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Apologetics Profile
Making a Case for the Christian Faith
Category: Christianity
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James Walker is a former 4th-generation Mormon who converted to Christianity. He is president of Watchman Fellowship, an evange...


by James Walker
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January 25, 2021 01:00 AM PST

We at Watchman Fellowship are committed to helping and equipping the church to effectively communicate the Gospel to those of other religions and worldviews. But such communication is never really easy.

  • The first step in being able to successfully articulate the Gospel is a relatively simple one, though -- Being familiar with the message
  • The second step is to know the language of your audience. Are they Mormons? Atheists? Muslims? Jehovah’s Witnesses? 

The wisdom and skill in effective communication is to be able to translate the message of the Gospel to your audience, using reason, imagination, metaphors, story, and parable, just as Jesus did. If you’ve ever tried sharing the Gospel with people, you have likely experienced the need to further clarify what you are trying to share to people unfamiliar with language that is familiar and common to you. How do you explain the atonement to atheists? The Trinity to Muslims? The Deity of Jesus to Jehovah’s Witnesses? 

On this special two-part episode with communications professor Dr. Steven A. Beebe, we look into the craft and techniques of communication used by C.S. Lewis. How have Lewis’s works become so widely popular and influential in communicating the Christian faith to people? What can we learn from Lewis as we try to communicate the truth of God’s word to a non-Christian world that neither understands nor accepts it? 

In part one, Dr. Beebe shares how he became interested in Lewis and how Lewis’s ability to communicate makes his readers feel that they have a genuine relationship with the author. 

ABOUT STEVEN A. BEEBE: Dr. Beebe is Regents' and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He served as Chair of his department at Texas State for 28 years and concurrently as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for 25 years. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State he was a tenured member of the Communication faculty at the University of Miami for 10 years. He is author and co-author of fourteen books (with editions totaling more than 75 books) that have been used at hundreds of colleges and universities (including international, Canadian, Russian and Chinese editions) by several million students throughout the world. Steve’s research focuses on instructional communication and communication skill development.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 18, 2021 01:00 AM PST
In part two, Dr. Brady Blevins and Daniel Ray conclude their discussion of the controversy surrounding Bikram Yoga and its fugitive founder who fled the US refusing to pay a $7 million court-ordered judgement.
Bikram Choudhury and his trademarked Bikram Yoga has attracted significant media scrutiny as accusations from former students and associates have multiplied. The media accounts mainly focused on these credible abuse allegations and on fact-checking questionable claims Choudhury has made about his past. This episode of Apologetics Profile goes beyond those concerns to examine the underlying doctrines and theology at the foundation of Bikram Yoga and to evaluate those beliefs from a Christian perspective.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 11, 2021 01:00 AM PST
In this episode, Dr. Brady Blevins and Daniel Ray discuss the controversy surrounding Bikram Yoga and its founder. Facing a warrant for his arrest from the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Bikram Choudhury, the guru who founded Bikram Yoga, has fled the United States refusing to pay a court-ordered judgement of about $7 million in damages. This judgement resulted from a wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former legal adviser, Minakshi Jafa-Boden. But as Daniel and Brady discovered, the legal, ethical and spiritual controversies surrounding Bikram Yoga go much deeper than this one lawsuit.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 04, 2021 01:00 AM PST
In part 2, James Walker continues his discussion with Naomi Wright about her unique journey out of a polygamous cult led by her father to faith in Jesus Christ. Her religion was a radical breakoff of a controversial sect founded by William Branham. Her father borrowed many of Branham's doctrines including "serpent seed," legalism, works-based salvation and anti-Trinitarianism then added in other elements from Oneness Pentecostalism. On this doctrinal foundation, he introduced the practice of polygamy and the claim that the group's leaders were immortal.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 28, 2020 01:00 AM PST
James Walker interviews Naomi Wright about her unique journey out of a polygamous cult led by her father to faith in Jesus Christ. Her religion was a radical breakoff of a controversial sect founded by William Branham. Her father borrowed many of Branham's doctrines including "serpent seed," legalism, works-based salvation and anti-Trinitarianism then added in other elements from Oneness Pentecostalism. On this doctrinal foundation, he introduced the practice of polygamy and the claim that the group's leaders were immortal.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 21, 2020 03:00 AM PST
Daniel Grissom was one of Jehovah's Witnesses when he first connected with James Walker and the Watchman Fellowship ministry team. By God's grace, Daniel left the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for the grace of Jesus Christ and now serves on our Board of Directors. In this episode (part two) we conclude our discussion. Daniel talks about the importance of discipleship and how to talk with the Jehovah's Witnesses when they knock on your door:
  • Is the average Christian church equipped to help former Jehovah's Witnesses transition to the true gospel of the grace of Christ?
  • What is one of the best questions we can ask a Jehovah's Witness?
  • How can a "SEE" (significant emotional event) be a catalyst for spiritual transition?
  • Besides the Bible, what one book helped Daniel clearly see the Jehovah's Witnesses errors?
  • Why did Daniel join the leadership team as a board member at Watchman Fellowship?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 16, 2020 03:00 AM PST
In this very short, special bonus edition of Apologetics Profile, Daniel Grissom shares a two-minute update about the future of our ministry. Daniel is a former Jehovah's Witness who serves on our Board of Directors.

