Andy has a website called Contradict Movement, where he sells stickers that spell Contradict using various religious symbols. He also sells Contradict Gospel tracts to accompany these stickers and his book, Contradict - They Can't All Be True. Links are also given to his blog, Youtube channel, and Reconnect Podcast. All of these resources are purposed to equip Christians to defend the good news of Jesus Christ in a pluralistic age.
Periodically, Andy receives messages that call for him to stop Contradict Movement, because it is a distortion of what Coexist actually is and that Contradict is a hateful movement!
In this episode, he shares the following email and the several back and forth replies that followed:
"I'm not sure I understand your message or your goal for this "movement". The Coexist Movement is simply a call for peace among religions. Pointing out that different religions are different seems to be a mute point. Why go against a peaceful movement to point out our differences? No one is claiming that all religions are the same. We know that all religions are diverse and different from one another, we are just trying to coexist peacefully and respectfully. Will you please stop this movement? You are making a bad name for Christians everywhere, making Christianity the "hateful religion". Please stop."
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
This star is often depicted as a bright, roaming globe that shines a spotlight directly on the house of Mary and Joseph for the magi to follow. If this star actually appeared in this fashion, wouldn’t it be obvious to everyone, not just wise men from the east who studied the stars? If this star didn’t exist, what would that mean for the truthfulness about the entire Gospel narrative? Is there evidence outside of the Bible that this star existed?
These questions prompted Andy Reese to dig deep into astronomy, historical records, and the bread crumbs left in God’s Word concerning the historicity of this special star phenomenon. In this episode he will answer these questions and many more.
Andy Reese is a church leader, teacher, and writer. His website is andyreese.org.
In the first segment, Andy shares his article, "Seeing Christ In Your Christmas," and in the second segment, John Campbell discusses why Christians shouldn't worry about celebrating Christmas out of fear that they are somehow endorsing paganism!
“Seeing Christ in Your Christmas” by Andy Wrasman
There are many simple ways to see Christ in Christmas. One way to accomplish this goal is by drawing Biblical parallels with the traditional Christmas tree décor. As long as Christians are not glorifying pagan beliefs and practices, or bowing at the altar of gluttonous consumerism through our American Christmas tree traditions, then there is freedom in Christ to take what has become a hallmark of the secular world at the time we celebrate the birth of our Lord, and point it all back to Jesus being the reason for the season. With no plea to reject Black Friday shopping as the day to get your Christmas season started off on the right foot, and with no “Bah Humbug” towards the secular spirit of Christmas, here’s a list to check twice to see Christ this Christmas.
The Christmas tree is an evergreen tree, because it doesn’t lose its needles through the winter. Using this type of tree points to the eternal life that Jesus Christ offers to the world. Jesus is the one who was, and is, and is to come! (Revelation 4:8). The Christmas tree also harkens us back to the tree upon which Christ was slain, the tree by which eternal life has been given to the world. (Galatians 3:13)
The traditional tree toppers – a bow, an angel, or a star – all point to the Christmas tree representing Jesus. Bows adorn gifts, and the coming of Christ into the world is a reminder that the Father gave Jesus as a gift out of his great love for us. (John 3:16) At Jesus’ birth, Luke records a great multitude of angels proclaiming the Good News of his arrival to shepherds who watched over their flock at night. (Luke 2:8-18) Matthew tells of wise men traveling from the east, following a star to the birth place of the awaited Messiah (Hebrew for Christ). (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1-12)
The wise men from the east, who followed the star of Christ, brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, valuable gifts that were common to give to a king. If the Christmas tree is seen to represent Christ, the gifts at the foot of the tree draw us back to the gifts the wise men laid before baby Jesus as they worshiped him. (Matthew 2:11) Our gift giving at Christmas should serve to remind us that as we give to others who are in need, we are giving to Jesus. (Matthew 25:34-40) And if the gifts at the tree are seen to have come from Santa Claus, an all-knowing, all-loving, apparently all-powerful, and never dying father-figure who cares for children, it should point us to the true gift-giver, God our heavenly Father. (James 1:17)
The lights that are held up by being draped across the Christmas tree’s branches are a final touch that point back to Christians, the Church. John begins his Gospel biography of Christ by saying that in Jesus “was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4, ESV). The light of Jesus shines in the darkness of this sin cursed world. (John 1:5) The light of Jesus enlightens men as to who God is. (John 1:9) Later in his Gospel, John directly quotes Jesus as having said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). As Christians know the Lord through Jesus, and possess eternal life and the light of Christ, we become just what Jesus calls us in his Sermon on the Mount, “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
When we look at the Christmas tree, we are reminded that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. The Light of the World has revealed himself, lighting the path to eternal life. As Christians are connected to Christ, we shine the light of Christ into a fallen world. The Church that is spread out across the world, and is still growing, shines as many dispersed beacons of hope in a fallen and depraved world. Jesus came, died for our sins, rose for our salvation, and is patiently waiting for more to come to know of his love and grace.
