04 From the Editor
Observing the Fortieth Anniversary of Roe v.Wade
A Thief in the Night…The Troubling Truth about Bonhoeffer’s Theology…The Fine Points of Discernment
08 Effective Evangelism
Reaching Postmodern “Leavers”
10 Practical Hermeneutics
Was Saint Peter the First Pope?
12 Christianity and Black Slavery
by Jeffrey B. Russell
Ethical Discernment and Apologetics: At the time of Christ, slavery was universal in the civilized world, but by the fifth century AD, the influence of Christianity had all but eliminated it. How then in the same Christian era, nearly a millennium later, could legalized slavery be revived in a far more brutal form, and what role did Christians play in finally abolishing it?
18 The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: A Modern Fake
by Daniel Hoffman
Historical Apologetics and Discernment: The so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, recently touted in sensational headlines as a new discovery that shows that early Christians intensely debated whether Jesus was married, is actually three lies rolled into one.
22 Voodoo and Christianity: Compatibility or Irreconcilable Differences?
by J. A. Alexandre
Today’s Religious Movements: To understand Voodoo one must understand its history. Its similarities with traditional West African religion lead to the understanding that it is the same religion with minor variations. It is therefore more polytheistic than it claims to be, and its practices, worship, and way of life are incompatible with the Christian faith.
28 The Euthyphro Dilemma
by Matthew Flannagan
Philosophical Apologetics: Do actions become moral simply because they’re dictated by God, or are they dictated by God because they are moral? Some skeptics believe this question poses an insoluble dilemma for Christians, silencing their moral argument for God’s existence. But might these skeptics have overlooked a perfectly good solution to the problem?
32 Pi’s Wager: Life of Pi as Pragmatic Argument
by John McAteer
Cultural Apologetics: The Life of Pi is a 2012 film adaptation of a 2001 book that claims to present “a story that will make you believe in God.” The seeming problem with the film, however, is that it is ambiguous on multiple levels; but is ambiguity necessarily a bad thing in a work of art?
38 Steve Jobs, Jesus, and the Problem of Evil
by Douglas Groothuis
Cultural Apologetics: Although he wrote no books, held no political office, and starred in no films, Steve Jobs was one of the most influential people of his time. If this tribute sounds disturbingly familiar, relax; this article is not so much a comparison of Jesus with Jobs as it is a comparison of Jesus with the man Jobs followed: the Buddha.
42 Jihad, Jizya, and Just War Theory
by David Wood
Today’s Religious Movements: The Qur’an contains both peaceful and violent passages. Muslims in the West generally emphasize Muhammad’s peaceful teachings, while jihadists emphasize his more violent and radical commands. Although these “two faces” of Islam may seem opposed to one another, a careful examination shows that peace and violence are separate stages of a larger Islamic program.
48 The Juvenilization of American Christianity: Why Christians Don’t Want to Grow Up and What to Do about It
by Thomas E. Bergler
Cultural and Spiritual Discernment: In this excerpt from his awar-dwinning book, Thomas Bergler explains how, over seventy-five years, youth ministries have breathed new vitality into major American church traditions. But their influence has also led to wide spread spiritual immaturity, consumer ism, and self-centeredness, popularizing a feel-good faith with neither intergenerational community nor theological literacy.
Is Birth Control Unbiblical?
62 Ask Hank
Has Ezekiel’s Prophecy against Tyre Really Been Fulfilled?