The Confident ChristianTweet
Posted 1/2/17 at 2:47 PM | Robin Schumacher
In a recent article, Peter Enns asserts that Timothy Keller missed the mark from a pastoral perspective in an interview he did with Nicholas Kristof. I’d like to respectfully challenge that conclusion and also address a number of statements Dr. Enns made that I found troubling.
In the same way that Dr Enns stated in his article that he isn’t “against Keller”, I am not “against Enns” nor am I a starry-eyed Tim Keller fan-boy who feels the need to rise to his hero’s defense. Rather, I disagree with some of Dr. Enns statements and want to explain why.
I’m on Dr. Enns’ side when it comes to openly stating that Christians can encounter periods of doubt in their Christian walk. I also agree with him that the best way to tackle those situations is head on, being transparent with other believers that a person trusts, and seeking out honest answers to the questions that challenge the confidence of a person’s walk with Christ. FULL POST
Posted 12/11/16 at 1:08 PM | Robin Schumacher
My teenage daughter was given an English assignment to write a short story for Christmas this year. Her end result was a letter patterned after C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, where Screwtape gives instructions to his newphew Wormwood concerning Christmas. I thought I'd share it with everyone:
My dearest Wormwood –
As you know, one of our top two most unpleasant times of the year is upon us. That being true, I felt a need to write and remind you of certain tasks that are incumbent upon you to perform with your assigned family.
This year, our objectives and tactics regarding the Enemy remain mostly the same. Sadly, our mission continues to be complicated by those the world thinks actually helps our operation.
For example, once again, the atheists are erecting billboards decrying Christmas. While the Enemy’s followers are enraged by this, they have no idea that we hate it more. As history has shown, and as our operatives in places like China report, the Enemy’s movement never thrives more than when it is persecuted. It is much more preferable to us if the Enemy’s message is not highlighted by those who disavow Him, but rather we want His proclamation to be drowned out by other religious babble and – of course – the strong draw of materialism that envelops everyone at this time of year. FULL POST
Posted 5/17/16 at 7:50 PM | Robin Schumacher
The warning bells sounded by Andrew Sullivan in his recent New York Magazine article, “America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny”, merit your attention. Although clearly no conservative (he has Donald Trump squarely set in his article’s sights), Sullivan rightly identifies how well-intentioned democracies slide into the arms of despots who quickly then short-circuit the system and rule with terror and absolute power.
Sullivan looks back to Plato’s Republic and shows how the current American culture is eerily lining up with what Plato predicted about a freedom-unchecked civilization. The below quote from his article is lengthy, but worth your time:
Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery. And the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort of authority would wither; tolerance of any kind of inequality would come under intense threat; and multiculturalism and sexual freedom would create a city or a country like “a many-colored cloak decorated in all hues.” FULL POST
Posted 4/25/16 at 8:27 PM | Robin Schumacher
She was ready to be healed.
After all, charismatic healer Nathan Morris consistently boasted how he/God had supposedly caused Delia Knox to walk for the first time in 22 years after being paralyzed in a car accident, so why not her? The young woman had come to a recent Nathan Morris event in our city to walk again.
A friend of mine who was close to the girl at the gathering watched her enthusiasm, saw her excitement, and witnessed Morris command her to be healed. Sadly, my friend also saw the girl’s disillusionment and grief as she was wheeled back up the same aisle she had come down, still unable to walk.
Its episodes like this that have me turning a corner on those in the Church who insist that the gift of miracles is normative today. The more I see things like the above happen to good people, the more I grieve over the damage being done by them. FULL POST
Posted 3/21/16 at 7:57 PM | Robin Schumacher
Both of my daughters are in an interesting place right now. They both don’t like God.
My girls have been brought up in our Christ-centered home, been taught by their mother and me the truths of the Christian faith in detail, and have participated in the Church since Day One. But each are rather turned off by the idea of God at the moment.
Some of it has to do with intellectual questions they have. For example, the age-old problem of evil has reared its head in the form of them not being able to explain how God could allow ISIS to murder innocent children. The rest of it is a combination of their disappointment in other supposed Christians with whom they interact, difficulty with prayer, and a desire to do their own thing. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/15 at 8:23 AM | Robin Schumacher
In response to Donald Trump’s request to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, Michael Moore has started a campaign asking everyone to sign a statement to Trump and take a picture of themselves with a sign saying “We are all Muslim”.
While I get Moore’s intent, I’d like to respectfully explain why I won’t be participating in Moore’s crusade. I’d also like to provide my thoughts on a sister issue currently making the rounds that asserts Christians and Muslims worship the same god.
On his webpage, Moore states his position in the following way: “I was raised to believe that we are all each other's brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else. We are all Muslim. Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between. We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota.” FULL POST
Posted 10/18/15 at 5:49 PM | Robin Schumacher
In the past, I struggled countless times with questions such as these:
“How can some people actually believe that it’s OK to murder children before they’re born?”
“How can people defend religions that prescribe violence and demonstrate that brutality via the murder of thousands upon thousands of other faiths, and yet rail against Christianity, which is committing none of those atrocities and is actually the primary target of that violence?”
“How can people who supposedly champion tolerance and following one’s moral conscience cheerlead the persecution of those who actually do just that?”
“How can people indiscriminately brush aside all the philosophical, empirical and historical evidence for God and the truth of the Bible, and yet have faith in propositions that are intellectually much harder to accept?” FULL POST
Posted 9/13/15 at 3:30 PM | Robin Schumacher
The recent action by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage and the visible pushback and protest by Christians has resurrected a bad argument wielded by those who don’t value the Bible. As Christians cite Scripture verses (especially those that come from the Old Testament) to support their moral position, critics have countered by posting on social media the Internet-famous “Dr. Laura” letter written by Kent Ashcraft, which spawned a scene from the now defunct TV show The West Wing where the actor portraying the President ridicules and belittles a “Dr Laura” character for condemning homosexuality because of statements found in the Old Testament.
Bible critics sit back and squeal with delight thinking they have checkmated their Christian opponents on the matter with such material. Have they? FULL POST
Posted 9/7/15 at 5:40 PM | Robin Schumacher
Without a doubt, there’s been a large amount of furious indignation aimed at various Kentucky clerks who have refused to issue same sex marriage licenses. A lot of anger has been directed at the idea of the law being broken, yet as Michael Brown rightly points out, those same voices didn’t seem to mind when other government officials broke laws that favored their position on the matter.
Lawbreaking, it seems, is OK as long as you disagree with the particular law in question.
But beyond this double standard is something else worth investigating: the moral outrage in general expressed by non-Christians over this and similar ethical matters (e.g. abortion). Those lining up on any anti-Christian side feel absolutely justified in their position, firmly believe they are on the side of fairness, and are convinced that they are fighting injustice. FULL POST
Posted 7/21/15 at 9:09 PM | Robin Schumacher
I have to sheepishly admit that some of my teenage daughters’ lingo is rubbing off on me. After reading James Peron’s awful attempt to answer Dr. Michael Brown’s question of why marriage should only be between two people, I said out loud, “epic fail!”