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Posted 5/19/15 at 9:17 PM | Robin Schumacher
It’s hard to miss all the latest news articles and blog posts detailing how Christianity is on the downturn in the United States. The Pew Forum’s latest research points toward that conclusion, saying simply: “The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining”.
Responses to Pew’s opinion range from heartfelt admissions of Christianity being in trouble by journalists like Michael Brendan Dougherty to very analytical replies like the one penned for CNN by Ed Stetzer. Other research by Pew says that Islam will likely overtake Christianity as the #1 world religion by 2100. FULL POST
Posted 4/20/15 at 8:06 AM | Robin Schumacher
Dan Delzell’s Christianpost article, Predestination and God's Desire to Save Everyone, reminded me of a statement made by theologian Loraine Boettner in his classic book on predestination: “The doctrine of Predestination has been made the subject of almost endless discussion, much of which, it must be admitted, was for the purpose of softening its outlines or of explaining it away.”
I mean no disrespect at all to Mr. Delzell when I say that, only that his article – written from the Arminian point of view – is definitely something crafted to take the punch and sting out of what I believe the Biblical doctrine of predestination truly means. For example, Delzell writes: FULL POST
Posted 4/12/15 at 10:26 PM | Robin Schumacher
It’s important to understand that the Bible advises against continually evangelizing certain people.
Jesus Himself warned about giving pearls to persons who not only destroy them, but then actually attack the giver with violence (Matt. 7:6). Christ also told His disciples to stop arguing with some of the Pharisees who were not interested in hearing the truth (Luke 15:14).
A Biblical term given to these people is one not used much today – scoffer. The Hebrew word means to scorn and mock, and an unwillingness to receive reproof. In the New Testament, the Greek meaning is the same as the Hebrew, with the idea of despising the one giving advice also thrown in. FULL POST
Posted 3/31/15 at 9:09 PM | Robin Schumacher
It is the single game changer among all the religions in the world.
Despite the unceasing attempts of Internet atheists and others not educated on the solid historicity of Jesus Christ’s life and death to try and paint the resurrection events as something pieced together from various pagan god myths, the facts of Christ’s empty tomb that are agreed upon by both Christian and non-Christian historians are these:
No historian who has studied the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection disputes these facts. Of course, there is plenty of debate over the best explanation for the story. FULL POST
Posted 3/4/15 at 8:08 PM | Robin Schumacher
Nine years ago, then president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated in an interview that he experienced a supernatural experience during a speech he gave at the United Nations the previous year. Ahmadinejad claimed that he was bathed in a light from heaven at the outset of his talk, with the light remaining on him for the full length of the speech.
Ahmadinejad made a number of references during that U.N. speech to the "mighty Lord" who will hasten the emergence of "the promised one," the one who "will fill this world with justice and peace." Exactly who was Ahmadinejad referring to? According to another speech he gave that same year, he saw his main mission to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance." FULL POST
Posted 2/8/15 at 5:54 PM | Robin Schumacher
Last weekend was a fairly depressing one.
On our ride back from visiting our oldest daughter at school, my youngest was get text messages from a friend of hers who was at a big Christian teen event in our city. Her friend was distraught and in tears because other “Christian” kids at the event were bullying her and sending her cruel text messages (which she snapshoted to my daughter).
Literally at the same time, my wife was carrying on a conversation with a friend who was deeply saddened over another Christian they both know who is plunging conscience-free into serious immorality. Given that the person was about to start seminary and had worked diligently with various ministries, my wife and her friend were struggling to understand the new and unbiblical direction of their mutual friend’s life. FULL POST
Posted 1/4/15 at 2:57 PM | Robin Schumacher
If you’ve been following the news, you have no doubt seen or heard about Newsweek’s (perhaps the magazine should be more aptly titled Newsweak) Christmas-timed article “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin”, written by Kurt Eichenwald. As Christians, we should be used to demeaning works like this each Christmas and Easter, but I’ll admit, it’s still tiring to read more of the same from those who look to misrepresent God and His Word.
My purpose here is not to correct the legion of historical inaccuracies, poor logic, bad stereotypes, misinterpretations and misrepresentations in Eichenwald’s article. Dr. Michael Kruger has already decisively accomplished that in Part 1 and Part 2 of his refutation, as has Al Mohler in his rebuttal piece. Instead, what I’d like to address is the overarching thesis that Eichenwald puts forward, which I believe is every bit as flawed as the explicit arguments he makes against the Bible. FULL POST
Posted 12/28/14 at 12:40 PM | Robin Schumacher
In an excerpt from his recent book, Living the Secular Life, professor / atheist evangelist Phil Zuckerman claims that a variety of political and sociological factors are putting an end to religion in America. Zuckerman asserts it’s not the influence of Richard Dawkins or intolerant mocking of Bill Maher that are swaying people away from God, but instead thinks there are five cultural winds that are blowing individuals out of the religious ranks and into the secular fold.
Let’s hear what he has to say.
Zuckerman’s first point is that the rise of various religious-political groups that tightly coupled themselves with the Republican party in the 1980s has only served to “alienate a lot of left-leaning or politically moderate Americans from Christianity. Sociologists Michael Hout and Claude Fischer have published compelling research indicating that much of the growth of “nones” in America is largely attributable to a reaction against this increased, overt mixing of Christianity and conservative politics.” FULL POST
Posted 12/17/14 at 10:23 AM | Robin Schumacher
It’s official. I don’t watch AMC’s The Walking Dead anymore.
Without a doubt, I have always been an action movie kind of guy and am the sort that believes it’s a crying shame that Arnold Schwarzenegger has never received an Oscar.
OK, kidding on that last part.
But it’s true that I’m an action-hero, Sci-Fi, and general fan of movies where things blow up and good guys are going up against the bad guys with lots of hardware (the battle kind). So it was only natural that sooner or later I’d start watching The Walking Dead, which has all of that in spades.
But recently I pushed ‘stop’ on Netflix for the last time where The Walking Dead is concerned and felt that it was time for me, as a Christian, to say ‘enough’. FULL POST
Posted 12/10/14 at 7:54 AM | Robin Schumacher
There is no getting around the proclamation of Jesus’ virgin birth at Christmas. Numerous hymns and songs mention the teaching, as do scores of Christmas messages from church pulpits.
But is the idea of Jesus’ virgin birth that big a deal?
Many years ago, emerging church teacher Rob Bell asked that very question in his work, Velvet Elvis:
What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry and archaeologists find Larry's tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionyslan religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births? But what if as you study the origin of the word virgin, you discover that the word virgin in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word virgin could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being "born of a virgin" also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse? What if that spring was seriously questioned? Could a person keep jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? FULL POST