04 From the Editor
In Search of an Eco-Friendly Religion
6 Practical Hermeneutics
Recognizing and Interpreting Anthropomorphic Language
8 Avatar: A Postmodern Pagan Myth
by Brian Godawa
Cultural Apologetics: The movie Avatar is an all-time smash hit not merely because of its special effects, but also because of its mythic potency. The pagan notion of nature worship in opposition to the Judeo-Christian notion of man’s dominion over nature is at the heart of the film, fueling a “battle of gods” over the future of the planet
18 God on the Brain
by Angus Menuge
Scientific Apologetics: Can brain research explain the origin of morality and religion? According to both religion detractor Richard Dawkins and religion advocates Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman, it can; but whether these scientists are against us or for us, their conclusions are flawed
28 Atheists and the Quest for Objective Morality
by Chad Meister
Philosophical Apologetics: Atheists often argue that they can make moral claims and live good moral lives without believing in God. Many theists agree, but the real issue is whether atheism can provide a justification for morality
36 Culturally Corrosive Comedy: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report
by Ted Baehr and Tom Snyder
Cultural Discernment: Comedy Central’s The Daily Show starring Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report starring Stephen Colbert routinely skewer conservatives while presenting a cynical view of important issues and events of the day. Nonetheless, in Internet polls people keep selecting Stewart as one of their most trusted newscasters!
44 Are Animists Model Environmentalists?
by Dan Story
Critical Thinking: Many environmentalists have claimed that tribal societies are more ecologically sensitive than cultures embracing Christianity, and they have attributed this to the tribes’ animistic religious traditions. However, our research on animism suggests different conclusions. Included: an Effective Evangelism sidebar on witnessing to animists
A Summary Critique: The Hole in Our Gospel: The “Whole” Gospel Has a Few Holes of Its own…The Book of Eli: Protecting the Word of God…The Greatest Show On Earth: Dawkins and Darwin’s Three-Ring Circus…Leap of Faith: The Book of Mormon Defended by U.S. Senator
What’s Wrong with Black Theology?