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Think Christianly

Think Christianly: October 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Now on DVD)

If you have not seen Expelled, you need to. Listen to what critics are saying ;)

For a trailer of the actual DVD.

Expelled Website

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Should Some People Not Vote?

OK. I'm all for every one's right to vote...but is there a responsibility that goes with this right? In America we are big on rights and short on responsibility. Take 4 minutes and watch this video and then answer the poll question. What do you think? Does knowledge matter anymore or only spin, clever marketing, and soundbites?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SLED: Defend the Unborn with Scott Klusendorf

Making a clear argument in defense of the unborn using S.L.E.D. For more visit,

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Everyone a Theologian? ...Yes

Here is the quote of the day:

"A thoughtless theology guides our lives with just as much force as a thoughtful and informed one."--Dallas Willard (from The Spirit of the Disciplines)

Do you think this is true?

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

A voice to answer the new atheists

I came across a review by Dinesh D'Souza of a new book that deals with the new atheists attack on 'faith.' It is worth a read becasue we need to be able to give an answer to those who ask for the hope within us (1 Pet. 3:15).

(Excerpt) "Novak is surprised to discover that in the entire literature of the new atheism, "there is not a shred of evidence that the authors have ever had any doubts whatever about the rightness of their own atheism." This is not simply a matter of refusing to apply the vaunted virtue of skepticism to one's own philosophy. It is also a matter of giving an account of why such a tiny minority of people in our culture have embraced vocal atheism. If atheism is so obviously convincing, Novak asks, why are so few people drawn to it? The new atheists offer no answers; indeed, scarcely any of them even raise the question."

(Excerpt) "For Novak, life raises bigger questions than the ones answered, and answerable, by science. Ultimately we want to know not merely how things work. We also ask even larger questions. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is our final destiny? Novak credits religion with addressing the largest moral questions, not only "What is it good to do?" but also "What is it good to be?" and "What is it good to love?"

Important observations and questions to be sure...(for more of the review, click here)

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Will We See Gandhi in Heaven?

This question was raised recently at a gathering of college students (the Oasis). We had a good discussion and it is a very good question.

Gandhi, a very moral person, far exceeds the moral lives lived by many Christians. Moreover, what about those who have never heard of Jesus? difficult questions to be sure.

There are two ways to respond to this. Biblically or Emotionally. If we don't want to be biblical, then answering these questions become much easier. So as we think about these issues, we need to let the Bible define the key boundaries of the discussion.

Here are 12 that I have found helpful and I think they will help us see where the appropriate place to admit tension and mystery is. A biblical answer must include the following:

1. God is compassionate and just (Gen. 18:25; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 7:9; 85:11; 89:14; 145:8-9; Rev. 16:7)
2. All are sinners in need of a savior (Rom. 3:10-18, 23; 5:12-21; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3)
3. Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:5; 1 John 2:2)
4. God desires all to be saved (Ezek. 18:23; John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:3-6; 2 Pet. 3:9)
5. God has revealed himself to the whole world both in creation (Ps. 19:1-2; Acts 14:15-17; Rom. 1:19-20) and human conscience (Eccl. 3:11; Rom. 2:14-16) so that people are without excuse
6. Christians are commanded to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
7. God’s Spirit is at work convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11)
8. God has commanded us to take the gospel to the whole world (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
9. God has providentially arranged the world so that people might seek him (Acts 17:24-28)
10. There will be people from every tribe, tongue, and nation in heaven (Rev. 7:9)
11. The awful reality of hell indicates that everyone is not saved in the end (Matt 10:28; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9)
12. There does not seem to be a second chance after death to accept the gospel (Heb. 9:27)

Take some time to look up these passages and allow them to shape the discussion. More to come. If you found this helpful, you can find more information on questions surrounding religious pluralism in my book Welcome to College.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

God's Thought's in You

Last night I taught a class at our church on Thinking Christianly and I talked about how important it is to replace harmful ideas and images we absorb daily with biblical ones. Dallas Willard and Jan Johnson offer some very helpful insight here that I hope we all take to heart:

"Nourishing our mind with good and godly ideas, images, information, and the ability to think creates our vision...From these, we intend to be formed so that God is a constant presence in our mind crowding out false ideas, destructive images, misinformation about God, and crooked beliefs."

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama's Abortion Extremism by Robert George

Dr. Robert George, professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, analyzes Senator Obama's legislative positions on abortion and the unborn:

Conclusion: "Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket."

For the rest of the compelling article, click here.

I post this to remove all doubt about Obama's stance on pro-life issues.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Christian Philosopher William Lane Craig weighs in on “Abortion and Presidential Politics”

Each week William Lane Craig, of Reasonable Faith, answers tough questions. Below is a good one to think through (visit for more great resources). Regardless of where you land on whether this issue is decisive for who you vote for, pay special attention to the reasoning of his argument - one does not need to appeal to the Bible to argue for the Pro-Life Position. Enjoy.

Question: Since the election is nearing—I have a question concerning Abortion—most of my family is catholic—we all know the stance on Abortion by the Church as well as the Bible for Protestants—how does someone support the candidates that are pro choice? This drives me nuts when analyzing this situation; I know this is only one issue but it is such a huge issue! I appreciate your comments since i value your judgement so much.

Dr. Craig responds:

In order to answer your question, Garry, we first need to determine our view of the ethics of abortion on demand. It seems to me that amidst all the arguments pro and con about the abortion issue, there are two central questions which are determinative:

(1) Do human beings possess intrinsic moral value?
(2) Is the developing fetus a human being?

Think about that first question: Do human beings have intrinsic moral value? Something has intrinsic value if it is an end in itself, rather than a means to some end. Things which are valuable merely as means to some end have only extrinsic value. For example, money has no intrinsic value, in and of itself. Rather it has extrinsic value insofar as it's a useful means of commerce for human beings and so is valuable to us for the ends it helps us achieve. But in and of itself it's intrinsically worthless. It's just paper.

Now the question is, are human beings like that? Or are they intrinsically valuable? I'm certain that most people, once they think about it, recognize that human beings are intrinsically valuable. People aren't just valuable as means to some end; rather people are ends in themselves. That's why, as Augustine said, we should love people and use things, not vice versa. Those who use people and love things are doing something profoundly immoral because they are not recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of other persons, who are not mere things to be used.

The international community recognizes the intrinsic moral value of human beings in its declaration on human rights. The notion that people have inherent rights just in virtue of the fact that they are human beings, regardless of their race, class, religion, caste, or station in life, is based in the inherent moral value of human beings. This truth is recognized as well in our Declaration of Independence, where it affirms that all men are endowed with certain unalienable rights, such as the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. Most of us, when we reflect upon it, would come to a similar conclusion: Yes, human beings do possess intrinsic moral value.

Now what that implies is that if the developing fetus is a human being, then he or she is endowed with intrinsic moral worth and therefore possesses inherent human rights, including the right to life. Abortion would be a form of homicide, and against such attacks the innocent and defenseless fetus would have every right to the protection of the law.

So we come to the second question we must address: Is the developing fetus a human being? Here it seems to me that it is virtually undeniable scientifically and medically that the fetus is at every stage of its development a human being. After all, the fetus is not canine, or feline, or bovine; it is a human fetus. From the moment of conception on, there exists a living organism which is a genetically complete human being and which, if left to develop naturally, will grow into an adult member of its species.

Contrast the complete human embryo with a sperm or an unfertilized egg. Neither the sperm nor the egg alone constitutes a human being: each is genetically incomplete, having only 1/2 the chromosomes necessary to make a complete human being. If left alone, they don't develop into anything: the sperm dies in a couple of days, and the unfertilized egg is expelled in a woman's monthly cycle. But if they unite, they combine into a single living cell to form a unique individual which has never before existed.

