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Jim Burkett | Apologetics on Fire

Dr. Jim Burkett is an apologist on fire for Jesus. On today’s program we talk about the intersection between apologetics and evangelism. You will learn why apologetics is so important and you will learn some practical ways you can defend your faith.

Learn more about James Burkett and Apologetics on Fire: https://apologeticsonfire.com/


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Dr. Jim Burkett is an apologist on fire for Jesus on today’s program. We’re gonna be talking about the intersection between apologetics and evangelism. You’re going to learn why apologetics is so important. And you’re also going to learn some practical ways that you can defend your faith.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:25):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Danielle King.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:00):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest, Dr. Jim Burkette. He is an expert in apologetics brother, Jim, thank you for being with me today.

Dr. Jim Burkett (01:18):
Well thank you for having me, and it’s very exciting to be with you and gosh, all the great things that God has and is doing through you and your family. And God’s using you to ignite a, a spiritual chain reaction through so many parts of the world. And I praise God for that.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:34):
Now I’ve had the opportunity to go to several of your meetings here in the Tulsa area at different churches, where you were talking about apologetics, and you are really passionate about equipping the body of Christ to defend their faith through the use of apologetics. Why is apologetics so important to you?

Dr. Jim Burkett (01:58):
That’s a great question. You know, I receive the Lord Jesus watching Billy Gray am on TV back in the ninth grade, and didn’t grow up in a Christian family. And eventually the Lord called me into the ministry when I was a senior in high school, went to our denominational university. And my junior year, I just about lost my faith in a Christian university. And it got to the point where I’m, I’m preaching almost every weekend in a revival, but gosh, I thought if have all these doubts. So I prayed the agnostics prayer, which basically is, I don’t know if God, if you’re really there or, or if I’m am I speaking to air. So I really said, God, if you’re there, I need an intellectual stake, something that is immovable and meant that if I didn’t get any answers by the end of the semester, well, I’m changing universities.

Dr. Jim Burkett (02:49):
I’m changing my major. So two nights later to ask God to gimme an intellectual stake, two nights later, I’m at our university library. Why am I at the university library? Cuz I had a term paper due the next morning and I thought I should start on it. I had the gift of procrastination, some have said, but as I was going through the periodical section, I see this magazine called Christianity today. And as I stopped looked at it, I was stunned to see that the lead article was the historical evidence for the resurrection Jesus Christ ice. And I thought this is probably written by a pastor or a missionary or a theologian. I was stunned to find out that it was written by the, the Dean of the law college at the university of London, who was also the director for advanced legal studies and considered one of the world’s leading authorities on evidence.

Dr. Jim Burkett (03:36):
Then I found out it was not even an article. It was a trans of an address he gave to the Harvard Christian university fellowship. And I was stunned because Dr. Anderson basically says, I’m gonna act like an attorney and we’re just gonna follow the evidence where it goes. We’re gonna look at the betrayal, the trial the crucifixion and the purported resurrection, Jesus Christ. So all of a sudden he’s quoting this scholar and he’s quoting up that philosopher, he’s quoting this historian, then I’m going, why haven’t I heard about this in my own class, in my own courses, I’m a theology major, never heard of any of this. And the next last paragraph, he basically said this, the only conclusion we could come to on the basis of the evidence is that somehow some way Jesus of Nazareth came back from the dead in history.

Dr. Jim Burkett (04:22):
And that’s when I heard that sh that, that, that intellectual stake. So I tell people, I met the Lord when I was 14, but apologetic saved my faith when I was 21. So that’s why I have such a passion because I’m finding out the great majority of Christians Lisa ones, I come in contact with if you ask ’em, why are you a Christian? Many times they trace it back to their family, or they trace it back to you know, certain relationships, but most do not give a rational reason why they put their trust in Jesus Christ. And yet Jesus used the first 40 days of his post resurrection, pre Pentecostal ministry doing apologetics and giving rational reasons and, and demonstrating

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:12):
Giving convincing proofs that he really was alive.

