To provide insights into how the staggering reality of Christ’s redemptive work 2,000 years ago can revolutionize our lives today.
D.C. Collier is a bible teacher, discipleship mentor, and writer focused on Christian apologetics. He is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.”
He is a graduate mechanical engineer, and has spent most his professional career in high technology, specializing in the computer data storage industry as a market analyst and publisher. In addition to his degree in mechanical engineering, he has done post-graduate studies in electronic control systems and industrial hydraulics.
He was founder and CEO of an Internet financial publishing company for over 20 years, and co-founder of an internet web services company in the field of medical information services.
He graduated in Biblical studies at the Fairhaven Bible Discipleship Intern Training Program. He teaches bible classes and serves as a spiritual mentor to men in the renowned Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s men’s residential Addiction Recovery Treatment Program.
He and his wife Ann reside in Santa Barbara, CA.
I came to faith in Christ later on in life in the midst of a dramatic personal struggle “for meaning.” Early in my spiritual search, my “inner-engineer” demanded satisfaction. Is this stuff really true? Only after I was satisfied at the intellectual level, was I ready to trust Him from my heart.
This accounts for my great respect for the field of Christian Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”). Accordingly, our material is directed at “the undecided” in the hope that they too might place their confidence in Jesus as creator and sustainer of the universe and Savior of those who believe in His name. The individual commentaries and studies contained herein are intended to show how anyone can invite the living God into their lives today.
MY PERSONAL SPIRITUAL CONVICTIONS
- I believe there is a God because it makes sense of an otherwise senseless cosmos,
- I believe that I am a spiritual being because I don’t want to cease to exist,
- I believe this God is a person who is involved in his creation because it gives meaning to my life,
- I believe Jesus Christ is exactly who he said he was and therefore I can trust him with my eternal future,
- I believe in a Heaven, a place of eternal bliss; and I accept the idea of a Hell, though I find the subject very unpleasant,
- I believe it is to be possible for any consenting person to achieve salvation and enter heaven,
- I am not a scholar or formally-trained minister,
- I am a very imperfect man with innumerable character flaws, struggling with life’s uncertainties and challenges just like everyone else,
- I do not consider myself as “having arrived” in any sense.
Having said all of that, I reject the notions of “blind faith,” “the god of the gaps,” and spiritual fantasizing. I am a scientifically-trained “steely-eyed” businessman who is not given to unsubstantiated claims, logical inconsistencies, and religious pretense. I am data-driven, evidence-based and wait before all available evidence is in before making a decision to believe or to not believe a proposition, particularly where it involves matters of eternal significance—which is what this book is all about.
MY DENOMINATIONAL “PERSUASION”
While raised a Catholic, as an adult I have since been associated with the overall protestant evangelical movement. British historian David Bebbington notes four specific hallmarks of evangelical religion: conversionism, the belief that lives need to be changed; activism, the expression of the gospel in effort; biblicism, a particular regard for the Bible; and “crucicentrism,” a stress on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Importantly, its core personalities (like Carl F.H. Henry, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Harold John Ockenga, John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones), institutions (for instance, Moody Bible Institute , Wheaton College, and Fuller Theological Seminary), and organizations (such as the National Association of Evangelicals and Youth for Christ) have played a pivotal role in giving the wider movement a sense of cohesion that extends beyond these “card-carrying” evangelicals.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
1. The Bible is inspired of God, inerrant in the original documents and of final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
2. There is one God, eternally existent in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God, born of a virgin, sinless, morally perfect. His sacrifice on the cross is substitutionary and representative. He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His Father’s right hand, where He now ministers as our Great High Priest. He will come to rapture His Church and subsequently return to reign on the earth.
4. Each member of the human race is fallen, sinful and lost, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man. Redemption is wholly by the blood of Christ and salvation is by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer, who is sealed until the day of redemption and is empowered to live a godly life.
6. There will be a resurrection of the saved and of the lost; of the saved unto eternal life, and of the lost, unto eternal conscious judgment.
7. The Church began with the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and composed of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. These believers are united in him, and to one another, by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This means that the Church, as a whole, is not an organization, but a living organism, known as the Body of Christ. The Church’s calling, hope and destiny are heavenly, and its chief functions are to glorify God and to witness for Christ until His return.
