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Worldview Toolkit

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The 'Wiki Encyclopedia of CityReaching' is collaboratively sponsored by the 'Center For Urban Innovation'... "Producing Innovative CityReachers."



Worldview Toolkit...

 (Apologetics Toolkit) 


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     Produced by Ligonier.org




To help you 'always be prepared'.



  • Why 'be prepared'?
  • Link to great teaching sites
  • Watch great apologists in action.
  • Provide quick-access to current articles, blogs, videos.
  • Show how YOU can get involved, using today's new-media.
  • Discussion Thread









 The Definition of Apologetics

What are apologetics?  Well, certainly we don't need or mean to "apologize" for God. But apologetics are a form of witness that differs from testimony by providing a scriptural defense of your belief to everyone "...who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."  (1 Peter 3:15) 

"But in your hearts set apart [sanctify,KJV] Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..."



Apologetics have always been needed.  Both the apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, were apologists, as were all the disciples of Christ and as are we today.  Apologetics, then, is simply giving a defense of why you and I have hope in Christ and why you and I have accepted Christ's invitation for salvation and been given the Holy Spirit to help us to live according to God's Holy Word.   Apologetics or witness-bearing of the full Gospel and Word of God, are very much needed in our Postmodern age when Relativism and Pluralism espouse that there are no moral absolutes, no definitive truth. That said, apologetics can appear intimidating to learn. But it is no more than you or I can handle with the help of God's Holy Spirit.  Any Christian is empowered to defend his or her belief.  Love of truth is the foundation.  Holy Spirit is your guide and counselor.  Like anything, the way to feeling equipped is through reading, study, and practice. 


Then what of the scriptures in Mark 13:11 and Luke 21:14 that tell us: "Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit" (Mark 13:11, NIV) and again: "But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves." (Luke 21:14)?  These scriptures appear to contradict 1 Peter 3:15 but they are the very example of the Living Word of God: The fullness of truth that can only be told by a paradox.  The Bible is full of paradox, as noted apologist and theologian, G. K. Chesterton points out in his writings.  Some examples: "Many that are first will be last, and the last first." (Mark 10:31), "Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will find it." (Matthew 16:25, Luke 9:24), " A Virgin shall give birth..." (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23), "The dead shall rise..."(1 Thessalonians 4:16), "Blessed are those who are persecuted..." (Matt. 5:10-12), "Count it all joy...when you meet with various trials..." (James 1:2) [noted by Dale Ahlquist, Common Sense 101: Lessons From G. K. Chesterton]  Chesterton sums it up this way: "By paradox we mean the truth inherent in a contradiction... the two opposite cords of truth become entangled in an inextricable knot which ties safely together the whole bundle of human life."  So what of our paradox found in 1 Peter 3:15 and Mark 13:11 and Luke 21:14?


We are not alone.  We are never alone.  We are members of a body with Christ.  It is the kind of body that the scriptures liken to a human body that cannot say one part is superior to another.  It is a body that extends to the metaphor of a symphony orchestra with everyone playing their part.  The music is already written. The conductor is at hand to cue us when our part comes.  The witness work or "great commission" is like that symphony.  Let us play or sing our "parts" in that witness.  A musician learns to play by practice but he or she plays those parts already written and plays them according to the passage given at the moment he or she is cued.  We are promised when we are hailed before courts (Mark 13:11), that we will be given what to say and that we are not to prepare before hand.  Inotherwords, a musician knows how to play his instrument and the notes of a piece before ever arriving at the hall to play, but he does not write his own part of another composer's symphony. The first chair flute in an orchestra does not worry about the important solo passage coming up in the symphony being played: the composer has the passage written and the Orchestra conductor knows when to cue each player and each instrument section.  What God wants a person to hear in witness, they will hear.  But we are the ones the Holy Spirit "cues" to recall from our minds scripture we have already studied for our own nourishment and the love of God. (1 Peter 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:15)


Below are a number of links and videos to help you get started.  More helps have been listed, including a reading list of apologists who are soundly based in an orthodox (not denominational) view of scripture, such as C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, Ravi Zacharias and others.  The Bible is your main learning tool from the great discussions starting with Jesus and the Devil in the Wilderness to Paul's speech on Mar's Hill.  Always remember that there is no starting point in an Apologetic that cannot lead you right back to the Cross and the message of salvation.  Do not worry about your economic background, your social background, or your educational background.  Every background is here needed.  Here is how G. K. Chesterton, one of the great Christian apologists of the modern age, sums up how you and I should approach the Christian Worldview with all the experience our God has carefully given and cultivated in each of us to use for His service:


"You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him.  Now if Christianity be....a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over.  But if Christianity should happen to be true - then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything.  Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true."


