Friday, January 31, 2014

The Limits of Apologetics: the Difference Between "Faith That" and "Faith In"

We are taking my daughter through an apologetics book by Norman Geisler and Joseph Holden, entitled Living Out Loud: Defending Your Faith, as part of her apologetics training in our home.

Last night we were discussing what apologetics does and what apologetics does not do and talked about it from the perspective of the differences between "faith that" and "faith in."  What do I mean by these phrases?

Well not too long ago I was in a conversation with a guy who is really big on evangelism, and gave me the perception that one doesn't need to have reasons for their faith. His thinking was that you just go after the conscience, where the "faith in" resides, and leave the rest to God. The problem with that is that the mind, where the faith that rests, is omitted, forgotten or even abandoned in this approach. What is the difference and why are BOTH important?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Update: A Shift in Focus

How many of us remember the Etch a Sketch? If you are a Boomer, or maybe part of the Busters, the Etch a Sketch was a familiar toy to doodle with the turning of the knobs. Blogs have the potential to be like the Etch a Sketch in some ways.

You remember going and turning the knobs and trying to come out with a design. If you look at the graphic for this posting, the person that did the picture of the folks from Mayberry RFD, there was a lot of small turns and adjustments to come out with such a masterpiece.

Blogs can be the same way. They can be reformatted, re-designed with colors, font changes or change addresses. They can also grow in postings and irrelevant postings can be deleted.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Responding to the "We're all Atheists" Objection

This posting is a follow up to the series I started on responses to the some of the "throw downs" given by those who profess to be naturalists or atheists. In this posting, I want to take the time to assess and evaluate the popular claim made by atheists, "We're all atheists, we just go one god further than you."  If you recall my fifth posting on my time at the Religious Freedom Monument, "Glen" also used this claim to try and stir things around. So let's get down to the real issue of this objection.

What is atheism?


According the break down of the word "atheism," "a" is an alpha privative to denoting negation, and meaning "no."  Take the alpha ("a") negation and add it to word, "theos" (God or god), and you have atheism being the worldview that denies the existence of God or gods.  What do I mean by "God" or "gods?" 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Do Believers Become Angels After They Die?

There seems to be some confusion about what happens to a believer when this life ends and they are ushered into Heaven. What is the confusion? Well meaning people comforting those who remain all of sudden forget what the Bible says, and say things like, "God now has another angel in Heaven to praise Him."  Is this right?  Is this biblical?  Let's "kick this around" and get to the "real issue."

Misconceptions.

Why is it that we hear believers comforting the grieving believer, and telling that their departed loved one is now another angel in heaven?  Christians are well meaning people, especially when we comfort someone who has lost a loved one, but we also need to be biblical in our worldview when we comfort someone. There are many sources for they erroneous affirmation of "angelic transference." Some people pick this bad "joo joo" up from talk show hosts with a new age worldview; or from reading books prescribing truth claims that are incompatible with the biblical worldview; or even TV shows like "Touched by an Angel,"where the word "angel" was the only thing it had in common with the Bible

I also looked on the web to see if there is anywhere someone might be getting this false idea. Unfortunately, I did not come up empty in my search. Unfortunately there was a good amount on websites from those who profess to hold to Christianity, biblical or not, I don't know. I will call it "cultural" if anything.

Looking at "cultural Christianity," I have found that does not embrace a biblical worldview.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Post List for Sunday January 12th's Outreach at the Religious Freedom Event in Fredericksburg, VA

In case you missed this week's series on my time at the Religious Freedom Monument this past Sunday, January 12th, here is a list of the postings so you can have them "at the ready."

Let me share you with you that it was an enlightening experience and one that gave some confidence in my listening and sharing with those who are antagonistic to the historical Christian faith.  

Atheism is a bankrupt worldview and folks who embrace such a worldview need to see this from those who are ready to engage the atheistic worldview with "gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15).  Here are the links to this week's posts.
If you have any questions about this event or want any information about how you can be a part of future outreach events please feel free to email me at rob@roblundberg.org.  I will be more than happy to answer your questions and share with you more about what we can offer you as a ministry.

Here is a recommended resource that will assist you in understanding the atheistic worldview and in the defense of the faith: 

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 5)

Yesterday I shared with you a part of the dialogue with one gal who confronted my question to Glen. I want to move now to my time with Glen at the Religious Freedom Monument.  Glen was the one who made the statement about the eagerness of atheists desiring to talk to someone about their skepticism, with the hopes of telling people how to move away from "blind or delusional faith" into the new age of "reason." Folks this is a serious wake up call.

What I mean by that is, they are looking to engage you and I with their skepticism.  Not too long ago I had a local pastor call me and told me he was visited by someone taking up the clarion call to draw people away from the faith. He was visiting his church during the morning worship service.

