Jesus commissions his followers to persuade…

One should observe that Jesus commissions his followers to persuade and influence people through teaching that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. He never authorizes imperialism, exploitation, coercion, threats, or any other means of illicit power over others. Instead, he tells us to love our neighbors and even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). The Book of Acts shows the early Christians winning conversions through persuasion, not coercion or manipulation. Sadly, some later Christians who held the reigns of political power did enforce Christian conformity through the sword. One would be hard pressed, though, to find any warrant for this in the teachings of Jesus (or the Apostles).

Douglas Groothuis, from On Jesus, p. 46

The rapid pace of television’s images…

The increasingly rapid pace of television’s images makes careful evaluation impossible and undesirable for the viewer, thus rendering determinations of truth and falsity difficult if not impossible.

Douglas Groothuis, from Truth Decay, p. 290

The Need for Christian Education…

Many arguments are marshaled against Christian schools and Christian home-schooling. Those, such as myself, who categorically reject state (public) education as insufficiently Christian, inefficient, and inherently unfair are, in for some lively debates. The objections raised must be met. Continue reading

As if Jesus were a relativist…

This passage (Matthew 7:1-5) is often taken out of context to forbid all moral evaluation, as if Jesus were a relativist. But Jesus had something else in mind: a clear-sighted self-evaluation and a proper evaluation of others based on objective standards. Therefore, when one judges others, one is implicitly bringing oneself under the same judgment. One will be measured by the same measurement one employs….

If one fails to evaluate oneself by one’s own standard, one cannot rightly discern the moral status of others. In other words, proper moral evaluation requires a knowledge of the self, and allows no special pleading.

Douglas Groothuis, from On Jesus, p. 58

What does our age lack?..

What does our age of constant diversion, distraction, and dissipation lack? It lacks meaningful discipline:  self-denial for a cause greater than the self. But this alone gives meaning and truth to the self, which is otherwise derelict in its own finite absorption.

Douglas Groothuis, from theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com

Neutrality is not required…

Neutrality or detached objectivity—if possible at all—is not required for honest and accurate reporting.

Douglas Groothuis, from On Jesus, p. 15

Should we ape the insanity of our culture?..

There is no good reason to have video games in the youth room of a church. They get too much of that elsewhere. Let church be a place that is different, reverent: a place to learn and pray and praiseand not, for God’s sake, a place to be further distracted. I taught in a room today that had six video screens, and I had to kick out (politely) kids playing video games. Should we ape the insanity of our culture? No, we must expose it.

Douglas Groothuis, from theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com

The virgin birth story was borrowed from…

In a recent book called The Original Jesus (1995), Elmar Gruber and Holger Kersten argue that the virgin birth story was borrowed from a Buddhist source, which claims the same kind of origin for Buddha. This view overlooks the significant differences between the Buddhist story and the Gospel accounts. The preincarnate Buddha comes in the form of a white elephant who enters the side of his mother. Parrinder notes that it “was not a virgin birth, since she was married, and in this story … it is celestial influence rather than a divine seed that enters her.” Continue reading

A strong concern for logic…

The Gospel accounts that describe the supernatural Jesus also contain argumentative encounters that reveal a strong concern for logic and argument.

Douglas Groothuis, from On Jesus, p. 23