This Christmas, remember that Jesus came once with angels and with a star as the ultimate gift of God to this world, and Jesus will come again; this time with the entire heavenly host with the falling of all the stars as he returns for his chosen and holy people. Let’s help the world see Christ this December, as we hold out the Good News of Jesus Christ in all that we say and all that we do in our Christmas celebration.
Should some Christian worship songs and hymns not be song in corporate, public worship? Are some songs good or at least OK songs, for personal worship in your car driving to work, but not for congregational singing?
Jonathan Pratt says, “Yes!” He has compiled and edited a list of criteria for discernment in hymn selection. If you have never asked yourself, “What types of songs are sung in your church’s services and gatherings and why?” this episode of Reconnect is a must listen for you. If you are a pastor or worship leader in charge of selecting your congregation’s music and you can’t explain why each and every song was picked for the service, and if you do have the answers, but your answers don’t contain theological reasons, you should definitely listen to this episode!
Jonathan Pratt lays out six categories of criteria for song selection in congregational singing while Tyler Dawson and David Pratt critique or confirm Jonathan’s list. Andy Wrasman for the most part just moderates and asks questions for this episode.
“Criteria for Discernment in Hymn Selection” as compiled and edited by Jonathan Pratt
Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel
Theology of the Cross
Corporate Nature of the Text
Music Serving the Text
Proper Union of Text and Tune
Musical Integrity of Tune and Setting
Churchly Character of the Tune
Church Year and Lectionary Appropriate
Supportive of Daily Devotional Life
Ability of Text and Tune to Withstand Repeated Usage
Cultivating Faith and Piety
Provides Comfort to the Believer
Scripture mentions John’s baptism, Jesus’ baptism, baptism of water, baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, baptism by fire, and baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some of these descriptions are just different ways of describing the same type of baptism, and certainly most Christians would agree with this.
One particular denomination, the Assemblies of God, hold specific teachings about Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Their denomination confesses that Baptism in the Holy Spirit is distinct and separate for water baptism and the new birth of a believer. This baptism is the bestwoal of the Holy Spirit upon a believer that gives the believer certain spiritual gifts and a boldness to share the Gospel and an overflowing joy, or sense of the Spirit’s presence. This baptism according to the Assemblies of God is recognized by the physical sign of speaking in tongues. So if you haven’t spoken in tongues, it would mean you haven’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Andy lays out what he thinks is the proper Scriptural understanding of Baptism in the Holy Spirit to Jonathan Bennet and Jonathan Pratt. This is a type of baptism that many Christians circles typically associate with water baptism (washing in the name of the Triune Lord) or the moment a person’s conversion. Andy however sees something entirely different from the Assemblies of God and most other Christian groups!
To present his understanding of what he calls, Spirit-Baptism, for short, Andy answers the following two questions:
1. Is there a difference between having the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit?
2. Is there a difference between having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and having been baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Check the Scriptures used in this episode and see what you think. Is Andy properly interpreting Scripture?
Spirit-Baptism by Andy Wrasman
Contradict - They Can't All Be True by Andy Wrasman
The presidential election for 2016 is over!
So it’s time to talk about a different kind of election, the election of sinners by God to salvation. Andy shares the five points of Calvinism and Arminianism, the two common theological systems that are debated and compared when discussing God’s role in salvation. But then the curveball comes, the Lutheran position on election is presented, a position which rarely discussed in the predestination debate among Christians. The Lutheran understanding of single-predestination is by far a different election from Calvin’s double-predestination.
Some show notes:
Five Points of Calvinism
T – otal Depravity
U – nconditional Election
L – imited Atonement
I – irresistible Grace
P – reservation of the Saints
Five Points of Arminianism
Lutherans hold to 1.5 points of Calvinism and 3 Points of Arminianism–
Total Depravity and Predestination for Salvation
General Atonement, Grace is Resistible, and Falling from Faith
We are saved by grace through faith.
Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:3
Ephesians 2:5 “God makes us alive.”
