What happens when we die? The answer depends on who you ask. If you ask an atheist, you’ll hear a completely different answer than if you ask a Christian. These two worldviews are often polar opposites. That is especially true with this question.
On April 13 and 14, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting the 8th annual Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum, a dialogue between Dr. Michael Shermer and Dr. Gary Habermas. They will be debating “Is There Life After Death?” This event is open to the public; and kicks off on Friday night with the main debate followed by a book signing, and continues on Saturday with the presentation of a series of papers and responses on the subject.
For more information on the Greer-Heard forum and to register, click here.
Dr. Michael Shermer (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University.
Dr. Shermer has written several books that discuss where God, evolution, and science intersect:
Dr. Gary Habermas is Distinguished Research professor at Liberty University. In the last 12 years he has given over 1,500 lectures in about 100 universities, seminaries, and colleges. He holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University as well as an MA in Philosophical Theology from the University of Detroit. He currently acts as ‘Distinguished Research Professor and Chair’ in the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, where he has taught for the past 26 years. His main areas of research include the philosophical study of miracles, near-death experiences, the historical Jesus, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.
Dr. Habermas has authored or co-edited many books defending the Christian worldview, including:
Other featured panelist include:
Plan to come early and experience the events leading up to the Friday night Greer-Heard Point Counterpoint Forum:
Jared Moore is 31 years of age and has served in ministry in a Southern Baptist context for 12 years. Currently, he is pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He received his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity College of the Bible, his M.A.R. in Biblical Studies from Liberty Seminary, and his M.Div. in Christian ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently completing his Th.M. in Systematic Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Besides his published book The Harry Potter Bible Study: Enjoying God Through the Final Four Harry Potter Movies, Jared can be found on several sites on the internet. He writes at his own blog jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com, and is also a regular contributor at sbcvoices.com, servantsofgrace.org, and churchleaders.com, and occasionally writes for speculativefaith.com, sermoncentral.com, credomag.com, and sbctoday.com.
The Walking Dead is a television show created by the American Movie Channel (AMC). If you haven’t heard about it yet, a preview is provided below.
Viewer discretion advised: zombies in this clip
Yes, this show is about a zombie outbreak that threatens to destroy humanity. The story is told by accompanying a local Sheriff, his family, friends, and several acquaintances as they seek safety and survival. The looming question throughout the series is “Will humanity survive the zombie takeover, or will humanity lose its human identity in its attempt to survive; thus, functionally becoming “the walking dead,” although not metaphysically?”
So, why would a Christian pastor argue that God’s grace is what draws him to this zombie television show? The answer is, since all humans are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27) and all are sinners (Rom. 3:23), and since all forms of media are created by these fallen image-bearers (Gen. 3), it logically follows that all forms of media contain grace-mixed idolatry, The Walking Dead included. In other words, God’s fallen image-bearers mirror or image God through creativity while simultaneously marring this image with sin. The task of the Christian observer is to enjoy the grace and reject the idolatry.
Rev. Fred Luter, Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, announced to his congregation Sunday that he was willing for his name to be placed in nomination for President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Luter has served as Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church for 26 years (since 1986). During that time, the church grew from 65 members to become one of the largest churches in Louisiana, with several thousand attending the New Orleans church, plus satellite campuses in Baton Rouge and Houston.
The Southern Baptist Convention will be holding its annual convention in Luter’s home town of New Orleans on June 19-20, 2012.
Click to read An Interview with Rev. Fred Luter.
Technorati Tag: Fred Luter
Preaching Preparation for the Real World Pastor:
Principle #10: Know How to Say it – Delivery
This is the eleventh in a series of articles on sermon preparation for pastors and bivocational pastors with busy schedules. To see the earlier articles, click the links below:
Principle #1: Bible Literacy
Principle #2: Know What You Believe
Principle #3: Know Your Audience—Exegeting Your People
Principle #4: Know Who You Trust—Trusted Sources
Principle #5: Know Your Text—You and the Scripture
Principle #6: Know What You Want People to Do—Application Points
Principle #7: Know the Right Story to Bring the Truth Home—Relevant Stories
Principle #8: Know How to Start Well with Good Introductions
Principle #9 – Conclusions
I will never forget my first coaching I received in the area of delivery. My recently acquainted friend from college invited me to visit his grandparents in rural Missouri. He said their preacher planned to have him preach in the Sunday evening service and that he would probably let me preach too. As we prepared for our back to back sermons, my friend offered one piece of advice. “Tom, whatever you do make sure to yell.” My friend, who had never heard me preach, radically changed my delivery forever. No, I don’t just yell all the time (I grew out of that faze), but before my friend I never gave a moment of thought to how my message sounded to others.
Now, a close second in importance to being biblical in the content of the message is how you share the message. Listen to what Stephen Rummage says about delivery. He states, “The truth is, no matter how careful you were in your exegesis and interpretation and no matter how skillfully you put together your message, your sermon will be evaluated on the basis of how you deliver it.” Communication researcher Judee Burgoon developed a theory called “nonverbal expectancy theory.” In essence, it states that people have presuppositions on how people should communicate. If your delivery falls below their expectations, you lose credibility because you have violated their expectations. That’s what my friend in college was trying to tell me. The people in rural Missouri will not listen if you do not yell. So, I yelled.