8. Christ, our risen Head, is the giver of gifts such as evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and these men are responsible to Him for their service. Gifts are given “for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ.”
9. There are two Christian ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism by immersion signifies that the believer, having died with Christ, is buried with Him in baptism and also risen with Christ to walk in newness of life. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial feast, instituted by the Lord Himself exclusively for His own. In the observance of this supper, believers remember Him; they show His death until He comes.
10. Every true child of God possesses eternal life and, being justified, sanctified and sealed with the Holy Spirit, is secure for eternity. However, a Christian may, through sin, lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony and reward and incur the Father’s chastisement. Relationship is eternal, being established by new birth; fellowship, however, is dependent upon obedience.
11. The personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to translate His Church is imminent, an event which concludes this present age of grace. This will be followed by the outpouring of God’s wrath on the earth, known as the Great Tribulation. After this, Christ’s Millennial Kingdom will be established and “the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” After the conclusion of His Millennial Reign, Christ will deliver up the Kingdom to God, the Father, that the Triune God may be all in all.
A FEW WRITERS AND THEOLOGIANS WHO HAVE INFLUENCED US
Dallas Albert Willard (September 4, 1935 – May 8, 2013) was an American philosopher also known for his writings on Christian spiritual formation. Much of his work in philosophy was related to phenomenology, particularly the work of Edmund Husserl, many of whose writings he translated into English for the first time. He was longtime Professor of Philosophy at The University of Southern California, teaching at the school from 1965 until his death in 2013 and serving as the department chair from 1982 to 1985.
William Reed Newell was born May 22, 1868 and attended Wooster (Ohio) College, graduating in 1891. After studies at Princeton and Oberlin Seminaries, he pastored the Bethesda Congregational Church in Chicago until 1895, when Moody invited him to become the assistant superintendent of Moody Bible Institute under R.A. Torrey. In this position Newell demonstrated his extraordinary gift of Bible exposition. Great audiences in Chicago, St. Louis and Toronto flocked to hear his city-wide Bible classes, leading to the publication of his widely-known commentaries, especially Romans Verse-by-Verse, Hebrews Verse-by-Verse, and The Book of Revelation.
Lewis Sperry Chafer (February 27, 1871 – August 22, 1952) was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential proponent of Christian Dispensationalism in the early 20th century.
Joslin “Josh” McDowell (born August 17, 1939) is a Christian apologist, evangelist, and writer. He is within the Evangelical tradition of Protestant Christianity, and is the author or co-author of some 115 books. His best-known book is Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which was ranked 13th in Christianity Today ’s list of most influential evangelical books published after World War II. Other well-known titles are More Than a Carpenter, A Ready Defense and Right from Wrong.
Dinesh Joseph D’Souza born April 25, 1961 is an Indian American political commentator and author. D’Souza is affiliated with a number of conservative organizations and publications, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, and Policy Review. In 2010–2012, he served as president of The King’s College, a small Christian school in New York City.
Arthur C. Custance was a Canadian anthropologist, scientist and author specializing on science and Christianity.
Clive Staples Lewis, commonly known as C. S. Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. Born in Belfast, Ireland, he held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–54, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–63. He is best known for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
George Hawkins Pember (1837–1910), known as G. H. Pember, was an English theologian and author who was affiliated with the Plymouth Brethren.
Blaise Pascal (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal’s earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.
Gordon Dalbey authored four books targeted at Christian men and is a popular speaker in the Christian men’s movement, at conferences, retreats, and on radio and TV shows. Dalbey attended three universities in the United States: he holds a Masters in Divinity from Harvard, an M.A. in journalism from Stanford, and a B.A. in mathematics from Duke. After school he sought interesting opportunities including being a news reporter in Charlotte, NC, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria, a high school teacher in San Francisco and Chicago, and a Christian minister in Los Angeles.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (1 May 1881 – 10 April 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. He conceived the idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving) and developed Vladimir Vernadsky’s concept of noosphere.
