Sunday, January 31, 2010

Calvinism and Purgatory Debates

James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries was involved in two separate debates this past week, both of which you can listen to for free.

The first was on the topic of Calvinism. James White appeared on Dr. Michael Brown's show Line of Fire to discuss this issue. You can listen or download this debate here.

The second was on the topic of 1 Corinthians 3 and the doctrine of purgatory. Tim Staples of Catholic Answers appeared on James White's show The Dividing Line. You can listen or download this debate here.

Visit Alpha and Omega Ministries for more resources and debates.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sean McDowell's First Debate




Apologetic Junkie is proudly coordinating the first debate in the young, though flourishing, career of Christian apologist Sean McDowell. While Sean travels widely as a popular Christian speaker on apologetics, he also heads the Bible department at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools and is working on his PhD in apologetics.

His opponent, Dr. James Corbett, made his fame two years ago in a highly publicized federal case where he was sued for making discriminating comments about Christianity in class. To see a short clip from the Bill O'Reilly show click here.

During the lawsuit (which is still active), I heard that Dr. Corbett said disparaging remarks of Biola University and how he bragged about wanting to debate someone from there. So I asked Sean if he would be interested in debating Corbett, History teacher at Capistrano Valley High School. The McDowell-Corbett debate will match two men with heavy influence in the lives of Orange County youth. Last year, each of them mentored students who debated their worldviews of Freethought (Corbett's students) and Christianity (McDowell's students). Now, the mentors will meet each other on the public stage. They will debate a topic that tries to determine if the ultimate grounding of moral values can only be found in God. The debate: "Is God the Best Explanation for Moral Values?" will be held Friday night, Feb 26th at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California and will be moderated by Biola's director of apologetics, Craig Hazen.

Saddleback College student clubs Campus Crusade for Christ and the Freethinkers Club are hosting the event which is sponsored by Rock Ministries (Mount of Olives Church - Mission Viejo) and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Non-Saddleback students are $5 and early registration is encouraged. If you don't live nearby, it will be webcast live at http://www.conversantlife.com/ and should be posted online sometime after the event. View the flyer by clicking here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Let's Kill Our Apathy, Not Our Kids


(Stand to Reason) by Alan Shlemon

Today marks the 37th year since Roe v. Wade gave the Constitution's right to privacy a new meaning. Abortion remains legal in all 50 states, throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and for virtually any reason.

It's strange, though, that as I speak on abortion in churches, I find many church goers uncomfortable about the subject. They would rather talk about social justice: Human trafficking, poverty, homelessness, and most recently the surge to help Haitians after the devastating earthquake. To be sure, these causes are very important. I care about them and have supported them.

But if what we believe about abortion is true (that it kills an innocent human being), then it becomes an important – if not the most important – social justice issue of our day. There are 3,315 unborn children killed each day.

What upsets me even more is that unlike more trendy social justice issues, Christians are not just apathetic about abortion, some are having abortions. Alan Guttmacher reports that 27% of abortions are committed by Catholics and 43% by Protestants. Christians are killing their own children.

The most dangerous place for a baby to be in America today is resting in her mother’s womb.

READ MORE...

37 Years Since Roe v. Wade


2,973 people died on September 11, 2001, as a result of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. That day will forever live on in infamy in the hearts and minds of Americans.

On the other hand, 3,000 babies are aborted in this country every day, including today, and most people think nothing of it. At least most people don't lose any sleep over it at night. Many Americans even wholeheartedly approve of and support the pro-abortion choice position which has resulted in the loss of 50 million lives since 1973.

Today marks the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Please take the time to pray for the following:

1. Pray for those mothers who are considering abortion. Pray that they will be touched by God's grace and will consider alternative options to abortion, such as adoption. Pray their needs will be met.

2. Pray for those mothers who have had abortions. Pray they will find forgiveness and healing in Christ. Pray they may use their tragic experience as a powerful voice in defense of the unborn.

3. Pray for our government. Pray for our leaders that they would come to their senses and put an end to the abortion holocaust occurring within our own country. Pray they would use the power God has given them to bring glory and honor to His name.

4. Pray for those in this country who still support abortion. Pray they would understand the moral implications of abortion, that it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being simply because she is in the way and can't defend herself. Pray they would educate themselves regarding the nature of abortion.

Here are some resources to educate yourself:

Pro-Life Websites:

Abortion Changes You
The Case for Life
Life Training Institute
Stand to Reason Resources

Pro-Life Audio:

Pro-Life Ethics by Scott Klusendorf
A Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf

Pro-Life Books:

The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf
Defending Life by Francis Beckwith
Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments by Randy Alcorn
Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn

May God have mercy on our nation in spite of the genocide we support.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blogs For Life Conference 2010


The 5th annual Blogs for Life Conference will be this Friday from 8:30 to 11:30a EST, hosted online by the Family Research Council.