-- G. K. Chesteron, Orthodoxy, Ed. Craig M. Kibler, 2002


There are a number of ways to approach apologetics, usually though, there is a style of refutation and rebuttal often associated with apologetics that can be intellectually dazzling as well as intimidating.  Apart from the "dazzle" keep in mind that your goal is to form a relationship with your reader.  L. T.  Jeyachandran, Excutive Director in Singapore  for RZIM Ministries, keys in on the need for an apologetic of relationship and Christian community.  That is our final apologetic: how we act upon what we write.  While some Christian testimony can sometimes mis- speak by "championing our failings", an apologetic that touches the heart must be delivered, as Peter suggests above, with reverence and as Paul suggests with gentleness. (2 Timothy 2:25, 26) And lastly, let us deliver our apologetic with a respectful and winsome attitude.  Christ has already conquered the world: apologists are just holding the line, being the "watchman on the wall" (Isaiah 21) for truth. 



Still, there is much at stake.  This is the area where we are charged to make use of the "Sword of the spirit" (Ephesians 6:16,17).  Betsy Childs, a writer for RZIM Ministries suggests that we begin apologetics with an attitude of humility.*  Pray  first and then imagine your reader before you begin to write.  Mentally, converse with them.  Share with them.  Lead them into scriptures with grace, and appeal to both the heart and the mind.  People think in terms of mental pictures so the abstract does little to affect the heart/mind interplay here.  Heresy can be argued with, as Chesterton once remarked, but the more effective way to reach your reader is to use word choices and biblically-based illustrations that take a false belief and "snaps it like a spell."   Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we can provide a new page and some examples by comparison of abstract apologetics that seeks to refute by argument and what I will call "winsome" apologetics that appeals to the person's mind and heart.  There is a place for both.


Beyond Apologetics


Why are we doing this, beyond our obligation to give a defense of the "Good News"?  One aspect is to also answer what C. S. Lewis calls "the speculative question on the existance and beneficence of God."  But the other aspect (and this is a most important one) is to help the unbeliever to a point at which a relationship can begin with God.   It is our privilege to help bring them to a point  of trust in a person rather than an argument.  As Lewis describes that moment: "You are now no longer faced with an argument which demands your assent, but with a person who demands your confidence."  With apologetics we are helping an individual start a committed relationship with our heavenly Father, one where there is a firm foundation for trust "yet also room for doubt" so that the relationship can grow under the direction of the Holy Spirit, a relationship that will also develop in faith that can grow to become unshakable.  Then in turn, they can become a disciple of the Christ's teaching and carry on the tradition of faith to others as it was handed down to us.  The result is glory to God, their salvation, and our everlasting life.


* The Apologist's Evening Prayer by C. S. Lewis


From all my lame defeats and oh! much more

From all the victories that I seemed to score;

From cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf

at which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;


From all my proofs of Thy divinity,

Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead

of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.


From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of Thee,

O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.

Lord of the narrow gate and the needle's eye,

Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.(1)

1) C.S. Lewis, Poems (New York: Harcourt, 1992), 131.

from Beyond the Coins by Jill Carattini, senior associate writer, RZIM, Atlanta, GA


[Ed.Note... Bob Adair and I are wanting to start a series of absolutely essential pages about key elements of Christian apologetics... which could aid for the cause of cityreaching... by SIMPLIFYING the approach, and yet adding robust links to sophisticated buildouts of key points of apologetics.]



Getting Started: Getting Prepared - Free Online Bible Classes



Biblical Resources: Online Bibles, Concordances, and Reference sites (Theology FAQ's*)

  • Theology FAQ's -- Reference: Questions & Answers -- at ChristianAnswers.Net.
  • Online Concordance: BibleGateway.com
  • Bible.org
  • Chrisitanity.com | Bible Study Tools
  • CityReaching.org | Bible Wiki Page
  • ReadThrough Group | Reading the Bible on a personal (daily) level: Check CityReaching for locations in your area and sign up or start a group


Biblical Resources: Apologetics - Suggested Reading (search your local library or Amazon.com for these titles)


