“Follow the Money”: Guest Blog by Michael Alter on Faith-Based Education and Publishing

81aZyu05ClLBelow is a guest blog by Michael Alter, author of The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry, which is a 912 page tome offering one of the most important contributions to challenging historical apologetics for the resurrection. During his research, Alter learned a great deal about the vast amount of resources that are invested in Christian apologetics–spanning universities, organizations, and publishers–which eclipse the scattered authors and handful of organizations that engage in counter-apologetics. In this post, Alter provides a researched summary that offers just a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg for how much money and resources are invested in Christian apologetics. 

I’ve been talking about problems with how faith-based universities distort critical biblical scholarship for years now, due to doctrinal statements that their faculty are required to sign, which force them to adhere to predetermined conclusions that are friendly to Christian dogma. As someone who works in Classical Studies, researching ancient texts from the same historical period, written in the same ancient languages, and using the same historical methodology, I am not aware of any Classics department or university that requires professors to sign doctrinal statements asking them to affirm tenets of Pagan theology or Greco-Roman religion. The fact that the Christian religion is treated in an abnormal manner in this regard is very disturbing, therefore, and a bad sign for the health of higher education.

As a note, while the essay below discusses faith-based universities with doctrinal statements, not all institutions of higher education that have a Christian affiliation fall into this category. While the University of Notre Dame has a Catholic affiliation, for example, the school still fosters a secular research environment and its religious affiliation is more traditional. While I do not think that a religious affiliation is beneficial for the structure of any university (even if it can be relatively innocuous), it should not be assumed that a loose religious affiliation based on a school’s history implies that it belongs to the apologetic-type campuses discussed below.


The phrase “Follow the money” or “Follow the money trail” (the later was a catchphrase popularized by the 1976 drama-documentary motion picture All The President’s Men) is a credo that has been popularized in movies, politics, investigative reporting, and political debates. The sage advice to “Follow the money” is also true in the arena of religion. Yes, it is about the money. The objective of this article/blog is to discuss the importance of those “silver shekels” as related to Christian evangelism, and more specific, apologetics. Opponents of Christian apologists, whether they be theists, agnostics, or theists of other faiths face definite challenges. And, as previously stated, the odds are often stacked against these skeptics, regardless of the theistic aisle they find themselves.

TOPIC I: Apologetic Grad Programs

Let’s assume that you are a committed Christian and you want to seek a graduate degree in apologetics. Where would you go to earn that degree? What type of degree could you earn? How much would it cost to earn an appropriate degree? What can you do with your earned degree? One partial source of information that discussed some of these issues was located at TheBestSchools.org. This organization states:

“The aim of TheBestSchools.org is to help you gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials you need to achieve personal happiness and career success. As a leading education resource, we cover online and on-campus colleges & universities that include undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and post-doc programs. In addition, we cover K–12 and select alternative education programs.

TheBestSchools.org has researched the top apologetics graduate degrees in the United States and ranked them according to the quality of faculty, level of accreditation, diversity of degrees offered, cost, and overall accessibility.”

Below, you will find “The 10 Best Christian Apologetics Grad Programs” as identified by TheBestSchools.org. The relevant information has been placed in an easy to read table. However, interested readers are encouraged to examine the source in its entirety.

TABLE 1: The 10 Best Christian Apologetics Grad Programs

1. Biola University $485 per credit hour The 36-credit hour MA in Apologetics can be achieved through a distance-learning track, but even it has an on-campus requirement (via two week-long, intensive modules). On the other hand, the 9- to 10-hour distance-learning “certificate in apologetics” can be transferred into the MA in Apologetics program for up to 6 units of credit.
2. Southern Evangelical Seminary $333 per credit hour SES is a true apologetics school with all its degrees having an apologetic emphasis, including the BA, MA, MDiv, ThM, and DMin. Even its PhD is apologetics-intensive, though technically it is in philosophy of religion.
3. Houston Baptist University $500 per credit hour 36 credit hour Master of Arts in Apologetics program (MAA). The program is available in residence or online (with no residency requirements).
4. Liberty University $436-$476 per credit hour PhD candidates at LU may pursue a rare, dual-emphasis degree in “Theology and Apologetics.” LU also offers Online classes and distance classes .
5. (tie) Southeastern Baptist $190-$257 per credit hour ($514, if non-SBC) SEBTS offers apologetics tracks in its MDiv programs.
5. (tie) Southern Baptist Theological Seminary $219 per credit hour ($438, if non-SBC) SBTS offers apologetics tracks in its MDiv programs.

