The Apologetics Group's Weblog (TAG)

May 9, 2010

Eric Holmberg of The Apologetics Group to air War of the Worldviews on the NRB Network

The Apologetics Group is happy to announce our new television program, “War of the Worldviews”, hosted by Eric Holmberg, founder and National Director of The Apologetics Group. The show will air beginning on Monday, May 17th on the NRB Network, and will feature many of The Apologetics Groups most well known productions such as Hell’s Bells 1 & 2, The Real Jesus, Amazing Grace – The History and Theology of Calvinism, and more, as well as commentary from Eric. If your service provider doesn’t carry NRB Network, please call or write them to ask them to carry it. There will be some great ministries featured during the prime time hours – We’ll be on at 9 pm Eastern Time/8 pm Central. Hope you will join us!

Info Link:
NRB Network Press Room – Apologetics in Primetime

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May 3, 2010

R.C. Sproul Jr. – Abortion: A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue

Why does the church not go after the issue of abortion more aggressively? Where is the passion in regard to the genocide of a large segment of our population from those who are supposed to biblically lead the nation in social issues? R.C. Sproul gives probably the most accurate view of the reasons behind the churches silence on this subject.

R.C. Sproul Jr. On Abortion

April 7, 2010

Answering A Fool According to His Folly – Pt. 1

By Eric Holmberg

(This article was previously posted on our facebook page in August of 2009.)

I went to Amazon.com today to order another copy of Skousen’s seminal work, “The 5000 Year Leap.” (Written almost 30 years ago and once out-of-print, Glenn Beck has almost single-handedly resurrected it and turned it into a best-seller.) While there I took a moment to read some of the reviews that had been posted. I wasn’t at all surprised to see a majority of 5 Stars sprinkled with a handful of 1 Stars. This is one of those love it (if you’re a thoughtful Christian) or hate it (if you’re a committed materialist/secularist) books. I took the time to read one of the later postings and found that old prophetic bile rising up in my throat and decided to take a moment and respond.

If you’re interested:

R. Denton (Tulsa, OK USA):

“Like books of this type, don’t waste your time on this. It’s another one of those “Founding Fathers created a Christian Nation to glorify God” fantasies. Despite the well-documented facts that many of the founders were either agnostic or at most deists, the myth persists that somehow this was a Christian nation, blessed by God from the beginning. I’m as patriotic as anyone and a Marine vet and would still fight for this country I love, but I am sick of this myth.

The first people that came here were largely trying to escape state-religion, but then set about to create their own in each colony or settlement. I’m very big on religious freedom, freedom of thought and conscience, as well as speech, but am sick and tired of this same story. It’s not much different than a Christian Taliban. I’m quite sure some of those that founded the nation did indeed think that they had been given this continent by God. That’s why they had so little problem moving and removing the “savages” that were already here not to mention the various witch hunts.

The main message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to love one another as He loves us! Not just the others like you that are in the same church, but ALL of the others. All the rest is dogma, footnotes and the apostles’ efforts to try and understand this while figuring out how to build a new church/faith.

My Response (Nashville, TN): ”

Shut your eyes and repeat after me, “There is no place like home. There is no place like home.” Except now you don’t want to go back to Kansas (reality) but rather remain in Oz. Wishing that America wasn’t founded overwhelming by Christians and intended to be a Christian nation doesn’t make it so. And cherry-picking from the handful of contrary evidence and ignoring the avalanche of facts that support the “Christian nation” premise is manifestly disingenuous. My favorite example of this insanity (and proof that God has an interesting a sense of humor) is Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter to the Danbury Baptists. This “founding document” (if you tilt your head and squint a little) is the source for the infamous “wall of separation” between church and state. (By the way, this is a completely Christian notion when properly understood – something that statists/secularists are loathe to do.) Now without question this letter and phrase are the holy grail for the ACLU and their ilk. The irony? The letter was written on New Year’s day, 1802 – a Friday. Just two days after penning it Jefferson attended Christian church services held — drum-roll please — in the Supreme Court chambers; at that time located in the Capitol building. H-m-m-m-m-m-m.

The simple fact is that there were only a handful of deists among the Founding Fathers – and maybe one or two agnostics. The vast majority were Christians. And even more to the point, the few deists – like Jefferson and Franklin – were heavily influenced by Christian thought. It was Franklin, for example, who called the assembly to Christian prayer – invoking the words of Jesus – when the Constitutional convention threatened to blow apart.

