Good Questions Deserve Good Answers
#Christianity #College #Conversation #Culture
If you went to church on Sunday it’s likely you heard an Easter message that emphasized the resurrection of Jesus. Rightly so! The resurrection is the central theme in every proper easter message. But if I told you the resurrection should be the central theme in every proper gospel message too, would you believe me?
According to Paul The Apostle, the literal, bodily, historical resurrection of Jesus is central to the Gospel message. It follows that any “gospel message” that fails to include the resurrection is incomplete at best and, as Paul says, useless at worst. With that in mind, for many churches, Easter may be the only time the gospel is actually preached. I believe this is a major factor contributing to the mass exodus of young Christians from the faith.
We recently surveyed 100+ professing Christian students representing over 56 “theologically conservative” and “Bible believing” churches. In addition to other worldview revealing exercises, we asked these students to “share the gospel with us” using as much writing space as needed. What we saw concerned us:
* 52% did not include any reference to sin, separation, or the fall.
* 45% did not include any reference to Jesus’ atonement for sin.
* And a whopping 71% did not include Jesus’ resurrection!
Friends, if “asking Jesus to live in your chest” because “you don’t want to go to hell” is the gospel foundation so many students build their faith upon, is it any surprise that so many students are abandoning that faith after just a few years in college?
We are convinced that a student’s understanding of what the gospel is and is not is a major priority (even if they’re professing Christians). Since 2010, among other critical topics, we’ve consistently emphasised the centrality of the gospel at Base Camp. Consider registering your student for Base Camp here.
The hashtag #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear is trending. Much of the content seems to be based on misunderstood and misused snippets of Christian scriptures divorced from their literary and cultural context. Much more seems to be based on properly understood but improperly applied Biblical principles. I’m both sad and a little angry having read these.
If you’re reading this it’s likely you attended an Easter church service yesterday. Some of you are disappointed today because you feel like the pastor missed an opportunity to get the attention of that non-christian friend or family member you brought. Sure, not all Easter sermons are created equal…
However, to be fair, if your church or the church you visited talked about Jesus’ resurrection you should be satisfied. Beyond that, if they talked about the plausibility and probability of the resurrection from a historical perspective you should be ecstatic! According to Paul the Apostle, the historicity of the resurrection is at the very center of The Gospel (See 1 Corinth 15: 1-28) and The Gospel is exactly what your friend (and you) needed to hear yesterday (and every day)!
In addition to questions about the reliability of the Bible, the person & work of Jesus, sexual ethics, and the problem of evil & suffering, one of our most frequently asked questions from parents and students involves tactics for engaging in discussions and even disagreements. Michael Ward over at The Gospel Coalition uses examples from the life and words of C.S. Lewis to address these often asked questions.
A quote from Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible and founder of the Church of Satan, regarding Halloween has been popping up on social media these last few days. Allegedly LaVey said: “I’m glad Christians let their kids worship the Devil at least one night out of the year.”
If Anton LaVey actually said this he was probably being sarcastic. LaVey himself was an atheist. His brand of Satanism was nothing like what most people envision when they think of devil worship. LaVey’s Satanic philosophy was egotistical, hedonistic, pragmatic, and naturalistic. It wasn’t as overtly demonic as some would suggest.
In the movie I’m Not Ashamed, the true story of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre is used to highlight the life of Christian student, Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the school shooting. According to author and Christian apologist, Nancy Pearcey, the film does a good job of drawing attention to the underreported fact that killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were likely motivated by Charles Darwin’s theories and Fredrich Nietzsche’s philosophy. read more…
I spent about two decades of my life pushing around a skateboard. I was attracted to not just the thrill of skateboarding but also to the anti-establishment #punkrock attitude that went along with it. I rebelled against “the man” shoving ideology and politics down my throat through biased media and sausage making institutions.
As you probably know, we recently wrapped up our 7th annual Base Camp! We love hearing student stories about increased confidence and even new conversion experiences! These stories inspire and encourage us! However, stories are subjective and hard to quantify. In terms of program effectiveness, how can ministries like ours measure stories? To be honest, we can’t measure stories.
Recently, I attended an apologetics training seminar in California featuring, Sean McDowell, Frank Turek, J. Warner Wallace, Greg Koukl, and other authors & apologists. The board and I are especially grateful for Sean and his family’s hospitality and Frank and his staff’s generousity! Thanks again guys!
While there, I was shocked and amazed to learn that Faith Ascent’s strategic and unique mission was already being discussed by several of the instructors and attendees! For this, we owe a big thank you to author, blogger, and super mom, Natasha Crain! Just days before the event, Natasha wrote an eye opening piece on her Christian Mom Thoughts Blog comparing Christian Summer Camps and Atheist Summer Camps (yes, that’s a thing now). After reviewing 100 Christian summer camps she had two that she recommended. Can you guess one of the two?
Here are a few excerpts from her blog:
As I was scrolling through my social media feed earlier today I ran across this hilarious article from a satirical site: Zoo Staff Finds Harambe’s Tomb Empty! I nearly blew hot coffee through my nose.
The faux news report goes on to say: “Staff at the Cincinnati Zoo have issued a statement in which they confirm that the tomb holding the remains of the slain gorilla has been found empty, with huge speculation as to whether or not he has risen from the dead.” If you enjoy a good chuckle you can read the full story here.