Southern also has the rare PhD in “Apologetics and Worldview Studies.”

6. Veritas Evangelical Seminary $215 per credit hour Veritas offers MA and MDiv degrees, as well as a certificate, all in apologetics.
 7. Denver Seminary $450 per credit hour Offering an MA in Apologetics and Ethics, as well as an MDiv in Apologetics.
8. Luther Rice College & Seminary $215 per credit hour It offers both MA and MDiv apologetics tracks.
9. Westminster Theological Seminary At $2,650 per class (about $885 per credit hour) WTS offers a Master of Theology (ThM) in apologetics, and has a respectable department of apologetics. It has no MDiv or MA in apologetics.
10. Columbia Evangelical Seminary $95 per credit hour CES offers a self-directed mentoring curriculum similar to European programs. As such, it has no teaching campus.

Significantly, this list only identified the 10 best programs in the opinion of TheBestSchools.org. There are, in fact, numerous seminaries and universities that offer apologetic degree programs.

Question: How many seminaries, college, or universities offer degree programs in atheism or that reject the foundation of the Christian faith? None that I was able to locate! And, even if a program could be found, what could one do with that earned degree? For Christians earning a graduate degree in apologetics, job possibilities do exist. A brief list could include teaching philosophy or apologetics at the college level, serve in a campus ministry, develop an apologetics ministry, and do mission work. Of course, this is not to deny the reality that many students take these course because they are sincere believers and desire to fulfill 1 Peter 3:15, “ But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Cutting to the “money trail,” how many detractors would be willing to devote one year of their life and spend $95 to $500 per credit hour for a 36-credit hour MA in a counter-apologetics degree program (even if it existed)? And, remember, we are not even talking about a multi-year PhD program. On the other hand, financial aid (scholarships, loans, underwriting by local churches, etc.) are often available to seminary students. One additional point must be raised about the topic of money. Seminaries and universities are spending millions of dollars to support these graduate programs. Funds are required to support and maintain the instructional staff, administrative staff, secretaries, custodians, the library, and maintenance of the buildings.

TOPIC II: Undergraduate Apologetic Programs and Class Offerings

In contrast to a graduate program, hundreds of seminaries, bible colleges and universities offer a profuse number of apologetic programs and class offerings. An extensive list of several hundred evangelical seminaries and theological colleges can be seen on Wikipedia: List of evangelical seminaries and theological colleges. Not only are these classes made available, in many institutions, they are also required for completion of a degree. Here too, these institutions are spending millions of dollars to support and maintain the instructional staff, administrative staff, secretaries, custodians, the library, and maintenance of the buildings.

Question: How many seminaries, college, or universities offer apologetic programs or class offerings that investigate the foundation of the Christian faith from a “different perspective”? I am aware of at least two Rabbis who teach classes that delve into this topic. Presumably others exist…

Rabbi Michael J. Cook, Ph.D. serves as Professor of Intertestamental and Early Christian Literatures and holds the Sol and Arlene Bronstein Chair in Judaeo-Christian Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Current and future courses include:

  • New Testament & the Jews: Critical Issues Today Arising from the Gospels & Paul’s Epistles
  • Jewish & Christian Perspectives on the Historical Jesus in Ancient, Medieval, & Modern History
  • Citation of Jewish Scripture in Christian Apologetics & Missionizing

There is also Rabbi Amy-Jill Levine at Vanderbilt University. She is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion. She teaches the following course:

  • The New Testament in its Jewish Context

As stated above, possibly several schools of higher education may offer classes that investigate the foundation of the Christian faith from a “different perspective.” It would be interesting to know what institutions actually offer such classes.

TOPIC III: Department of Apologetics

Question: How many seminaries, college, or universities have a dedicated department of apologetics? To be specific, how many institutions of higher learning have a department with the word “apologetics” in its title? Perhaps in the hundreds… A few institutions identified by a cursory research on the Internet include: Biola University, Birmingham Theological Seminary, Houston Baptist University, Liberty University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Trinity Graduate School (Kerala, India), and Trinity International. In many institutions, a “department of apologetics” although not specifically named is embedded in the department of theology, philosophy, and or systematic theology.

