July 31, 2008

The Facts about Faith: A New Day for Apologetics

"Christian apologists are beginning to make headway in telling the other side of the story."


People young and old are flocking to hear — and be changed by — winsome arguments for the Christian faith.
Troy Anderson
Christianity Today, July 2008, Vol. 52, No. 7
posted 7/02/2008 08:50AM


Despite all the recent attacks on faith --- or, perhaps, because of them --- these are definitely the best of times for Christian apologists such as Lee Strobel, William Lane Craig, Ben Witherington III, Darrell Bock, and J. P. Moreland. They are making documentaries, writing books, giving media interviews, attending debates and conferences, and presenting the public with what they say is a growing mountain of scientific and archaeological evidence documenting the truth of Christianity.

"There has been a resurgence in Christian apologetics as a direct result of the challenges Christianity has faced in the form of militant atheism in college classrooms, on the Internet, and in TV documentaries and best-selling books," says Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and most recently the author of The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ.

This spate of attacks has also kindled an unexpected surge of interest in apologetics among youth.

"It wasn't too many years ago that scholars were writing off apologetics because we live in a postmodern world where young people are not supposed to be interested in things like the historical Jesus," Strobel says. "The biggest shock is that among people who communicated to me that they had found faith in Christ through apologetics, the single biggest group was 16- to 24-year-olds."

As this fascination with the evidence for Christianity has piqued the popular mind, Craig, D'Souza, and others are debating some of the principal atheist philosophers and liberal Bible scholars at universities and other forums in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. These debates often draw thousands of college students. Young people are curious whether Christianity can be rationally defended.

Last year more than 2,000 students packed Central Hall in London to hear Craig debate biologist Louis Wolpert on the topic, "Is God a Delusion?" The moderator was BBC commentator John Humphrys, whom Craig calls the "Mike Wallace of Great Britain." "He was stunned," Craig says. "He said, 'As I look out at this sea of young faces before me, whether or not you believe in God, something is going on here. I have never seen this kind of interest before in religious things in Britain.' Everywhere we go the reaction has been that people want to hear both sides presented. And when [they are], they will come out in droves to hear a discussion of the existence of God or the evidence for Christianity."

Christian apologists are beginning to make headway in telling the other side of the story. D'Souza, a former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, has received international media exposure debating atheist pundit Christopher Hitchens, Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer, and others.

And although Strobel and others are appealing primarily to the intellect, people are responding with their hearts. Strobel says the recent aggression against the faith has provided a great opportunity to present Christ to non-Christians. Strobel is convinced apologetics helps bring people to God. He notes that more than 700 made professions of faith during his last book and speaking tour. Many people have a spiritual sticking point --- a tough question about the faith. And once they find an answer, Strobel says, it often turns out to be the last barrier between them and God.

July 24, 2008

the birthday blog :)

Let's start with something i posted previously. :)

Barabbas Speaks
by Edwinn McNeill Poteat
from the book "He Touched Them"

I heard a man explaining
(they said his name was Paul)
how Jesus, on that fateful day,
had died to save us all.

I found it hard to follow
His fine-spun theory,
but I am very, very sure
He died that day for me.

Thank You, Lord, for my birth...

Thank You, God, for my life...

Thank You because i am dead no more :)

This day, this life, is for You.


July 19, 2008

Before you place your child in day-care...

Before you place your child in day-care...
See the entire article in http://www.bible.ca/f-daycare-thoughts.htm


The first six years are most important. Stay at home! Quit your job! Pre-school day cares should be considered only in desperate circumstances.

The rapid statistical increase of kids who kill is linked to a lack of parent-child bonding in these young murderers.

The absence of attachment leads to "affectionless phychopathy...beginning with an initial phase of clinging, dependant behavior followed by attention-seeking, uninhibited, indiscriminate friendliness & finally, a personality characterized by lack of guilt, an inability to keep rules & an inability to form lasting relationships."

The real solution is personal & relational. Children need the full-time love & care of their parents. Nothing can take the place of the strong bond formed between parents & their children.

