Saturday, February 26, 2011

Can believers be objective?

If someone were to speak to a Mormon, and did a really good job of showing that the Book of Mormon isn't historically reliable, it wouldn't faze a Mormon much at all.  Their certainty of the truth of Mormonism doesn't lie in objectivity - it lies in their personal, inner, gut-feeling of its truth!  They use the phrase, "the burning in the bosom" a lot to express this inner-certainty. It's just an inner burning in their heart that confirms the truth of their their faith.  Quite subjective, if you ask me.

But can believers be objective?

Know Why You BelievePaul E. Little in his book, Know Why You Believe, shares that, "One questionable idea, sometimes advanced, is that the miracle stories [in the Bible] must be discarded because they are told by believing disciples and are therefore not objective."  

Is this true?  Since the believing disciples are the ones reporting the miracles of Jesus, does it mean that they're not valid witnesses? Does their eyewitness testimony get discredited because they believe what they saw, heard, and experienced to be real and true?

Would this same line of reasoning discredit victims of malicious crimes from testifying because of their prejudice?

Does this mean that eyewitness accounts shouldn't be presented in our courts of law, because they might have some sort of prejudice?  Should we only allow the testimonies of people who were not eyewitnesses to be be examined when making a verdict on what happened in any given day, time, and event?

Know What You Believe

For objectivity's sake we should take in to account the testimony of the witnesses, regardless of if they were disciples or not.  What matters is not their beliefs, but if they were telling the truth about what occurred.  In the case of the disciples most of them faced the possibility of death to back-up the validity of their claims, much as witnesses today in our courts of law must face the penalty of perjury if they are not telling the truth on the stand.  

Paul E. Little answers this dilemma by concluding, "The crucial question in each case is truthfulness, not proximity or relationship to the events."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Use of Technology and Christ #1

February's issue of Lutheran Witness, focuses on the effects and uses of technology in the life of the individual Christian and with the Church.  I think examining technology like this can aid Christian apologetics.  Apologetics after all in its root means, defense.  Does the use of technology potentially lead us away from Christ?  Does it distract from the central teachings of the Bible?  If the answer is yest to any of these questions, then we'll need to provide a defense for the faith in these areas.  An article by Rev. Derek Roberts, associate pastor of First Lutheran Church, Knoxville, Tenn.,  provided "A Technology Litmus Test":

1. Does the new medium help convey the message or does it become the message, meaning, can the employment of the new technology overshadow or compromise the truth and mystery of Christ and the biblical Gospel, or does it further the Gospel message?

2. Is there a biblical or churchly reason to do something though new and different means?

3. How will specific populations such as the aged in the church respond to the new medium?  Will it exclude or offend anyone, or will it enhance worship?

4. What is the total cost, and should those funds be distributed to a more worthy mission?

5. What kind of staff or volunteer help will this technology require?

What do you think?  Is this a good "litmus test"?  How would you answer these questions the way you have seen technology used in the individual life of Christians and within the Church?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Resurrection - Minimal Facts

I'm on a Prezi kick at the moment.  Prezi has many public domain presentations that can be embedded and downloaded.  So, check this one out which is made by Clint Field.

I'd suggest viewing it in fullscreen mode, which can be accessed by clicking on "more".

If you can't view it, try updating your flash player. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wise Blood

Sometimes there are songs which make reference to Christianity or have some sort of religious them, yet those songs do so in a way which might be directly against Christianity, or appear very negative towards Christianity, and not just Christianity, but Christ.

One such song is "Wiseblood" by Corossion of Conformity.

