Category: Christianity and Culture

Apologetics is the Answer to Everything

Some Christians will begin seeing red just from reading the title of this entry.  They will be angry and annoyed and may even jump up out of their seats.  Therefore, let me say it again:  apologetics is the answer to everything. Whether it be the rapid decline of the Christian Church in America, the brisk […]

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The election should make me happy, but it doesn’t

It was only two years ago that the great mass of swing voters, so called independents and moderates, scurried over like lemmings to vote for Obama and the Democrats. That any of them might have been surprised at what Obama and the Democrat congress actually did hints at a serious problem. No doubt many of these people voted against Obama this year- but did they do it because they have more carefully deliberated on their principles and the lessons of history?

I think it is clear that many of them did. Nonetheless, I am certain that a lot didn’t, and the fact that millions and millions still happily cast their lot with Obama and his socialist-by-another-name agenda shows that many people didn’t really move at all.

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Book Review: “Story Craft” by John R. Erickson

Story Craft, John R. Erickson Book Review by Debbie Thompson, ACM Volunteer If you have 8-10 year old children you may already know John Erickson. He is the author of the popular Hank, the Cowdog stories. Hank is such a delightful doggy character that almost any child or animal loving adult will shake their head […]

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40 Days for Life Presentation

Not too long ago I spoke at the ‘kick off’ event for my area’s 40 Days for Life organization.  The 15 minute video can be watched below.  Here is the direct link. ————————–

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Video (PETV)

A few weeks ago, James Jay Lee stormed the Discovery Channel network. There was a man who understood the power of video. In his screed, published online, he decried the shows “encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions.” Instead, he argued, Discovery should push “programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility.”

James Jay Lee was in a desperate spot. He knew that the fate of the planet hung in the balance. The earth, literally, needed saving. The people who knew this best were actually fueling the death of the earth. He wrote: “You MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation. Surely you MUST ALREADY KNOW this!” (Emphasis his)

And how did Mr. Lee come to this startling revelation? In other online writings he indicated that he had been ‘awakened’ by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

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A Nation Held Hostage to Islam

I just posted this column at The Cypress Times and in the meantime, contributor Kathy posted her own post here at Sntjohnny.com which I thought had a lot of good points. Click on her link to read what she had to say. Click ‘read more’ below to finish reading my column.

This thing down in Florida where a pastor of a congregation not much bigger than my thumbnail has threatened to burn korans has reached the heights of absurdity. Pastor Jone’s one long publicity stunt has paid off in spades. It has attracted all kinds of attention. Even Obama has noticed, and given how hard it is for a commoner to attract his eye, that’s really saying something. But maybe not. President Oblivious seems to have a keen eye for potential beer summits or things touching on Islam.

Now, Interpol has announced this warning:

LYON, France – INTERPOL has today issued a global alert to its 188 member countries following the request of Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior, and its own determination, that if the proposed Koran burning by a pastor in the US goes ahead as planned, there is a strong likelihood that violent attacks on innocent people would follow.

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Distinguishing between the Organic Church and the Organizational Church

A pastor in Nevada chastises me, “The little old ladies in our congregation are extraordinary in their faithfulness. They do everything in the church. They run the committees, their generosity pays the bills, they tend to the facilities. My congregation is 95% filled with these little old ladies who are lions in the faith.”

No doubt, they are the lions in the faith. Yet in under 10 years they will all be dead from simple old age. 10 years from now, when they have all passed to be with Jesus in his glory, and there are just 10 people left in the congregation, might we stop to wonder if the reason for this is not because the church is being faithful to its principles, but because it is not?

How can we call it faithful if the youngest person in the congregation is 40 years old? Does that really sound consistent with the Scriptural vision for believers? Seriously?

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In Defense of the Arts: Article in ChristianVideoMag

I was recently invited to submit articles for consideration in a mag called Christian Video Magazine. I was delighted to take them up on the offer. My first article was published today in their August edition.

Interestingly, our online apologetics conference presenter Robert Velarde also appears in this edition. Check his article out. It’s worth it.

Excerpt:

“He has set eternity in the hearts of men…” So begins chapter three, verse eleven, of the book of Ecclesiastes. I bet everyone sometimes falls into the habit of thinking that the only real things are those things we grasp with our five senses, but I would also wager that we have all experienced the angst and restlessness that shows that our rat race lives cannot provide us all the satisfactions we need. Christianity would offer another interpretation for that unsettled feeling: it is homesickness.

