History of the Church Part Six: Reaching a Post-Christian Culture

Steven Barto, B.S. Psy., M.A. Theology This is the last in a six-part series on the history of the Christian church. THE LECTURE HALL WAS filled with a low murmur as the professor walked in and placed his soft leather briefcase on the lectern and opened it. He took out a small stack of blank …

Let’s Go to Theology Class: The Poor in Spirit

The following is from the third discussion assignment in Christian Ethics in pursuit of my M.A. in Theological Studies. We were instructed to apply the authority of Scripture to one of the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Written by Steven Barto, B.S., Psy. I chose blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs …

Why Can’t God Stop Evil?

One of the most troublesome questions Christians face when engaging in evangelism or apologetics is the problem of evil. This difficulty relates to two likely causes: lack of sufficient biblical knowledge on the topic; and, a pervasive spirit of empiricism, secularism, and militant atheism in Western civilization today. What is meant by "evil?" In a …

Let’s Go to Theology Class: Art and Spirituality

The following summary is from the first week of my new class—Theological Aesthetics—in pursuit of my master’s degree in theology at Colorado Christian University. Assess the claim that art relates us to realities of a “spiritual” sort. Include in your answer particular reference to John Ruskin’s notion of Theoria (1903). Written by Steven Barto, B.S., …

Christians Under Attack: Persecution & Martyrdom Through the Centuries

FROM ITS ONSET THE Christian message impacted culture and society, and culture and society impacted Christianity. Sometimes culture—to include the governing authorities—pushed back with much force, often oppressive and violent in nature. Not surprisingly, Jewish religious leaders, having publicly rejected Christ and His message by betraying Him to the Roman Empire for torture and crucifixion, …

Following Christ in an Anti-Christian Age

Unfortunately, contemporary American culture is increasingly anti-Christian. How should Christians respond to a rapidly changing American culture? Do we resign ourselves to pessimism, convinced that many of the moral foundations upon which our society once stood have collapsed and are now irrevocable? Or do we reassure ourselves with optimism, confident that we can still win …

Has the Gospel Changed?

THE GOSPEL STORY ITSELF has not changed, but culture and society has. As a result, the Gospel is viewed against the backdrop of current culture. Culture typically evolves over time—changes in demographics, attitudes toward moral issues, drastic advancements in technology. Accordingly, the method by which we present the Gospel today needs to be such that …

A Light in Darkness: A Christian Response to Moral Relativism

AMERICA IS IN A DARK season. The news is chock full of stories about murders, mass shootings, racial unrest, sexual immorality, genocide, terrorist threats, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide. This is the backdrop against which biblical principles are being challenged and pushed aside in a modern culture of pluralism and so-called open-mindedness. Atheists …

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