I was speaking to a woman today who was increasingly running into Christians who see no real differences between the decent Mormon neighbors around them and their own Christian confession. Sadly, this is an increasing trend as Churches fail to instill a number of important truths into the lives of their people, paramount among them being the nature of the Gospel. What is also lacking, however, is a clear understanding of the image of God that remains in man (though corrupted by the Fall).
As the Gospel has been increasingly displaced in many Churches, what has replaced it is no Gospel at all where many are looking to their inner experience and the morality of their lives as the yardstick for truth. …Read More
On my way to Church Sunday and as I routinely do on my cart, I cut through the parking lot of the local RCC and I had a thought after see the multitudes of cars. They go to mass because hey have to to avoid hell they think, we go because we want too.
Anyway that’s what I was thinking in my little mind.
As one who grew up Roman Catholic, that is a very good observation. They even call Holy Days “Days of Obligation”.
They approach worship as a slave would.
Now, granted, a few of them are happy slaves and, existentially, they are looking forward to going to Mass but it is as a happy slave, along with the vast majority in the RCC that are miserable slaves who know they’ll go to Hell if they don’t at least “punch in” on Christmas and Easter.…Read More
Many friends and others have wondered and often asked me about why I am so ardently insistent on adhering to a strong confessional standard, and why I think they are critically important for the Church. Many may also significantly wonder about this development considering my background in a non-confessional Methodist church and some forays into broad evangelicalism. Below are some of my thoughts, both from reading a lot on the PuritanBoard and The Lost Soul of American Protestantism by D.G. Hart.
I've been very encouraged by some of the wonderful things Dr. R. Scott Clark and several commenters have been writing about on the Heidelblog recently, and so I thought I'd give a bit of an apology for my confessionalism.
- Everybody has a confession and his/her interpretation of a passage of Scripture, and it is clear some teachings of Scripture are much more difficult to understand than others. The fact that Chapter I.7 of the Westminster Confession has to state the obvious is a sad testament to the tendency of many a modern to dumb down God to bite-sized theology to where any and everyone can just learn everything in the Bible on a first reading of a passage.
Bear with me, if you will. Consider this text in Scripture:
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: “˜Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
I must say that it's been a fascinating week reading the various comments from both sides (atheist and Christian) on my debate with Dan Barker. For those who have not heard it, the debate can be downloaded from this site (3rd one down under "free downloads"). Unsurprisingly, most atheists think Barker prevailed and most Christians think I prevailed. I obviously think I faithfully defended the faith. In this entry I'll make some comments on  how I think the debate went and  the various reviews given by atheists and  the main points they think Barker won. We'll go in that order.
 Basically, I think it's simple. As far as the debate goes, and objective scoring goes, I feel Barker did not win. …Read More
If you haven’t listened to the debate between Paul Manata and Dan Barker on the question “Is Christianity or Atheism More Rational?” then please check it out at Unchained Radio
I just listened to the debate this morning while working out. Great job Paul!
I’m not precisely sure that Paul was talking over Dan Barker’s head. Dan just knows he doesn’t have reasonable answers to real questions so he disallows the questions. This is typical of Dan Barker from what I’ve heard before. I just realized that he is popular because he is irrational and unthinking and populist. He is a postmodern populist atheist.
I’m waiting for the transcript but Barker’s closing statement (as was the rest of his stuff) was a vaccuous “we have meaning because we say we have meaning” and “we have purpose and are good because we say we are good”.…Read More