4 October 2023
Good evening from sunny, windy Northern England! Yesterday I returned from a teaching weekend in Oslo—the 8th visit to Norway since we moved back to Europe in 2020. My assigned topic (in the spirit of Knight and Barringer’s book A Church Called Tov): detoxing church. The Norwegians are building a great church culture, and it’s always good to spend time with them.
Besides time with friends, I also visited the Nordic Bible Museum (Nordisk Bibelmuseum), which is small but nicely done. If I lived in Oslo, I’d certainly want to bring my friends there, to illustrate the story of Scripture. (Photos: Norwegian Parliament; view from my hotel; Grand Hotel Oslo; medieval manuscript, Nordic Biblemuseum.)
Today’s newsletter features a test, a tour, and a book. There’s also a fresh Q&A.
A SENSITIVE MATTER
I considered quietly posting Q&A 1647, for obvious reasons, but in the end—at the risk of poor taste—decided to include it in the newsletter. If you’re interested, click Q&A 1647.
ONLINE BIBLE TEST
How well do we know God's Word? Here's a tool to evaluate your level of Bible knowledge. The diagnostic test at 3 levels was constructed with the help of many around the world, so it's (hopefully) not slanted towards any particular culture. The average score (based on the first 1000 test-takers) is 66%. How will you do?
Click HERE for the online Bible test.
The 6-section assessment requires 5-20 minutes per section—depending on your familiarity with the Scriptures. Once you’ve completed it, you want to send the link to friends. This is a free resource for anyone who loves the Word and is open to being examined. For some of the feedback on the test, click here.
2025 ISRAEL TOUR
About a dozen are now signed up for our special 2025 Israel tour, “The Women of the Bible.” This event is a few days longer than the usual Biblical Study Tour, and focuses on culture and what daily life was like for women (and men) in biblical times.
Since a quarter of the spaces have now gone, so if you’re interested, please don’t leave it too long. Click HERE (this will take you to all our tours) and scroll down.
Christian evidences (also called apologetics) presents solid reasons for the faith, while also refuting objections. It’s an area of study that came alive to me at age 16, and has continued to be an especially important component of my faith and ministry. It has built my confidence and equipped me to interact with all sorts of people worldwide. There are probably 100s of excellent apologists, and I count it an honor to know a number of them personally.
My own principal work on evidences is Compelling. This volume is especially suited for nonbelievers, those new to Christianity, and believers who want a better understanding of their faith and how to explain it to others.
For those who seek solid reasons as to why the Christian faith is not only true but also reasonable, this book is the place to begin.
“I‘ve read a lot on apologetics and have been to lectures that have left me confused, but I found Jacoby's book to be the most clear and reasonable defense of the faith… It has been a constant reference for me, as well as a great gift for friends who are seeking God but have questions. Jacoby has a written a compelling and straightforward book that will always be in my bookshelf.” — R. C.
“Douglas hits the right level for intelligent seekers. I appreciate the balance he strikes on many points, and I appreciate his tone of dialogue. Douglas has the heart of an evangelist, someone who reaches out to people who don’t know Christ. — Craig Keener (Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary)
Compelling is available HERE.
ALL FOR NOW!
I’d appreciate your prayers this weekend as I travel to Switzerland. Although many European countries are beautiful, I have long ranked Norway and Switzerland at the top.
In Geneva I’ll be teaching on two topics: church governance and women in leadership. Thanks for your support!