No, I don’t think we’re ready. But we can get there, with your help.
Four years ago Sara and I moved on to other ministry after 34 years with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). Part of the reason is that I was seeing serious new spiritual battles arising in our culture, and I’d lost confidence we were preparing students sufficiently for those battles.
Here’s an example. All you need to watch is the first 4 1/2 minutes. It’s a conversation with a Cru student leader named Daniel on the campus of UT San Antonio. The conversation shown here boosted him powerfully toward tossing his faith to the wind.
First, if you’re wondering what we should be worried about, it isn’t the quality of the interviewer’s thinking. There’s not much there. The real concern is the manipulative savvy of his persuasion techniques. There’s actually a whole lot of smoke and mirrors here. The method used here is false, manipulative, and intentionally confusing. I call it Deceit on the Street.
But it’s still too dangerous to ignore. There are many such videos on the web, and they represent a growing movement. There are 500 atheists in Brevard County, Florida alone, being trained in this method. The technique was first introduced in a book called A Manual For Creating Atheists, by a professor in Oregon named Peter Boghossian.
I’m part of a small team spearheading a nationwide response to these techniques, to help keep young Christians’ faith from going belly-up like Daniel’s did. I wrote the first published response to Boghossian’s book, a short ebook called Peter Boghossian: Atheist Tactician, and I’ve spoken on this multiple times.
And this is just one of many pressures coming against American Christianity: marriage morality, religious freedom, and more. It’s spiritual warfare in the realm of thoughts and ideas as taught in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. How do we fight it? The best plan is for the church to become much more fully equipped to respond to today’s specific challenges with wisdom and knowledge, spoken in love.
God has put it on my heart to help make this equipping happen. I’m working with teams of leaders to help the church — and thousands of potential trainer/equippers — understand how we can really gear up for these significant new spiritual battles.
Part of that work involves a direct response to the kinds of interactions you saw in the video. More importantly, I’m leading a long-term, multi-year research project to help churches stand strong against these new attacks on the faith.
We’re strategizing toward the production of groundbreaking new books, web-based training, and conferences for pastors, lay leaders, and potential trainer/equippers— all for the same single purpose of equipping Christians in churches everywhere.
For the world is changing around us. In an eye-blink. We’ve all got catching up to do.
I could really use your help. The estimated costs for this work in 2018 total about $30,000. My work with The Stream is three-quarter time, with just three-quarter salary, so I need funding to do the rest of this work. There are conference, travel, and communications costs coming up besides.
Tomorrow, November 28, is Giving Tuesday. Would you prayerfully consider supporting this project with a significant contribution of $100, $250, $500, or more?
You can direct your secure online contribution through Global Service Network, a qualified 501(c)3, tax-deductible Christian ministry organization. Giving by other means is also easily available; just use the account number 51215002.
Thank you so much for your part in equipping American Christians for the new challenges of the day!
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