Dr. Jim Burkett (05:15):
And that word convincing proofs don’t mean to interrupt you here in the Greek is tech Maria, which always means when it’s used, whether it’s in the Bible or other Greek sources, it means what’s being shared, being reported. What’s being demonstrated can be factually seen or factually seen to be absolute factual and true. So what Jesus do for 40 days, I say he did apologetics, which of course impact the disciples. I tell my classes, Hey, was it, was it the faith of the disciples that produced the resurrection of Jesus? Or was it the resurrection of Jesus that produced the faith in the disciples?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:54):
I am first in evangelist and then have a curiosity in apologetics. My, my calling is to, to bring people to Jesus and, and in a quest to do that, I recently wrote a book called proof. God is real. And this came out of a church. I was ministering at, in Missouri. A mother came up to me and she was crying. She says, could you please pray for my son? And I thought maybe her son was sick or something. And so I said, what does he need prayer for? And she said, he’s grew up in church. He served God his whole life, but he got a whole of some atheist books. And now he says, he’s an atheist. And he has rejected all the story of Jonah and David and Goliath that he learned in Sunday school as a kid, she said, could you please pray for him?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:43):
So I grabbed her by the hand, we prayed for him. And then I said, give me his phone number. And I called him the next day. And we talked for a while and he had lots of, of questions and objections to Christianity. And to be honest, I didn’t know how to answer all the questions. So I, I started to study the, the works of, of great apologi and look for the answers. And out of that study came this book prove God is real. And in this book, I give the reasons why I believe that God really is real, that we can prove that God is real, beyond a reasonable, bold out. He is alive. He lives today. And so, as I was setting this, I, I came across your lectures on, on several occasions and learned a lot from you. But I, I, I found that, I think that apologetics is really vital to the process of evangelism. What do you think is the, the connection between evangelism and apologetics? Why, why are both important?

Dr. Jim Burkett (07:49):
Kind of a prelude to that? I tell, I tell whether it’s in a workshop or whether it’s in a class or whether it’s apologetics revival, I tell them there are four question that every Christian needs to be able to answer in the affirmative because he knows it’s factually true. Number one, does truth exist as objective truth exists. This is such a serious issue in our culture as you well know, because the the word of the year for the Oxford university dictionary in 2016 was, was P host truth basically means coming to conclusions on the basis of emotional impressions. So I tell them that Hey, if you don’t believe in objective truth, you can’t do science. You can’t do engineering, you can’t do technology. And so forth. Number two does God exist. And I, as I just happen to notice, and then there’s so many works out.

Dr. Jim Burkett (08:37):
Now, the, the confirmation of God’s exists since is literally overwhelming. And so that’s why I appreciate pastoring 34 years in university communities and, and having grad students and professors and so forth. Matter of fact one of my friends when I pastored in Athens, Georgia, our church was across street from university of Georgia. He, his special was quantum chemistry, which I had no idea what that was. And but I found out he was a devoted Christian. I looked at him and said Dr. Shaffer, tell me, how is it you as one of the great intellects of the world? How did you, how did you come to God? And, and he started laughing, says, well, God has a sense of self has a sense of humor. I said I thought, gosh, did I hear the wrong thing?

Dr. Jim Burkett (09:21):
And he said well, when I was on the, on the faculty at Berkeley, California, that stunned me, Berkeley is not oral Roberts university or John Brown university, long story short. He said I kept bumping into some of my colleagues. They were some of the best in their discipline, but they were also committed Christian. So I would ask them how’s this. So how, how, how, how did you mess this together from that standpoint? And they all looked at me and they said their discipline showed them. First of all, that Darwinian evolution cannot be scientifically supported. It just doesn’t happen. But number two, they challenge to me go and disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And Shaefer said, so I thought, well, that’ll be easy. I’m very analytical and so forth. Long story short Shaefer said he spent two years. He, he looked at every possible way. And finally he came to the realization. He said it was not just, I was not just convinced. I was compelled intellectually to lies somehow some way Jesus, as Evangel came back from the dead and then he started laughing and he said, you know, Jim, anytime a dead man comes back from the dead. He kind of puts him in a class by himself. So,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:28):
And you should probably listen to what he has to say.

Dr. Jim Burkett (10:30):
So the third question is do miracles happen? And of course oh my goodness industry is a living demonstration of this and, and other people. Yeah.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:40):
We’ve seen God do many great miracles. Oh, all over the world.

Dr. Jim Burkett (10:44):
And then the fourth question I said is the Bible historically reliable? So I, I tell folks when you answer these four questions, one of the things that will happen, you’ll see the first result is that all of a sudden ignite something in you, excuse me, you begin to realize, oh my goodness this is true. Christianity is fact a factual faith. The second result of apologetics is it will build, it will provide you a bridge to non-Christian to answer the questions. Many of people, they, they have such misrepresentations in their mind about the de to Christ and the Bible, and so and so forth. And then third apologetics impacts culture. Now, how does that relate to evangelism? Oh my goodness. Wanna tell you a quick story. Professor Dr. Gentry, when I was working on the faculty with a a school in Bartlesville he came and he was speaking at to the to the professors.