Here is a sampling of the lyrics from this song:

When I was young some wise fool told me
live & learn but nothing comes for free
so I did what I could when I was able
to keep the truth away from our table

Young blood creepin what you need
Wiseblood shake em down to his knees

Well I never walked I just learned to fly
heaven or high was the way I stayed alive
I've seen them devils pound our bible
you saints and sinners are both my rival

Young blood creepin what you need
Wiseblood shake em down to his knees
aim to please

The following is a Prezi presentation I made introducing how I found out about this band, why I initially listened to them, and also in this presentation I share how I take and apply these lyrics to my life as a follower of Christ.  I know that many people who are are not followers of Christ listen to music like this.  I think what I wrote in the presentation can be helpful to bring up in conversation with someone who is listening to this song, or similar songs.  I also know many Christians who listen to music like this and even though the lyrics are by no means God-pleasing, I do believe that something positive can be taken away from this song in the life of a believer.  I think Christians also need to know their audience and know what they currently think and believe about Christ and Christianity in order to have better conversations that lead non-believers to hearing and understanding the Gospel.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Prezi - Did the Resurrection Happen?

This last Friday I didn't teach at school, because our staff had a teacher-in-service day at another Lutheran high school in the area.  We heard some good reminders about encouraging students, being enthusiastic about our teaching, and body language in the classroom.  In the break-out session, I chose to attend  a session that addressed using technology in the classroom. I was introduced to Prezi.  It's an alternative to using PowerPoint for presentations.  I'm still experimenting with it.  I love that Youtube videos can be quickly inserted into the video and instantly play in the flow of the presentation.  I also like that Prezi presentations can be embedded into sites.  

Here's my first Prezi presentation.  There's not much written info in this actual presentation.  I have it designed for my students to share info on each point that is presented, so we can have a lot of class discussion.  For the natural explanations section, I plan on having students prepare and present role-plays to show how a Christian can refute the natural explanations as they arise in conversation. 

Let me know what you think of this Prezi!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tangled and Christ

I've made some recent posts about using movies, or various stories, as springboards to conversations that can present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I've also made several references to Paul's use of Greek poets and philosophers when presenting the Gospel message to the men of Athens in Acts 17.  I think we need to do this more and more!  

Here's an example of some discussion questions that can be used with the Disney movie, Tangled.  I copied these from Christianity Today.  They have numerous movie reviews on-line with similar discussion questions.  

Hopefully, you can use some of these questions after watching Tangled with a friend once it's out on DVD!  Also, hopefully, we all can start interacting with movies in such a way.  

I loved the scene with the floating lanterns!
Click photo to get your copy.

Discussion starters
  1. The narrator says, "She was running out of time and that's when people look for a miracle." Why do people look for miracles when they are desperate? Can being in trouble be a good thing? Do you believe in miracles?
  2. Flynn tells Rapunzel that "rebellion is good … healthy even." Did he believe what he was saying or just using it to trick Rapunzel? What is true about this statement? What is false? What does it mean to rebel against authority? Can this be good? How?
  3. When Rapunzel leaves the tower, she is internally conflicted because she loves her freedom and independence but feels guilty about disobeying her mom. Have you ever felt torn like this? Do you think it is OK to disobey if you think your parents are wrong?
  4. Discuss Gothel's comment that "the world is dark and cruel. If it finds even the smallest ray of light, it destroys it." Is she right? How does that compare to a Christian worldview? Read these verses for further discussion.
 Discussion Questions taken from here

How would you answer these questions? 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Hero Cycle and Jesus Christ

Sometimes a great starting point for discussing the deeper meanings to life with people who might not care to converse about such things is to start from somewhere not as personally intrusive, such as talking about movies.  Or maybe watch a movie and bring up discussion questions after the movie, which might lead one down a trail towards openly speaking and sharing your views on life and God.  For the Christian, this of course would mean sharing the teachings about humanity, sin, evil, good, God, and salvation found within the Bible.

Almost any movie can do this, since most movies follow the hero cycle laid out by Joseph Campbell in THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Bollingen Series)
Click image for more info.
Isn't that Luke Skywalker?
The overarching narrative of the Bible also follows this hero cycle.  Christ is the hero who through death was able to bring life to all.  Since most stories, especially fairy tales, follow this cycle, almost every movie contains elements that can be paralleled to those of the Bible's salvation narrative. Thus most stories can be used as good springboards to sharing the Gospel.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Most Redeeming Films of 2010

 Here's a list of the most redeeming films of 2010 according to the critics of Christianity Today.  To see this article on their website click here.  If you click on the links in their article for each movie, you will be directed to a page for that specific movie.  Maybe if these critics are correct, that these movies contain stories of redemption, they can be peppered into the religious conversations Christians have with others.  Jesus taught in parables; he told stories to express his teachings of his relationship to the Father, to us, to the world, to the kingdom of God, etc.  Maybe we can use modern day stories that contain redemption elements in a similar fashion. 

The Most Redeeming Films of 2010
For the third straight year, a Pixar flick tops our list.
posted 2/04/2011

Our film critics are not on Pixar's payroll. Nor are they getting any under-the-table perks from the animation studio. There's a much less sinister reason that a Pixar movie—in this case, Toy Story 3—tops our Most Redeeming Films list for the third consecutive year: We think their movies rock.

It's not just the astonishingly good animation. It's the phenomenal storytelling, the depth of character development, the keen insight into the human condition—even from the perspective of plastic playthings. One of our critics confesses that he cried at the end of TS3 all three times he watched it—and will likely do so the next three times. That's what Pixar films do to us.

As for what makes Woody and Buzz's final adventure so redeeming, there's plenty: The usual themes of love and loyalty run loud and clear. Toys though they may be, the friends are willing to risk their lives for one another. And their owner, Andy, now college-bound, isn't about to relegate his old playtime buddies to a box in the attic, never to be played with again—or at least for decades. Instead, he takes a selfless step in the end, giving Woody and Buzz and the rest a new lease on life—a rebirth, so to speak. It's no surprise that many of the creative types at Pixar are Christians, as they churn out soul-stirring stories year after year. (For the record, Up topped our Most Redeeming list in 2009, as did Wall-E in 2008.)

Our Most Redeeming Films of 2010 list below is precisely that—the year's best movies that include stories of redemption. Several of the films feature characters who are redeemers themselves; all have characters who experience redemption to some degree. Some are feel-good flicks; others, a little less so. Several of the films are rated R and PG-13 and are not intended for young viewers, so please use discretion. But in all of these films, redemption is certainly one of the main characters.

The Most Redeeming Films of 2010

Directed by Lee Unkrich
(Disney / Pixar) | Rated G

Directed by Tom Hooper
(Weinstein) | Rated R

Directed by Aaron Schneider
(Sony Pictures Classics) | Rated PG-13

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
(Paramount) | Rated PG-13

Directed by Debra Granik
(Roadside Attractions) | Rated R

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
(Universal) | Rated PG

Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard
(Disney) | Rated PG

Directed by David O. Russell
(Paramount) | Rated R

Directed by Klaus Härö
(Olive Films) | Not Rated

Directed by Jon Gunn
(Blue Collar Releasing) | Rated PG-13

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Growing in God Apologetic

I do believe that one of the greatest defenses for the Christian faith, one of the best ways for Christians to prepare to be ready to defend the faith is by growing spiritually and maturing in Christ.  This growth comes through worship!

The following is a high school devotion which my wife shared with me today: 

Laugh Out Loud
And nine other ways to worship all summer long.
by Chris Lutes

1) Help and serve others. Play ball with the neighbor kid. Help out with your church's summer VBS or a neighborhood Bible club. Mow an elderly neighbor's lawn for free. And whenever possible, do your serving in secret so that God gets the glory (1 Peter 4:11). Just look around you and you're sure to discover simple, everyday ways to worship through serving others.

2) Sit down in your yard with your Bible and pick a blade of grass. Turn to Isaiah 40:7-8, which says: "The grass withers and the flowers fall. … Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever" (NIV). Read the passage a few times, then think about what it means to you. Use the blade of grass to bookmark the passage. Read the passage periodically throughout the summer, watching as the blade of grass withers.

3) Take a walk in a park or forest with a friend. Look around at all of the things God has created. Take turns pointing out how God's creation gives you glimpses into his character and nature. For example: "God is like this oak tree because he's sturdy and strong."

4) Take pictures on your family vacation that remind you of your Creator and his awesome creation. Place these pictures on your blog or in a scrapbook, and label each one with a passage that fits the picture. Throughout the summer, look at the pictures and praise God for the beauty of creation he showed you during your vacation. Here are some passages to get you started: Genesis 1:11-12, Psalm 19:1, Psalm 29:3, Psalm 65:9, Psalm 84:3, Psalm 93:3-4, Psalm 96:11-12, Psalm 97:2, Psalm 98:8, Psalm 104:7-8, Psalm 104:10-11, Psalm 104:12, Psalm 104:20, Psalm 104:25, Psalm 147:4, Psalm 148:3, Psalm 148:7, Romans 8:19, Colossians 3:16.

5) Toss a rock into a lake on a still, windless day. Watch the ripples roll outward. Try to count them. Now think about God's love. How is it like those ripples? How can you be a "ripple of God's love" today?

6) Laugh. Whether you're at an amusement park, forest preserve, city park, miniature golf course or the beach, listen for joyous laughter. Each time you hear someone laugh, take a moment to silently thank God for the gift of laughter. And be sure to celebrate by laughing often just like the writer of Psalm 126:2.

7) Find a quiet place to watch the sunset. As you watch the sun sink beneath the horizon, sit very still and think about your day. Recall the good and the bad moments. Thank God for being with you throughout everything that happened that day. Thank God for being present with you during these quiet moments.

8) Thank God and praise him for the ability to run, throw, kick, swim—or whatever it is you do to work out or participate in a summer sport. Try to stay aware of his presence with you each time you play or exercise.

9) Start each day of your summer job right with this verse: "Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23, NLV). Memorize this verse and then recite it before you begin your shift, repeating it during times of frustration, and repeat it again at that end of your shift.

10) Plan small group worship services around a backyard fire pit. Sing praise songs, read Scripture, pray and share stories about Christ working in your life. This is a great and informal way to keep your Christian friendships tight, even if your youth group doesn't meet during the summer.
This devotion comes from Christianity Today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Office of Pastor in a Congregation

We had a quote from Luther during the "Sunday School" time at church this last Sunday.  We were discussing the "office of the public ministry" and "the office of the keys".  If you'd like to know more about those terms please go to and I'm sure you'll be able to find what the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's teaching position is on these two terms.

Martin Luther

Here is the quote from Luther, however the quote wasn't cited in our "class" so I'm not sure what work it can be found:

If we hold the Word of God in high regard, then we would be glad to go to church, to listen to the sermon and to pay attention.  But if you look more at the pastor than at God; if you do not see God's person but merely gape to see whether the pastor is learned and skilled, whether the pastor has good diction, then you do not have eyes to see the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb...
I believe that this quote from Luther certainly shows the common day tendency for churches to center themselves around the pastor and not on Christ!  I know that when a pastor dies or leaves his "office" some churches struggle greatly.  I think that error arises from the problem that Luther mentions and also from the pastor taking on too many roles in the Body of Christ!

Pastors today seem called upon to do everything in the Body of the Christ within a congregation.  Why is it  the pastor always (in most congregations) delivers the Word of God from the "pulpit" on Sundays?  Why is it that the pastor often times always leads the public prayers?  Why is it that the pastor often times leads "Sunday School"?  Why is it that the pastor has to be at all the board meetings and financial meetings?  Why is it that the pastor in a lot of churches is supposed to sit in the office from 9-5?  Who does that help?  Don't most people work during those hours? Why is the pastor the one to always visit the shut-ins and and those in the hospital?  Why is the pastor the one to always baptize and distribute communion if the efficacy of these sacraments lies in the Word of God and not the pastor?  In some churches, the pastor is also the musician who leads worship too!  Why do so many hats fall on the pastor when everyone in a local congregation has spiritual gifts to offer the body?  I think this is one reason that so many pastors burn-out in the ministry.  They're taking roles that other body parts should be doing! 

When you read 1 Cor. 14 you find that everyone has a song to share, a prayer to offer, a word to share, and that all of this must be done for the mutual benefit of the body.  In this same chapter it talks about multiple people prophesying (proclaiming God's Word) in the congregational gatherings.  Also read Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.

The problem I see is much bigger than what Luther says it is.  It's not that we make the mistake of gathering to glean from the pastor and  not from God; we also make the mistake of going to glean just from the pastor alone!  Our services set us up to be judgmental of the pastor!   Our gatherings are like going to see movies or lectures.  Everyone faces forward in one direction and for large parts of the service listen and are not allowed to have free interaction with what is being said; in fact "no talking during church!"  How many times have you heard that, or been told that?

We should not only look to the pastor as God's representative, seeing that the river of the water of life is flowing from God to us through him, but that we should also look to our left and right, and see that everyone in the congregation is also God's representative and has a vital role in the wellspring of the church.

If we do this, we will decentralize from the pastor and center on Christ. 

If we do this, we will defend against pastor burn-out.

If we do this, we won't have to worry about the absence of a pastor or the leaving of a pastor.  Although, if we do this and begin to utilize the gifts of more people during our gatherings and during our church activities then the replacing pastor might have a problem because he might not be the one opening up the pot-luck with prayer and if he does he might not be the only one to verbally offer up a prayer to the Lord. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mormon Chat with Carl Popy #1

A friend of mine who sets up shop with me at the University of California Irvine is very dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Mormons.  He is very knowledgeable in what they believe and interacts with them regularly.  He has made his way onto their "list", so every couple of months the Mormon Church will send a couple of new missionaries to speak to him.  I asked him if he could share some of the information he has gleaned from speaking with them in terms of how best for a Christian to approach a Mormon.  I thought if we knew what to say them and how they would respond it would be helpful and encourage other Christians to become more proactive in reaching out to the Mormons.

My friend writing under the pen name Carl Popy, for Polycarp, went to where anyone can chat with a Mormon missionary.  The following is a transcribed conversation he had with a Mormon. 
Welcome to chat.
A representative will be with you shortly.
Agent [Kollin] is ready to assist you.
Kollin: Hello, my name is Kollin.How may I help you?
Me: I have some questions about Joseph Smith and scripture
Kollin: ok
Me: I understand that Joseph Smith received revelation restoring the Bible
Kollin: Ok
Me: Is that right?
Kollin: Yes. He was commanded to go through the Bible and make corrections to it.
Me: Mormons believe that the Bible is corrupted and Joseph Smith restored it?
Kollin: No, just that parts where taken out and lost over time.
Me: and that is known as the King James Version?
Kollin: He 're' translated the King James Version, yes
Me: what is the re translated KJV called?
Kollin: We just refer to it as the inspired version of the Bible.
Me: So do you use the KJV or the inspired?
Kollin: We use the KJV
Me: Why would you use a corrupted Bible when you have the inspired one?
Kollin: I wouldn't use the word corrupted...we don't have the copyright to the inspired version, that is owned by a breakoff from our church.
Me: So your church doesn't have the inspired word of God?
Kollin: Not currently.
Me: What is this breakoff church called?
Kollin: They used to be the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, but they where bought out by another church, and I don't know the new name
Me: So, what keeps you in this church, and not the one with the inspired word of God?
Kollin: Just because they have the copyright, doesn't make them right.
Me: What does make one right?
Kollin: Truth
Me: I thought Truth and the inspired word of God were synonomous
Kollin: Carl what is it that you are really getting at here?
Me: I'm investigating the LDS church and am confused. They claim to be the one true church, but do not have the inspired Word of God.
Kollin: Not currently.
Kollin: That doesn't make us any less true
Me: How do I know that the breakoff that has the inspired Word of God isn't the one true church?
Me: What makes them less true?
Kollin: There is only one way that you are going to figure out if either one is true, and that is through prayer
Agent [Kollin] has left the chat.
Here are the comments which Carl Popy gave to this chat:

It's nothing too deep, but you see how the Mormon handled my questions.  I think it kind of highlights how differently we see things.  Generally, I think, we (orthodox) Christians, (perhaps especially Lutherans) hold to 'sola scriptura'.  We play by those rules, and expect everyone else to as well, but they don't. 
I tried to have a conversation myself.  Here's how mine went:

Welcome to chat.
A missionary will be with you shortly.
Agent [Nate] is ready to assist you.
Me: Hi Nate.
The chat session has ended.

I don't know what happened on that one.  I haven't tried it again yet.  Let me know if you have any good chats with Mormon missionaries! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Early Story

I am very happy to have my first guest writer, Shelby Cade, on the OC Apologist's blog.  

Shelby has a Master's in Christian Apologetics (with highest honors) from Biola University. He has taught science at the high school level for over 20 years and has taught at the college level as well. Currently he pastors a small Southern Baptist Church in NW Kansas and works as a school counselor. He also is a certified apologetics instructor for the North American Mission Board. The name of his blog, "Flatland Apologetics" is derived from the fact that he lives in the high plains area of Northwest Kansas.  Check out his blog when you have the chance.  

The post he has written fits in line with some of the latest posts I've had on the historical reliability of the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.  I hope it's helpful. 

The Early Story

Many times those skeptical of the resurrection of Jesus will attack the New Testament as a mythological story.  However, the resurrection can withstand the attacks, because the New Testament is not absolutely necessary to show that the resurrection is the most likely story.

There are certain passages that are referred to as creeds.  These creeds represent known stories that stand outside of the New Testament documents.  In other words, creeds are stories that no one would question as being a latter invention.  Creeds appear earlier that the actual writings of the New Testament and represent the news flashes of what people were saying early on.  Early creedal passages were never debated by those of the first century.  In other words, individuals of the first century who may have been skeptical of Christianity never questioned the creedal statements that existed.

One such creed that existed early on is found in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8.  This creedal passage comes by way of the apostle Paul.  This passage may have been written some 30 years after the death of Jesus, but the story itself goes all the way back to the resurrection itself.  This passage was not some story written down some 30 years after the fact.  Most scholars accept this story as being very early, showing that the resurrection of Jesus was proclaimed very early as well.  The late Jack Kent who authored the skeptical book, The Psychological Origins of the Resurrection Myth even says, “the creed might have been in circulation for some years and it could be dated very close to the actual crucifixion.” [1]  The First Corinthians creedal passage shows that the resurrection story was not an invention of men or myth.

Implied in the story are the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of Jesus to others.  If nothing had been written concerning the person of Jesus, one would still need to explain this apparent miracle.  Jesus was a known person who suffered death on a Roman cross, which no scholar would debate.  Jesus was placed in a known empty tomb according to the majority of scholars and was reported to be alive after three days in the tomb.  For the skeptic, it is incumbent that he/she offers explanations of the empty tomb and appearances of the risen Jesus.  The New Testament is constantly attacked, but if Christianity is to be proven false, then a better explanation to the implied First Corinthians creed must be offered.  The early story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus has stood the test of time and confirmed the reason for the early spread of Christianity.

By Shelby Cade 
Shelby's blog: "Flatland Apologetics"

Shelby Cade

[1]  Kent, Jack, The Psychological Origins of the Resurrection Myth, p. 16-17

The Psychological Origins of the Resurrection Myth
Click for more info.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Circular Argument Against the Bible

Christians sometimes fall into the peril of arguing in a circle to justify that the Bible is the Word of God.  An example of this would be: "The Bible is the Word of God.  I know it is the Word of God because the Bible says it is the Word of God.  Therefore the Bible is the Word of God."  I have certainly made this argument before in my life.  I was never taught any different or learned any better until I was about 21 years old.  I firmly believe however that I still had saving faith, because our faith isn't dependent upon our arguments for our faith.  

I think however there are just as many people who reject the Bible as the Word of God commit a circular argument error as do Christians.  An example of this comes from an argument which Professor Avrum Stroll made in his discussion of the existence of Jesus: 

“Even if there were reason to believe some of the material [in the Gospels] to express eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life, the accretion of legend, the description of miracles performed by Jesus, which exist in these writings make it difficult, if not impossible, to extract from them any reliable historical testimony about the events described."*
Avrum Stroll, P.h.d.
Clearly he is doing the same thing that Christians have on occasion been accused of doing, arguing in a circle.  Here is how Stroll's argument looks in simpler wording: 

·       - The Gospels can’t be true, because they say Jesus 
          is God.    Miracles are impossible!
·       - The Gospels must be rejected as myth because of
        - The Gospels are myths because of miracles!
And we have come full circle.   

History and Christianity
Click the image to learn more.
* Avrum quote pulled from History and Christianity 
 by John Warwick Montgomery.   John Warwick Montgomery is the man!  This book is great. Check it out in its full glory in History, Law and Christianity
John Warwick Montgomery

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aaron Rodgers and Christ

 I received this from our campus pastor at Crean Lutheran High School.  I have no idea where he copied this from, but I thought it'd be nice to post to the blog this week (for obvious reasons), even though it is not necessarily apologetics related.  The quote at the end by Saint Francis of Assisi could be apologetics related. And for the record, I root generally root for defense, so I am in full support of the Steelers because Troy Polamalu is a favorite player of mine, if I had to pick one (I don't really follow football). 

Ed and Darla Rodgers raised their kids in a Christian home. Their life in Chico, California was centered around church, family, and sports. Ed, a local chiropractor, credits his wife for helping to raise their three sons in a proper way. “My boys are humble,” he said to a local paper, “and that’s what makes us most proud.”
 This Sunday, middle son, Aaron, will be on display with that humility, as he leads the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the Green Bay lockerroom, coaches and teammates know all about Aaron Rodgers leadership and quarterback skills. His arm strength has been described as “ridiculous.” His uncanny ability to find receivers and get the ball to them has made him the NFL all time career leader in passer rating at 98.4. But they also see the character that was developed at an early age.

“I grew up knowing what a stable relationship was by my parents example, and how it centered on Christ,” Rodgers says. “When our family had its ups and downs, I knew my parents relied on God for everything, and he always got us through the rough spots.” Until he was 17, Aaron says he went to church because his parents went to church. But about this time, he began to make some choices with his buddies that he knew were not right. It was then he rededicated his life to the Lord. “Ever since then,” he says, “I fall on my face and get back up, get on my knees and confess, and keep on trying to live for Jesus.”

This would also describe his play. No one can question his toughness. After two concussions this year, Rodgers came back to lead the Packers to their first NFC championship since 1998. It hasn’t been an easy road for Rodgers. After three years as a backup quarterback, he was called on to take the place of the legendary Brett Favre, who had been the starting QB for the Pack since 1992. His steady play was largely overshadowed by Favre’s “unretirement” and subsequent trade to the New York Jets.

Rodgers is used to being overlooked. After a fine high school career at Pleasant Valley High School, in Chico, he got exactly one Division 1 offer, and decided, instead, to go 30 miles down the road and play for Butte Community College in Oroville, CA, Here he led the the team to a 10-1 record and a #2 national ranking. After one year, he signed to play for the University of California, leading them to a #5 national ranking in 2004. In the 2005 NFL draft, the Packers made him their #1 pick overall.

As a Christian, Aaron is a solid individual, but as one teammate said, “He will not stand on the bleachers and shout.” In fact, Aaron often quotes St. Francis of Assisi, who said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.” He often quotes his favorite Bible passage of Psalm 91:1-2. It reads “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’” 

He may need that and more this Sunday night as he faces the onslaught of Troy Polamalu and the Steeler defense. But when it is all said and done, and the Lombardi trophy, named after the former Green Bay coach, is handed out to someone, Aaron Rodgers will walk away exemplifying the example of both his earthly and his heavenly Father. “I try to live my life in a way that reflects the Lord, he says. “I use that as a model as I relate to my friends and family, my teammates and coaches. I want them to see that I really love and care for them as individuals. I try to build relationships. I feel if you are not personally invested in the people you spend every day with, then you are missing out on building a relationship and wonderful life experiences. This is what I like about Jesus. Jesus is about relationships.” And you can be sure that somewhere in that massive stadium on Sunday night, Ed and Darla, and Luke and Jordan Rodgers will be proud of Aaron not just for what he does, but for who he is.