The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

By Dr. Ron Carlson

He possessed no certificates, nor degrees. He never traveled farther than 100 miles from the place he was born. He lived and moved among the common people.

He was not an author. He wrote no books, composed no poems, compiled no documents, edited no papers, nor contributed to any periodicals. The only sentence he ever wrote was a single line in the sand which disappeared the same day. No letter of it was preserved. He never used a fountain pen, typewriter, or personal computer. We have no line, word, or syllable from his hand. And yet, more books have been written about him and his words than any other man. He has affected the lives of more people than all the authors of all the ages. The story of his life has been translated into more than 1800 languages, read by countless millions, and is the best-selling story every year.

He was not an orator; yet no man spoke as this man. His discourses have become the theme of millions of addresses. His words are simple and clear. Very few adjectives are used, yet his sentences abound with beauty, meaning, and grace. His sayings are hammered into polished marble, chiseled into imperishable granite, wrought into enduring bronze tablets, fashioned in stained glass windows of numberless churches, etched in rich mosaics upon temple walls, and set in arched domes of colossal cathedrals. His words are literary gems. He stands as the unequaled seer of all literature. Shakespeare, Milton, and Emerson bow their heads in his presence, recognizing a superior.

He was not a poet; yet he has inspired thousands of poets to utter their most sublime expressions.

He was not a musician; yet he inspired Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Handel, and countless others.

He was not an artist, nor a sculptor, nor a painter. He never handled a brush nor wielded a chisel. He was a stranger to the palette and canvas; yet he was the inspiration for Raphael, Michelangelo, Hofmann, and so many more.

He was not a lawyer; yet he knew the law, interpreted it, and applied it to the relationships which should prevail among men. He himself became the fountainhead of righteousness.

He was not a doctor; yet he healed the sick, opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, cleansed the leper, and raised the dead.

He was not a statesman; he never held nor aspired to official position. He did not delve into politics, but he did found a kingdom.

He was not a general; yet he became the conqueror of the world.

In war or in peace, in good times or bad, it remains true that no single word grips the hearts of men and women like the name of Jesus.

To say that history bears his imprint is putting it much too mildly. Lecky, the historian, speaks without exaggeration when he declares, “The simple record of three short years of Christ’s active life has done more to regenerate mankind than any other influence that has ever been felt on earth.”

If anyone doubts this, just let him try and imagine what it would be like in this world of (current year) if suddenly the name of Jesus were torn from us and with it everything for which it stands.

Life is hard enough as it is. It would be intolerable without the message of Christmas. It would be unbearable without the song of Easter.

Overcoming Boredom in Church

  • Many people wrestle with boredom in church. Often the pursued solution to this boredom is to find a “bigger” and “better” church experience. But what if this approach doesn’t satisfy?
  • Maybe you need to consider the possibility that your faith has become more “me” centered than “He” centered? Maybe a new church isn’t the answer, but a new posture in worship? Here are 3 words that have the power to forever change your experience of church.
  • “Rejoice”... As you prepare to go to worship, begin by embracing an attitude of gratitude. Reflect on the Lord’s goodness and his many blessings in your life, and thank him for them.
  • “Revere”... Focus your heart on who God is and the amazing reality that he loves you! The more you meditate on the reality that the sovereign Creator of the universe loves you, and has lavished his amazing grace upon you, the more your heart will be bent towards praise.
  • “Refocus”... Follow Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:1-2 and ask God to refocus your heart’s priorities. As you enter worship, say to the Lord, “God, my one desire today is to honor you. Please use this service to transform me, and further conform me to your holy will.”
  • By practicing these 3 “R’s” you can adopt a new posture in worship and experience the fullness of joy and blessing that’s available in gathering for worship at church.

For more information on God’s purposes for worship and the Church, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

Loving the Children God has Entrusted to Our Care

  • In Genesis 48 we find an interesting scene where the aged Patriarch, Jacob, on his deathbed, enjoys a final visit with his beloved son, Joseph, and his grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim. In this scene we find a powerful model of how we can demonstrate love to our children through our time, touch, and talk.
  • In v. 2 we read that Jacob “summoned” or “rallied” his strength in order to make time for his son and grandsons. We get the picture of a man, who even though frail with age, would not miss the opportunity to spend time with his family. It has been said that “love” is rightly spelled, “T-I-M-E”. We can show our children we love them by giving them our time.
  • In v. 8-10 we see Jacob demonstrating his love for his family in the warmth of his embrace and the affection of his kisses. Science tells us that touch is an essential human need from birth to death. However, sadly, many parents fail to convey their love for their children by practicing appropriate, loving touch. Regular, caring hugs and kisses are a powerful tool in building lifelong bonds of trust and commitment between parents and children.
  • In v. 11-16 we find Jacob verbally sharing his love with his son and grandsons. How we talk to our children, especially in conveying our love for them, is vital in building positive relationships. Words of encouragement and affirmation are a testament to our children of our love for them and their importance to us.
  • There is nothing in the scene found in Genesis 48 that would lead us to believe that what Jacob modeled here on his deathbed was foreign to the way he had always loved his family. And the fruit of Jacob’s love is seen in the love returned by Joseph and his sons for their beloved Patriarch.
  • May God give us all the grace to follow Jacob’s example and love our children well. And may we too be blessed in seeing the fruit of our love as it blossoms in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

