Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

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Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry logo.png
AbbreviationCARM
MottoDefending the Faith. Reaching the Lost.
Formation1995
Type501(c)(3)
Legal statusActive
PurposeProtestant evangelism
Location
  • United States
Founder/President
Matthew Slick
Matthew Slick, David Kimball, Charlie Spine
Websitecarm.org Edit this at Wikidata

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry is a nonprofit, nondenominational Protestant apologetics ministry with an internet and radio outreach. It is involved in evangelism - including full-time support for several foreign missionaries. It is based in the United States and was founded in 1995.[1] Matthew Slick currently serves as president of the ministry, and more than twenty writers contribute to the CARM website.[2] The ministry is registered as a 501(c)3 organization[3] and is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho.[4]

Organization[edit]

In November 1995, Matthew Slick compiled his sermons and notes together onto computer, and created a website for the Christian Research Ministry.[3][5] By 2000, Slick claimed that his website was receiving 14,000 visits per week.[3] He created a Christian Apologetics Notebook presentation in a three-ring-binder format, which offered material from the website in a printed medium.[3] Slick says he has sold over 3,000 copies of the Christian Apologetics Notebook.[3] He also compiled the website material for sale in CD-ROM format.[3]

CARM offers several online dictionaries, including a theological dictionary compiled by Matt Slick and others, in addition to discussion forums.[3] The organization's stated motivation is "to equip Christians with good information on doctrine".[6] In 2004, CARM made available a free resource called the Dictionary of Theology for the Palm OS system.[7] The website also provides Protestants with pre-formatted "cut-and-paste" arguments to use in online forums with atheists, relativists, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics and members of other groups.[8][9]

Beliefs[edit]

CARM is a Protestant ministry, involving several different branches of Protestantism. For example, CARM's official position is that the Calvinist interpretation of Christianity is "within orthodoxy," but does not brand itself a Calvinist ministry, claiming that both Calvinists and non-Calvinists write articles. [10]

Reception[edit]

Columnist Cal Thomas of Tribune Media Services comments, "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (the Web site carm.org) has created a useful chart that shows the conflicting claims of classic Christian belief and Muslim doctrines. It is worth studying, whatever one's faith."[11] Christian Parenting Today notes that the website of CARM provides "lists, definitions, and descriptions of cults", to assist parents and children with identifying controversial groups and movements.[12] The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance says of CARM, "This is a very large web site. It is rated by Hitbox.com as the most visited counter-cult website, and about #14 in the list of most-visited religious web sites."[13] The Gazette recommended CARM as a resource for information on apologetics.[14] Writing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Pastor Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale characterized CARM among "excellent resources ... that will allow those who are seriously searching to discover faith is more fact than fiction."[15]

In the book The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ, Roger Overton, a blogger and graduate student at Talbot School of Theology, recommends CARM as a resource, calling the organization's website "an informative site dealing with topics from the defense of mere Christianity to exposing the problems in cults and other religions. Go to the CARM website for the straight facts such as a list of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled or archived incriminating statements by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and The Watchtower (Jehovah's Witnesses)."[16] Thomas Nelson's Safe Sites Internet Yellow Pages, The 2000-2001 Edition describes the organization as "A Christian ministry promoting Christian truth with articles on doctrine, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Evolution, New Age, atheism, and more."[17] The book recommends the organization's Theological Dictionary as among the "Best of the Christian Web", saying it "Defines many Christian and theological terms."[17] The Scholarly & Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints accuses the site of rehashing old anti-Mormon material.[18]

Criticism[edit]

Catholic[edit]

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has been subject to intense scrutiny since its inception, especially from Catholic sources. Critics claim that CARM, in its attacks on Catholicism, presents either a straw man version of Catholic teaching or misrepresents it completely, as well as being unreceptive to correction from Catholic sources.[19]

Matt Slick's position on whether he believes Catholics are Christians is unclear. Matt Slick has written that some Catholics are Christian, but that Slick believes the official teaching of the Catholic Church to be heretical.[20] Slick has also written that because Catholics reject the Protestant doctrine of sola fide, this makes Catholics "non-Christian."[21]

Many respected Catholic sources have provided specific responses to older articles on the CARM website, thus prompting accusations by both Catholics and non-Catholics of CARM recycling disproven arguments to substantiate their claims of heresy on the part of the Catholic Church.[22] CARM is often criticized for ignoring corrections from Catholic sources and persisting in the same teachings about Catholicism, even when disproven, leading some leading apologists to brand Matt Slick and CARM as "false teachers."[23]

