#EndFathersDay: Where the Twitter Trend Gets Fathers Wrong

With the arrival of Father’s Day this Sunday, Twitter has unleashed a new hashtag that has primarily to do with the disgust of male patriarchy and the lack of consideration for single mothers and/or same-sex couples on this day. The hashtag? “#EndFathersDay.” According to one tweet, “#EndFathersDay because it’s a slap in the face to single mothers everywhere.” Although there is some discussion regarding these phenomena to be a hoax emerging from sites like 4chan and Reddit, journalists and freelance writers from various organizations are nonetheless hopping aboard this trend and sticking to it.

For example, Haig Chahinian and his article over at the Los Angeles Times is sympathetic with this line of thinking, although his argument is not particularly feminist in nature. He himself being a married homosexual male, Chahinian observes that “…[r]ecent census data indicates only 19% of homes are composed of traditional moms, dads and kids. More than 11 million residences with kids are headed by a single person or a same-sex couple” (Chahinian, 2014). What conclusion does Chahinian draw? “These families too have to be fumbling through one of the parents’ holidays.” Chahinian’s solution: “the all-inclusive Parents’ Day.”

[Read more...]

Introducing “Treesearch”: A Novel Apologetics Website

treesearchImagine equipping everyone in the world with something like a pocket-apologist, an Artificial Intelligence available to present for you customized evidences supporting Christianity and to offer instant scholarly answers to complex questions. Well, it looks like a website is in development to do something like this. It is called “Treesearch” (treesearch.org) and seems like it will be a pretty novel apologetics debate encyclopedia. The content branches out debate points and counter-points (green vs. red) in a way that simulates dialogue, which makes navigation surprisingly intuitive, fast, and even fun. I will also say this: you can tell that it is being designed with smart phone users in mind, which could be really effective for experienced and lay apologists in the field (e.g. here is a more developed section so you can see how it opens up). It seems full of potential, and I look forward to seeing how it will grow.

Marriage: A Personalist Treatment

Through the voice of the playwright Aristophanes, Plato in his Symposium tells of a wonderful myth regarding the meaning of love. In the beginning, says Aristophanes, humans were comprised of having two halves: male halves and female halves (hence having four arms, four legs and two heads). Due to the authority of Zeus, he punishes the human race for misconduct and splits everyone into two pieces. Since then, wanderers are walking the earth in search of their other half. In this story, we see (perhaps not so much an explanation of homosexuality) but a placement of homosexuals and heterosexual on a similar plane of sexuality. As Aristophanes writes:

And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own, whatever his orientation, whether its to young men or not, then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment. [1]

While this mythic account of the meaning of love may contain some kind of aesthetic appeal to us, the issue isn’t of course that simple. There is something more grander taking place in the mutual relationship of two lovers: namely, a striving for “the good,” where the well-being and the self-realization of each partner are of overriding importance to one another. As Karol Wojtyla (a.k.a. Pope John Paul II) argues in his book, Love and Responsibility (1981), I as a person desire the good for myself. In “loving” another person I am not using them as a means to my own central end. Rather,

I may want another person to desire the same good which I myself desire. Obviously, the other must know this end of mine, recognize it as a good, and adopt it. If this happens, a special bond is established  between me and this other person: the bond of a common good and of a common aim. This special bond does not mean merely that we both seek a common good, it also unites the persons involved internally, and so constitutes the essential core round which any love must grow. [2]

[Read more...]

Apologetics youth leader Q&A: What works?!

youthgroup_t_nv.220114305_stdI asked members of the CAA and subgroups: “If you lead a youth group that successfully incorporates apologetics, I need to know as soon as possible. I want to brag about your success to other youth pastors who seek info. on this. I need to know your style, as well.

This is what some of them answered—and this is just a small sampling of those who could have answered…I didn’t give them much advance notice!

[Note: At the end of this post you will find an invitation to do some Q&A with Brett Kunkle on how to equip youth!]

‪Mark S. Phillips‪ I lead a new high school apologetics group, ‪Maryann. We’re finishing our first half-year of existence. They seem really interested in what is presented; one student commented that all he ever learned in church was “Daniel in the lion’s den and Noah’s big old ark.” The students I have don’t know much in the way of doctrine, but they seem to be more interested in knowing they can use their brains in the faith. My main focus to-date has been the resurrection. But because the kids I have all seem to have grown up in church, I have taken time to present video testimonies of atheists who converted to Christianity and why they did so. They really enjoy the videos from exploreGod.com and also the Case for Christ. I’ve covered a bit on logical fallacies, arguments for the existence of God, understanding a world view that includes metaphysics, helping them to know they don’t have to be intimidated when someone challenges their worldview, and the exclusivity of Christ. Hope this helps. [Read more...]

Four Reasons You Should Attend the 2014 CrossExamined Instructor Academy

6 Leadership Principles I Learned From My Trailblazing FatherThis past weekend I got to hang out with Frank Turek, a dear friend, co-laborer and mentor. Frank is the author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, and he was here in our neck of the woods teaching several services at a large local church. Susie and I joined him afterward and we spent the better part of two days together. We ate some barbeque, ran through the local woods (we found out Frank runs faster than we do), and talked about our work and passion to train Christians to think critically about what they believe. Frank does more than train Christians, however. Frank trains trainers.

Frank’s been a teacher and cultural influencer for years, but if you want to impact your culture exponentially, you’ve got to multiply your own efforts by creating additional trainers. That’s exactly what Frank does every year at the CrossExamined Instructor Academy (CIA). Frank has assembled a team of speakers and thinkers to help him train up the next generation of Christian Case Makers. This three day experience isn’t for beginners. It’s for people who have already started to step out and teach apologetics in their local churches and communities.  CIA will teach you how to present I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, including four categories critical to Christian Case Making: Truth, God, Miracles and the New Testament. You’ll also learn how to answer questions about those topics in a hostile environment. During these three days, in addition to hearing lectures and participating in discussions, participants will be asked to present a portion of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist and answer questions from the instructors. Like last year, I am part of the CIA faculty, along with Frank, Greg Koukl, Dr. Richard Howe, Brett Kunkle and Ted Wright. [Read more...]