All too often religions are said to cause evil and to cause wars. The Crusades are often times mentioned to support this claim. Andy interviews Stephen Puls, a Lutheran high school history teacher, who explains what the Crusades were, why they started, and what went wrong.
In the second segment, they turn towards looking at the role of Atheism in connection with wars!
By the end of this episode, you'll have some great talking points whenever such an argument against religion arises. And of course, the goal is to use these talking points to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some suggested ways of making this connection are also mentioned in this episode.
Have you seen the movie Footloose? It's about a youth who just moved into a very strict Christian community where he is signaled out as a troublemaker, almost instantly because he didn't adhere to the "Christian" principles of the town. He was essentially "shunned" because of it. That movie is based on real scenarioes that have occured for some poeple, becuase there are certainly Christian communities that stress certain rules and regulations amongst their members, such as don't drink, don't gamble, don't dance, don't be associated with known sinners, and etc.
These religious expectations amongst some Christian circles have led many nonChristians who have interacted with such groups to assume that these rules are the norm amongst all Christians. They have thus become Christian stereotypes. Brett Shoemaker has made a list of ten Christian stereotypes that he hates. Andy grills him to find out if these stereotypes are in fact things that Christians should uphold and obey as commands from God, or if these Christian stereotypes fall into the realm of Christian freedom. If these stereotypes are NOT in fact mandated by Scripture, and if these stereotypes have become unnecessary burdens or divisions for nonChristians to hear and receive the Gospel, then how should Christians respond who DON'T fit these stereotypes? And if a Christian DOES fit these stereotypes, how should he or she respond to them if they aren't in fact Scriptural mandates for everyone. Andy shares many comments from Christians who disagree with Brett's list of stereotypes, many of whom thought Brett was a nonChristian mocking Christianity when he wrote this list.
For more information and links for this show, visit the Reconnect Episode 9 blog post at andywrasman.com.
George and Andy, discuss a series of articles from Credo House entitled: 21 Things Christians Say to Hurt Their Credibility. In this episode they have time to discuss three of these statements:
Andy and George agree that some of these statements really do hurt the credibility of our Christian witness and should be avoided, but they come to disagree with at least one of these articles, because they think the statement is in fact Scriptural, thus should be spoken, but maybe there is a better way of presenting the truth to a nonbeliever.
Other questions and topics emerge as they discuss these articles, such as: how do we know the Bible is the Word of God, how should we respond to questions we don't know the answers, is it possible for Christians to have all the answers to life's questions, what exactly is revealed to us in Scripture and why, how should we approach preparing answers to difficult questions raised against or about the Christian faith, why should churches teach apologetics, and the very controversial topic of varying degrees of punishment in hell!
If you want to chime in on any of these topics or give a short review of any episode of Reconnect, record a short 30 second to one minute long audio clip, stating your name and the episode number you are addressing, and send it to Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org as an mp3 file. If you have any questions you want addressed on the show, send them there via email as well. Thanks. Reconnect us, Oh Lord.
Andy Wrasman received an email from an angry man who had encountered someone wearing a Contradict T-Shirt. This gentlemen lets Andy know that the Messiah is prophesied to:
A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)
D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).
This gentlemen explains that Jesus has not met any of these Messianic prophesies. He goes onto to state that because the Bible claims that Jesus was born of a virgin, he cannot be of the line of David from his father's side, which he claims is required in Scipture. He also states other ways in which Jesus contradicts the Hebrew Bible.
Andy seeks help from Old Testament teacher, Conni Schramm, to address all of the objections this gentlement raises.
The email can be read in full at www.andywrasman.com.