Theologian and apologist Robin Schumacher has a Ph.D. in New Testament and Master's in Christian Apologetics.
Posted 7/30/14 at 5:33 PM | Robin Schumacher
In Part 1 of this post, we reviewed recent examples of Islamic-inspired violence (see another example of that here), looked at statements made in Quran and hadith material that appeared to prescribe violence, and proposed a couple of questions that help understand what any religion or worldview really teaches:
What happens when we apply our two questions above to Islam? In short, it’s difficult to do and former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi tells us why. FULL POST
Posted 7/27/14 at 5:29 PM | Robin Schumacher
Current news headlines are filled with examples of Islamic-inspired violence and terror, with CNN recently reporting that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) killed 270 in an attack in central Syria. Moreover, ISIS is also moving through Iraq with a “convert or die” campaign, which is forcing Christians and other faiths to flee their homes.
Hamas openly continues to pursue their goal, which is the extinction of the Jewish people.
In addition, the world community raised its voice a few months ago to protest Sudan’s death sentence on Meriam Ibrahim, a pregnant Christian woman who refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam. Though she suffered many hardships, thankfully she has recently become free, unlike many of the 200+ girls kidnapped by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram (whose name means “Western or non-Islamic education is a sin”). FULL POST
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