Bloggers can live stream the conference on their sites. Get the embed code here.

TheLIVE Stream Webcast will be posted here at Apologetic Junkie for you to view throughout the morning.

The Debate Audio is Finally Here!

On December 9, 2009, Freethought Alliance hosted a debate at the Costa Mesa Civic Center titled "Does the God of the Bible Exist?" It was a 3-on-3 panel discussion between Christians and atheists.

The Christian side included Dr. Clay Jones from Biola University, Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe, and our own Dan Grossenbach from Apologetic Junkie. The atheist panel included Dr. Bruce Flamm from the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics group, Mark Smith, and Alex Uzdavines.

Let me warn you in advance about this debate. The debate was quite lively and unconventional, which is why some would prefer to label it a panel discussion (or even a street fight!). The structure of this "debate" made a real debate nearly impossible. Unfortunately rhetoric often prevailed over reason and prevented genuine dialogue from taking place.

Full MP3 Debate Audio here.

In addition, due to the nature of the debate we thought it would be helpful to sit down with Dr. Clay Jones and Dan Grossenbach for a post-debate interview. Be sure to listen to their thoughts and reflections regarding the debate. It takes a lot more time to answer the difficult questions than it does to ask them. Hopefully this interview will answer the questions that time, format, and interruptions did not allow.

Full MP3 Post-Debate Audio Interview here.

We appreciate comments and feedback. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's All About Me!

Is this what your church worship sounds like?

video

If so, there could be a problem!

When you think of "worship" think of "worth-ship." Worship should ascribe worth to God. A problem that Christians have noticed with  many contemporary worship songs is that they are inherently narcissistic. In other words, "me-centered." The following is just one example of a modern worship song that seems to be more focused on the emotional feelings of the worshiper rather than the God who is to be praised:

Hungry I come to you for I know you satisfy
I am empty but I know your love does not run dry

And so I wait for you, so I wait for you
I’m falling on my knees, offering all of me
Jesus You’re all this heart is living for

Broken I run to you for Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life

This is the song of an empty-self. Notice that the subject in every single sentence above is the worshiper, not the one to whom worship should be ascribed! One of the things I have come to appreciate is the beauty and theological richness contained in older hymns and worship lyrics. Not only are classic hymns more likely to fulfill the purpose of worship, that is, ascribe worth to God, but they are also much more capable of teaching theological truth through their lyrics which is an added benefit for the congregation.

Contrast the above song with this classic hymn:

Holy, holy,holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
Only thou are holy; there is none besides thee
Perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

Wow! Now that's what I call worship!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Same-Sex Marriage


(Stand to Reason) by Greg Koukl

Either there’s a natural teleology to marriage or there’s not

Who are you to say?”  That challenge works both ways.  First, if my disapproval isn’t legitimate, then why is my approval legitimate?  If I don’t have the right to judge something wrong (“Who are you to say?”), I certainly don’t have the right to judge it right (“Who am I to say?”).  Second, why is it that I can’t make a moral judgment here, but apparently you can?

The appeal for a change in marriage laws is an attempt to change the moral consensus about homosexuality.

You invite me to make a moral judgment, then you challenge my right to make a judgment when I don’t give the answer you want.  Who am I to judge? You asked for the peoples’ moral opinion by asking for the people to vote on an initiative giving homosexual unions equal status with heterosexual unions.

Why should homosexuals be allowed to marry?  Because it’s “fair.”  In what sense is the present situation unfair?  Because homosexual relationships don’t get legal/social recognition equal with heterosexual relationships.  You’re right, they don’t, but why is that unfair?  Because those relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships?  But that’s the very thing under dispute.

If there is no natural teleology to marriage and families, then the definition of marriage is simply a matter of convention.  We can define it how we want.  Now, I don’t accept that view, but even if I did, this doesn’t help homosexual marriage.  Society has voted, and they’ve voted it out.  On what grounds do you appeal for a change?  Moral grounds?  You’ve surrendered that opportunity when you claim that there is no right or wrong definition of marriage.  If so, I have no moral obligation to opt for one view over another.   If marriage is merely defined by society, well then, we voted and defined it as one man and one woman.  You asked for a social consensus, you got it. 

