I’ve spent a lot of time considering what I would say here. I promised that I would write on this topic, as a way to help share the Word of God with as many people as possible. A lot of research, thought and prayer have gone into this, so bear with me. Some of this will be a bit dry and technical, but there is a reason for it.
One day I was on YouTube, watching a presentation by Dr. Frank Turek. For those who might not know, he is a Christian Apologist, and the author of a book entitled, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”. I strongly recommend that people study his work. It’s very insightful.
During his presentation, he made mention of something that I hadn’t really thought about, or considered. He said that 75% of all Christian teens sent away to college would leave the faith by the time of their graduation. I was staggered by that, given that my oldest is now 18. I mean, what does her future hold, if she has only a 25% chance of retaining her faith?
It goes deeper than that for me. You see, for much of her life, I was ambivalent about Christianity. I never renounced my faith, but more or less went into a kind of spiritual hibernation. The end result is, my two oldest kids received very little by way of spiritual instruction from me. I’m now working to fix that problem, especially given that my second oldest is 16, and will be a Junior this coming fall. I want to make sure he’s as prepared as I can make him.
Back in December I found myself embroiled in an online debate regarding Islamic Doctrine and its prescribed treatment of the Kafir, or unbelievers. Much to my surprise, I was facing down arguments from two Jews and three Muslims, all of whom argued strenuously against my assertion that Islam is a supremacist doctrine. I ultimately had to back out because I simply couldn’t keep track of who was saying what, and found myself struggling to avoid calling people by the wrong names.
During the debate, I noticed that all five of them were forming a unified front against Christian Doctrine. In short order, I was forced into the position of defending the Doctrine of the Trinity and the Messiahship of Jesus. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I wasn’t prepared to argue these rather fundamental points.
This fight actually did me a huge favor, and I’m grateful to the men who helped me identify and fix these deficiencies. At the time of this debate, my knowledge of the Trinity and Jesus as Messiah were only skin-deep, given that the only training I’d received in these areas were half-remembered but utterly inadequate confirmation classes from a little more than two decades ago. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude, because they forced me to realize that I didn’t know my Lord and Savior as well as I should.
The Next Step
For the next several months, I sort of waded into a self-paced, self-designed study program, focusing on the Scripture surrounding Jesus, and His mission to bring salvation to all mankind. It began as a study of the Messianic prophesies found in the Old Testament, and eventually branched out into a study of Trinitarian texts associated with it.
It wasn’t long before I made a rather eye-opening discovery. Without the Trinity, much of the Messianic texts make absolutely no sense at all. Why? Many of those texts refer to a Messiah who is not only divine in nature, but who is God Himself. It quickly became clear that I would have to prove the Trinity before I can even think about arguing for Jesus as the Messiah.
I’ve been reading Scripture, found in both my copy of the Complete Jewish Bible and in my wife’s New King James Version Study Bible, as well as multiple other books. I’ve also watched and listened to numerous videos on YouTube, engaged in long conversations with my pastor, and basically worn a hole in Google, in my endless search for even greater knowledge of my Lord and Savior. I’ve also managed to acquire a decent library of books relating to Scripture, which I’ll be drawing on to build this series.
Not to be left out, I’ve also studied Jewish and Muslim materials, including the Qur’an, the Tanakh, the Talmud, the works of Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, and various others, all in my pursuit of knowledge and understanding on these topics. What will follow this post is the fruit of that labor, shared in the hopes that I can inspire others to undertake the same journey I did. Believe me, it’s well worth it.
Well, without further ado, I shall take the time to close out this post, so that I may follow up with Part II. As always, I wish everyone a blessed day, and may the Lord bless all of you.