We are incapable of deciding to have faith.
1 Corinthians 12:3
Ephesians 2:1 “We are dead in our sins and trespasses.”
John 6:441 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
Any verse about being born again indicates this also, for what role do we play in our natural birth? None!
Since faith is purely a gift of God and we play no role in our conversion, then it could be assumed that God then chooses who will be saved, and also chooses who will not be saved.
Here’s what Scripture says on the matter:
God elects/predestines to salvation!
Ephesians 1:3-13, 4:3-5
Ephesians 2:4-5 “God made us alive (spiritually).
2 Timothy 1:8-9
It is the will of God that no man should perish!
1 Timothy 1:3-4
2 Peter 3:8-9
Andy is flying ranting solo for this episode of Reconnect.
This episode was released on Sunday, earlier than the typical Tuesday release. The Friday of the release week is Veterans Day, so Andy shares some thoughts on Christian vocation and quotes from Martin Luther to illustrate how soldiers are loving God and their neighbors through their calling in the military.
The rest of the episode is an eclectic bullet that covers the following topics, fit for Election Week:
10 questions Andy received that are to be answered by a pro-life candidate running for federal office
The damaging consequences of homosexuality and why the government shouldn’t approve gay marriage
Health Care is a commodity not a right.
Ben Carson Quote
Students at Berkley protesting for spaces on campus that are to only be for students of color and students who are LGBTQAZB+ and how they kept white students from entering the campus – No Liberal, Social Justice Warrior outrage – WHY?
There is only one race – the Human Race!
Trey Gowdy – “I hate relativism!”
The Gospel – Christ died for all sins!
Jesus said that he came to give life and to give it the full. He also said that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) It should be pretty obvious which side of the abortion debate Jesus stands and which side the devil hides.
In this episode, James Conrad shares his family's personal experiences with multiple abortions and the tragic aftermath that these murders have left for the survivors in his family. The good that has arisen from these horrendous loses of lives is that James' mother started a pro-life activism group who has fought relentlessly for the rights and lives of the unborn.
James shares why all lives matter and why everyone has equal rights to life and how abortions are very harmful to women. He also responds to the argument that abortions should be legal to save the life of the mother and gives some important advice on responding to several political questions that pro-life advocates often times encounter.
Andy and Tony discuss an article written by Sara Benincase entitled, "A Gentile Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Skinned Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump."
Sticking the Reconnect dedication of sharing and defending the Good News of Jesus Christ, Andy and Tony do share the Gospel in this episode, but there is a large focus on a broadened use of the term Gospel that refers to the Gospel biographies, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The article they are discussing claims that Jesus was a refugee, that he started free healthcare, that he was killed by conservatives, and that he certainly wouldn't have voted for Donald Trump, so Andy and Tony focus on discussing if Sara's article accurately portrays what is revealed about Jesus in the Gospel biographies. They also spend a good bit of time discussing if Sara's article accurately portrays the things Donald Trump has said about Mexicans and women.
Finally, they discuss how and why many Christians do plan to vote for Donald Trump and how it's possible for them to do so with a clear conscience.
“A Gentle Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Skinned Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump” by Sara Benincasa
“Women’s Healthcare Will be Vastly Improved if Planned-Parenthood is Defunded” by Arina Grossu
“Donald Trump’s History of Empowering Women” excerpts from a Washington Post Article
Did Donald call all Mexicans rapists? Check the actual quote that Andy read on the episode for yourself.
Hillary Clinton: Career Criminal – Must Watch Video If You Are Voting For Hillary
“I wrote about Max and Beth to Defend Christian Trump Supporters” by Mario Murillo
All Christian church congregations and denominations read God’s Word and have baptism and communion. However, baptism and communion are both divisive within God’s Church. In this episode, Wes and Andy discuss what Scripture says about baptism. In particular, they address the questions:
The answers to these questions are important since they involve salvation and they have divided the Church for centuries.
Please look up the Bible verses they share as you listen. Ask yourself if the verses convey promises of forgiveness of sins in baptism or promises of being connected to Christ’s death and resurrection in the waters of baptism. Ask yourself if the verses they share emphasis the work of the believer in his or her baptism or the work of God through baptism. Ask yourself how the forgiveness of sins that Christ won on the cross is delivered to people today.
“Does Baptism Save You?” by Andy Wrasman
Scripture reveals that Jesus, from the time of his incarnation, is both fully God and fully man.
The Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD produced the Chalcedonian Creed to counter the false explanations of the union of the two natures of Christ and the down-right heretical teachings concerning the incarnation of Christ. Four key statements can be drawn from this creed:
1. Christ is fully (perfectly) God.
2. Christ is fully (perfectly) human.
3. The divine nature and human nature are united in the person of Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ is one person.
These four statements can be placed along each side of a box. This box is the Chalcedonian Box. As long as any teaching, anecdote, or analogy of the person and work of Christ maintains that Jesus is fully God, fully man, one person, with two natures, it lands within this box. When one of these doctrines is distorted, or worse, erased, the teaching lands outside of the box is appropriately labeled a heresy.
Alan Shlemon, a speaker, teacher, and writer, for Stand to Reason, created a slide for a presentation he gave on the incarnation of Christ. At the center of the slide is the Chalcedonian Box with a clipart image of Jesus in the middle of the box. Outside of the box lies DC’s Batman and Superman and Marvel’s the Hulk and Spider-Man.
Wes and Andy discuss this excellent image Shlemon created! Jon Pratt sits like a fly on the wall once again.
How are Batman, Superman, the Hulk, and Spider-Man not good analogies to use to explain how Jesus can be one person with natures? Why does it matter if we are missing the mark of Scripture with these comic book analogies? Also, more importantly, what Christological heresies align with these modern day comic book superhero analogies to let us know that people have actually taught Christ in these throughout history, and in some cases still do!
Joe Bongiorno is the owner and operator of The Royal Publisher of Oz. He serves as the guest for the 2016 Reconnect Halloween Special to discuss Supernatural Horror in Music, the subtitle for his book, Black Sabbath The Illustrated Lyrics Volume 1.
For many Reconnect listeners, it might come as a shock that a podcast dedicated to sharing and defending the Good News of Jesus Christ has an entire episode devoted to the lyrics of Black Sabbath, much less a Halloween special episode, however, Bongiorno took a surprising approach on how to start his eight volume anthology. Even before the inside title page, publisher information, copyright listings, ISBN numbers, and table of contents, the first words are from the Bible. Bongiorno chose to start Black Sabbath The Illustrated Lyrics by quoting, Acts 26:17-18: “I am sending you to them to open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the power of Satan and to God.” This is not what most people would think about to describe a rock n roll band, and certainly not what they would first think of for Black Sabbath.
Bongiorno shares the distinctions between supernatural horror and natural horror and explains examples of supernatural horror within Black Sabbath’s first album. The horrors and consequences of the occult are revealed, a Christ-like figure emerges as a wizard that demons fear, the devil woos a woman he loves (or is it all deception?), while the wicked world spins on a man receive omens in the sky that he ignores to his and our peril, while all along at the center of the album, the “wall of sleep is lying broken” as the “sun shines in, you have awoken.” There is hope. There is light.
The centerpiece message of "Behind the Wall of Sleep" contains what Bongiorno thinks is the underlying philosophy of Black Sabbath's full body of work: “Now from darkness, there springs light.” Over, and over, and over again, light triumphs over darkness in metanarative of Black Sabbath's lyrics. Paul echoes this sentiment pointing us back to creation and the renewal of man that comes through Jesus Christ: “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Andy again takes a look at Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. Chan, like many Christians, desires to see Christians living godly lives that demonstrate a radical transformation, lives that should be drastically distinct from those of everyone else’s who is not Christian by demonstration of crazy generosity, crazy humanitarian aid, crazy devotion to the Lord and to all people, crazy abstinence from all forms of sinful desires, short Christians should love crazily, just as God has crazily loved us. But how often and consistently do Christians truly and sincerely exhibit such crazy love?
If such love is the standard of being a Christian, then many of us are not saved, by Chan’s presentation of this crazy love mark of a Christian. Where would David or Solomon fit with this standard? Where would the chief of all sinners, Paul, who did not do the good he desired to do, but instead did the evil he hated, stand before an almighty God? Would they be called friend? Will they receive the praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Will any of us?
Judging our salvation by our adherence to the Law of God is devastating to one’s faith in Christ. It takes our trust off of Jesus Christ crucified. Instead of boasting in Christ, we are turned inwards towards our own deeds. We must point to our works to demonstrate our crazy justifying love. However, Scripture demonstrates that it’s from God’s love for humanity that he sent Christ who demonstrates that love for us by dying for all of our sins. The penalty for all of our sins is paid in full. That’s where our assurance of salvation comes, from an alien righteousness, a righteousness from outside ourselves that is imputed on us. It is not an infused righteousness.
