Archive | August, 2012

Theology Unplugged: Coffee with Scholars – Greg Koukl, Part 1

Join Michael Patton and Tim Kimberley as they welcome Greg Koukl to Credo House for a session of “Coffee with Scholars”

“America is Going Downhill Fast” . . . and Other Stupid Statements

Is America in a state of moral decline? Are we teetering on the edge of judgement from the angry hands of God? Maybe, but I am not as convinced as some are. What I do know is that nostalgia is a common condition among us politically conservative Christians. “If we could only get back to the way things used to be.” If we could only see how America is going downhill fast. If we could only see how far we are fallen in our morality. Divorce, gay marriage, socialism, abortion, and the like are often used to raise the big red flag and dictate our marching orders.

Fear. That is the word. Fear calls us to action. Fear, it could be argued, is as great a motivator as hope. And with the elections coming up, fear tactics seem to be used to take away hope. For years I have heard comparisons to the great civilizations of the past and how they fell. America, we are told, is not far behind. Once this type of fear begins to sterilize hope, the guns come out of the closet.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have often admitted that I am a one-issue voter. Regardless of the importance of the myriad issues facing our society, abortion is the one my mind and conscience simply cannot overlook.  I pride myself in being able to see all sides of an issue, but this is one where I have never been able to see the “pro-choice” side and I don’t suppose I ever will.

However, that aside, I am not so sure that yesteryear looks much better than today. Getting back to the “glory days” of early America seems like a bit of wishful thinking where we are not fond of wearing our historians’ caps. Do we really want to get back there? Do we really think that we are in the death valley of American history? For me, it is hard to see how, excluding abortion, America was not worse then than it is now (or at least on equal footing). Here is a list of things that goes through my mind:

1. Over half a century ago, blacks were thought to be inferior to whites. In many cases they had to use separate restrooms, ride separate school buses, drink from separate water fountains, and a host of other unconscionable things.

Let that sink in for a bit.

2. I don’t think women were better off. Back in the “good ol’ days,” it was culturally acceptable for husbands to beat their wives. It took activists nearly 100 years to win women the right to vote in 1920. Continue Reading →

Schedule for Greg Koukl at Credo House Tomorrow

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We are ecstatic to have Greg Koukl at the Credo House THIS FRIDAY. Many of you are familiar with his national radio program and impactful ministry. This is a great opportunity for all of us to better be equipped as ambassadors for Christ. Please see below for a complete schedule for Friday, August 24th.

Schedule of Events

11:30-1:00pm: Lunch with Greg Koukl at the Credo House. This is a great way to personally interact with Mr. Koukl. This is a members-only lunch. If you are not yet a member you can become one by clicking here If you are a member and plan to have lunch with Greg on Friday please reply to this email letting us know so we have enough food.

1:00pm-3:00pm: Mingle with Scholars at Credo House. Come and go as you please. Grab your copy of “Tactics” and have it signed while sipping a Luther Latte.

3:00-4:00pm: Theology Unplugged Live! Hang out at the Credo House and listen as Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley, and Greg Koukl get unplugged talking about the life of the mind in the Christian faith.

7:30-9:00: Coffee with Scholars – This is the “main event.” Greg will be speaking on how to communicate with others the reality of Jesus being the only way. There are a limited number of tickets. CLICK HERE to get your tickets today (just $5). SOLD OUT. If you come, you have to stand (to reason).

Greg started out thinking he was too smart to become a Christian and ended up giving his life for the defense of the Christian faith. A central theme of Greg’s speaking and writing is that Christianity can compete in the marketplace of ideas when it’s properly understood and properly articulated.

Greg’s teaching has been featured on Focus on the Family radio, he’s been interviewed for CBN and the BBC, he’s debated atheist Michael Shermer on Hugh Hewitt’s national radio show, and did a one-hour national television debate with Deepak Chopra on Lee Strobel’s “Faith Under Fire.” Greg has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report and the L.A. Times. An award-winning writer, Greg is author of Tactics—A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air with Francis J. Beckwith, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published more than 180 articles and has spoken on nearly 60 university and college campuses both in the U.S. and abroad.

Greg received his Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, graduating with high honors, and his Masters in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf University. He is an adjunct professor in Christian apologetics at Biola University. He’s hosted his own radio talk show for over 20 years advocating clear-thinking Christianity and defending the Christian worldview.