So, what about the opposition? A search on the Internet found an interesting article published by the New York Times. It was penned by Laurie Goodstein (May 20, 2016): “University of Miami Establishes Chair for Study of Atheism.” In late April, the UM received a donation of $2.2 million from Louis J. Appignani, a wealthy atheist, to endow what it says is the nation’s first academic chair “for the study of atheism, humanism, and secular ethics.” However, the title may be misleading. In the opinion of Hemant Mehta, “The final name may be a mouthful, but the shorter version of it is that students at the University of Miami will be able to study atheism just as they can study Islam and Judaism and Catholicism everywhere else.”

Another institution discussed in the Times article pointed out that about five years ago, Pitzer College, a liberal arts school in Southern California with about 1,000 students, became the first to begin a program and major in secular studies. Nonetheless a review of the course offerings in the catalog did not indicate that any of the course offerings would, in effect, challenge Christian theology.

TOPIC IV: Apologetic Organizations

Another area where Christian organizations spend millions of dollars is apologetic organizations. The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) is an organization that enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries by establishing and applying Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ to accredited organizations. It has over 2,100 members. An analysis of the organizations’ database under the category of “Ministry type – Apologetics” listed approximately 70 members. Below, in table 2 is a list of seven well-known organizations including their total revenue and total assets.

TABLE 2: EFCA and Selected Members: Revenue and Assets

Name Data for year ended Total Revenue Total Assets
Ankerberg Theological Research Institute December 31, 2016 $3,496,484 $1,372,074
C. S. Lewis Institute June 30, 2016 $1,586,688 $224,153
CRU [Formerly calledCampus Crusade for Christ International] August 31, 2016 $609,197,000 $328,984,000
Ratio Christi December 31, 2015 $1,386,690 $731,248
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries [RZIM] September 30, 2016 $47,353,235 $34,155,953
Reasonable Faith June 30, 2016 $1,052,594 $914,758
Veritas College International June 30, 2017 $201,549 $64,837

Many of these organizations, such as CRU and Ratio Christi, form college chapters at universities around the nation, in addition to countless student churches and religious clubs. While there a handful of secular and atheist clubs on college campuses, such as the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), the number of Christian clubs on college campuses easily eclipses those for either secularism, atheism, or other religious faiths.

Another avenue to investigate the resources of apologetic organizations and their rivals is to access CitizenAudit.org. Three examples of organizations on their site can be seen in table 3.

TABLE 3: CitizenAudit.org

Name Data for year ended Total Revenue Total Assets
Christian Apologetics And Research Ministry Inc. (CARM) [Matthew J. Slick] 2015/12 $275,849 $60,653
Stand To Reason 2015/12 $1,685,546 $680,389
Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics [James R. White] 2015/12 $282,142 $160,129

In contrast, the Secular Web, which is perhaps the largest internet database for secular, atheist, and counter-apologetic scholarship, can only claim the following financial resources:

Name Data for year ended Total Revenue Total Assets
Internet Infidels Inc. 2015/12 $32,766 $53,421

TOPIC V: Publishers

Another important area of “Following the money trail” are publishers/publishing houses. The number of Christian publishers/publishing houses total in the hundreds. The longest list of biblical publishers can be found in The SBL Handbook of Style For Biblical Studies and Related Disciplines (pp. 77-82), though that also includes secular presses. One can consult the Writer’s Market 2018 by Robert Lee Brewer, though for easiest access, Wikipedia (Category: Christian publishing companies) provides an alphabetical list of Christian publishers/publishing houses. Below is a select sample (concluded after A-C for sake of brevity). 

Perhaps the most detailed source is the Christian Writers Market Guide 2017: Your Comprehensive Resource by Steve Laube. 

In contrast, detractors have a substantially limited opportunity to publish a text with a traditional publisher. Prometheus is perhaps the most well-known publisher. If a detractor decides to self-publish, there are significant problems that will be confronted. Journals, as a general rule will not review books that are self-published and libraries will not pick them up. The rationale is that these books did not go through a rigorous review process, thus, questioning their academic quality.

