Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

I stopped being a Christian; then God brought me back

I stopped being a Christian; then God brought me back

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com, the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast, and the author of the soon to be released book The Layman’s Manual on Christian Apologetics. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for nearly 20 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

I grew up in a Christian home with wonderful parents who taught me about Christ but allowed me to explore and learn various fields. By the time I was 7, I had already committed my life to Christ. By the time I was 16, I had already accepted the call into ministry. I pastored my first church by the time I was 21. Everything seemed to be clicking on the surface. But internally, a storm was brewing that I could not contain.

During my senior year of high school, I came across a book by the Jesus Seminar which claimed that less than 14 percent of the statements of Jesus in the Gospels were genuine. The other 86 percent of the statements of Jesus were either the author’s inventions or were greatly influenced by the author’s philosophy. The individuals in this seminar all held Ph.D.s, so I thought they knew what they were talking about.

I was highly disappointed when I turned to the church for answers. When I asked church leaders that I trusted how it was that I could trust the Bible considering what the Jesus Seminar was saying, I was met with scorn and shame. I was told that I should not be asking questions like that. They also gave fallacious arguments stemming from circular reasoning like, “The Bible is the Word of God because it says it’s the Word of God.” Furthermore, I was guilted into believing that such questions came from a lack of faith. With answers like that, I thought that Christianity could not offer a defense for itself. The antagonistic responses I received came because I had challenged cultural Christianity. I have no doubt that these leaders truly loved God and followed Him. However, their faith was so immersed in a cultural form of Christianity that to challenge the faith meant that I was also challenging their entire way of life and their heritage.

Read the article here: I stopped being a Christian; then God brought me back – The Christian Post

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Major Moral Argument Mistakes

How good is the moral argument?  A retired attorney wrote John Frank asserting that we don’t need God for objective morality.  Some of his challenges can be summarized in the following questions:

  • Does the moral argument depend on everyone agreeing on right and wrong?
  • Can human beings construct an objective moral standard independent of God? Couldn’t the majority vote do that?
  • Are God’s commands based on God’s desires?
  • Are they based on God’s authority?
  • Can’t evolution explain morality?
  • Do changing views on morality mean there is no objective morality?
  • What about moral dilemmas? Do they show morality is relative?

Quick Shot Responses to “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence”

Check this out from J. Warner Wallace. Great apologetic overview.

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence.” How can we possibly make an affirmative case for the existence of God? Can we use an evidential approach, and if so, how would we approach this task?

These Quick Shot responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Read the article here: Quick Shot Responses to “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E23) | | Cold Case Christianity

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Encountering Noah and the Ark – What about the Flood account? Is it reliable?

This video is about the Genesis Conference with Tim Chaffey. Saturday presentation about Encountering Noah and the Ark – What about the Flood account? Is it reliable?

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is the foundation of all Christian doctrine. In it, we learn about the triune God,  the origin of all matter, the nature of man, why suffering and death exists, and the reason Jesus came to sacrifice His life for us. Genesis also contains accounts of the creation, the Global Flood, and the Tower of Babel – accounts that many Christians don’t see the importance of taking literally.

​But if Genesis is not true, how can we trust the rest of the Bible?  Tim Chaffey of Answers in Genesis gave us compelling arguments for the first 11 chapters of the Bible and their importance to our modern world.

Tim Chaffey is the founder and director of Midwest Apologetics, a ministry dedicated to defending the word of God from the beginning to the end. Tim holds a M.Div. in Apologetics and Theology and a Th.M. in Church History and Theology from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of the books God and Cancer, Old-Earth Creationism on Trial, and In Defense of Easter. Tim is also content manager for Answers in Genesis’s Ark Encounter.

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

“Worship Me or Burn” – The Oversimplification of an Atheist Meme

Evan Minton is a Christian Apologist and blogger at Cerebral Faith (www.cerebralfaith.blogspot.com). He is the author of “Inference To The One True God” and “A Hellacious Doctrine.” He has engaged in several debates which can be viewed on Cerebral Faith’s “My Debates” section. Mr. Minton lives in South Carolina, USA.