Social Media and the Deficiency Blitz

(Lisa Robinson)

I confess, I’m a social media addict. Not a day goes by that you can’t find me on Facebook. I love the connectivity, conversation and in same cases, the opportunity to just act plain silly. But moreover, I love the exposure it brings to blog links and other avenues of information. I avoided Twitter until recently. Once I signed on I wondered why on earth I had neglected it for so long. More connectivity, conversation …and more blog links.  Needless to say I love blogging and follow blogs.  Between the recent Twitter addition, starting my own blog, and my normal Facebook activity, I’ve been in social media heaven.

I’m always on the hunt for good blogs. I love hearing what people have to say about things, especially about theology, the bible and life.  I encounter different perspectives that maybe I hadn’t thought of before. In fact, Parchment and Pen was the first theology blog I followed and it served as the gateway into the blogging world.  I love that world. I learn things, all kinds of things. The exposure has been great. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree.

But with the increased social media and blog activity, I’ve noticed something else I’ve been exposed to. Instruction, prescriptions, exhortations on who I can be or should be living the Christian life better.  I read on a regular basis how I should be holy, evangelize, represent Christianity, parent, pray, study scripture, handle forgiveness, support my pastor, leave a church, avoid this or that sin, recognize sin, fellowship, find a spouse, stay single, handle conflict…and the list goes on.  In the midst of it, I’m confronted with areas in my life that maybe aren’t so strong. Before long the deficiency can start snowballing into deflation where I don’t measure up. A deficiency blitz. Continue Reading →

John the Baptist, Doubt, and My Three Days As an Atheist

Here is my sermon from Sunday where I talk about John the Baptist, doubt, and my three days as an atheist two years ago.

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

What if You Missed Something?

 

Not too long ago I sat on an airplane waiting to fly out of Orlando back to Dallas. The plane was delayed for quite some time as, for some reason, the preflight checks were taking longer than normal. Unfortunately, it gave me time to think about all the things that could go wrong with the plane. I wondered how many components they had to check. Think about it. Do they really check those things well enough to put more than two hundred people thirty thousand feet in the air? “What if they missed something?” I thought to myself. There are just so many things to miss! I worked myself into a panic and then had to calm myself by attempting to reintroduce common sense.

When it comes to faith, many of us have the same types of questions that keep us from ever really relaxing. All the things we fail to check. All those things we could be wrong about. These possibilities cause us to lose our joy and replace it with doubt and spiritual panic.

I have found that there are two, very similar, paralyzing conclusions that stem from this type of doubt:

1. I did not check everything out.

2. Someone knows something I don’t.

I did not check everything out

Though we need to be diligent, informed, skeptical, and wise in our faith, we need to be careful that we don’t work ourselves into an impossible situation. I don’t know how many people I have talked to who are always one fact, one verification, or one piece of evidence away from belief. Often, no matter how many reasons we have to believe, we simply cannot trust. “Yeah, but what about _______?” is the most common thought in our head. It goes on and on. There are always other possibilities to explain the evidence.  Even if the other possibilities are highly unlikely (“well, maybe there is some explanation for the resurrection that we don’t know about”), with this mindset in the driver’s seat, these doubts serve as legitimate reasons for us to suspend our faith commitment. Continue Reading →

Discipleship – LIVE NOW IN THE APP STORE!

We are so excited to announce the Discipleship App!

How do you grow as a disciple of Jesus? How do you develop deep roots and a fruitful life? The Discipleship App is designed to set you on a course toward becoming a fully-devoted follower of Christ. This 10-session program focuses on both Orthodoxy (correct thought) and Orthopraxy (correct action).

“Discipleship is a biblically faithful, clearly articulated, practically useful overview of crucial doctrinal issues at the core of Christian thinking and living. I know of no other tool like this one and I highly recommend it.” – JP Moreland

Topics Studied Include:

  • Session 1: Bible
  • Session 2: Mankind
  • Session 3: Trinity
  • Session 4: Jesus
  • Session 5: Faith
  • Session 6: Living with God
  • Session 7: Living with God’s Word
  • Session 8: Living with God’s People
  • Session 9: Living with Pain
  • Session 10: Living as Lights

The app allows you to stream or download 10-45 minute teaching sessions of audio and/or video. While experiencing the teaching session you are able to interact with the highly-illustrative slides and workbook.

Gift this app to a family member, friend, co-worker or church member who is wanting to grow deeper in their faith. Have someone experience each session and then meet weekly with them to discuss the important subjects. Use this as a springboard to making disciples of all nations!

GET IT HERE TODAY!

Development for the Android version is well under way. The app is up and running on a Kindle Fire and we hope to have it rock solid enough for a release in the near future.