Theologian and apologist Robin Schumacher has a Ph.D. in New Testament and Master's in Christian Apologetics.
Posted 3/9/14 at 4:28 PM | Robin Schumacher
I’m fortunate to have a Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from a seminary with a strong apologetics focus, having been taught my apologetics and philosophy by one of the top Christian defenders alive today (Dr. Norman Geisler). This means I am well versed in the defense of the Bible and can provide various evidences (e.g. historical, archaeological, philosophical, prophetic, etc.) as to why the Bible is trustworthy and should be believed.
I also have a Ph.D. in New Testament with my dissertation being on the apologetics of the Apostle Paul. This means I can carry on conversations about manuscript evidence, the internal consistency of the New Testament and much more, all of which add extra weight as to why the Bible should be believed.
Even though I am schooled in all these things, and value the information greatly, they are not why I believe the Bible is true. FULL POST
Posted 3/3/14 at 7:57 AM | Robin Schumacher |
As the story goes, he was in a cave when suddenly the angel Gabriel appeared to him. The angel then supposedly pinned him to a wall and commanded him to “Recite!”
From that alleged episode was born the prophet of Islam (Muhammad), the Koran (which means the “recitation”), the god Allah, a rendition of Jesus that somewhat matches His portrayal in the Bible, and a method of salvation based on weights and measures (i.e. works).
Pick whatever non-Christian religion you’d like and you will see the same pattern emerge. You will witness:
A particular individual who eventually proclaims him/herself to be a prophet…
Who creates or ‘discovers’ a particular authoritative set of writings based on visions or encounters with a supposed angelic messenger or deity…
Who then uses those experiences and writings to proclaim (1) a false god; (2) a false savior; and (3) a false salvation.
With this well-worn path, the lives and souls of countless people have been destroyed. Let’s take a look at some concrete examples to get a better idea of how the process works. FULL POST
Posted 2/23/14 at 10:42 AM | Robin Schumacher |
Pentecostal Pastor Jamie Coots, one of the co-stars on the National Geographic's “Snake Salvation” TV show, died Saturday, February 15th after receiving a bite from one of his snakes during a church service earlier that night. The Middlesboro, Ky., police reported that Coots refused medical treatment for his snake bite and was found dead in his home at about 10 p.m.
Why would Coots do such a thing? The answer, it appears, is that he embraced parts of the controversial and much-debated ending in the book of Mark: “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17–18).
This very unfortunate episode underscores an important truth for everyone: it matters greatly what you believe. Why? Simply put, because in most cases consequences exist for being wrong. FULL POST
Posted 2/16/14 at 9:30 AM | Robin Schumacher |
The old joke goes like this:
Once there was a guy on a bridge about to jump. Another man saw him and cried out, "Don't do it!" The first man said, "Nobody loves me." The other man said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?" The conversation then went proceeded like this:
First man: "Yes."
Second man: "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"
First man: "A Christian."
Second man: "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?"
First man: "Protestant."
Second man: "Me, too! What franchise?"
First man: "Baptist."
Second man: “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
First man: "Northern Baptist."
Second man: “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
First man: "Northern Conservative Baptist."
Second man: "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?"
First man: "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region."
Second man: "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" FULL POST
Posted 2/9/14 at 8:02 AM | Robin Schumacher |
The title of Dr. Paul de Vries’ recent article – “The Best Christians are Doubting Christians” (Part 1 and Part 2) – initially struck me like lemon juice in the eye. Judging by the comments the article generated, I wasn’t alone in my first impression of the writing.
Having read the article a couple of times now, I understand what Dr. de Vries is trying to say and fully appreciate the message he’s attempting to convey. While I don’t want to come across as some pedantic, uptight guy who’s ready to make mountains out of molehills, there are times when terms do indeed matter. The point I’d like to make is this:
Doubt is not something valued in the Bible.
Now, I don’t want to put words in Dr. de Vries mouth, but what I think he was trying to say is that the best Christians are thinking Christians vs. doubting Christians. On that point I couldn’t agree more and would argue that such a thing is what we’re commanded to be in Scripture. FULL POST
Posted 2/2/14 at 12:33 PM | Robin Schumacher |
January has not been a good month.
A few weeks ago, on a Friday night, I traveled about an hour away to attend the visitation for my friend’s granddaughter who died of a brain tumor. She was only nine.