What is Law and Gospel?
Andy listens to Chapter 4 of Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love.
Chan teaches that a crazy love from God demands a crazy response from us. But... too many people who claim to be Christian are responding in lukewarm ways.
In Chapter 4 of Crazy Love, Chan details the profile of a lukewarm person. The lukewarm person is not the good soil of Jesus' "Parable of the Sower and Soils." The lukewarm person is not a lukewarm Christian, since lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron.
The kicker though is that we all have elements of lukewarmness in our lives, and even Chan admits this, so wouldn't that mean none of us our saved? How would we know if we have too much lukewarmness in our lives to be counted among God's people?
The biggest problem is that Chan is pointing us towards ourselves for assurance of our justification and not to Christ and his saving work. He is saying that a fulfillment of the Law on our part is how we can know if we are really saved or not.
Crazy Love is an immensely popular book and Andy knows someone who doubted his salvation after reading Crazy Love. Whenever we are pointed to look at ourselves and not to Christ, we will inevitably doubt our salvation if we are are not deceiving ourselves concerning our sinfulness.
Adam Ford is the man behind the prolific and often viral producing online comic-strip Adam4D. He’s a Christian, a husband, and father of three young boys. Back in 2014, he quit his job to create comic strips full-time.
Since launching the Contradict – They Can’t All Be True Facebook page to help promote my book by that title, I have regularly found myself sharing Ford’s work. Those posts generally draw many likes and shares. His strips are often times found on many other Christian social media pages, typically groups or individuals who accept that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God. Groups and individuals who are not labeled as liberal Christians or heretics!
When he’s not using presuppositional apologetics to tear down false-worldviews, or picking apart the lies of Darwinian Evolution, Ford is typically highlighting the pitfalls of legalism and self-justification within Christian circles, or the way verses are often times ripped out of their context and twisted to mean something that was never implied within the text.
The Gospel typically had predominance in his doctrinal and homiletical comic strips, so he gains many fans who recognize that we truly are saved solely by the work of God that faith really is a gift and work of the Holy Spirit.
But sometimes, even when we are pointing to Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith, the only one who works in our conversion and salvation, we can still twist Scripture. And when Jesus and his saving work is front and center, it’s easier for us conservative mongergists to clap, clap, clap and share, share, share, when we shouldn’t.
I think Adam Ford took a misstep when he was taking a swing at the prosperity Gospel preachers in his strip entitled, “Good News: We Are Not David.” I saw many people share this strip, people I personally know, but I couldn’t hit the like button this time, and I couldn’t hit the share button without posting a critique.
For this episode, I gathered Conni Schramm, back from episodes 7 and 64, Jon Rutherford, back from some recent episodes, and Jonathan Platt, who was sitting on the wall like a fly, but kept hopping on a mic to interject questions.
Andy, Conni, and Jonathan discuss the importance of church choirs from their Biblical support and historical role in the Church. Jonathan Aigner's blog post, "9 Reasons to Keep the Church Choir Alive" serves as a guide for the discussion topic too. As always on Reconnect, the church choir theme is tied to sharing the Gospel.
Andy was a guest on Fear Knot Radio, where he got to share Contradict Movement with Vincent and Cynthia Hill, the hosts of Fear Knot Radio.
This episode is short. It's an update for the state of the podcast. Andy's taking two months off from releasing any new episodes.
In the meantime, he hopes to finish a process of being a called Theology teacher in the LC-MS and get some Sunday School curriculum made that will be available on the Contradict Movement website.
A gorilla was recently killed at the Cincinnati Zoo to save the life of a toddler that had fallen into the gorilla's cage.
The result was a social media uproar! There was immense outrage that the gorilla was shot. Many suggested that the child should be the one to have died or that the parents should be charged with the death of the gorilla. At stake in such backlash to the zoo's decision to kill the gorilla to save the child is the value of human life in comparison to that of animals. Is all life equally valuable? Are some species more valuable than others? Is human life more valuable than the life of all other species? Would the zoo have killed 10,000 gorillas to save the life of one toddler? Where is the value of life derived? Where does human value find its grounding?
Wes, Ben, and Andy discuss all of these questions from a Christian worldview, while trying to get inside the inner workings of some other belief systems.