Lee Patrick Strobel (born January 25, 1952) is an American Christian author, journalist, apologist and pastor. He has written several books, including four which received ECPA Christian Book Awards (1994, 1999, 2001, 2005) and a series which addresses challenges to a Biblically inerrant view of Christianity. Strobel also hosted a television program called Faith Under Fire on PAX TV, and runs a video apologetics web site. Strobel has been interviewed on numerous national television programs, including ABC’s 20/20, Fox News and CNN.
Richard Duane “Rick” Warren (born January 28, 1954) is an American evangelical Christian pastor and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch in Lake Forest, California, that is the eighth-largest church in the United States. (including multi-site churches). He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism. He is perhaps best known for the subsequent book The Purpose Driven Life which has sold more than 30 million copies, making Warren a New York Times bestselling author.
Eugene H. Peterson (born November 6, 1932) is an American-born clergyman, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), an idiomatic translation of the original languages of the Bible.
John Phillips authored more than fifty books about the Bible, including a completer set of New Testament Commentaries, along with many books of the Old Testament. Lehman Strauss, renowned author-preacher, stated that Dr. Phillips‚ two-volume set of commentaries on Psalms was the finest since Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David. Many other Bible scholars have remarked that nothing compares to his commentaries on Proverbs. John believed that the greatest disservice a teacher or preacher could render to those he sought to enlighten was that of making the Bible “boring”.
Eric Metaxas (born 1963) is an American author, speaker, and TV host. He is best known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He has also written humor, children’s books, and scripts for VeggieTales. Metaxas is the founder and host of the NYC-based event series, “Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life” and the co-host of the nationally syndicated weekly Sunday morning program, 100 Huntley Street.
John Robert Walmsley Stott CBE (27 April 1921 – 27 July 2011) was an English Christian leader and Anglican cleric who was noted as a leader of the worldwide Evangelical movement. He was one of the principal authors of the Lausanne Covenant in 1974. In 2005, Time magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world.
Aiden Wilson Tozer (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963) was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor. For his work, he received two honorary doctorate degrees.
Max Lucado (born January 11, 1955) is a best-selling Christian author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church (formerly the Oak Hills Church of Christ) in San Antonio, Texas.
Charles Haddon (CH) Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892) was a British Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of various denominations, among whom he is known as the “Prince of Preachers”. He was a strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition, defending the Church in agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith understanding, and opposing the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church of his day.
Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 – December 22, 1899), also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher, who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), the Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers.
Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside (October 14, 1876 – January 15, 1951) was a Canadian-American Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author.
Francis August Schaeffer (30 January 1912 – 15 May 1984) was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L’Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics, which he believed would answer the questions of the age.
William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American Christian apologist, theologian and analytic philosopher. Craig’s theological interests are in historical Jesus studies and philosophical theology. His philosophical work focuses primarily on philosophy of religion, but also on metaphysics and philosophy of time. He is known for his debates on theology with public figures such as Christopher Hitchens and Lawrence Krauss.
Norman L. Geisler (born 1932) is a Christian systematic theologian, philosopher, and apologist. He is the co-founder of two non-denominational Evangelical seminaries (Veritas Evangelical Seminary and Southern Evangelical Seminary). He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University and is well known for his scholarly contributions to the subjects of classical Christian apologetics, systematic theology, the history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, the creationism and evolution debate, Calvinism, Roman Catholicism, biblical inerrancy, Bible difficulties, ethics, and more. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of over 90 books and hundreds of articles.
John Warwick Montgomery is a noted lawyer, professor, Lutheran theologian, and prolific author living in France. He was born October 18, 1931, in Warsaw, New York, United States. He is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Wisconsin, and continues to work as a barrister specializing in religious freedom cases in international Human Rights law. He is chiefly noted for his major contributions as a writer, lecturer and public debater in the field of Christian apologetics.
James (Jim) Innell Packer (born 22 July 1926) is a British-born Canadian Christian theologian in the low church Anglican and Reformed traditions. He currently serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He has been the theologian emeritus of the Anglican Church in North America, since its inception in 2009.
Robert Charles Sproul (born February 13, 1939) is an American theologian, author, and pastor. He is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries (named after the Ligonier Valley just outside of Pittsburgh, where the ministry started as a study center for college and seminary students) and can be heard daily on the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast in the United States and internationally. “Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul” is also broadcast on Sirius and XM satellite radio. In late July 2012, a new Christian internet radio station called RefNet (Reformation Network) was also announced by Ligonier Ministries in an effort to reach “as many people as possible” where Internet access is available.
