Christian Research Institute

Is the Islamic State Islamic?

CONTENTS:

03 From the Editor
Recollections of Gretchen Passantino Coburn

06 Practical Hermeneutics
Does James 1:5 Teach about Praying for a Testimony?

08 Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up?
by David Wood
Today’s Religious Movements: Jihadists fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) have been committing a range of systematic abuses, including mass executions, rape, forced conversions, seizing of property, and the destruction of churches and mosques. While ISIS claims that they are simply obeying Allah and Muhammad, many Westerners and Muslims maintain that such atrocities are strictly forbidden in Islam. Who is right?

16 Paul, Second Adam, and Theistic Evolution
by Garrett J. DeWeese
Doctrinal Discernment/Scientific Apologetics: A growing number of evangelicals are accepting theistic evolution, generally without considering the weight of biblical and theological evidence against evolution. For example, the apostle Paul’s analogy between Christ and Adam in Romans 5 is central to Christian soteriology (salvation doctrine), yet it does not seem compatible with an evolutionary theory of common descent (whether theistic or naturalistic).

24 What Has Art to Do with Evangelism?
by Sharon Fish Mooney
Cultural Apologetics (Effective Evangelism): Developing a biblical perspective on art can be an antidote to either an uncritical acceptance of art or an equally uncritical rejection of it. Art can also be an avenue for evangelism and an opportunity for reflection on our own lives and relationships with God.

30 What If Susan Couldn’t Sing? Identifying and Avoiding Bad Pro-Life Arguments
by Michael Spencer
Ethical Discernment and Apologetics: Have you ever heard a pro-life argument such as, “Abortion is bad because we might abort the next Einstein”? Despite good intentions, this line of defense reinforces the basic error of the pro-choice movement. Find out why, and how to avoid using bad arguments for a good cause.

34 Unpacking Anime’s Thematic and Spiritual Depth
by Jason Morehead
Cultural Discernment and Apologetics: Since the 1988 release of the animated film Akira, anime has experienced booming popularity. Anime often contains disturbing content; nonetheless, because of its willingness to address serious, mature topics not usually associated with cartoons, anime is also full of stories bursting with imagination and thematic richness that can provide a thought-provoking experience.

40 The Sting of Death: Albert Camus and the Fight for Life
by Stephen Mitchell
Philosophical/Literary Apologetics: Unable to penetrate beyond the twin certainties of his own heart’s existence and that of the world, Albert Camus asked what a human being should make of this existence. His answer makes him compelling for everyone, Christians included. An installment in the occasional CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL Philosophers Series.

44 The Torah: God’s Word
by Daniel Mann
Biblical Apologetics: According to the theologically liberal Documentary Hypothesis (DH), the Old Testament (OT), especially the Torah, is merely the product of numerous editors cutting and pasting from previous documents to suit their political agendas. One little-discussed line of evidence against the DH, however, is that the OT consistently reflects a divine agenda rather than a human one.

48 Professor David Barash and “The Talk”: When Goliath Starts Bragging, Go Find Your Sling
by Paul Nelson
CATEGORY Scientific Apologetics: “The more we know of evolution, the more unavoidable is the conclusion that…human beings are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator.” So Professor David Barash informs his students each term in what he notoriously calls “The Talk.” How should Christian students respond to such academic intimidation?

52 Did Ancient Extraterrestrials Visit Earth?
by Robert Velarde
Cultural Apologetics: In the beginning, ancient aliens visited planet Earth, significantly influenced human history, and possibly even engineered human life. Furthermore, their visitations can be discerned in historical documents and artifacts, including the Bible. If you watch the History Channel, let alone Syfy, you’ve probably heard this before. What is a good answer to these claims?

56 Reviews
A Summary Critique: Curtis White’s The Science Delusion…Christopher Brooks’s Urban Apologetics

60 Viewpoint
No Suit for You

60 Ask Hank
Did the Second Coming of Christ Not Take Place as Prophesied?