Prepared to Answer is holding a quality day long event for high school students on November 19th at Stoney Creek Baptist Church in London. The How Can You Know? conference is designed to give students a safe place to ask those hard questions about the Christian faith.
According to the Kaiser Foundation, a 2010 study showed that 69% of 11-14 year olds and 31% of 8-10 year olds had their own cell phones, while a study by Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org) determined that 52% of all children under 8 had access at home to smartphones, iPods, iPads, or other internet ready devices. It is no wonder that studies show that the average age for children to begin looking at internet pornography is between 7 and 12. Continue reading →
The following video went viral just after Valentines day this year. It is undeniably well made, visually effective, and emotionally compelling, but utterly deceptive?
It’s hard to argue with a message that promotes love for all people; one that the Christian certainly affirms. Jesus priority command for us after all was to “love your neighbour as yourself”. (Matt. 22:39) But even in saying this the critical thinker should raise the question: “what kind of love was Jesus talking about?”Continue reading →
St. Augustine said that Christians should realize that “wherever we may find truth, it is the Lord’s.” (On Christian Doctrine, II. 40) We know from the Bible that God’s design for sex is finding its expression within the safety and commitment of the marriage covenant. In a culture that has seen at least two full generations turn sex into a commodity for mere consumption, it is heartening to see a new generation waking up to the absolute destructive power of porn.
God’s Word warns us, and now even more science is showing us that porn is far from harmless, and even though in Christ we can always find forgiveness, the real life consequences are not easily dispensed with. Porn physically alters the brain, destroys capacity for genuine relational intimacy, and empties the soul. Christians addicted to porn need to find a safe place to confess and break free, and parents need to take vigilant steps to educate and safeguard their families.
I recently came across this movement to end porn called Fight The New Drug (www.fightthenewdrug.org). It isn’t Christian in its orientation, but there is good information related to the insidious nature of porn.
One of my wife’s colleagues put me on to this editorial from Phil Zuckerman in the LA Time yesterday entitled: “How Secular Family Values Stack Up“. It opens by highlighting some of the statistical trends in the growing demographic that self-identifies as “non-religious”. This is a statistic mirrored in Canada. As always, the statistics certainly warrant a closer look, Continue reading →
As I tucked my son in last night his parting words were an utterance of understandable childhood excitement: “Three more days till Christmas dad!”. My response was shamefully pragmatic: “Well, the faster you get to sleep the quicker it will get here!” Admittedly, in my haste to finish bedtime and put my feet up, I realize that once again I missed a teachable moment. (Not the first time and probably not the last). Continue reading →
“The story [of Jesus birth] is an invention because there was no empire-wide census and its seems highly unlikely that a Roman official would order people to be counted in cities their ancestors left years before.”
Bob Ripley, Life Beyond Belief, p. 52.
Was Jesus really born in a manger? Did his birth really take place as Matthew and Luke record? The popular skeptical reply is “of course not…everybody knows that!” And so writers like Ripley write Jesus’ birth off as myth, and the popular culture accepts this.
How does the Christian reply? Unfortunately and all too often we simply apply the resolution to continue believing it, no matter what anyone says. But shouldn’t we do better than that? Doesn’t our testimony go beyond just saying “I just believe” to saying “I know this is true”? Well, if Jesus’ birth is a fact of history, then there must necessarily be evidence we can point to to support that fact and counter claims to the contrary. And, there is. Continue reading →
In a radio interview, CNN’s Larry King was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could pick one figure from history. “Jesus Christ”, he said. When asked what he would most like to ask him, King replied, “I would like to ask him if he was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.”1 Continue reading →
The ‘blogosphere’ is buzzing after Bob Ripley’s recent announcement that he has officially moved from the ranks of Christian ministers to convinced atheists. The majority of comment is coming from atheist, secular humanist and free-thinking quarters who celebrate this as yet another example of what inevitably happens when Christians really start ‘thinking’ about their faith.
With the characteristic tone of the New Atheists, (minus the vitriolic edge) Ripley provides an eleven chapter catalogue of his reasons for rejecting God in favour of atheism. He characterizes his move as a “journey from faith to reason.” (p. 28, 120) Using borrowed arguments from his new mentors; Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, Ripley embraces their supposed intellectual oasis of rationalism which rejects belief in God as nothing more than irrational ‘humbug’.
The difference for Ripley however is that his story is one of deconversion; of someone who walked with Christian conviction most of his life only to now reject it as false. I respect Ripley for shunning the hypocrisy of being remembered as a very public Christian leader without making equally public his decision to renounce his Christian convictions. However, what troubles me is how Ripley frames his deconversion as a move from “faith to reason”. What his book actually demonstrates is that he has simply exchanged one set of faith commitments for another. Continue reading →
In his keynote address at the British National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2013, Dr. John Lennox told Christians to have courage to do their Christianity in public. Challenging the secular and New Atheist redefinition of faith, he reminded Christians that biblical faith is something concrete that can be presented for rational consideration. I’ve highlighted and summarized some of his remarks, but I would highly recommend you invest the 24 minutes necessary to hear his brilliant address.
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most important teachings of the Christian faith, and yet admittedly one of the most difficult to understand, especially for kids. Nothing caused me more trepidation during nightly bible reading with my kids than beginning to explain to them how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all God yet different persons. My approach was prayerful, slow but steady. Continue reading →
I’m not sure why it is always at bedtime that my kids ask me the hardest questions. Perhaps its because that’s when we finally slow down long enough for them to feel like it’s a good time to talk. Whatever the reason I’m thankful for these God orchestrated encounters, and I just pray that God gives me daily awareness so I don’t rush through them.
One evening after bible reading and prayer, my son asked yet another good kid question: “Dad, how come I can’t see God?” Young children think in such concrete terms, and so we need God’s wisdom to give them clear answers to their hard questions. In this case, I had recently read what I thought was a really answer written by J. P. Moreland. Continue reading →
Growing up I recall Saturdays where I would literally watch TV all day. I can still hear my parent’s warnings that always seemed to ring hollow: “All that TV is going to rot your brain!” Little did they know what a whiz I would become at useless TV trivia games. Kidding aside, it turns out that they were partly right, and partly wrong. Continue reading →
Christians often concern themselves this time of year over “keeping Christ in Christmas”, but of equal or even greater concern must be the question of “which Christ to keep?” It seems these days that we are in greater danger of preserving a counterfeit Christ than eliminating him altogether. Frankly, I’m not sure which is worse. Continue reading →
“These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.”
– G.K. Chesterton:
As I talk with young people about matters of faith, a common posture is one of confusion: “There are so many different beliefs; who’s to say that any ONE is right?” Within such an environment of uncertainty, how are we as Christians to equip our kids to deal with the relentless tide of competing and often contradictory ideas fed to them by our culture? Continue reading →
One of the most common objections from questioners about God is that belief seems irrational because there is no ‘proof’ that God exists. Given the cultural influences on our children’s minds, this objection may eventually come to us. How then as parents should we respond? Continue reading →
Some university students recently shared a challenge to their faith thrown at them by an atheist friend. The challenge went something like this: “Religion is just a crutch that evolution gave to help people cope with life in the world so they could survive…nothing more.” Continue reading →