One of the best ways we can love our children is by passing on to them a legacy of faith. Please visit our online store to find many helpful resources to assist you in sharing a biblical worldview with your family.

Cancel Culture

  • There’s a dangerous movement gaining traction in our world today known as “cancel culture”. This is the practice of publicly bullying, shaming, and silencing a person, business, or institution on the basis of their cultural, religious, or political views.
  • Cancel culture is an anti-intellectual movement in that it does not seek to engage in rational and civil dialogue over different perspectives, but instead seeks to squelch all opposition through the use of ad hominem attacks and boycotts.
  • Cancel culture claims to be an agenda motivated by the goal of tolerance. Unfortunately, the tolerance of cancel culture is anything but genuine tolerance. Genuine tolerance implies the reality of disagreements, while also seeking to engage in those disagreements agreeably. The tolerance of cancel culture is a forced unanimity that leaves no room for dissenting voices.
  • Cancel culture is antithetical to a biblical worldview. It is marked by pride, it leaves no room for grace or forgiveness, and it denies the sanctifying and transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

For more information on the worldview that shapes today’s cancel culture, please check out Jason Carlson’s audio album titled, Answering the Challenges of a Post-Christian Culture, available in our online store.

Responding to Those Who Leave the Faith

  • We often hear the sad news of another public figure who has chosen to walk away from their faith in Jesus Christ. How should believers respond to stories like these? How should we respond to people we know personally who abandon their faith?
  • Our first response should always be prayer. We should pray for the individual who has left the faith, we should pray for those who know and love them, and we should pray that God would be glorified no matter our hurt or confusion.
  • Our second response should be to offer our presence. Many people will feel the initial reaction of wanting to argue or persuade the individual to turn back to their faith. This is a normal response, however, before we deal with someone’s doubts or disappointments we need to assure them of our love and commitment to them.
  • Our third response should be to seek God’s peace. We need to remember that God is sovereign and is working in all situations to bring about his good and perfect plan. We might not always understand his ways, but when we lean on him by faith, we can experience his perfect peace.
  • Our fourth response should be patience. As we trust in God’s will and plans by faith, we need to exercise patience, even though we long to see our friend or loved one’s faith restored. God’s timing is always perfect and we need to remember that Jesus is the good shepherd who loves all of his wayward sheep. He will not give up on them.
  • Our fifth response should be to proclaim. As we pray, love, and trust in the midst of our relationship with those who’ve abandoned their faith, we must repeatedly affirm and share the truths and promises of God with them. We especially need to highlight the beauty of the gospel and God’s amazing grace for all people.

For more helpful ways to love and minister to those who have walked away from the faith, please check out Jason and Jared Carlson’s audio album, Answering the Tough Topics, available in our online store.

Rejoicing Always

  • In times like these when we find ourselves wrestling with fears and concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to find cause for rejoicing. However, the Bible commands Christians to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).
  • How is it that we can be a people of rejoicing, always? It starts by remembering that Christian joy isn’t based on our circumstances; it’s based on the One who superintends our circumstances. As Christians we can rejoice always because our trust is in a God who is sovereign and good in all things.
  • As Christians we can rejoice in what God has done for us in our salvation. The apostle Peter calls this reality “a living hope”; and he declares that we can rejoice in this hope even though we presently suffer grief in all kinds of trials (1 Peter 1:3-6). No matter our circumstances, we have a constant basis for joy in our salvation.
  • As Christians we can rejoice in what God is doing for us through our present circumstances. The apostle James encourages us to find joy, even in our trials, because God uses our trials to grow our faith and mature us (James 1:2-5, 12). Nobody enjoys trials, but when we understand God’s purpose in them, to make us more like Christ, that’s a reason to rejoice.
  • As Christians we can rejoice in what God will do in our lives in the future. How can we rejoice over things that haven’t even happened yet? Because as the apostle Paul tells us, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). As the Lord assured Israel thousands of years ago, God knows the plans he has for you too (Jeremiah 29:11). So, trust him and rejoice.

