Monday Q&A 8: Christianity Compared

Monday Q&A 8: Christianity Compared

Comparing Christianity is an easy discussion for a missionary kid formerly based in a continent dominated by Muslims. Having seen firsthand the similarities and differences between Christianity, Islam, non-belief, and the rest, I have looked forward to this discussion since beginning the Monday Q&As.

Because this is the last Q&A from Stoa Apologetics, I will be answering all 14 questions, regardless of relevancy and wordcount. As always, the answers are taken from as close a Biblical standpoint as possible, and constructive discussion is always welcome. You can find the entire Q&A worksheet here.

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A Myriad of Awards

A Myriad of Awards

Today we have not one, not two, but three awards to take care of! I have been double-nominated for the Outstanding Blogger award, an award I had not yet been nominated for, and single-nominated for the Thirteenth Disciple Tag.

Thank you so much, SonoofYHWH and MakaylaLife for the two Outstanding Blogger awards, and my brother Jesusluvsall for the Thirteenth Disciple tag! If you guys aren’t already following their blogs, make sure to do so by clicking on their names!

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Five Important Tips for Young Bloggers

If I were asked to guess what percentage of bloggers put real, hard work into their writing and websites, I would likely hazard a guess at 10%.

10%. One out of every ten bloggers are fighting to put themselves above the rest, learning new techniques, sharpening their writing skills, and constantly updating their websites.

The other 90% are writing lazy, 200-word posts, publishing once a month, refusing to do any marketing or optimizing, and failing to improve their writing skills, all while complaining that their traffic stays at rock bottom.

Which group is yours? Which one sounds more appealing?

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The Tragic Loss of Real Masculinity

The Tragic Loss of Real Masculinity

Our culture has completely lost what it means to be a man. What was once a proud and accomplished status now lies discarded in the dirt. Boys have taken over our country. They have normalized non-manhood, brought themselves and their immaturity into popularity, and they continue to reject the true calling to manhood.

This travesty has destroyed many pieces of our culture. Quality of relationship has decreased massively over the past fifty years, punctuated by increases in divorce and abortion.

What needs to be done? How can we, as Christians, aggressively attack and destroy what our culture portrays as “manhood”, and show the way to creating true, real men?

It all starts with our boys.

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Monday Q&A 7: Christian Worldview Application

Monday Q&A 7: Christian Worldview Application

Worldview is a difficult topic to discuss, given the fact that the subject changes based on the person. Because everyone has a different worldview, it can become difficult to even speak on the subject, let alone have a decent discussion on the topic.

Christian worldview, on the other hand, is a unifying topic that needs to be discussed more often. Identifying weak worldview and working to grow stronger, Biblically-grounded worldview should be a lifelong goal for every Christian.

With that, we turn our attention on today’s Monday Q&A: Christian Worldview Application. As always, I will be choosing to answer 12 of the 14 questions presented in Stoa Apologetics’ worksheet, found here. Let’s dive in.

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What Does It Mean to Be Grateful?

What Does It Mean to Be Grateful?

Traveling from a poor, third-world country back to the United States is arguably the quickest way to become grateful. Within mere moments of landing, you, the American, realize just blessed you are, and vow to never forget to thank God for what He has blessed you with.

Then, two weeks later, you find yourself back in the rhythm you left behind, quite willing to take life for granted. I’m no exception. It is so easy to get caught up in the flow of today’s world, and forget to thank God for the little things.

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Monday Q&A 6: God and Man

Monday Q&A 4: God and Man

In our past three Q&A’s, we have discussed three highly important topics: the character of God, foundations of Christianity, and Scripture. Yet so far, none of these topics have been as important as the one to be discussed today.

God and man. Deus et Hominum. Theós kai ánthropos.

The center of Christianity.

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John Grisham’s Guide to the Depravity of Man

John Grisham's Guide to the Depravity of Man

Over the summer, I have made it a point to increase my reading load. Mein Kampf, Pride and Prejudice, A Man Called Peter, Pontius Pilate, and many others have been the subject of my reading. Yet, standing apart from the rest, a single author has recaptured my attention, returning my reading to the world of novels.

