Subscribe to receive weekly emails of the Reasons for Hope blog.

* indicates required

Jesus: The Master of Critical Thinking

Have you ever considered Jesus Christ, the thinker?  Let’s dig into it in this Diving Deeper!
“Does not the ear test words, as the palate tastes its food?” Job 12:11
It is easy to overlook Jesus the Thinker! Much has been written on Jesus the Redeemer, Jesus the Healer, Jesus the Miracle Worker, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Lord, etc., but the topic of Jesus as the greatest thinker of all time doesn’t seem to get as much attention. Understanding Jesus, the Thinker, and his use of powerful arguments can turn out to be invaluable in today’s hostile world.  The gospels dedicate an enormous amount of time and space describing how Jesus engaged the arguments and responded to the attacks that were launched against his truth claims. In doing so, Jesus engaged in a reasoned defense of the faith using critical thinking as one of his primary tools.   As Douglas Groothuis so powerfully asserts, “When Jesus defended the crucial claims of Christianity—He was its founder, after all—He was engaging in apologetics, often with the best minds of first-century Judaism.”(1)  As Christians facing hostile arguments and attacks on our faith, there is much to learn from a careful consideration of those encounters.
Preliminary Considerations
Jesus’ engagements were undergirded by the desire to attract (not alienate) the lost. Above the strategies and specific critical thinking skills Jesus employed, we find Jesus gently and respectfully seeking to persuade his opponents. He was not out to destroy them, but rather to enlighten them. Dallas Willard is on point when he affirms that, “Jesus’ aim in utilizing logic is not to win battles, but to achieve understanding or insight in his hearers.” (2) This ought to be our objective as well.  We are called to demolish arguments—not people! We must constantly remind ourselves that we are not trying to win arguments, but rather win people over to the truth of the Gospel.
Jesus’ pedagogical strategy was very effective. He was able to engage his opponents in the thinking process by making them active participants instead of passive listeners. As Willard explains,
“…he does not try to make everything so explicit that the conclusion is forced down the throat of the hearer. Rather, he presents matters in such a way that those who wish to know can find their way to, can come to, the appropriate conclusion as something they have discovered—whether or not it is something they particularly care for.” (3)
As an educator I can attest to the effectiveness of this strategy. Too often we focus, almost exclusively, on presenting strong arguments and lists of evidences without really engaging those we are attempting to persuade.  Asking questions was one of Jesus’ most successful strategies for getting his audience actively involved in what he was attempting to teach.  These questions were meant to allow his opponents to reach certain conclusions on their own without him having to spell it out for them. We must learn the art of engaging people in thought and not just conversation.
Jesus was not concerned with being politically correct, especially when it came to unmasking errors in the opinions and arguments of his opponents. Whether he was speaking to the Pharisees or the to a Roman governor, he was quick to correct erroneous thoughts and ideas. As Groothuis so clearly explains,
“Jesus engaged in extensive disputes, some quite heated, mostly with the Jewish intellectual leaders of His day. He did not hesitate to call into account popular opinion if it was wrong. He spoke often and passionately about the value of truth and the dangers of error, and He articulated arguments to support truth and oppose error.” (4)
In an age of intolerance towards the Christian faith, we must continue to stand firmly for truth and against error.  We must do this, as Jesus did, with the right attitude (gentleness and respect) and with strong sound arguments.
Jesus was a master logician.  He used a wide variety of arguments and did so with extraordinary skill. An exhaustive review of Jesus’ use of logic and critical thinking would be a very rewarding endeavor, but it is beyond the scope of this article.  Nevertheless, let us consider five examples of how Jesus employed the various types of logical arguments.
1) Jesus’ Use of A Fortiori Arguments
Jesus often used a fortiori arguments. The latin phrase ‘a fortiori’ means, “from something stronger.” These are very persuasive arguments that build the case for a particular proposition by showing that it has even stronger support than other related propositions commonly accepted as true. The structure is as follows:
Premise 1:  Proposition “X” is widely accepted.
Premise 2:  Support for proposition “Y” is even stronger than the support for proposition “X”
Conclusion:  Therefore, if proposition “X” is accepted, then proposition “Y” should be accepted all the more.
Consider the exchange found in Luke 13:14-16. Jesus was continually attacked for supposed violations of the Sabbath. In this passage, Jesus presents an a fortiori argument in his defense as follows:
Premise 1: Loosening the cattle from their stall to taking them out to water on the Sabbath is widely practiced and accepted by the Pharisees.
Premise 2: This woman, a daughter of Abraham, (far more valuable than cattle) has been bound by Satan for 18 years and has also been loosed on the Sabbath.
Conclusion: Therefore, if it is acceptable to loosen the cattle on the Sabbath, then it should be even more acceptable to loosen a daughter of Abraham.
2) Jesus’ Use of Disjunctive Syllogisms (or Argument by Elimination)
This type of argument usually consists of a premise with two options, a second premise denying one of the options, and a conclusion asserting the remaining option.  The idea is to eliminate all of the options until one is left as the only possible answer.  The structure is as follows:
Premise 1:  Either p or q
Premise 2:  Not- q
Conclusion:  Therefore: p
Consider the words of Jesus in Luke 11:23. Where Jesus confronts the Pharisees with TWO Disjunctive Syllogism in the same verse as follows:
Premise 1:  Either you are with me or you are against me.