Atheists frequently mock God through memes or tweets or social comments that basically go something like the following; “God says ‘Love me, or I’ll torture you forever!’ Such a good God”, “Worship me or burn!”, or “Believe and worship me, or be punished forever! Ahh… such love.” The implication in these sarcastic posts is that God is an evil self-serving monster.

He demands worship and adoration, and if you don’t give it to Him, watch out! He’ll throw you in the lake of fire to experience agonizing, unending torture! The problem with this tactic is that it grossly oversimplifies God’s judgment of unbelievers and fails to understand precisely what the problem of sin and Hell are. It fails to understand why idolatry is a sin worthy of punishment. It’s easy to make an idea look silly if you oversimplify it, and social media atheists are known for their oversimplification of Christian doctrines.

Read the article here: “Worship Me or Burn” – The Oversimplification of an Atheist Meme

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History of the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

In the early 1970’s, Jay and Sally Fesperman had a vision to open a retreat center for businessmen.  It was from this desire that they founded the Inn of Last Resort.  In the simplest of words – “Life is Relationships” – Jay Fesperman defined the heart of the ministry. Since its inception, “The Inn” has been involved in training and giving counsel to numerous families, pastors and lay people. The “Inn of the Last Resort” aptly alludes to the condition of many people who have found their way to this sanctuary in the rural Smoky Mountains. As word of the ministry spread, our name was revised to Christian Training Center International. Learn more here.

Global Influence

In 1980, Larry and Susan Pons joined the Fespermans in the ministry. Before Jay’s passing in 1992, CTCI had grown to be more global in its influence. Expansion of the ministry’s impact began to reach overseas and has subsequently brought scores of fellow Christians here for training and renewal. During its existence, over 70,000 people from more than 60 nations have come through the doors seeking a deeper reality of God in their lives.

 Our Prayer

Our prayer and focus has remained the same for years. First, that Jesus be Lord over all, through all and in all. Secondly that healthy, Godly relationships will always be the driving force of this ministry. This is the heartbeat of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and it is one we trust the Lord will continue to lead us in until He returns.

Learn more here.

Why Didn’t Jesus Reveal Scientific Facts to Demonstrate His Deity?

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to defend the reliability of the New Testament Gospels to the students of San Jose State University. Jane Pantig (the director of the local Ratio Christi chapter) invited me, and I was delighted to come. I’ve been working with Ratio Christi across the country to defend the Christian worldview on college campuses. If you aren’t acquainted with the work of this growing apologetics movement, you really ought to familiarize yourself with Ratio Christi and find a way to support their efforts.

At the end of my presentation, during the question and answer period, a polite young skeptic asked why Jesus didn’t reveal scientific facts in an effort to demonstrate His Deity. Why didn’t Jesus describe something well beyond the scope and knowledge of His contemporaries as a prophetic proof? He could easily have described the role of DNA, the proper organization of the Solar System, or the biological complexity of cellular structures.  The questioner believed this sort of knowledge would have been persuasive to him as a 21st Century skeptic, and without it, he remained unconvinced.

Read the article here: Why Didn’t Jesus Reveal Scientific Facts to Demonstrate His Deity? | Cold Case Christianity

Questions about the importance of the first 11 chapters of the Bible to our modern world 

This video is about Genesis Conf. Friday Q&A. We just finished the Relevance in Genesis conference with Tim Chaffey. You can read Tim’s bio here. You can also find out more about Tim at his Midwest Apologetic’s site. Tim is a prolific researcher and author. You can find his writings and DVD’s here.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is the foundation of all Christian doctrine. In it, we learn about the triune God,  the origin of all matter, the nature of man, why suffering and death exists, and the reason Jesus came to sacrifice His life for us. Genesis also contains accounts of the creation, the Global Flood, and the Tower of Babel – accounts that many Christians don’t see the importance of taking literally.