Reasons vary, but probably the most significant factor in a publisher deciding to publish a book is the potential scope of the market. To be direct, there are millions of potential Christian consumers and thousands of church libraries with funds to put these books on their shelves. In contrast, the potential market for a detractor is substantial reduced. The key is that a detractor must target a niche market and one that has not already been over saturated. The reality is that publishers are in the game to make a profit.

TOPIC VI: Journals

The number of theological journals, hard copy and online, that are devoted to supporting Christian theology and apologetics number in the thousands. Wikipedia’s opening sentence under the title “List of theology journals” reads:

“Theological journals are academic periodical publications in the field of theology. WorldCat returns about 4,000 items for the search subject ‘Theology Periodicals’ and more than 2,200 for ‘Bible Periodicals.'”

Although detractors can submit articles for publication, the number of journals open to submission is substantially reduced as compared to the apologetic author. The mission statement may limit journals submission guidelines or acceptance of submissions. Significantly, journals have a vested financial interest in accepting and publishing articles that their readership would desire to read and not to offend its advertisers.

Concluding Remarks

Numbers do not lie. Yes, the sage advice to “Follow the money” is true in the arena of religion. Detractors/Opponents of Christian apologists face definite financial challenges. And, yes, the odds are stacked against this group, regardless of what side of the theistic aisle they find themselves (whether atheist or non-Christian theist). However, as Fox Mulder on X-Files proclaims: “The Truth is Out There.” Therefore, keep writing…

-Michael Alter

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11 Responses to “Follow the Money”: Guest Blog by Michael Alter on Faith-Based Education and Publishing

  1. Will your Resurrection book be in Kindle format soon? Thank you

  2. Hello:

    Thank you for your question!

    Volume I, The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry [e-book] is available for $10 at several sites (e.g., Amazon). The soft cover cost $24.99 and hardback lists for $34.99. In my opinion that is a fair price for a 912 page text! Volume II is currently with several outside readers/reviewers. [I extend my appreciation to those readers who already submitted to me their constructive criticism and welcomed suggestions. Their time is respected. And, currently, a few more reviewers are examining my manuscript.] Once the editing process is completed… I will submit it to a “traditional publisher.” As I stated in the article, there are unfortunate consequences [obstacles] when one self-publishes.

    Now, a brief answer to your question is that when my text is published, it is my intention for it to be available on Kindle. Soon, unfortunately not…

    Thank you for your inquiry.

  3. While I appreciate the effort to show the extent and funding behind conservative Christian apologetics, I confess I was rather surprised by the author’s desire to either be able to publish in these sectarian journals read almost exclusively by conservative Christians, or to create a parallel realm for anti-Christian apolgetics, Why is the option of trying to get away from the apologetics end of the spectrum altogether, and to publish in mainstream secular venues, not even more appealing?

  4. Hello James:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

    Publishing in all venues should be the ideal. The important point is that accurate knowledge is a vital tool for a thriving democracy and a necessity to maintain our cherished freedom. It is vital that we carefully listen/read [to] the opposition [opposing points of view] to understand their beliefs, concerns, etc. The exchange of information is also vital in the field of religion. [This is just one reason that I spend a healthy amount of time visiting theological seminaries.] However, I will add one caveat: communication should be respectful and free of derogatory language or innuendo.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

    Take care.

    Mike

  5. Jonathan Alexander says:

    While the book is good so far, I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that Mr. Alter is a Jewish rabbi with a clear agenda to fight Christian missionary efforts towards Jews, and this is not stated outright in the post. This blog is usually about academic secular refutation of Christian apologetics, so promoting another religion’s attempts to refute Christianity on this blog makes me a bit uncomfortable.

    The book, however, engages deeply with scholarship and so is a good resource. I just think the author’s agenda should have been mentioned in the post.

    • Celsus says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      It is true that this blog discusses secular positions on the New Testament and Christian origins, as a counter-balance to faith-based positions, but the secular scholars/authors I discuss can be Christians, Jews, and members of other religions. For example, Michael Kok has written here and I’ve discussed his views frequently, although he is a Christian.

      Did you get the impression that Michael Alter is taking things a step beyond secularism in his book, and actually arguing for a faith-based Jewish position?

