That’s A Wrap

Hi Everyone,

I am in the lounge at the Lagos, Nigeria airport waiting to board in about 90 minutes. First, let me review yesterday. It started with a short apologetics seminar near the hotel I was staying at. Ebenezer talked about the challenges of doing apologetics in Africa (see pics for some of his PowerPoint slides. Then are informative. Then I covered the problem of evil, or, if God exists and is all powerful and all loving, why does He allow such evil? Then we took questions. Then the third speaker, Jesse Digges (a missionary taking a class on Arabic so he can confront Muslims and Islam head on, spoke on “the trinity,” which, of course, Muslims reject.

In my talk, I started out by explaining that without God, there is no such thing as evil because evil implies there is the opposite (good), and if there is good AND evil, some transcendent source (God) must exist to define good and evil. The formula goes like this, if there is a moral law, then there must be a moral law giver.

Then I explained where evil comes from; Genesis 3 when sin entered God’s perfect creation and corrupted everything. Every form of sickness, death, suffering, natural disasters, every evil possible entered God’s perfect creation and turned it upside down. So, all evil, suffering, pain, etc, can be traced back to Gen 3. And until Jesus comes back to make all things new, the only escape is a spiritual escape, salvation and the promise of eternal life thru Jesus.

In the afternoon I spoke on Effective Evangelism. I covered the details in my Tuesday and Wednesday reports.

I only remember a couple of the questions. One asked about God sending people to hell for accepting Jesus. I responded, explaining that God is holy and heaven is holy. Unless a persons sins are forgiven, if they went to heaven, heaven would have the presence of sin just like the earth does now. Another asked about humans having a sin nature and having hearts that are desperately wicked. Then the Scriptures also say we have he righteousness of Christ. How can both be true? I explained that when we repent of our sins and believe the gospel, God replaces our unrighteousness with Christ’s righteousness, which qualifies us then to enter heave. Not based on our righteousness, but His.

Another later asked, “If God knew Hitler was going to kill so many Jewish people (the Holocaust), then why did God allow Hitler to be born? I answered that the holocaust was not the only genocide since Gen 3 and don’t you think if God would have prohibited one from happening, then He would be expected to prohibit all of them?

The one I really botched was more a philosophical question about Monism: a theory or doctrine that denies the existence of a distinction or duality, in a particular sphere, such as that between matter and mind, or God and the world.

I was asked to comment. I should have just said I can’t do your question justice and declined. But I confused monism with modalism that teaches that God is not a trinity but is either Father, Son, or Holy Spirit at any one time. I gave a quick answer based on the word modalism then was corrected and apologized for not being prepared.

Oh, there was one more. And that was the age old question on man’s free will to accept or reject the gospel compared with the doctrinal position that chooses to be “saved.” I was asked to comment and told them that was a debate that has been going on for a very long time and that I was not going to settle the issue. So, I said, “when the Bible says we were chosen before the foundation of the world,” that is what you preach. When it says “whosoever will may come,” that is what you preach. And don’t try to reconcile the two. Then I suggested that whichever side of the fence you  are on, Paul said, “I beg you to be reconciled to Christ.” So, all of us regardless of our theological stance, need to be “begging” people to become a Christian.

Now to finish up. The original plan was for me to speak to the Bible study on Tuesday 5/30 on Effective Evangelism. Then participate in a three day seminar, Thur, Fri, Sat, then leave for home Sunday, today. After I got tickets, the seminar was moved so Ebenzer worked hard to put some other events on my schedule.\

The highlight, in my mind, was meeting with the university students Friday night. But the second highlight might have been the exposure ITEM Next Gen Ministry got. Two influential pastors were a part of two audiences and one, the one who hosted the university students on Friday, wants to put together a larger, 3-day seminar next year. So, we will see how God used this trip for future engagements.

Thank you for coming along and for praying. My scheduled touch-down in Portland is 11:30am Monday.

I added a large number of pictures. Mostly street-scenes to give you a flavor of life around here. CLICK HERE to see them.


Next trip, Lord willing, August to Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda, Lord willing.

By His grace,



ITEM Next Gen Ministry