Archive for January, 2012

Here’s an interesting one. A couple weeks ago, the challenge was the “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” video (see Brett’s response to it here). For this week’s challenge, we give you a Muslim response to that video. The video will give you a great summary of the major disagreements Islam has with Christianity, so it’s interesting in and of itself.

For the challenge, tell us how you would respond to a Muslim friend who sent you this video. It covers a lot of different topics, so just give us an idea of an overall approach you would take and/or address one or two of his claims. And then Alan will do the same on Thursday.

What is Intelligent Design?

Posted: January 30, 2012 by Brett Kunkle in God is Real, Intelligently Designed

What is the theory of Intelligent Design?  Super-smart guy Dr. William Dembski (he actually has TWO Ph.D.s) offers a helpful definition:

Having Trouble Praying?

Posted: January 30, 2012 by Amy Hall in God is Real

This week’s featured article is about prayer…or rather, a lack of prayer:

I want to say a word of encouragement to those who are having trouble praying. First, the greatest killer of prayer is a loss of hope. A turning point for me when I was feeling most hopeless happened when I was reading Romans 4. In this chapter, Paul is explaining that if we share in the faith of Abraham, we’re the descendants of Abraham and heirs of the promises made to him. Then Paul hits us with a description of God that changes everything: “Him whom [Abraham] believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”

Meditate on that for a moment. God “gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” God has the power to give your spirit the life and hope that is now lacking in you—He calls it into being out of nothing. Do you feel dead? God is the God who gives life where it does not now exist. This is who God is. This is what He does. But He doesn’t always do this immediately. Do you have the faith to trust in Him while waiting as Abraham waited?

Without becoming weak in faith [Abraham] contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform (Romans 4:18-21).

It’s likely that an end to your hopelessness, leading to an ability to pray again, seems impossible to you—just as impossible as the birth of Isaac seemed to Abraham. So, like Abraham, don’t try to focus all your faith on this happening. Instead, focus your faith on God, trustworthy and powerful, who gives life to the dead. Meditate on who He is. Don’t worry if you don’t believe you’ll ever have hope again. Just start by believing the truth about God. Like Abraham, “in hope against hope” put your faith in Him who is able to call into being that which does not exist.

Read the full article here.

Friday Fun: Sunday Morning

Posted: January 27, 2012 by Amy Hall in Just for Fun

Coming to a church near you…

Challenge Response: You’re Arrogant!

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Brett Kunkle in Truth Matters, Weekly Challenge

Are Christians arrogant because they believe Jesus is the only way to God?  Here’s my response to this week’s challenge:

Is Homosexuality the Worst Sin of All?

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Alan Shlemon in Do the Right Thing
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Christians define sin as “missing the mark.” It almost sounds cute. Kyle lied so he missed the mark…Oops. Katy gossiped…Shucks, that was wrong. Randy was prideful…Yikes, better stop that.

But homosexuality? Whoa! That’s more than missing the mark. That’s an abomination! Homosexuals aren’t just sinners. They’re revelers consummating their reprobate mind. Someone please cite one of the Levitical prohibitions against homosexuality (preferably Leviticus 20:13 since it includes the death penalty) and say it in the King James Version for rhetorical effect.

And Christians don’t just think homosexuality is the worst sin. We act like it too. Christians who rarely cite scripture suddenly invoke Bible verses when the topic comes up. We get uneasy when gay men come to church, but we gladly welcome post-abortive women.  We’ll move a lesbian who sits next to other females at youth group, but we won’t separate girls who gossip.

It’s no wonder the culture thinks Christians hate homosexuals. We give their behavior a unique status: the worst sin of all. And because homosexuals are committing the supreme evil, we treat them like pariahs.

As a result, not only do homosexuals think their sin is the worst, but they are the worst. They’re the chief of all sinners. That’s why our verbal antidotes like, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner” are so ineffective. They only hear the word, “hate.”

We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when homosexuals get anxious around Christians. It shouldn’t shock us that they start their own denominations. These men and women still have spiritual yearnings, but because Christians keep them at arm’s length, they have no choice but to turn to churches with pro-gay theology that accept them.

Don’t get me wrong: homosexual behavior is a serious sin. I’m not trying to downplay the gravity of what they do. But the Bible doesn’t elevate its status above all other sins.

Although homosexual behavior was a capital crime under the Mosaic Law, so were blasphemy, false prophecy, adultery, bestiality, and many other sins. Under today’s New Testament teaching, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 places homosexuals among other sinners like thieves, drunks, swindlers, and fornicators. And 1 Timothy 1:8-11 lists them among liars, rebels, slave traders, and other sinners. There’s no special designation for any of these sins (although sexual sins are grouped together since they are sins “against the body” in 1 Corinthians 6:16-20).

Many homosexuals have come to Christ. But they didn’t do it because they believed their sin was the worst. Instead, they recognized their sin was an obstacle to fellowship with God. Making homosexuality the worst sin isn’t merely a peculiar theological mistake. It has practical ramifications that alienate men and women engaged in homosexual behavior. And it creates unnecessary offense to the gospel that’s already offensive.

For the challenge this week, here’s a question posted on Yahoo Answers (with some slight editing for readability):

How can Christians be so arrogant and claim that their way is the only way? And no, not all religions are like this. The Abrahamic religions are predators. Asian religions are open to many different ideologies and multiple beliefs, and we often mix them together. We Asian religions never claim to be absolute because no man truly knows about the afterlife, a dead man has never re-risen.

Religion is very much a part of cultural identity and heritage, so how can there be just one way!!

Is it arrogant to say that Jesus is the only way? Are you insulting other cultures and heritages when you say He is? How would you answer this charge? We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas! As usual, Brett will respond on Thursday.

Why Be Pro-Life?

Posted: January 23, 2012 by Amy Hall in Do the Right Thing

In honor of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday yesterday, this week our featured article is Brett’s “Why I Am Pro-Life“:

I am a pro-lifer for very particular reasons. I am not pro-life because “the Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.” I am not pro-life because I want to fit in with Christians at my church. I am not pro-life because I hate women who have abortions. I am not pro-life because it fits with a particular political party’s platform. I am not pro-life because you have to be if you’re a real Christian.

I am a pro-lifer because of the answer to one simple question:  What is the unborn?

If the unborn is not a human being, no justification for abortion is necessary. But if the unborn is a human being, no justification for elective abortion is adequate.

So, is the unborn a human being? Yes and here’s why…

Read on to find out Brett’s reasons.

Alright…finally…my response to the viral video, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.”

I wish I had the resources to do this kind of response video!  I’m currently editing my D-minus-quality video, so it will be up later this afternoon.  Until then, ponder this one…