Staying Connected 2006 August
* Due to copyrights, original graphics and tables do not appear in these articles
RTB's coordinator of apologetics training and Reasons Institute, Dr. Bob Stuart, recently received the following letter from his father.
I just finished reading Ken Samples' book (Without A Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions) on the Deity
of Jesus Christ. When I first read it a year and a half ago, I raced through it, convinced at the time that Samples was totally wrong. However, during the ensuing period I've read many articles affirming Jesus' deity, each one of which tilted me a bit closer to accepting that premise. Accordingly, by the time I re- read Ken's work, I was already 99 and 44/100% convinced.
In line with that, I read it slowly and deliberately, weighing every statement in the balance. Not surprisingly, it now made perfect sense to me. I no longer nit-picked every statement to try to find flaws in it, but clearly saw the logic it expounded. Interestingly, one statement that hit me like a sledgehammer was where Ken was debunking all the various creeds over the years that had denied Jesus' divinity. When he mentioned what the Gnostics believed, it was Christian Science, plain and simple: Spirit is God, and all matter is evil. I had believed this for most of my life, but eventually, through the process of osmosis, it penetrated my thick skull that there are flaws in this assumption. How can we truly believe that matter is all in our imagination? And why was I never able to cure myself of anything if Christian Science was the one and only truth?
I remember back in 1966 when I was a patient in Glens Falls Hospital with a near-fatal case of blood poisoning. I told my attending physician that I was a Christian Scientist. I should mention that we had hit it off perfectly well right from the start and he seemed to like to talk with me. He then told me of the scores of Christian Scientists he had treated over the years. A good portion of them came to him with advanced stages of cancer. They had tried denying its existence until it reached the point of no return. Then, in desperation, they turned to materia medica for a cure, but of course by then they had missed the boat. He wasn't critical of me for my belief, but that was when I first started to have doubts about its verity.
Ken's book frequently quoted Paul' epistles to the Mediterranean-region churches. This brought to mind the conversion of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. Here was a man who had made it his mission in life to rid the world of Christians, yet he wound up being their greatest spokesman. Well, if Saul could admit he was wrong, then so can I. As the old hymn says: "I Saw the Light!" In line with this, I apologize most humbly for my past intransigence and assure you that I'll never again be a Doubting Thomas. Jesus loves you and so do I.
Comments from Bob Stuart (the son) -- "As someone who has prayed for my father's conversion for nearly 36 years, the revelation that he has embraced the reality of Christ's deity is a development I had almost abandoned hope of ever seeing. It is another wonderful proof that the Holy Spirit works to answer prayer and He uses the ministry of God's people (in this case, Ken Samples) to bring forth the totally unexpected."
As the ministry approached the second half of its second decade, Hugh and the team took on some huge new challenges among them a weekly radio show and a quarterly, subscription-based magazine. Each venture involved certain risks and rewards, and God used our experiences to guide us along His path for RTB.
Our foray into radio brought us loyal listeners but proved to be financially draining. God used this circumstance to steer us toward the more cost-effective broadcasting technologies of the Internet and iPods. For just a tiny fraction of the cost, today's Creation Update reaches a global audience, generating calls and e-mails from across North America and four other continents thus far.
Meanwhile, God opened doors for Hugh, Fuz, and Ken to be interviewed -- at no cost to RTB -- on major Christian and secular stations, both radio and television. When program hosts expressed amazement at the unexpected answers to their questions, audience interest was powerfully piqued. And we benefited from the opportunity to bring our message to areas where it had rarely, if ever, been heard.
Facts for Faith, our award-winning magazine, was launched in response to numerous, persistent requests from our newsletter readers. It started strong and seemed to have a chance at success, despite the odds against all magazine start-ups. But costs increased rapidly, circulation grew slowly, and then came 9/11. In the aftermath of that dreadful day, ministry income fell and the majority of directmail advertising landed in people's wastebaskets. But several thousand copies of ten issues are still "out there," and we trust God to use them for His purposes.
Again, while one door closed God opened other avenues for communication. In addition to the new arsenal of articles for the Web and an enhanced Connections newsletter, we cultivated opportunities to write (or be written about) in existing, large-circulation magazines. Charisma and New Man, for example, did cover stories on RTB and Hugh. Our young media producer, originally hired to assist with our Trinity Broadcasting Network program, put together an enhanced, updated version of Journey Toward Creation, and it won an Angel Award.
