All posts tagged: Dr Michael Brown

If God Does Not Exist Then Injustice Does Not Exist

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I recently had a friendly online debate with a former Muslim known as Apostate Prophet (called AP for short). The subject was, “Does God Exist?” In my opening comments, I stated that I did not specialize in debating this issue and that I realized that arguments that seemed compelling to me would be mocked by many atheists. Conversely, I stated that I have listened to the best arguments of atheists and said to myself, “Are you kidding me? Is this the best you have to offer?” (For similar reflections from a Christian apologist on the weakness of atheistic arguments, see Tom Gilson’s recent article here.) So, I made clear from the start that my goal was not to convince the viewers that my view was right. Rather, it was to explain to them why I was 100 percent sure that God is real, especially since so much of my faith is based on my own life experiences rather than on abstract philosophical arguments . To make my case, I gave a …

The Politicizing of COVID Has Become a Deadly Game

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I just lost another friend to COVID, this time, a 69-year-old father and grandfather, an elder in my home congregation, as faithful a Christian man as you will find. He joins the list of other friends and colleagues in the States who have died in the last year from COVID-related complications, along with an even longer list of loved ones and colleagues of some of my very close friends in India. At the same time, the extreme politicizing of COVID makes it difficult (if not almost impossible) to know who to trust when it comes to preventing the spread of the disease. This is a terrible shame. Personally, as much as I dislike wearing a mask, especially on long flights, I would wear one the rest of my life in public if I knew by doing so I was saving other people’s lives. With joy. When it comes to being vaccinated, if I was sure the vaccine had no long-term side-effects or dangers, I would get vaccinated every month if …

The Humiliation of the Church and the Coming National Revival

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It has been a very difficult season for conservative Christians in America. There have been countless scandals, both minor and major, sexual and financial, rocking all different sectors of the church. There have been prominent leaders who have renounced their faith. There have been well-publicized, failed prophecies about Trump’s reelection. The list goes on and on, and we have egg on our face. Lots of it. And what about the extreme politicization of so many Christians in the last 5 years, to the point that some of us became better known for our support of a political leader than for our allegiance to Jesus? This is time of humiliation, of confusion, of dishonor, a time to get low before the Lord rather than a time to strut. Worst of all, we have brought reproach to the name of Jesus and disrepute to the reputation of the gospel. We have driven people away from the Lord more than drawn people to Him. Yet all is not lost. To the contrary, the …

The Ongoing Intersection of the Gospel with Culture

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Three years ago, I conducted a poll on Facebook asking, “Should pastors and Christian leaders just preach the gospel, or should they also comment on relevant social and political issues?” Three years later to the day, I posted the same poll on Twitter. How did the results compare? Obviously, there is nothing scientific about these polls. They simply indicate how my Facebook and Twitter communities feel about the question. As for these two social media communities, although they have much in common, in many ways they disparate in their viewpoints and beliefs. How did the results compare? In 2018 on Facebook, out of roughly 1,900, 84 percent said “Gospel & culture” with only 16 percent saying “Gospel only.” In 2021 on Twitter, out of 889 responses, 79.2 percent said “Gospel and culture too” with only 20.8 percent saying, “Gospel only.” The overall differences were fairly minor, especially given the fact that many Christians are still suffering burnout from the 2020 elections while many others have felt the need to draw back from both politics …

When Mental Health Professionals Recognize the Healing Powers of Spirituality

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Critics of the COVID lockdowns often argued that, in the end, the lockdowns would do more harm than good, not just financially but also medically. One reason was that patients needing treatment would be less inclined to visit a doctor or hospital, increasing their health risks. Critics also pointed to the psychological aspects of the lockdowns, leading to increased loneliness, depression and even suicide. What about forbidding Christians (and other people of faith) from gathering together for worship, prayer, and ministry? What kind of impact did this have on the overall health and wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans (along with countless others worldwide)? Or, conversely, what positive role did faith play in the overall health and wellbeing of Americans during the lockdowns? A new article posted in the Scientific American, by David H. Rosmarin, and titled “Psychiatry Needs to Get Right with God,” addresses these very questions. The Cost of Not Gathering for Worship According to Rosmarin, “Spirituality has historically been dismissed by psychiatrists, but results from a …

No Time for Cowardice

By Dr. Michael L. Brown According to the book of Revelation, “the cowardly,” along with a host of other sinners, like murderers and the sexually immoral, will one day be cast into the lake of fire (see Revelation 21:8). But what is so bad about being cowardly? Why is it such a serious sin? The Greek word used for “cowardly” also means “fearful,” and it is found two other times in the New Testament.  As explained by the Greek scholar Celsas Spicq, “Jesus reproaches the apostles for this psychological fear when they are terrified by the storm (Matt 8:26; Mark 4:40), because it involves a moral deficiency: they no longer have faith, or they have but little faith in the presence of the Savior, who has to reassure them.” In contrast, “when one relies on God, there is nothing to fear.” (From his Theological Lexicon of the New Testament.) So, there is something morally deficient in being fearful when Jesus Himself is with you. And in the situation described in the Gospels, when the disciples …