      I’d be curious to know, if that’s the case, since then I will make a note. But if he just happens to come from a Jewish theistic background, and is otherwise arguing in a secular manner, that’s not atypical here.

    • Hello Jonathan:

      First, thank you for writing!

      Let me now address your concerns.

      1. Your statement that I am a Jewish rabbi is incorrect. I am NOT a rabbi! Yes, I am Jewish. Currently I am a retired Social Studies teacher who is also a researcher.
      2. You wrote: “with a clear agenda to fight Christian missionary efforts towards Jews, and this is not stated outright in the post.” Based on your comment: “The book, however, engages deeply with scholarship and so is a good resource” it is assumed that you have both access to my text The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry and have started reading it.” [Thank you]. However, the first two sentences in my Preface, perhaps, were overlooked. It states “In 2003, I was challenged by an adamant believer in Jesus to prove that Jesus did not physically rise from the dead. The genesis of this text was, in fact, this direct challenge from an acquaintance during an interchange spanning several years” Afterward, I wrote that “Naively I accepted the challenge.” Additional information can be found at my homepage.

      Furthermore, I would like to point out the purpose of my blog was to demonstrate with real facts [even from a respected Christian source]; and, not alternative facts that “Detractors/Opponents of Christian apologists face definite financial challenges. And, yes, the odds are stacked against this group, regardless of what side of the theistic aisle they find themselves (whether atheist or non-Christian theist).”

      In NO manner did my blog promote another religion’s attempts to refute Christianity. In actuality it demonstrated that real challenges face atheists, humanists, agnostics, secularists, and yes, theists whom are not Christians to respond to the challenges that they, their families, and their friends are confronted by Christian apologists.

      Later you added: “This blog is usually about academic secular refutation of Christian apologetics.” Instead of presenting Matthew’s readership information “about academic secular refutation of Christian apologetics” I offered important [in my opinion] and timely information that demonstrated the influence of money involved in the area of apologetics. We should be equally informed and concerned about money involved in politics, lobbyists for their respective causes, etc. In the real world, money does matter.

      Proverbs 18:17 appropriately warned: “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” (NIV) What the author of this sage insight omitted to state was that often without those silver shekels, a person living in the “modern world” may not/would not have the opportunity to come forward and question him via the arena of TV, radio, books, journals, college curriculum, etc.

      Once again, thank you for “coming forward and questioning” me. Your opinion is respected.

      Take care

      Mike

    • Celsus says:

      As a note, Jonathan, I would only have apprehensions about Alter’s book, if it included evangelism for the Jewish faith, not because he has a Jewish background. Alter would have to make arguments in favor of Judaism, not just arguments against Christian apologetics for the resurrection.

  6. Jonas says:

    Hm. Im not quite sure what this post is trying to show, to be quite honest. Yes, without a doubt Christian apologetic courses are very well financed, Id guess everyone would agree on that. But this doesnt have a say on whether the points they defend are true or not, as Im sure both the guest author and the blogger are ready to admit. If that is so, however, this fact would in context of biblical studies not amount to much more than a genetic fallacy (If this post was indeed meant to work as an argument against the Christian side of the debate).

    Wasnt the field of Western biblical study for the last 100 years practically dominated by strong secular views (high criticism, God-is-dead-theology, logical positivism, physicalism etc.)? Does the author lament that this has changed, and that Christians have regained some of the lost ground?
    Im not trying to be agressive here, I jsut genuinly wonder

    All the best,
    Jonas

    • Celsus says:

      Hi Jonas,

      I think the purpose of this blog is quite clear. As Alter states:

      “[T]he purpose of my blog was to demonstrate with real facts [even from a respected Christian source] … that Detractors/Opponents of Christian apologists face definite financial challenges. And, yes, the odds are stacked against this group, regardless of what side of the theistic aisle they find themselves (whether atheist or non-Christian theist).”

      That much as been demonstrated. There is a clear asymmetry in the amount of $$$ and resources that are available to Christian apologists than is available to atheists, secularists, and non-Christian theists. Considering the fact that writing books and articles with counter-arguments to apologetics takes time and resources (they don’t just pop out of thin air), that puts them at a disadvantage. If apologists seem to have more arguments out there, or occasionally seem to perform better in debates (William Craig, for example, is basically paid to be a professional debater), this circumstance needs to be taken into account.

