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From the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

November 8th, 2013 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Christianity Comments Off

 

Earlier today we posted a You Tube clip of gay activist Dan Savage expounding his views on abortion.  We feel that the entire programme  - from the Festival of Dangerous Ideas – is well worth watching.  It comes from the Sydney Opera House with a large studio audience and panelists discussing the collapse of Western Civilisation, Internet Hook-ups, Feminism and Marriage among other topics.  Watch the fearless Peter Hitchens take on a liberal audience and sneering fellow-panelists with his staunchly Christian views.  We cannot but feel that he has been deliberately set up.  Note too that the constant interruptions by Dan Savage were allowed by the host, whereas Peter Hitchens' sole interruption was not.

 

Peter, we salute you!

Watch here

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A Christian Manifesto from a generation ago: Francis Schaeffer

July 26th, 2013 Jill Posted in Apologetics Comments Off

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‘Social justice’ apart from evangelization drives youth away from Christianity, says new study

July 8th, 2013 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Evangelism Comments Off

By Peter Baklinski, LifeSite News

When a Christian apologetics ministry asked college atheists nationwide why they had abandoned religion, it was “startled” by the responses.

“Most of our participants had not chosen their worldview from ideologically neutral positions at all, but in reaction to Christianity. Not Islam. Not Buddhism. Christianity,” wrote Larry Alex Taunton, founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation, in a piece that appeared in The Atlantic last month.

Atheists revealed that while many of them grew up attending church where they heard “plenty of messages encouraging ‘social justice,’ community involvement, and ‘being good’…they seldom saw the relationship between that message, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.”
 
"The connection between Jesus and a person's life was not clear,” said one atheist named Stephanie.

“This is an incisive critique,” said Taunton. Stephanie “seems to have intuitively understood that the church does not exist simply to address social ills, but to proclaim the teachings of its Founder, Jesus Christ, and their relevance to the world. Since Stephanie did not see that connection, she saw little incentive to stay.”

Many atheists also revealed that they had once attended church with the hope of having light shed on life’s big questions, only to find services that were “largely shallow, harmless, and ultimately irrelevant.”

"Church became all about ceremony, handholding, and kumbaya," said one atheist named Phil. "I missed my old youth pastor. He actually knew the Bible."

"Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven't seen too much of that,” said another atheist named Michael, a political science major at Dartmouth.

Read here


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Of First Importance: The Cross and Resurrection at the Center

March 29th, 2013 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Holy Week Comments Off

By Albert Mohler

The Christian faith is not a mere collection of doctrines — a bag of truths. Christianity is a comprehensive truth claim that encompasses every aspect of revealed doctrine, but is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as the apostolic preaching makes clear, the gospel is the priority.

The Apostle Paul affirms this priority when he writes to the Christians in Corinth. In the opening verses of1 Corinthians 15, Paul sets out his case:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Paul points directly to the events of the cross and resurrection of Christ. He is not concerned with just any gospel, but with the only gospel that saves. This is “the gospel I preached to you,” Paul reminds the Corinthians. The same Paul who so forcefully warned the Galatians against accepting any false gospel reminds the church at Corinth that the very “gospel I preached to you” is the gospel “by which you are being saved.” Their stewardship of the gospel is underlined in Paul’s words, “if you hold fast to the word I preached to you.”
 
Read here
 
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Dan Cathy And The Silence Of Many Churches

August 9th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Gay Activism Comments Off

From Bob Russell Ministries

Chick-fil-A reported record sales last Wednesday as thousands showed support for owner Dan Cathy and his stance on Biblical marriage. However, while individual believers stood in long lines to publicly endorse God’s plan for the family and vent their frustration at the media’s criticism of Dan Cathy’s Biblical stance, a number of churches seemed to opt out of the conflict.

