Invitation to Consider the Trustworthiness of the Gospels, Part 1 of 8: Evidence and Faith

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Bible Leave a Comment

Introduction: Normally I write brief blog posts. But in this special series I go more in-depth on an important topic, the trustworthiness (reliability) of the four Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus in the New Testament (NT): Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Even with the added depth I’ve tried to keep the posts accessible and not overly technical. Feel …

Invitation to Consider the Trustworthiness of the Gospels, Part 4 of 8: An Apology to the Wounded

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Bible Leave a Comment

The prior post on Multiple Sources is here. I hope you are tracking along in our study. It’s meant on my part to be an accumulation of smallish arguments that add up to something convincing by day’s end. I leave it to you to judge whether or not I’ve been successful. And I realize the general topic of trustworthiness in …

Hearing God’s Voice in Evangelism

Rick Mattson Evangelism 2 Comments

Mingling in the throng at a local charity event a few months ago, I seemed to get a prompting from the Lord: “Go talk to MC (Minnesota Celebrity).” I obeyed the prompt. But as I started across the room toward MC, he immediately disappeared into a crowd of other celebs. Darn, must not have heard that prompt correctly. I said …

The Five Thresholds of Conversion

Rick Mattson Evangelism Leave a Comment

In their excellent little book, I Once Was Lost, Doug Schaupp and Don Everts talk about the stages or “thresholds” that people go through on the road from unbelief to belief. This is important for Christians as we share the faith with others. Many secular persons have a lengthy process in front of them to find Jesus. The thresholds represent …

In Evangelism, Climb Out of the Boat . . .

Rick Mattson Evangelism Leave a Comment

In my prior post I suggested that when it comes to the business of evangelism, we Christians don’t “bring Jesus” to others. We’re not salespeople. Rather, we’re detectives, investigators. Our job is to discern what God is already doing in the lives of those around us, then get involved. But how? How do we participate in this work of God? …

God Gets There First

Rick Mattson Evangelism 12 Comments

A kindly man in my neighborhood, Gene, has not spoken to me, nor I to him, in 25 years. Our disassociation is not due to any animosity I’m aware of but, most likely, to simple neglect. Recently, things changed. Gene traversed the vast chasm separating us – our back alley – to initiate contact. He came to tell me the …

Naming Jesus

Rick Mattson Evangelism 9 Comments

I met John at a golf tournament, and at some point in our four-hour tour of 18 holes together, we talked religion. This always happens. I bring it up in one form or another by mentioning church, prayer, hymns, Bible, religion in the media, etc. On the 7th hole he asked what I do for work. The easy reply is …

Slippage Part 5 of 5: Is the Ancient Faith Dismissible?

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In my prior post I shared about Sean and how his new found progressive religion reshaped the entire faith of his upbringing. Here is my response to Sean: Since traditional Christianity was no longer relevant to Sean – and even seemed to block the pathway toward his ideals of justice and compassion – he merely dismissed it. But it seems …

Slippage Part 4 of 5: How Sean Lost His Faith (or most of it)

Rick Mattson Apologetics Leave a Comment

In my last post I noted how the dismissal of biblical social ethics regarding gender, sexuality, and religious pluralism is often a result of ignorance.   Leavers too often believe the media/cultural hype about the Bible and the “institutional church.” Thus, there is a bandwagon effect of rejecting parts or all of Christianity. But another group of critics is more …

Slippage Part 3 of 5: Injustice and the Bible

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In my prior post I made the observation that emerging progressive thinkers are often motivated by 21st century notions of compassion and justice, which the Christian tradition, they say, does not support. Examples would be the unjust treatment of women, LGBTQ, and persons of color. As a traditional Christian, I share these concerns from within a biblical framework. But is …