Tag Archive: christianity

Apologists gathered on an AFA broadcast “Church Dropout: Overcoming the Youth Exodus” to discuss the pervasive problem of youths leaving the church. Those in attendance included Frank Turek, William Lane Craig, Bill Dembski, Mike Adams and Josh McDowell.

Citing surveys by The Barna Group and LifeWay Research, (Frank) Turek says that about three in four youths who are brought up in the church walk away from the church after high school. And the problem exists across denominations “from Roman Catholic to Pentecostal and everything in between,” he said … One in five surveyed young adults said they wanted to take a break from church once they finished high school. Responding to the excuse, Turek said students are likely to think college is “a good time to put God on the back burner” because they are on their own for the first time and “don’t really want to live like a Christian” during their college years.

(read more)

Their conclusions? Youths need to be challenged about and taught the truth, intellectually why Christianity is true, and why and what they believe. A good book related to this topic written by McDowell is Beyond Belief to Conviction.

Attended a public talk today by Dr Mathew Mathews, a NUS sociology professor on the topic “Christianity and the secular sphere in Asia”.

He started by examining secularization, which he observes, has brought about a decline in power, popularity and prestige of religion, as well as modernization, which has resulted in the public and private sphere becoming increasingly separated. He then went on to touch on the rationale for secularization, the rise and response of conservatism, conservatives and political action, and the cultural cosmopolitan reaction.

What I found most noteworthy was his conclusion on what the church can champion (both for and against), making reference to David H. Lumsdaine’s Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Asia.

  • contributing to democracy
  • championing causes
  • dialoguing with other faiths
  • providing platforms for democratic leadership
  • helping the poor and marginalized

See related article

AWARE’s hostile takeover (Shouck, 13 Apr 09)

by Philip Lim, Agence France-Presse, 09 Apr 2009

SINGAPORE (AFP) – Believers gather at the New Creation Church every Sunday for upbeat services conducted in ultra-modern surroundings that are helping make Christianity the religion of choice for Singaporeans.

The venue, a plush 1,200-seat auditorium equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems, is on the third floor of an upmarket shopping mall in the city-state’s business district.

“Say not what you can do for God, but what God has done for you,” preacher Lawrence Lim told a rapturous congregation during a recent service which opened with rousing hymns played by a seven-piece rock band.

“Amen,” the churchgoers replied in unison.

Singapore, a predominantly ethnic-Chinese Buddhist society of 4.6 million, has seen a boom in recent years in born-again Christian movements, which experts said people perceive as modern institutions reflecting their personal aspirations.

While Taoism and Buddhism are the traditional belief systems in Singapore, most people adopt them as a matter of birthright, rather than choosing to follow them as spiritual life codes.

“Those who have converted (to Christianity) were probably not very entrenched in their original faith,” said Mathew Mathews, a sociologist at the National University of Singapore.

“People want to move out from traditional concepts of religion to a more ‘classy’ image with things which mirror our popular culture and are congruent to their own works and expectations,” he said.

New converts are encouraged to bring in more recruits, helping boost the number of Christians in Singapore.

According to a 2000 census of Singapore’s 3.6 million native inhabitants, Christians accounted for 15 percent of the population aged 15 years and older, up from 10 percent in 1980.

Buddhists and Taoists accounted for 51 percent in 2000, Muslims 15 percent and Hindus four percent. The rest belonged to other religions or were atheist.


Read the full article here.


This question was posted by editors of Newsweek on the “On Faith” website on 22 Mar 08.

Do you have to believe the resurrection is literally true – that Jesus came back to life in his body – to be a Christian?

See responses from the panel comprising of people like Charles Colson, Albert Mohler, Cal Thomas, Nicolas Wright and even Deepak Chopra.

Mohler’s response:
The literal, historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the vindication of Christ’s saving work on the cross. The issue is simple — no resurrection, no Christianity. For this reason, belief in the resurrection of Christ is essential in order to be a Christian.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central miracle of the Christian faith. As the New Testament reveals, the resurrection represents the Father’s complete satisfaction in the obedience of the Son — even unto death. Sin and death do not have the final word. Indeed, they are defeated through the saving work of Christ. . . .

(read full article here)

*On Faith is an interactive conversation on religion moderated by Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is PostGlobal, a conversation on international affairs.

The Golden Compass | Philip Pullman

My 2 cents on an upcoming movie “The Golden Compass” (scheduled release in Dec 2007)
by Carolyn Chiam
19 July 2007

Heard of “The Golden Compass”, by Philip Pullman?

It’s based on book 1 of “His Dark Materials” trilogy (increasingly popular children fantasy
books) and has been in the stores for quite a while. It will be released as a blockbuster movie
by New Line Cinema this Dec. Starring Daniel Craig (yes the new James Bond), Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, etc. with super-special effects, I foresee the movie could generate huge hype. On the big screen, the books’ anti-Christian contents may be toned down but the film could attract readers to the 3 books, which I read about couple of years back and finished, hoping that the day will never arrive for the books to warrant much attention. Well, it seems that day’s approaching!

As much as I am a fantasy fan and I enjoyed Harry Potter, my personal take on “His Dark Materials” books (how the 1st book won the prestigious Whitbread award really confounds me!) is that they were rather distasteful. Good fantasy is the process of allowing the world to be dipped in myth and magic so that we can see it anew and reopen our eyes to the wonder of God’s creation around us – take LOTR or CS Lewis’ Narnia for e.g.

Of course the beauty of literature and power of words is that people may interpret various
meanings differently, depending on our values, cultural backgrounds, experiences, etc.
But “Golden Compass” and its 2 other books blatantly distort Christianity, give a warped
version of Genesis, embrace sin as freedom and defame God, even if the author started
out well in the beginning of the book…

The trilogy is a sad excuse for this Oxford grad atheist of a writer to release his anti-Christian worldview which arose from past bad experiences with Christianity, however true they may be. And while one may sympathise with him in view that Christianity as a concept has been fraught with the ills of legalism, fundamentalism and repression in our fallen world, we do NOT condone his actions!

Imagine creating an idea of God that is negative within a world that the author can control.
The danger of this translating to life when read by young impressionable readers is how God
is increasingly portrayed as the ultimate bad guy in these 3 novels. Well, of course children
are not dumb, only a strange few would attempt to fly out of the window, thinking they’ve got
powers after watching Superman for e.g.

We are called to make informed judgements and teach our juniors and children (if any)
to do so. So instead of reacting in fear or phobia, it is time to engage in intelligent criticism
of the books and movie, by being aware of its contents….be warned.

While all things are permissible but not all are beneficial….CS Lewis once wrote in “Mere Christianity”:

When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, be understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is allright. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.

I’ve extracted some reviews below from Christianity Today. Interestingly, the issue at hand is not so much of “Bad movie! Bad book! Beware book! Ban book from our kids!” resulting in another wave of something akin to Potter paranoia.

BUT how are we as Christians to respond in responsible ways that honour God, be a good testimony and not turn off pre-Christian believers and without compromising godly principles? Ah, fine balance… In touch with the world but not of it, by relying on God’s grace and strength, I say. How that translates into concrete day-to-day action on our part is the challenge now and ahead!

Review: His Dark Materials – Christianity Today Movies

Sympathy for the Devil – Plugged In (by Focus on the Family)

Movie’s influence is over-rated (Electric New Paper, Jeanmarie Tan, 5 Dec 2007)


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