While the mayors of three large cities and a few University administrators were publicly threatening to ban Chick-fil-A, and while the discussion was the hot news topic of the week, there were many ministers who said little or nothing at all. Church members from across the country are puzzled as to why. When a Christian brother is beaten up by the world and left wounded on the side of the road why would church leaders just pass by on the other side and not get involved?

[...]  Not long ago a young Christian blogger in North Carolina wrote an article entitled “How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation.” She was upset that the controversial initiative to ban gay marriage in North Carolina had alienated so many. It was painfully polarizing. She pleaded for “less waging war and more washing feet.” The cultural war made her feel “awkward” in her circle of friends.

Really? You’re “tired”? Afraid to feel “awkward”? Tell that to John the Baptist who lost his life speaking out against the sexual sins of the king. Or what about Stephen or James or Peter or Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Jim Elliot or Nate Saint or scores of other martyrs who have lost their lives standing for Christ and His Word. Did Jesus condemn John the Baptist for speaking out against a politician? No. Jesus said Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11) We are commanded to be faithful unto death. Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me, AND MY WORDS,… the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in His father’s glory.” (Mark 8:38)
 
Read here
 
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Heaven on earth?

October 20th, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics Comments Off

Andrea Minichiello WilliamsBy Andrea Minichiello Williams, Christian Concern

King Solomon, considered by the Bible to be the wisest man in his time, had deep insight into the hearts of men. He saw our longing for eternity, for something other than ourselves, for a higher experience than our present condition affords us.

Mankind started in the Garden of Eden, not in a fallen world. In the Hebrew language, Eden means pleasure, delight or paradise. We still long for this now. We were created for eternity, and we still look towards heavenly realities. It is impossible to take God out of the heart of man.

This innate longing in mankind has led to many attempts to create a utopian world. Some have attempted to do this without God. All of these attempts have ended in dismal failure. They have been counterfeits of the real thing, failing to reflect the heart of God towards his creation.

The attempt by communists in the last century to create a society where wealth was equally distributed failed dramatically, and at great cost. As a result, our own generation thought that communism was finished. Unfortunately, the spirit behind communism lives on, and ideologies inspired by this spirit are guiding public discourse in the UK and across the West.

Moral relativism, multi-culturalism, socialism, secularism, humanism, the sexual revolution, the drive for equality and diversity and the iron grip of political correctness are all manifestations of this same utopian spirit.

Read here

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MSNBC Host Makes Rob Bell Squirm: “You’re Amending The Gospel So That It’s Palatable!”

October 5th, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics Comments Off

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Dawkins defends decision not to debate apologist William Lane Craig

October 1st, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Atheism Comments Off

Richard DawkinsBy Eryn Sun, Christian Post

Richard Dawkins has again refused to debate world-renowned apologist William Lane Craig on the rationality of faith and the existence of God.
 
Many believe that Craig’s upcoming “Reasonable Faith” tour in the UK is intimidating Dawkins, who refuses to engage on a one-on-one talk with the leading Christian apologist, famous for his revival of the Kalam cosmological argument which asserts that God caused the universe to first exist.
 
But Dawkins, defending his decision, previously shared during a panel that Craig was not a worthy opponent.
 
“I always said when invited to do debates that I would be happy to debate a bishop, a cardinal, a pope, an archbishop, indeed I have done those, but I don’t take on creationists and I don’t take on people whose only claim to fame is that they are professional debaters; they’ve got to have something more than that. I’m busy.”
 
Though the author of The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion found Craig’s background insubstantial, many of his fellow atheists have debated with the theologian, including Bart Ehrman, Richard Taylor, and two of the “Four Horsemen” of New Atheism, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.
 
In fact, Harris once described Craig as “the one Christian apologist who has put the fear of God into many of [his] fellow atheists”.
 