During this same era, RTB's conference ministry began. First we hosted national conferences here in Southern California. The successes and lessons of those conferences yielded a strategy for regional conferences. A key to the potential of (and demand for) these regional conferences was the remarkable surge of chapter growth across the continent, as well as in other parts of the world.
Founding board member Steve Scheele spearheaded the launch of Message of the Month (M.O.M) in 2000, a significant step forward in accomplishing our mission. The editorial team expanded further and worked alongside the scholars to pick up the pace of book publication. That year we began work on our first multiple author manuscript, Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men. And thus began a new era of ministry impact.
Naturalists (and educators) cling to evolutionary models despite their serious weaknesses because no reasonable alternative has appeared on the horizon. Some researchers even admit that their models ultimately leave humanity without hope or purpose. Hugh Ross dives into the creation/evolution/intelligent-design debate with a unique approach-one that holds real possibility for progress in pursuit of the truth. In Creation as Science he proposes that any account (or model) of how the universe, life, and humans came to be deserves serious consideration if and only if it is verifiable and falsifiable. A valid model must stand or fall by the scientific method. It must address the why questions and successfully predict what ongoing research will reveal. This new book introduces and summarizes one such model, the Reasons To Believe creation model. It also shows the importance of a creation model not only to the Christian faith but also to the future of scientific research. Everyone can benefit from a new and improved scientific model to explain the world around us, especially a model that attests the accuracy and authority of the Bible!
Be among the first to get this groundbreaking book by pre-ordering your copy today. Call (800) 482-7836 or visit www.reasons.org. Creation as Science is due to release in September.
Online High-School Electives
Enroll Now for Fall 2006!
If you have 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-graders interested in exploring the harmony between science and the Bible, we have new courses to offer. To enroll or find out more about this new opportunity, go to our Web site at www.ReasonsInstitute.com or contact Bob Stuart at (800) 482-7836, x116.
"During my convalescence over the last ten months from back surgery, this old fellow of sixty-seven has been thrilled as I read and viewed your books and videos. I can't express the joy that your writings have given me. Anytime I get the opportunity to mention Reasons To Believe and your Web site I do so. Dr. Ross, you and folk like you who promote science and the Bible are my modernday heroes. Your books and videos are practical sermons and go a long way to reach out to a lost world. O course, Kathy [Ross] and other wives like her are a big part of this and I salute them. The heroes would go to zeros if it wasn't for their tremendous support...Thanks from a grateful heart." Bob - Canada
Having trouble understanding these words? That's how a Spanish-speaking person might feel when trying to read RTB materials. Thanks to RTB's Argentina chapter, we now have articles in Spanish on our Web site, and we have just released our outreach brochure-What The Big Bang Says about the Existence of God and the Design of the Universe -- in Spanish! Produced in full color, this tract-like brochure sparks the reader's interest and gives a brief overview of the topic. It then directs the reader to RTB for more information about science and faith. Useful for initiating evangelism or for introducing someone to the relationship between science and Christianity, these Spanish brochures are available for US$4 per packet of 10 brochures.
Our videotapes and audiocassettes are currently on sale at clearance prices! All cassettes (except Message of the Month) and videos may be purchased for up to 60% off the regular price. Order your favorites before they are gone by going to our Web site or calling (800) 482-7836.
Apologetics Hotline (626) 335-5282
Discuss your science-faith questions with a trained apologist. Available daily from 5 - 7 P.M. (PT)
To find an RTB chapter in your area or to receive information about starting one, contact Ken Hultgren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creation Update Webcast
Listen live through our Web site each Tuesday, 11 A.M. - 1 P.M. (PT). "Special Edition" Web interviews to be announced.
Prayer on behalf of Reasons To Believe is a precious gift. A hearty thank you to all who pray for us! If you'd like to join the RTB prayer team, please contact us at PrayerPraise@reasons.org.
Science and Evangelism Training
Anyone looking for in-depth study of science-and-faith issues will want to register for our newest online courses. Reasons Institute classes may be taken for college credit or for the sheer joy of learning. For more information, please visit our Web site, www.reasons.org, or call Bob Stuart at (800) 482-7836, x116.