Archive for December, 2010
Here’s the first segment of Max McLean performing the Gospel of Mark:
All 16 parts (about an hour and a half) are posted in order on Between Two Worlds.
Join a campus ministry group? A Bible study? Important though those things are, the most decisive factor [according to a Fuller Seminary study] is whether students had a safe place to work through their doubts and questions before leaving home.
The researchers concluded, “The more college students felt that they had the opportunity to express their doubt while they were in high school, the higher [their] levels of faith maturity and spiritual maturity.”
The study indicates that students actually grow more confident in their Christian commitment when the adults in their life — parents, pastors, teachers — guide them in grappling with the challenges posed by prevailing secular worldviews. In short, the only way teens become truly “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks” (1 Pet. 3:15) is by wrestling honestly and personally with the questions.
Don’t hide from your doubts, face them. And don’t try to do this alone because it’s easy to become overwhelmed if you don’t know where to find answers. If your pastor can’t help you with your questions, seek out sites like STR Place and STR, and don’t give up.
We’re taking a break from the challenges this week. Instead, here’s a video of one of my favorite people, an expert in resurrection apologetics, Gary Habermas.
God Has Spoken
Jim Swilley, megachurch pastor in Georgia, told his congregation he’s gay. But that’s not the bad part. It was his use of scripture that really bothered Alan.
So, Alan gives a piece of his mind about the CNN interview of pastor Jim Swilley.
I heard this kind of challenge being made by atheist John Loftus the other day on an Unbelievable podcast, so I thought I would pose it to you. A little search on the internet brought up this comment from an atheist that states the challenge succinctly:
You wouldn’t BE a Christian if you were raised in another country. You would be a Muslim or a Hindu or a Sikh or a Buddhist and you would be saying EXACTLY the same thing about Christianity that you are asserting about other beliefs (or lack thereof) right now. What does that tell you about how your religion works? Did the reasoning of your religion earnestly call it to you or were you culturally indoctrinated at a very young age to believe what you do now?
Before answering this one, it’s important to figure out what this objector’s hidden assumptions are–that is, what is he assuming that he hasn’t stated directly? Sometimes the hidden points are even more important to address than the stated ones. Now what in his actual comment would you want to address? What questions would you ask? Is there an illustration or analogy you could use to make your answer more clear? We look forward to hearing your ideas! Be back here on Thursday to hear Brett’s response.
Jesus Changes Everything
Here’s what ancient history scholar Paul Maier has to say:
“In 1968 I published an article that offered fresh evidence in support of Friday, 3 April A.D. 33, as the date of the Crucifixion. Since then, much attention has focused on the other terminus of Jesus’ life in response to recent recalculations of dates for the death of Herod the Great and the birth of Christ. Although a precise date, as in the case of the Crucifixion, still seems unattainable for the Nativity, some further refinement within the usual range of 7 to 4 B.C. is possible, which would suggest late 5 B.C. as the most probable time for the first Christmas. This time frame, along with 3 April A.D. 33 for the Crucifixion, provides a very balanced correlation of all surviving chronological clues in the New Testament, as well as the extrabiblical sources. Earlier or later dates, in either case, tend to disregard or manipulate at least one or more of the sources.”
You can read Maier’s entire article online.
(HT: Justin Taylor)