Posts Tagged by apologetics

Number One Thing Killing the Church: Lovelessness

Below is a 20 minute clip from a presentation I delivered in Michigan this last October titled “Five Things Killing Christianity.” This is the segment describing the number one reason I believe is harming the church and the main reason it is in decline in America.

Direct Link: http://www.apologeticsvideos.net/videos/62/killing-christianity-lovelessness

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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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Pro-Life Speaking Engagements in Jefferson City, MO

I wanted to alert regular readers of this blog that if they are a Missouri resident, they will have the opportunity to hear me present in the Jefferson City area August 9th and in Lincoln, MO, on August 10th.

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Three Upcoming Book Reviews and one Released

I have three books sent to me due for reading and reviewing. It is going to be a week or possibly longer to get to one or all of them so I wanted to throw up a little blurb to each in the meantime.

Finally, Athanatos Publishing Group (an extension of the ministry of this site) released yesterday a book related to the Holocaust: Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible: A Scriptural Analysis of Anti-Semitism, National Socialism, and the Churches. My review of this book is available here.

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A Disappointing Attack Article by Richard Abanes

Abanes’ basic attitude seems to be of derision of anything that doesn’t come through approved channels. This attitude is common in certain circles. Academic circles are filled with it. You find it among the ‘professionals.’ The argument seems to be that unless something comes out of scholarly ‘peer reviewed’ circles it can’t be trusted. This ignores the fact that the traditional publishers, the academic community, the professionals, etc, are routinely producing excrement. There is no outrageous idea on the Internet that hasn’t been put forward at one time by some scholar somewhere and there is no traditional publisher that doesn’t factor in how much money a book will generate for them when contemplating the books ‘value.’ This was true in past decades and it is true now. The only difference is that the Gate Keepers no longer control the gate. The Internet has changed everything.

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Scientism: The Atheist’s Religion of Faith

In light of what I have said above it may come as a surprise that I have a very high view of science. But it’s true. I believe that you need the right tool for the job and in many cases that tool is empirical scrutiny. But other jobs require other tools and no hemming and hawwing will change that. For some jobs a hammer, for others a screwdriver and others, pliers. You may have found that sometimes one gets lucky- a screwdriver is best for screws but at last resort a hammer did the trick. But try changing your lightbulb with a hammer and tell me how that goes. 😉

Let the hammer pound nails and the screwdriver drive screws and air compressor pump up the tire: the right tool for the job, and be wary of anyone who insists on using just one tool for all jobs, and watch out especially if they don’t want anyone looking over their shoulder while they are ‘at work’ and even berate you for suggesting other approaches.

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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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Internet Evangelism Day

I’d like to direct churches and Christian organizations to the following website promoting an ‘Internet Evangelism Day.’ As so much of my own witness occurs online I really appreciate what these folks are trying to accomplish. If you feel like you or your org should be ministering more through the Internet and don’t know where to start take a look at these guys: http://www.internetevangelismday.com/index.php

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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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A Conversation on Final Regress and First Causes

I recently had a conversation with some gents that I thought I would paraphrase for my blog. I think I’ve had the same kind of conversation a dozen times in the last three months. I have combined all the conversations into one paraphrase. Enjoy.

Them: We believe science is the only way to learn about the world and religion is just faith-mongering superstition. There is no scientific basis for believing in the existence of God. Belief is just irrationalism. I know what you’re going to say. That there had to be something that has always existed. Why not the universe?

Me: Well, science says that the universe had a beginning. So I guess the universe can’t be the thing that has always existed. Surely that means we can explore other options.

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Response to Online Presentation and Archive Link: Tradition without Empathy, Contemporary without Foundation

I often see two groups of people.

One is are involved in a tradition rich church with head knowledge of rules and dogma. In reality for them, God is not often real in their lives and their rules without empathy or transparency drives people away.

The second could be explained as people involved in a newly created, often emotion driven church, with little foundation or knowledge of how firm the foundation of the bible and the church is. When real questions come up, they topple.

Both are in danger of propagating a fragile view of Christianity to people they know and more importantly, their children.

How can the churches out there tackle these problems effectively.

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Transforming the Culture by Transforming People: Apologetics

There is again a clear correlation between beliefs and the one receiving the vote. I don’t perceive this as particularly insightful: it isn’t brain surgery to deduce that one’s beliefs impact where one puts their vote. However, my proposed solution doesn’t seem as obvious to the Christian church as it does to me: if you want to transform the culture, raise up more educated, informed, passionate Christians.

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Online Apologetics Academy Enrolling

The Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is enrolling now. Enroll in the “Introduction to basic Biblical Greek” course which starts Oct. 27. Beginning on Nov. 3 is the course on “The Reliability of the New Testament Documents.” Beginning on Nov. 17 is the follow up course, “The Formation of the New Testament Canon.” Also beginning on Nov. 17 is the course “Studies in Atheism.” www.academyofapologetics.com

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