Use of the term "Roman Catholic"[edit]

In her book Voices of Diversity: Multi-Culturalism in America, Mary C. Sengstock, a sociologist from Wayne State University, describes the CARM website as one of those continuing a tradition of religious prejudice, because it puts forward the view that Catholics are not Christians, citing Slick's essay "Are Roman Catholics Christian?"[24][25] CARM frequently uses the term "Roman Catholic" as opposed to "Catholic" in referencing Catholicism.[26][27] "Roman Catholic" is not the official name preferred by the Holy See or bishops in full communion with the Pope as a designation for their faith or institution.[28][29] While in most contemporary contexts using the term does not bear any animosity, the term originated as a pejorative during the Protestant Reformation. Respected ecclesiologists note that the term is most commonly used today by anti-Catholic media, and advocate against using the term "Roman Catholic" to refer to the entire Catholic Church.[30]

Trent Horn[edit]

In 2017, Catholic apologist Trent Horn of Catholic Answers criticized the popular nondenominational Protestant belief of centering faith on a "personal relationship with Jesus" by referencing an article on CARM written by Matt Slick and Tony Miano. In his article "Protestant Traditions You Won’t Find in the Bible,' Horn argued that Protestants like Slick and Miano who favored the praying the Sinner's Prayer consequently favor practices not found in the Bible, such as asking God for forgiveness of sins and making Jesus one's "personal Lord and Savior." Horn concluded that considering these facts, even Protestants must be willing to admit that the doctrine of sola scriptura is untrue.[31] CARM did not issue a response, instead choosing to restrict their article from the public. As of December 2020, the article is still restricted.[32]

In March 2020, Horn wrote an article for Catholic Answers entitled "Answering the Most Common Objection to the Deuterocanonical Books," a response to a 2009 CARM article by Ryan Turner. In this article, Horn provides a response to CARM's "first and primary objection to the authenticity of the deuterocanonicals."[33] As of December 2020, no response from Turner or CARM could be found on the website.

Ferris Murdock[edit]

In March 2019, Catholic apologist Ferris Murdock of How To Be Christian responded to Matt Slick's article titled "Sola Scriptura." In this article, Slick provided an interpretation the Bible verse 2 Timothy 3:16 to support his view of sola scriptura. [34] In a video posted to YouTube entitled "Christian vs. Protestant on 2 Timothy 3 [Round 1: Slick Moves]," Murdock provided a logical rebuttal of the entry, claiming that Slick had misinterpreted the meaning of the verse.[35] Murdock further explained the Catholic belief of why sola scriptura is untrue in the video. As of December 2020, neither Slick nor CARM have offered a response to the video.

