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04 From the Editor
The Mission of This Magazine
Special Issue: Where Did We Come From?…Forgiveness in the Bible and in Pop Psychology
08 Effective Evangelism
Chrislam: Insider Movements Moving in the Wrong Direction. A feature-length installment by Joshua B. Lingel and Bill Nikide
16 Practical Hermeneutics
A FAIR Question: Does Mormon Apologist Marc A. Schindler Successfully Harmonize Celestial Marriage with Matthew 22:23–30? A feature-length installment by John Makujina
22 Truth in Darkness: The Hunger Games as an Unexpected Resource for Apologists
by Holly Ordway
Cultural Apologetics: The Hunger Games and its sequels are fast-paced and engaging, with characters that are interesting and complex. What’s good news for Christians is that these books are also very useful material for literary apologetics—though perhaps in unexpected ways
28 When Vague Is in Vogue: A New but Not Improved Approach to Homosexuality Is Growing among Evangelicals
by Joe Dallas
Doctrinal Discernment: Noted evangelical leaders, authors, and pastors are adopting and promoting a revision of our response to homosexual people by shifting away from clarity and toward vagueness. This is intended to improve on past approaches that lacked love and grace, but wouldn’t a biblical approach balance mercy with truth?
34 Birthday Celebrations and Jehovah’s Witnesses
by David W. T. Brattston
Today’s Religious Movements: Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it is a sin to celebrate birthdays, citing the practice of the early church for support. Our author examined the entire extant body of Christian literature before the mid third century to determine what kind of support for the Watchtower’s position actually exists
36 The Sacrament of the Supper
by Michael Ross
Doctrinal Discernment: Holy Communion (also called the Lord’s Supper and the Eucharist) was intended by Christ to unite Christians, but it has become a point of division. What are the major views on Communion? How do Protestants respond to Catholic claims? Does Scripture provide any guidelines for how Communion should be observed?
42 Prayers, Football, and Missions: Lessons from Tebowmania
by La Shawn Barber
Cultural Discernment: The cultural phenomenon of “Tebowmania” has raised some interesting discussion points for Christians, such as: Does public praying before millions of viewers violate Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount? Also included: a sidebar on New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin and the parallel phenomenon of “Linsanity”
46 Reading My Favorite Atheists: Ivan, Raskolnikov, and Kirilov
by Stephen Mitchell
Cultural/Philosophical Apologetics: The characters in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky put their fingers so precisely on problems of justice, morality, and freedom that neither believers nor unbelievers can step around them. Instead, both characters and readers have to face them and respond
Personhood’s Fatal Flaw. A feature-length installment by Bob Perry
A Summary Critique: Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture…Shawn Lawrence Otto’s Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America
62 Ask Hank
Should We Search for Scientific Paradigms in Scriptural Passages?