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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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October 19, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

In this episode Daniel Ray and Brady Blevins discuss the Ouija Board, a controversial best-seller made by game and toy maker Hasbro®, from a Christian perspective. Some of the questions they address include:

  • Is this a mere game or toy "for entertainment purposes" only?
  • Why did the inventer argue in court that communicating through his "talking board" was actually a religious practice? 
  • Could it actually be a tool of the occult that allegedly allows a medium to contact the dead (necromancy), a practice clearly forbidden in the Bible (Deut. 18:10-12)?
  • Why did it take an IRS lawsuit appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court for the Ouija to be classified as a game?

BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 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.

* Introduction audio excerpt courtesy "The Home of Horror," Paranormal Witness (Season 1 Episode 5): A family's use of a Ouija board brings an evil entity into their home, YouTube, July 17, 2019: https://youtu.be/lucRKtuCjtU

October 12, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

Founded by Keith Raniere, a quasi-religious group called NXVIM (pronounced NEX-ee-um) has been in the headlines following the arrests of Raniere, Smallville TV actress Allison Mack, and other leaders on charges of sex trafficking. Prosecutors and the FBI alleged women were coerced and blackmailed by Mack and other leaders to have sex with the group’s founder. Victims also claim to have been called "slaves" and branded with the letters "KR," Keith Raniere's initials. 

As more horrifying details emerged, investigators sought testimony from additional victims. "F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge William F. Sweeney called the operation a 'pyramid scheme' and asked for anyone who might have been a victim to come forward with any information."* Raniere, Mack and other leaders were subsequently convicted and imprisoned.

In this week's episode, our Senior Apologist, Dr. Brady Blevins, interviews Frank Parlato of the Frank Report, a former NXVIM insider who became a chief whistle-blower. His testimony, documentation and evidence aided in the FBI's investigation leading to the arrests, indictments and prison sentences.

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 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.

* Hilary Weaver, “This Keith Raniere Sex-Cult Story Is Much Deeper Than Allison Mack’s Arrest,” Vanity Fair, April, 2018: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/04/allison-mack-arrested-in-connection-to-keith-raniere

October 05, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

How did an outdated New Age trend called the Enneagram become a wildly popular fad now sweeping through American Christianity? We address this phenomena in this week's Apologetics Profile. This is the final episode of our part two-part discussion on the Enneagram. This week we explore some additional questions related to the controversial history and practice of the Enneagram and the role played by one of its leading advocates, Richard Rohr.

  • Who were the real architects of the Enneagram?
  • What does Richard Rohr mean when he said that Christ is something "larger and older" than Jesus?
  • What is Panentheism and is it compatible with a biblical worldview?
  • Should the Enneagram be viewed as a harmless tool for personality assessment or does it pose a potential for spiritual danger?
  • Can God "redeem" the Enneagram from its occult roots for His own purposes?

To discuss these questions, James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship, continues his interview with Marcia Montenegro and Don Veinot, two of the coauthors of the 2020 book, Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret. Marcia is also the author of our 4-page Profile on the Enneagram (see links below).

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 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.

September 28, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

How did a New Age “spirit guide” named Metatron help inspire the Enneagram, a major fad currently sweeping American Christianity? This is just one of the questions we address in this week's episode of Apologetics Profile. In part one of this two-part podcast, we explore some preliminary subjects related to the Enneagram’s controversial history and practice:

  • What is the Enneagram and how does it work?
  • Is the Enneagram based on ancient, forgotten Christian practices or is it rooted in 20th century occultism?
  • Why has the Enneagram's secret origins made it so controversial?
  • Should Christians use the Enneagram as a spiritual path to their “true self”?

To discuss these questions, James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship, interviews Marcia Montengro and Don Veinot, two of the coauthors of the 2020 book, Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret. Marcia is also the author of our 4-page Profile on the Enneagram (see links below).

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 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.

September 21, 2020 03:00 AM PDT
This week Daniel Ray continues his discussion with Christian apologist, philosopher and author, Dr. Douglas Groothuis about his book Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. This book is a popular textbook at Christian colleges and seminaries, was winner of the 2012 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit.

In part 2 of their discussion, Daniel and Doug explore some additional arguments for the Christian worldview put forward in the book and address some key questions:
  • Are some atheists arguing that the best explanation for much of the universe is that there is no explanation for it?
  • Should skepticism be the default position?
  • How can we creatively and wisely relate to people who seem to be far away from the gospel?
  • Why do Christians need to go beyond focusing on merely winning arguments?

Douglas Groothuis is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Society of Christian Philosophers. Dr. Groothuis received a Ph.D. and a B.S. from the University of Oregon, and an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has served as adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University, visiting instructor in apologetics for Westminster Theological Seminary, and instructor at the University of Oregon. He is the author of ten books, including Truth Decay, Unmasking the New Age, On Jesus, On Pascal and In Defense of Natural Theology (coeditor and contributor). He has published two dozen academic articles in journals such as Religious Studies, Think, Inquiry, Sophia and Philosophia Christi.

BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Join the Apologetics Profile podcast team for as little as $1 here: www.patreon.com/WatchmanFellowship.

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

September 14, 2020 03:00 AM PDT
In this week’s discussion, Daniel Ray talks with Christian apologist, philosopher and author, Dr. Douglas Groothuis about his book Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. This book is a popular textbook at Christian colleges and seminaries, was winner of the 2012 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit.

