The Confident Christian

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Posted 6/16/13 at 4:13 PM | Robin Schumacher

No God, No Good or Evil

One of the logical arguments that William Lane Craig uses in debates with unbelievers is the following:

If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

Objective moral values and duties exist.

Therefore, God exists.

Skeptics generally counter the argument in one of two ways. First, some try and deny that objective moral values and duties exist. However, unless one doesn’t object to babies being tortured for fun or with children being sexually abused, this assertion dies a mercifully short death.

Next, they will try and say you don’t need God to be good. In making this claim, they demonstrate a misunderstanding with the source and knowledge of moral values and duties. The moral argument for God has never claimed that atheists can’t be moral people or that they don’t know what’s right or wrong. Instead, the argument is that, without God, there is no grounding source for objective moral values and duties. FULL POST

Posted 6/9/13 at 4:13 PM | Robin Schumacher

The Gospel According to Bart Ehrman

A June 3rd article that appeared on Christianpost contained an interview with Dr. Bart Ehrman who is a noted author and professor of religion. Ehrman is most famous for his criticisms of the New Testament’s reliability, with various books he’s produced on the topic reaching the top of certain best seller lists.

The Christianpost interview focused on his skepticism of the New Testament, with very predictable results occurring in the reader comments that followed. Atheists and skeptics high-fived each other, reveling in the fact that they had a credible champion who fuels their hope that the Bible cannot be trusted, while some believers cast disparaging remarks at Ehrman saying he’s not worth listening to.

Both sides need to step back from their rhetoric.

Atheists who believe Bart fully sides with them may be surprised to learn what he does support on the topic of Jesus (and what that foundation points to). And Christians who call into question Ehrman’s intelligence or skill should understand that he is indeed a very smart and well-trained scholar who deserves respect. FULL POST

Posted 6/1/13 at 9:16 AM | Robin Schumacher

New Christian Apologetics Presentation Series Now Available

Without a doubt, our culture today is a very visual one. Ravi Zacharias has described people today as "listening with their eyes."

That being the case, Christians who want to be effective evangelists and apologists must share the gospel in a way that does not alter the message found in God's Word, but also in a manner that may involve using both audio and visual communication mediums. With that in mind, I've teamed up with apologetics315.com to produce a new Christian apologetics PowerPoint series, entitled "The Essentials of Apologetics", that's aimed at educating both Christians and unbelievers on the truths of the Christian faith.

The entire series is free for anyone to download/modify and use in classroom, church, or other settings. The first four presentations are available now and can be viewed and downloaded from either apologetics315.com, the powerpointapologist.com, and slideshare. More presentations will following in the coming months so stay tuned. FULL POST

Posted 5/19/13 at 7:02 PM | Robin Schumacher

Christian Modesty and the Skirt Police

My oldest daughter (age 16) participates in a number of Christian activities outside of the standard school subjects of reading-writing-and-arithmetic such as debate and government, which requires the kids to be together for tournaments and group meetings. At such events, the kids – especially the girls – are given a dress standard to which they are to adhere.

At a recent competition, a woman approached my daughter who was with a group of her friends and in an ugly way criticized her for the skirt she was wearing. What was the offense?

Her skirt came to the middle of her knee rather than fully below it.

“Don’t push the limits. Don’t even try!” my daughter was told before the woman turned to walk away.

At a different, unrelated event that took place in the summer, the facility was hot so my daughter rolled up her sleeves because she was warm, and was denounced again for her dress by someone else. Why?

Her elbows were showing. FULL POST

Posted 5/14/13 at 8:25 PM | Robin Schumacher

Are Tongues for Today (Part 2)?

In Part 1 of this post, we looked at a couple of important Biblical distinctions that help interpret the fact and gift of tongues in Scripture, and then we looked at the definition and purpose of tongues as found in the Bible. Let’s now continue to answer the question of whether tongues are truly something that should be normative in today’s Church.

The Place of Tongues

If tongues are a sign to unbelievers, and more specifically a sign of judgment or warning to Israel, then does it have a place in the modern Church? Some theologians do not believe so – for example, O. Palmer Robertson states: “Today there is no need for a sign to show that God is moving from the single nation of Israel to all the nations. That movement has become an accomplished fact.”[1]

Moreover, many Bible teachers point out that, while tongues appear as a spiritual gift in the list given in the very early 1 Corinthians letter of Paul, later epistles that present gifts given by the Spirit omit tongues. Are these mentions just something not meant to be all inclusive whereas the list given in 1 Corinthians is, or does the exclusion of tongues in later letters by Paul signal that it had already served its purpose and was no longer in operation even back in the first century? FULL POST

Posted 5/13/13 at 6:38 AM | Robin Schumacher

Are Tongues for Today (Part 1)?

