Product Details

Director: James Gelet
Producer: The Apologetics Group
Encoding: Region Free
Discs: 1
Format: Color
Aspect Ratio(s): 1.33:1
Audio Encoding: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Rated: Unrated (General audience)
Studio: The Apologetics Group
DVD Release Date: October, 2004
Run Time: 4 hours 17 minutes

http://www.theapologeticsgroup.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=219

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(c) The Apologetics Group

The Apologetics Group – through its parent company Reel to Real Ministries, Inc. – is the non-for-profit educational ministry of Eric Holmberg.

November 26, 2009

Check out our interview with TRFW! (The Reformed Faith Weblog)

Eric just did an interview with The Reformed Faith Weblog (TRFW) – go check it out!

The Reformed Faith Weblog Interviews Eric Holmberg, The Apologetics Group

October 28, 2009

TAG’S Product Recommendation for November 2009 – How Should We Then Live? with Francis Schaeffer

How Should We Then Live? with Francis Schaeffer

How Shall We Then Live-b

‘I have been working in the field of biblical and cultural apologetics for over two decades and I don’t know of any other modern production that is more essential for the thinking Christian to own, watch, absorb and pass on to others. It was worth hundreds of dollars to me when it was released on VHS. And here it is re-mastered on DVD with convenient chapter points and a Study Guide. Wow!’ Eric Holmberg – video producer; Founder and President of The Apologetics Group

This is Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s spectacular series on the rise and decline of Western culture from a Christian perspective. This special edition includes an intimate in-depth interview with Francis and Edith Schaeffer, which is available only in this package.

How Should We Then Live? presents profound truths in simple language and concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s biblical absolute: the Truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures. Each episode focuses on a significant era of history while presenting answers to modern problems. (Twelve 30-minute episodes. Study guide included.)

Section 1: The Roman Age, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance, The Reformation

Section 2: The Revolutionary Age, The Scientific Age, The Age of Non-Reason, The Age of Fragmentation

Section 3: The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence, Final Choices, and the two-segment interview with Francis & Edith Shaeffer: Living with Suffering & Sickness, God’s Leading in L’Abri & Our Lives.

About the Author and Narrator:
Francis A. Schaeffer – an American Evangelical theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor, is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L’Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Shaeffer promoted an orthodox Protestant faith and a pre-suppositional approach to Christian apologetics, which he believed would answer the questions of the age. A number of scholars credit his ideas with helping spark the rise of the Christian Right in the United States.

Link: How Should We Then Live?

Product Details

Length: 12-30 minutes episodes
Type: DVD-Multi region
Language: English

Please visit our website: The Apologetics Group

June 2, 2009

TAG’s Product Recommendation for June, 2009

Guide to Christian Apologetics-b.jpg

Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics

Finding the right angle from which to approach an unbeliever can be tricky without guidance. Some people simply disbelieve God’s existence, some believe in a different deity (or more than one), and some think that who they worship and who you worship are the same when it is plain to you that they are not. Unbelievers have problems with the reliability of the scriptures, the historicity of Jesus or the problem of pain and suffering. Knowing the basics of these issues and their biblical solutions can greatly enhance your introduction of evangelistic basics, tailored to each person’s mindset. While apologetical arguments are not evangelistic techniques in the strictest sense of the words, the information presented here can go a long way in both your understanding of the worldview of the unbeliever and building your faith to accurately stand up to assaults of modern religions.
Chapters include:
1. What Is Apologetics?
2. The Cosmological Argument for God’s Existence
3. The Teleological Argument for God’s Existence
4. The Axiological Argument for God’s Existence
5. Which God Exists?
6. Where Did the New Testament Come From?
7. Is the New Testament Reliable?
8. ExtraBiblical Evidence for Jesus
9. Is the Old Testament Reliable?
10. The Fulfillment of Prophecy
11. What About Miracles?
12. Was Jesus Raised from Death?
13. Did Jesus Claim to Be God? Is He the Only Way?
14. How can God allow Evil, Pain, and Suffering?

About the Author

Doug Powell has a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. He combines expertise in apologetics with professional skills in graphic design and music to create video and internet resources for discipleship and evangelism. His work also includes design of online medical education courses, corporate Web sites, flash animation, and more. Doug’s music is featured on record labels including Mercury and RCA. Rolling Stone magazine said, “Powell makes music that’s larger than life.”

“This guide is exactly what you would expect from Doug: clear, concise reasoning and rhetoric coupled with a flare for design and artistry…an invaluable resource.” Eric Holmberg, The Apologetics Group

For more great products like this, Go to our website, The Apologetics Group.

May 14, 2009

Christian Hypocrites? Hell’s Bells 2

A third excerpt from Part 7: Antichrist Superstars – Rock’s Ultimate Rebellion

Over three years in the making, this much-anticipated sequel to the original Hell’s Bells series weaves together science, satire, testimonies, parables, interviews, expansive research, and a vibrant Christian perspective to create a video series that is as fascinating as it is educational and evangelistic. Far more than just a commentary on the dangers of popular music, this eight-part, six-hour, up-to-the-minute documentary uncovers the “war of the worldviews” – the epic struggle between good and evil, sin and redemption for the souls of men and the destiny of our culture.

Written and hosted by world renowned apologist Eric Holmberg.

“… perhaps the greatest documentary on any subject ever! Lives will change.” Ray Comfort – Internationally renowned author and evangelist

“…Movie Guide’s highest rating!” Dr. Ted Baehr, Christian Film and Television Commission

You can learn more about or order a copy of Hell’s Bells 2 by going here: The Apologetics Group

March 13, 2009

The “Queering” of America – The Stated Homosexual Agenda for America

BE SURE TO READ ALL OF THIS – WHILE YOU CAN. Talk about touching a nerve! We uploaded this video to You Tube last weekend and within 2 HOURS YouTube — with multiple billions of videos to monitor — had censored it.

The reason given? The opening graphics featured, as an illustration of our premise, the popular and extremely subversive homosexualist song by the Village People, “YMCA”. The song was tagged for copyright violation and so the audio track on our video was removed.

First, under Fair Use and the First Amendment, using short excerpts of copyrighted material to make a larger point is permitted. “YMCA” was used precisely to illustrate the premise of our video: that the homosexual movement has been intentionally using popular media as a “Trojan horse” for the “queering of America.”

Secondly, there are right now well over a thousand other videos on YouTube featuring the same song, the vast majority of which were not posted by the copyright holder. Why was ours tagged (again WITHIN TWO HOURS!) while these other videos remain?

To answer that question is to prove our premise.

Wake up America. The day is rapidly coming where to present the truth about sin will land you in jail.

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