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Probe Ministries

  • 16
    APRIL

    Probe Ministries: Poverty and Wealth

     Written by Don Closson Introduction It’s disheartening to meet young Christians who are convinced of the immorality of capitalism and the free market system. Sincere Christians often quote the second chapter of Acts which describes how the church in Jerusalem held all things
  • 2
    APRIL

    Probe Ministries: Is Theistic Evolution the Only Viable Answer for Thinking Christians?

    Dr. Francis Collins, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for cataloging the complete human DNA sequence, put forth his views on science and Christianity in his 2006 book, The Language of God{1}. Could his theistic evolution view resolve the apparent conflict between modern science and the Bible? In this article, we will examine this belief and his arguments for it.Collins grew up agnostic but became an atheist in his student years. At twenty six, he took on the task of proving Christianity false. Like many before him{2}, this hopeless task resulted in accepting Christianity as true: Jesus as God in the flesh bringing us eternal life. In his role as a medical researcher into the genetics of man, he found himself dealing in a world where many questioned the validity of Christian thought as anti-science.
  • 10
    MARCH

    Probe Ministries: Christ and the Human Condition

    Early in the book of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite declares that “man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (5:7). Whether it’s the trouble that befalls us as we’re simply minding our own business or the trouble we bring upon others (or even ourselves), difficulties, sin, and suffering seem to plague us wherever we turn. Just think for a moment about some of the natural evils which afflict the human race. This class of evils includes both natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes, and diseases like cancer, leukemia, Alzheimer’s and ALS. While natural evils are bad enough, they are only part of the problem. In addition to these, we must also consider all the moral evils which human beings commit against God, one another, and themselves. This second class of evils includes things like hatred, blasphemy, murder, rape, child abuse, terrorism, and suicide. Taken together, the scope and magnitude of human sin and suffering in the world are truly mind-boggling. What does God have to say about issues such as these? Even better, what (if anything) has He done about them?
  • 12
    FEBRUARY

    Probe Ministries: The Just War Tradition in the Present Crisis

    Recent events have prompted Christians to ask moral questions concerning the legitimacy of war. How far should we go in punishing evil? Can torture ever be justified? On what basis are these actions premised? These problems remain especially acute for those who claim the Christian faith. Fortunately, we are not the first generation to face these questions. The use of force and violence has always troubled the Christian conscience. Jesus Christ gave his life freely without resisting. But does Christ's nonviolent approach deny government the prerogative to maintain order and establish peace through some measure of force? All government action operates on the premise of force. To deny all force, to be a dedicated pacifist, leads no less to a condition of anarchy than if one were a religious fascist. Extremes have the tendency to meet. In the past, Christians attempted to negotiate through the extremes and seek a limited and prescribed use of force in what has been called the Just War Tradition.
  • 21
    JANUARY

    Probe Ministries: The Importance of Parents in the Faith of Emerging Adults

    In previous articles we considered the dramatic changes in the beliefs of American evangelicals particularly among young adults. It certainly appears that we are sliding into an era of cultural captivity where one's identification with Christ and an evangelical church does not keep one from holding a set of beliefs consistent with the culture and counter to biblical truth. Here we want to consider the role that parents had in establishing these inconsistent belief systems of their children, and think about some ways today’s parents may be able to counter these destructive patterns in the future. Before looking at the roles parents do and should play in establishing these belief systems, let’s consider some of the key belief trends that are driving our concern.
  • 8
    JANUARY

    Probe Ministries: Did Phil Get it Wrong? Is Homosexuality Sin?

    In one of the biggest social media flaps since social media was invented, Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson openly said that homosexuality is sinful. Then the cyber world blew up in a clash of worldviews-the progressive, whatever-floats-your-boat perspective of A&E, the cable network that profits greatly from the Robertsons' TV show, against the traditional biblical view of sin and sexuality. A lot of people think that Phil's old-fashioned morality is not only antiquated but unfair.Is it? Is homosexuality a sin? If people are born gay, why would God condemn people for being the way He made them? What kind of God would do that?
  • 30
    DECEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Lessons from C.S. Lewis

    Written by Rick Wade "The Poison of Subjectivism" C.S. Lewis was both a serious scholar who could tangle with the great minds of his day and a popular author who had the wonderful ability to write for children. Lewis, who died in 1963, is still an intellectual force who is well worth reading. I want to dig into Lewis's thinking on a few subjects which are still applicable today. Studying writers like Lewis helps us love God with our minds.
  • 18
    DECEMBER

    Probe Ministries: How Are We to Give to the Poor?

    I am working on a topic for a Men's breakfast on "giving to the poor." Do you have any articles on this specific topic? I am not looking at giving in general—i.e. to the local church or biblical ministries. My topic is specifically "giving personally to the poor." Are we as believers commanded to share with the poor? Is that any difference between poor "believers" and poor "non-believers"? Do we give to the poor to help them or to grow in our own walk with the Lord?
  • 11
    DECEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Christmas Film Favorites

    Written by Todd Kappelman A Christmas Carol   In this article we will examine several classics of film and television that have become perennial favorites during the Christmas season. We'll start with a review of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The 1938 Metro Goldwin Mayer version is our primary reference
  • 4
    DECEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Are You Listening? Do You Hear What I Hear?