      Personally, I think that if the amount of $$$ and resources available to atheists and secularists were equal, virtually all of Christian apologetics in the fields of Biblical Studies and Philosophy of Religion would have been solidly refuted a long time ago. Even still, I think that atheists and secularists have done well with far less resources, and presented stronger positions, because they have the truth on their side. But, there is still a lot of work to be done, since they have to catch up with the disproportionate amount of publishing done on the Christian side. That is a large part of the reason why I do the work on this blog.

      With regard to your second paragraph, if there has been a resurgence in Christian scholarship in Biblical Studies, faith-based universities is absolutely the wrong way to do it. Universities like Biola and Liberty have doctrinal statements that require their faculty to adhere to Christian dogma. That means that they can fire professors who publish research which does not align with predetermined conclusions friendly to Christian dogma. Such an institutional structure is completely antithetical to the critical and open-ended research done at secular institutions. There is no parallel, by the way, for an atheist university existing, which only hires atheist faculty, who are required to sign atheist doctrinal statements that require their research to adhere to atheist dogma. This is a case of special pleading done solely with faith-based research. Personally, I do not think that any such faith-based universities deserve academic accreditation, nor should their students be able to get federal loans to attend them.

      None of this has to do with a genetic fallacy asserting that arguments from such scholars at such institutions must inherently be wrong. Simply because a study done on the health effects of smoking is funded by a tobacco company does not ipso facto mean that it is inaccurate. Arguments have to each be evaluated based on evidence and reason. But what it does mean is that the amount of $$$, resources, and special pleading out there *inflates* the amount of publishing and arguments available for Christian apologetics, and makes them disproportionate to those available for atheism and secularism. All of this makes Christian apologetics as an enterprise far less impressive, and I tend to view it as a multi-billion dollar ad campaign, rather than as a genuine scholarly pursuit.

    • Hello Jonas:

      Thanks for adding your positive input to the discussion.

      You raise several important points:

      1. Your poignant insight that: “But this doesnt have a say on whether the points they defend are true or not” is absolutely crucial. I, along with many others reject many but not necessarily all of the notions [beliefs] that they [Christian apologists] hold sacred. A few examples of beliefs that I do NOT share include: Jesus is God in an absolute sense, God exists as a Trinity, Jesus died for the sins of mankind, the resurrection, etc.,]
      2. My text, The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry is a lengthy, scholarly work that refutes the cornerstone of Christian theology [Jesus’s purported resurrection], at least that is unequivocally stated by Paul in 1 Cor: 15: 1-20]. Therefore that text addresses one of your valid concerns.
      3. The purpose of my post was to raise awareness to the fact that the odds are often stacked against the detractors of Christian apologists [whether they be theists or “a-theists”] because of those silver shekels. History has demonstrated that the winning side’s [which is not necessarily on the side goodness or truth] victory is often due to an abundance of resources.
      4. My post was NOT meant to work as an argument against the Christian side of the debate. It was to raise awareness about the importance of those silver shekels as it relates to the communication, debate, dialog, discussion, etc
      5. You write: “Wasnt the field of Western biblical study for the last 100 years practically dominated by strong secular views (high criticism, God-is-dead-theology, logical positivism, physicalism etc.)?” As Data, the android in Star Trek would say, “I lack sufficient information to answer your question.”
      6. You inquire: “Does the author lament that this has changed, and that Christians have regained some of the lost ground?” Answer: Yes when it relates to espousing [in my opinion] erroneous teachings [ See above]. I would also answer yes when it relates to “some Christians” historically using Scripture to keep women out of work place, support segregation, denying a women the right to choose, the disrespect shown to the gay/lesbian/LGBT community, seeking tax payers dollars to support religious schools, advocating curriculum in the public schools that refutes evolution [Creation Science], the notion that the Christian Bible is inerrant, and I could go on.

      Jonas, your closing words were awesome: “Im not trying to be agressive here, I jsut genuinly wonder.” You are being courteous, honest, and respectful in your inquiry. It is unfortunate that OUR president, congress, and much of the American public has not learned what you practice!

      Once again, thank you for writing.

      Mike

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