This is part two of my series on psychopaths and Christianity. For the first article on Ted Bundy, click here. Evangelical Christians love their trophy conversions, dramatic stories of notorious sinners that find their way to the foot of the cross. For example, forty years ago I was fascinated by Run Baby Run, the story […]
What’s Christianity’s biggest weakness? Evidence? Or Poor Diplomats?
This afternoon, I posted the following survey on Twitter: Most skeptics of Christianity are not skeptics primarily because of the poor quality of apologetic evidence but rather because of the poor quality of Christian disciples. — Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) September 15, 2019 Feel free to vote there. But I’d also like to hear your voice […]
Jesus and the Devil’s Music
When I was a kid back in the 1980s, I had a somewhat conflicted relationship with “secular” music. Two of the first albums/cassettes in my collection (c. 1981-2) were “secular”: The Who, Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy and Journey, Escape. And truth be known, they both blew away Petra, Never Say Die despite my mom’s attempt to […]
Should Christian evangelists share their doubts during the altar call?
Today, my friend Steve (tireless critic of Ravi Zacharias) tweeted the following question to me: “When a Christian is evangelizing, is it OK for them to say to their audience right before the invitation, “Full disclosure, I’m having some bothersome doubts about my religion today. But, organ player, let’s do it anyway, One-two-three-four ‘Just as […]
Your poor Christian witness today could make atheists a century from now
There’s a key moment in the film Gladiator where the character Maximus (Russell Crowe) observes, “Brothers, what we do in life, echoes in eternity.” You might equally say that it echoes in history, spreading out like ripples on a pond. An effective Christian witness can tell a powerful story of faith which shapes lives for […]
Do not create unnecessary stumbling blocks to Christian faith
In my opinion, one of the absolute biggest mistakes that Christians make occurs when, in the midst of sharing their faith, they include an unnecessary stumbling block as part of the essential package. To be sure, mere Christianity has its share of genuine and non-negotiable stumbling blocks. Among them, I would suggest, are doctrines of sin, […]
Your Child, the Martyr
Tertullian famously said, the blood of the martyrs is seed. Indeed, the early church was built on the witness of early Christians with many giving their lives for their faith. Nor is persecution a thing of the past. Every year, thousands of Christians around the world are persecuted or even martyred for their faith. But […]
How I wore evangelistic T-shirts in high school to try and save … myself
In my book What’s So Confusing About Grace? I journey through several different ways of thinking about salvation that I held growing up (and into adulthood). Along the way, I summarize several “laws” that I came to believe were essential to salvation, including that which I call “Law 5”: Law 5: If you are ashamed of Jesus, […]
The Solution to Christians Becoming Atheists (Part 1)
In this article, I continue a conversation with John Marriott on Christianity and atheism based on his new book, A Recipe for Disaster. In part one, Dr. Marriott summarized some of the catalysts that lead to Christians becoming atheists. In this article, we continue the conversation by turning to consider ways that Christians might seek […]
21st Century Martyr: A conversation on the legacy of John Allen Chau
On November 17th, 2018, 26-year-old Christian missionary John Allen Chau was killed while attempting to evangelize the native Sentinelese people of North Sentinel Island, India. The wake of the tragedy has seen intense global media interest in the case, with many people dismissing Chau as a fatuous thrillseeker, a dangerous zealot, a subversive colonialist … […]
Would you support a Muslim charity if it was more effective than a Christian one?
Here’s the situation I’d like to pose to my fellow Christians: when engaged in charitable giving, do you value the Christian status of an organization over the efficiency of that organization? And if so, by how much? That’s the general question, but now let me dress it up with some specifics. A terrible earthquake with […]
Would you disciple a Muslim child against his parents’ wishes?
Yesterday on Twitter I posed the following question: Your 15-year-old Muslim neighbor is really interested in Christianity, but his parents have forbidden him from going to church. He just asked you to help him defy his parents' wishes by secretly taking him to church youth group. Do you agree? — Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) February 19, […]
What’s the Value of Social Action in the Name of Jesus?
I recently posted the following survey on Twitter with some interesting results: Christians: you have $100 to donate to one of two organizations: Organization 1: provides clean drinking water to Saharan villagers.Organization 2: evangelizes Saharan villagers. Don't bother with "false dichotomy" replies. This is a real choice. So … who gets the $100? — Tentative Apologist […]
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Evangelism and the Ethics of Scaring the Hell out of Children
Father John Furniss, a nineteenth-century Catholic evangelist, became renowned as the “Apostle to the Children.” Father Furniss (and yes, that was his real name) was infamous for his lurid descriptions of children in hell. Consider this excerpt from his 1861 bestselling collection of nightmarish bedtime reading, The Sight of Hell: “See on the middle of that red-hot floor […]