This man is known as John Grisham.

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Monday Q&A 5: Scripture

Monday Q&A 3: Scripture

Scripture. The key component to Christianity at its core. The cornerstone of our beliefs. Without Scripture, we have no belief, no Faith, no arguments, and no understanding of God and His existence. The defense of Scripture is so important that it has become a large tenant to Apologetics. Without it, Christianity fails.

Because of its importance, I have spent much time learning the historical and logical accuracy of the Scriptures. Because of this, I put much stock in the quality of response to the questions-to-be. While this may be the easiest Q&A so far, it will also be the most important. Read carefully.

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How to Criticize Criticism

How to Criticize Criticism

As human beings, we are naturally critical of everything. We criticize our living conditions, our morals, our standards, our government, and even our friends. The “mindset of common criticism” has become commonplace within our lives, something we act upon naturally but fail to analyze properly.

Standalone criticism is not inherently wrong, yet there are many situations in which it can be the most harmful action to commit, particularly within a setting of friends or family. Within the last five years alone, I have seen seemingly innocent criticism tear apart colleagues, friends, and family. It destroys workplaces, families, friend cliques, and churches.

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Monday Q&A 4: Foundations of Christianity pt.2

Monday Q&A 4: Foundations of Christianity pt.2

Hey, and welcome back to another Monday Q&A! Today’s topic is “The Foundations of Christianity”, the second and last discussion here. Last week, we talked mostly about the depravity and utter sinfulness of man, but this week, our focus turns to Jesus and His effect upon man and sin.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!

8: What does the term “fall of man” mean and why is it important?

The term “fall of man” refers to the introduction of sin into the world. Described at the very beginning of the Bible, the Fall took place soon after the creation of the first man (Adam) and woman (Eve). The two lived in paradise and in perfect harmony with God, cherishing Him and fully submitting to His commandment- to not eat of “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, located in the middle of their Garden home.

Eventually, a fallen angel named Lucifer took on the shape of a serpent/snake and tempted Adam and Eve to break God’s commandment and eat the fruit. Lead by Adam, Eve took and ate the fruit, sinning for the first time in history and introducing sin into the very bloodstream of humanity.

Since then, man has been born in a fallen state, unable to not sin. We bear Adam’s curse and punishment for his failure, a punishment only removed by Jesus and His sacrifice.

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What is the Optimal Age to Date?

What is the Optimal Age to Date?

In today’s world, dating is treated as a recreational hobby. Many do it for fun or for sport, not really realizing the consequences early dating can bring. Many children begin dating as early as ten when their bodies begin to develop and emotions run high. While some view this as appropriate or even healthy, acting upon such emotions at such a young age is detrimental to growth and maturity.

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What Does a God-Focused Marriage Look Like?

What Does a God-Focused Marriage Look Like?

Today is my parents’ 19th anniversary. Since their wedding day on June 29th, 2001, they have constantly fought for each other, focusing their full and complete hearts on God and their marriage. Through this time, they have inspired many couples to live out a God-focused marriage, keeping the literal Center of the universe at the center of their marriage.

They are, without a doubt, the two most inspirational people in my life.

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The Bookish Bucket List Tag

Welcome back to another tag, the Bookish Bucket List tag (as you could see from the title)! While I normally don’t participate in awards/tags for the sake of time, I couldn’t resist this newer, interesting, book-focused tag, so here we go!

As usual, the rules:

  • Link to the tag’s creator (Madison’s Inkwell).
  • Link to the person who tagged you.
  • Tag as many people you want (10 people, in my case).
  • Answer the questions asked by your nominator.
  • Create 10 new questions for your nominees.

My thanks to Tobias Hrothgar for the nomination! Tobias has an excellent site and regularly posts unique, intriguing content. Make sure to help his dream of passing me in followers come true by visiting him here.

