It seems deconversions, from Christianity, are a popular thing now. Those that get attention on the Internet are people who are well known for one reason or another, and given these people advertise their trek away from Christianity, it’s worth considering their rationales for abandoning their faith in Christ. One I came across yesterday was a gentleman who attended the seminary my wife an I graduated from some years ago, Westminster Seminary Philadelphia. In addition to being a long-time Christian, he was also a musician, “Influential Christian Rapper and Westminster Theological Seminary Grad Denounces Christianity.” I would encourage anyone to carefully read his reverse testimony, and note why he decided to denounce his faith in Christ. (more…)
I love and respect Tim Keller, immensely. Not only was he our pre-marital counselor when my wife and I were in seminary back in 1987, but his teaching has been a significant blessing to me both theologically and apologetically. I also pray for him daily as he deals with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. However, when he wades into discussions of politics he often loses me. Over the years I’ve always questioned the way he focuses on “social justice.” The phrase is loaded with political and ideological baggage, specifically Marxist baggage, and I do not believe Christians should use it. All justice is by definition social, so there is no need to use the phrase, and when they do Christians play into the hands of the leftist mob that dominates so much of political and cultural discourse. But here I want to address the issue of Keller’s moral equivalence between left and right. (more…)
The first step toward reenchantment is to reawaken within ourselves and others the deeper desires of the heart for truth, goodness, and beauty, which in turn will arouse the heart’s deepest desire—a desire and love for God.
I will explain why this struck me, but first I need to explain the word “reenchantment.” The first part of the book deals with the disenchantment of the modern secular world. This world, it doesn’t surprise us, is de-spiritualized. It is portrayed as merely material, and if matter is all there is, then matter is all there is. There can be no such things as transcendent concepts of, for example, truth, goodness, and beauty. In other words, those concepts don’t actually exist. In a purely material universe they can only be subjective projections of human thoughts or feelings because matter can’t be true, or good, or beautiful. It can only be matter, stuff, atoms in motion. Truth, goodness, and beauty don’t exist “out there,” objectively in nature, they exist only in our minds. There is no way to refute this simple fact if materialism is the nature of things. (more…)
1984 ain’t got nothin’ on 2020! And now, apparently, 2021. While this is a blog committed to Christian apologetics, the defense of the truth claims of Christianity, it is also committed to the defense of Truth. Since we live in deeply secular, postmodern times, Truth as objective facts regarding the nature of things has become a casualty of the times. As a Christian parent who has sought to persuade my children that Christianity is true, I’ve also sought to persuade them that the truths of Christianity apply to all of life, including politics, culture, economics, everything. So I’ve brought them up in a proudly American home, and taught them that America is a providentially exceptional nation that has brought more liberty and prosperity to more people than any nation in the history of the world. While flawed, because all systems filled with fallen human beings are flawed, America is something worth standing for, and fighting for. As Benjamin Franklin was supposed to have said coming out of the constitutional convention, we have a republic, if we can keep it. (more…)
Living in a culture that is so obnoxiously secular, it’s easy to fall into a trap that somehow the life we now live is eternal life, that we have forever, that this life is the life that matters. I know that sounds silly. You may respond that of course everyone knows they’re going to die. Maybe. For most of us, though, as Freud argued, our own deaths are inconceivable to us. We can’t fathom that we’re actually going to ever die. I imagine we’ll refuse to believe it until the bitter end, but the end will come no matter how hard we deny it. Yet, deny it we do. So being reminded that we will not in fact live forever, that the Grim Reaper will come for us too, is an important aspect of living the Christian life. Again you may say, we shouldn’t have to be reminded of the obvious, but we sinners are a stubborn lot, and lying to ourselves is our default nature. So what has history to do with this? (more…)
Christians have been on the defensive ever since a certain itinerant preacher from Nazareth, having been crucified by Rome, was proclaimed by his followers to have come back from the dead. Even some of his followers weren’t quite sure though they were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus! A man, a Jew no less, said to be God, who died on a Roman cross for our sin, and coming back to life, was a very tough sell in the ancient world. We think it’s tough now, but we have no idea because we live in the residue of a world that’s been transformed by those events. The Apostle Paul said preaching a crucified Messiah was, “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” It was ridiculous and absurd, but even more, it was offensive, and disturbing that anyone would even make such a claim. So doubt about the Christian claims is baked into the cake of the very foundation of our faith. Yet doubt regarding these claims is often treated as if it must be avoided, or if it means something is wrong with a Christian who would doubt them. Personally, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have some doubt about whatever it is they believe. (more…)