Read here
 
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Don’t miss William Lane Craig at Westminster Central Hall, London

September 9th, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics, News Comments Off

From Premier Events

Monday, 17 October 2011 from 7.30pm to 10pm
Westminster Central Hall, Storeys Gate
London, SW1H 9NH

"Does God Exist?"
The Great Debate between William Lane Craig and Stephen Law

William Lane Craig is a renowned Christian Philosopher from America and one of the most significant defenders of Christianity in the world, having debated the world's leading atheists, inclusing Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.

Sam Harris recently described William as "the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists."

At Premier's invitation, Crais is visiting the UK from 17-to-26 October for an exciting line-up of lecutres on the truth of Christianity and debates with atheists on the existance of God.

The Tour begins at Westminster Central Hall, London on Monday, 17 October at 7:30pm and will be hosted by Premier Christian Radio's "Unbelievable?" presenter, Justin Brierley. William Lane Craig will be debating the atheist philosopher, Stephen Law, on the topic: "Does God Exist?".

The tour has already been making waves in the media as some of the best known UK atheists, including Richard Dawkins, have refused invitations to step up and debate with Craig. Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist and President of the British Humanist Association, initially agreed to debate against Craig, but recently withdrew herself from the debate stating that she "had not realized the debating style of Mr. Craig."

What is making the UK's atheists so nervous? Find out by attending the first debate of the Tour as William Lane Craig presents compelling arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity.

This is also a perfect event for inviting sceptics and questioning friends and family to. You can forward this email on to your friends and family so that they too can book tickets.

Tickets are only £12.50 each. There is a special student price of £5 per ticket, however, you will need to own a valid student ID in order to qualify for the discounted price.

Don't miss this opportunity to see the world's leading defender of the intellectual case for Christianity in action this October by booking your tickets now!

For bookings and details of other venues see here

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Christianity the reason for West’s success, say the Chinese

May 31st, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Faith Comments Off

By Tom O'Gorman, Iona Institute

In the West we are doing our best to destroy our Christian heritage but in China, Chinese intellectuals are coming around to the view that it is precisely this heritage that has made the West so successful.

Former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Dominic Lawson, in a review in the Sunday Times of Niall Ferguson's new book, ‘Civilisation: The West and the Rest’, carries a quote from a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in which he tries to account for the success of the West, to date.

He said: “One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world.

“We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had.

“Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system.

“But in the past twenty years, we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful.

“The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”

Read here

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Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God

May 15th, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Atheism Comments Off

By Tim Ross, Telegraph

Richard Dawkins has made his name as the scourge of organised religion who branded the Roman Catholic Church “evil” and once called the Pope “a leering old villain in a frock”.

But he now stands accused of “cowardice” after refusing four invitations to debate the existence of God with a renowned Christian philosopher.
 
A war of words has broken out between the best selling author of The God Delusion, and his critics, who see his refusal to take on the American academic, William Lane Craig, as a “glaring” failure and a sign that he may be losing his nerve.
 
Prof Dawkins maintains that Prof Craig is not a figure worthy of his attention and has reportedly said that such a contest would “look good” on his opponent’s CV but not on his own.
 
An emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, Prof Dawkins last year supported a plan to charge Pope Benedict XVI with crimes against humanity for his alleged involvement in the cover-up of sex abuse by Catholic priests.
 
Prof Craig is a research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, in California, and the author of 30 books and hundreds of scholarly articles on Christianity.

He has debated with leading thinkers including Daniel Dennett, A.C.Grayling, Christopher Hitchens, Lewis Wolpert and Sam Harris.

Prof Craig is due to visit Britain in October this year. Four invitations to take part in public debates were sent to Prof Dawkins from The British Humanist Association, The Cambridge Debating Union, the Oxford Christian Union and Premier Radio.

Read here

Read Cranmer here


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Turning the Tables on Atheists (Part 1)

May 13th, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Atheism Comments Off

By Karna Swanson, Zenit

What would happen if Christians turned the tables on atheists and challenged them on their belief that God doesn't exist?

This is the premise of the book "The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism," written by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley (Our Sunday Visitor), in which the internal contradictions of a non-belief in God, as well as the various incoherencies in the atheistic worldview, are exposed.

