How to Convince an Atheist that God Exists


Man In Pray Cross

by John Ellis

Many Christians appear to hold to the mistaken belief that atheism is a cheap cop-out. Atheists are often viewed as cowards who don’t really believe what they say they believe; it’s merely a position that’s adopted for the sake of being allowed to live a life freed from any moral authority, it’s assumed.

“There is really no such thing as an atheist,” has smugly crossed the lips of more than a few of my conversation partners over the years. That accusation was even thrown in my face several times by Christians when I was an atheist. Trust me, that doesn’t encourage atheists to listen to whatever else is said by the Believer, including any gospel presentation that might follow.

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The Gospel Calls Us to Engage In Social Justice and Mercy Ministries


soup kitchen

by John Ellis

“Only they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10

This morning, I woke up to a flurry of Tweets excoriating Beto O’Rourke for advocating that churches and religious universities that oppose same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status. One tweet pushed back by asking something along the lines of, “What is Beto’s plan to replace all the homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable services offered by churches that would be shuttered by their loss of tax-exempt status?”

There is much truth embedded in that question. Christ’s Church has a noble history of social activism as she seeks to care for the poor and oppressed. Men like William Wilberforce dedicated much time and energy to combatting social injustices. Many of the great reform movements of the 19th century were spearheaded by devout Christians. Today, the pro-life movement is guided by women and men who are devoted to protecting the “least of these.” Throughout this country, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and adoption agencies are sponsored and supported by churches.

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Christ’s Active Obedience Is Essential for Our Salvation

cross-design-christian-background-setting-sun

by John Ellis

The Biblical literacy of congregations is a frequent topic of conversation among pastors. How often do members read their Bibles? How well can they articulate important doctrines? Can they discern error from truth? Sadly, many of the pastors with whom I’ve spoken express varying degrees of cynicism about their congregations’ level of understanding of God’s Word. In my experience, many Believers are lacking in their understanding of the necessity of Christ’s life for our salvation.

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Our First Love: The American Dream

god and country

by John Ellis

Below is the introduction to a short book titled Our First Love that I’m working on. Lord willing, I will be self-publishing the book in a few weeks. If you are curious as to why I will be self-publishing it, you can read about that by clicking here – a post I published earlier today providing an update on A Godless Fundamentalist. At this time, I’m publishing the introduction with the goal of prompting interest in the book prior to its publication (hopefully) and, combined with the post linked to above, giving those who have been asking some insight into what I’ve been working on.

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How Should Christians Respond to the Death of Rachel Held Evans?


Rachel Held Evans

by John Ellis

How should Christians respond when wolves in sheep’s clothing tragically die? That’s the question, I think, driving the many text messages I’ve received today after the news of Rachel Held Evans’ death was made public. Curious as to my response, I fielded the question, “Did you hear that Rachel Held Evans died?” multiple times. For starters, my response is one of immense sadness. The news deserves mourning. Yet, it also deserves truthful responses that point people to the saving grace found in repentance of sins and faith in Jesus Christ – a message that was tragically rejected by Rachel Held Evans.

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6th Grade Terrorists (or, What Happens When Heathens Take Control at a Christian School)


goldfish-bowl-small

by John Ellis

Spelling is not a forte of mine. As a writer, red squiggly lines are my friend. Words like “Wednesday,” “indubitably,” and “cornucopia” are beyond my ability to remember how to spell correctly. One word I’ll never misspell, though, is obedience. The spelling of that word was drilled into me via multiple performances at church and school of the Patch the Pirate song titled “Obedience.”

The chorus includes a chant of the word’s spelling –  “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E” – followed by the lyrics, “obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.” Is the song wrong? No. Was it used as part of a larger program of a Christian version of B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism? Sort of. Enough to be problematic, but not so much as to stray into heresy.

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White Privilege and the Gospel’s Response


white-privilege

by John Ellis

I don’t remember where Tan Man’s nickname originated. I may not have ever known, for that matter. I don’t even remember ever hearing his real name.

Tan Man and I weren’t really friends, simply acquaintances thrown together within the revolving door world that happened to be my life fifteen years ago. He was part of the retinue that came with the apartment in which I was a renting a room. An apartment filled with drugs, sex, and hurting, confused, sinful people.

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