New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs

Experts didn’t expect such a development but it appears the ranks of the “Nones” — people who identify with no religious denomination or following — are no longer increasing and a decline may even be ahead.

Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman (Screen shot from Facebook).

That’s the news from two recently completed massive studies, both of which are reported today by the Religion in Public (RIP) blog. In the first, Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman notes:

“A truism of the American religious landscape is that Americans are becoming more religiously unaffiliated and that this tendency is especially pronounced among the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996). Continue reading “New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Did Thomas The Disciple Die A Martyr For The Gospel In India?

Tradition has it that all of the original surviving 11 disciples of Jesus died as martyrs while defending their claims that Christ had been resurrected on the third day after being crucified.

Thomas, the skeptical disciple (i.e. the “Doubting Thomas”) who refused to believe the resurrection until Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch his crucifixion wounds, is believed to have taken the Gospel to India where he died as a martyr.

As Biola University Professor Sean McDowell explains in the following video, there is no independent corroboration for this tradition, but there is good historical evidence to support the conclusion that there is truth in the account:

PUEBLA 2020: A Well-Spent Week Comes To A Close With A Blessing

This year marked the fifth in the past six that I have joined a devoted and talented team of nearly two dozen men and women who are present and former members of Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) in Sykesville, Md., on a week-long mission to Puebla, Mexico.

Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

At the outset, let me be clear that my saying this is not “virtue signaling” on my part. That God led me for the first time to go on this mission trip in 2015 was in itself a miracle and concrete evidence of how radically He has transformed a previously selfish, booze-addicted and politics-obsessed egotist with a new heart and desire to love and serve Him, my family, fellow believers, and my neighbors. I get zero credit here, it’s all to His credit and glory.

Led by Senior Pastor Mark Massey beginning in 2001, the FBC mission team has worked with the extraordinary pastors, members and friends of Hananeel Baptist Church in Puebla in building a facility that began as a small garage and is now a beautiful sanctuary, classroom building and courtyard. Continue reading “PUEBLA 2020: A Well-Spent Week Comes To A Close With A Blessing”

MYTH-BUSTERS: No, The God Of The Old Testament Is Not A Moral Monster

A common objection heard from atheists, agnostics and other skeptics these days is that the God of the Old Testament was immoral because He allegedly endorsed such horrors as forced servitude, genocide and rape.

As RZIM’s Brandon Cleaver explained recently in a lengthy analysis of the issue, “slavery in the Bible was vastly different. First, according to many scholars, the Hebrew word (ebed or eved) that is often translated as slave in the Old Testament is more reasonably rendered as servant.

“Furthermore, slavery among the Hebrews in the Old Testament often occurred when individuals sold themselves into servanthood to pay off debt. Therefore, it was voluntary.”

In the following video, crossexamined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek makes that point and more in responding to a series of questions that taken together frame the argument that the God of the Bible is a moral monster:


 

To See Tomorrow’s Digital System For National Oppression, Just Take A Look At China Today

China is not ranked on top of the 50 worst nations for persecuting Christians compiled by Open Doors USA, as that dubious distinction belongs to North Korea, followed close behind by Afghanistan.

Great Wall of China. Photo by Bruce Röttgers on Unsplash.

But China is building a pervasive system of digital surveillance-based oppression that is presently aimed at the estimated 125 million Christians there, but which could easily be duplicated in other nations and used to silence anybody who disagrees with the regime in power.

That’s according to Open Doors CEO David Curry, who told a recent news conference unveiling the 2020 list of top 50 anti-Christian nations that China is constructing a “blue print” for a “system of persecution for the future” to be sold on the world market. Continue reading “To See Tomorrow’s Digital System For National Oppression, Just Take A Look At China Today”

SCIENCE AND FAITH: Free Will Is An Illusion If Choices Are Simply Determined By The Chemistry Of Our Brains

If thinking is merely a product of chemical reactions within the brain, what does that make of ideas like “individual liberty” and “social justice?”

It is not uncommon to hear the claim that human thoughts and choices are actually nothing more than the product of material processes of neurons acting and reacting within our physical brains.

Put another way, our minds are illusions. We only think we think of our own free will. As Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist and atheist advocate, put it in a 2011 interview with Britain’s The Guardian:

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking said. It’s striking that such a smart man apparently missed the irony of his own analogy contradicting his assertion. Continue reading “SCIENCE AND FAITH: Free Will Is An Illusion If Choices Are Simply Determined By The Chemistry Of Our Brains”

THINK ABOUT THIS: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? Here Are The Facts, Part 2

Critics and skeptics over the centuries have come up with a multitude of theories attempting to discount the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after His death on the cross.

These theories fall into four primary categories:

  • Some sort of conspiracy.
  • He only appeared to have died.
  • Somebody moved His body without telling the disciples.
  • There were hallucinations.

In Part 2 of the Reasonable Faith video looking at the facts about the claim Jesus rose from the dead, each of these theories is addressed head-on and shown to be a less satisfactory explanation for the undisputed truth about the death of Jesus:

If you missed it, Part 1 was posted yesterday here on HillFaith. If you have questions about anything you heard in either video, please tell us about it in the comments.