04 From the Editor
Connecting the Dots
06 Effective Evangelism
Celebrity Death and the Meaning of Life
08 Practical Hermeneutics
Answering Modalists on Matthew 28:19-20
10Why Did God Let That Child Die?
by Clay Jones
General Apologetics: Perhaps the most difficult and emotionally charged question ever asked the pastor or apologist is why God let a particular child suffer or die. The typical Christian answer is, “We won’t know until we get to heaven.” Of course, we will certainly know more when we get to heaven, but is that all we can answer?
16 The Rise of the American Jihadist
by David Wood
New Religious Movements: How do we explain the rising number of Westerners who not only convert to Islam but also support and even join the Islamic State or al Qaeda? If we hope to change this trend, we must first understand it.
22Dysmorphic and Dangerous: Female Body Image in a World of Disordered Mirrors
by Ellen Mary Dykas
Christian Growth/Biblical Worldview: Females everywhere struggle with body image, and for some this leads to Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), an obsession with perceived physical flaws. Young girls post, “Am I pretty or ugly?” videos on YouTube, and adult women regularly subject themselves to costly cosmetic procedures. Surely the Bible offers women a saner path to enhancing their beauty and sense of worth!
28 Should Christians Fear Profanities?
by Richard Poupard
Christian Growth and Witness: The use of public profanity is increasing at a high rate. What power does profanity exert on the Christian believer? Will avoiding profanity keep Christians pure, and how far should we go to avoid it?
32 Reasons of the Heart: Emotions in Apologetics
by Adam C. Pelser
Practical Apologetics: Contrary to the view that emotions are nonrational, emotions convey information and help us to make evaluations. This is significant for apologetics because emotions can help us to “see” features of the world that reveal God’s existence and divine attributes. The Christian’s emotional life also can serve as apologetic evidence for the truth of Christianity.
40 Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: What’s Being Repaired?
by Donald F. Calbreath
Ethical Discernment and Apologetics: “Reparative therapy,” which attempts to redirect homosexual tendencies toward heterosexual behavior, is strongly opposed by the American Psychiatric Association and illegal when applied to minors in California and New York. Yet recent data suggests it could be very helpful to some teens. Christians need to become knowledgeable about the issues and proactive in bringing the facts before the public.
48 Teaching Apologetics to the Next Generation
by Sean McDowell
Practical Apologetics: In this postmodern age, how do we motivate students to care about ultimate questions of truth? After spending the past decade teaching apologetics full-time to Christian high school students, Sean McDowell has learned some lessons—many the hard way—that he trusts will help others to challenge and equip Christian youth.
The Spirituality of Schadenfreude