End-of-Year Ministry Update

As we come to the close of 2020, we are at a crossroads. Our ministry opportunities have never been higher but our donations have dropped drastically. Barring a miracle between now and the end of the year, our support will drop to a 20-year low. We are asking for your prayers and financial support to finish the year strong. We want to go into 2021 ready to maximize our calling and ministry. We want to continue:

  • Training and sending missionary teams to Utah each year
  • Reaching nonbelievers through our Atheist & Christian Book Club
  • Publishing 4-page Profiles on cults and alternative religions
  • Broadcasting two weekly podcastsGood Heavens! and Apologetics Profile
  • Hosting our Mormons in Transition monthly meetup for Latter-day Saints with questions
  • Sharing the gospel with those of other faiths and religions (and much more!)
We know many are now unable to support the ministry because of health, finances, or both. Believe me, we understand! For those who can help, now is the critical time. Your help is much needed and greatly appreciated.

SUPPORT: If you are able to stand with us, please consider a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give. Every gift counts!

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 14, 2020 03:00 AM PST
Daniel Grissom was one of Jehovah's Witnesses when he first connected with James Walker and the Watchman Fellowship ministry team. Daniel left the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for the grace of Jesus Christ and now serves on our Board of Directors. In part one of this discussion, Daniel shares his journey from the Kingdom Hall to the Kingdom of God:
  • When he first got the knock at his front door, what attracted Daniel to listen to the Jehovah's Witnesses and initially embrace their teachings?
  • What caused Daniel to mistake the Jehovah's Witnesses sincerity for their accuracy?
  • Why is it difficult for former Jehovah's Witnesses to believe in Jesus even after they learn their religion was wrong?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 07, 2020 03:00 AM PST
In this week's episode Brady Blevins and Steve Matthews conclude their conversation about Kip McKean, World Missions Evangelist of the controversial International Christian Church (ICC). Brady and Steve address some questions underlying decades of criticism the the movement has received from Christian discernment ministries and secular cult-watch organizations:
  • How can we distinguish between a strong commitment to Christian discipleship and inappropriate high-demand organizations which can foster spiritual abuse?
  • To what degree and on what level should a "discipler" be given control of a follower's personal discussion-making?
  • Does salvation require water baptism into a ICC-style "discipling" church?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Our free 4-page Profile on the International Churches of Christ (ICC) by Steve Matthews and Brady Blevins: www.watchman.org/ICC
  • Our original 4-page Profile on the Boston Church of Christ / International Churches of Christ (ICOC) by Rick Branch: www.watchman.org/Boston
  • Our 4-page Profile on Spiritual Abuse by David Henke: www.watchman.org/Abuse

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

November 30, 2020 03:00 AM PST
In this week's episode Brady Blevins and Steve Matthews discuss Kip McKean, World Missions Evangelist of the controversial International Christian Church (ICC), a worldwide movement headquartered in Los Angeles. In part one of this two-part discussion we explore the history, growth and some of the criticisms directed at the organization that first began as an on campus discipling ministry of the Crossroads Church of Christ at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

McKean became the world leader when the sect was known as the Boston Church of Christ and later as the group expanded its worldwide strategies under the name International Church of Christ (ICOC). In the midst of external and internal criticisms and calls for reform, McKean resigned from the ICOC later forming his rival organization, the ICC.

The movement has been under fire for decades even being banned from major university campuses including "American University, the University of Lowell (Mass.), Birmingham University (United Kingdom), the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), Boston College, Marquette University, Boston University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of London (United Kingdom), Vanderbilt University, the University of Miami, Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Smith College, the United States Military Academy, the University of Southern California and York University (Canada)."1

Why is the ICC so popular and what drives the criticisms? Brady and Steve discuss some of the controversies surrounding Kip McKean and the ICC including their theological distinctives and questionable discipleship practices.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Our free 4-page Profile on the International Churches of Christ (ICC) by Steve Matthews and Brady Blevins: www.watchman.org/ICC
  • Our original 4-page Profile on the Boston Church of Christ / International Churches of Christ (ICOC) by Rick Branch www.watchman.org/Boston
FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

1 John W. Morehead, "International Christian Churches: Disciples of Abuse?" www.apologeticsindex.org/i05.html

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