Randal Rauser

The Fascist Snowflake: Thoughts on the Bannon/Frum Debate

I watched the online stream for the Munk Debate on the Rise of Populism. The debate featured Steve Bannon in battle with David Frum. The debate was delayed by close to an hour because of angry protesters in the streets who were harassing arriving audience members, screaming at them that they were supporting fascism.

The Ways of Atheist Indoctrination

Many atheists are keen to identify indoctrination within Christian (or other religious) communities. Not surprisingly, however, they typically fail to recognize the extent that indoctrination can occur among atheists.

What Does It Mean to Be Evangelical? And Is It Worth Defending?

I grew up viewing the term "evangelical" as a guarantee of quality. I believed that evangelicals were the most faithful and orthodox followers of Christ and that they offered the closest approximation of the New Testament church. But while I regularly used the term "evangelical" to identify "good" Christianity, I would have been hard pressed to give a concise definition of the term. So what, exactly, does it mean to be an evangelical?

Fundamentalist Apologetics Comes of Age

Like many in my generation, I grew up with a copy of Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict on the bookshelf. Over the years, I frequently consulted Evidence to quell doubts and provide ammunition to fire back at the skeptics on topics like evolution and the authorship of Daniel.

The Problem of Village Atheism

What is particularly ironic about the proliferation of village atheism is the fact that the online atheist/skeptic community persistently tries to brand itself as being especially rational, critical, and objective. And yet, the widespread and vocal opinions of the village atheists directly contradict this aspirational branding.

Why Doesn't God Give Everyone a Miracle?

Some years ago, a friend of mine told me how, after losing his wife to cancer, he encouraged his embittered young adult children to return to church. One kid asked, "Dad, if God answered all those prayers, why didn't he answer ours?"

Dementia: A Philosopher's Lament

Dementia in its various permutations impacts countless families and as it does, it raises a nest of extremely difficult questions about the nature of suffering and the goodness of God.

On Atheists Who Want Atheism to Be True

The existence of God is a topic that tends to elicit strong passions. People have their beliefs about whether God exists or not, but they also have their hopes. Many people hope God does exist, but some prominent voices express a hope quite to the contrary.

The Myth of the Free-Thought Parent

I informed my audience that I had taught the Apostles' Creed to my daughter. One of the students spoke for many when she insisted that children should be raised without "religious dogma". Instead, they should be free to "make up their own minds" about what to believe.

Can We Make Sense of the Canaanite Genocide?

Some people will be drawn to the book because they are troubled by the ethics of the genocide of the Canaanites. In the last fifteen years, the problem of biblical violence generally and the ethics of the Canaanite genocide, in particular, have exploded like a brush fire on a tinder-dry field.

If God Wants Us to Be Saved, Why Isn't Salvation Simple?

Several different reactions were evoked upon hearing that John McCain reportedly does not want President Trump to attend his funeral. Some were appalled at the sheer bitterness of such a comment. Those who are devoted to God, however, felt deep sadness over apparent entrenched unforgiveness in the heart of someone who has not long to live.

Everyday Miracles as Evidence for God

Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple once observed, "when I pray coincidences happen, and when I do not pray coincidences do not happen." Many Christians can resonate with Temple's wry description of answered prayer. Skeptics ask, "What about all the time when you prayed and those 'coincidences' didn't happen?"

A New Defense of the Historical Reliability of the Bible

Over the last few decades, Christian apologetic defenses of the historicity of the New Testament have typically pursued a minimal facts approach according to which one seeks to establish a basic set of core claims about the life and death of Jesus which are most widely accepted by biblical scholars. The fact is that there are other apologetic strategies which offer a more robust historical defense of the New Testament documents.

Is God's Love 'Reckless'?

Over the last couple months, I've heard the song "Reckless Love" played at two different churches. What should we make of the central claim that God's love is "reckless"?