I promised a friend of mine that I would go to church today, so I picked a 7 PM evening service and in the meantime, I’ve been playing an online game called Sorcery Quest (but they only give you 20 minutes a day to play! Boo!) and listening to those apologetics lectures that I ordered. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I don’t want to church but would rather stay home and play Sorcery Quest and listen to apologetics lectures instead.
One of those 3 activities is not like the others.
Which one doesn’t belong?
- Playing Sorcery Quest
- Listening to apologetics lectures
- Singing in church
I’ll tell you which one doesn’t belong: singing in church. Because that’s for girls.
That’s right, I said it. Singing is for girls. But Sorcery Quest and apologetics is for boys.
Let’s take a look at the blurb on the Sorcery Quest web site and see what Sorcery Quest is about.
Here’s the web site blurb:
Create a group of adventurers and embark on a fantastic journey where you will fight evil monsters and gain experience, find treasures, gold and fame, create your own guild, and, if you dare, enter the arena and challenge other players!
Here is a promotional video:
Here is the text from the trailer:
- Ten locations to visit
- Twenty character classes to choose from
- Over 60 unique monsters
- Collect more than 100 items
- (Fight!) Classic gameplay
- Turn-based combat
- Explore a vast world filled with treasures
- Play today for free
This is what boys like. Adventure!
Now I’ll write up a similar blurb for Christian apologetics.
- Hundreds of universities, workplaces and restaurants to visit
- Dozens of arguments to choose from across various academic disciplines
- Hundreds of unique monsters, including university professors, feminists, fascists, Hollywood celebrities, left-wing journalists and village atheists
- Collect thousands of magical books, debates, and lectures
- Classic gameplay – gain experience, build your skills and assemble a team of brave adventurers to wage war on evil behind enemy lines
- Turn-based combat
- Explore a vast universe filled with powerful, effective scientific and historical evidence
- Play today for free
I could go on and on about how exciting defending the faith is! Apologetics is something that boys like as much as they like Sorcery Quest or reading the Lord of the Rings. Adventure! In fact, Lee Strobel’s new book is all about public, personal apologetics being adventurous!
The feminized church
Now here’s a similar blurb for the feminized church, which is nothing like either Sorcery Quest, or Christian apologetics. (Note: this is exaggerated for effect)
- Never learn any of the excellent reasons why the Bible is reliable or trustworthy, or even how to test its claims
- Believe things without anyone explaining why you should believe them
- Avoid discussing the evil happening in the world, and don’t make plans to do anything about it
- Avoid discussing anti-Christian, anti-liberty policies being enacted by Obama
- Help people to feel comfortable with their lack of engagement by talking about the weather, television shows and movies
- Avoid hurting people’s feelings by expressing your views, or worse, by disagreeing with them
- Sit next to screaming babies who need their diapers changed
- Sing songs about your emotions with a crowd of strangers who will never talk to you about anything interesting
- Have your aggressive male nature and apologetics knowledge suppressed by stuffy, insecure church pastors
- After the sermon, hear about everyone else’s home renovations, children’s graduations and vacation plans
And so on… (add yours in the comments). This is just not going to attractive for boys. We want danger! Adventure! Collecting things! Exploring! Fighting! Winning! Scoring points! But all of that is forbidden in the feminized church.
So, this whole feminized church thing no good for boys.
Fortunately, the church I have to go to is far away so it will be a long drive – which is dangerous. I drive a triple-black convertible roadster – which is dangerous. And the friend who asked me to go to church is a wood-elf Princess – so that’s a quest. (She lines in a rural area, and so I can plausibly imagine that she is an elf). And she already has a reward for me, (a book of some sort, autographed), – that’s a treasure. She may also give me some of the magical elven food that she makes.
So, that’s something, at least. With a little imagination, church could be fun for me.