​But if Genesis is not true, how can we trust the rest of the Bible?  Tim Chaffey of Answers in Genesis gave us compelling arguments for the first 11 chapters of the Bible and their importance to our modern world.

Tim Chaffey is the founder and director of Midwest Apologetics, a ministry dedicated to defending the word of God from the beginning to the end. Tim holds a M.Div. in Apologetics and Theology and a Th.M. in Church History and Theology from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of the books God and Cancer, Old-Earth Creationism on Trial, and In Defense of Easter. Tim is also content manager for Answers in Genesis’s Ark Encounter.

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — The 2020 date will be announced soon. | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

If Jesus really was a miracle-working teacher who rose from the dead, why isn’t He mentioned by more 1st century historians?

Here is a great post from Erik Manning. A former atheist turned disciple of Jesus. Read about him here.

Jesus of Nazareth was a highly influential teacher. He allegedly was a prophet with miraculous powers. He cast out demons, healed the sick, and even raised people from the dead. Then there’s the whole matter of his own resurrection. If Jesus was such a big deal, why isn’t he mentioned in the first and early second century beyond a few Christian sources? Wouldn’t Jesus have made more of an impact in his times?

This is a common complaint of skeptics, especially from the internet infidel crowd who question whether Jesus ever even existed. On the face of it, these questions appear reasonable, but history just doesn’t work this way.

Read the article here: If Jesus really was a miracle-working teacher who rose from the dead, why isn’t He mentioned by more 1st century historians? – Is Jesus Alive?

The Relevance of Genesis – The importance of the first 11 chapters of the Bible to our modern world.

We just finished the Relevance in Genesis conference with Tim Chaffey. You can read Tim’s bio here. You can also find out more about Tim at his Midwest Apologetic’s site. Tim is a prolific researcher and author. You can find his writings and DVD’s here.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is the foundation of all Christian doctrine. In it, we learn about the triune God,  the origin of all matter, the nature of man, why suffering and death exists, and the reason Jesus came to sacrifice His life for us. Genesis also contains accounts of the creation, the Global Flood, and the Tower of Babel – accounts that many Christians don’t see the importance of taking literally.

​But if Genesis is not true, how can we trust the rest of the Bible?  Tim Chaffey of Answers in Genesis gave us compelling arguments for the first 11 chapters of the Bible and their importance to our modern world.

Tim Chaffey is the founder and director of Midwest Apologetics, a ministry dedicated to defending the word of God from the beginning to the end. Tim holds a M.Div. in Apologetics and Theology and a Th.M. in Church History and Theology from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of the books God and Cancer, Old-Earth Creationism on Trial, and In Defense of Easter. Tim is also content manager for Answers in Genesis’s Ark Encounter.

What about the Problem Of God And Children With Cancer? What is evil?

Is there a contradiction between children dying from cancer and the existence of God?

  • Whatever evil does, it can’t disprove God.
  • The shadows prove sunshine.
  • Evil doesn’t disprove God.

Here is more on this topic from CrossExamined.org

What is Christian Apologetics and Why is it Important?

What is apologetics and why is it so important? Kendra Fletcher provides some great insight. She is a mother of 8, speaker, author, and podcaster. She is the author of Lost and Found: Losing Religion, Finding Grace, and Leaving Legalism, and she regularly writes for Key Life Ministries.

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor the Messiah the Master as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is within you: yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

If you’ve been around church or church people for any length of time, you may have heard the term “apologetics” and wondered what it means. More importantly, you may have read the above verse from 1 Peter and wondered how the defense of your faith plays out in the real world.

The word “apologetics” stems from the Greek word “apologia”, which means defending one’s beliefs through proofs or reason. But what does it look like to “make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason”? Will we have to be Biblical scholars or seminary graduates in order to engage in apologetics?

Read More Here: What is Christian Apologetics and Why is it Important?

 

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Train to Reign

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers. Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed. Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment. Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more here.

Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!

How To Answer The Fool

Presuppositional Apologetics explained and taken to the streets.



Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

4 Questions Everyone Investigating the Case for Christianity Should Ask Themselves

Here are some great questions from Evan Minton. Evan is a Christian Apologist and blogger at Cerebral Faith (www.cerebralfaith.blogspot.com). He is the author of “Inference To The One True God” and “A Hellacious Doctrine.” He has engaged in several debates which can be viewed on Cerebral Faith’s “My Debates” section.

When it comes to investigating the evidences and arguments for and against worldviews, we need to realize that we human beings are not mere thinking machines; only considering the facts and logic, and generating conclusions based on hard, cold rationality. We’re not perfect, and one of the effects of the fall said by theologians is said to be “The Noetic Effect,” that the sin nature affects our ability to reason properly. Sin doesn’t completely debilitate us from reasoning. If that were the claim, it would be self-refuting in nature for we could ask, “Did you use your reason to come to the conclusion that you cannot trust reason?”

4 Questions Everyone Investigating The Case For Christianity Should Ask Themselves

Nevertheless, we need to be aware that biases, emotional like or dislike of implications, and other things can lead us away from the truth. None of us is immune, whether we are Christian or Non-Christian, and each one of us needs to do deep introspection when we’re evaluating competing systems of thought. In this blog post, I will mention 5 questions we need to pose to ourselves and meditate upon when it comes to evaluating whether Christianity is true or false.

Read More Here: 4 Questions Everyone Investigating the Case for Christianity Should Ask Themselves

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Susan Pons Book – “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning…”

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

4 Reasons Why Christianity is True

Is Jesus the resurrected Son of God? Did Jesus die for us? Can we believe Jesus?

The reason we believe that Christianity is true, its because the answer to four questions is yes.

I Could Be Wrong…

Is it a good idea for Christians to use the phrase “I could be wrong…” when discussing their convictions? Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason responds.

Can religious experiences be reduced to brain activity?

Here is a great overview on religious experiences from Erik Manning. Erik was raised Catholic but had a very shallow understanding of the faith. He eventually became an atheist and remained one for several years. He eventually started doubting his doubts, and that led him into a journey for the truth. During that journey, the Holy Spirit got in his “bubble” and revealed himself to him in a real way.

Here’s my unpopular opinion: I actually like the argument from religious experience. As part of a cumulative case for God’s existence, I think it works. Spiritual experience is one of those things that should make people curious, at minimum. However, not everyone is a fan. This includes a lot of Christians, who find it too problematic. There are two common objections that critics raise against this argument that I want to dig into in this post.

To help me state these objections, I’m going to refer to a video made by prolific atheist YouTuber Drew McCoy, AKA Genetically Modified Skeptic. In less than 2 years, Drew’s channel has gained over 173K subscribers and over 13 million views.

Drew is an ex-Christian. He once believed he had several encounters with God, but later became skeptical of his experiences. Now Drew thinks that arguments from personal experience are about as persuasive as testimonies of healings from Essential Oils. Ouch. Is the argument from personal spiritual experiences really that flimsy?

Read More Here:

Can religious experiences be reduced to brain activity? What about religious experiences in other religions? A reply to Genetically Modified Skeptic – Is Jesus Alive?

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Does the Origin of Life Point to the Existence of God?

This video, excerpted from J. Warner Wallace’s presentation of the evidence for God (from his book, God’s Crime Scene), summarizes the case for Gods existence from the origin of life.

  • Has science answered the question of life’s origin?
  • How do philosophically natural scientists tackle the “chicken and egg” problems related to the origin of life?
  • What is the best explanation for the information found in the genetic code?

For a robust review of the collective case for God’s existence from eight pieces of evidence “inside the room” of the natural universe, please refer to God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe. (For more information, visit www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)

If you would like to donate to CTCI please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

C.S. Lewis on Reasoning to Atheism – Apologetics 315

I love the way that C.S. Lewis can take some of the most challenge concepts that we face in life and formulate such succinct responses to them.  Here’s a little excerpt from his writings that addresses issues arising from atheistic belief and why belief in God is definitely reasonable. Hope you enjoy!

“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking.