Naming Jesus

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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, or my job in ministry. On the 7th hole he asked what I do for work. …

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)

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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 …

Slippage Part 2 of 5: Observations about the New Progressives

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In my previous post I wrote about the common practice these days of moving from conservative to progressive on a variety of theological and social issues. A list of such issues might include gender and sexuality, Jesus as a historical figure, the resurrection, religious pluralism – and the doctrines of universal sin, salvation through Christ, and hell. A sampling of …

The Decline of Mental Health on Campus: One Small Antidote

Rick Mattson Apologetics 2 Comments

Counseling centers on college campuses are packed out these days. Students are waiting in long lines to visit a counselor to talk about anxiety, depression, suicide, sexual trauma, substance abuse, and more.* I’m not a counselor but I do offer a listening ear. I hear a lot about medical issues, family conflicts, broken friendships, and academic pressure. And more than …

The 90-10 Rule (part 4 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church 2 Comments

In my prior post I suggested two main causes for students’ diminished participation in the church: ecclesiology, and caricatures from campus (the focus of this post). On campus, the dominant portrayal of the church is that it’s guilty of being a historic oppressor and, in modern times, of excluding persons of alternative lifestyles. My response is to propose a 90-10 …

How Students Got This Way (part 3 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church 2 Comments

In my last post I shared my observations about Christian students’ lack of commitment to the church. How did they come to this position? I offer the following thoughts with a bit of caution. See what you think: 1. We forgot our ecclesiology (theology of the church). A strong ecclesiology says, in effect, there is no true Christian spirituality outside …

Understanding College Students: Church Attendance (part 2 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church Leave a Comment

In my prior post I did a flyover of the collegiate landscape, mainly in terms of atheism and agnosticism. What I meant to suggest is that, overall, campus culture is quite secular. As for religion, it’s allowed to exist as an exception to the prevailing rule of secularism, and especially as a concession forced by higher education’s stated commitment to …