For more information on the basis for Christian joy, please check out the many encouraging articles in The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.


  • Joy is something altogether different from happiness. The word “happiness” in Latin is Fortuna. This is where the English word “fortune” comes from. For many people, happiness truly is dependent upon their fortunes or circumstances.
  • As Christians, we are not to live pursuing the fickle state of happiness, but rather, we are to live in a constant state of joy. In fact, the apostle Paul encourages us, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
  • The word “rejoice” can best be understood as a call to “return to the source of our joy”. So, for the Christian, true joy comes not from what we experience in life, but from our relationship with the Giver of abundant life (John 10:10).
  • Nehemiah 8:10 declares, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Do you feel weak and overwhelmed by life today? Look to the Lord. He is the source of all joy.
  • Psalm 16:11 says of the Lord, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” These aren’t subjective experiences we hope for, but objective realities to be found in a relationship with the Lord.
  • Furthermore, we are told in Philippians 3:1-9 that rejoicing in the Lord is a “safeguard”. From what? From false religions and systems of works based righteousness. These pursuits are joy robbers as they offer no ultimate assurance of salvation. Paul says real spiritual joy is only found through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Are you looking for something more than mere happiness? If so, trust in the Lord. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).

For more information on the Christian’s basis for joy, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

The Mormon’s question, “Have you prayed about the Book of Mormon?”

  • When witnessing to a Mormon it is not uncommon for them to ask the question, “Have you prayed about the Book of Mormon?” When faced with this question it can be helpful to recall the following points...
  • This question is a ploy on the part of the Mormon. Christians have no moral responsibility to seek God over whether historical fabrications and theological heresies are true.
  • The Bible says to test all things (1 John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Ask the Mormon, “Have you tested the Book of Mormon?”
  • Point out the numerous historical and theological inconsistencies in the Book of Mormon.
  • One of the most helpful responses to this question is to simply answer, “Yes, I have; and God told me that the Book of Mormon is a false revelation written by a false prophet.” This response creates a dilemma for the Mormon, for it is now your subjective testimony versus their subjective testimony. You can then invite the Mormon to join you in an objective examination of the Book of Mormon.

For more information on witnessing to Mormons, please check out Dr. Carlson’s book, Fast Facts On False Teachings, available in our online store.

The Bible’s Amazing Prophecies

  • Nearly a third of the Bible is made up of prophecies foretelling future events.
  • The hundreds of fulfilled prophecies found in Scripture are some of the best evidence for its divine inspiration.
  • The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies relating to individuals, cities, nations, and empires; all of which were historically fulfilled (Ex. Jeremiah 25:11-12; Isaiah 44:28; Ezekiel 26:3-14).
  • The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies concerning the coming of the messiah and the nature of his ministry; all of which were fulfilled by Jesus Christ (Ex. Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; 2 Samuel 7:12-13).
  • Some of the greatest prophecies in Scripture still await their fulfillment, such as the rapture of the church, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the Lord’s millennial reign (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 24; Revelation 20:4-6).

For more helpful evidence on the divine inspiration of Scripture, please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, The Bible: Is it the Word of God? available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Taming the Tongue

  • The tongue is a small 2 oz. muscle, but it’s incredibly powerful. And as the book of James points out, while humans have been able to tame all kinds of animals, no one can tame the tongue (James 3:7-8).
  • Fortunately, though, we aren’t without hope when it comes to our pesky tongues. The book of James also reveals to us the key to finding victory over the tongue’s dangers and harnessing its power for the glory of God: we need to R.A.C.E. to Jesus.
  • First, we need to RECOGNIZE our desperate plight. James 3:8 says, “no human being can tame the tongue.” Like with every other sin in our lives, attaining victory over the tongue by our own efforts is impossible. We need help!
  • Second, we have to ACCEPT the hope of the gospel. James 1:18 says that through God’s gracious provision of salvation we have been reborn, we have a new nature, a new identity; and along with this we receive the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Spirit’s power that we experience sanctification, including the transformation of our tongues.
  • Third, we must CONTINUE regularly in God’s word. In James 1:25 we are told that those who continue in God’s perfect law that brings freedom will be blessed. God’s word is the fuel that produces freedom and victory over sin. Stay in the word!
  • Fourth, we need to ENGAGE the Lord daily in prayer. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Are you struggling with the tongue? Are you wrestling with sin? Do you need the Lord’s wisdom as you fight these battles? If so, turn to him in prayer and he will help you.

For more information on experiencing God’s transforming power in our lives, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.