Category: Christianity and Culture

Knights of Contention: Challenges Apologetics Can’t Answer

Tonight, Feb 22nd, at 9:30 p.m. CST we will host our next semi-regular “Knights of Contention” online discussion using voice, video, and chat.

The topic: The 5 Challenges Apologetics Can’t Answer.

Due to the wide scope, this conversation can go anywhere. I have summarized the 5 challenges below with links to each of the 3 parts in which I have detailed them.

To learn more about the “Knights of Contention” click here.

Direct link to the discussion: http://connectpro58388802.na5.acrobat.com/knightcon/

5 Challenges, with summaries

What they all have in common: the belief, or acting as though one believes, that Christianity isn’t actually real. It’s just one’s private faith. No correspondence to reality exists, or is expected. ‘Apologetics’ can’t answer them because they have more to do with attitude or obedience than facts and evidence.

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Upcoming Apologetics Conference Defending Life and the Family – April 7-9

Quick reminder that ACM’s online apologetics conference is coming up in under 6 weeks.  Below are details about the current line up of speakers.  Go to the main web page to learn more about them, their topics, and to register.  http://onlineapologeticsconference.com/ Defending Christianity and God’s Plan for Marriage, Family, and Life through Creative Arts such […]

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5 Challenges to Christianity Apologetics Can’t Answer Part 3

If you were looking for a thread that ties all five of these challenges together, it is this: the general view, even among Christians, that there is no objective reality to the areas under dispute. That is, we are all arguing about our own opinions, nothing more. It’s like sitting around having an argument about one’s favorite flavor of ice cream. As such an argument is roundly seen as absurd (and I would agree). Thus- even within the Church- the highest transgression is presenting your favorite ice cream flavor as the absolute best. Now this, paradoxically, I have said is something that apologetics can treat (after saying in 3 parts that it can’t. 😉 ), but read carefully on how precisely.

This is attitude that everything is just subjective is manifested most clearly and dramatically in regards to the marriage and the family. To help understand why, let me provide some anecdotal illustrations.

For example, no doubt many of my readers will be aware of the argument against those who oppose gay marriage that if these people really cherished marriage, they wouldn’t themselves support divorce or have the same level of divorces as those outside that community. I am not here highlighting the apparent hypocrisy involved. I’m talking about something else. Another illustration will perhaps help: “Why won’t God heal Amputees?” You see the argument now: if there is a God, surely he would want to heal people, including amputees. The same reasoning undergirds the absurd but common perception among atheists that a praying people will be healthier, or that in an experiment where one group is prayed for but the other group that isn’t, the group prayed for should show better health. (C. S. Lewis exposed this type of experiment as deeply flawed- who in good conscience, if they cared for the sick people would abstain from praying for one group just to prove a point?!?!?)

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5 Greatest Challenges to Christianity that Apologetics Can’t Answer – Part 2

In part one of this essay I put forward two great challenges to Christianity that apologetics cannot answer.  To illustrate the weight of this matter, consider the fact that not too long ago I wrote an entry called, “Apologetics is the Answer to Everything.”   I stand by that post, still.  These challenges have more to […]

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PZ Myers Should be Fired for Labeling Aborted Babies as ‘Meat’: A Debate

Tomorrow night, Tuesday Feb 1st, for our next Knights of Contention, we will debate the following proposition: PZ Myers Should be Fired!

Click here for information about past Knights of Contention.

His latest incendiary remarks involve dismissing unborn children (he calls them fetuses) as mere ‘meat’ that practical, scientific minded individuals are indifferent to. He also made news for his over the top, foaming at the mouth mockery of the Catholic faith regarding the elements of the eucharist smuggled out by what appeared to be a budding atheist activist. PZ Myer’s frequently visited blog is permeated with crude, rude, crass and sometimes positively fascistic ravings. Oh, and by the way he is professor at the University of Minnesota.

So, the issues to be debated are: Are there limits to academic freedom? Does a person or institution supported by the public dime have an obligation to show a modicum of respect to the public it allegedly serves? Does the public have the right to speak to the values they want their public institutions to transmit- or not? (PZ and his defenders are likely to manifest great hypocrisy on this point and others since they have no problem actively fighting and denouncing proponents of Intelligent Design and Creationism.)

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Wisconsin Pro-Life Speaking Engagements

The next two weekends I’ll be speaking on opposite sides of Wisconsin. Both events are open to the public.

On Sunday, Jan 23rd I will be speaking at New Hope Lutheran Church in Neenah, Wisconsin. Neenah is very close to Appleton. I will be speaking at their ‘Common Ground‘ session, 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. This is also the common date for ‘Life Sunday’ around the country.

On Sunday, Jan 30th, I will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sparta, Wisconsin. This is a march and youth rally that begins at 12 noon and goes to 5:30 p.m. I think I speak at 2 p.m.. I’ll update this when I know for sure.

If you are interested in attending the whole event, I have pasted the schedule below.

If you are interested in having me present with your organization, learn more here.

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Apologetics is the Answer to Abortion and Euthanasia and other Life Issues

Apologetics ministries tend to focus on issues such as God’s existence or the fact of the resurrection or the Bible’s reliability. These are all very important. Indeed, they bear directly on the issues at hand- for if there is no God, it obviously follows that we cannot be made by him in his image. Further, Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection on behalf of a fallen human race is an emphatic testament to how much God himself values each human life. Dispense with these, and there are ripples down the line.

There, however, is where I wish to make the point: there are ripples down the line.