Part of me wishes a wand could be waved and the world that this reviewer seems to want could be created – one where the Judeo-Christian worldview was locked out of the public square and every law, every economic and social policy was based on naked human reasoning divorced from all illumination from the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. I promise you it would make George Bailey’s “Bedford Falls” journey look like a walk in the park. Denton, our tough Marine, would be screaming for Christ’s mercy and presence AS WELL as His presence through the Church and through God-fearing magistrates within a microsecond of his immersion into hell on earth.

(c) 2010 The Apologetics Group/Eric Holmberg

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Eric Holmberg is the Founder and current President of The Apologetics Group. The Apologetics Group – through its parent company Reel to Real Ministries, Inc. – is a non-for-profit educational ministry.

The Apologetics Group

Answering A Fool According to His Folly – Pt. 2

Answering a Fool According to His Folly – Pt. 2

By Eric Holmberg



My response to an
Amazon review of The
5000 Year Leap (see“Answering a Fool According to His Folly – Pt. 1”)
generated this
response from another
reviewer. I then
responded to him.

Chris J. Miller says:

There’s a concept here you don’t seem to grasp. Saying that the United States was founded by a primarily Christian population is not the same thing as saying that it was founded as a “Christian nation.” The former statement is descriptive, the latter prescriptive. The founders of the country and framers of the Constitution were themselves a diverse group, certainly including many deists and skeptics as well as devout believers (of various stripes)… but their personal beliefs do not dictate how we can or should live today. Why? Because those founders were wise enough to establish a system grounded in principles that neither rely on nor privilege anyone’s religious beliefs. If you imagine otherwise, then you, not the reviewer, are the one who’s lost touch with reality.

Eric Holmberg responds:

Chris, thanks for your response. Two thoughts – one factual, the other
philosophical: While numbers are not the most important thing – the majority after all can be wrong – your phrase “including many deists and skeptics as well as devout believers” is akin to saying that among the founders were Italians and Croats as well as men of British, Dutch and German descent. The fact is that of the men that attended the Constitutional convention, for example, there were at most three who were not orthodox Christians. And even they (Franklin in particular; note his famous “And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground” call to prayer during the convention) were more Biblically informed and Christian in their worldview than the majority of church-goers today.

More important, however, is your contention that America was founded on principles that did not “rely on nor privilege anyone’s religious beliefs.” If by that you mean that our founders didn’t want a state church or for any Christian denomination to have preference over another in the arena of public policy, taxes, etc., or that people would be in any way coerced to believe in God or a particular church, you are absolutely right. But if you are suggesting, as it appears you are, that our founding principles did not grow out of the seedbed of Christianity and don’t need a Christian consensus to sustain them, it is you who is not in touch with reality.

Our nation’s most foundational principle, codified in the preamble to our primary founding document – that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights – is not a principle that can be grabbed out of the air, examined under a microscope and proven scientifically. It ultimately rests on faith, religious faith in transcendent truth revealed by God and hammered out over time uniquely within the Christian milieu. I could go on and on with other examples (the abolition of slavery comes immediately to mind.) The simple fact is that all men and all human activity are inescapably religious. We all have certain presuppositions that appear to us as self evident and upon which we then build our entire world and life view. And whatever we do, and that includes vocationally – digging ditches or passing legislation in the US Congress – will be informed and guided by that worldview. But if we backtrack and examine the foundation of our worldview – those “first principles” or presuppositions – we will find, if we’re honest, that they are received by faith because at their root they can not be empirically proven.

In this sense, all of life is inescapably religious. The Christian – at least the
thoughtful, epistemologically self-conscious Christian – is aware of this and wears that truth on his sleeve. Everyone can say “that guy is religious”
without thought of a rebuttal because the Christian will happily own up to it. But the same honesty doesn’t characterize people who profess to be more “secular” – who embrace, for example, materialism (all that exists is matter and its motion) or the more common deistic ethos (OK, there probably is a God but “he” is neither immanent or very mindful of and thus relevant to our everyday lives and so we need to figure out right and wrong and how to live and govern ourselves on our own.). Neither first principle can be proven. They are both received by faith. And they are thus both inescapably religious.

