Articulating One’s Beliefs Can Be a Challenge

images-11Introduction.

Despite the fact of my not posting since the beginning of the month, I have not lost sight of the mission. Working with the people I work with, some of them being some of the most profane people that I have ever come across, I have not lost sight with how I am “wired” and the ministry mission. Even though where I am (on my job) during a good chunk of the week, I know the presence of the Lord and the conviction of His Holy Spirit, even while I “occupy Mordor” and pray for a change.

Thankfully I still do get to enjoy a day off during the week, and I am going to be protecting that day in the coming weeks for specific reasons, that I will not mention here. In spite of all the demands of my job, this week was a wonderful day off and allowed me to speak to a repair man for one of our appliances, and a handful of students at the Germanna campus.

What was the nature of these conversations? They were spiritual in nature, and I would like to share here some thoughts on what I learned about these conversations.

The Need for Articulating the Christian Faith

One of our appliances stopped working and we needed some outside assistance. Even though I was able to unstop a bathroom sink and our bathtub drain (thank you YouTube), I was not able to work this task.

The appliance repair company “rep” that came and assisted us is a Christian and attends a large local Baptist church regularly and adult Bible fellowship on a regular basis.  How did I know he was Christian?

Thankfully he shared that with my wife and me, by sharing the message on the back of his business card. When I asked him his understanding of his message, he started sharing with me a basic message of salvation and how Jesus died  for our sins on the cross. Of course I was happy to see him start there. However when I continued with him on his understanding at a deeper level, he started struggling. Why was there a struggle?

Allow me to share my concerns, as they are very similar ones that I am hearing in other conversations. [Read more...]

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Comics is on a roll. Guardians of the Galaxy opened with a stunning $94 million dollar weekend, breaking the previous Guardians-of-the-Galaxy2August record for a movie opening. In spite of bewilderment within the entertainment industry leading up to its release (there was in interesting discussion about this on Rotten Tomatoes’ podcast), critics and audiences have been giving it well-deserved reviews.

It’s funny, surprisingly moving at time, and loaded with great special effects. It’s not perfect (it’s got some crude language, and the scope and severity of the violence was minimized and at times too light-hearted), but as far as summer blockbusters go, it’s very good. I was certainly entertained. I was equally challenged by a thought-provoking scene near the end of the movie.

When Peter Quill, aka Starlord, realizes that he finally has a chance to stop running from hardship and do something truly noble, he tells the other soon-to-be guardians of the galaxy what he has in mind. Rocket soberly summarizes what is painfully clear to all of them: “You’re asking us to die.” [Read more...]

Youth, Popularity, and Apologetics

Students Love Answers More Than the Church Loves AnswersI was listening to J. Warner Wallace’s podcast recently, and it’s one I encourage all of you to listen to. He talked about presenting talks on apologetics and how youth get enthused about it. I started pondering then why that might be, and I’d like to share a suspicion I have on the matter.

I have written much on how the ancient world was an honor/shame culture where we’re a more individualistic one, but that does not mean that we are totally devoid of any idea of shame. Social status is everything to many a teenager. This is why so many of them buy clothes they might not care for and get into fads that they wouldn’t care for otherwise. They want to fit in with their peers and not be embarrassed. [Read more...]

Book Review: The Intolerance of Tolerance

downloadThe Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson is a masterful exploration into one of the greatest cultural issues of our day—tolerance by one of the greatest Christian minds of our day. In post-modernism, tolerance—the affirming and celebrating of virtually any exercise of personal autonomy – is the prime value. The unforgiveable sin is being judgmental, that is, believing that an activity or lifestyle choice that does not hurt another person is wrong, immoral, or sinful. A second related unforgiveable sin is claiming that what you believe is objectively true and thus binding on another person. A person who holds these beliefs is considered to be bigoted, narrow-minded, and arrogant, just as was true in Ancient Rome. [Read more...]

Are Atheists Smarter Than Christians?

ID-10058768

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, there has certainly been a lot of controversy over an undergraduate psychology assignment given at The Ohio State University. A student anonymously submitted the following question to the people at Campus Reform which was actually on his homework assignment.

Theo has an IQ of 100 and Aine has an IQ of 125. Which of the following statements would you expect to be true?

a) Aine is an atheist, while Theo is a Christian

b) Aine earns less money than Theo

c) Theo is more liberal than Aine

d) Theo is an atheist, while Aine is a Christian

The correct answer was A, and it certainly has many Christians calling foul. This stereotype is pervasive in our society, so while I am not terribly surprised to find a question like this in academia, I think that it deserves a little bit deeper consideration. [Read more...]