Second, if marriage is merely what we define it then what keeps us from expanding the definition of marriage beyond the inclusion of homosexuality to other kinds of relationships?  Can I marry my daughter, or another man and his wife?  Can two men marry the same woman simultaneously?  Believe me, these aren’t outlandish examples.  There are already groups moving for further redefinition if that’s all marriage is.  There is no limit to how marriage might be defined in this view.

The only way a claim of injustice or unfairness can stick is if we have a moral obligation to view all sexual or emotional combinations as equal.  But that depends on an objective standard, and that is a concept already jettisoned when society is asked to define marriage as they wish.  If there’s a moral standard of fairness to appeal to, then there’s a moral standard for marriage to appeal to, as well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How NOT to Repond to the Disaster in Haiti

The following commentary is offered by Pat Robertson regarding the recent earthquake in Haiti:

video

Melinda Penner of Stand to Reason gave the following reaction:

It's unfortunate that Pat Robertson thinks he has insight into God's hidden actions to claim that the Haiti earthquake is a consequence of a pact with the Devil Hatians made two centuries ago. He may be right in some respects, like the evil nature of voodoo, but drawing a cause and effect requires insight into God's intentions that we have no reason to believe Robertson has. God has judged nations, we know from His revelation, but that provides no grounds at all to interpret any specific disaster as judgment. Earthquakes may be a natural phenomenon God could use, but it doesn't follow at all that any particular earthquake is a judgment of God's unless He tells us. Jeremiah 29:23 expresses God's offense at an instance of falsely speaking on His behalf. This shows us that it's a serious thing to claim to speak for God, and we should only do so on the proper authority of His revelation. Robertson provides us claim or reason to think he has that knowledge. This is his own speculation. Despite the compassion Robertson also expressed in his claim, which is no doubt sincere and he is praying for these suffering people, he was out of line in any attempt to speak for God in this instance.

Apologetic Junkie would like to encourage you to please donate to help Haiti through Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, or another charitable organization.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apologetics: Why Your Church Needs It


(Rzim.org) by J.M. Njoroge

The ambiguity of the word apologetics provides the apologist with a natural icebreaker in public or private conversations on the topic: the apologist does not exist to “apologize” for being a Christian, or indeed for anything else. The assumption behind the pun is that the listeners would have a fair understanding of what apologetics is even if they cannot attach a formal definition to the concept. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always accurate.

During a conversation at a major apologetics event recently held in a large church, an attendee asked me what “apologetics” meant. I explained to her that apologetics is the branch of Christian theology that seeks to address the intellectual obstacles that keep people from taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ seriously. I gave her some examples of questions that are important in the context of apologetics. For example, why does evil exist if the world was created by an all-good, all-powerful God? How do we know Christianity is true in light of the numerous religions that exist in the world? 


I finished my answer to her by quoting 1 Peter 3:15, which instructs us to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason for the hope that is within us. Her reaction was surprising. 

READ MORE...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Religion is the Cause of All Evils in this World" - really?

(Scriptoriumdaily.com) by Allen Yeh

After 9/11, it became very fashionable for atheists to say, “Religion is the cause of all evils in this world; if we just got rid of religion, we would solve a lot of our problems.” (in fact, I had some guy say this to me at a wedding I attended recently—what a time to bring up religious controversy—at a wedding of all places!)

I once heard someone respond thusly: the solution to bad religion is not no religion, it is good religion. Just as the solution to bad/corrupt business (e.g. Enron) is not to get rid of businesses altogether—it is to instill good business practices! Getting rid of religion is throwing out the baby with the bathwater!

I like that.

And here is my own response to the “religion is the problem” argument:

We’ve already had our great experiment of eradicating religion. It was called the twentieth century, the most secular century in the history of mankind. What happened? Let’s see… Marxism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, two World Wars, the Holocaust and other genocides, the atomic bomb, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the bloodiest century in human history… all in the name of secularism and scientific “progress”.

Don’t tell me that religion is the problem, or as Marx said, the “opiate of the masses.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

IN THE NEWS - Bibles Banned


Bibles Banned in Bible Belt

Giving away Bibles to school children is unconstitutional.

That’s the law of the land in Wilson County, Tennessee – a suburb of Nashville. The school board was facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union over a long-time tradition.

Every year, fifth grade students were presented free Bibles from The Gideons International.

The Gideons are based in Nashville and have been giving away pocket-sized copies of The New Testament, the Proverbs and Psalms for decades. Last year, they distributed more than 11 million Bibles.

Boys and girls in Wilson County were not required to take the Bibles but the parents of one child complained. They admit their daughter was not forced to accept the Bible but the girl was afraid of being singled out for ridicule had she refused.

That’s when the ACLU got involved.

Read The Full Article by Todd Starnes here