In this posting, I want to share with you three highlights of my time with "Glen" (no quotes following hereafter). We talked about several things in the half hour to forty five minutes, but they all hinged around these three highlights. I will share more subjects as they emerge in future postings.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 4)

When Atheist's Start with Reason from Evolution

We finally come to the fun part of this series, where I get to share some of the dialogue and some of the subject matter that seems popular to those embracing this "popular (new) atheism." Keeping the tools in the back of our minds, it is vitally important to keep your bearing when talking to people who reject the Creator, God, especially when someone comes bursting into the conversation and gets in your face with their own answer.

Let me back up a bit. When I asked "Glen" where reason came from he immediately told me, "Evolution."  But before we were able to pursue a dialogue, I want to tell you how one younger woman came bursting into the conversation, and how you can cordially diffuse an interrupting objection.

To "peel the onion" a little deeper about the dialogue, I mentioned earlier that there were four atheists involved in the visit. That is true, however two of them each wanted a copy of the first chapter of "True Reason" that I had also given to "Glen." I told them that the book was an intelligent response to Richard Dawkins and others; and that they could get the book on Amazon and in e-book format, if they wanted to pursue the topic further.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 3)

Where Do I Begin the Conversation?

In yesterday's post, I gave you three tools that you need when going out into the arena to dialogue with people who do not agree with our Christian worldview.  This morning I want to carry that a little further before sharing on some of the topics that Sunday's atheists wanted to talk about in a one on one dialogue. I will dovetail in future posts along with my responses to the gauntlets or "throw down cards" that atheists like to play in supporting their worldview.   Here are a few thoughts to keep in the back of your mind when you go out and be a case making ambassador for Christ.

Understanding Your "Arena" 

First off, like any ambassador, we need to understand the environment or what I like to say, "arena", where we are ministering. The event's central theme for this past Sunday was religious freedom. As I shared with you last time, I did a little research about this event, knowing it is an annual event and everyone was welcome.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 2)

Striking up a conversation 

This morning as I think about this past Sunday afternoon, I want to share with you how the conversation got started.  Some of my co-workers marvel at how I can start us a conversation on spiritual matters from just listening to something that another person says about faith, God, church, culture, right and wrong, or some other facsimile thereof.

There are a few tools to think about when it comes to striking up a spiritual conversation, that I use and you can too to be a case maker/apologist/evangelist.  They are prayer, be observant, and LISTEN.  Here is how they work.

Tool #1:  Prayer. This is the most important tool.  No matter whether you are at a coffee shop like Starbucks or Blackstone's Coffee, whenever you go out on mission to do evangelism or not, you always, always, always need to go prayerfully. Pray is a discipline in our Christian walk.  Some folks like to call it, "being prayed up."  But if you are maintaining a walk of continual prayer, you will find the Lord moving and shaking things up that will help with the other two tools.

This past week the story of Sunday's event hit the local paper and its internet page. When I first saw it, I asked the Lord, "okay, is this something where I can and possibly be an ambassador for the Christian faith? Or is this going to be a waste of time where I could be doing something better?  As it came to mind off and on throughout the remainder of the week, the thought for me to go became very strong on Saturday evening.  The rest is history.

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 1)

Yesterday afternoon I took advantage of an opportunity to go and check in on the annual Religious Freedom Celebration that takes place in Fredericksburg, VA.  It is an annual event, because it is here in the "Burg" where Thomas Jefferson penned his Religious Freedom Amendment.

The parade event started off at the train station, which marched about a mile and half to the Religious Freedom Monument. It would be there that the celebration was to take place. Those marching were people from some of the major religious representatives, which included a the local Muslim center and a few skeptical groups.  Yes, as you might imagine, the intentions for my going to this event. Those intentions were twofold.

My first intention was to see if this event would be enough to give a religious pulse for this area.  I found out that it wasn't any like that at all.  About 150 people marched, and let's just say that there was little to no evangelical representation in the parade. The Fredericksburg Humanists and the Fredericksburg skeptics and Coalition of Reason all brought up "the caboose."  Their reason for marching was to show that people who are skeptical about their "religious views" were not alone and that those groups were there to help them pick up their skeptical pieces.  Interesting.

My second intention was to see if I could get involved in some conversations with some of these folks.  And I would like to speak to this in this posting with just a couple of thoughts.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Responding to the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidences” Objection

Not too long ago, I was reading Michael Shermer’s preface to Peter Boghossian’s book, A Manual for Creating Atheists. In the preface, he criticizes belief in eternal life, Jesus, and God’s work of salvation as being extraordinary claims made by Bible believing Christians. He reminisced about how he used to be an evangelical Christian, but he found these claims unreasonable. After researching what he calls the truth found in science and ”reason” he became an atheist.

As I was reading Shermer’s remarks, I found something I could not resist addressing. Those of us who have found ourselves talking to someone embracing the “new” (as in popular) atheism may have heard this claim. But Shermer’s ridiculing religious faith was in the context of a popular atheist objection (may I use the term “gauntlet”?) that I want to address in this post: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  Where does this statement come from?