By Alyssa Jackson
Managing Editor (Fall 2018) and former Life Editor of "The Collegian" student newspaper of Grove City College, PA
Psalm 19:1“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
The painter’s hand lightly grasps the brush. Green and black splash together on the bristles forming a leafy green. As the paint hits the canvas, the foliage blooms. Each new stroke fills the canvas with life. The angle of the brush changes to release more black than green, forming the shadow of the leaf. Each complex stroke diminishes the white background. Days pass before the painter calls his work complete.
Such care is unmatched. Each release of color holds thought and intention. Every move is carefully planned.
If the human artist takes such great care in the making of one painting, how much more does the Creator commit when He created the world and everything in it? He carefully crafted each leaf, each flower, each sunrise, each ocean, each human.
How can God not exist? Innately we know that a power greater than us exists. How can someone choose not to acknowledge the God who reveals Himself so clearly? It is the fool who says, “There is no God!” (Psalm 14:1).
No human can deny the beauty of a purple orange sunset, or the calming sound of waves hitting the shore. We know what beauty is because we are created in the image of the God, the Inventor of beauty. It’s like an instinct in an animal, we recognize beautiful things. Yet unlike animals, we can know the source of that beauty. We can know intimately our Creator. We can begin to understand the mystery of His greatness. We can look to Him who sent His only Son to die for our sins that we may live forever with Him in the ultimate beauty of heaven. We can long for that day and be reminded of this reward to come every time we see Him reflected in his creation here on earth.
Look around at the spectrum of color from the tiniest spider to the swooping rainbow. See how lines innumerable run through the delicate, sheer leaf like veins on your hand. Taste the sweetness of a cherry or the heartiness of a steak. Smell the warm summer rain. Feel the smoothness of a stone or the fluff of a dog. Hear the wind brush the trees like waves hitting the shore. Creation does indeed declare the glory of God and proclaim his handiwork. Let us do the same.
by Rick McGough
Local Church Apologetics was birthed in 2016 to respond to the growing need within America for local churches to equip their people in how to defend their Christian faith from the onslaught of a skeptical, unbelieving culture. After pastoring an Assembly of God church in Moline, IL. for 34 years, my wife and I stepped out in faith to follow the Lord’s call to this new ministry venture. Our mission is to impact believers and local churches throughout the nation; challenging, inspiring and equipping them in the area of apologetics.
While pastoring, a growing burden developed in my heart as I saw the attacks upon the Christian faith increasing and the numbers of Christian young people walking away from the Christian faith by the time they graduated from college. I began to study apologetics about 25 years ago and began to incorporate apologetics into my ministry at the church in various ways. Many local churches in America today do not address the issues of apologetics in any way and many others only touch on these issues lightly. I believe this must change! I devoted the remainder of my life to help see this change come about.
Local Church Apologetics involves 4 main focuses of ministry. We seek to assist individual believers in becoming better equipped in how to defend their faith, but we our primary goal is to assist local churches in becoming better equipped to equip their people in these areas. Our 4 focus areas are as follows: (1) Preaching and Teaching in Churches, Schools and Conferences, (2) Producing Apologetics Materials for All Ages (I have recently published my first book entitled, “Faith & Reason Made Simple” and we are now working on a children’s ministry curriculum to be used in local churches to teach their children apologetics.), (3) Coordinating Truth Conferences (see description below), & (4) Developing a Web Site at “localchurchapologetics.org” that will eventually offer Materials for Local Churches to Teach Apologetics at Every Age Level.
In my book “Faith & Reason Made Simple” I have attempted to present the complicated areas of apologetics in a simplified way so that the believer who does not have previous apologetics training can easily digest, memorize and utilize key points which will help them defend their faith. For example, the book explains 6 Scientific Flaws with the Theory of Evolution and gives 8 Levels of Evidence that confirm God Created Everything. It also presents 8 Areas of Evidence which Confirm the Bible is the Word of God. In addition, the book deals with evidences confirming who Jesus Christ is, differences between Christianity and other religions, answers to the questions of skeptics, and a Christian response to issue of Homosexuality. These are all key issues that Christians are facing today.
In the Truth Conferences we bring together speakers like Josh McDowell, Chris Brooks, Eric Hovind, Charlie Campbell, and many others to offer people a full day of training and inspiration. Topics covered include Creation vs. Evolution, How We Know the Bible is the Word of God, The Person of Jesus Christ, Christianity & Islam, The Christian Response to Homosexuality, and Answering the Questions of Skeptics. Phil Stacey, former American Idol finalist serves as our worship leader during the conferences. We believe that apologetics and worship go hand in hand!
In all of our ministry efforts we seek to help believers understand that apologetics and reasoning must be combined with the love of Jesus flowing through our lives and the power of the Holy Spirit guiding our words and actions if we desire to be effective in both defending our faith and reaching the lost for Christ!
Our current focus is the development of a children’s ministry curriculum to be introduced in a future Truth Conference and offered to local churches across the nation to help them teach apologetics to children in their churches.
You can learn more about Local Church Apologetics at localchurchapologetics.org. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pray for us as we seek to follow the Lord’s calling! Thank you and God bless you!
Steven Craig Policastro