    Written by Rusty WrightHave you ever missed a great opportunity because you weren't listening carefully?If Mark{1} hadn't been willing to listen, he might have missed some great news. He enjoyed an adequate income, fulfilling work, a comfortable home, and many close friends. Then his employer offered a promotion requiring a move to another state. At first resistant, he eventually decided to listen to the offer and make the move.
  • 27
    NOVEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Tradition and Scripture

    Written by Michael GleghornUnderstanding TraditionIn this article we'll be thinking about tradition and its relationship to Scripture. Now I realize that some of you may already be asking, "Tradition! Can anything good come from there?" The answer of course is "yes"—for if it were not, then I wouldn't bother writing about it. Indeed, it's actually an important topic to address, for in our day many evangelicals seem to harbor an attitude of suspicion—if not outright hostility—toward the very notion of tradition.{1} In support of this attitude, some might point to what Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions" (Mark 7:9 NIV). And if this is what Jesus said, then aren't we better off to simply dismiss tradition and focus solely on the teaching of Scripture?
  • 22
    NOVEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Christians in the World

    Have you ever heard a sermon that tried to convince you that our earthly possessions should be looked at more like a hotel room rather than a permanent home? The point being that earth is a nice place to visit, but it's not a believer's final destination. As aliens and strangers, our real residence is with God which usually implies a heavenly spiritual existence that is completely foreign to our current one.
  • 14
    NOVEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Why Study Church History?

    Written by James DetrichWhen I was in college, we had to do what was called “evangelism night.” It was a night in which a group of us would pile into someone’s old, broken-down car (we were all poor back then) and skirt downtown to the city’s walking bridge, a large half-mile overpass extending over the Chattanooga River. We were always sure that plenty of people would be there that needed our message. One night I began talking to a man about Christ and he quickly cut me off, “I am a Christian,” he exclaimed. “Great,” I replied. As we continue talking, though, I soon discovered that he was a “different” Christian than me.
  • 7
    NOVEMBER

    Probe Ministries: No Reason to Fear: Examining the Logic of a Critic

    Written by Rick WadeGetting StartedSometimes we Christians shy away from books which attack our beliefs because we're afraid we can't answer the objections. That's understandable. Often the authors of such books carry impressive credentials. It's easy to feel intimidated.Another response which is the opposite of fearful avoidance is haughty dismissal. Sometimes we act as if our position is so obviously true that others can be dismissed as downright stupid and hardly worth bothering with. Even if the opponents' arguments are bad, that's no reason to adopt an arrogant attitude. It's especially bad when the dismissive Christian hasn't even bothered to read the book!
  • 30
    OCTOBER

    Probe Ministries: A Probe Mom Looks at Halloween from a Christian Perspective

    A number of articles are available advising Christians to have nothing to do with Halloween. And I do agree that Christians have no business celebrating a holiday that glorifies something that delights the enemy of our souls. And potentially opens us up to demonic harassment, to boot!But if we've got kids, especially kids in public school or who hang around other kids in the neighborhood, it's entirely possible that parents can feel pressured to do something about Halloween. After all, it's pretty hard to hide under a rock for the whole month of October. A number of houses on our street are more decorated for Halloween than for Christmas!
  • 24
    OCTOBER

    Probe Ministries: The All-Powerful God

    Written by Michael GleghornIntroducing OmnipotenceWhen the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would give birth to Israel’s promised Messiah, she was stunned. After all, she was a virgin. How could she possibly give birth to a son? But the angel informed her that God’s power was more than sufficient to accomplish such a thing, “for nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37; NIV).A foundational element of a Christian worldview is a proper view of God. This article is about God's omnipotence. Although the term may sound a bit intimidating, it simply means that God is all-powerful. A number of scriptural passages speak to this issue. 
  • 16
    OCTOBER

    Probe Ministries: Human Enhancement and Christianity

    Americans want to be perfect and the science of Human Enhancement promises to deliver that ideal. Perfect looks, athletic ability, intelligence, greater productivity, increased longevity and even moral perfectionism are all within reach or so many think. Human Enhancement is the current fashionable term for all the new ways to alter the body and mind to make people more fit and adaptable to the ever changing pace of progress. Human Enhancement is not an organized school of thought, but a societal-wide trend aimed at achieving perfection. Drugs can be used to enhance an athlete’s physical performance in order to perfect his swing or increase a student’s intelligence by improving memory and attention span, creating a straight A student. Cosmetic surgeries make women more beautiful and appear younger.
  • 10
    OCTOBER

