Equipping the body of Christ to know why they believe

Most presentations in this catalog are based upon chapters in my three-volume book, “Jesus” Is Not the Answer to Every Sunday School Question. I am also open to customizing or combining messages, or even to craft entirely new presentations if given sufficient notice.

The Bible

Wherefore Art the Begats? (60 - 90 minutes)

...amazing teaching on genealogies and using scripture to explain scripture.
— 2019 Worldview Apologetics Conference attendee

Does studying long lists of funny-sounding names so enrapture you that you find yourself studying them deep into the night, or do you keep them on hand as a homeopathic cure for insomnia?

In this humor-filled presentation, I do the unthinkable–I make "the begats" fun. Learn what the purpose is for each of the five major genealogies in the Bible, and find out if we really can use them to estimate the age of the earth; the answer may surprise you.

 

Why Should Anyone Believe the Bible? (60 - 90 minutes)

If someone were to ask you right now why you believe the Bible, would you have an answer? Would your answer be based upon facts or feelings?

This presentation is adapted from Dr. Voddie Baucham’s speech entitled “Why I Choose to Believe the Bible,” and has been augmented with material from Peter W. Stoner and Josh McDowell. We'll look at the construction of the Bible, how we know that what we have today is what the original authors wrote, and consider the jaw-dropping, eye-popping odds that its prophecies about a Savior could all come true in one man.

Creation & The Flood

The Problems with Distant Starlight (60-90 minutes)

Many Christian laymen and apologists alike stumble over the what has been dubbed “the distant starlight problem,” citing it as a key obstacle to their acceptance of a young (i.e. ~6,000 year) creation.

In this presentation, I'll take this difficult topic by the horns and demonstrate to non-technical audiences how the distant starlight problem is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways–against young- and old-earth creationists alike; it is not the proverbial nail in the young-earth coffin that many think it is.

 

Dissecting "The Math of the Great Flood" (60 - 90 minutes)

Years ago, I ran into a YouTube video that uses mathematics to prove that Noah’s flood could not have happened, and it made me ask "What if everything I've believed about the flood is wrong?" We'll take a look at this video and see why there's nothing to be afraid of. This is a fun introduction to rubber-meets-the-road apologetics that demonstrates how to think critically, how to spot logical fallacies, and the dangers of not looking up scriptures that others quote.

 

Did God Use the Big Bang? (60-90 minutes)

In an attempt to reconcile the tension between a plain reading of Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 with the secular scientific theories of our day, many well-meaning Christians have adopted a compromise approach that suggests that God created everything in the Big Bang and used natural processes over the course of 13.8 billion years to bring us to where we are today. In this talk, I demonstrate that the Big Bang as taught by materialistic philosopher-scientists is not compatible with the clear teaching of Scripture.

 

Why All the Fuss Over the Age of the Earth? (30-45 minutes)

Some argue that one’s views on the origins of the universe, the age of the earth, etc. are an unnecessary distraction. After all, shouldn’t we be focusing our energies on the Gospel message rather than obsessing over ancillary issues like the age of the earth? In this brief lesson, I explain that the core of the matter is biblical authority, and demonstrate from the history of science why dogmatic adherence to the philosophy du jour often leads to serious error.

 

Six Reasons Why Millions of Years Cannot Be True (60-90 minutes)

Borrowing heavily from Dr. Terry Mortenson (Answers in Genesis), I lay out six reasons why the belief in a millions-of-years-old creation is incompatible with a biblical worldview.

Theology Proper

Who Is God? (60-90 minutes)

It has been said that nearly every single theological heresy begins with a misconception of who God is. God appears in the fourth word of the Bible abruptly, without introduction and just starts creating things left, right, and center. Who is this “God” and who put Him in charge? In this talk, we’ll examine seven of God’s non-communicable attributes–attributes that He reserves for Himself–and learn why God has to have each attribute. It’s the most fun you’re likely to have studying the nature of God.

 

(Mis)Understanding the Trinity (45-60 minutes)

Q: What do eggs, avocados, apples, water, and people all have in common?

A: They’re all lousy at explaining the trinity.

The trinity is probably the single most difficult biblical doctrine to understand, and as a result it is often misunderstood by those outside the church as well as those inside. The Jehovah's Witnesses claim that the doctrine is of pagan origins, and well-meaning Sunday school teachers everywhere inadvertently lapse into idolatry as they use analogies to help their students understand God's nature.

In this presentation, I demonstrate the doctrine's origins from Scripture alone, poke holes in some of the more commonly-used trinitarian analogies, and offer my suggestions for how to help others understand this difficult teaching.

