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May
8

God’s Not Dead

In the movie, God’s Not Dead, college freshman Josh Harper has his sights set on a future law degree. In order to acquire the necessary credits to achieve his academic goals. Harper signs up for a Philosophy class that is taught by a professor who is notoriously hostile to Christianity. The professor offers an assignment to his class asking them each to affirm the statement, “God is dead,” so that they can move on with their future coursework without being burdened with pesky notions of theism (belief in God) creeping into their future discussions. This causes a test for Harper. Does he go along with the assignment (and the rest of the class) just to get a good grade and pass the class, or does he end up attempting to defend his Christian views against a hostile professor and non-supportive classmates? He chooses the latter. His grade ends up being determined by what the class (not the professor) decides about the merits of his arguments. He faces conflict from his girlfriend who wants him to just do what it takes to get his grade and not rock the boat. It is a real ethical dilemma for Harper. On the storytelling, on thing I enjoyed about this film is how all of the main characters (10 or so) were all intricately connected to each other relationally, even though they weren’t necessarily aware of it. There was, in some cases, one degree of separation for each person, but their lives were all rather intertwined in a very cool labyrinth. I thought it demonstrated well how our lives effect people even indirectly, through a kind of ripple effect, and the choices we make will impact people we have not even met. Regarding the Apologetics of the film, it is proposed by Harper that both he, and the professor, begin with certain presuppositions and assumptions, and that neither can ultimately prove or disprove the existence of God. So he says they need to look to the evidence. At this point, the viewer assumes that the main approach will be Evidentialist Apologetics. It is not. Harper utilizes Classical Apologetics, with the Cosmological and Moral Arguments for the existence of God being primary. It is unrealistic to think that a typical college class will contain all of the elements reflected in this film (a rabid atheist who rails against Christianity, a class that is completely skeptical of Christianity,  a student who can hold his own...
Mar
4

College vs. Christianity? — Collegiate Impact

As someone who works in the field of Christian Apologetics, I often hear the sad stories of students who, after a semester or two of college, declare themselves to be Atheists or Agnostics. Many Christian parents are wondering how to navigate these difficult waters with their young adults. I want to introduce to you, Dave Warn, and Collegiate Impact, a Christian campus ministry that is here to help. — Israel Wayne Israel Wayne: How did you develop an interest in serving college students? Dave Warn: I became a follower of Jesus during my second year of college. I was lost and felt empty without purpose in life when someone shared the gospel with me. After I came to faith I began to realize that I had a growing desire to help college students find the Lord and grow in their faith, just like someone had helped me. I’ve never regretted the decision to serve Christ full-time in the world of higher education. Israel Wayne: What is the overall vision / mission for Collegiate Impact? Dave Warn: Collegiate Impact exists to see hearts ignited in their love for Christ and campuses transformed. Once believers are revived, experiencing the “streams of living water” that Jesus promised, they become a potent force on campus. Then, as these believers seek God together, a greater move of the Spirit is possible and this is how an entire campus can be influenced. While ministering at the University of Wisconsin, we experienced the Lord move in this way and fruit was dramatic. Israel Wayne: What are some of the greatest dangers that Christian students face on a college campus? Dave Warn: The greatest danger on many campuses is to adopt the prevailing campus mindset. On a Christian college there may be a mindset of apathy toward serving the Lord wholeheartedly. The campus atmosphere is more about hanging out with friends and getting good grades. On a public university the campus mindset usually does not include God so it is tempting to completely leave Jesus out of the conversation. Of course there are further implications of adopting the prevailing mindset on either Christian and secular schools such as sexual promiscuity, worldliness, and pride. Israel Wayne: How can parents help their students to be prepared for what they will face once they enter higher education? Dave Warn: First, parents need to assess the youth ministry their son or daughter is involved in at church. There are two fundamental questions that need to be asked about their current youth group experience. First, has the hook-up culture of the local public...
Apr
4

Summit Ministries – Interview w/ John Stonestreet

I wanted to introduce you to the work of Summit Ministries and in particular a popular speaker / worldview teacher named John Stonestreet. If you have not yet heard of him, just hang in there. You are going to be hearing a LOT more from this guy! He is becoming one of the most in-demand experts on the topic of developing a Biblical worldview. Check out his work, and consider sending your teenager to a Summit Worldview Conference. Israel Wayne: What motivated you to teach Christian worldview to others? John Stonestreet: Really the difference worldview teaching made in my own discipleship motivates me in teaching to others. I was a typical Christian “lifer” – church, Sunday school, Christian school, Christian college, etc. But I never really understood how Christianity was, as Francis Schaeffer called it, “true Truth” and “total Truth”. Seeing the implications of Christianity for all of life was profoundly impacting and freeing! Faith was no longer about getting to heaven when I die, but about life now. Also, learning about other worldviews removed the fear I held about them. Israel Wayne: How would you describe the work of Summit Ministries? John Stonestreet: Summit exists to counter the alarming trend of students who walk away from their faith when they enter their teen or college years. Our work is in four main areas: (1) Teaching students the Biblical Worldview, (2) Teaching students about the other main worldviews fighting for their hearts, minds, and cultures. (3) Training students to defend and champion the Biblical worldview. (4) Christian Leadership Israel Wayne: Why do you feel it is it important for teens to attend worldview conferences such as http://www.summit.org/conferences/student? John Stonestreet: Students need to know why they believe what they believe, and they need a vision for how they can take their faith into the world. The Summit has been used by God for 47 years to do this. In two weeks, students hear over 70 hours of teaching, instruction, and challenge about taking their faith seriously. The results are amazing. I often meet skeptics who say that teenagers today need entertainment. We fully disagree. We challenge the students to think deeply about their faith, other worldviews, and the culture. We treat them like intellectual adults, and they rise to the challenge. Summit can be a terrific catalyst for students to emerge as leaders. Israel Wayne: What do you feel are a couple of the most dangerous worldview trends affecting Christian...

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