Dr. Jim Burkett (11:46):
And he said, now I had a class in a small college in Kansas. And everyone in the class were ministry majors and they were going into the ministry. So I took a survey and the class was of evangelism and Christian apologetics. So I took a survey the first day, and I wanted to find out how many of you are actively sharing your faith. Second question is, if you’re not sharing your faith, why not? He was stunned to find out well over or 90%, 95% were not sharing their faith on a regular basis. Second question, why not? If you’re not. And he was stunned because the great majority of ’em said, I’m afraid somebody who asked me a question that I don’t have the answer. And, and number two, I’m not sure Christianity is true. So the next 16 weeks he focused on apologetics.

Dr. Jim Burkett (12:35):
He said, I, he said, I could see a very perceptible change in attitude in heart. And he said, by the end of the semester, I gave the same survey. Now, instead of 95% saying, I don’t share my faith, or I don’t know if Christianity’s true. He said, it was just like it reversed. Now they were sharing their faith on a reg their basis. Now they believe that Christianity was true based on the facts. And then six weeks later, he asked a follow up. He had a follow up survey. They were not just stagnant. They were continuing to grow in the Lord because when you know, that’s true, you really, it really hits you in your mind and your heart that lends right into evangelism you. And that’s why I tell folks if you are involved in a, an apologetics methodology that just tries to make you an intellectual egghead and it doesn’t flow into practical theology, evangelism, discipleship, and so forth. Then you look in the Bible and you just don’t see that kind of connection. Apologetics always brings you to the play where you’re ready to proclaim and minister. I hope that makes sense. What I said.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:39):
Yeah. Another really important use of apologetics is preparing young people to defend their faith. Oh, yes. I think sometimes young people, they, they, they grow up in the church and, and they believe the by Bible cuz their parents told them to believe the Bible, but then they go to college in the first philosophy professor that they run into or, or atheist that they run into manages to convince them that you’re an idiot if you believe the Bible. Yeah. And, and we need to prepare people, really inoculate them again. This attack of the devil that comes after people’s minds. Yes. And so by using apologetics and training apologetics during the teenage years, we can prepare young people to go out into the world and defend their faith and, and live for Christ.

Dr. Jim Burkett (14:34):
Amen. Matter of fact, you touched on two points. One is you’re absolutely right. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the surveys. I think I’ve looked at least 30, which basically they wanted to find out why were quote unquote Christian Church kids leaving the faith, the great majority of them. And so they were saying, and the average percentage was 75%, some as high as 80, 85%. Even one survey by the director for America’s research group. He, he was shocked because they wanted to find out why were they leaving the Christian faith? They got the normal answers, but they were shocked by when they were leaving in their heart and mind. He said 45% of church kids between the ages of 12 and 14. They start leaving the Christian faith by the time they reach the ninth grade and then the another 45% by the time they’re seniors.

Dr. Jim Burkett (15:29):
But on the other hand, as, as that stat is, I was sharing with a bunch of with a group of youth pastors. I was sharing these stats and you could just, you know, you could see ’em slouching down. What are we ever gonna do? Yeah. So I said, would you like to hear some good news and two or three of ’em said yes, please, please. And so I said, couple of surveys have come out. And it’s very interesting. The, this one survey in particular said if pastors and church leaders actually understand, and they are mentally grip with the realization, we’re not in a spiritual war because that’s what we’re supposed to say. They see it, they see it in our culture. They see what our kids are being bombarded by. They see it with the announcements, they see that it’s no longer a political issue. This is a spiritual warfare between, you know, evil and righteousness. And, and then those leaders take the steps to equip their young people. Keyword equip their young people logically through a biblical worldview based on the facts of apologetics 90% plus will go on with God. Oh my goodness. I’m thinking

Speaker 5 (16:45):
That is good

Dr. Jim Burkett (16:46):
News. It, it, it is. And this is what this is. I’ll be honest with you. This is what vexes me. I, I was, I was at a conference. It was a youth evangelism conference for training. I was asked to do three breakout sessions on apologetics. And, and so they put me in this auditorium that seated 7,000 people. We didn’t have 7,000 there, but it was the largest one they could have for the conference. And so did three sessions afterwards. I I’m on this platform and I have one of the, the leaders of the conference. And I know him and we’re good friends. And, and I said, you know, every summer this auditorium is filled up with 7,000 teenager. Every summer, they’ll be close to 50,000 teenagers from our you know, our, our denominational fellowship that will come here. And you at the stats from our own publishing and research indicate 75% plus of them will leave the Christian faith. What are we doing to change that now? Here’s and I’m, I’m not complaining. I’m just explaining what grieved me was. There was no answer. And this is why apologetics is such a necessity. This is why I can’t tell you how I, how excited I am that you’re not only prepared to give an answer, but you’re prepared to equip Christian leaders to do the same. I hope that made sense. What I shared.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:08):
Thank you. Let’s talk about the Bible. How can we know that the Bible really is true and that it’s the word of God.

