Book Reviews From 2018

8 Quotes From “More Than A Carpenter”

more-than-a-carpenterMore Than A Carpenter by Josh & Sean McDowell is a wonderful resource to prepare you to share the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Check out my book review by clicking here, and then enjoy these quotes that I especially found interesting.

“Why don’t the names of Buddha, Mohammed, or Confucius offend people the way the name of Jesus does? I think the reason is that these other religious leaders didn’t claim to be God.” —Josh McDowell

“It was reserved for Christianity to present to the world an ideal which through all the changes of eighteen centuries has inspired the hearts of men with an impassioned love; has shown itself capable of acting on an all ages, nations, temperaments, and conditions; has been not only the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive to its practice. … The simple record of these three short years of active fife has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the expectations of moralists.” —William Lecky, one of Great Britain’s most noted historians and a fierce opponent of organized Christianity

“This testimony [that Jesus was God], if not true, must be downright blasphemy or madness. … Self-deception in a matter so momentous, and with an intellect in all respects so clear and so sound, is equally out of the question. How could He be an enthusiast or a mad man who never lost the even balance of His mind, who sailed serenely over all the troubles and persecutions, as the sun above the clouds, who always returned the wisest answer to tempting questions, who calmly and deliberately predicted His death on the Cross, His resurrection on the third day, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the founding of His church, the distraction of Jerusalem—predictions which have been literally fulfilled? A character so original, so complete, so uniformly consistent, so perfect, so human and set so high above all human greatness, can be neither a fraud nor a fiction. The poet, as has been well said, would in this case be greater than the hero. It would take more than a Jesus to invent a Jesus.” —Philip Schaff

“There exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies, and offering so superb an array of historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made. An honest [person] cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based on an irrational bias.” —Clark H. Pinnock

“The Gospels tell us Jesus’ family, including James, were embarrassed by what He was claiming to be. They didn’t believe in Him; they confronted Him. In ancient Judaism it was highly embarrassing for a rabbi’s family not to accept him. Therefore, the Gospel writers would have no motive for fabricating this skepticism if it weren’t true. Later the historian Josephus tells us that James, the brother of Jesus, who was the leader of the Jerusalem church, was stoned to death because of his belief in his brother. Why did James’ life change? Paul tells us: the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. There’s no other explanation.” —J. P. Moreland

“The resurrection takes the question ‘Is Christianity valid?’ out of the realm of philosophy and makes it a question of history.”

“I believe in the resurrection, partly because a series of facts are unaccountable without it.” —Michael Ramsey, former Archbishop of Canterbury

“The Old Testament contains sixty major messianic prophecies and approximately 270 ramifications that were fulfilled in one Person, Jesus Christ. … We find the chances of just forty-eight of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person to be only 1 in 10157. … All of the prophecies about the Messiah were made at least four hundred years before He was to appear. … This description of the manner of [Christ’s] death was written eight hundred years before the Romans used crucifixion as a method of execution.” —Josh McDowell

I am always sharing quotes from More Than A Carpenter and other interesting authors regularly on both Twitter and Tumblr. Please make sure you are following me there as well to see these quotes as soon as they are posted.

9 More Quotes From “Today’s Moment Of Truth”

Today's Moment Of TruthToday’s Moment Of Truth by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg is so chockfull of helpful truths that I couldn’t possibly have shared all of the passages I highlighted. Here are a few more quotes I wanted to share with you:

“Jesus said, ‘Do not believe Me unless I do the works of My father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father’ (John 10:37-38). And Jesus did the miraculous works He referred to. Even the Pharisee Nicodemus conceded, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with Him’ (John 3:2).

“We can see such confirmation repeatedly in the lives of Jesus and the biblical prophets. But it never happened in the life of Mohammad, the founder of Islam. Mohammad believed Jesus was a prophet who performed miracles, including raising the dead. Muslims also believe Moses and Elijah performed miracles.

“However, according to the Qur’an, when unbelievers challenged Mohammad to perform a miracle, he refused. He merely said they should read a chapter in the Qur’an (Surah 2:118; 3:181-184; 4:153; 6:8, nine, 37).

