Publish Date: 2014 | Volume: 37 | Issue: 05
04 From the Editor
What Should Christians Do as America Goes to Pot?
08 Medical Marijuana: Miracle Drug or Spiritual Poison?
by Richard Poupard
Ethical Discernment: Although smoking marijuana effectively treats some illnesses, medical benefits do not outweigh risks. Beyond physical and psychological dangers lurk profound spiritual perils. Marijuana often elicits a sensation of oneness with the universe or God consistent with Eastern religious thought but antithetical to the message of Jesus Christ.
16 Building on a “Firm Foundation”: Theologically Informed Evangelism
by Kenneth D. Litwak
Effective Evangelism: In order to present Jesus to people in a culture marked by religious and philosophical pluralism, we must be able to present a clear message about who God is and how He is at work in history. Paul provides a model for us to follow in his speeches in Acts, especially his proclamation to the intelligentsia at Athens.
24 The Nazi War against Christianity
by Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe
Historical Discernment/Apologetics: Some claim that the Nazis were Christians and that Christianity was responsible for the Holocaust. However, such claims are based on a serious misreading of history and a failure to understand the complexity of National Socialism, which at its core was a new religious movement.
32 Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusions: Their Use of Scripture in Their Blood Doctrine
by Brian J. Wright
Practical Hermeneutics: The Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) decrees that the Bible forbids blood transfusions. However, the JW blood doctrine misappropriates the prohibition of eating animal blood and has no legitimate hermeneutical basis in Scripture.
38 Off the Map: Bill Johnson and the Pursuit of Extrabiblical Authentication
by Bob Hunter
Doctrinal Discernment: The controversial pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, teaches that every Christian should demonstrate his or her faith through miracles. This dangerous teaching stems from Bill Johnson’s doctrine that Jesus functionally laid aside His divinity to model what any individual devoted to God should do through dependence on the Holy Spirit.
44 Searching for Truth and Transcendence: The Perennial Relevance of Plato
by Sarah C. Geis
Philosophical Apologetics: Perhaps the greatest philosopher in history, Plato has inspired some Christians, such as Augustine, to build on his foundation while provoking others to dismantle it. Although we should not agree with everything Plato wrote, he and contemporary Christians share relativism and naturalism as common enemies, against which Plato is a capable ally.
50 Caricatures of Reason and Its Users
by Douglas Groothuis
Philosophical Apologetics (A Summary Critique): Although postmodernism has largely fallen out of favor in the academic world, Myron B. Penner wants to exhume the corpse and make it a mouthpiece for Christian witness. Douglas Groothuis demonstrates that Penner’s attempt in The End of Apologetics to deny God-given objective truth and rational argument is not only philosophically wrong-headed but also self-refuting.
Craig L. Blomberg’s Can We Still Believe the Bible?
Same-Sex Marriage: Stealing Rights from God
62 Ask Hank
Should Christians Fear Death?