04 From the Editor
More Popular than the Beatles? What Evangelicals Can Learn from Pope Francis
Developing Discernment in Devotional Reading… The Soul Fallacy
08 Effective Evangelism
Bears Gone Wild: Responding to Attacks on the Portrayal of God in the Old Testament
10 Practical Hermeneutics
Is the God of the Old Testament a Proponent of Total War against Noncombatants?
12 A Window into the Theological Vision of Pope Francis
by Leonardo De Chirico
Doctrinal Discernment: Frugal, transparent, and down to earth, Pope Francis is one of the world’s most popular public figures, but what about his theological vision? Although he does not seem to be pushing a dogmatic Roman Catholic outlook, he nonetheless has his own “dogmatic certainties,” and they are not what one may expect.
20 Christian Hip-Hop: A Generation’s Words
by John K. Wells
Cultural Discernment and Engagement: Over thirty years, Christian hip-hop (CHH) has faced major challenges ranging from the hostility of a hip-hop community that allowed for everything except Jesus to the suspicions of a church at large that questioned whether hip-hop could ever be anything but worldly and demonic. CHH has survived these challenges but must now answer new ones arising from within.
28 Reason, Truth, Faith, and Literary Imagination: Literature as Apologetics
by James W. Sire
Cultural Apologetics: T. S. Eliot said that poets do not persuade people to believe; but they teach them what it feels like to believe. While literature is often overlooked as a tool of apologetics, this ability to convey an immediate perception of truth can help a reader get over the hump and see that what the Bible teaches is true.
36 Five Differences between Sharia and Old Testament Law
by David Wood
Today’s Religious Movements: Although superficial similarities exist between the Law of Moses and the Law of Muhammad, profound differences abound. David Wood shows why Christians who condemn ISIS-style beheadings, sexual exploitation of women, and oppression of religious minorities are not being hypocrites.
40 Death with Dignity and the Imago Dei
by Jay Watts
Ethical Apologetics: Diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, twenty-nine-year-old Brittany Maynard moved from California to Oregon to receive physician-assisted suicide (PAS) legally. In the wake of this well-publicized
story, lawmakers in almost half the states prepared to pursue PAS laws. Arguments from misery are powerful, but the understandable emotions of the moment should not dictate the ethics of our future.
46 Humanity Crucified: Hemingway and the Human Condition
by Stephen Mitchell
Cultural Apologetics: Nothing is the great dread that threads Ernest Hemingway’s literary work. Most of his characters believe that nothing awaits them at death. Their machismo is a stance that both accepts and defies life’s collapse into nothing. For Hemingway, it is Christ crucified and not Christ resurrected that holds interest. His work demonstrates that this world leaves each human, ultimately, alone.
50 Jonathan Cahn’s American Revelation
by James Patrick Holding
Doctrinal Discernment (A Summary Critique): In his wildly popular books The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah, Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn offers a mixture of homiletic biblical interpretations and obscure mathematical calculations to show a pattern of biblical prophecy fulfilled in America. James Patrick Holding explains why Cahn’s interpretive scheme fails.
A Summary Critique: Jerry A. Coyne’s Faith vs.Fact… A Summary Critique: Page duBois’s A Million and One Gods
Selfies: Innocent Fun or Narcissistic Decadence?
62 Ask Hank
What Are the F-L-A-W-S of the Health and Wealth Gospel?