(Interestingly, there have been a few people in the atheistic/materialism camp that have owned up to this fact; most recently Dr. Michael Ruse at Florida State, an ardent apologist for atheistic, Darwinian materialism.) With this in mind, let’s engage in a thought experiment. Imagine a materialist, a deist and a Christian wading into the marketplace of ideas: public policy, law, ethics, education, etc. One of them, let’s say the deist, says “We need to be concerned about and work for the benefit of the less fortunate.” (The recently deceased Ted Kennedy supposedly made this his life’s calling and proudly identified it as the essence of liberalism – as if conservatives are thus left only with the opposite tack, “We need to ignore the less-fortunate.”) The Christian immediately agrees. His foundational presupposition (there is a God) and its secondary implications (I must follow His ways because He is God (and I am not); He has told me that the faith without works is dead and that He is very concerned with the less-fortunate, etc.) inform his agreement. The materialist, if he is epistemologically self conscious and has the nerve to stare unflinchingly into Nietzsche’s abyss, may well ask “Why should we be concerned for the less fortunate?” From a strictly Darwinian perspective, not only is there little or no need to; it may well even be counterproductive. But he nevertheless says, “Amen” because it somehow just seems to be the right thing to do. (You also can’t get elected if you don’t say such things.)

So all three agree, run for office and get elected to Congress and begin to
work on behalf of the less-fortunate. Few people – and I am sure that would include you – would object to their purpose and goals at this juncture. Even the ACLU would say, “AMEN!” (Well, maybe they wouldn’t use that word.) So far, so good. No one is accusing anyone of bringing their religion into the public policy arena and attempting to impose it on the rest of the culture – although clearly that is precisely what the Christian is doing. The other two, while equally religious, are less epistemologically self-aware concerning their efforts to help the less fortunate. In fact, the materialist could well be operating in a manner that is contradictory to his first principles.

Now everything goes along reasonably well – and there are no accusations of the violation of church and state or of any “Christian Taliban.” As long as the laws they pass – say, for example, a food stamp program – fall well within the moral and ethical consensus of the broader culture as well as within the deist, atheist and Christian cultural sub-sets, no one’s underwear gets in a knot and everything is hunky dory. Few people really see what is being done as necessarily “religious” because they are: 1. not very philosophical/epistemologically self-conscious, and 2. a consensus exists between the Christian and the less “religious” (they are actually equally religious, as stated above – but that is the popular perception) and so “religion” seems peripheral to the issue.

But now let’s introduce something that falls outside of this happy consensus.

Here I will draw from our actual history. Let’s say the materialist (it could
just as easily be the deist) says that the less-fortunate are in part that way
because they have too many children and should therefore have access to,
among other things, abortion. All manner of faith-based presuppositions are behind this position: that the developing fetus is not a person, or if it is a person, abortion is a form of justifiable homicide; that children are an
economic and social deficit; that there is no God who will be angered by this and in turn judge the persons responsible for the act as well as the culture who sanctions it (thus exacerbating the very problem the policy is attempting to address) etc. Their call for legalized abortion is thus a religious, faith-based action as well as an effort to impose a specific religious morality on the rest of the culture. (The abortion advocate here will say, “Nonsense, no one is making you have an abortion if you don’t want one.” True, but that ignores both the fetus – who is obviously having a moral system imposed on him or her – as well as the “judgment on the wider culture” component just mentioned. The skeptic (still either ignoring or denying the rights of the fetus) will likely say that no such judgment exists; that there either is no God or if there is “he” doesn’t operate in this way. They are free to believe that if they will. But such a belief again is inescapably religious, an article of faith. There is no way they can prove it.)

Now if we go back a couple of generations, the materialist’s religiously informed advocacy for legal abortion fell on largely deaf-ears. Why?
Because the cultural consensus of the time still leaned heavily towards Christianity. Abortion was seen as murder, pure and simple – so much so
that even leaders in the feminist, contraception, and gay-rights movements saw it as a moral evil. Had the Christian congressman gotten up and called abortion wrong and then referenced the sixth commandment, “Thou shall not commit murder,” almost no one – including members of the newly formed ACLU – would have called it a violation of the First Amendment.

