2017 has been a wild ride, hasn’t it? Today we’re looking back on the top 5 most popular posts from our blog (based on views) and feeling pretty grateful for the chance to see what 2018 will bring. Thank you and Happy New Year, friends!
Where does the soul come from? In previous weeks we have talked about the ideas of Traducianism and pre-existence. The last theory to discuss is that of creationism. Creationism, sometimes referred to as special creationism, is the belief that every soul is created by God sometime at or after conception and is placed into the human fetus.
The pencil game, the Charlie Charlie game, the #CharlieCharlieChallenge; it is known by a few different names. While we have seen the Charlie Charlie pencil game around for the last few months, the #CharlieCharlieChallenge has gone viral over 1.6 million tweets as of this week. The #CharlieCharlieChallenge has its roots in the Spanish version called Juego de la lapicera. Supposedly this has “ancient Mexican roots” but I have not seen any legitimate references given to that claim. The backstory on Charlie is pretty diverse and unsubstantiated but some have claimed Charlie is the spirit of an abused Mexican child while others say he is a Mexican deity (I’ve never heard of an ancient deity called Charlie…).
Let’s begin in the beginning; the beginning of the universe, that is!
(This article will attempt to explain in simplified terms the Kalam Cosmological Argument, so that it can be easily relayed to young children. Quick conversation examples and resources can be found at the bottom of the article.)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.” Isaiah 45:12
This question can take on a few different forms but the essence is usually asking why God would allow pain, suffering, or death to effect a seemingly innocent person. Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? How do we answer this question when our peers, family members or friends ask?
The following is a fairly straightforward, logical response to “Why do bad things happen to good people?” PLEASE remember this however, if a hurting, grieving human being approaches you in their moment of need, they are probably not interested in hearing you launch into a polemic against the existence of “good people.” In those moments we need to be the listening, empathizing, sympathizing hands and feet of Christ. Certainly, your head knowledge will inform your response, and there are definitely times during conversation or debate in which the above is entirely appropriate to share, but deeply hurting and emotional people need your love and compassion in that moment far more than they need a lecture. In other words, know your audience, listen well, and love as you ought.
Without fail, when our family opens up The Action Bible (or any book, for that matter) one question will be asked. Every time. Multiple times.
“Which one is the bad guy?”
And each time, without fail, we explain that things aren’t so black and white. That some of these bad guys will become good guys, and some of these good guys were once bad guys, and ultimately, every guy in here is a bad guy in one way or another, except Jesus. This has gotten us thinking about how we categorize bad guys and how that translates to our apologetic interactions.
Recently, I was playing the game Operation with one of my children. If you’ve never
endured enjoyed this pastime, let me break it down for you. Players take turns using tweezers to pull out various afflictions, ranging from a bird in the brain to a frog in the throat, from your patient “Cavity Sam.” But, if you’re not careful, the tweezers will hit the side of the opening, causing a loud buzzer to sound and red light to flash. Cavity Sam is riddled with ailments and he needs some desperate treatment. Enter heresy.
Tonight we will be on the Apologetics.com radio show!
Tonight’s radio show will be on the importance of teaching apologetics and theology to children. Sam Welbaum will be joined by Justin Davis, Prashanth Daniel, and Jason Camorlinga. Looking forward to it! Tune in: KKLA 99.5 FM, midnight-2am PST.
Here is a list of the resources we may have mentioned this evening:
Books & DVDs
- The Action Bible
- Dr. Craig’s “What is God Like?” series by Dr. William Lane Craig
- Fact or Fantasy? A Children’s Study Book on How to Defend Your Faith by David Walters
- Case for Christ for Kids by Lee Strobel
- Young Defenders series by Melissa Cain Travis
- Picture Book Apologetics series by J.D. Camorlinga
- It Couldn’t Just Happen by Lawrence O. Richards
- Illustra Media’s Intelligent Design DVDs
- Resurrection iWitness by Doug Powell
- Children Desiring God Sunday School curriculum
- The Blog of Natasha Crain (Parenting with apologetics and theology): http://christianmomthoughts.com/
- Stand to Reason’s posts tagged for youth: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/youth/
- The Poached Egg’s posts tagged for youth: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/youth/
- Ratio Christi’s Apologetics Resources for Kids
- J. Warner Wallace’s blog posts tagged for youth: http://coldcasechristianity.com/category/writings/youth-writings/
This is not the time to be a weak-minded Christian.
Today, Christians around the world face daily challenges similar(and in some cases, disturbingly identical) to the challenges God fearing men and women faced long ago in the time of the Canaanites and more recently in the time of the Romans. In Western society, a climate of persecution is percolating that should be regarded by believers with wariness, tempered trepidation and faithful determination. In the United States, we watch as absolute morality slips through the fingertips of the nation, and gives way to rampant baby killing, flagrant sexual deviance, open pursuit of a quieted Church, and inculcation of bad thinking and bad ideas at young ages in our children without our consent.