Dr. Jim Burkett (18:18):
That’s a great answer. Matter of fact that’s one of the key issues I really try to, to hit on. The thing I try to, to deal with first, if I’m dealing with a non-Christian, I try to bring him or her to the place of realizing that the Bible is the most reliable historical document from, from antiquity. I start there because if I begin to try to talk to them about you know, it is the word of God is, well, they they’ve been old that anyone who believes the Bible’s the word of God, their faith is like wishful thinking. So what I do is I begin to share some of the key qualities, for example, I share with them that we can say now that we have 99.9% of what the original old new Testament actually said, and why, why can we do that?

Dr. Jim Burkett (19:13):
Because we have copies, manuscript, copies, both the old and new Testament, like just the new Testament alone. I know you’ve probably heard this, but if we were to bring them together, those copies we are looking at almost 30,000 copies show oh my goodness. Th this is what, this is what the original said. Dan Wallace, who is a professor at Dallas theological seminary said if we were to go to every library, every seminary, every museum, and we were able to get the new Testament copies of the originals. And he said, if we were to actually physically them on top of one another, he said that stack would be a mile high. Now I’m, I’m stunned by that,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:58):
But that’s a phenomenal number of manuscripts. And using those manuscripts, we can establish very clearly what the original manuscripts. Oh,

Dr. Jim Burkett (20:10):
Exactly. And, and then by, by the way, we haven’t even talked about the old Testament manuscripts. And you said, you get the old Testament manuscripts put on top of the new Testament manuscripts. Now that pile is not just a mile high. Now it’s two and a half miles high. And so the, the odds are so astronomical. That’s why I really appreciate the, the statement that Dr. AE Wilder Smith made three earned doctorates great scientists to spoke seven languages he’s in heaven now, but he said the thing that that I noticed is that when Christians, or even particularly non-Christians or agnostics or atheists say, well, you really can’t trust the Bible. He said, what I’ve noticed is that those scientists, those agnostics who actually search the scripture and look for the evidences, and then they come to the realization, this is not just a ordinary book.

Dr. Jim Burkett (21:03):
And so that’s why I, I tell a lot of, of a lot of skeptics. Well, listen, let’s sit down and show me, what’s the evidences that you have. And of course, we haven’t even talked about the prophetic, oh my goodness, 2000 plus prophecies. And the old Testament, the only ones not fulfilled are the second coming of Christ and the end of the age you you’ve got the prescience statements in the Bible. UHI McMillan. He wrote a book called none of these diseases. And he basically said, listen, the hygienic and medical principles that we see in the, in the fi first five books of Moses, he said, we know that it was God who told him there there’s nothing like in, in ancient history. And he said, it took modern science in the 20th century to verify those principles are medically sound and whoever follows them will have a healthy lifestyle. So you got statements like this over and over again.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:02):
Let’s talk about objective truth. How, how do we know that there really is objective truth. This is a big issue in our society right now. I think many people in our society are, are confused about,

Dr. Jim Burkett (22:16):

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:16):
Yeah, just very basic things like what is a man or a woman? I mean, that’s a, a very contentious issue right now. And, and, and it used to be that people would say objectively well that’s, and that’s a woman based on physical characteristics. And now they’re saying, no, you can’t say that anymore. And so even that objective scientific truth that’s in the DNA has in our society become a subjective truth, that you can be any gender or no gender at all that, that you want to be. And, and so God is a God of objective truth. How can we know what is objective truth?

Dr. Jim Burkett (22:57):
Well, that is you are right. That is a most significant question. I believe it’s a question that needs to be answered before we even asked as God exists, because you know, here, heres the evidences I have that God exists and somebody will try to deconstruct that. But the thing about truth, objective truth always relates to reality. It can always be, it can always be discovered and examined. And when people ask me particularly parents, what do I say to my young people? I tell them you have one of the strongest allies besides the holy spirit and that, and, and the ally are the allies happen to be called facts. And so that’s why when I start sharing I, I, I, I start, first of all we, we ask that question then when I get, does God exist? Oh my goodness Daniel, I’m telling you, it, it amazes me.

Dr. Jim Burkett (23:59):
I mean, a new book just came out called the return of the God hypothesis by Steven Meyer. This is one of our top scholars and he talks about three three discoveries in science. He said, even agnostics and atheists has to knowledge these discoveries. And he said all of a sudden, they can’t say well, the university of eternal science won’t lap them. And when you begin to extrapolate that in other areas historically like you know, liberal archeologists used to say, you can’t trust the, the history in both the old new Testament. And then what happens here, come these archeologists with their spate. Oh my goodness. Like sir, William Ramsey he was taught that the go gospel of Luke and the book of acts cannot be trusted. So he decided he was going to further that discovery. So he was very disappointed because he wasn’t finding what he was looking for long story short when he began to look at the archeological evidence for both the gospel of Luke, as well as the book of acts.