 

Why Is the Deity of Jesus Such a Big Deal? (60-90 minutes)

More people get into theological “fist fights” over the nature of Jesus Christ than perhaps any other issue. Is He God in the flesh, a good moral teacher, or was he a deranged lunatic? Why don’t people have the same arguments over the Father or the Holy Spirit? The answer is surprisingly simple, and may leave you thinking “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”

 

The Peccability of Christ: Was It Possible for Jesus to Sin? (60 minutes)

When Jesus was tempted in the desert, He didn’t sin; but was that because He chose not to, or was it because He was incapable of sinning? Dan takes two different approaches: one primarily logical, and the other scriptural, to reach one conclusion.

 

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ (60 minutes)

C.S. Lewis once famously noted that Jesus Christ was either “Lord, liar, or lunatic”–He offers you no other rational option of how to consider Him. Borrowing from Dr. Karl Payne’s lesson by the same name, we’ll examine the things that Jesus said and did, and what those who knew Him said and did that only make sense if Jesus is who He claimed to be–the only begotten Son of the Father.

 

Was Christ Really Resurrected? (60 minutes)

Muslims tell us that He wasn't–that someone who looked like Him was crufied in His place. Others say that the body was stolen, or that Jesus just "swooned" and was revived by the cool air in the tomb and came out a feeling fresher than a bar of Irish Spring soap. In this presentation, I walk you through the evidences for Christ's resurrection and demonstrate how the skeptics' arguments don't even pass "the giggle test."

Mormonism

A Game Plan for Dialoguing with Mormon Missionaries (60 minutes)

When a pair of bright-eyed lads bedecked with black slacks, white shirts, ties, and black name tags ring your doorbell, what should you do? Should you just ignore them until they go away? Is it okay to let them in, or does the Bible prohibit that? If you do talk to them, what should you say? I'll answer these questions and more, and lay out a simple game plan to keep your time with Mormon missionaries productive and God-honoring.

 

“Father God” of Mormonism (60 - 90 minutes)

Contrasting “God the Father” of the Bible with “Father God” of Mormonism. If you’ve never looked into what the Latter-Day Saints teach about God the Father, you might be rather surprised at just how unlike the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob he really is.

 

An Introduction to the Mormon Jesus (60 - 90 minutes)

“Of course we worship Jesus, it’s in the name of our church!” Well, not so fast...there’s more to a person than just his name. Does the Mormon Jesus look anything like the Jesus of the Bible? Using official Mormon publications, we’ll compare “their Jesus” with the Jesus of the Bible.

 

Mormon Soteriology (60 minutes)

How are Mormons saved? It’s by grace through faith, right? That’s what they’ll tell you, but once you scratch the paint, what’s underneath it all? We’ll examine the meaning that Mormons pour into common “Christianese” buzzwords such as “faith,” “grace,” “mercy,” and “justice” and see how far from the Gospel of Christ they are.

Jehovah's Witnesses

Talking with Jehovah's Witnesses (60-90 minutes)

The JWs know their material inside and out, are typically very well trained, and seem adept at tying Christians into knots. They present fine-sounding and convincing arguments, and are not afraid of confrontation. How should we respond to them?

In this presentation, I'll explain what they believe about essential Christian doctrines (and why), and how to navigate conversations with them.

Other Topics

Winning at Fatherhood (30 - 60 minutes)

What are you afraid of? Throughout childhood and into my time as a NCAA Division I basketball player, and later as a professional basketball player, I appeared to many to be afraid of nothing. But there was one thing I was afraid of–being my dad. In this emotional rollercoaster ride, I tell the story of how God used two different fathers to annihilate my misconceptions of fatherhood, and how God ultimately brought about reconciliation with my own dad.

 

When Sunday School Fails (60 minutes)

What would you do if God called you to teach Sunday school and then convicted you after seven years of faithful service that you were part of the problem of 2/3rds of teens abandoning the faith?

In this talk, I tell my personal story of how God led me to jettison a curriculum that I co-authored, forget all I knew about teaching the Bible, and start all over again. If you teach Sunday school, you'll want to hear this.

 

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage (60 - 90 minutes)

What's the purpose of marriage? Doesn't the unfaithfulness of a spouse constitute a biblical grounds for divorce? Is remarriage okay?

This is a very difficult topic to address due to the emotions involved, but the Word of God is sufficient for us to understand God's perspective on things. We'll systematically walk through Scripture to find the answers to these questions, and examine the critical context of Matthew 5:32 that many believers miss.

 

Does God Expect Us to Have Blind Faith? (45 minutes)

Mark Twain once famously said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." But is that true? Is that what biblical faith is, or is it something else?

Let's walk through Scripture, ask some thought-provoking questions, and see what kind of faith it is that God truly wants from us.

 

Cutting Off the Ends of the Ham (40 minutes)

Using an old story about a young bride cooking a ham, I introduce audiences to the problem of the mass exodus of our youth from the church, and why they’re leaving—the problem is not what we’re teaching, but rather how. I then introduce the audience to apologetics, and offer some practical tips to helping them become obedient to 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3.