Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Apologetics in the church

Here is a great article from a former professor of mine.

An Apologist in Every Church

It is my heartfelt contention that every church in the world needs an apologist. Here’s why I say that. I have found that the average member of the average congregation is riddled with doubt. They hear The Da Vinci Code proclaim that the Council of Nicaea suppressed contrary gospels. They hear that James Cameron has discovered the Lost Tomb of Jesus. They hear from the Zeitgeist movie that Jesus is just a rehashing of a long line of pagan dying and rising gods. And so on and on.

The trouble is that these confused congregants often don’t know where to turn. Those who do seek advice will often go to their pastor whom they considered to be the wisest man they know. The problem with that is that the pastor is usually very busy! Not only is the pastor preparing Sunday’s sermon, he’s probably preparing the Wednesday night sermon too. Then there’s counseling to do, church administration, hospital visitation, meeting with his staff, etc. I used to be a pastor and I know from experience that most pastors are really busy. And, honestly, for most of them, reading The Da Vinci Code or watching the Zeitgeist movie (both were silly, by the way), can’t be that high on their list.

To finish the article click here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

L killers of Church

In a previous blog, I wrote concerning 10 reasons why the church is broken.  I'm sure many reasons exist that hinder God's people, but believe that three main reasons are wreaking havoc upon the Church of the West.


Liberalism can be viewed in many ways.  In fact, Christians are to be liberal in the giving of their time and means.  So, taking this definition of liberalism is a good thing, but how are we to see liberalism as a Church killer?  The liberalism that seems to be killing the Church today deals with individuals who don't hold God's word as inspired truth.  The postmodern push has crept into the Church today and many are questioning the truthfulness of God's word.  Renewed attacks are coming from within the Church upon orthodox beliefs.  Many, in fact, are claiming that God's word can not be seen as universal truth or an all-encompassing narrative.  What this means is that individuals or communities are deciding what is true for them and what is not.  The problem with this approach is the individuals or communities are the ones responsible for making universal ground rules, therefore contradicting that truth is not universal.

Liberalism is being twisted in the Western culture for the promotion of values that don't ring true with the message of the Bible.  One of the most glaring examples of this deals with many churches of the West acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.  This is an extremely sensitive subject, because as soon as one points out the contradictions of the homosexual lifestyle compared to God's Word they are almost immediately branded as intolerant.  The question that needs to be asked, that no one really does is, "Who is intolerant when the subject comes up?"  Many times the Church is guilty of being intolerant, but when the homosexual community demands that acceptance takes place over God's Word then it is the homosexual community that is intolerant.  Other cultural liberal issues that have been accepted by many in the Western Church includes: sex before marriage, acceptance of abortion, and many other issues that cut across biblical teachings.


Legalism has existed before the time Jesus appearance on earth.  Plain and simple, legalism is a man-made set of rules that one uses to justify themselves from.  It is law-keeping that misses the heart of God's message.  Many in the church fall prey to the web of legalism.  Jesus was constantly dealing with the Pharisees legalism (see Matthew 23) and little has changed today.  Too many legalist are driving people off, because in their mind they have it all figured out.  In other words, you must go to the legalist for answers, and not God's Word. One of the major reasons why young people are leaving churches or not even considering meeting with the church deals with the heavy load that legalists put on the backs of individuals.  The sad consequence of legalism is that the love of Jesus is suppressed for individual hoop jumping laws.  Legalists are interested in works as opposed to the heart of Christ's message.  For the legalist, Christ's sacrifice is disparaged simply for the sake of personal control.


Too many Christians are too comfortable on their spiritual lazy-boy chair.  For the lazy Christian, Christianity means nothing more than filling a pew on Sunday morning, if that.  Lazy Christians feel entitled, as if God owes them something simply because they mouthed the words, "I believe."  It's no wonder that the Church is exploding in non-Western countries while the Western Church relies too much on the comforts they have been blessed with.  If the Western Church would realize that location makes no difference in God's movement, it could recapture the culture that now sadly influences the Church more that the Church influences culture.  The Western Church seems content to mouth certain "special" words and show up at a building for a 2 hour stint and call itself Christian.  Maybe, the Western Church should read what Jesus has to say (Matt. 7:21-13, Rev. 3:16) before trying to justify their fat and lazy lifestyle.

The purpose of the blog is not to be negative toward the Church, but to point out real problems that hinder the Church in the West.  On many occasions I feel like Paul who said, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim. 1:15)."  No one has lived a perfect life, except Jesus, but the three L's defiantly are killers of the Church.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A personal note

Flatland Apologetics will soon be moving; moving to another state that is.  Flatland Apologetics is a personal ministry that was started in the high plains of Northwest Kansas.  My family and I will now be moving to the Northwest; Washington State to be exact. 

The name will remain the same, because I will be living in central Washington which is relatively flat.  I will be answering a call to pastor full time for a Southern Baptist Church.  Needless to say, my life is busy now and I have had little time to post.  I am looking forward to this new challenge and can't wait to settle in and get back to blogging on a more regular basis.  I also am looking forward to the apologetic opportunities in Washington.

My wife and I would appreciate prayers for our family as we transition.  This is Shelby Cade signing off until all the madness settles a bit.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The benefits of doubt

The apostle Thomas is most commonly known as "doubting Thomas."  Poor Thomas, is almost looked at in a negative light for that one incident of doubt.  Even though Thomas doubted, it was not a negative that impaired his entire life.  In fact, once Thomas encountered the risen Christ his life was never the same.  According to tradition, Thomas gave his life as a martyr in Northern India for the cause of Jesus.  Interestingly, Thomas is rarely given credit for recognizing the divinity of Jesus (John 20:28), shortly after his encounter with the risen Lord.

Is doubt only to be seen in a negative light?  Can doubt actually bring about benefits?  As a freshman in college  majoring in Geology, I came to believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah.  Everything about Christianity was new to me.  At the same time, I was receiving a lot of information from my science professors that seemed to cast a negative light on the existence of God and the Christian faith.  I can honestly say that that the first year or two of my Christian walk was one of the most doubt filled times I had as a Christian.  However, even though I had many doubts at the time (and still they surface), I can look back at the benefits of doubt.  I would like to suggest 4 benefits to having doubts in your life.

1.   Doubts keep individuals honest.

One of the charges that atheists lay at the feet of the Christian is that you are only a Christian because of the culture you grew up in.  While this is true to a certain extent, many atheists, I feel, fall victim to the same charge.  Having honest doubts about anything is actually beneficial for one to think outside the box, and not just accept the cultural narrative.

2.   Doubts can cause individuals to research.

Honest doubts can compel individuals to research the evidence of the subject being doubted.  A little research never hurt anyone, in fact, research can only lead to finding out if your doubts are justified or not.

3.   Doubts can bolster an individual's position.

One of the greatest benefits of doubts is that it can strengthen your worldview position.  Many of the past doubts that I have addressed have only increase my faith in the Christian Worldview.  In fact, I enjoy dialoguing with individuals who have a different worldview than my own.  I have found out, over time, that dealing with doubts is minimized the more you are able to address them in an honest way.

4.   Doubts can lead individuals to the truth.

An honest person, that does their own research can be changed to follow the truth.  Many people, such as C.S. Lewis, have faced their doubts head on only to be reached by the truth.  In reality, truth can't be doubted, because truth stands alone.

Not all doubts should be seen in a negative light.  Having doubts can actually be beneficial to the honest person.  Don't doubt me on this!