Tobias’ questions:

  1. Based on an educated guess, how many books do you have, and what is the general genre of most of these books? On both sides of the world? I probably have a total of around 500 books, most being in the fictional literature side.
  2. What are five fiction stories you would highly suggest? Ender’s Game, Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, and Les Miserables. These should give you a peek into 5 fictional categories- Sci-fi, fantasy, romance, horror, and historical fiction. Enjoy!
  3. If you were to write any nonfiction story, what would it be? It would likely be my own autobiography.
  4. What are your three favorite authors? Do you mean “Who are your three favorite authors”? (*insert laughing emoji) In order of respect, love, and admiration combined: J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, and Suzanne Collins.
  5. If you are a writer, how old were you when you began to write? I was around 11 years old, and my first “story” was a 2-page Biblical fiction about Nebuchadnezzar!
  6. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type? According to 16personalities.com, I am ENFJ-A, “The Diplomat”. My strategy is, quite aptly, “people mastery”.
  7. Describe your favorite character that you’ve written if you’re a writer, or describe what character you would like to write about if you’re not a writer. My favorite fictional character is the man whom I am currently working on: Ronin Tethson, also known as Ronin Shadowwalker. For now, all I can say is that Ronin is a man, a warrior, and a lover; three combinations that create a unique storyline.
  8. What is one of your fondest book-related memories? My most fond memory involving a book would likely be the times that my dad read Lord of the Rings to me as a child. I was trained in the greatest books of all time from an early age!
  9. If you could choose any one fictional location to visit, where would that be? Likely the Shire. Then, I could finally try the legendary beer of the South Farthing.
  10. If you could visit any day in time, where would that be? I would probably visit the day of Jesus’ birth, so I could witness arguably the greatest moment in history!

My questions:

1: Who are, in your opinion, the ten greatest writers in history?

2: Have you written a book? If so, describe it in under 140 characters.

3: If you stand up from your desk, close your eyes, spin around three times, then open your eyes again, what is the first book you see?

4: What was the worst book you have ever read (mine was probably The Great Gatsby)?

5: Are you currently working on a book?

6: Who is your favorite modern-day writer?

7: Do you have a specific place for your reading? If so, describe it.

8: Are Kindle EBooks superior to printed books?

9: If I published a book on Amazon Self-Publishing, would you read it?

10: Who is, in your opinion, the most underrated author currently writing today?

Bonus questions from Rachel’s Food Award nomination:

Have you ever pulled a prank on someone involving food? Besides the classic prank of putting hot spice in people’s food? Nope!

What is a food you absolutely hate? Sweet potatoes. I know, I’m weird, but they’re squishy, a strange color, and they taste like garbage!

What is a food you can’t live without? Probably eggs. I eat eggs for breakfast almost every morning.

Ever cooked a combo dish? I have literally no idea what that means, so I’d assume no.

Would you consider a career as a cook in a restaurant? Probably not, but I think my little brother Noah could.

My nominees:

Everyone! Since there are two awards here, and I follow a lot of bloggers, feel free to select any of these awards! Honestly, just pretend I personally nominated you. In fact, if you’d like, just leave a comment asking for a nomination, and I will respond with an official “I nominate you” comment.

In the meantime, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my little Q&A!

-Elisha McFarland

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3 Ways Christ Helps Us Combat Depression (Guest Post)

3 Ways Christ Helps Us Combat Depression

Panic sets in. Heart racing, your eyes dart around frantically. You gasp desperately for breath, and your entirety trembles. There is no escape. The darkness has imprisoned you, and from within there is no way out. 

Depression is the seemingly inescapable, wall-less prison that confines and cripples teens today. The cycle of fears feeding fears leaves teens feeling hopeless, worn out, and defeated. This is when the Devil tries his hardest to lead us into despair. Those lacking a consistent and strong connection to the truths of the Bible will ultimately fail to stand on their own strength. Yet, at times, it seems impossible to discard the mindset of despair. Thankfully, by God’s grace, there are three factors to combating this mindset.. This isn’t a “3 steps to leave depression” guidebook. It’s not the same for everyone. But in my personal experience, I’ve found that these three things are often key to my thoughts and doubts. I hope they help you as much as they did me.

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