“So, unlike Jesus, Mohammad never did miracles. It wasn’t until approximately 150 to 200 years after Mohammad’s death that some of his followers begin to come up with stories of miracles and ascribe them to him.” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg 

“There are two major competing worldviews to Christian theism—atheism and pantheism…. The problem with atheism is that, with its denial of God’s existence, there’s a loss of any ultimate moral basis by which to declare something good or evil. So atheists are left without any objective standard by which to judge something as being right or wrong. Instead, they’re left with mere preferences. I have mine. You have yours. Rape and murder may not be my cup of tea, but they maybe somebody else’s. And who are we to say that what others choose to do is wrong? [We are] not saying an atheist cannot live a moral life; we are saying that an atheist cannot define what morality is. ….

“If everything is part of god [as in pantheism], then what we call evil is actually part of that god as well. … This is the very god, or ultimate reality, that Eastern philosophy says we’re supposed to strive to become more like and eventually to become one with. This presents a tremendous problem: we’re supposed to join with the very entity that contains evil within itself!” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg

“Revering Christ as Lord and being prepared to defend our faith are ongoing processes in the Christian life. … It’s interesting that in the original Greek, the word Peter used for answer is apologia [1 Peter 3:15], from which we get our word apologetics. It literally means we are to be ready to give a speech of defense—a well-thought-out account of why our faith in Christ makes sense. … With God’s help we can present information that will remove intellectual barriers, helping people move one step closer to faith in Christ.” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg

“In 2 Chronicles 7, God says if Israel’s sin reaches a certain level, He’ll destroy the temple, exile the people, and leave them in a state of judgment. Sure enough, this comes to pass. The prophet Daniel prays in Daniel 9 that God would have mercy. God gives him a revelation about the temple being rebuilt. Before this new temple is destroyed, Daniel is told, several things are going to take place, including the bringing of everlasting atonement—the final dealing with sin.

“The prophet Haggai says the glory of the second temple will be greater than the glory of the first temple. God will fill the second temple with His glory. Then the prophet Malachi says the Lord will come to His temple. He uses a Hebrew term that always refers to God Himself: the Lord—He will come to that temple.

“Keep in mind the second temple was destroyed in AD 70. Atonement for sin had to be made and the divine visitation had to take place before the second temple was destroyed.

“So … if it’s not Yeshua, the Jewish name for Jesus, then throw out the Bible, because nobody except Him accomplished what needed to be done prior to AD 70. What divine visitation did take place if not for Yeshua? When else did God visit the second temple in a personal way? How else was the glory of the second temple greater than the first?

“Either the Messiah came two thousand years ago, or the prophets were wrong and we can discard the Bible. But they weren’t wrong. Yeshua is the Messiah—or nobody is.” —Michael Brown, a messianic Jew

“Even nonreligious people live in the trust that their nonreligious beliefs are accurate and that they won’t someday face a thoroughly religious Maker who actually did issue a list of guidelines and requirements that they failed to pay attention to.” —Mark Mittelberg 

“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.” —William F. Albright

“The noted Roman historian Collin J. Hemer, in The Book Of Acts In The Setting Of Hellenistic History, shows how archaeology has confirmed not dozens, but hundreds and hundreds of details from the biblical account of the early church. Even small details have been corroborated, like which way the wind blows, how deep the water is a certain distance from the shore, what kind of disease a particular island had, the names of local officials, and so forth.

“Now, Acts was authored by the historian Luke. Hemer gives more than a dozen reasons why Acts had to have been written before AD 62, or about thirty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Even earlier, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke, which is substantially the same as the other biblical accounts of Jesus’ life.

“So here you have an impeccable historian, who has been proven right in hundreds of details and never proven wrong, and it’s written within one generation while eyewitnesses were still alive and could have disputed it if it were exaggerated or false.” —Norman Geisler 

“No Book of Mormon cities have ever been located, no Book of Mormon person, place, nation, or name has ever been found, no Book of Mormon artifacts, no Book of Mormon scriptures, no Book of Mormon inscriptions,…nothing which demonstrates the Book of Mormon is anything other than myth or invention has ever been found.” —John Ankernerg and John Weldon

“Jesus did exist, whether we like it or not.” —Bart Ehrman, an agnostic

If you would like to read the first set or quotes from this book, please click here.

You can check out my review of Today’s Moment Of Truth here.

And to read some of the other quotes I’ll be sharing from this book, be sure to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter.

13 Quotes From “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”

Seeking Allah Finding JesusIf you want to know about Islam from an insider’s perspective, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi is simply a phenomenal book! Check out my book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I found quite educational.