Already in that moment of conception, that individual is either male or female, depending on whether he or she received an X or a Y chromosome from the sperm. The later development of sexual organs and other secondary sexual characteristics is only evidence of a difference in sexuality which has been there from the very beginning. Moreover, all of the individual's traits like body type, eye and hair color, facial characteristics, and so forth are all determined at the moment of conception and are just waiting to unfold. From the moment of conception we have a genetically complete and unique human being; in effect, you began at the moment of your conception.

Moreover, the development of this individual is a smooth and unbroken continuum throughout. There is no non-arbitrary breaking point before which you can say the fetus is not human, but after which he or she is. The traditional division of pregnancy into three trimesters has no scientific or medical basis: it is a purely arbitrary reckoning device for the sake of convenience. It's probably due to the fact that pregnancy lasts nine months. If human beings had a gestation time of 8 months, nobody would talk about trimesters. We'd probably divide it into quarters. The fact is that any attempt to draw a line and say "not human before this point, but human afterwards" is wholly arbitrary and without biological foundation.

Thus, as I say, it seems to me virtually undeniable that the fetus — which is just Latin for "little one" —is a human being in the early stages of his development. Whether one is a "little one," a newborn, an adolescent, or an adult, he is at every point a human being at a different stage of his development. Those who deny the little one in the womb is a human being typically confuse being human with being at some later stage of development. For example, some abortion rights advocates say that because an embryo is not a baby, it's not a human being, and therefore abortion is morally acceptable.

This argument seems to me completely fallacious. On this reasoning, we could with equal justice say that because a child is not an adult, he is not a human being; or because a baby is not a child, he is not a human being. Of course, an embryo is not a baby, but that doesn't mean that an embryo is not a human being. All of these are the various stages in a human being's development, and it is arbitrary to cut off one stage and say that because it is not a later stage, it is not a human being.

Moreover, it is simply false that most abortions are performed on embryos. By the time most women realize that they are pregnant (about two months after conceiving), the embryo has already become a fetus, a "little one". We're not dealing at this point with a cluster of cells, but with—the word is unavoidable—a baby, a very tiny baby with a face and features, with little arms and legs, with tiny feet and hands. All the organs of the body are already present, and the muscle and circulatory systems are complete. Even brain wave activity is present. By the twelfth week, his fingers and toes are fully developed, complete with delicate fingerprints and with little fingernails and toenails forming. The baby is already quite mobile, kicking and moving about, clenching and opening his little fists and curling his toes. Behind his closed eyelids his eyes are almost fully developed. Incredibly, already at this point, the baby's facial features begin to resemble those of his parents!

In utero photographs of these little ones have disclosed to us what exquisitely beautiful and delicate marvels of creation they are. One physician describes his experience of seeing first hand one of these eight-week-old little ones:

Years ago, while giving an anesthetic for a ruptured tubal pregnancy (at two months), I was handed what I believed to be the smallest human being ever seen. The embryo sac was intact and transparent. Within the sac was a tiny human male swimming extremely vigorously in the amniotic fluid, while attached to the wall by the umbilical cord. This tiny human was perfectly developed with long, tapering fingers, feet and toes. It was almost transparent as regards the skin, and the delicate arteries and veins were prominent to the end of the fingers. The baby was extremely alive and did not look at all like the photos and drawings of 'embryos' which I have seen. When the sac was opened, the tiny human immediately lost its life and took on the appearance of what is accepted as the appearance of an embryo at this stage, blunt extremities, etc.

No one who has seen photographs of infants in the womb between 8-12 weeks old can honestly deny that here we have a human baby.

The vast majority of abortions occur at this time, between the tenth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy and are thus clearly destroying a human baby. I won't even speak of the horror of second and third trimester abortions, 150,000 of which occur annually in the U.S. alone, or of partial birth abortions in which a baby is actually partially delivered before it is brutally killed. Make no mistake about it: abortion is killing babies. The only way this can go on is because these unlucky little ones are normally hidden from view. As my former pastor once said, "If wombs had windows, there would be no abortions."

