Author: Ben Bishop

Ben Bishop is unapologetically a huge nerd. Ever since he was young, he loved reading and board games. These flights of fancy opened his mind to imagine new adventures from pretending to be on an arduous journey like one in Pilgrims’ Progress by John Bunyan, standing up against an oppressive ancient evil in the TV show Babylon 5, navigating an ever-changing maze in the game The aMAZEing Labyrinth, galloping on the back Aslan in the Narnia series by C.S Lewis to being a Priest Sleuth alongside of G.K Chesterton’s Father Brown. Now he gets to ignite that torch of imagination with his wife to his new daughter Lydia and his son Dylan. Ben is also a graduate of the Masters of Christian Apologetics Program with High Honors at Biola University and he received his B.A. in Communication at Boise State University. He blogs at his personal blog (www.windmillfighter.wordpress.com), curates and writes at (www.breathedthroughsilver.wordpress.com), and other places.

Christian Virtue Signaling

Stephen Collins cartoon 21 June 2014

The greatest failure of the church comes in my opinion when the church looks and acts just like the world. Jesus compared this to salt that has lost it’s flavor. We must be on the aware for practices that hurt our witness and our worth. The biggest issue I have seen is the not-so new practice of virtue signaling.

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Repost – All You Need is ‘LUB’! No, We Need True Love

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C.S. Lewis once stated that anything taken to the level of God become a demon. What he meant by this is that even a virtue can become a deadly vice if it becomes a idol. In the past decade there has been one virtue that culturally has become Godlike in its worship. The culture calls this emotion ‘love’ but because this new vice is not really what love it we for the sake of argument and this article call it ‘Lub’. This concept of Lub vs. love has been addressed before here already and will be addressed again in the future, but let’s dig deeper for right now. What is Love and how it that different from ‘Lub’?  (more…)

End of the Month Links: July 2017

What I would give for sometime not Game of Thrones?

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

Tolkien, Lewis, Disney? The Greatest Pre-Evangelists of Our Age

The stories that are told set the ground for worldview seeding.

Excerpt: “For all of the weariness we certainly feel from the worldly admixtures that fill these sorts of tales, where our efforts or our supposed innate goodness solves the problems of an imbalanced world—and the Disney franchises certainly are chief among these offenders—I was reminded that their breathtaking reach is a kind of pre-evangelism that we must mine for the sake of the Kingdom”

Entertainment and Worship

A warning not to be swayed by entertainment focused worship as those are an oxymoron of terms.

Excerpt: “One of the more dangerous drifts happening in our local churches today is within our corporate worship. In many churches there is a de-emphasis on the means of grace (Scripture, prayer, and the sacraments or ordinances), and a reliance on entertainment. Some try to balance the two in the name of reaching more people with the gospel, but there is an inescapable danger in overvaluing entertainment and implementing it in corporate worship.”

Students Love Answers More Than the Church Loves Answers

Speaking of entertainment, the youth at church hunger for answers and not mere experience. This is great news!

Excerpt: “Many of my youth pastor colleagues thought I was crazy to make “apologetics” the sole focus of my weekend meetings, but the students we prepared in this way were ready for life in the “real world”. I discovered something important: Students want the truth. Don’t let the pundits or cultural observers fool you into thinking students are more concerned about experience, entertainment or storytelling. Students want answers. In fact, I think young people want answers more than the Church knows or understands.

What Is a Worldview?

A good overview of what a Worldview is. This is a good basic primer on what every Christian needs to know as they confront the world.

Excerpt: “A person’s worldview represents his most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe he inhabits. It reflects how he would answer all the “big questions” of human existence: fundamental questions about who and what we are, where we came from, why we’re here, where (if anywhere) we’re headed, the meaning and purpose of life, the nature of the afterlife, and what counts as a good life here and now. Few people think through these issues in any depth, and fewer still have firm answers to such questions, but a person’s worldview will at least incline him toward certain kinds of answers and away from others.

Make Time To Be Bored

I wrote about this same idea here, but rest is one of those things that we see as a vice not a virtue.

Excerpt: “When we were children and teenagers, boredom seemed like a bad thing, because idle hands are the devil’s workshop, right? But boredom should not be confused with idleness. Idleness is laziness and indolence. It is refusing to do what needs to be done. But boredom is simple inactivity, a break from the hustle and bustle and busyness of life. Boredom is the pause between activities or the deliberate escape from activity altogether.”?

Top 10 Failed Doomsday Predictions

The end of the world is always being predicted, but we need to be careful as Christians to stop ending up with these false predictions. I have written about this before and we ought to learn our lesson and not be crazy as the world is with these.

Repost – Dare to be Dull

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People protesting the most recent democratic election

The time has come for a modest proposal. Everyone everywhere is told to have a ’cause’ or something they must rail against or for. At the same time we are also told to keep out religious views private. While this is contrary viewpoints, it is not to the world – who does not see that everyone has worldviews, some of which are based in reality. What is this modest proposal that can change the world: Enjoy the gift of appearing dull and enjoy the pleasure of being ‘bored’. (more…)

Repost – Hidden Role Board Games and False Teachers

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One of the kinds of board games I like to play are social deduction games. The basic thrust of this genre of games is that all the players have to work together to win, but some of them may be working against the group. Those who work against the group are smaller in number but will try to blend in and mislead the other players so that the game is lost. If that happens those traitors will win instead.

There are many games of this type and these games are also a perfect way to illustrate the danger of false teachers and why apologetics and polemics are important to the life of a church.

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Repost – Arguing into the Kingdom

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One of the main comments that Christian apologists hear from those inside the church is “You can’t argue people into the Kingdom of Heaven.” This is an issue that has been addressed by Alan Shlemon of Stand to Reason has in this great letter; but another rejoinder on this common phrase is good.

Is this a new argument against apologetics? Of course not! Augustine wrote in “On Christian Doctrine” that pastors should use the rhetorical arts to strengthen and save those around them. He wrote those collections of essays to essentially fight against that same argument in his day.

What does this objection mean? It means that mere words do nothing to change people. If that is what it means it is false. Of course words are very powerful but not overwhelming, they do not compel people to obey. However, stories were used by Jesus to teach and I think it is safe to say that certain parables like the prodigal son have shown people who God is. Jesus also used apologetics in his discourse – see Luke 7:18-23. (more…)