Archive for July, 2011

Should God Appear to Atheists?

Posted: July 18, 2011 by Amy Hall in God is Real

As a follow-up to last-week’s challenge, we’re featuring an article on whether or not a good God would reveal Himself openly to everyone:

Atheists aren’t idiots. An open display of powerful glory by the God of the universe would likely drive former atheists to serve Him out of fear, but what would this accomplish from God’s perspective? God doesn’t desire eternal slaves—i.e., those who work to fulfill His requirements out of a desire to escape punishment or to gain something they want. As God reminds the Israelites throughout the Old Testament, it’s not the acts of worship He’s after, but the hearts of children who adore their Father and want to be with Him.

I submit to you this illustration from The Gulag Archipelago, a book about the communist, totalitarian Soviet Union in the first half of the 20th century. This is the kind of scenario God has no interest in creating…

The suspense is now killing you, so read the rest at STR Place. And if you missed any of the featured articles the last couple of weeks, you can always find them on our home page. See you there!

Friday Fun: The Greatest Action Story Ever Told

Posted: July 15, 2011 by Amy Hall in Just for Fun

This is a MADtv classic…

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

Scott Klusendorf Debates Former ACLU President

Posted: July 13, 2011 by Alan Shlemon in Do the Right Thing

Former Stand to Reason speaker (and current good friend!), Scott Klusendorf, debated former ACLU President, Nadine Strossen, at Westmont College recently. Check out the video of Scott’s fine work defending the pro-life view.

When we asked for your ideas for challenge questions a while back, Adrian suggested one on God’s hiddenness: “Why is God so hidden? I’m a rational unbeliever, so if God really wanted to be in a loving relationship with me, He’d make himself a lot more obvious.”

Along these lines, here’s a formal argument from reasonable nonbelief from J.L. Schellenberg’s 1993 book, Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason:

1.  If there is a God, he is perfectly loving.
2.  If a perfectly loving God exists, reasonable nonbelief does not occur.
3.  Reasonable nonbelief occurs.
4.  No perfectly loving God exists (from 2 and 3).
5.  Hence, there is no God (from 1 and 4).

So this week, let’s take on Schellenberg. How do you answer this challenge? We’ll hear Brett’s response on Thursday.

A Quick Intro to Intelligent Design

Posted: July 11, 2011 by Amy Hall in Intelligently Designed

There are a lot of misconceptions about what Intelligent Design is. It’s more than just saying, “We don’t know how this happened, so God must have done it!” In this week’s article, Brett gives a brief introduction to the concept:

In January of 2004, the atheist community was rocked by a major announcement. Antony Flew, probably the world’s most influential atheist of the last 50 years, publicly acknowledged his move from atheism to belief in God’s existence…. Let me give you some perspective. Flew’s announcement is equivalent to Billy Graham calling a press conference and telling the world he is leaving Christianity. Can you imagine the shockwaves throughout the Christian world?

So why did this life-long atheist ditch atheism? Flew said he “had to go where the evidence leads.” And what was that evidence? “I think that the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries…I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.”

Whoa. Did you hear that? A really smart atheist was convinced by the scientific evidence for God’s existence…. So what is Intelligent Design? And what evidence is he referring to?

Read the rest of the article at STR Place.

What Are You Willing to Invest in Spiritual Training?

Posted: July 8, 2011 by Brett Kunkle in Events

Summer is expensive.  At least, for me as a parent it is.  For my younger kids I have to pay for swim lessons, soccer camps, VBS, trips to water parks and amusement parks, and more.  For my high schooler I have to pay for summer basketball league, a San Diego tournament, and youth group activities and trips.  And these costs don’t even include feeding my kids all summer.

This might be pretty typical for your family as well.  Summer provides all kind of opportunities but they come with corresponding expenses.  However, many parents and students will make the investment.  “My kid needs summer football camp?’  No problem.  “Pay for swim lessons?”  Sure.  “Academic tutoring?”  Of course.  I know parents willing to spend thousands on sports and academics.  But how many parents and students are willing to put the very same investment of time and money into spiritual training?

I do a lot of training with parents and I challenge them on this very point.  So I guess it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is.  My biggest summer investment is a 2-week Colorado trip for my 16-year old daughter, Lexi.  Altogether, the trip will cost me about $1,300.  Where am I sending her?  To Summit Ministries’ Student Worldview Conference.  She’ll fly out of Orange County on the morning of August 14 and won’t return home until August 26.  Her flight will cost about $300.  The conference costs $895.  She’ll need about $100 of spending money.  That’s a big chunk of change for our family.  But it’s worth it.  It’s an eternal investment.

I know what Lexi is going to get at Summit.  Two weeks of intense training, training more valuable than any basketball camp or swim lesson.  She’ll examine the false ideas of this world that compete for her heart and mind every single day.  Then she’ll learn to analyze those ideas and expose them for the lies they are.  She’ll learn to think Christianly, discovering why Christianity is true and what difference it makes for every single area of her life.  She’ll walk away with more confidence in Christ.

How do I know?  Because I had the chance to see firsthand what Summit does last month.  I spent three days at their Colorado location and afterward, I was sold.  I signed Lexi up immediately, willing to pay the cost.  Summit’s program was that good.

So parents and students, check out Summit’s summer conferences.  Not only do they host them in Colorado, they have a camp in Tennessee (coming up in 2 days!) and one in Wisconsin (Aug. 7-20).  It’s the best investment you can make this summer.

Can’t get to Summit this summer?  There may be other options closer to you:

Friday Fun: Islam vs. Christianity

Posted: July 8, 2011 by Amy Hall in Just for Fun

What would apologetics look like without the Ambassador’s Creed? Maybe a little like this…

[Warning: The video is set up to skip some coarse language at the beginning when you first play it. If you replay the video a second time and you want to continue to avoid this, just skip ahead to :08 before you hit the play button.]

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

The July podcasts are here!

Thinking Out Loud with Alan Shlemon: “Are Homosexuals Born that Way?” Is there a “gay gene,” and should the existence of one change the way we think about homosexuality? Alan examines this controversial issue (RSS, iTunes).

Just Think with Brett Kunkle: “Expanding Missions, Multiplying Impact.” Hear about Brett’s development of an apologetic mission trip to the “Berkeley of the Rockies” and how these trips are producing ambassadors for Christ (RSS, iTunes).

You can always find links to our podcasts on the homepage.