William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr., KBE (born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist, ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, who rose to celebrity status in 1949 reaching a core constituency of middle-class, moderately conservative Protestants. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies; sermons were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast today.
John Eldredge (Los Angeles, June 6, 1960) is an American author, counselor, and lecturer on Christianity. He is known for his bestselling book Wild at Heart.
William MacDonald (January 7, 1917 – December 25, 2007) was President of Emmaus Bible College, teacher, Plymouth Brethren theologian and a prolific author of over 84 published books. MacDonald refused to accept royalties for his books but established a fund for translating his work Believers Bible Commentary into foreign languages.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne (pronounced “Mak-shayn”, occasionally spelled as “McCheyne”; 21 May 1813 – 25 March 1843) was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835 to 1843.
Wayne A. Grudem (was born in 1948) is an evangelical theologian, seminary professor, and author. He co-founded the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and served as the general editor of the ESV Study Bible.
John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. (born June 19, 1939) is an American pastor and author known for his internationally syndicated radio program Grace to You. He has been the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, California since February 9, 1969 and also currently is the president of The Master’s College in Newhall, California and The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles, California. Theologically, MacArthur is considered a Calvinist, and a strong proponent of expository preaching. He has been acknowledged by Christianity Today as one of the most influential preachers of his time, and was a frequent guest on Larry King Live as a representative of an evangelical Christian perspective.
Charles Rozell “Chuck” Swindoll (born October 18, 1934) is an evangelical Christian pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher. He founded Insight for Living, headquartered in Plano, Texas, which airs a radio program of the same name on more than 2,000 stations around the world in 15 languages. He is currently senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church, in Frisco, Texas.
James Clayton “Jim” Dobson, Jr. (born April 21, 1936) is an American evangelical Christian author, psychologist, and founder in 1977 of Focus on the Family (FOTF), which he led until 2003. In the 1980s he was ranked as one of the most influential spokesmen for conservative social positions in American public life. Although never an ordained minister, he was called “the nation’s most influential evangelical leader” by Time while Slate portrayed him as a successor to evangelical leaders Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.
Philip Yancey (born 1949) is an American Christian author. Fourteen million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, making him one of the best-selling evangelical Christian authors. Two of his books have won the ECPA’s Christian Book of the Year Award: The Jesus I Never Knew in 1996, What’s So Amazing About Grace in 1998. He is published by Zondervan Publishing and Hachette.
William R. “Bill” Bright (October 19, 1921 – July 19, 2003) was an American evangelist. In 1951 at the University of California, Los Angeles he founded Campus Crusade for Christ as a ministry for university students. In 1952 he wrote The Four Spiritual Laws. In 1979 he produced the Jesus Film. In 1996 Bill Bright was awarded the $1.1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and donated the money to promote the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer. In 2001 he stepped down as leader of the organization and Rev. Steve Douglass became president. He died in 2003.
Otis Jean Gibson (1921-2006) was a graduate of Baylor University (B.A. 1943). Beyond this he sought no advanced degrees. He preferred to be called a “bond servant of the Lord Jesus.” The degree he sought, and now found, is A.U.G. (Approved Unto God). He was a baptized member of a Protestant liturgical denomination, but he was not born again until 1946 after serving in the U.S. Marines during WW II. His conversion experience led him to abandon his desire to become a Texas Lawyer. After short stints as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he went into a business career and worked with the U.S. Veterans Administration. This led him to a pharmaceutical manufacturer where he rose to the position of Western Regional Manager. During this time he took up true Bible teaching and was invited to teach many Bible conferences, national and international.
Raymond Charles Stedman (October 5, 1917 – October 7, 1992) was an evangelical Christian pastor, and author. He was a long-time pastor of Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, and author of several books.
Oswald Chambers (24 July 1874 – 15 November 1917) was an early twentieth-century Scottish Baptist and Holiness Movement evangelist and teacher, best known for the devotional My Utmost for His Highest.
For additional information on the key figures identified with the evangelical movement go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_evangelical_Christians