Now fast forward 40 years to the sexual revolution and the increased unraveling of the Christian consensus. As free love was found to be not as
free as promised (creating the growing need for abortion to eliminate the
pesky by-products of fornication) and as the faith-based presuppositions of Christianity began to be replaced by the equally faith-based presuppositions of materialism, secular humanism, deism, Unitarianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, communism, etc. – gradually the pro-abortion position became more defensible in many people’s minds.

Aldous Huxley owned up to this in his work, Ends and Means, when he
observed that many people are concerned “to prove that there is no valid reason why (they) personally should not do as (they) want to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”

A tipping point was finally reached. Abortion became legal and a “right” as more and more people embraced the religious system proffered by these alternative religious systems. And with this an interesting slight of hand took place, one that is very much with us today and is reflected in your comment. The pro-abortion position was defined – or at least perceived – as being somehow “secular”, “rational”, and “non-religious.” And as the Christian began to decry the position, using – like everyone else – the religious presuppositions that inform his world and life view – he was suddenly derided as a “religious fundamentalist”, a member of the “Christian Taliban,” and any effort on his part to pass pro-life legislation as a “violation of the separation of church and state,” or, to use your language, and attempt to “rely on or privilege one particular religion beliefs.”

I trust that you can see how disingenuous – and even more to the point, how philosophically absurd – this is. Culture truly is “religion externalized” and any effort to hide one’s own religious presuppositions while pointing out and then decrying another’s as a violation of the First Amendment is the worst kind of hypocrisy. And abortion laws are just one manifestation of this. Gay marriage, creeping socialism, government-controlled education, progressive taxation, universal health-care, on and on, the same dynamic is being played out over and over again.

Most of our founder’s understood the danger posed by any government that was not “under God” – that was not beholden to a higher Power and the inalienable rights that this Power had granted to all men. And so while they didn’t want a state-run church or to have religious tests for candidates for federal office (interestingly most had no problem with such tests at the state level – which, of course, was where most of the power once was) they nevertheless envisioned and created a system of government grounded in principles that relied heavily on and privileged – not the Baptists or the Congregationalists or the Roman Catholics – but Christianity. Pure and simple. And this is why founder Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration, the father of medicine in America, and the third most well-known person at time of our founding, said in 1802:
“Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in
proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts,
they will be wise and happy.”

That, my friend, is called bumping up against the hard, working end of real
reality.

(c) 2010 The Apologetics Group/Eric Holmberg

****************************************************************************

Eric Holmberg is the Founder and current President of The Apologetics Group. The Apologetics Group – through its parent company Reel to Real Ministries, Inc. – is a non-for-profit educational ministry.

The Apologetics Group

Answering a Fool According to His Folly – Pt. 1

April 6, 2010

The Great Debate – Predestination vs. Free Will

How can sinful men become acceptable in the eyes of a perfectly holy God? Jesus famously gave the answer in John 3:3 when he declared that unless a man is “born again” he cannot ever see − much less enter − the kingdom of God.

Simple enough, right?

Well, apparently not. There may be no more controversial issue in the annals of Christianity than how exactly this process of being “born again” works. Is it a monergistic act − meaning a sovereign and unilateral operation on the part of God as He shows mercy on particular sinners? Or does man play a part, working with God synergistically? And, of course, all manner of other questions spring forth from this dichotomy: Does saving grace extend equally to all men? What part, if any, does man play in the process? Once you are born again, can you lose your salvation? The list goes on.

There may be no better way to consider both sides of these profound questions than to listen to skilled apologists for each side challenge and rebut each other’s perspectives. And so we welcome you to The Great Debate: Predestination vs. Free Will as four gifted theologians square off along what is commonly termed the Calvinistic/Arminian divide.

“I’ve always enjoyed a good debate; the point/counterpoint exchange can be an interesting and very efficient way to crack open and understand an issue. “The Great Debate” does just this with the transcendently important issue of just how man is saved from sin.” Jay Rogers, President of Media House International

Hosted by Brian Marshall of Appleseed Ministries, the four scholar/debaters are:

Dr. Bruce Ware: Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Joe Dongell: Professor of New Testament Studies, Asbury Seminary
Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner: Professor of New Testament Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Jerry Walls: Professor of Philosophy, Asbury Seminary

You can get your copy here:

The Great Debate – Predestination vs Free Will

(c) The Apologetics Group

The Apologetics Group – through its parent company Reel to Real Ministries, Inc. – is a non-for-profit educational ministry.

