March 24th, 2009 | by Gary DeMar
There is no doubt that Francis A. Schaeffer broadened the appeal for biblical world-and-life view Christianity with his popular writing style and activist philosophy. Schaeffer's popularity was extensive enough that he was recognized by the secular media as the "Guru of Fundamentalism." Schaeffer filled the intellectual gap that resided in much of fundamentalism. In a sense, he carried on the tradition of his early mentor, J. Gresham Machen. Prior to 1968, little was known of Francis Schaeffer. He had isolated himself from American evangelicalism by ministering to the roaming discards of society who were trekking through Europe hoping to find answers to life's most perplexing problems
March 23rd, 2009 | by Gary DeMar
"Calvinism is back," so says David Van Biema in the March 22, 2009 issue of Time magazine. Calvinism is listed as one of "10 ideas changing the world Right now." It's third on the list. When most people hear the word "Calvinism," they bite down only on the gristle of predestination and then spit out the whole piece of meat. There is much more to Calvinism that is obscured by the misapplied aversion to particular redemption. As a student at Reformed Theological Seminary in the 1970s, I was taught that certain cultural applications flowed from a consistent application of Calvinism. Calvinism is synonymous with a comprehensive biblical world-and-life view. Simply put, I was told that the Bible applies to every area of life. To be a Calvinist is to make biblical application to issues beyond personal salvation (Heb. 5:11-14)
March 20th, 2009 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon
Gary forwarded to me some more of American Vision's hate mail. The vituperative personality behind this exhibits, once more, how sadly our "rational" skeptics reason. Our critic's "observation" follows below with my intermittent comments. He writes,
There is not even one word written, in any language, by anyone who lived at the time, that verifies that the person of Christ even existed…
To which one should only respond, "Pure hogwash." This well-trodden and thread-bare skeptical claim really means, "There is not one word written that I will countenance," because nearly all scholars agree that the NT books (even accepting the latest dates for them) record oral tradition that appeared in Christian preaching for years before. More importantly, the letters of Paul would have been written in the 50s and 60s AD, and these have several references to Jesus as an historical person. Apparently, Paul and the Gospel witnesses do not count as "anyone who lived at the time." I have written an entire book containing a detailed refutation of the awful falsehood that this critic repeats. See my Manifested in the Flesh: How the Historical Evidence for Jesus Refutes Modern Mystics and Skeptics for more
March 19th, 2009 | by American Vision
In the February issue of Christianity Today, Lisa Graham McMinn wrote a thought-provoking review of a recent book by Phil Zuckerman. Zuckerman's book, Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment, is basically an indictment of what he believes is the hypocrisy of "Christian" America. Zuckerman's point is that Americans, whom he describes as being very "religious," actually display less compassion and love toward other people than the mostly irreligious citizens of Scandinavia.
McMinn's review doesn't bring up this point, but I always find it quite convenient that skeptics and atheists want to define America as a "Christian" nation only when it suits their statistics. Even though this country has a rich Christian heritage and Bible verses are literally chiseled into our government and state buildings, skeptics will usually deny this empirical evidence in their attempt to erase Christianity from America's long religious tradition. However, when they want to accuse the American religious community of being less than faithful to their stated beliefs, the story becomes something else entirely. For atheists and agnostics, America is only a Christian nation when it can be used as a club against Christianity itself.
One of McMinn's most important observations comes about midway through her review. While Zuckerman's comparisons of Scandinavia and the United States depend on an "apples to apples" relationship, McMinn points out that it is not this simple
March 18th, 2009 | by admin
Neither the Framers nor the Ratifiers of our Constitution wanted to make the new national government a democracy. They were, overwhelmingly, republican, not "democratic," political thinkers. And with plenty of good reasons, for they were not ignorant of the Bible, the nature of man, or the performance of various kinds of civil government in history. Strictly speaking, democracy is a form of civil government ruled directly by the votes of a majority. Democracy is based on the notion that all men are equal
March 17th, 2009 | by Gary DeMar
The world is in a mess, and Christians know it. Too many of us believe that we have not been called to change the world. What if centuries ago Christians had taken a similar position? What would the world be like today? John Newton (1725-1807) was an infamous slave trader. The church knows him best as the author of such well-known hymns as "Amazing Grace" and "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken." Even while Newton was a Christian, he was also a captain of a slave ship. "Newton penned the beloved hymn 'How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds in a Believer's Ear' during the leisure time afforded by a voyage from Africa to the West Indies."1 Keep in mind the often repeated claim that Christians are not called to change the world. Following this line of logic, Newton could have remained a slave trader and a good Christian.
In time, however, Newton confessed "shame" for "the misery and mischief to which [he had], formerly, been [an] accessory." He eventually denounced his former occupation with the publication of Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade (1788), "a stinging attack upon slavery that makes scenes from Alex Haley's Roots seem mild by comparison."2 Newton believed, prior to his denunciation of the slave trade, that he could be a good Christian and do nothing to fix social evils. "By 1788 Newton considered it 'criminal' to remain silent and not inveigh with evangelical fervor against the entire slave system. This conviction did not arise automatically upon his conversion, but from ethical deliberations that [William] Wilberforce set in motion."3
England's abolition movement was almost entirely led by the evangelical wing of the church. At the pleading of Lady Middleton and Bishop Porteus, James Ramsay wrote a long Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies (1784). Ramsay was "convinced that men will not respond to lessons of eternal redemption from those who enslave them on earth, or about heaven when kept in hell. . . . He proposed steps to total Emancipation, and suggested that free labour would yield more profit to plantation owners."
March 16th, 2009 | by Gary DeMar
You may have read that "the latest American Religious Identification Survey shows that the number of those who believe in no religion at all has almost doubled in the last 18 years, rising from 8 percent to 15 percent since 1990." Then there's the article that appeared on the Christian Science Monitor site by Michael Spencer about a coming "evangelical collapse." Spencer opens the article with these dire conclusions
March 13th, 2009 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon
In just another case of how liberals and secularists attempt to evade logic and reason using appeals to emotion and pity, a recent columnist "argues" for gay marriage by telling a tale of misery and despair. A tactic for many other untenable (and unpopular) liberal positions, here we find one more illogical and unreasonable (and therefore dishonest) appeal
March 12th, 2009 | by American Vision
An education is one of the few things that we can give ourselves and our children that will have lifelong effects. Although most American families send their children - as they themselves were sent by their own parents - to public schools, how often have we stopped to question the goals of the public education system? Christian parents especially should be asking this question if they are truly concerned whether their goals for educating their children are similar to the public schools'
March 11th, 2009 | by admin
Although some compromises were necessary to complete the framing of our Constitution - and to ensure that we had a constitution at all - our Constitution was not a mere bundle of pragmatic compromises. Our Constitution was designed: it was the product of a carefully crafted deliberative process in which history's lessons concerning the effects of different forms of civil government for liberty and justice were carefully weighed and the proposed means of giving us the best form of republican government that the people of the various states would accept were both considered and reconsidered