Category: Christianity and Culture

Fall 2009 Online Academy Offerings

The Fall 2009 session of Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is set to begin Nov. 2. This session includes several new courses and several new instructors. Two courses are available for free. All are listed below:

http://www.academyofapologetics.com/fall2009/

Nov 2nd – Basic New Testament Greek Part 1
Nov 2nd – Reliability of the New Testament Documents
Nov 2nd – Origins: A Survey [Creationism/Evolution/Intelligent Design]
Nov 4th – Jesus According to… [Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc…]
Nov 4th – Studies in Atheism
Nov 9th – The Death of Christianity [FREE!]
Nov.16th – Christ Promised in the Old Testament
Nov 23rd – Hitler and Christianity [FREE!]
Nov 30th – Study in Alleged Bible Contradictions
Nov 30th – Basic New Testament Greek Part 2

www.academyofapologetics.com

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Five Things Killing Christianity: Is the End of Christianity At Hand?

The number one thing killing Christianity in America today:

Lovelessness.

All the rest of the things on the list tie back to this. The Christian Church exhibits constant lovelessness in much of what it does. Many readers will jump to the idea that Christians are very loving, and to an extent, I agree. Many readers will find the assertion nauseous because they think of ‘love’ as some wishy washy sentiment. Both sets of readers misunderstand me. One of my contentions is that Love itself is misunderstood, because unlike other doctrines, this one has not been systematically explored from the Scriptures. We all act as though we intuitively know what ‘love’ is. In fact, we have culturally driven notions that are derived from hundreds of years of romanticism. The Bible- the New Testament in particular- portrays a love that is much different. It is earth shattering, and embodied in the activities of the early Christian Church.

None of this should be construed (though it will be, to my chagrin) as a repudiation of all the things we currently do to ‘show’ we love God. It isn’t. If we were doing those things AND loving our fellow Christians… to the death… there would be no problem.

But, I contend, we aren’t doing that. God tells us that if we love him, we’ll love the brothers. We have it stuck in our head that if we love him, we’ll love him.

But that’s not what he said, and that is why outsiders, ultimately, do not find Christianity credible. Indeed, it is why Christians themselves are dubious, and in fact, sometimes falling away altogether.

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Church Bulletin Inserts and Apologetics

A while back I began a church bulletin insert series. I have noted continued demand for these inserts so there is currently a plan to develop a whole series, in particular a 160 insert series reflecting the three year liturgical calendar, for churches to use.

Because of this demand and in order to better satisfy it, the bulletin inserts currently hosted on sntjohnny.com are being migrated to a church bulletin insert site specifically for it: www.churchbulletininserts.com.

Better organization is on the ‘to do’ list along with, naturally, adding more content.

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Second Column Published on WND.com on Malthus

Today Worldnetdaily.com published a second column of mine. Title: Christians Beware the Malthusian Mind!

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Thomas Robert Malthus would have disagreed. The philosophical forerunner to Darwin, Malthus argued that there are limited resources, and competition for them is intense. When there are too many people competing for those resources, you have war, famine and a continual threat to civilization itself.

For Malthus, the pie is only so big: We must reduce the number of people who want a share of it.

Christianity embodies another solution: Make a bigger pie.

In Christianity, God takes a few loaves and feeds thousands with them. Entrance to heaven is not contingent on space available. Jesus came that we would have life, and life to the fullest. Not just for some, but all.

None of what follows is an argument for Christian indifference to the plight of other people. However, Christians should not advocate “solutions” that repress human liberty, dignity and freedom. For some reason, all of the Malthusian’s solutions do just that.

Read the whole column on Malthus and Malthusians.

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A theological basis for rank individualism in society and elsewhere

In short, dear Christian, I contend that we already have in front of us all the ‘higher level organisms’ we need: the community of the family and the community of the faithful. Here and only here are individuals respected, welcomed, and free. Here only are individuals understood to be forever, and here only do we see the context in which they will be forever- in community through Christ.

It is therefore with great caution that we must approach the efforts of the Statists. True, very often they propose programs that we can in good conscience get behind. However, even then they do not share our views about the individual, and so, they can, quite unexpectedly, change things. They would only be acting on their own values, and so we should not be shocked. Thus it should be evident that the more power we give them to help us the more power we give to them to hurt us.

As such, it is worth positing that we should give them no power at all, and the power that we do give them come with very robust checks and balances. Our trust in their sincere intentions seems, increasingly, to be poised to do us all great harm- or at least, the weakest among us, and those who are the heaviest burden on society. In the name of the “Most good for the most people” great evil is being inflicted, and history tells us a great deal more is possible.

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Generous with other people’s money

My challenge is this: on what basis can we possibly justify taking money from other people by taxation (ie, through coercion, threat of punishment, etc), to achieve that which we think is a worthy charitable end? [More...]

If you see a beggar on the street, it is perfectly right and proper to want to help him. If you proceed to go over and help him, you’ve done what pleases God. If instead you go across the street, stick a gun in a rich man’s rib, and take the rich man’s money and go over and help the beggar, I am not so sure that is what God had in mind.

Using the government to do our good deeds is essentially being generous with someone else’s money.

I see no basis in the Scriptures for Christians to condone or participate in such a methodology.

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Health Care Solutions from a Conservative

As you shall see shortly, that does not mean that I am advocating that we leave the Health Care Insurance Corporations in charge of our health, guided as they are by the profit motive. (Still, the profit motive is better than the Government’s ‘sincere motives’ in my book).

The chief problem in the health care situation in this country is not health care insurance coverage. It is health care costs, period.

Naturally, how many of us can afford to pay for a surgery that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars? Not many; hence, insurance. But if that same surgery cost only $1,000? Or less? Now we’re getting somewhere.

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