A young Christian guy I know recently started visiting his friend’s church vs. the assembly that his parents attend. The new church is one that believes and teaches that Christians today should speak in tongues, which is something not practiced or taught at his parent’s church. He’s now pretty confused over what he’s seeing and wonders if there is something he’s missing out on by not speaking in tongues like he sees his friend and others doing.

I can relate to him pretty well. When I became a Christian at nineteen, I became involved in a street ministry in our city that was staffed quite heavily by believers who encouraged me to seek the gift of tongues. I, too, became confused and ended up visiting their church where the pastor laid his hands on me and commanded that I speak in tongues (nothing happened).

That was many years ago, but the controversial subject of tongues is just as hot now as it was back then. Is there a systematic and Biblically sound way to answer the question of whether tongues are for today? FULL POST

Posted 5/7/13 at 6:55 PM | Robin Schumacher

An Unlikely Apologetic

Friday night is movie night in our home. After a week of work, school, and trying to stay on our diets, I get a movie for my daughters and myself, we pile into our theater room with it and loads of junk food, and enjoy while my wife does whatever she wants.

I usually use Redbox for our movies and recently I noticed something that may have been there for a long time, but it’s escaped my attention until now: the occult has an impressive presence in today’s recently-released movie selections. Row after row had at least one if not two supernatural titles for the choosing.

In a way, I’m not surprised at all. Most everyone is intrigued with the paranormal and the vast majority still believes there is more to reality than just matter and energy. For example, the two-year worldwide study done by the Search Institute’s Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence found that only 7% of the adolescents they spoke with were unsure that a spiritual dimension to life exists.[1] FULL POST

Posted 4/28/13 at 8:37 PM | Robin Schumacher

The Mirage of Secular State Neutrality

Those wishing to strip religion from the public arena and ensure that it has no sway over any public policy or matters of government oftentimes point to various Nordic and European countries as models for how good things can be when faith has no public voice. They work hard at trying to produce facts on the higher education levels, lower crime rates, and other various statistics that support their case of secularized societies being ‘better’ than those where religion has a strong presence.

“See,” they say, “how well these countries operate without superstitious beliefs that clearly afford no tangible benefit?”

Moreover, we’re led to believe that such humanistic-driven cultures operate with generous levels of tolerance where individual freedom is concerned (aren’t atheists quick to identify themselves as “free thinkers”?), and that people can live their lives free from any kind of ideological impositions or restrictions. FULL POST

Posted 4/23/13 at 7:42 AM | Robin Schumacher

The Myth That the Bible is Just a Myth

Rice Broocks recent opinion piece on FoxNews speaks about the strong popularity of the History Channel’s “Bible” miniseries and describes how it has once again unearthed the debate over whether the events chronicled in Scripture are history or fiction. Atheists and skeptics have consistently answered that question with the assertion that the Bible is nothing more than a collectivized set of fairy tales whose historical validity is on par with Aesop’s fables.

But is this the case? Pushing aside the bias that exists between those holding a wholly naturalistic vs. supernaturalistic worldview, is there a neutral, historical way to examine the Bible to determine whether it fits within the purview of legend and myth?

The Differences Between the Bible and Myth

Historian and Old Testament expert Dr. John Oswalt thinks that there is. In his book, The Bible Among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature, Oswalt builds a case for the Bible not being myth by carefully identifying and comparing the characteristics of mythology and Scripture. Oswalt says, “If one simply lists the component parts of a dog alongside those of a man, one might conclude that they are essentially the same. But if one takes ‘dog’ as a whole and ‘man’ as a whole, what can one conclude but that they are in their essences different? So also, if we look at the Bible as a whole, where else is there anything like it in its world, or indeed, in the world?”[1]   FULL POST

Posted 4/13/13 at 10:56 AM | Robin Schumacher

The Gosnell Trial and Destroying the Image of God

Kirsten Powers’ recent article on the trial of abortion “doctor” Kermit Gosnell, which ran in the April 11th edition of USA Today, is something not to be missed. Powers rightly calls out the odd suppression and, in some cases, revisionism being practiced by the media where the current Pennsylvania abortion trial is concerned. Her concerns are echoed by others such as Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times.

Let’s be clear about what this trial is all about. During some abortions, Gosnell delivered babies alive and then literally beheaded them in his abortion clinic, according to staff that observed the procedures. Performing about 1,000 abortions per year, prosecutors assert Gosnell made millions from taking the lives of both newly born and unborn children. FULL POST

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