Dr. Jim Burkett (25:04):
He said every, every place every inscription concerning Luke or ax, he found out Luke and ax were always historically accurate to the point that he said there was never any mistake. And he it’s so convinced him well, if the Bible is historically accurate, it must be accurate spiritually. And he shocked his colleagues by putting his faith in Jesus Christ. When you match that with other discoveries. Oh my goodness. Used to be by 19 1958, we had over 25,000 archeological sites and discoveries. I honestly don’t know what it is now. It has to be well over 50,000. And, and that’s why we say to, to the agnostic and atheists. Okay. You know, it was not it was not the vice president came up this phrase, we’ve heard this for years, but you’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to your facts. And that’s why several leading archeologists, some of ’em are not even Christians, they’re Jewish, but they basically said there has never, ever please let me please hear me. There has never, ever been an archeological discovery that has contradicted the Hyster of the old or the new Testament. That’s staggering. That’s absolutely staggering.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:26):
And if the Bible can be trusted in the places where we can test it archeologically, or historically, then that means it can also be trusted in areas that we maybe haven’t discovered the evidence yet. We can know that we trust those areas. So let’s talk about the word fact. You said we have lots of facts that back up the Christian worldview, and of course, facts are very important to atheists. They, they often say, show me the evidence where where’s the evidence. Do you have evidence for God? Can you, can you touch? ’em Take and feel him weigh him in a laboratory reproduce miracles in a laboratory setting. And so they’re looking for facts. They’re looking for evidence. What are some of the facts that could lead someone who has a scientific viewpoint to the idea that there really is a God

Dr. Jim Burkett (27:20):
That’s, that’s an excellent question. By fact I share, and this is part of our equipping phase. We say the very first thing you’ve got to understand when you talk to somebody, whether it’s a Christian that has doubts or an athe agnostic, you must define your terms. You must, you must let them know you’re defining terms. That match reality. So when we talk about facts, we’re talking about those propositions or those statements, which match the reality of what’s being shared. Like you mentioned gender, you know, I think most people know there’s a difference between a male and a female. I remember a Rick Warren was asked by a TV interviewer Larry King and kind of the same question he says, well, why can’t people basically just determine who they are and, and and how can they show the difference?

Dr. Jim Burkett (28:20):
And, and now this is Rick Warren. He wasn’t trying to be obscene or anything like this, but he said, well, I think we could show you a difference where there are some facts not determined by the people he said you put a naked man and naked woman next to each other, and you see there’s a difference and it’s not based on their feelings. It’s the same way in terms of laws, pH physical loss there’s gravity, there’s all the fine tuning issues that we look at. And, and we can’t say it’s something that’s guessing. It is a fact, matter of fact the fine tuning issue. Again, it’s one of those things that’s overwhelming Daniel. I I’m telling you what I believe it’s

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:00):
Explain what fine tuning is. Okay.

Dr. Jim Burkett (29:03):
For example when we see a fine tuning Hugh Ross has made the comment there’s 102 variables about that we see in the universe, like if gravity was to just even 1% stronger or 1% less, the universe would not have expanded, would not have kept together. If certain elements were not completely, he balanced the way they were the same thing would happen, but he said these 122 variables. They’re so finely tuned that if, if you, if you had a universe creating machine and you took one dial, just one of the 122 variables, and you just kind of turn it maybe a half a degree, right. Or half degree left, it would collapse the entire universe or life would not be able to exist as we know it. And,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:55):
And the odds of a universe existing where human can exist are so astronomically enormous to be impossible. It just small minute changes in any one of these fine tuning elements would make it impossible for us to exist. And, and the fact that we do exist is really strong evidence that someone tuned these different elements and set everything perfectly so that we could exist. Yeah. Matter fact, it’s not by chance if it was by chance, it, it couldn’t happen.

Dr. Jim Burkett (30:33):
That’s right. Matter of fact, there was one agnostic who I don’t know if he’s come to God or Christ yet, but he, he said, every time I look at the the variables, I, he said, it’s almost like some, some superior mind has monkeyed with the with the facts or with the

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (30:51):
Creation this superior mind we call God.

Dr. Jim Burkett (30:53):
Yes, yes. Now there’s a, there’s a great story. When we talk about facts, here’s what I hope Christians understand and insists. You not know all the answers, but if you can, if you can put in someone’s hand kind of a, a bridge to the facts, for example, I dunno if you heard of vio Osen and he was considered the youngest medical student to ever graduate. And so when he was working as a, you know, in his research years he and his wife they weren’t accosted, but her parents became radical Christians. And so when the parents came up to where he was doing his residency they said, we really want you to go to church. We want you to stay this out. And so to just get them to, to leave them alone, they say, okay, listen, when I, when I don’t have a Sunday, I’m not working, then we will go to church.