“There is much division in Islam. The best determination of whether a man is Muslim is if he exclusively declares that Allah is God and Mohammad is Allah’s messenger. Beyond this point, there is great diversity in Islam.”

“There is no book of sharia. We must derive the law from a hierarchy of sources using a process of jurisprudence called fiqh. The first and greatest source is the Quran. Nothing can supersede the Quran because it is the word of Allah. But the Koran is not comprehensive. As Muslims, there is much we must do and believe that is not found in the Quran. For this, we go to the second source, hadith. The hadith elaborate and clarify what is found in the Quran, but they never contradict. There is no contradiction in Islam. If a hadith is found in any way to contradict the Quran, then it is inauthentic and must be disregarded. If no hadith can be found to clarify an issue, then we must turn to the third source of sharia: the ulema, Muslim scholars who are wise and experienced in Islam.”

“Muftis from different schools of thought have different precedents and therefore provide different fatwas. Each denomination differs on what hadith they consider accurate. Since the hadith are the second rung of sharia, these differences of opinion have real consequences. Many of the differences between the ways Sunnis and Shias practice Islam are over this very matter. Their books of hadith are disparate. This difference, combined with the Shia position regarding the authority of imams, results in a significantly different view of sharia. … Most Muslims do not know these things. They know Islam to the extent that they practice it, and these are matters for the learned.”

“Christians believe Jesus is God incarnate, and this is a necessary belief for orthodox Christianity. Muslims believe that Jesus is no more than a prophet, and to consider Him God incarnate would be blasphemy and would cause one to be condemned to hell eternally, according to the Quran.”

“Regarding Jesus, there are two issues on which Muslims particularly disagree with Christians: that Jesus died on the Cross and that Jesus claimed to be God. The Quran specifically denies both of these beliefs.” 

“Sahih Bukhari…is the most trustworthy book of hadith, compiled by Imam Bukhari. The hadith were not collected into the books until a long time after Mohammad’s death. Many false hadith had been fabricated, and it was difficult to determine which ones were accurate. Imam Bukhari sifted through five hundred thousand hadith and pick out the five thousand most accurate.”

“The earliest historical records show that Mohammad launched offensive military campaigns and used violence at times to accomplish his purposes. He used the term jihad in both spiritual and physical contexts, but the physical jihad is the one Mohammad strongly emphasizes. The peaceful practice of Islam hinges on later, often Western, interpretations of Mohammad’s teachings, whereas the more violent variations of Islam are deeply rooted in orthodoxy and history.”

“The Bible and the Quran were nothing alike. Not in the slightest. … Mohammad dictated the contents of the Quran to his scribes over a period of twenty-three years. Only after his death was the Quran collected into a book. Verses that had been dictated years or decades apart are frequently found side-by-side in the Quran, often with no obvious connection. The result is that Muslims placed relatively little weight on surrounding passages when trying to interpret sections of the Quran.”

“Almost everything Muslims know about Mohammad comes to them orally, rarely from primary sources. Unlike Christians learning about Jesus from the Bible, the Quran has very little to say about Mohammad.”

“Mohammad’s first biography, Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, comes down to our date only through the transmission of a later biographer, Ibn Hisham. In his introduction, Ibn Hisham explains that he altered the story of Mohammad’s life. ‘Things which it is disgraceful to discuss, matters which would distressed certain people, and such reports as [my teacher] (sic) told me he could not accept as trustworthy—all these things I have omitted.’”

“According to the hadith, Mohammad named four men as the best teachers of the Quran. The first one was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, whome Mohammad distinguished as the foremost expert of the Quran. The last one was Ubay ibn Ka’b, whom Sahih Bukhari identifies as the best reciter of the Quran. These were the men that Mohammad hand selected as the best teachers of the Quran, but as I studied the early sources, I found that they did not agree with the final Quran, which has been passed down as today’s version. They did not even agree with each other. … Ubay is known to have had 116 chapters in his Quran, two more than Zaid’s edition. Ibn Mas’ud had only 111 chapters in his Quran, insisting that the additional chapters in Zaid’s Quran and Ubay’s Quran were just prayers, not Quranic recitation.”

“In Islam, there is only one unforgivable sin, shirk, the belief that someone other than Allah is God. Shirk is specifically discussed in the context of Jesus in 5:72. He who believes Jesus is God, ‘Allah has forbidden Heaven for him, and his abode will be the Hellfire.’”

“All suffering is worth it to follow Jesus. He is amazing.”

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