Premise 2:  They were obviously not with him (since they were attacking him)
Conclusion:  Therefore: they were against him.
Premise 1:  Either you gather with me or you scattereth.
Premise 2:  They were obviously not gathering with him
Conclusion:  Therefore: they were scattering.
3) Jesus’ Use of Hypothetical Syllogisms (or Chain Argument)
This type of argument consists of three conditional statements linked together as follows:
Premise 1: If p then q
Premise 2:  If q then r
Conclusion:  Therefore: If p then r
Consider the words of Jesus to his disciples prior to sending them out in Matthew 11:40. He uses a Hypothetical Syllogism to explain the impact that receiving their message would have for those who believed.
Premise 1: If they receive you then they receive me.
Premise 2:  If they receive me then they receive him that sent me.
Conclusion: (implied) Therefore: If they receive you then they receive him that sent me.
4) Jesus’ Use of Syllogisms
A syllogism is a three-line argument in which the premises lead to a definite conclusion. By using deductive reasoning, the argument establishes the conclusion without question. If the premises are true than the conclusion must also be true. A common form is known as Modus Tollens and is structured as follows:
Premise 1:  If p then q
Premise 2: Not- q
Conclusion: Therefore: not p
Consider the words of Jesus in John 8:47 where he has been engaged in a long series of arguments with the scribes and Pharisees that leads to this powerful argument.
Premise 1: If you are of God then you heareth God’s words
Premise 2: You hear them not
Conclusion:  Therefore: you are not of God
Sometimes the argument is easier to see in the paraphrase versions of the Bible. For example, this verse reads as follows in the Living Bible:
“Anyone whose Father is God listens gladly to the words of God. Since you don’t, it proves you aren’t his children.”
5) Jesus Wisdom in dealing with the Horns of a Dilemma
The Pharisees were constantly trying to trap Jesus. They plotted and schemed to come up with arguments that would trap Jesus, regardless of his response. This is known in philosophy as a dilemma. The argument presents two alternatives as if they were the only options and responding with either option gets you in trouble. That is why it is often referred to as being trapped in “the horns” of a dilemma. They tried numerous times throughout Jesus’ ministry, but were always unsuccessful due to his mastery of logic and his divine wisdom.
Consider the passage in Matthew 22:15-22. Matthew prefaces the dialogue with the warning in verse 15 that the Pharisees “took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.” (KJV). The present Jesus with a dilemma regarding the paying of tributes (taxes) to Caesar. The two horns of the dilemma are presented in verse 17, “What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” (KJV). If Jesus answered that it was lawful, then he was recognizing that Caesar was a higher authority than he was. If Jesus answered no, then he would be declaring himself an enemy of Caesar. However, they never anticipated Jesus’ response. Jesus presented a third alternative—“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (22:21 KJV). As was usually the case, “they marveled, and left him, and went their way.” (22:22 KJV). Jesus’ intellectual brilliance was enough to leave anyone, even his most ardent opponents, speechless and in awe.
Conclusion
We are called to always be prepared to give an answer to anyone that demands a reason for the hope that is within us, but how do we go about doing that? I think here, as in other areas of our walk, Jesus presents a wonderful model to follow. Jesus modeled for us the attitude with which we are to engage this world as well as the methodology. As Geisler and Zukeran suggest,
“Since reason and logical arguments were a part of Jesus’s defense, the apologist and all Christians today should make this an area of study as they engage in the battle of ideas.”  (5)
As we endeavor to engage in this dark world with the light of God’s Truth, we must be careful not to skip the mind and focus only on the heart, as is so often the case. God wants us to love Him with all of our hearts AND all of our minds. Only then will we be truly stable in our walk with the Lord. This should be paramount in our strategies for fulfilling our mission. Again, Geisler and Zukeran powerfully argue,
“The mission of transforming lives and bringing people to faith in Christ does not come by moving people emotionally; God does not bypass the mind to speak to the heart. Logic and well-reasoned arguments are required to refute false beliefs and turn people in the direction of truth.” (6)
Spending time with Jesus, the Thinker, and studying his use of critical thinking, logic and powerful arguments can be instrumental in fulfilling our calling as Christians to engage our world with Truth.
FOOTNOTES
(1) Douglas Groothuis. “Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist.” http://www.equip.org/article/jesus-philosopher-and-apologist/   Accessed, 11/25/2015.
(2) Dallas Willard. “Jesus the Logician.” Christian Scholar’s Review, 1999, Vol. XXVIII, #4, 605-614.
(3) Ibid.
(4) Groothuis.
(5)  Norman L. Geisler and Patrick Zukeran. The Apologetics of Jesus: A Caring Approach to Dealing with Doubters. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009) pg. 76.
(6) Ibid.