  • Real Christianity, William Wilberforce
  • The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis
  • The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes
  • A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis
  • The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis
  • Miracles, C. S. Lewis
  • Unspeakable- Facing Up To Evil In An Age of Genocide and Terror, Os Guiness
  • The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis
  • The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis
  • Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton
  • Life Application Study Bible, New International Version
  • Women's Study Bible, New King James Version
  • King James Version of the Holy Scriptures
  • The Geneva Bible (predates KJV)
  • The Emphatic Diaglott, Benjamin Wilson ( important for a mis-translation of John 1:1)
  • Coming Home - Why Protestant Clergy Are Becoming Orthodox, Peter Gilquist
  • People of the Lie - The Hope For Healing Human Evil, M. Scott Peck, M.D.
  • Skeptics, D. James Kennedy
  • The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis
  • Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
  • The Pilgrim's Regress - C. S. Lewis
  • The Weight of Glory - C. S. Lewis
  • George MacDonald - 365 Readings, C. S. Lewis
  • The Pilgrim's Guide - C. S. Lewis and the The Art of Witness, David Mills, ed.
  • The Works of Francis Schaffer
  • The Works of F. W. Boreham
    • teaching the art of the Christian illustration for witness. 
    • Illustrations or the art of story telling distills either the delicate (confrontational) or the vast concept of truth (complex) into an easily graspable form for the listener. 
      • Ex: The Prophet Nathan's confrontation of King David's adultery (delicate) or Jesus and his illustration of the Vineyard and the Son (vast concept of truth))
  • The Grand Weaver, Dr. Ravi Zacharias
  • Telling the Truth - Evangelizing Postmoderns, 
    • "Originating at a three-day conference held at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Telling the Truth, utilizes knowledge gained in the trenches by Ravi Zacharias, D.A. Carson, Ajith Fernando" - RZIM
  • Recommended Reading List on Christian Ethics, Culture, Cults, World Religions, Current Trends,  Faith/Doubt Struggles, General Apologetics, Philosophy, History, Theology, and more



Online Apologetic Subject Matter

Links to subject matter behind questions that you may be asked in the workplace, shopping, or other venues of your life.  Study and become familiar with areas that you feel led by the spirit in which to become qualified.


Bible Topics for Discussion


  • Creation versus Evolution: Support for Darwin Day Debate, March 8, 2008, IUPUI

    • Creation v. Evolution
    • Monkey See, Monkey Do: Stuart McCallister, RZIM
      • Rebuttal Point: Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory, expresses grave doubts about this belief being true. He states, “With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” ...But here is the rub—and it is at the heart of Darwin’s doubt. If we are merely like the monkeys, manipulated by nature, then we have no reason to think that evolution is true. Let me repeat that: If we are like the monkeys, manipulated by nature, then we have no reason to think evolution is true. We only have the thoughts we do about evolution because we are manipulated into thinking them.
    • Questions I would LIke to Ask God: Ravi Zacharias, RZIM
      • Rebuttal Point: Professor Michael Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box. Behe is Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 
        • Behe’s book basically challenges the naturalist into recognizing that biochemically evolution is impossible. In just one of the many outstanding chapters he illustrates his point by describing the chemical changes that are set in motion to generate sight. From the moment a photon hits the retina to the end result of an imbalance of charge that causes a current to be trans-mitted down the optic nerve to the brain, resulting in sight, a series of chemical reactions have taken place that in evolution’s mechanism would have been impossible. His bottom-line argument is this: The irreducible complexity of the human cell meets Darwin’s test of what it would take to prove Darwinism false.
  • Cults...  [in the meantime before we get such a page, here's a great website in Indy... 'Families Against Cults' (that's cults, not Colts! *smile*) 
  • Here's a quick, interesting worldview video-clip by George Barna... as a part of the CCN videos
  • The Koran





  • Postmodernity: Definition: RZIM:Dr. Ravi Zacharias speaks on what constitutes the mindset of Postmodernity


    1. Relativism: Definition: All truth is relative.  There is no absolute truth.  Ex: "That may be true for you, but it's not true for me."  or "I respect your''Truth'."  Refuses commitment to a single source of truth.  Recasts words and language to fit an ever-changing viewpoint.
    2. Pluralism: Definition: No one worldview is correct.  All worldviews are to co-exist making compromises in the face of obvious moral, spiritual, and value differences. Ex: Diversity in a pluralistic sense redefines toleration to include embracing and approving of practices that God makes clear in His word are defined as sin.  Whereas, the Christian world view embraces godly unity in diversity with respect to God's sovereign and moral will. Godly toleration is about helping fellow Christians to grow in holiness with a view to their relationship with God.  Godly toleration employs two of the fruitages of the spirit: patience and long-suffering with the purpose of helping another to fully submit to God in obedience and to each other in love (Ephesians4:2)
  • Modernity: Definition:



Q & A: Apologetic Techniques with "Conversational Apologetics" (Michael Ramsden, European Director for RZIM)


Apologetics is not just about writing down a defense.  It's more often about witnessing directly to those with whom you converse and who ask you questions about what you believe and know to be true about God.  One of the best ways to learn how to formulate a response is to hear HOW it is done and then to see the points in outline form.  The following are question and answer sessions at leading universities around the country.  As you listen, keep a notebook handy.  Write down key points of how to respond to the questioner.  Then mentally practice the conversation.