Knowing God as a Forgiving Father

by Dr. Michael L. Brown As many of you know, before I came to faith in Jesus in late 1971 as a 16-year-old, Jewish, hippie rock drummer, I was a heavy drug user, even boasting about my drug use. I also broke into a couple of houses with my friends, as well as a doctor’s office. (The primary motivation was just to do something crazy.) Even more shamefully, I stole money from my father on several occasions when some of my friends needed a few bucks. This was the most despicable act of all. A few weeks after coming to the Lord, I was sitting in the kitchen one night talking with my dad, who was the senior lawyer in the New York Supreme Court. As we sat there alone, he asked me a direct question: “Michael, did you steal that money from me a few months back?” Not only had I stolen the money, but I had cut through the screen door in the back of the house to make it look as if …

If God Does Not Exist Then Injustice Does Not Exist

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I recently had a friendly online debate with a former Muslim known as Apostate Prophet (called AP for short). The subject was, “Does God Exist?” In my opening comments, I stated that I did not specialize in debating this issue and that I realized that arguments that seemed compelling to me would be mocked by many atheists. Conversely, I stated that I have listened to the best arguments of atheists and said to myself, “Are you kidding me? Is this the best you have to offer?” (For similar reflections from a Christian apologist on the weakness of atheistic arguments, see Tom Gilson’s recent article here.) So, I made clear from the start that my goal was not to convince the viewers that my view was right. Rather, it was to explain to them why I was 100 percent sure that God is real, especially since so much of my faith is based on my own life experiences rather than on abstract philosophical arguments . To make my case, I gave …

How an Extreme Optimist and an Absolute Realist Process Life Together

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Nancy and I have been married for 45 years. We are absolutely joined at the hip, totally united in our deepest faith convictions and our love for the Lord. But in other ways, we are radically different. How do we process life together? This past Friday night [ed. April 9, 2021], I had to rush to the emergency room with a kidney stone, with Nancy as my driver. Interestingly enough, this was my second kidney stone, about seven years after the first one.  (I’ve been told that I need to drink more water since, otherwise, by God’s grace, I’m in nearly perfect health.) In both cases, Nancy got her first and second kidney stone a couple of months before me. Talk about being in harmony! While we were sitting in the waiting room and I was quietly moaning in pain, I said to her, “Underneath this pain I have a real sense of excitement. Whatever the problem is, it’s about to be solved, and I’ll be feeling much better soon.” …

From the Peaceniks of the 1960s to the Social Justice Warriors of the 2020s: Some Cultural and Spiritual Insights

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Are there parallels between the anti-war, hippies of the 1960s and today’s social justice warriors? Are there valuable lessons we can learn from the past, both cultural and spiritual, that will give us insight for today? Growing up in the 60s (I was born in 1955), I lived through the anti-war movement. But for me, being a few years younger than the activists, that era was all about rock music and drugs. Giving the “peace” sign was just something we hippies did. “Peace, man,” we would say while holding up two fingers. Our mantra was, “Make love not war.” As for being anti-war, that was hardly a philosophical issue for me. It was simply pragmatic: I was getting high and playing drums in a rock band. Why on earth would I want to go to Vietnam to be killed in battle? But for others, there really were serious philosophical issues, and deep questions were being asked. Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life? Is the American dream our …

The Bad News in the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Behalf of Religious Liberty

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It was good to see the Supreme Court rule yet again in favor of religious liberty in the latest California case to reach the nation’s highest court. Yet the fact that the ruling was only 5-4, not to mention some of the reasoning in the dissenting opinion, gives real cause for concern. This should not have been a close vote at all. Instead, it should have been a slam dunk for religious freedoms. As reported on Forbes, “The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 margin late Friday that California’s coronavirus-related restrictions on gathering in private homes violated constitutional rights on the free exercise of religion, the latest ruling from the high court that prohibits authorities from enforcing limits on religious services.” Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the three liberal justices, and the dissenting opinion was written by Justice Elana Kagan. As for the majority opinion, the reasoning was as follows. “First, California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, …

Debating an evangelical turned atheist, Muslim apologist, and more

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Earlier on Tuesday (April 6), I had the distinct joy and privilege of recording four TV shows for a new series I’m hosting called “That’s Debatable with Dr. Brown.” It will air on the new AWKNG TV network, hopefully starting sometime next month. The debates we recorded covered four different subjects: 1) Has the Church Replaced Israel? 2) Are There Valid Reasons to Leave Christianity? 3) Does the God of the Bible Exist? 4) The Quran or the Bible: Which Is the Word of God? The guests included an Anglican vicar, a former Charismatic Christian turned agnostic, a former evangelical turned atheist, and a Muslim apologist. On Wednesday (April 7), I’m scheduled to do four more debates, one with a gay pastor on Jesus and LGBTQ+ people, one with a transgender pastor on affirming trans identities, one with a progressive Christian on abortion, and one with a questioning Christian on divine healing. This means that, aside from one or two of the shows, none of the other guests share my …

How the Death of a 20th-Century Rabbi Helps Demonstrate the Reality of the Resurrection of Jesus

By Dr. Michael L. Brown For many years, scholars and skeptics and psychologists and sociologists have told us that the disciples experienced a form of cognitive dissonance after Jesus died. It so rocked their world and crushed their expectations that they went into deep denial to the point of believing that Jesus really rose from the dead. To be sure, other scholars have attacked this theory from a number of powerful and persuasive angles, but my book Resurrection tackles it from a different angle. Specifically, I focus on a modern-day, parallel test case that completely demolishes this argument. To give the relevant background, in 1994, a leading rabbi, one of the most influential Jews of the 20th century, died at the age of 92. His name was Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and he was known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe. But this rabbi had become so influential that, before his death, his followers began to proclaim that he was the long-awaited Messiah. Redemption had come for Israel! Toward the end of his life, however, he suffered two …