...Conscience & character are not self-creating. These qualities will not form in a child who is not closely nurtured in the first five years of life. Research shows that neglect for even relatively short periods in a child’s life (due to patient illness, death, moving, etc. ) can damage the child’s character.

July 9, 2008

Updates: Christianity sweeping China: praise God!

Last year, here are some reports about the growth of Christianity in communist, "closed" China.

Now, something from The Chicago Tribune, about the "unprecedented" spread ^__^

Truly nothing is impossible for God!

Thanks to Pastor Winston for the heads up :)

July 5, 2008

Let's support the new 3pm Taglish VCF-QC service!

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." --- John 4:23-24

What could be more heartfelt than singing and speaking to God in one's own native tongue? :) The Filipino language being, like the people who speak it, very loving, compassionate, tender...malambing. :)

So i'm really excited about the new Taglish service. (It's not yet completely Tagalog or Filipino but it's a start! :D) Hope to see you there! :) Kitakits mga 'tol!

Zero or Max? Choose how to live your life! :)

How do you want to live your life? Zero or Max? (No relation to your favorite soda drink!)

ZERO LIMITS: Enlarging Your Vision

ZERO RECALL: Letting Go of the Past

MAX IMPACT: Developing a Healthy Self-Image

MAX ALTITUDE: Finding Strength Through Adversity

Victory Christian Fellowship - Quezon City will feature the Zero or Max series all Sundays of July, starting tomorrow! Everyone is welcome :)

Venue: UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City
Dates: July 6, 13, 20, 27

Times: 9am, 11am, 3pm (Taglish), 5pm

Check out http://zeroormax.multiply.com/ for more details :)

Hope to see you there! ^___^

July 3, 2008

the good that is unseen :)

Do check this out :) Hat tip to Dr. Chris, my research adviser (and spiritual too? ;p) :)

from the column "There's The Rub" by Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 01:17:00 07/03/2008


Indeed, there’s a bigger piece of news to be elated about, which is one reason I’ve not yet despaired of this country. That is that almost invisibly we have three very highly placed people in government and the clergy, in State and Church, who are a boon to us. I say almost invisibly because these are not people who like to draw attention to themselves (they have better things to do than spend their waking hours advertising themselves) and so do not mind seeing their good deeds go unnoticed...
These are three people who, despite the hierarchy’s efforts to thwart them, and despite society’s lack of effort to heed them, remain committed to the belief that the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] exists to defend the weak, the courts exist to give justice to the aggrieved, and the Church exists to exalt the humble and humble the exalted. It’s time we did something about our lack of effort to heed them. I’ve always said that our problem has never been the lack of alternatives, it has always been our lack of ability to see them when they land on our noses. We are easily dazzled by the victory of Pacquiao, we are not awed by the greater victory of an official who attends to duty first before distraction.

Sir Chris says: "Even if unnoticed, doing the right thing is the good thing." :)

How about what Jesus says? :)

The World Is Not a Stage
"Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding. "When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure—'playactors' I call them— treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. --- Matthew 6:1-4 :) (The Message)

Giving to the Needy
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. --- Matthew 6:1-4 (New International Version)

July 2, 2008

The Great Thanksgiving (A Prayer)

from Paul Rayner's Confluence blog :)

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give Him thanks and praise.
It is indeed right,
for You made us,
and before us, You made the world
we inhabit,
and before the world, You made the eternal home in which, through Christ, we have a place.

All that is spectacular, all that is plain have their origin in You;
all that is lovely, all who are loving point to You as their fulfillment.
And grateful as we are for the world we know and the universe beyond our ken,
we particularly praise You, whom eternity cannot contain, for coming to earth and entering time in Jesus.

For His life which informs our living,
for His compassion which changes our hearts,
for His clear speaking which contradicts our harmless generalities,
for His disturbing presence,
His innocent suffering,
His fearless dying,
His rising to life breathing forgiveness,
we praise You and worship Him.

Here too gratitude rises, for the promise of the Holy Spirit, who even yet, even now, confronts us with Your claims and attracts us to Your goodness.