Somewhere I read once that in the 1700s they went after God. In the 1800s, they went after Jesus. In the 1900s, they went after Man. The sequence is logical, rational, and predictable. One would like to think that they can dispense with God without there being practical effect, but the 1900s have shown otherwise.

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ACM’s January Literary Journal Edition Released

This ministry’s literary journal January edition has been released and is ready for reading online or download.  A Kindle edition is also available. A synopsis is below.  Go right on ahead to read the whole thing here:  http://literaryapologetics.com/ To download the January edition of Literary Apologetics.Mag in the format you prefer, please visit:  http://literaryapologetics.com/download-january-2011-edition/204.html ———————————— […]

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Tips that Atheists can use for Understanding the Bible

When I was a high school religion teacher I ran into a bit of trouble because, for the final exam, I expected the students to be able to recall facts from the Bible that we had covered that semester. Yes, I know. If it had been chemistry class, recalling chemistry facts covered in the semester would have been an obvious thing to have on the exam. I think the reason there was resistance to requiring that students know biblical facts is because a lot of people- even parents of kids in Christian schools- don’t actually think the Bible is true. To them, ‘religion class’ is absurd; the only thing one needs to know is that God loves you and accepts you for who you are.

That is essentially ‘Sunday School’ religion, and basically why so many people today are falling away from the faith. After all, it isn’t like its true or anything, right?

So, my title is meant to poke atheists (and get some web traffic 😉 ) but what follows can be useful to anyone, Christians included, who wish to actually understand the Bible. Unfortunately, many people don’t. This is largely because they don’t grasp the over-aching framework of the Scriptures. This is then coupled with the fact that what they do know consists largely of Sunday School versions of popular Bible stories at best or Disney re-tellings of those stories at worst. However, even people who buckle down to read the Bible straight through will likely fail to understand it if they don’t keep some important principles in mind. So, note: if you are an atheist whose knowledge of the Bible stems from nothing more than Sunday School from 1st grade to 8th grade… pay attention.

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Family Values: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

A friend posted a pretty interesting essay today on family values I submit for your reading.   I liked it and don’t have much objection to it.   After detailing the prominence and priority of ‘family values’ at communicating Life he makes this statement: Luther summed it up succinctly: love and serve God; it falls to the […]

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First Fruit Giving not Hand Me Down Left Overs

It all boils down to the same kind of thinking: those who labor in spiritual fields are merely charity cases who should be happy with whatever they get, even if they be scraps. Your local United Way offers you no service or benefit. That’s a charity. Your ‘spiritual worker’ is by your side through thick or thin and has taken the time to educate himself so he can be there in a meaningful way. That’s a benefit you receive, a service rendered to you. You have an obligation to render to the worker his wage.

There is much more to be said on the issue and certainly there are a lot of generous people out there. However, I wonder how the dynamic would change if many of those generous people, instead of thinking that the organization was obligated to them, because they were generous with them, understood that they were obligated to the organization. I just wonder.

The next time you hear that your church or favorite ministry needs a new printer don’t eye your old piece of crap. Go buy them a ‘first fruit’ printer. 😉 You know, one that works. And tells them that you value what they’re doing for far less than they rightly deserve.

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Barna Reflects on 6 ‘Megathemes’ Killing the Church

HT Lenny Esposito Not too long ago I created a website called The Death of Christianity.  Its intent was to distill into one place my thoughts regarding the crisis facing the church today.    These thoughts have developed after almost 20 years of Christian apologetics, but I bring to bear numerous studies to show that my […]

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Why Christians Should Donate Money

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21)

How many times have you heard someone complain that their congregation talks about money way too much? You may have said the same. Your complaint may very well be valid, and yet the congregation’s need is probably genuine. Probably, in most churches, the leadership would much rather not lodge any requests at all. Ideally, people would be ‘Gospel motivated.’ When it becomes difficult- or impossible- to meet the payroll or pay building expenses, the leadership has to bite the bullet and issue the plea(s).

What is really going on is a lack of familiarity with what the Scriptures say about money and a lack of courage or foresight within the leadership to teach about money. Actually, a lot of it is that some folks don’t even care what the Scriptures say on the issue. Their views on money, like so many other views, are born of one’s own ‘natural reasoning.’ This post is not about them. This post is about folks who do care. Let me share some of my experiences leading a ministry that relies a great deal on donations. But first, let me state plainly what I hope this post will accomplish:

The reader will open up their Bibles for themselves and study what it has to say about money (time, talent, and treasure) from beginning to end.

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Tonight’s Knights of Contention: Are Lutherans Christian? What about Catholics, Baptists, and Cats?

Tonight, Nov. 9 2011, I’ll be hosting our third “Knights of Contention” real time streaming audio/visual debate. Direct link to the ‘debate hall.’

There is no requirement that you actually speak. You will want speakers to hear any conversation. You will want a microphone if you want to dialog via voice. A webcam is ok, too, but not required.

Tonight’s topic: Just what is a Christian? Are Lutherans Christian? Are Catholics Christian? What about Baptists, atheists, or cats?

This will be the initial topic but its pretty fluid and informal and who knows where we’ll end up.

Previous Knights of Contention posts can be found browsing the archive of this blog.

For further reading on how I will be approaching this topic, you may consider these blog entries of old:

Christians United on Core Beliefs

Defining ‘Christianity’ Propositionally

I will be alluding to Bertrand Russell to begin with (as I did in the propositionally blog entry above) and his essay, “Why I am Not a Christian.”

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