1) Listening to the Questioner To Determine How to Formulate Your Response:


  • Muskoka Q&A(Part 1)
    1. How to Question the Questioner: Technique#1.  This is a technique that Jesus often used to 1) to open the questioner up to their own assumptions. And 2) to determine the entry point for the discussion.  Think about how you could have used this technique in a loving way to help a questioner from a past experience.
  • Conversational Apologetics with Michael Ramsden of RZIM

    1. How to Question the Questioner: Technique#2.  This is the same technique as discussed above but we now look at some specific examples that Jesus used and apply them to the subject of Abortion.
    • First determine: What is the issue?  Is the right question being asked?
      • Subject: Abortion.  Is the questioner really asking about "choice" or are they really asking "when does life begin"?
    • Second determine: What is the trap to avoid? How to determine the intent of your questioner.
      • Jesus was perfectly skillful in avoiding the trap of responsive arguments that would:
        • Put your listener on the defensive
        • Frame the argument within cultural assumptions
        • Answer the wrong question with the right answer
      • Bible Example using the Jesus' taxation question (Matt: 22:15:22):
        • The Questioners asked the question: "Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
        • Jesus does not state an emphatic yes or no.  Why?
          • Jesus first determines the issue: Ownership. Not whether it is right or wrong to pay taxes.
          • Jesus next determines intent: Evil.  They wanted to trap Jesus into disobedience and insurrection against the government
          • Jesus then questions the questioner: [They comply with Jesus' request to bring him a coin] "Whose portrait is this?  And whose inscription?"
          • Jesus finally gives an answer based on their response: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's."
      • Modern Day Example using the abortion question
        • Determine the issue: The issue is about life and when it begins.  But most Pro-choice advocates are NOT asking about abortion/life but rather their question is: Who do you call a person who takes away another person's right to choose? 
        • Determine the intent: This is the wrong question and if you answer it directly you will place both you and your questioner in the trap of "answering the wrong question with the right answer".  The questioner's intent is to frame you as a "mean" person who doesn't care about their "rights".  So what is the right question?
        • Ask the right question by questioning the questioner: The subject is abortion/life and the right question is: When does someone have the right to take an innocent person's life?
        • Finally give an answer leading to the right conclusion based on their response: Ask: When does someone have the right to take an innocent person's life?  [Most will answer this question with the response of "never"] Based on that response, you can now help them determine when life really begins in the womb and get them to see that abortion is taking an innocent person's life.






When They Say....:Conversation Apologetics and the Short Response



  1. When they say:  "I'm an atheist and I have values and morals.  I don't need God or religion to be a moral person."
    • First , "Question the questioner": How did you develop your value system?  Did you learn it from somewhere or did it come from within your own thinking?
    • Then, If they answer "I learned it from somewhere" Identify the values and laws that are common to God's Word.  Ask from whom they learned these and then share with them Romans 2:14-15 which clearly shows that those from whom they learned received these "values and laws" from God because they were already written on our hearts.
    • If they answer, "It came from within my own thinking".  Again, identify those values and laws common to the word of God and lead them to Romans 2:14-15 to show that we do nothing of our own origination apart from God when it comes to what is right ethically and morally.  These principles, which are universal, were placed inside us and have been with us since human history began.  They are the remains of God's image in them and in us.  We all have a conscience that either accuses us or excuses us.
  1. When they say: "I'm an agnostic and I'm not sure what to believe in about God."

    • First, "Question the questioner": If they state a number of things that they don't believe (by way of being skeptical) at the beginning of your conversation, listen patiently, then ask them to state what they DO believe.
    • Then choose one of their topics and restate their argument in gentle, but forthright language that reveals the lack of common sense to it.
      • There are basically 3 arguments (Chesterton offers) that skeptics pursue.  All other questions are derivations that arise from these three:
        1. Humans are nothing more than animals.  They are only a "variation on a theme" from other kind in the animal kingdom
        2. All religion arises out of ignorance and fear.
        3. Organized religion is responsible for the ruin of all societies by introducing "bitterness and gloom"*
      • These are "logical and legitimate" arguments, but untrue.  Always keep in mind that the reason an argument seems weighty and gains advantage is not because it must be true, but that it has weight because it is a logical and legitimate viewpoint. Approach your listener with that respect.
    • Outline Response for Argument #1: Humans are nothing more than animals.
      • The starting point similar in likeness but the outcome vastly different. (Rumi poem)
        • "Apes may have hands but they don't do much with them: They don't play the violin or eat with a knife and fork"
        • "Elephants don't build ivory temples, even in primitive style (a basic tenent of Evolution theory: moving from the primitive to the sophisticated).  Camels don't paint pictures.  Beehives so not have a status for 'older queens'"
        • "All other animals are tame by comparison to man.  They follow the tribe or type [as a predictable order in the animal kingdom].  Only man can be unpredictable and can choose to act against type (free will).  Only man can be a criminal or a monk." (Ahlquist [on Chesterton],  The Art of Defending the Christian Faith)
  2. When they ask: "Why are You A Christian?" - The Gospel Can Be Explained - Michael Ramsden