Andy received the following email in response to a Contradict tract a man was handed:
Hey Andy Wrasman,
Someone handed me a pamphlet about your movement! I read through it and I noticed a few problems. You say, "In light of these contradictions, all religions simply can't be true. They could all potentially be false, but they can't all be true" and I'm inclined to agree! However, if this statement about contradictions is true, how do you reconcile all of the contradictions among the Gospels like Joseph having different genealogies in Matthew and Luke, the date of the Last Supper which differs from the others in John, and the nature of Judas' death in Matthew and Acts? By your own logic, shouldn't the Gospels be viewed as false?
Secondly, you say in your pamphlets that "the original Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or written by people who wrote using eyewitness testimony." The earliest Gospel, Mark, was written 30-40 years after Jesus died, allowing plenty of time "for myths to have crept into the accounts."
I know you're probably just trying to take advantage of fundamentalists who want to buy cool and edgy shirts and bumper stickers, but come on dude, you should be able to do better than this.
In this episode, Andy gives his response!
Andy watches an episode of CrashCourse, an educational channel on Youtube, that answered "The Problem of Evil". The answers from the show focus on a Theistic response to evil and the existence of God, which utterly fail to present the answer to the problem from a Christian worldview. Enjoy!
How can all-good and all-powerful God allow evil to exist?
Listen along as Jon takes a quiz that Andy created to help facilitate a conversation to answer this common and difficult question against the consistency of the Christian worldview.
Visit www.andywrasman.com and see the post for Episode 57 to access show links.
Episode 16 of Reconnect featuredguest, Ken Chitwood, sharing an article he wrote entitled,“Building Bridges: Toward Constructing a ChristianFoundation for Inter-Religious Relationships in the Shift fromReligious Privilege to Spiritual Plurality”. Thekey points for inter-religious dialog that Ken suggests are: payattention, find, and form, friendships, listen and learn, dine,dialog, and do together, discern, and witness to the worldview.
While I agree with many of Ken’s points to approachinginter-religious dialog, I have a different application of the term“building bridges”. I explain this approach in an articlethat I wrote for Reformation 21: “Embracing Religious Contradictions to ProclaimChrist Crucified: Tolerance andCoexistence”. Looking at Acts 17, I see how Paul knew thebeliefs and culture of those he was sharing the Gospel ofJesus. He made the presentation of the Gospel from startingwithin their belief system with a point of contact that he coulduse to make a connection to the Biblical narrative ofsalvation. I was given the opportunity to share this approachto evangelism at Brookfield Lutheran Church in Brookfield,Wisconsin. This episode contains that sermonmessage.
Senior pastor at Brookfield Lutheran Church, Robert Mrosko, was a guest onReconnect Episode 39, discussingStar Wars.
The building bridges technique I am advocating for is alsoshared in Episode 34: “Storytelling Evangelism”.
David Pratt has been a Lutheran high school teacher for twelve years. In his theology classes, no matter the course title, he constantly sprinkles apologetics into the lesson plans. After listening to episodes 22 and 29 of Reconnect, which both explained and critiqued the use of various approaches to Apologetics, he had a lot of feedback to provide. In this episode, David shares his commentary on those episodes, correcting what he thought was not always an accurate depiction of presupositional apologetics in those episodes. Hopefully, you’ll learn as much from his feedback as I did. His explanation and use of presuppositional apologetics has certainly given me a much better understanding of the usefulness and tactful approach to take with presuppositional arguments for the purpose of sharing both the Law and Gospel of God’s Word. – Andy Wrasman
Andy likes to surf the New Age shops to see the new lingo and directions of the oneist, pagan lefties. He discovered a sticker that read, “Christianity Has Pagan DNA.” Andy snatched one (after purchasing it) and used it as a centerpiece for a small group church discussion guide. Ben and Jonathan join Andy for this episode of Reconnect to discuss this sticker. Hopefully you like the conversation that ensues and if so be sure to go to Episode 54 at www.andywrasman.com to access the guide Andy created so you can have this same discussion with your local small group Bible study, Sunday school class, or youth group.
Christianity Has Pagan DNA! Questions
Who is a pagan? What’s paganism?
Does the Bible give any indication that there is pagan DNA within Christianity?
Even if there are real and intentional connections to pagan mythology and beliefs in the Bible do these connections in any way discredit the Christian message?
Do you we have any pagan practices, imagery, or carry-overs from pre-Christian culture within modern day expressions of Christianity? How do you respond to these?
What do you think this sticker means by pagan DNA within Christianity?
Christianity Has Pagan DNA Sticker Group Discussion Guide
Episode 43 of Reconnect: Jesus’ Plagiarized Resurrection Myth