The fact is that from conception to old age we have the various stages of development in the life of a human being. It seems to me therefore that the medical and scientific facts make it virtually undeniable that the developing fetus is a human being.

If we thus answer "Yes" to both of the questions we've set ourselves, it follows that abortion on demand is a moral outrage, the destruction of an innocent and defenseless human life. Now you'll notice that I've not appealed at any point to the Bible in all this. That's because, contrary to popular impression, abortion is not, as such, a religious question. The first question we asked is philosophical: do human beings posses intrinsic moral value? The second question is scientific and medical: is the developing fetus a human being? Neither of these is a religious question.
Given our answers to the two questions above, it follows that abortion on demand is the transcendent moral issue of our time. Since the legalization of abortion on demand in 1973, we have witnessed an American Holocaust which has claimed the lives of tens of millions of innocent human beings. Other issues pale in comparison to this one. While we should care about a candidate's stand on other important domestic and foreign policies, still, where there are pro-life candidates in the field, the sine qua non for our voting for any candidate must be his championing the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand.

*Coming soon on think Christianly, Will we see Gandhi in heaven?

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Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain, Obama in sharp contrast on abortion - High court vacancies will create opportunities for president to alter policy

As the rhetoric reaches fever pitch, the stakes have never been higher for the innocents--precious unborn human children (that picture is from an ultrasound of an 8 week old). And the next president will influence the next generation by appointing supreme court justices.

Will the 1.2 million - yes that was million - abortions performed each year go up or down? (For perspective, the state of Montana boasts a population of 945,000). Will the brutal practice of partial birth abortion--if you have never learned or seen what this involves--or an abortion procedure actually does-- Click Here. Warning these are disturbing images and they will and should disturb you because you are looking at a human life. Most Americans do not know which is why they seem indifferent. My goal is not to minimize the pain or guilt that those who have had abortions experience; but someone has to speak up for the lives of these little ones. Yes there is grace and forgivness, but choices have consequences.

Trust me, you will never think of the "abortion rights" (doesn't that sound noble?) debate quite the same once you have an image to go with an idea. I especially appeal to college students reading this blog because you may not know how hideous this procedure is because it gets covered over by the rhetoric of choice and rights. Reality has a way of changing our minds.

Here is an MSNBC article (not a bastion of conservatism by any stretch on how STARK the contrast is between these two candidates--Obama and McCain). Regardless of where you come down on "Christians being one issue voters", anyone who is pro-life must recognize that this election cycle is different. Real and lasting policy will be solidified for years to come. That is simply a fact.

Yes, I know 700 billion dollars for a bailout is a huge number, but so is 1.2 million lives. And you ask any parent--or one desiring to be a parent--which one is more valuable.

"The facts of science are clear: from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Therefore, every "successful" abortion ends the life of a living human being."

To learn more about understanding and making the case for the pro-life position, Click Here.
Also, Pro-Life 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Case Persuasively
and, Common Ground Without Compromise

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My chapter, Dealing with Doubt, featured at Brio Magazine of Focus on the Family

Everyone has doubts...but what do we do with them? Does having doubts reveal a lack of faith?

I wanted to share that Brio's online magazine is featuring my chapter, Dealing with Doubt, from Welcome to College. You can read the article on Brio's homepage by clicking here.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Jonathan Morrow on KKLA with talking about Welcome to College

Hello everyone,

I had the opportunity to be on the radio show / podcast of this past Friday night talking about Welcome to College: A Christ-follower's Guide for the Journey. The show aired live on Los Angles' talk radio, KKLA.

The team at is doing great work "challenging believers to think and thinkers to believe." Check their site out here.
Please continue to join me in praying for students today and that God would use Welcome to College to encourage and equip students to become Christ-follower's for a lifetime.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is there a 'wall of seperation' (between church and state)?

