Category: atheism

Should Churches Adopt a No Child Left Behind Approach?

What I mean is this: we know that the Church in America is in decline by survey and personal experience, and we can suppose that this is because of ‘the way we are doing things’ but we can’t be sure what is producing strong Christians or weak Christians unless we have some sort of assessment.

Of course, you have to actually want to know, don’t you? If a 100 kids leave your congregation and 98 of them fall from the faith within 5 years and 90 never return that is something that I would want to know if I was the leader of a congregation. Then I would want to know what kind of framework those kids had when they left and how they received it. If I learned that my programs were actually setting them up to get smacked around like a pinata at college, I’d want to know.

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Literary Apologetics: Missionary Work in the Language of the Masses

America is increasingly a mission field in its own right. Just as missionaries have to learn the language of the natives before they can present the Gospel effectively, so too do we need to do the same in America. This does not mean (per some trends in apologetics today) adopting the ‘language’ and methodologies wholesale. For example, some aspects of post-modernism provide legitimate insights into the nature of reality. However, much of post-modernism needs to be rejected as rubbish. Nonetheless, if we want to communicate with a Pomo person, we have to be able to speak their language, presenting truth in their context, without necessarily accepting as truth that context.

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A Devotional Minute for Atheists and Sick People Everywhere

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” GK Chesterton

I was thinking to myself how hard it is to be ‘good’ and how easy it is to be ‘bad.’ For the introspective nonChristian, especially in today’s day and age where great pains are expended to eliminate both concepts, that nagging voice of conscience is still quite audible. Have you ever actually tried to follow through on everything your own conscience demands? Never mind the words of an old book or the collective pronouncements of a bunch of religious wingnuts, what about your own conscience? Try to be entirely good, even by your own standards, for just a day. I think you will discover that it is extraordinarily difficult. But not living up to your standard is easy. So easy. Doesn’t this require an explanation that covers all the facts?

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Christianity and UFOs and Space Aliens, an Apologist’s Perpective

What I really wanted to address was the ramifications and implications of discovering conclusive proof of an extraterrestial intelligent agent relative to Christian theism.

Already you should be chuckling, because if the atheists are to be believed, it is not scientifically possible to reliably detect intelligent agency. Intelligent Design, we are assured, is pseudoscience at best and closet creationism at worst. On this view I suppose space aliens could land in Richard Dawkins lap at which time they begin wheeling out some of their rumored probes, and Mr. Dawkins would be unable to recognize that something out of the ordinary was happening. Anyway, as funny and as fun as that thought is, I have no doubt that hard core philosophical naturalists will have little trouble ‘reliably detecting intelligent design’ when the chips are down.

I think this is because they will expect these little green critters with big skulls to support them in their atheistic worldview. But I think that will be the atheist’s undoing. They would have been safer denying that a sentient being is conversing with them because what that sentient being actually says might compromise the atheist’s philosophical foundations.

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Study: Religion in Decline. What do we do about it?

I am just a lone voice out in the wilderness, on the front lines between belief and unbelief, a scout if you will. I am reporting to you generals that that situation is dire, and worse, you are currently sending troops to fight over hills that the Enemy has long abandoned. You continue to defend the Maginot Line while the Enemy blitzkriegs right around it. The only difference is that the French knew they had been flanked, while you continue to face the troops east. They’ll be in Paris before you know it and I am convinced many leaders of the church will be shocked: “What? Didn’t we send reinforcements to our line of fortresses? How can this be?”

In the face of this counsel I have been accused of all sorts of things- legalism, self-righteousness, hubris, and even heresy. Well my friends, the proof is in the pudding. Barna has been warning us about this for some time and as the article above illustrates, he isn’t the only one.

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Prelude to an Argument for Christianity: The Jewish People

It took a few years after my personal battle with atheism for me to realize the importance of Jesus’ Jewishness in understanding Christianity- and defending it. The character of the Jewish people at that time is well documented by both the Old Testament and extra-biblical sources. Some things about Christianity, or perhaps more precisely, the New Testament, make no sense apart from the Jewish context that it arose in. The brief video presentation below is not an argument for Christianity but rather foundation laying for such an argument. Everyone loves a puzzle! Puzzle me this- how has the Jewish nation managed to remain intact over thousands of years in the face of immense hostility to the point where they were able to emerge in numbers enough to re-claim their ancient stomping grounds? When you’re done with that, how did a people whose devotion to “Hear Oh Israel, The Lord your God is ONE” managed to become the womb for a new world view where God became a man?

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Christianese and Shibboleths as Roadblocks to Faith and Brotherhood

Here is an excerpt of a blog entry I posted at the ChristianPost. It was probably a good time to poke the boys at Godisimaginary.com in the ribs, anyway. I know, cheap thrills.

In Judges 12, the Gileadites find a way to distinguish between friend and foe by compelling captured refugees to say the word ‘Shibboleth.’ Evidently, Ephraimites couldn’t pronounce it correctly, saying instead ‘Sibboleth.’ Those that said that latter were struck down while those who said the former were allowed to pass.

‘Shibboleths’ abound in society, including among Christians. Unfortunately, even among Christians, a Shibboleth isn’t simply a quick way to distinguish where a person stands in relation to you but is used in a manner akin to the Gileadite’s use, thankfully, of course, without the resulting slaughter.

In other words, Christianese is a Shibboleth in the ears of the nonBeliever. The moment you begin engaging in Christianese you are at risk of being dismissed or marginalized in the eyes of the person you are talking to.

The Internet is filled with skeptics and scoffers poking fun at various aspects of Christianity as though they were the substance of Christianity when in fact they are slogans and phrases that are more part and parcel of Christianese- how the things are communicated- rather than the actual substance of Christianity.

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