The next day, I traveled in the opposite direction to visit a wonderful couple I know. The husband (early fifties) was in the final stages of liver cancer. He died the following week and I spoke at his funeral. They had only been married a few years.
About a week later, I got the word that a magnificent woman (early 40’s) in our church had succumbed to lung cancer. She is a well-known Bible teacher, conference speaker, writer, and has worked tirelessly to help struggling couples rebuild their marriages. She left behind a loving pastor husband and four teenage children. If ever there was a case of putting to rest the false teaching that you only have to exhibit strong faith for God to heal you, this was it. FULL POST
Posted 1/20/14 at 10:45 AM | Robin Schumacher |
A veritable sea of competing religions, beliefs, and worldviews.
A vast number of vocal skeptics and antagonistic mockers.
A strong spirit of persecution, marginalization, and governmental hostility.
These are some of the major characteristics of the Apostle Paul’s world that existed over two thousand years ago. I think you would agree with me that they are also (sadly) becoming increasingly representative of our present day where the exclusive claims of Christianity are concerned and reflect how our society treats those who desire to faithfully live and proclaim God’s Word.
However, despite such a climate, we read that even Paul’s enemies complained that his preaching had “upset the world” (Acts 17:6). What was it about Paul’s apologetic and evangelistic approach that caused him to become such a powerful and influential force in his world and what can we learn from it so that we can have the same impact? FULL POST
Posted 1/1/14 at 11:52 AM | Robin Schumacher
For decades, he’s sported the quintessential Christian man persona. Leading his family in home Bible studies, evangelizing unbelievers, ensuring books by authors like Tozer are constantly on his nightstand and faithful church service have characterized his life.
But just recently, it’s come to light that during all this time he’s participated in gross, hidden and consistent sinful behavior and life-destroying addictions. He now wants nothing to do with Christianity.
During this same period, she taught teen Bible studies at church, constantly listened to Christian music, and encouraged other women to follow Christ. Yet, she also has led a double life hidden from her husband and family and is now living with another man. Amazingly, she told us recently that she thinks she is doing a good thing for the man she is now living with and believes she is positively influencing him in a spiritual way.
These two friends of my family give me much pause and force me to think long and hard about true saving faith. Yes, the Apostle Paul makes no bones about the fact that in this life we will always struggle with sin (Rom. 7:14-25), but yet Scripture also makes it clear that there are those who enter the Christian faith and depart (Matt. 13:1-23) and others who believe they are true believers but are not (Matt. 7:15-23). FULL POST
Posted 12/26/13 at 9:30 AM | Robin Schumacher
The philosophical, empirical, and historical evidence for Christianity being true is quite good.
But so what?
Perhaps you’ve never heard about “apatheism”, but I’m running into it more and more. Apatheism, sometimes referred to as either pragmatic or practical atheism, is a position that acts with apathy, disregard, and a lack of interest in a belief in God.
I first encountered it in a discussion with a very intelligent engineer that I worked with years ago. As I talked about the evidence for God, he didn’t argue with me about the veracity of the claims I was making. Instead, he said he simply didn’t care whether I was right or wrong.
Mark Gauthier, executive director in the United States for Campus Crusade for Christ, believes that many today don’t decide whether to accept a teaching on propositional arguments and proof, but rather they want to see how it will impact them. In one group of college-aged unbelievers he worked with, Gauthier asked them if they would become Christians if he presented iron-clad evidence that the gospel was true. He found that their responses started out as ‘yes’, but then went to ‘no, not really’ as they admitted to him that their real litmus test for believing was an evidentially pragmatic proof: “show me how this can change my life; let me see someone else who has found that it works for them”. FULL POST
Posted 12/15/13 at 2:06 PM | Robin Schumacher |
It goes without saying that Christmas is one of the top two celebrations for Christians each year. However, it’s also common knowledge that Christmas has unfortunately become a time for nasty exchanges between those who don’t believe in God and those who do.
For Christians, there’s little doubt we could be doing better in engaging people during the holidays and putting forward a more collective loving spirit. There’s really no need to have a conniption when stores choose to say “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas”. Further, wrapping our arms around and helping those who have fallen on hard times at Christmas, regardless of whether they’re Christians or not, says a lot more than a stack of apologetics books ever could.
But what about those who reject the idea that God exists? For my unbelieving friends, I’d like to offer some respectful do’s and don’ts for the Christmas season that will hopefully provide more peace between the two sides of belief and unbelief. FULL POST