March 26, 2010

How Can They Hear? The Power of the Public Proclamation of the Gospel

Go. Stand. Speak… delves into the doctrine of public preaching with experts such as Dr. George Grant, Paul Washer, Greg Gordon, Pastor John Reuther, Rusty Lee Thomas, David Legge, Ray Comfort, Stuart Migdon, Michael Marcavage, Jeff Rose, Shawn Holes, Sean Morris and other Christian leaders and uncovers the big question – Is this quiet, new move of public preaching something that is simply a trend, or is it again the beginning of a move of God where He is simply doing what He always has done, calling His ministers to go and preach His message of repentance and faith where the people gather in the public, regardless of culture, current trends, or the popularity of the message and method? The Apologetics Group and Go, Stand, Speak Ministries presents this Brand New DVD to be released in the summer of 2010 about the forgotten power of public preaching.

I’m as excited about this project as any other we have done for one big reason: I believe God will use it to spark the enlistment of hundreds, if not thousands, of public preachers to proclaim His gospel of the Kingdom…
Eric Holmberg

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14

March 22, 2010

What Would Satan Sing?

We thought this was a terribly clever song – a sort of audio-visual “Screwtape Letter”.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

November 26, 2009

Check out our interview with TRFW! (The Reformed Faith Weblog)

Eric just did an interview with The Reformed Faith Weblog (TRFW) – go check it out!

The Reformed Faith Weblog Interviews Eric Holmberg, The Apologetics Group

October 28, 2009

TAG’S Product Recommendation for November 2009 – How Should We Then Live? with Francis Schaeffer

How Should We Then Live? with Francis Schaeffer

How Shall We Then Live-b

‘I have been working in the field of biblical and cultural apologetics for over two decades and I don’t know of any other modern production that is more essential for the thinking Christian to own, watch, absorb and pass on to others. It was worth hundreds of dollars to me when it was released on VHS. And here it is re-mastered on DVD with convenient chapter points and a Study Guide. Wow!’ Eric Holmberg – video producer; Founder and President of The Apologetics Group

This is Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s spectacular series on the rise and decline of Western culture from a Christian perspective. This special edition includes an intimate in-depth interview with Francis and Edith Schaeffer, which is available only in this package.

How Should We Then Live? presents profound truths in simple language and concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s biblical absolute: the Truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures. Each episode focuses on a significant era of history while presenting answers to modern problems. (Twelve 30-minute episodes. Study guide included.)

Section 1: The Roman Age, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance, The Reformation

Section 2: The Revolutionary Age, The Scientific Age, The Age of Non-Reason, The Age of Fragmentation

Section 3: The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence, Final Choices, and the two-segment interview with Francis & Edith Shaeffer: Living with Suffering & Sickness, God’s Leading in L’Abri & Our Lives.

About the Author and Narrator:
Francis A. Schaeffer – an American Evangelical theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor, is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L’Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Shaeffer promoted an orthodox Protestant faith and a pre-suppositional approach to Christian apologetics, which he believed would answer the questions of the age. A number of scholars credit his ideas with helping spark the rise of the Christian Right in the United States.

Link: How Should We Then Live?

Product Details

Length: 12-30 minutes episodes
Type: DVD-Multi region
Language: English

Please visit our website: The Apologetics Group

May 14, 2009

Christian Hypocrites? Hell’s Bells 2

A third excerpt from Part 7: Antichrist Superstars – Rock’s Ultimate Rebellion

Over three years in the making, this much-anticipated sequel to the original Hell’s Bells series weaves together science, satire, testimonies, parables, interviews, expansive research, and a vibrant Christian perspective to create a video series that is as fascinating as it is educational and evangelistic. Far more than just a commentary on the dangers of popular music, this eight-part, six-hour, up-to-the-minute documentary uncovers the “war of the worldviews” – the epic struggle between good and evil, sin and redemption for the souls of men and the destiny of our culture.

Written and hosted by world renowned apologist Eric Holmberg.

“… perhaps the greatest documentary on any subject ever! Lives will change.” Ray Comfort – Internationally renowned author and evangelist

“…Movie Guide’s highest rating!” Dr. Ted Baehr, Christian Film and Television Commission

You can learn more about or order a copy of Hell’s Bells 2 by going here: The Apologetics Group

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