Slick's writings appeared again on How To Be Christian in May 2019. The article in dispute was entitled "What does the Bible say about purgatory?" in which Slick argued that his interpretation of 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 rejected the existence of purgatory.[36] In a video entitled "Christian vs. Protestant on 2 Corinthians 5:6-8," Murdock provided a logical rebuttal to Slick's article, arguing that Slick's interpretation of the passage was incorrect. Murdock also provided an explanation of the Catholic position on purgatory.[37] As of December 2020, neither Slick nor CARM have offered a response to the video.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Slick, Matthew J. (2009). "General Information about Christian Research Ministry". Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. www.carm.org. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  2. ^ Matt Slick. "Writers, Researchers and Email Helpers". Christian Research Ministry. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Cowan, Douglas E. (2003). Bearing False Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult. Praeger. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-275-97459-6.
  4. ^ Slick, Matthew J. (2009). "About CARM". Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. www.carm.org. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  5. ^ Hadden, Jeffrey; Douglas Cowan (2001). Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises. JAI Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-7623-0535-5.
  6. ^ Monthly Review editors (November 1, 2001). "Notes from the Editors". Monthly Review.
  7. ^ "CARM Dictionary of Theology for Palm OS". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. May 13, 2004. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  8. ^ Gallagher, Eugene V.; W. Michael Ashcraft (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. Greenwood Press. pp. 145, 153–154. ISBN 0-275-98712-4.
  9. ^ Slick, Matt. "Cut and Paste Information". Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. www.carm.org. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  10. ^ Slick, Matthew. "What is CARM's position on Calvinism?". CARM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  11. ^ Thomas, Cal (Tribune Media Services) (October 10, 2007). "Bush is wrong about God". The Wichita Eagle. p. 7A.
  12. ^ Lewis, Brad (March 22, 2004). "Teacher Roulette". Christian Parenting Today.
  13. ^ Robinson, B.A. (2006). "Books and web sites by and about the Counter Cult Movement". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. www.religioustolerance.org. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  14. ^ Asay, Paul (August 20, 2005). "Defenders of faith - Conference teaches art of argument to Christians". The Gazette. Freedom Communications. p. 1; Section: Life.
  15. ^ Coy, Bob (August 31, 2002). "Prayer, study will lead son to truth about God". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Sun-Sentinel Company. p. 12D.
  16. ^ Reynolds, John Mark; Hugh Hewitt; Roger Overton (2008). The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ. Crossway Books. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-4335-0211-8.
  17. ^ a b Nelson, Thomas (2000). Safe Sites Internet Yellow Pages, The 2000-2001 Edition. Thomas Nelson. pp. 15, 92, 311, 418. ISBN 0-7852-4390-9.
  18. ^ "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) - SHIELDS". Shields-search.org. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  19. ^ Armstrong, David. "My PalTalk Runaround with Anti-Catholic Matt Slick". Biblical Evidence for Catholicism. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  20. ^ Are Roman Catholics Christian? by Matt Slick
  21. ^ Slick, Matthew. "Doctrine Grid". CARM. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  22. ^ Horn, Trent. "Answering the Most Common Objection to the Deuterocanonical Books". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  23. ^ Murdock, Ferris. "Christian vs. Protestant on 1 Corinthians 5:6-8". How To Be Christian. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  24. ^ Sengstock, Mary C.; Javed, A; Berkeley, S.; Marshall, B. (2009). Voices of Diversity: Multi-Culturalism in America. Springer. pp. 13, 306. ISBN 978-0-387-89665-6.
  25. ^ Slick, Matt. "Are Roman Catholics Christian?". Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. www.carm.org. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  26. ^ Slick, Matthew. "Matt Slick and Richard Akins debate on Roman Catholicism". CARM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  27. ^ Slick, Matt. "Summary of Roman Catholic Teachings about Mary". CARM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  28. ^ McClintock, p. 71, quote: "The name [Roman Catholic Church] may be found in a number of Roman Catholic writers, and is generally used in the constitution of those states in which the Roman Catholic Church is recognized as one of the recognized or tolerated State churches. It is, however, not the official name used by the authorities of the Church who rather dislike it, and substitute for it the name 'Catholic' or 'Holy Catholic' Church. The name 'Roman Church' is applied, in the language of the Church, to the Church or diocese of the Bishop of Rome."
  29. ^ D., Whitehead, K. (2000). One, holy, Catholic, and apostolic : the early church was the Catholic Church. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. ISBN 0898708028. OCLC 45473599.
  30. ^ Kasper, Walter. "Ecclesiological Themes in Ecumenical Dialogue: Catholicity, Apostolicity, Unity". Pro Unione.
  31. ^ Horn, Trent. "Protestant Traditions You Won't Find in the Bible". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  32. ^ Slick, Matt. "Sinner's Prayer". CARM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  33. ^ Horn, Trent. "Answering the Most Common Objection to the Deuterocanonical Books". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  34. ^ Slick, Matthew. "Sola Scriptura". CARM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  35. ^ Murdock, Ferris. "Christian vs. Protestant on 2 Timothy 3 [Round 1: Slick Moves]". How To Be Christian. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  36. ^ Slick, Matthew. "What does the Bible say about purgatory?". CARM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  37. ^ Murdock, Ferris. "Christian vs. Protestant on 1 Corinthians 5:6-8". How To Be Christian. Retrieved 18 May 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Slick, Matt (2008). Apologetics School – Student Edition. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.
  • Slick, Matt (2008). Critical Thinking School. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.
  • Slick, Matt (2002). Right Answers for Wrong Beliefs. Sovereign World, Ltd. ISBN 1-85240-279-2.
  • Slick, Matt (2009). Theology School – Student's Edition. CARM.
  • Slick, Matt (2008). Theology School – Teacher's Edition. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

External links[edit]