Dr. Jim Burkett (31:49):
And, and of course, when they got together he and his wife, they thought, well, we’ll just, we’ll just look at all the atheistic classics and study that. And they were, they were shocked because nothing everything was so shallow in his thinking. And then one Sunday morning that they were at this church, this young man he’s, I think he was like a, a, a junior in college. He comes up to them and he says, Hey, doc, I’ve got this book. I don’t have time to read it, but I think you’d enjoy it. And the book was titled something like the scientific enterprise and Christianity, and they were stunned because it was a book in which each chapter had a different scientist who had a PhD in a certain field that talked about how the evidence not only showed them the existence of God, but why Jesus Christ is the son of God. And it’s so impacted their lives that not only 12 months later, did they become Christians, but God led them to be medical missionaries for 35 years in Bangladesh. And matter of fact VI Osen even has a little booklet called the agnostic air to search. And so when people say, oh, listen no, I’m not gonna believe that. I just challenge ’em and say, well, listen, just disprove it. Just, just examine. Are, are you openminded enough to just look at what the evidence just might say,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (33:17):
According to the apostle Paul Christianity rises and falls based on the resurrection. In fact, he says that if Christ has not been resurrected, then your, your faith is in vain. And so that really is the core issue for Christianity. How can we know, know that Jesus really rose from the dead? How, how do we even know Jesus existed? Some atheists say there there’s, there was no Jesus. So how can we know that Jesus existed, that he really lived, that he was crucified and that he rose from the dead.

Dr. Jim Burkett (33:56):
Very good question again you know, it’s so comforting to have, have facts and God on your side because you know, when, when I hear somebody say, well, Jesus couldn’t have lived. I think it’s very interesting, even some of the most liberal quote unquote theologians that, that don’t claim be Christians have openly acknowledged the, that if there’s one thing, we can be certain of that Jesus Christ exists in history. Now what about the resurrection? Now? This is where it gets very interesting. I I’ll, I’ll take a different slant than I normally do, but Dr. Gary hemos, oh my goodness. He’s considered, as you know, the, world’s leading a thought on the history of the resurrection and when he was studying his PhD, matter of fact, he got his PhD studying the resurrection of Jesus from Michigan state university, which is not known as a seminary or a graduate school, long story short the chairman of his committee said, well, it can’t be a devotional study.

Dr. Jim Burkett (34:59):
It’s gotta be an analytical study and, and it’s gotta be 350 pages. So here’s what, here’s what Dr. Hyper miss did. He studied everything written on the resurrection in English, French and German, over a period of about 25 to 30 years. And here’s what he noticed. He noticed even atheist agnostics acknowledged that there were certain elements that even they had to agree with. One was the empty tomb and, and he was shocked. Even atheists now acknowledged the empty tomb. So he built off that and he, and he calls it the minimalist approach to the resurrection things like, okay, the empty tomb, you have eyewitness reports people can’t say, well, it’s mass hallucination because you can’t share somebody else’s hallucination with anybody else. The change in the disciples these men, they, they died for what they believe was truth.

Dr. Jim Burkett (35:56):
And plus there was no perks in declaring Jesus was the Lord of your life. Number two, the impact that it had on a radical opponent by the name of Saul of Tarsus, who became the great missionary, the apostle Paul, even the brother of Jesus James who also died for his faith and then the radical impact on culture. It’s very interesting that there’s a book in which the, the, the growth of the early church, Michael Green, British theologian made this comment. And he said, there’s three reasons why the early church exploded in growth. He said, the number one reason is persuasive apologetics and the ability to outthink her critics. That was the first thing about the church. Number two, the dramatic conversion of these pagans and how that filtered in compassion ministry. I mean, here, you had people, they didn’t care.

Dr. Jim Burkett (36:53):
I mean, if they had a baby that was born, they didn’t want it. Well, they would throw it away. They’d put on the Ashe, whatever, but they’d see these changes out of that compassion ministry. Some of the church fathers actually instituted the hospitals and so on and so forth. And then number three, the dramatic miracles, exorcisms, and prop prophecies, clearly from another realm, it was so impacting that historians have said even non-Christians most modern folks are not aware of the dramatic impact that Christianity had on any culture that allows the gospel to be released. And we see that not only in, in ancient history, but we see it, you know, down through church history. I dunno if that makes sense or not, but as you can tell, I have a low excitement level on these things. So anyway,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (37:49):
Yeah. Calm down a little bit. Yes. Right. Yeah. All these issues are covered in my book, proof. God is real. And if you want to help educate yourself or, or become more informed on how to defend your faith, I’d encourage you to get a copy of the book proof. God is real on Amazon. And Dr. Jim, you were kind enough to do a little blurb for the, for the front of it. And, and actually, I don’t know if you knew this, but, but I, I quote from the great scholar, Dr. Jim Burkett several times in this book I took notes and I, I was careful to give you credit for your ideas in there. Praise God,

