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Posted 7/15/14 at 8:11 PM | Robin Schumacher |
I got an email from a friend the other day asking me if I’d seen a blog post by the daughter of a prominent Christian leader who has renounced her Christian faith and now claims to be an atheist. While I do remember hearing about it, I hadn’t read the full description of the account.
Pastors and Christians in general oftentimes wrestle with the question of why some people who profess to be believers walk away from the faith. Some of them depart from Christianity in just a short period of time while others take much longer to leave their supposed convictions by the side of the road. But regardless of how long it takes, when you read stories like the one my friend forwarded to me, the theological reason as to why they do becomes quite clear.
Simply put, it’s what they want to do.
Don’t misunderstand that minimal statement; there’s actually quite a lot of theology packed in there. FULL POST
Posted 7/6/14 at 5:10 PM | Robin Schumacher |
For all Christians, the New Testament is cherished, trusted, and rightly viewed as the Word of God. The 27 books of the New Testament are combined with the 39 books of the Old and stand as a work that is the #1 bestselling book of all time, even becoming the bestseller for 2013 in very secular countries like Norway.
But there’s something that used to bother me about the New Testament, even into my Master’s and Ph.D. studies in seminary. The issue wasn’t one of the usual and customary criticisms about the New Testament that skeptics present; those can be fielded without much bother at all.
Rather, the question that floated into and out of my mind can be summed up this way: Why should we consider the New Testament on par with the Old Testament where Scripture is concerned?
While this may seem like a strange question for a Christian to ask at first, stop for a moment and think about something. There’s little question that Judaism considered the Old Testament to be God’s Word and that statements made by Jesus and others in the New Testament affirmed such a position: FULL POST
Posted 6/22/14 at 6:56 PM | Robin Schumacher |
In the near countless debates and conversations I’ve had with both unbelievers and believers alike about Christianity, there are without a doubt three top stumbling blocks or “turn-off’s” that have surfaced in most conversations that are either one of the reasons non-Christians say they won’t consider Christ or that have caused Christians to struggle in their faith. Although there are certainly plenty of other items that unbelievers cite as to why they won’t embrace Christianity or that believers mention that they find difficult, here are the top three obstacles that I’ve seen come up most times.
Although in different disciplines, all have very strong intellects and all admit that the reason they either reject God entirely or are agnostic about His existence is because they can’t square the evil they’ve experienced in their own lives or seen played out on the world’s stage and the idea of a supreme Deity. FULL POST
Posted 6/10/14 at 8:21 PM | Robin Schumacher |
The Huffington Post reported on a new religious survey conducted by Ashley Madison (a website devoted to connecting married people who want to have affairs, with the website’s registered tagline being: “Life is short. Have an affair”) that found the vast majority of its users claimed to be Christian. The full results were:
Why the inordinately high number of supposed Christians involved in affairs? Dr. Eric Anderson, a sociologist at the University of Winchester in England who is quoted in the article, offered this explanation: "People who have faith often use it as an outlet for forgiveness so they're more likely to cheat and less likely to feel guilty." FULL POST
Posted 6/5/14 at 7:57 AM | Robin Schumacher |
A number of news agencies recently reported the releasing of a “Pastoral Letter to Patients” by Planned Parenthood, part of which contained the following claim: “The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures – Jewish or Christian – and there are clergy and people of faith from all denominations who support women making this complex decision.”
If Planned Parenthood means that the word “abortion” is never used in the Bible, they are correct. However, if they mean the Word of God is silent from a moral condemnation standpoint on the taking of a baby’s life inside the womb, they are quite wrong, and prompt us to ask them the same question Jesus did others on one occasion: "Aren't you deceived for this reason, because you don't know the scriptures or the power of God?” (Mark 12:24). FULL POST
Posted 5/28/14 at 7:36 AM | Robin Schumacher |
The U.S. is once again mourning the tragic loss of people that didn’t have to die.
“Elliot Rodger” is the latest name added to the iniquitous list of people who murdered multiple innocent victims for reasons that are meaningless to everyone but themselves. The twenty-two year old man murdered six people in Santa Barbara before taking his own life, with his rationale being delivered in a Youtube video that spelled out his jealousy and hatred for those he believed had rejected him throughout his life.
The appalling incident has sparked another outcry for stronger gun controls and similar restrictions. However, while the intentions of those demanding such things are certainly good, I believe they miss the mark and don’t target the actual efficient cause of tragedies like those that were carried out by Elliot Rodger. FULL POST
Posted 5/14/14 at 7:25 AM | Robin Schumacher |
A favorite tactic of various atheists and skeptics who struggle to supply valid rebuttals against the arguments that a creator God exists is to ask the question, “OK, so tell me which god exists? Odin? Thor? Allah? There are countless gods to choose from so why I should I believe in the one you’re talking about?”
Putting aside the normal acerbic tone that typically accompanies the question, it’s actually a very valid matter to discuss. Is there a reasonable way to determine what kind of supernatural deity or deities really exist?
The reason that you and I along with everything else that we know exists is simply because something has always existed. In the end, the believer in God and the atheist are really just arguing over the identity of that ‘something’. Whatever it is, it is eternal (it has always existed) and necessary (if it didn’t exist, nothing else would). FULL POST
Posted 5/7/14 at 8:06 AM | Robin Schumacher |
How do you know that Jesus walked on water?
Atheist philosopher Peter Boghossian is fond of asking Christians that and other similar questions, such as how do you know that Jonah was swallowed by a large fish? When met with the reply, “Because the Bible says so”, Boghossian reminds his Christian audience that Muslims believe Muhammad flew to Heaven on a winged horse because of the “night journey” chapter contained within the Koran.
Back in late 2013, Boghossian released his book entitled, “A Manual for Creating Atheists” where he redefines faith to be “pretending to know things that you don’t know” and “belief without evidence”. He calls faith “an unreliable epistemology”, a “virus”, and calls for a process and agenda that will “ultimately eradicate faith”. FULL POST
Posted 4/27/14 at 8:22 AM | Robin Schumacher |
Bart Ehrman’s latest book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, asserts a number of things, most notably that Jesus is not God and that His divinity is overlooked in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). In an interview with the Boston Globe, Ehrman says, “The problem is that Jesus only makes claims for himself as being divine in the Gospel of John....But what scholars have long noted is that Jesus doesn’t say any of those things in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are [written] much earlier than John....What I argue in the book is that it’s virtually inconceivable that if it was known Jesus called himself God, that Matthew, Mark, and Luke would just leave that part out.” FULL POST
Posted 4/20/14 at 9:12 PM | Robin Schumacher |
While speaking at a No Ceilings event at the Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York on Thursday, April 17th, Chelsea Clinton made an important announcement. Seated on stage by her mother, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea revealed that she was pregnant, but with a smile proclaimed that she had decided to have an abortion.
After the crowd cheered and applauded, the moderator of the event remarked, “I don’t think anyone was smiling bigger than your mom”.
Afterwards, Hillary took to Twitter saying “So happy and proud of my daughter!” followed by former President Bill Clinton who tweeted “Excited to see Chelsea exercise her reproductive rights!”
Of course the above didn’t happen. On April 17th Chelsea Clinton announced that she was pregnant saying, “Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.” The moderator did indeed say, “I don’t think anyone was smiling bigger than your mom,” but the smile on Clinton’s face was not over an abortion, but at the thought of having her first “grandchild”. FULL POST