Is What They Said about Jesus True? A Call for Discernment

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As Christmas is drawing near, the interest in talking about Jesus and Christianity is surely going to increase. It happens every year. Church attendance rises and radical articles begin to cover the Internet and even leading publications preaching the latest and most headline-worthy theory about who Jesus Christ was or was not.

I don’t know about you, but it can be somewhat frustrating to see all of these popular attacks on the historical Jesus. While thinking about this a little bit more, I have come up with a list of three filters that I think need to be applied to any one of these stories that we might happen to stumble across in the media.

  1. Does the story match the headline?

I have done quite a bit of online sports journalism, and I know that one thing I was always told by my editors was to make my headlines memorable. That should be obvious. If you want people to click on your story (and the company makes money per click), you need to have a headline that grabs people’s attention. The same applies to a magazine and what appears on the cover.

Therefore, the first filter to apply to any of these stories is to actually read the story. Often times, headlines overstate what they promise, and many of these so-called “new discoveries” that many people find shocking are repackaged arguments from the past that have been addressed by many apologists. [Read more…]

“Doth God Care For The Oxen?” – The Biblical View

John W. Loftus, in his recent book, attempted to make the case that the Bible does not value animals, and that the Bible and its authors would condone animal cruelty. The opposite is true. As I demonstrated in my recent debate with him, the Bible is very much concerned for the welfare of the animals, and Loftus’ view otherwise is founded in various misunderstandings regarding scripture.file000302142745

[Read more…]

Creating Christian Media

Image courtesy of tungphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tungphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

God has created a world in which there are things that are beautiful. There are things that are good, and there are things that are right. We live in a world where some things are indeed better than others. We live in a world that is defined by objective values even if many people do not want to affirm that reality. [Read more…]

What is Wrong with Abortion?

Leonardo's FetusIs it immoral to deliberately end the life of a fetus? This is a philosophical question that tackles the ethics of abortion. This philosophical question demands philosophical answer(s). Before I attempt to answer this question, another basic question that is behind this question must also be answered; what exactly makes it immoral to kill one of us on most occasions? From such explorations I presented three philosophical arguments explaining why I believe abortion, on most occasions, is immoral.

This short essay presented three brief explanations on what makes killing one of us wrong. Those explanations, I will argue, are equally applicable to the killing of fetuses. In this essay I assumed that my readers agree that killing of a suicidal teenager or a revisable comatose patient is wrong. Thus, though a suicidal teenager may currently have no strong desire to live, or a revisable comatose patient may at a certain period be totally unconscious of both her inner self and her outside surroundings, it is immoral to deliberately and unjustifiably end their lives.

An adequate explanation for what exactly makes it immoral to kill one of us, thus, must cover the killing of those who currently have no strong desire to live and also those who are temporary unconscious. The following three explanations cover such cases. [Read more…]

Why Pornography Harms

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On this blog we have often talked about the same sex marriage controversy and how it poses a threat to both religious liberty and the family unit. However, the elephant in the room that is rarely publicly discussed in evangelical circles is pornography, an evil that arguably poses just as much threat (if not a bigger threat) to the family unit. A 2008 study of 813 college students from six different college campuses participated in a survey [1]. Of young men aged between 18 and 26, a whopping 86% admitted to having viewed pornography in the past year. 48.4% admitted to viewing pornography on a weekly basis. 19.3% admitted to viewing pornography nearly every day. It is a popular myth that pornography is only a guy problem. But, of the young women in the same age range, 31% confessed to having viewed pornography in the last year, and 3.2% confessed to having viewed pornography on a weekly basis. What was particularly striking is that 67% of young men and 49% of young women believed that pornography use is acceptable, which means that many young men (87% of whom were users) were viewing pornography even though they regarded it as an unacceptable practice.

Pornography addiction is a plague upon the modern professing church, and while it is well and good to be criticizing the same sex marriage agenda, evangelicalism would do well to remove the plank from its own eye before removing the speck from another’s. Many within the church are willing to take a stand against the gay agenda, but how many are willing to examine their own hearts and deal with the elephant in the room that is pornography?

But what about church leaders? How are they fairing in keeping their minds pure? According to a 2002 survey of 1351 pastors, conducted by Rick Warren’s website Pastors.com, 54% confessed they had looked at online pornography within the past year and 30% of those had visited within the last 30 days. And that’s just the honest ones!

Many people don’t realize that there are some solid scientific reasons for thinking that the viewing of pornography is harmful to the brain. Pornography is not merely a moral issue, for it hard wires the brain in unhealthy ways. In this blog post, I am not going to present any moral or theological arguments for avoiding pornography — although there are plenty of those. Instead, I am simply going to look at the scientific facts and show why I think the behavior of viewing pornography is harmful, regardless of where you stand on issues of religion and ethics. [Read more…]