Christian Apologetics Insights from David Geisler, Ray Ciervo, and Prem Isaac [2020 NCCA, 9]

This continues my writeups of material from the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA). Here I will summarize and comment on talks by David Geisler, Ray Ciervo, and Prem Isaac. Most of these items deal with classic apologetics themes such as what the Christian message is and how it is best presented and defended in our modern milieu.

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Another Intelligent Design Straw Man Attempt to Demonstrate a “Waiting Time Problem” for Evolution

The Intelligent Design (ID) crowd is jubilant over the publication of a paper by a trio of ID authors (Ola Hössjer, Günter Bechly, and Ann Gauger) in a sub-prime but legitimate journal. This paper is an example of a common straw man argument employed by ID. In the straw man approach, you set forth some weak or flawed “straw man” version of your opponent’s position, knock it down, and then proclaim victory.

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Suggestions for Comfortable and Effective Face Masks, e.g. Korean KF94’s

With Covid cases and deaths surging despite widespread vaccinations, face masks are back in. Back when the pandemic first hit in early-mid 2020, all commercial masks of any kind were allocated to medics/first responders. Back then, the only mask option for the rest of us was to cobble together something made of regular cloth. But studies I looked at show that the protective performance of those cloth masks, and even standard rectangular surgical masks, is quite poor [1], compared to the KN95 and similar masks which are now available to the public.

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Is the Old Testament Trinitarian? by Jonathan McLatchie [2020 NCCA Confc. 8]

The doctrine of the trinity can be deduced fairly readily from a number of New Testament verses, although it was not fully formulated and endorsed until two or three centuries later. But how can this concept be reconciled with the strong monotheism taught in the Old Testament?

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How the New Testament Sees Christ in the Old Testament: Talk by Mel Winstead [2020 NCCA Confc. 7]

From the start, Christians have interpreted various passages in the Old Testament scriptures as referring to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. The overall topic of interpreting the Old Testament from a Christian viewpoint was addressed by two talks at the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA):   The Problem of How the New Testament Writers Used the Old Testament by Mel Winstead and  Is the Old Testament Trinitarian? by Jonathan McLatchie. As part of our series of coverage of selected talks from that conference, I summarize here the contents of the presentation by Dr. Winstead.  I will give a brief introduction, then try to state the speaker’s case in his own words, and finally offer my reaction.

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Jesus in Old Testament Prophecy — Class Handout

Preface for blog: As part of a series summarizing some talks from a 2020 Christian apologetics conference, I plan to post an article describing talks dealing with treatments of the Old Testament. In order to off-load some material from that planned post, I wanted to first publish a listing of some passages that are commonly cited in this area. Below is a set of notes for a church discussion of Christian interpretation of certain Old Testament passages. I drew these up several years ago, and am posting them here now, unedited, primarily to serve as reference material for the planned subsequent article.

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Making Essene Bread: Uncooked, Sundried Sprouted Wheat


A couple of weeks ago I tried sprouting a medley of sprouting seeds. This was partly a project to do with my grandson. Instead of just sticking to alfalfa, I was seduced by enthusiastic discussions and reviews online about sprouting a variety of plants. So, I got some mesh jar lids and purchased a suite of seed mixtures on Amazon. Each mixture, sized for one jar-load, came in its own little plastic bag.

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Confirmatory Coincidences Among the Gospels – Timothy McGrew [2020 NCCA Confc, 6]

The Ring of Truth: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels [Oct. 14, 2020] was presented by Professor Timothy McGrew of Western Michigan University at the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA). Prof. McGrew discusses a number of cases where something which is perhaps puzzling in one gospel is explained by a passing observation in a different gospel. These instances support the view that substantial eyewitness testimony lies behind each of the four gospels. I will summarize his case in mainly his words, and reserve my commentary until the end.

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Condo Building Collapse in Miami: Causes and Consequences

Everyone has heard of the terrible tragedy in Surfside, a suburb of Miami, where a large portion of a twelve-story beachfront condominium building suddenly collapsed. As of July 5, 32 people were confirmed dead, with over 100 still missing and likely dead in the rubble. As an engineer (not a structural engineer) I am interested in what caused this structural failure. I’ll share what seems to be the latest intelligence on that. I will also offer a speculation on possible economic ripples of this event: what if confidence is lost in the structural integrity of other Miami beachfront condos?

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Tracking Young Earth Creationist Organizations by Joel Duff at Naturalis Historia

Joel Duff has done several deep dives into the numbers regarding Young Earth (YE) creationist organizations. Around 2012, he presented a table of their finances and noted the traffic on their respective web sites. In February of 2021 he tabulated their social media followings. He includes many insightful observations. Here I will summarize some of his findings, but his original articles should be consulted for background and details.

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