Evidential apologetics

Simon Greenleaf – “An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists”

Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) was a Jewish believer in Jesus and law professor at Harvard university. He wrote a book on apologetics using legal methods. This book is titled, “An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists.” It is available free to read online, download as a Kindle, PDF, or other formats at Project Gutenberg.

Review

This book is broken into several sections. Here are three important ones.

First, at the beginning there is a section where he uses legal rules of evidence. He applies these principles to examining the gospels. He uses the ancient document rules. Also, he applies five rules of evidence to examining the gospels. These are first, Honesty, the general and specific honesty of the witnesses)p. Second, Ability is the ability for the witnesses to see, understand, and remember what happened. Third is the Number, Independence, and Consistency of the witnesses. Four is Experience, agreement of the testimony with general experience. Fifth, finally is  Circumstances, the agreement of the testimony with specific evidence. You can read the short and very insightful use of legal apologetics Here.

Second, he has a large harmony of the Gospels. Here he uses his expertise to harmonize the different Gospel accounts. You can read it starting Here.

Third, he has a section focus just on the resurrection accounts. This is always important and especially timely for Easter. Read this short section Here.

Other Free Resources

Simon Greenleaf has influenced many Christian apologists including Wilbur M. Smith, John Warwick Montgomery, Josh McDowell, and Ross Clifford. His book is a significant work in a long history of Christian lawyers using the rules of evidence to defend the Bible and the resurrection of Jesus.

You can read more about his life on Wikipedia.

Here is a short review of his book at Historical Apologetics.

Here is an essay in a theological journal with over 90 people who have use the legal approach to apologetics Juridical Apologists 1600-2000 AD: A Bio-Bibliographical Essay.

Apologetics

“More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell free at the Chapel

Get a free copy of Josh McDowell’s book “More Than a Carpenter” at Mission Valley Community Chapel. This is a good introductory or giveaway book on apologetics (reasons to believe). There are over 10 million in print, and it has been used to lead many to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This updated version Josh cowrote with his son Sean McDowell, who is also a Christian apologist.

This book includes evidences from history, prophecy, science, creation, and covers topics like the existence of God, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the reliability of the Bible, is Jesus the only way, and the gospel.

Josh also gives personal details and stories, including his struggles growing up with an alcoholic father and being sexually molested as a child by a man who worked his parents farm. He describes how God helped him through these terrible problems when he became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I’ve given this “More Than a Carpenter” away to Uber drivers, a box to a homeschooling group, at booths in Balboa Park, to work man who come to the house, and friends. It is also a popular giveaway on our free resource table.

Come to the Chapel and get a free copy for yourself and one to give to a friend. “His story might change yours…”

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell book cover
More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell

This is a book of evidentialist apologetics. This is an approach that focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ in both history and prophecy. This is a good approach, as many people already believe that God exists. Classical apologetics is good for those who do not believe that God exists. This is a two-step approach that first argues for the existence of God and then for the Lord Jesus Christ. As noted above, this book also has arguments for the existence of God.

You can watch Josh’s testimony on YouTube Part 1 and Part 2

APOLOGETICS

“Science Scripture Salvation Outreach” Local Apologetic/Evangelistic Outreach by David Hall

Here’s another update from David Hall’s apologetic and evangelistic outreach in Balboa Park “Science Scripture Salvation Outreach” on Facebook.

Visit David’s Science Scripture Salvation in the park on Saturdays at the Bea Evenson Fountain area get directions here. Look for the display of posters about science and prophecy like the ones in the below video –

In this video, David shares the Gospel using Messianic prophecies and the Gospel of John

It was from David and the free material at his outreach that I found out about these motion tracts the size of a business card that we will be giving out this Halloween from our homes.

Watch our August 15, 2021 adult Sunday school class taught by Tom Cantor

Watch our August 15, 2021 adult Sunday school class taught by Tom Cantor from the Gospel of Matthew. He taught from Matthew 16:1-4 and also referenced other passages including Genesis 49:10, Daniel 9, And the Book of Jonah regarding signs that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah). Tom presented the gospel with, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2b)

The Chapel emphasizes the Lord Jesus Christ through Missions, Prayer, and the Word of God.

We are a Bible believing Christian church, an Open Plymouth Brethren assembly. All leadership is volunteer, enabling the majority of our giving to go to evangelists and missionaries worldwide. There are opportunities to serve for those interested in participating, including outreach, hospitality, and music.

Watch more of our videos at our YouTube channel Mission Valley Community Chapel

Local Apologetic/Evangelistic Outreach by David Hall

David Hall runs an apologetic/evangelistic outreach in Balboa Park. He does not go to the Chapel, though his daughter and her family did before they moved north for more musical training – https://www.delamottestrings.com

Here’s a link to an update about his latest outreach https://www.facebook.com/1226810861/posts/10226976149929508/

I (Paul) have had the opportunity to help out with this outreach on a couple of occasion. It’s really great. It includes evidence from creation and the Bible to point people to Christ. It is a unique outreach in that has evidence from creation, prophecy, typology, and legal evidences all pointing people to the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. But after all, isn’t that like the kind of reasoning the apostles did in the book of Acts?

If you’re ever in Balboa Park on a Saturday, you can stop by at the Bea Evenson Fountain area https://goo.gl/maps/ZRwbW1CVGSy5neja6

You’ll see a bunch of posters set up with pictures from science and prophecy. They are pictures like the ones on these free hand outs –