Theologian and apologist Robin Schumacher has a Ph.D. in New Testament and Master's in Christian Apologetics.
Posted 12/1/13 at 7:33 PM | Robin Schumacher |
Responses to my recent post on proof that God chooses who will be saved fell down the standard lines of demarcation in Christianity, with some decrying the thought that God chooses who receives His mercy and others nodding in agreement with the idea. Those who don’t hold to the Reformed teaching on election normally point to two verses they believe support their position:
“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3–4), and “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
These verses raise a question, though, that I highlighted in my prior post: does God get what He wants or not? Outside of Universalists, Christians acknowledge that not everyone will spend eternity with God. So that being true, if God really doesn’t choose who will be saved, then why doesn’t God get what these two verses say He wants? FULL POST
Posted 11/25/13 at 7:06 AM | Robin Schumacher |
This past week was filled with news stories and personal recollections of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas fifty years ago. What you didn’t hear in the news, though, were accounts from people claiming that JFK had survived Oswald’s bullets and recovered to resume his presidency and then go on to become a two-term president.
The reason such nonsensical assertions aren’t made is because the facts are sure and the events surrounding Kennedy’s assassination are relatively young from a historical perspective; that is, they are within reach of a generation of people who are still alive and who can attest to the truthfulness of the reports regarding what really happened.
Whether it is the shooting of JFK or any event in history, one of the key ways we establish the truthfulness of a historical account is by referring to recorded testimony by trusted eyewitnesses who were there. While there will always be those who call into question eyewitness testimony and point to errors that witnesses have made about various events in the past, the truth is that checks and balances have always existed to help ensure the truth nearly always wins in the end. FULL POST
Posted 11/20/13 at 8:07 AM | Robin Schumacher |
Dan Delzell’s reasoning’s and conclusions in his article, “Proof that God Wants Everyone in Heaven” was something I would have agreed with some years ago. The thought that God would not extend His grace and mercy to every human being was as distasteful to me as eating rhubarb.
But during my dissertation work, I was forced to look longer and harder than I had in the past at the Apostle Paul’s writings on salvation and evangelism, and through that study and other work, I became convinced that the reformed teaching of election was biblical – i.e. that God indeed chooses who will be saved and leaves the rest in their chosen rebellion.
Make no mistake, this position isn’t popular within much of Christendom or outside the Church for that matter. Dan’s stance is much more palatable and appealing, but even so, I have to respectfully disagree with my Christian brother regarding his position. FULL POST
Posted 11/9/13 at 11:08 AM | Robin Schumacher |
The baha'i faith is an interesting worldview. Being not exclusivistic in its beliefs it excludes no spiritual claim...except those made by Christianity, which says there is only one way to God (Jesus). Thus, as Ravi Zacharias has pointed out, the baha'i exclude the exclusivists.
Welcome to the self-destructive nature of Pluralistic thinking, the prevailing "true for you but not for me" spiritual philosophy of today. Tolerant until it encounters a contrary concept it personally rejects and accepting until it confronts a belief it doesn't care for, it is the poster child for self-defeating philosophy and illogical thought.
My next presentation in the free Essentials of Apologetics series focuses on Pluralism and examines the claim Jesus made about being the only way to God. Such politically incorrect thinking is heresy today, but the fact of the matter is, given the logical law of non-contradiction, not every spiritual claim can be right so it behooves us to think hard and work diligently to uncover the truth about whether all roads do lead to God (spoiler alert - all roads *do* lead to God - view the presentation and find out why...) FULL POST
Posted 10/20/13 at 8:38 PM | Robin Schumacher |
A few years back, our pastor’s son visited a church in Michigan who thought they had the gift of tongues. To give them credit, at least they were adhering to the practice laid out by Paul of a person speaking in tongues being followed by one who interpreted.
During that time in the service, the pastor’s son stood up, recited the Lord’s Prayer in Latin, and then sat back down. A person immediately rose and gave an interpretation that had absolutely nothing to do with what the young man had said.
So what was really going on in that church? I’d venture to say that our pastor’s son exposed the fact that the congregation most certainly did not possess any of the miraculous sign gifts (at least not the gift of interpretation) and they were self-deceived in thinking that they did.
Experiences like this are why today’s Church needs a wake-up call like the one given by Dr. John MacArthur and his recent Strange Fire conference. MacArthur has taken heat from many different directions including jabs from writers on Christianpost. But I believe he’s right with many of his assessments regarding the supposed exercising of miraculous sign gifts and his exegesis of the Biblical passages that refer to them. FULL POST
Posted 10/13/13 at 10:57 AM | Robin Schumacher |
Commenting on the problem of reconciling the idea of God and evil, the Greek philosopher Epicurus is supposed to have said:
“Is He willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is impotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Whence then is evil? Is He neither willing or able? Then why call Him God?”
For people like me, this problem is not theoretical at all, but hits very close to home. Having lost my first wife very young to a rare cancer, I struggled a lot with reconciling how an all-powerful and good God could let such a thing happen.
My next presentation in the free Essentials of Apologetics series focuses on the problem of theodicy, that is, understanding how evil and God can co-exist. Answers for such a difficult topic are needed for both the head and the heart, and it's my hope that this presentation provides what's needed.
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Posted 9/29/13 at 9:50 PM | Robin Schumacher
Christians and skeptics alike know the famous quote from C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity where he introduces the Liar-Lunatic-Lord idea. But I actually prefer the section that immediately precedes it, which says why the dilemma exists in the first place:
“Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean, that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.”
The uninformed often try and say that Constantine invented the idea of Jesus being divine, but the truth is, that idea was clearly conveyed by Jesus Himself and the historical facts confirm that the Nazarene carpenter was the One who made the claim. FULL POST
Posted 8/17/13 at 11:11 AM | Robin Schumacher |
There is little to no debate among both Christian and non-Christian historians on the facts of Jesus’ empty tomb. By contrast, there is widespread debate as to what best explains those facts.
The historical facts of Jesus’ death and empty tomb are these:
Again, even atheist scholars acknowledge these points, such as the skeptic German historian Gerd Lüdemann who said, "It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus' death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ." FULL POST
Posted 8/5/13 at 9:15 PM | Robin Schumacher |
This post continues a response to the July 30 CNN opinion piece article by Hemant Mehta, “The Friendly Atheist”, entitled “Why are millennials leaving church? Try atheism”. In Part 1, we looked at a number of arguments Mehta makes that I believe are either flawed or weak. Let’s now examine a few more.
Mr. Mehta says, “The myth surrounding Jesus is part of the problem with Christianity. . . .To believe in Jesus means believing that he was born of a virgin, rose from the dead and performed a number of miracles. There's no proof of any of that ever happened”.
My question to Mehta is the same one I always ask atheists when this argument comes up: what type of proof are you looking for? What kind of evidence, using the legal/historical method that’s routinely employed to validate history from antiquity, will suffice? FULL POST
Posted 8/4/13 at 1:48 PM | Robin Schumacher |
It’s rare for me to get worked up anymore over statements that atheists make about Christianity. For many years now, I’ve debated and exchanged dialogs – both in person and over the Web – with many atheists and hatetheists (there is a difference) and have gotten pretty used to the primary arguments of the former group and the flawed caricatures / misrepresentations of the latter, so I am usually not bothered by what either has to say about the Christian faith.
Then I read the July 30 CNN opinion article by Hemant Mehta, “The Friendly Atheist”, which is entitled “Why are millennials leaving church? Try atheism”.
Maybe it was seeing so many of the tired, false assertions in one place. Maybe it was some of the poor logic and argumentation the author employed. Whatever it was, I actually got peeved. FULL POST