YouTube plugin error RZIM's Michael Ramsden lectures on "Conversations that Count" at Oxford University in the Foundations of Apologetics twelve part series.



Apologetics on Paper: Practicing What You Have Learned


Video Examples of Apologetic Subject Matter


Example #1: A clip of the popular telelvision show "ER" provides a segment demonstrating Postmodernism's Theraputic Acceptance of Self  Vs. The Bible's Acknowledgement of Man's Sinful Nature (Sin vs. Sickness artfully underplayed by the hospital setting of a Patient (Sinner) and a Postmodern Psychologist/Therapist ("Priest") Watch the video and then formulate a response based on your knowledge of scripture. 

Questions for consideration:

  1. Is this man displaying godly sorrow or worldly sorrow? (2 Corinthians 7: 9-11)
  2. What is the first clue the therapist has that this man wants something more than to be told "It's all right"?
  3. What is the patient's ultimate concern?
  4. Is there anything good about guilt?  And if so, what is it?
  5. Where and when do you see a demarcation in the way society use to view guilt and confession and now?
  6. What is the purpose of confession?
  7. What gives forgiveness its value?  What has to happen first?
  8. What apologetic technique would you use here to help this man in love?  Is this a good situation to question the questioner?  Why or Why not?


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Click for related article at Lifeway Research's Ed Stetzer Blog



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WHO participates in biblical apologetics?


  • [this could be good, to collect a bunch of key links to those who truly want to hone cityreachers' abilities to deal with apologetics as simply as possible, with great links to sophicated leaders in biblical apologetics.]
  •   Dinesh D'Souza links we've tagged recently
  • Ravi Zacharias
  • R.C. Sproul -- Ligonier
  • 'Stand To Reason'... Greg Kouki re apologetics.  [incl. a great playlist at YouTube]
  • VeritasRex.com
  • MelanieReed.Net DailyQuote (a quick way to introduce Christ and get people to thinking.  Uses YouTube videos and Quotes and a short story or apologetic) and ForthWrite (A larger platfom to discuss topics of current or needful interest and bring the reader through both the heart and the mind back to the Cross as the only answer.)


  • Veritas48 -- a YouTuber dealing with apologetics (see sample video below)...
  • Bob Adair -- 'Adair Institute' (blog)
  • Prolife apologetics?  The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) Midwest has launched a new endeavor called the Pro-Life Institute which specializes in training apologists to defend life issues in the marketplace of ideas. PLI is needed because most Christians cannot articulate a clear and consistent position on bio-ethical issues like abortion, stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia, and the death penalty, etc.




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[good example of what (almost) anyone can do with great new tools -- visit his YouTube site.]




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Ravi Zacharias addresses 'the problem of pain'... (theodicy)... ie, evil in the world.



  Recent 'WORLDVIEW' tagged-items



  Recent 'APOLOGETICS' tagged-items







Discussion Thread... Add Your Links, Ideas, Questions...


  • Remember Erv's recommended 4 key questions...
  • #1 -- What do you mean by that?  (ie, explain yourself further so I'm sure I understand your point-of-view... and you'll also have to be sure you've thought it all out clearly.]
  • #2 -- Where'd you get that?  -- ie, what's your primary source for that point-of-view?  Who are you relying on?
  • #3 -- Why is this so compelling for you, personally?  -- ie, what's really going on here?  What's the emotional attachment to this pov?
  • #4 -- What are the consequences if this view is wrong?  -- every idea has consequences; some minor, and some eternally major.
  • [and I might propose a couple more...]
  • #5 -- What percentage of the entire universe of knowledge, do you personally know?
  • #6 -- How old are you, and how much more do you expect to learn in your lifetime?
  • Link to Don Fields' article... "Telling Your Story"
  • Neil's Approach To Science Apologetics








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