I came across an interesting article on this by an expert on the issue.

Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Cheese by Daniel L. Dreisbach

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Faith is only as good as its object

Faith is a word that means everything and nothing. Here is a helpful reminder:

“Faith derives its value not from the intensity of the believer but from the genuineness of the one she believes in. True faith is faith in the right object; faith in an unfaithful person is worthless or worse”—David Clark

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interview with John Stonestreet of Summit Ministries - Part I

Here is an interview with one of the leaders of an outstanding ministry training students to think Christianly. If I would have known about Summit camps when I was in high school, I would have been all over it.....

What do you see as the biggest challenge(s) facing students today?

The biggest challenge in my mind for students today is the overall deluge of information. Students today must navigate, daily, an unprecedented amount of information. We have never expected more from any generation that has ever lived, in terms of processing information.

Of course, none of this information is neutral - information contains, argues, and at times subtly assumes and embodies ideas. Ideas can be true or false, genuine or counterfeit, helpful or harmful. And, as Richard Weaver and the 20th century taught us, ideas have consequences. They are not aloof from reality - they shape the world in which we live, and how we interpret that world!

I also think that the most consequential idea that comes through the current deluge of information is the concept of humanness. Who are we? What gives us value? How do I fit in the world? Every major social issue today is centered, and finds direction, from how we answer this question: from cloning to fashion, from human trafficking to celebrity worship, from economic policy to euthanasia, from plastic surgery to gender identity.

The reality is this; if we are wrong on what a human being is, we will be wrong on literally everything else currently being debated and shaping our culture. Unfortunately, our Darwinian roots and addiction to materialism have firmly established in our culture, so we determine human value in much the same way we determine animal value: (1) usefulness and (2) appearance. It's devastating to students: girls are thoroughly convinced that their value lies in their looks, education teaches we are human doings not human beings, and the concept of who we were designed to be is not even considered.

So, in my view, if we ever hope to disciple this generation, we have to teach them (1) how to discern in a world of information and (2) who they are in the image of God.

Since you interact with young people quite a bit, how would you grade the church on how they are doing training students to follow Christ as they head off to college?

Well, the statistics are not encouraging. The studies done through the Higher Education Research Institute show a casualty rate of nearly 50%. Barna suggests that only 20% of students who are highly churched in their teens will remain spiritually active in their 20's. But, the most devastating indication is that even the students (and eventually adults) who are maintaining their faith often segregate it from 90% of their life.

I think there is often a deep-seated gnosticism in the church. The impression given is that my faith has to do with spiritual stuff, but should be kept separate from the rest of life. Chuck Colson put it this way: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that there are more Christians than ever before. The bad news is that is doesn't seem to be making any difference."

I am encouraged, however, from recent developments in the church to a more holistic approach to discipleship. Worldview education seems to be catching on. My fear, on the other hand, is that it will be the next fad - like The Prayer of Jabez or Purpose Driven, etc.

Explain a little about bit about who you are and what the vision of summit ministries is.

I am a lifer in the Christian community - but one who is unworking much of this same gnosticism I mentioned earlier. My understanding of the Christian life was profoundly segregated from the life of the mind, cultural concern, or the world of ideas. I am blessed that God used my experiences at Bryan College, with Summit Ministries, and through key mentors to open my faith up to a fuller understanding of the Christian worldview.

For the last several years, I have spoken, taught, and written on this idea of the Christian worldview and cultural concern as a professor at Bryan College and a speaker and staffer for Summit Ministries. Currently, I serve the role of Executive Director where I try to make our ministry as effective as possible in training students, parents, pastors, and teachers to champion the Christian faith in the broader culture by thinking from a Christian worldview, understanding comparative worldviews, and applying the truth of the Gospel to the key cultural issues of our day.

Readers can learn more by visiting or picking up the book I revised and co-authored with Gary Phillips and William Brown: Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

Stay tuned for part II of the interview.

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