    Probe Ministries: In His H.A.N.D.S.: How We Can Know That Jesus is God

    Jesus Shares the Honor Given to GodDefending the deity of Christ can be a source of anxiety for some believers. Perhaps it is because our defense often consists only of a couple of proof texts which are quickly challenged by Jehovah’s Witnesses and others. Even worse, some Christians themselves are troubled by passages that seem to teach that Jesus is something less than God, that He is inferior to the Father in some significant way. They are fine with Jesus being the suffering servant, the Messiah who died for our sins, but less sure of His role in creation or as a member of the triune everlasting “I am” of the Old Testament.
  • 3
    OCTOBER

    Probe Ministries: Complete in Christ and Captive to Empty Deception

    Written by Steve Cable  Problem of Captivity  God has laid a powerful vision on Probe Ministries, calling us to free the minds of fifty million culturally captive Christians and build them into confident ambassadors for Christ by the year 2020. Our survey analysis has shown that cultural captivity is a growing problem within the church.{1} To be effective in this mission, we need to understand the different forms cultural captivity can take individually and collectively. 
  • 27
    SEPTEMBER

    Probe Ministries: Science and Human Origins

    Written by Dr. Ray BohlinIn 2012 the Discovery Institute published an edited volume discussing the possibilities of human evolution from an ape-like ancestor by Darwinian evolution mechanisms. In this article I will offer an overview of the book, Science and Human Origins{1} and investigate the state of research into human origins from an evolutionary perspective. 
  • 11
    SEPTEMBER

    Probe Ministries: The Church and the Social Media Revolution

    Any media that uses two-way communication as opposed to one-way communication is social media rather than mass media, such as TV, radio, and print which deliver a message to a mass audience. Mass media is not personal like the telephone, or letter writing; it is directed to the crowd or to a particular niche in the crowd that does not allow for the audience to talk back, with some exceptions. Mass media is not social because it does not permit a conversation with its audience.
  • 27
    AUGUST

    Probe Ministries: What a Biblical Worldview Looks Like

    A young Christian couple I know married with high hopes for the future. Within three years they were divorced; the husband handled his hatred for his job by snapping at his wife and retreating to online gaming, and the wife shut down her heart to him and opened it to someone else.
  • 21
    AUGUST

    Probe Ministries: The True State of American Evangelicals

    How is the evangelical church doing in America as we begin to make our way through the second decade of this century? Are we growing in numbers and in the clarity of our message, or are we holding our own against a tide of secularism, or are we on the verge of a major collapse partially obscured by continuing attendance? The people who should have the best handle on this question are the sociologists and pollsters who map and track many different aspects of our society. What are they saying about the evangelical church?
  • 14
    AUGUST

    Probe Ministries: Mad at God

    I knelt down next to my bed, ten years old, and once more poured out my heart to God. "God, please heal me! You know how much I hate having polio, I hate limping, I hate going to physical therapy every week, I hate the surgeries, I hate the way people stare at me because of how I walk. I hate that no one could love me with polio. I hate this, God! I know You can take it away—please let me wake up tomorrow morning all healed and restored!"
  • 7
    AUGUST

    Probe Ministries: Are You a Marcion (Martian) Christian?

    Written by James DetrichMarcion or Martian?Are you a Marcion Christian? No, I don't mean Martian as in the space aliens. No, no, this will not be an article about whether there are alien life forms on other planets. We cover that question on the Probe website. This is, instead, about Marcion, an early churchman who lived in the second century.As the early church was trying to understand how the Old Testament and New Testament worked together, Marcion said that they are incompatible. He rejected the Old Testament as being too Jewish, too concerned with things like the Law, and sacrifices, and old timey prophets. He claimed the Christian church should have nothing to do with the Old Testament, that we are merely New Testament believers.
  • 31
    JULY

    Probe Ministries: Making a Defense

    Written by Rick Wade Introduction Apologetics has grown into a very involved discipline over the last two millennia. From the beginning, Christians have sought to answer challenges to their claims about Jesus and complaints and questions about how they lived.
  • 24
    JULY

    Probe Ministries: Should I Be Concerned About Sarah Young's 'Jesus Calling'?

    One ought to be skeptical when someone is writing a book telling you they have heard from Jesus and this is what He said. The popularity of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling also calls for scrutiny because millions are reading it and saying they have benefited from it. I have looked at the links you provided and here is what I think.
  • 28
    JUNE

    Probe Ministries: Is Jesus the Only Way?

    I was sitting in my car at a red light and I saw a bumper sticker on the car in front of me that said, "Coexist." Only, the letters on the bumper sticker are religious symbols. A crescent stands in place of the letter "c," a peace symbol in place of the letter "o," and some of the other symbols included a cross, a Star of David, and a yin-yang, all used to create the word "coexist."
  • 20
    JUNE

    Probe Ministries: Crossing the Worldview Divide: Sharing Christ with Other Faiths

    Growing up in the sixties and seventies, I had very limited exposure to other worldviews significantly different from my own. Raised in a small town in New Mexico, I was exposed to a number of Hispanic Catholics, and I knew at least two families that were Mormons. Frankly, I never had either of those groups share their worldview with me. But, by and large, most people appeared to have a pretty conventional Christian worldview, answering the basic worldview questions as follows:
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