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Liturgical or Contemporary Worship- Which one from God?

If our gatherings are not marked by love- that is, attending to the genuine needs, desires, and wants of those around us, rather than seeking our own fulfillments- they are ‘nothing.’ As far as I am concerned, I would be happy to endure just about any kind of ‘worship’ form if I saw a community that was geared to look out for each other, even to the point of laying down their lives for each other (1 John 3:16).

Now, of course there is some attending to needs in the way gatherings are structured. It isn’t an entirely loveless endeavor, and of course the whole work of the Church does not occur one hour on one day a week. You wouldn’t know this from listening to those engaged in the ‘Worship’ Wars, though. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read something by either side where ‘love’ was mentioned at all.

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Three words Christians abuse: church, worship, love

The title of this post does not do the matter justice.  The word ‘abuse’ is too mild, and it might be even more accurate to say that in actual fact the sweeping trend within Christendom is that there is outright plain ignorance on what these terms mean.  The charge only matters at all to those […]

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On Anne Rice’s Quitting of Christianity

In fashioning this response, I am in the difficult position of trying to respond to Anne’s position with only facebook status updates and past history to rely on. Readers (especially if that reader is Anne herself) will forgive any wrong inferences. With that important caveat out of the way…

The difficulty in dispensing with the Church and keeping Christ is that it is impossible and can’t be done. I’m not going to go Cyprian on you (“He who does not have the Church as his mother…”) because I think he was making a different point. Christians are not united by creed but by Christ, a person. You can step away from denominations and congregations but if you really stepped outside of the Church, you’d step out of Christ, because the Church is his body. (Eph. 5, 1 Cor 12:12-27, esp. 27).

The 1 Cor passage mentioned above is relevant in its own way because Paul points out that just because the foot says to the hand, “I am not the body because I am not a hand” the foot does not, in fact, cease to be part of the family. So long as Anne is in Christ, her declarations about not being part of the Church are no more than that- declarations. And what of those she would disassociate herself from? Is it her conviction that they are not in Christ? I doubt she would go that far. But if she thinks some Christians have been, well, asses, not even in this case can the hand say to the ass, “You are not part of the body,” for every body still has an ass!

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A Christian Defense of Capitalism? Or Just Freedom?

I posted a column this morning at the Cypress Times explaining why I so often come down on the side of ‘capitalism.’ In this essay, I’d like discuss what I really believe the relationship between capitalism and Christianity is, and if anyone likes what I have to say, you can make up for my loss […]

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Violence is never the answer: Except when it is…

The platitude is dangerous. On the one hand, when we transmit it, we transmit something we know is not actually true. That’s bad policy right there. On the other hand, it shuts down an important area of human experience that requires extensive critical thinking. In a world filled with evil and malignant men, every good person must be prepared in their mind for what they should do given certain eventualities… because we know from the newspaper and history book that these things do happen. Another danger to the platitude is that it sets people up for guilt after they perform a violent- but righteous- act. Finally, if someone has never actually thought about the matter before and all they’ve been fed is the platitude, they might freeze up and do nothing, or flee when they should fight.

I can think of no better example then the story that emerged out of the Virginia Tech massacre of Liviu Librescu. Here is a survivor of the holocaust, gunned down through the door that he refused to open for the gunman.

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Apologetics Book Club

Athanatos Christian Ministries is launching an book club. The year long membership delivers one book a month for just $10 a month- including shipping! The books selected continue to influence Christian thought and provide useful insight for apologists in particular, Christians in general, and readers of all stripes, as they grapple with Truth. The list includes both fiction and non-fiction and the authors span centuries and countries.

To learn more and sign up click here.

Current line up (subject to revision)

(In no particular order)

* G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy | Amazon Link | Buy Direct
* Blaise Pascal’s Pensees | Amazon Link | Buy Direct
* George MacDonald’s Lilith | Amazon Link | Buy Direct
* Simon Greenleaf’s Testimony of the Evangelists
* Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
* Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
* John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
* William Paley’s Natural Theology
* The Apologies of Justin the Martyr
* John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
* David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

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