Archive for October, 2010

STR Thoughts on Halloween

Posted: October 29, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Etcetera, Just for Fun

Halloween is right around the corner and this holiday typically raises a number of questions for Christians.  Greg Koukl has written some thoughts HERE.  I agree with much except for his brief thoughts on trick-or-treating as a participation in the forms of Halloween.  And I think Greg has softened his position on this anyhow, as he mentions in THIS VIDEO.  Like Greg, my larger concern is the potential for Halloween to minimize the occult.  But I don’t find this reason enough to abstain from all participation in Halloween activities.

Melinda Penner also has some very good thoughts about what should be much more concerning for Christians:  HALLOWEEN WORRIES, DOCTRINE APATHY.

Challenge Response: “Truth is Empirical”

Posted: October 28, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Truth Matters, Weekly Challenge

Here’s my response to this week’s challenge:

Muslims say the Bible has been corrupted. But I’ve argued in my book that although Muslims make this claim, the Qur’an does not. This turns out to be a handy fact when sharing your faith with Muslims.

Abdu Murray, who was recently interviewed on the Stand to Reason radio show, made a similar observation while he was still a Muslim.

“One day while reading my Qur’an, I came across a very familiar passage in Al-Maidah 5:46-47. I had read this passage dozens of times before. But the plain meaning of the passage struck me this time. By using the present tense in referring to the Gospel, this passage clearly taught that the true Gospel was in existence in Muhammad’s time. Otherwise, the admonition for the People of the Book to ‘judge according to what was revealed’ in the Gospel would be meaningless. Perplexed, I looked at other Qur’anic verses and found that they confirmed the same thing (e.g. Al-Maidah, v. 43-44; 47, 68). This compelled me to investigate the Bible. In my research I found that the overwhelming evidence proves that the Torah and Gospel we have today are the same as those in existence during Muhammad’s time and before. Thus, it was my duty as a Muslim to read these books openly and find out the truths that lay within.”

Muslims don’t believe what the New Testament says about Jesus because they believe it is corrupted. But after honestly reading what the Qur’an said about the Bible, Abdu realized the Qur’an endorsed the Bible as a reliable source of divine revelation. Since the Qur’an was an unassailable authority in Abdu’s mind, he had to accept its view of the Bible. And this opened his mind to consider the claims of Christ found in the New Testament.

I flesh this tactic out more thoroughly in my booklet, An Ambassador’s Guide to Islam. You can buy it in print or PDF edition. I don’t make a penny of its sale. I recommend it simply because it’s a handy resource that supports whatever method you choose to share your faith.

Challenge: Truth Is Empirical

Posted: October 26, 2010 by Amy Hall in Truth Matters, Weekly Challenge

For the challenge this week, I thought I’d take a quote from the video Brett posted yesterday of his conversation with a man on the U.C. Berkeley campus.

When asked to define truth, the man responded:

Truth is something that can be empirically shown to be the best guess that we have.

Stepping away from the context of the video and how this particular man further explained his view, let’s take this quote by itself. If your friend made the claim that we can only call something “true” if we’ve scientifically tested it, and all other untestable claims about things are merely subjective opinions, how would you respond?

What questions could you ask to help him clarify his view? What counterexamples could you offer that he might not have considered before? What definition of truth would you offer for his consideration? How would you defend that definition? Respond as much or as little as you like–we want to hear from you! As usual, Brett’s video with this week’s training will be up on Thursday.

Berkeley Conversational Surveys

Posted: October 25, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Events, Truth Matters

On the Berkeley Mission, not only do we talk to atheists but we also dialogue with Berkeley students through our “conversational” surveys.  The variety of views is fascinating.  Here is a recent conversational survey I conducted with a student:

Apologetics 3:15 Interviews Alan

Posted: October 25, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Do the Right Thing, Resources

Alan Shlemon was recently interviewed by Brian Auten of Apologetics 3:15 on a host of controversial topics (Alan’s specialty!) like Islam, homosexuality, and abortion.  You can hear the entire interview HERE.

How Do We End Poverty? Wrong Question

Posted: October 23, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Do the Right Thing, Resources

Poverty is a prominent topic among Christians nowadays and that’s a good thing.  However, we must combine our good intentions of fighting poverty with clear thinking about the best ways to do so.  PovertyCure is doing just that by helping us to see that the right question is not “How do we end poverty?” but instead, “How do we create wealth?”

A Berkeley Mission Atheist Challenges our Students

Posted: October 22, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Events, God is Real

Want to see what students face when we take them to Berkeley on our apologetic mission trips?  Here is the beginning of atheist Mark Thomas’ talk:

Sorry I got to this a little late in the day!  Nice work on the challenge responses.

Can Someone Be Once Gay?

Posted: October 20, 2010 by Alan Shlemon in Do the Right Thing

“There’s a reason that homosexuals are attracted to the same sex.” That’s what I said at a recent event where I talked about the causes of homosexuality. Talk about politically incorrect! Not only does it seem like I’m suggesting that homosexuals aren’t “born that way” (which in itself is attacking cherished dogma), but my statement presumes that we know what makes them attracted to the same sex. Cue the charges of bigotry and intolerance.

I’m not posting now to explain the causes of homosexuality. However, I am putting my thoughts on that in writing and should have something published early next year. For now, I want to point you to a music video that tells the story of a person who was once gay. The fact that someone can be gay and then later not be gay is significant for a couple of reasons. One, it instantly defeats the “once gay, always gay” mantra. If there’s just one genuine testimony of a person who has left the gay lifestyle (out of the thousands who claim they have), then the claim that you can’t change is false. And two, it strongly discredits the claim that homosexuality is a function of your genes in the same way as eye color. After all, we know you can’t change your eye color. If homosexually is just as impossible to overcome, then how do we explain all – and I mean all – the testimonies of people who have left homosexuality (including the many who aren’t Christians). I know many of these people personally. They don’t like the fact that people deny they exist.

The video is in Italian, but there are subtitles. It was performed in 2009 at Italy’s “Festival di San Remo.” You can read the story about the performance and its aftermath here after watching the video.

Click on the image below to watch the video.