According to Madrid, "atheists are not accustomed to Christians subjecting atheism to a rigorous critique on its own merits. This is why our primary goal was to take a different approach by providing a philosophical critique of atheism itself."

Madrid is the author or editor of 16 books, the director of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College, the publisher of Envoy Magazine, and host of the Thursday edition of EWTN Radio’s "Open Line" broadcast (3-5 p.m. ET).

In this interview with ZENIT, Madrid discusses the primary goals of writing "The Godless Delusion," as well as the precarious foundations of the naturalistic morality of atheism.

ZENIT: As you state in your book, atheists have been around for years, but there have also been various Catholic and Protestant responses to atheism. What is unique about your approach to atheism and your understanding of atheists?

Read the rest of this entry »

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An Atheist’s Conversion

March 20th, 2011 Lisa Posted in Apologetics Comments Off

Phillip Jensen: Sydney Anglicans
March 20th, 2011

Recently an atheist, philosophy professor has recounted his repentance in the magazine “Philosophy Now”.

He is Professor Emeritus Joel Marks of the University of New Haven, Connecticut.   A moralist and ethicist, he regularly writes a column: “Moral Moments”.   He is a vegan by ethical persuasion, quite passionately opposed to vivisection and other common uses of animals.  His basic position in ethical debate has been to oppose utilitarianism in favour of Kantian ethics.  He describes his life prior to his conversion as: “morality has been the essence of my existence, both personally and professionally.”

However, Prof. Marks has come to understand the error of his years of atheistic, philosophical, moral arguments.   Turning his philosophic eye on his “own largely unexamined assumption”, he goes so far as to call himself “a moral fool”.  His long standing religious prejudice shows when he describes his conversion as “my shocking epiphany that the religious fundamentalists are correct: without God, there is no morality.” [emphasis added]  Read here

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Unreasonable Doubt

February 13th, 2011 Lisa Posted in Apologetics, Culture, From Lisa's Lookout Comments Off

The reasons for unbelief are more complex than many atheists let on.

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When teaching about virtues and the moral life, I often think of a discussion I had with a college friend

February 8th, 2011 Lisa Posted in Apologetics, Culture, Ethics, From Lisa's Lookout Comments Off

Don't Impose Your Morality on Me!   E. SRI

He was taking an ethics class with a professor who promoted moral relativism – the notion that there is no objective moral truth, no right or wrong. According to a relativist, all truth claims are subjective, merely reflecting one's own feelings, opinions, or desires. A relativist might say, "You can have 'your truth' and I can have 'my truth,' but there is no 'the truth' to which we are all accountable." 

In a relativistic culture like our own, it is quite difficult to talk about morality, especially if one believes in a moral standard that applies to all people. For example, if you try to defend Catholic teaching on moral issues such as abortion, premarital sex, or homosexuality with your coworker Joe during a lunch break, you are likely to be dismissed as rigid, fundamentalist, judgmental, and intolerant: "That might be your opinion, but don't impose your morality on me!"   Read here

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Archbishop of Canterbury: Europe’s confidence comes from the Gospel

February 3rd, 2011 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Archbishop Of Canterbury Comments Off

By Anna Arco, Catholic Herald

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams told members of the Belgian University of Leuven that Christian universities have a responsibility to remind Europe of its Christian roots.
 
He was speaking yesterday at a ceremony honouring contributours to Europe. He was awarded an honorary degree for his contribution as a public theologian.
 
Dr Williams spoke of a “long record of European triumphalism” the cultural echoes of which are still very clear “not least in the bland assumption often made the European secularism is the destined future of the rest of the world”. He said Europeans needed to be reminded Christianity is not a product of our civilisation but that our civilisation is the product of Christianity.
 