Dr. Jim Burkett (38:33):
You are a wise man.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (38:35):
And, and so, so I really have a heart to, to reach atheists here in the United States. You know, we go over to different nations around the world and we’ll do large evangelistic crusades, big gatherings of people we’ll have 30 or 40, 50,000 people at a time. And they come and they, they see God do miracles and they give their lives to Jesus. I mean, we’ve had Muslims come to Jesus and Hindus and Buddhist, and, you know, but I, I have a heart for the, this atheist spirit that is attacking America right now. The atheists are, are very aggressive on YouTube and Twitter. Some of the other social media platforms a couple of years ago the, the American atheist came here to Oklahoma and had their, their conference, their yearly conference. What, what was really in, I, I went to the conference that the atheist had, and they had it in the same ballroom at a hotel in downtown Oklahoma city that I had been in once before the previous time I’d been, there was in a crusade planning meeting with Reinhard Bonnke.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (39:53):
Oh, wow. And the, the me with Reinhard Bonnke was full of pastors from all over Oklahoma. And he came and he said, Jesus saves people from their sins. All of a America shall be safe. That’s right. And there was just such an electricity and excitement in the room when Jesus was being talked about. And then I went to atheist conference in the same room and they all seemed depressed and bored and, and, and they were, were just angry. And I said, wow, Jesus really does make a difference in people’s lives. That’s right. And so I think as a church, we need to, to go after atheist, because really it’s a, it’s a spiritual condition. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood that’s right. We are in a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of America. And, and in order to reach people, we have to be ready to engage with them on social media, at the university level in schools, you know, for teenagers and in every level. And, and you are really leading that fight particularly here in Oklahoma. Tell me about some of the, the different programs and, and things that you do to help educate people in the area of apologetics.

Dr. Jim Burkett (41:18):
Well, you’ve hit the right button. You know, the, the admission statement of apologetics on fire is

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (41:27):
And that’s the name of your, your ministry apologetics on fire, on fire. And if you hadn’t thought of it, I would’ve taken it. Cuz that was a, that’s a great,

Dr. Jim Burkett (41:37):
Well, you can title, you can thank your friend and my friend, Dr. David Sheley for that title. You know, I can’t believe I, I was chairman of his board for 20 years and so forth, but you know, the, the thing about it is I, I go to most not most, but a lot of apologetics conferences. And here’s what I believe hits most layman and it’s this and, and the, and the evidence is overwhelming. Lee trouble said, this is like the golden age of apologetics in terms of information, but most people hear this and if there’s not a practical to it, they, they walk away feeling like, oh, goodness, I have to have a master’s degree or PhD, whereas that’s not the case apologetics, if it does not lead into practical theology, evangelism, discipleship impacting the kingdom then it, it short changes everything.

Dr. Jim Burkett (42:32):
So my, my heart is well, you talked about naming different ministries. Of course we have apologetics on fire workshops and ministries. I also teach at colleges and universities oil Roberts graduate school theology the global school of supernatural ministry up in Harrisburg. I’ve been at Oklahoma west in true at McConnell university and so on and so forth. You have those those areas, but then in our workshop I have a dream now I don’t know how I may look to you age wise, but I’m really a 50 year old man trapped into 75 year old body. So with that in mind I, I really believe and I know others that are looking at this, we need to mobilize, I mean, acts 19 is a favorite chapter of mine. And so what did Paul do?

Dr. Jim Burkett (43:24):
I mean, for at least two years, he trained you know, the disciples every day, they said in the school of Italian reus. And then it said in the next two years, all of Asia mine had heard the word of God and the church historians tell us it became a center for the spread of the gospel. And E E even ESUs I mean, it was so impacted by what happened that my friend, John Vaughn said that by the end of the first century, there were well over 30,000 Christians just in ESUs alone because are so dramatic. So what would happen if like you have ratio Christi, RA Christi, which they basically, it’s a, an apologetics evangelism group and they basically try to have chapters in universities and beginning high school, I think last count they had 160 chapters whoever sponsors it they have to have a little bit of training and apologetics, and then the students come together and the idea is not just to come and sing kumbaya, but it’s the idea to learn how to grow in the Lord, how to share their faith.

Dr. Jim Burkett (44:29):
How do you answer the questions that maybe that science professor is an agnostic atheist you know puts out there? You’ve got so many great ministries, Jay Warner, Wallace. Oh my goodness. Here’s

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (44:43):
Cold case Christianity. Great. Yes. Book and great ministry.