In their discussion Daniel and Doug discuss some of the arguments for the Christian worldview put forward in the book and address some key questions:
  • Can the Christian worldview stand up to the experiences of human suffering?
  • How do we get from a defense of objective truth and the key arguments for God to a case for the credibility of Jesus, the incarnation and the resurrection?
  • Do alternative worldviews adequately explain morality?

Douglas Groothuis is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Society of Christian Philosophers. Dr. Groothuis received a Ph.D. and a B.S. from the University of Oregon, and an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has served as adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University, visiting instructor in apologetics for Westminster Theological Seminary, and instructor at the University of Oregon. He is the author of ten books, including Truth Decay, Unmasking the New Age, On Jesus, On Pascal and In Defense of Natural Theology (coeditor and contributor). He has published two dozen academic articles in journals such as Religious Studies, Think, Inquiry, Sophia and Philosophia Christi.

BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Join the Apologetics Profile podcast team for as little as $1 here: www.patreon.com/WatchmanFellowship.

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

September 07, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

This podcast is part two of a discussion about the significance and spiritual implications of an annual phenomena known as the Burning Man Festival. 

Burning Man Festival is a huge outdoor event that began in 1986 that now attracts tens of thousands of participants, known as "Burners," who gather to experience everything from decadence, drugs and promiscuity to art, music, and spiritual transformation.

Is this a New Religion? It may be a mistake to characterize the festival as merely an opportunity for debauchery or an excuse to throw the ultimate wild party to end the summer. In some ways, Burning Man has begun to function as both a parody of religion as well as a surrogate for traditional religion.

Lee Gilmore, author of Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man, explained, that "the biggest [misconceptions] is to brand Burning Man as nothing more than a giant party rife with intoxicants, nudity, and bald hedonism." While acknowledging all those practices are part of the festival, they are not central to the ultimate experience that is at the very least "spiritual" if not a "semi-religious cultural happening."*

Listen in as Brady Blevins, Senior Apologist at Watchman Fellowship and Steve Matthews, author of our 4-page Profile on Burning Man, discuss some of the social, cultural and spiritual questions raised by Burning Man and other transformational festivals.

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

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

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Join the Apologetics Profile podcast team for as little as $1 here: www.patreon.com/WatchmanFellowship.

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

* Lee Gilmore, "Burning Man: Religious Event or Sheer Hedonism?" Religion Dispatches, June 16, 2010, http://religiondispatches.org/burning-man-religious-event-or-sheer-hedonism/

Photo Credit: Andrew Wyatt, courtesy of burningman.org

August 31, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

This podcast is part one of a discussion about the significance and spiritual implications of an annual phenomena known as the Burning Man Festival. 

Burning Man Festival is a huge outdoor event that began in 1986 that now attracts tens of thousands of participants, known as "Burners," who gather to experience everything from decadence, drugs and promiscuity to art, music, and spiritual transformation.

Is this a New Religion? It may be a mistake to characterize the festival as merely an opportunity for debauchery or an excuse to throw the ultimate wild party to end the summer. In some ways, Burning Man has begun to function as both a parody of religion as well as a surrogate for traditional religion.

Lee Gilmore, author of Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man, explained, that "the biggest [misconceptions] is to brand Burning Man as nothing more than a giant party rife with intoxicants, nudity, and bald hedonism." While acknowledging all those practices are part of the festival, they are not central to the ultimate experience that is at the very least "spiritual" if not a "semi-religious cultural happening."*

Listen in as Brady Blevins, Senior Apologist at Watchman Fellowship and Steve Matthews, author of our 4-page Profile on Burning Man, discuss some of the social, cultural and spiritual questions raised by Burning Man and other transformational festivals.

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

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

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Join the Apologetics Profile podcast team for as little as $1 here: www.patreon.com/WatchmanFellowship.

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

* Lee Gilmore, "Burning Man: Religious Event or Sheer Hedonism?" Religion Dispatches, June 16, 2010, http://religiondispatches.org/burning-man- religious-event-or-sheer-hedonism/

Photo Credit: NK Guy, www.dezeen.com

August 23, 2020 10:00 PM PDT
In this week’s episode, Brady Blevins continues his discussion with Watchman Fellowship's president, James Walker, about his most recent book, What the Qur'an Really Teaches About Jesus. Islam may be the geopolitical issue of our lifetime. This book encourages and equips Christians to discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ with their Muslim coworkers, neighbors and friends.

James is an ordained Baptist minister and holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies and an M.A. in Theology from Criswell College. In addition to his work at Watchman Fellowship, he teaches as an adjunct professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Arlington Baptist University. He is also cofounder of the Atheist & Christian Book Club, a monthly gathering of believers and skeptics respectfully discussing important books from both perspectives.

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Join the Apologetics Profile podcast team for as little as $1 here: www.patreon.com/WatchmanFellowship.

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

August 17, 2020 03:00 AM PDT

In this week’s episode, Brady Blevins talks with Watchman Fellowship's president, James Walker, about his most recent book, What the Qur'an Really Teaches About Jesus. Islam may be the geopolitical issue of our lifetime. This book encourages and equips Christians to discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ with their Muslim coworkers, neighbors and friends.

James is an ordained Baptist minister and holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies and an M.A. in Theology from Criswell College. In addition to his work at Watchman Fellowship, he teaches as an adjunct professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Arlington Baptist University. He is also cofounder of the Atheist & Christian Book Club, a monthly gathering of believers and skeptics respectfully discussing important books from both perspectives.

 BONUS LINKS: Here are some additional resources:

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Join the Apologetics Profile podcast team for as little as $1 here: www.patreon.com/WatchmanFellowship.

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

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