Notepad Apologetics, Short Lesson #2: Is Christianity a Historic Oppressor?

Rick Mattson Apologetics 0 Comments

In my prior post I offered suggestions on the question of religious pluralism. The present post is a short “notepad” response to the charge that Christianity is guilty of oppressing women and people of color for centuries. My response:    1. Acknowledge wrong: When Western Christians have imposed themselves on native peoples, held slaves, or held women back from full …

Notepad Apologetics, Short Lesson #1: Are All Religions True?

Rick Mattson Apologetics 0 Comments

  This series of posts will give you immediate direction for apologetic conversations. Remember that “apologetics” is the discipline of defending a position, in this case Christianity. First issue: Religious Pluralism Objection to Christianity: Christianity has no monopoly on the truth. Other religions are just as valid. My response:      1. Affirm what I can. What’s true in Islam? Mormonism? …

Story Part 2: How to Read the Biblical Story

Rick Mattson Apologetics 0 Comments

A few years ago when I read the famous book pictured at left, it changed the way I approach the Bible. Robert Alter taught me to pay closer attention to the story of Scripture, that is, to the author’s intended literary elements, such as: “the minute choice of words and reported details, the pace of narration, the small movements of dialogue, …

Story Part 1: Jesus Used Stories. So Should We.

Rick Mattson Apologetics 4 Comments

In his fine book Reimagining Evangelism, Prof. Rick Richardson of Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Center reminds us of the power of story: “Jesus taught truth by telling stories and his stories still reverberate in our souls centuries later: the prodigal son, the sower, the parables of the kingdom. Jesus knew how to lodge truth not just in our heads but …

Religious Reciprocity: Part 3

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Religious Pluralism 2 Comments

Is it fair for me to expect a “satisfied” adherent of another religion to investigate Christianity, while I am not necessarily motivated to pursue their religion? The short answer is this: only if Christianity is true. This answer, however, begs the question of whether Christianity is actually true, and how a person could possibly know this if they’ve never thoroughly investigated all …

Religious Reciprocity: Part 1

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Religious Pluralism 1 Comment

What happens to persons who’ve never taken the time and trouble to pursue Christianity as a possible “true religion”? Perhaps they feel satisfied with their own views, whether religious or not. Is that wrong? Will God punish them? One person put it this way in an email: What if sincere Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christians did not here a clear, …

Religious Reciprocity: Part 2

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Religious Pluralism 2 Comments

A question from my prior post is this: What happens to those who’ve never heard a detailed, quality presentation of the gospel message, and feel satisfied with their own religion or worldview? The implied question is whether God will accept this person on the day of judgment, given that the person had no compelling reason to investigate Christianity. My response is that …

Why isn’t God more Obvious? Part 3

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Hiddenness of God 2 Comments

Melanie asked if she could talk with me about faith in God. Or her lack of faith. More precisely, her former faith. I agreed. At dinner in a large cafeteria, we sat together. Six other college students gathered around to listen in. Melanie recounted how she’d been raised in the church and had once been a strong believer, but had fallen away due to being …