This is the first part of a two part lecture on Islam by Alan Shlemon. Part one discusses the differences between current portrayals of Islam and the original Islam, Muslim demographics, authoritative sources in Islam, and violence in Islam.
The Western world grows more hostile to Christianity. Yet some Christians close their eyes. Why? How could they when the signs of this hostility are all around us?
Some must be thinking, “Hey, I’m okay. Why should I worry?” Or, “If it’s not my problem, it’s not a problem.” Others have no good sense of history. They don’t realize how tyranny progresses, how it takes one plot of land, then another, then advances to whole provinces and regions until it’s grabbed the whole culture.
strategy, motivation, what to do, anti-Christian hostility
Which brings us to our present unpleasant realization that from a cultural perspective, the traditionalists and conservatives have been thoroughly beaten in the war for the culture. For the most part, we never even showed up. We raised families, built farms and businesses, and attended church functions while secular revolutionaries took over the entertainment industry, the media, academia—and finally, the public education system that now dutifully serves as a conduit for secular “values.” Prayer is out, queer theory is in, and many a middle-aged conservative has found occasion recently to splutter his coffee and gape at his newspaper: “How did things change so fast?”
Christians have taken the conservative route of keeping to themselves, being responsible in home, church, and community, and leaving activism to the liberals. But Christianity is no longer status quo. If we want to preserve its influence we must stand for it. Apathy is no longer a viable option.
Isolationism. One-fourth of 18- to 29-year-olds say church demonizes everything outside church, including the music, movies, culture, and technology that define their generation.
Shallowness. One-third call church boring, about one-fourth say faith is irrelevant and Bible teaching is unclear. One-fifth say God is absent from their church experience.
Anti-science. Up to one-third say the church is out of step on scientific developments and debate.
Sex. The church is perceived as simplistic and judgmental. For a fifth or more, a “just say no” philosophy is insufficient in a techno-porno world. Young Christian singles are as sexually active as their non-churched friends, and many say they feel judged.
Exclusivity. Three in 10 young people feel the church is too exclusive in this pluralistic and multi-cultural age. And the same number feel forced to choose between their faith and their friends.
Doubters. The church is not a safe place to express doubts say over one-third of young people, and one-fourth have serious doubts they’d like to discuss.
Why apologetics? Well, the Bible commands it, the culture demands it, the Church needs it, and the results confirm it. Taken individually, each reason should motivate us to engage in apologetics. However, taken all together, these provide a powerful apologetic for apologetics.
Pew Reseae b polled "nones," Pell,e who d I nt identify with any religious tradition, who answered they questioned a lot of religious teaching or disliked Cheistians' social and political positions. But this 2018 poll didn't allow them to answer in their own words, as Pew had in a 2016 survey, in which the predominant answer was that people didn't think Christian ity was true. This shows we need to strategize to teach the truth of the faith.
"Christians have yet to fully assess the pressures of growing up in a pluralistic society. We are not sure what do with the feelings we have. The doubts that fill our hearts seem unsettling at best and horrific and unspeakable at worst. For many young Christians, an open ear does not exist, and the church has been of little help. Young people are not sure what to do or where to go. This has left me wondering: have we unknowingly aided our youth in their secularizing flight from God? If so, what can we do?"