Maybe something exciting will happen to me on the way to church? A dragon could attack me and I could defeat him and steal his treasure. Maybe a magical sphinx will appear and refuse to let me into the church unless I answer 3 riddles? Why can’t church be more adventurous like that? Why can’t I ever disagree with people in church? Why can’t the whole church ever watch a debate? Why can’t I learn something that I can actually use to fight and win over non-Christians? Why can’t we link what the pastor says with the real world?
My visit to church
I’m back! I got there a half-hour early. The minister was a Reformed Baptist (I’m not a Calvinist, though) and he preached on the meaning of the ordinance of eating bread and wine, i.e. – Communion. And it was great because he explained what an ordinance was, and what a sacrament was, and he occasionally compared the Protestant beliefs with the Catholic beliefs about Communion. But he didn’t try to talk about any evidence for who was right, he just said that different people have different opinions – like tastes in food I suppose.
All the songs were about what God has done, nothing about how we feel about him. So that was good. I even sang “Crown him with many crowns” very quietly. (I sat at the back where no one would notice me). Nobody raised their hands during worship. So that was good. Raising your hands and stuff is just weird, because it just is! Weird! So the worship was right on target.
I took tons of notes. He used 1 Corinthians 10 and 11. Everybody knows that 1 Corinthians is one of Paul’s angry letters, like Galatians. Paul seems to take theology and apologetics so seriously, much more seriously than Christians in church today.
It was a communion service. He told us what we should be thinking about when we take communion (the bread and wine) and what we should not think about. He explained why this was a very serious thing to participate in. This part was really awesome! Because it was judgmental.
You guys can e-mail me if you want to know who the pastor was. You’ll recognize his name for certain if I tell you.
I went into the church book store, and they had an apologetics section with old-earth books, intelligent design books, William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland and Lee Strobel. AND THEY HAD DEBATES ON DVD WITH RICHARD DAWKINS AND CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS!!!!!! I took pictures of them with my cell phone! But the theology section was all filled with Calvinism, of course, but I can’t help that. The book store was huge.
My Dad is also very happy that I went to church. I usually only go about once a quarter these days. Normally I go to a non-Reformed Baptist church.
What I thought of going to church
Now nothing I learned today was useful for engaging non-Christians in public, but I learned lots of other new things. It’s important to compare different beliefs and say who is right and who is wrong, and why. He didn’t explain any of the why – no evidence was discussed for anything he said. But arguments and evidence is what makes Christianity interesting!
I do think that churches need to have the occasional service taught by a scholar on an apologetics topic, once a quarter. I insist that it be to the entire church. If only someone could come in and explain to them about the kalam argument, the fine-tuning, the origin of life, the fossil record, irreducible complexity, the moral argument, consciousness, the problem of suffering, the hiddenness of God, the fate of the unevangelized, postmodernism, and middle knowledge.
And they need to cover the minimal facts case for the resurrection once a quarter in the normal service. And they’ll need to talk about abortion, marriage, persecution of Christians abroad, and other issues like that. If you don’t talk about the evidence pro and con, because you are afraid of upsetting the people who are there to have emotional experiences, then you run the risk that people will begin to believe that religion is divorced from truth. That’s what I mean when I say “the feminized church”. When you don’t link it to the evidence in the real world, people think that it’s not real.
How I would fix the church
I am sponsoring a couple of events next year where Greg Koukl will be speaking and he will be allowed to address the entire congregation in two Sunday services. Also, I am sponsoring another event where he will debate in a church. That’s all I wanted! As long as all the people who attend the church get the idea that Christianity is about the real world, and that it’s OK to ask questions, then I am happy. And I have a plan I am executing to help churches be more focused on truth and apologetics.
Right now, we have a shortage of young people, especially men, attending church. My recommendation is that pastors immediately begin involving apologetics material in their main Sunday sermons. And I do mean EVIDENTIAL apologetics, not pre-suppositionalism. Young people who see evidence from the world being discussed in the main church service will get the message that the claims of Christianity are objective, and testable. Right now, the reason they are dropping out is that they are not seeing that Christianity is objectively true.
Personal preferences and feelings cannot be debated. But truth claims can be debated, and that’s adventurous and dangerous.