As In Heaven: A New Podcast on Christian Conversations on Race and Justice

by John Ellis Not only are race and justice topics that are intertwined, they're topics that are on the forefront of many conversations happening online, in person, and in our local churches. Questions about racism, social justice, Black Lives Matter, and how Christians are to respond to these discussions and, more importantly, how we can … Continue reading As In Heaven: A New Podcast on Christian Conversations on Race and Justice

Does Bad Christian Art Lie About God?

by John Ellis Wrapped up in American evangelicalism’s heritage is an (un)healthy stream of Neoplatonism. To be fair, during the fourth and fifth centuries, Neoplatonism did help rescue Christianity from the contra-Biblical dualism of Manicheanism. However, some strands of theological thought also adopted Neoplatonism’s flirtation with Gnosticism’s rejection of the demiurge’s creation. That has carried … Continue reading Does Bad Christian Art Lie About God?

Show Me Your Sources and I’ll Show You Mine: Our Epistemological Crisis

“This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.” Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death by John Ellis After I received an especially bad review, the theatre’s technical director attempted to console me with the words, “Remember, opinions are like a******s; everyone has one, and they mostly stink.” Crude, yet containing much … Continue reading Show Me Your Sources and I’ll Show You Mine: Our Epistemological Crisis

Reading Ecclesiastes in the Time of the Coronavirus

by John Ellis Buying the post-Enlightenment secularist package includes owning the non-refundable subscription of nihilistic despair. A dirge-filled affair where doomed actors strut on the world stage’s perpetually revived production of the Theatre of Cruelty. No matter how honest we believe ourselves to be, though, like Andre Breton we have zero desire to listen to … Continue reading Reading Ecclesiastes in the Time of the Coronavirus

Talking Apologetics With The Walrus & The Carpenter

by John Ellis Besides serving as pastors in Peoria, IL, Gary Geer and Jason Alligood also host a podcast wonderfully titled The Walrus & The Carpenter. They first had me on a little over two years ago. I had fun. They had fun. And I'd like to think I said some things worth listening to. … Continue reading Talking Apologetics With The Walrus & The Carpenter

Theatre + Theology = Apologetics

by John Ellis When many Christians think of Apologetics, they think of a formal debate. On one side of the stage, in their mind’s eye, sits a sartorial atheist who, no doubt, is a professor at the local state university. Maybe a philosophy professor. Maybe a sociology professor. Whatever he probably teaches, the whiff of … Continue reading Theatre + Theology = Apologetics

Repost: Christian Apologetics as Interactive Theatre

(Note: I originally wrote this article for my previous blog and am reposting it as a companion piece for a new article. You can read that new article by clicking here.) by John Ellis The brilliant director, acting teacher, and theatre theorist Peter Brook opened his seminal book The Empty Space with the well-known sentences, … Continue reading Repost: Christian Apologetics as Interactive Theatre

The Necessity of Christ’s Active Obedience in Salvation

by John Ellis During membership interviews at my previous church, the elders ask the prospective member to briefly share the gospel. It’s not asked as a membership test; if you forget to include Jesus’ Resurrection, you don’t fail and aren’t prevented from joining the church. The question is asked because the gospel is central to … Continue reading The Necessity of Christ’s Active Obedience in Salvation

Christian Apologetics: The Value of Saying ‘I Don’t Know’

by John Ellis During an apologetic session for high schoolers, a student once asked me, “Why did God create Adam and Eve when He knew that they would sin?” Several of his classmates eagerly chimed in. Almost all their answers were along the lines of the Arminian belief that true love is only possible if … Continue reading Christian Apologetics: The Value of Saying ‘I Don’t Know’

‘The Walking Dead’ and Christianity: Morality Did Not Evolve

“If we humans are simply biological bundles of phenomenally experienced pain and pleasure that constitute happiness and unhappiness, why be obliged to maximize general happiness?”[1] Christian Smith by John Ellis Herbert Spencer’s famed Darwinian maxim “survival of the fittest” has proven quite problematic for secularists/materialists, not to mention problematic for the general well-being of civilization. … Continue reading ‘The Walking Dead’ and Christianity: Morality Did Not Evolve