Dr. Jim Burkett (44:46):
Definitely. I mean, former atheistic police investigator his his procedures on investigating cold case crimes was so significant that they say his procedures as they are shown on 48 hours and, and Fox news are continued the high marks. And when he came to Christ he was challenged, well, use your, for forensic skills to disprove Christianity. He couldn’t, and now he’s probably one of the most prominent, of course you have Lee Strobel. You’ve got to Josh, Maddo his son, Sean McDowell. There’s so many in the, in the science arena, of course. You’ve got John Lennox. Now this guy bless his heart. He only has three doctorates. And he’s a Welchman and, and, and what’s interesting is he is so gracious that I’ve read where atheists don’t like to debate him. And he’s not, he’s not mean he just, but he just puts the facts out there in such a, a, a winsome way. Of course you have a William Lane, Craig JP, Moreland’s one of my favorites. He’s just come out with a book called a simple guide to miracles. He, oh, he’s tremendous. There are just so many that are really coming up. And then we’ve got a, a younger group that are really beginning to come to the surface, but my prayer is,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (46:09):
Have you heard of Dr. Daniel King? He’s one of my favorites. Listen, he’s my wife’s favorite apologist.

Dr. Jim Burkett (46:16):
I, I heard that, I heard that was, you know, that was the word on the street. Matter of fact I’ve even, I’ve even prayed positively for him. So anyway, but well, you’re absolutely right. And here’s, here’s why I I’m appreciative that you you’ve focused in apologetics and that is you see it. I mean, really see it, believe it as being a, a crucial part of evangelism and connecting with our world, our nation and our world. I heard from a missionary, he said could we talk about your coming over an apologetics conference? And in our country, he said really? Why is that? He said, well, what’s happening on the American campuses are, is starting to hit here. And the old you know, the old ways where we just get up and preach the gospel. Now these college students, even here, I want to know how can I know that what you’re saying is true. So I’m so excited for the coming days of your ministry. God has, and is using you to ignite significant, significant spirit empowered motions and not motions, but movements of revival and an awakening. And I’m very excited for you.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (47:33):
Well, thank you. If a church wanted to invite you to come and do a, a multi-day workshop, or if a school wanted to invite you to come teach or do a seminar, how can they find out more information about you and your ministry? What, what’s your website?

Dr. Jim Burkett (47:51):
If you’ll go to apologizes on fire.com and then you can find a couple of emails or you can text me at the number and I’d be glad to come. Like like there’s one church it just so happens. I have eight wins days open. And so I’ll be meeting with them for two hours and we develop a certificate course, and most of the church want to go through a certificate course, which means they can audit. They can just come, but in the certificate course they come, they have a couple of books, they need to read, they have some assignments. And and there’s, there’s some universities that might even use that certificate and use it for college credit if they decide to transfer it. But churches we’re talking about conferences with groups of, of churches the key thing, and I just, I just can’t say this strong enough right now, you must, and I hope this comes across the right way.

Dr. Jim Burkett (48:54):
You must fight for the heart. And so, and the minds of your young people, this is not something that’s on the sideline. They’re dealing with issues that you, you, you cannot imagine most high school students will have, at least I, I understand. And it’s like 70 to 80% heard one that was 85% of them ha have some kind of involvement with science or technology. And yet most youth pastors, maybe they might have five to 8% of familiarity with that. And so what do a lot of church kids, unless you have apologetics, they think, well, you know, it’s just a generational thing. He does this because of this or that, but not because he’s staying relevant to the world. And I hope that made sense, but apologetics on fire.com and love to come to your fellowship or your church, your conference, and, and I’m an equal opportunity blesser in a term that whether it’s a, a Baptist Baptist decos, Pentecostals, charismatics and or

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:55):
You like

Dr. Jim Burkett (49:56):
Everybody. Yes. in Jesus name. Amen.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:59):
Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast, Dr. Jim Burkett.

Dr. Jim Burkett (50:03):
Thank you for having me. God bless you. Bless

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (50:05):
You. Thanks so much for listening to the evangelism podcast. I am excited about telling people about Jesus and we could not preach the gospel without your help. Over our years of ministry, we found that we’re able to reach one person for Jesus, for every dollar that people give us. And so that means that if you would give us $1, we could start a party in heaven. In fact, I’m asking people to join our partnership program and give at least $1 every single month to help us to lead more people to Jesus. This is the greatest investment of your dollar that you can make. It’s the only investment that’s gonna matter 10,000 years from now. So if you would like to help us lead people to Jesus, please visit king ministries.com K I N G king ministries.com and help us lead people to Jesus today. God bless you

Evangelism Podcast Host (51:06):
For more, for about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.

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