Posted in
Tagged with

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 15:57 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 2:15 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 John 4:7-8 1 Peter 1:23 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 100 miles 100% human 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Samuel 6:17 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:25 2 Timothy 2:7 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race AI Abraham sacrificing Isaac Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 17:22-34 Acts 17 Acts 1:8 Acts 5:38-39 Acts 9 Albert Einstein All great men were born in February. Alyssa Glander America waited too long. Apostle Peter Asbury Barna poll Barnabas Baruch Bulla Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bethlehem Bible reading Bible Biblical archaeology Bob Gillespie Brian Miller C.S. Lewis CRT Camp Sigel Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Cell phones Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian Camps Christian witness Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 3:17-23 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Daniel 12:4 Daniel 2:21 Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Deuteronomy 6:7 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey EQUIP Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 3:12 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-16 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:4 Equip Retreat Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 33:14 Facing the Giants Family dinner Fascinating Facts Frank Figueroa Gabby Terry Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:9 Gen Z Genesis 11:6 Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:14 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:29 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 22 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3:14-15 Genesis 3 Genesis and the Gospel Genesis Glad You Asked Christmas Edition Glad You Asked Glendive Montana Glory to God! God created you God is love. God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God won the battle God-created world God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's dwelling place God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grace Mally Grace Moffitt Grammar matters Groggy Hallelujah! Hawaii He is always faithful. He is risen Heaven Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:14 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? How to Think Hubble Human life is sacred. Huntsman Center Hurry sickness I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 43:2 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Israel Museum It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 James 4:14 James 4:7 James 4:8 January 2022 Jehovah Rapha Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jeremiah 31:3 Jeremiah 33:3 Jeremiah 36:32 Jerusalem Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Jesus the Messiah Jesus Jewish feasts Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:10 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:1-3 John 14:6 John 15:1-11 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 3:17 John 6:51 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joseph and Mary Joseph Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Julaine Appling Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School King David King Hezekiah King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Know why you believe. LEAD Wisconsin Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 12:8 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Little boys need Mamas. Little boys need to know their Mamas like them. Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 1:32 Luke 22:32 Luke 2:1-14 Luke 2:24 Luke 2:55 Luke 2:7 Luke 5:1-11 Luke 5:37-39 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Mary Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28-30 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 1:22-23 Matthew 24:35 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:18 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19-21 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:25-26 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Messiah Mic'd Up Mic'dUP Mic\'d Up Mic\'dUP Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Micah 5:2 Micah 6:8 Michigan State University Miracles Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Never Forget. Never Again. New Year's resolutions New Year\'s resolutions Nigeria Noah's ark Nonconformity Not yet a human. Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Paul Varnum Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 2:6-11 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:8 Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Pool of Siloam Potter Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:34 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 1:8-9 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 23:19-21 Proverbs 3:5-6 Proverbs 3;5-6 Proverbs 6:16-19 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 100 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 139 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 29:2 Psalm 2:1-6 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 37:5-6 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 63:3 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Reasons for Hope Responds Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Rebekah Haynie Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection Revelation 22:18-19 Revelation 7:9-11 RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 1:20 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Romans 8:38-39 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures Seal of Baruch September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Steve Herzig Supreme Court Surprised by Joy Testify Thanksgiving The Bible Project The Bible is a Jewish book. The DeBunked Files The Plumb Line The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth There's Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\\\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! Think before you post. Thinkful TikTok Tish Kerby Titus 2:6 Tower of Babel Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. WEF Wade Wacker Wash their feet. Wealthy Christians What are you thankful for? What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Will Our Generation Speak? Within Our Reach Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. Your vote matters. Yuval Noah Harari Zola Levitt a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth abundant life acacia accepting help achieving the impossible adventure angels angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics artificial intelligence astronomy astrophysics be not afraid biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview biology blindfold boldness bold boys branch brokenness bullae bulla butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children choices clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction consequences created in Gods image critical race theory critical thinking cross curriculum cut the head off the snake debate deception defend depressed depression design of the eye desperate passion dinosaur dig distractions don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt embryology encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God eternity evangelism examine the scriptures eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed fig filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach forest forever home former athiest freedom of choice fruit fulfilled prophecies galaxies gestation give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good news of Jesus Christ good news good will toward men grace gratitude grog having conversations heavenly host heroes of the faith history of the universe hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God inn isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers leaf light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones love of money love made for another world made in His image manger marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture missing opportunities more like Christ multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no complaints no hope no pain no gain no place like home no quitting no room in the inn nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed oak objective right and wrong olive one foot in front of the other one-world government opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance palms part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward persecution persevere perspective physics plans pomegranate positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying pregnancy pregnant preposition prioritize God pro-life progress providence quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest revival right time right words root of all evil root sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest spotless Lamb of God stable stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering swaddling clothes sycamore symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science technology teens telescope temple of the Holy Spirit terebinth thank you thankfulness thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the lion will defend itself the seeing eye theology think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trees trials tribulation troubles truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift vine virgin birth visual reminders vote wethering the storm where two worlds collide willow windows to the soul wonder of boys work ethic worldview worth fighting for worth it worthy of protection your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship zoo guide