He said:
 
Read here
 
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The man who risked everything to oppose the culture of death

January 25th, 2011 Lisa Posted in Apologetics, Culture, From Lisa's Lookout Comments Off

January 24, 2011 (Breakpoint.org) – You have probably never heard of Lothar Kreyssig—I hadn’t until recently. Yet, after hearing his story, I realized Kreyssig was a hero for our times: a man whom, at almost unbelievable risk, stood up for the sanctity of human life.

In October, 1939, the Third Reich created what came to be known as the “Action T4” program. In furtherance of what the Nazis called “racial hygiene,” Reich bureaucrats, working with doctors, were authorized to identify and kill those deemed to be “unworthy of life,” that is, institutionalized patients with “severe disabilities.”

Of course, expressions like “unworthy” and even “severe” are subjective. In reality, they were a license for mass murder. Hitler called for at least 70,000 people to be killed under this program, so doctors and officials set about meeting the Fuhrer’s quotas.  Read Charles Colson here

 

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Must We Believe the Virgin Birth?

December 22nd, 2010 Jill Posted in Advent, Apologetics Comments Off

By Albert Mohler

In one of his columns for The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof once pointed to belief in the Virgin Birth as evidence that conservative Christians are “less intellectual.” Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Is belief in the Virgin Birth really necessary?

Kristof is absolutely aghast that so many Americans believe in the Virgin Birth. “The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time,” he explains, and the percentage of Americans who believe in the Virgin Birth “actually rose five points in the latest poll.” Yikes! Is this evidence of secular backsliding?

“The Virgin Mary is an interesting prism through which to examine America’s emphasis on faith,” Kristof argues, “because most Biblical scholars regard the evidence for the Virgin Birth … as so shaky that it pretty much has to be a leap of faith.” Here’s a little hint: Anytime you hear a claim about what “most Biblical scholars” believe, check on just who these illustrious scholars really are. In Kristof’s case, he is only concerned about liberal scholars like Hans Kung, whose credentials as a Catholic theologian were revoked by the Vatican.

Read here

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History’s greatest male role model and a humbling lesson for feckless fathers today

December 21st, 2010 Jill Posted in Apologetics Comments Off

By Iain Duncan Smith

Over the last ­fortnight, many of us will have been enjoying the ­familiar ­delights of the school ­Nativity play, sharing the excitement that a new generation of children ­always brings to it.

Their costumes may be fashioned from blankets, tea-­towels and old dressing-gown cords but you can see from their rapt expressions that the Christmas Story has lost none of its power and magic.

With Mother and the Christ Child holding centre stage, the final tableau, helped perhaps by a bit of prompting from ­parents and teachers, slowly assembles. On come the shepherds, ­earnestly clutching their crooks and toy lambs, closely followed by the three Wise Men, a riot of colour and gold gift-wrap.

It’s such a familiar and enduring image that most of us can conjure it from memory in a moment. But it’s an image that I believe runs the real risk of overlooking the most important character of all, an ­individual whose vital role in shaping the Christian message is downplayed and yet whose story couldn’t be more important, or more significant, in today’s society.

Read here

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Other faiths love the nativity story, says Dr Williams

December 10th, 2010 Jill Posted in Apologetics, Religious Liberty Comments Off

by Ed Beavon, Church Times

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised attempts to ban nativity plays and other Christmas activities. People of other faiths and cultures “love the story”, he says.

In the Christmas issue of the Radio Times, Dr Williams writes: “The weary annual attempts by right-thinking people in Britain to ban or discourage nativity plays or public carol-singing out of sensitivity to the supposed tender consciences of other religions fail to notice that most people of other religions and cultures both love the story and respect the message.”

He describes Christmas as one of the “great European exports”, and says that the story of the nativity “is loved even in non-Christian contexts”. One of the “best and most sensitive recent film retellings of the story was made by an Iranian Muslim company”.

Dr Williams also writes about the theological implications of the Christmas story, which “should make us think twice about giving up on the human heart’s capacity for goodness and faith”.

Read here

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