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Engage the Battle

An excellent quotation from Martin Luther that, I think, goes to the point why Christians emphasize some biblical issues now that garnered less attention in the past:

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 15, 2005

Prescribing the Right Medicine

In a lecture at Fuller Seminary last year, Brian McLaren declared that he had stopped using apologetics because it didn't work. His example presented as the breaking point for him was a conversation with someone struggling with a personal loss and this experience with suffering and evil in his life. McLaren used Lewis' "Lord, Liar, Lunatic" argument on him, which didn't help. So McLaren said he realized then that all these pat answers from apologetics were worthless.

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 15, 2005

On Destructive Biotechnologies, We Agree with Feminists and Environmentalists

Another insight from today's Biotech Century Conference: Christians can use biotech issues to build common ground with some (perhaps) unlikely allies. For example, some feminists oppose human cloning because of its impact on a woman's health.

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 14, 2005

The Impossible Gospel of Mormonism

In discussions about the nature of salvation, Mormons will often point to James 2:17 & 26 ("faith without works is dead") as biblical support that salvation requires faith and works. For the Mormon, this echoes the teaching of the Book of Mormon: "for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). When a Mormon cites the 2 Nephi passage, simply respond with a question: What does the Book of Mormon mean by "all we can do?"

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 14, 2005

What We Can't Not Know

Francis Schaeffer used a phrase "the back of the book" to talk about man's nature. Because every single person is made by God, there are certain things that are true for all people. As Christians we know those things and can make wise use of them when talking to a non-Christian. One of these facts is what Greg calls "moral motions." Every person is a moral being and J. Budziszewski is the expert on natural law - what we can't not know.

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 14, 2005

Meaningful Worship

World Magazine reports on the new CD by the band Jars of Clay that updates the tunes of traditional hymns specifically because the words are so much more meaningful with much more depth than most contemporary worship songs.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 14, 2005

Being Generous: Acts 4: 32-37


Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 9, 2005

The Rise of the Evangelicals

"Evangelical" is a Christian label tossed around so often that I think it's become fairly useless because it's so indistinct. I'm never quite sure what it means to the person using it except that it's supposed to be a label of approval kind of like "born-again" became in the 70s: "I'm not that kind of Christian, I'm this kind of Christian."

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 9, 2005

<em>Total Truth</em>

Allthings2All has an interview with the author of one of our favorite recent books Total Truth. It's a comprehensive and very readable history of the development of Christianity in America and a worldview development lesson. How much does our culture influence how Christians think and experience the world? Probably more than you'd think. We're fish in water and it's hard to evaluate how wet we feel, but Nancy Pearcey helps us dry off and take stock.

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 8, 2005

Tactics and Common Ground

During interactions with others, I've found it helpful to try to frame my comments in the context of the other person's interests, discipline, or profession. For example, when an attorney tells me he won?t believe in the soul because it can't be measure physically, I ask him how can he prove in court that a motive exists when it cannot be measured physically, either. Even the laws that are the stock in trade of his profession are not physical. They can't be weighed; they have no chemical composition; they aren?t located in space.

Blog Post | Apologetics | Melinda Penner | June 8, 2005