December 5, 1949
|Occupation||Christian Evangelist, author, television host|
|Known for||The Way of the Master, Living Waters Publications, Christian Evangelism|
|Spouse(s)||Sue Comfort (1970-present)|
|Children||Rachel, Jacob, Daniel|
Ray Comfort (born December 5, 1949) is a New Zealand-born Christian minister and evangelist. Comfort started Living Waters Publications and The Way of the Master in Bellflower, California, and has written a number of books.
Comfort was born December 5, 1949, in New Zealand to a Jewish mother and a father whom he has described as "a Gentile [who] was open to the things of God". According to Comfort's autobiography, his parents put "Methodist" on his birth certificate because his mother feared the possibility of "another Hitler", but he was given no religious instruction as a child. Comfort identifies himself as Jewish. According to Comfort, he was in the top class of his high school in Christchurch, where he attained a School Certificate, the standard certificate given out at the age of 15 (Year 11). He did not pursue higher education.
Comfort worked in a bank after finishing high school, and later started a business at age 20. Ray Comfort converted to Christianity on 25 April 1972, when he was 22. He then began seven years training at a local church, after which he was ordained as a full-time pastor. Comfort then spent three and a half years as a pastor in Christchurch, New Zealand, and 12 years preaching open-air in the city's Speaker's Corner. He has no formal training nor theological degree. In his mid-20s, he began receiving invitations to speak internationally. In 1989, he accepted an invitation to join the pastoral staff at the non-denominational Calvary Chapel in Southern California.
The Way of the Master ministry
In the mid-1990s Comfort persuaded Kirk Cameron, star of the cancelled hit sitcom Growing Pains, to become an evangelist. The pair formed an organization called The Way of the Master, with the intention of teaching the church to more effectively preach the message of evangelical Christianity.
Comfort says that evangelism is the main reason the Christian Church exists and that many of the evangelistic methods used over the last century have produced false conversions to Christianity. Comfort often uses the Ten Commandments to speak about sin before presenting the gospel of Jesus. In the mid-1980s he formulated two sermons entitled "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True and False Conversions."
Comfort speaks professionally at churches and evangelism seminars, and preaches in Huntington Beach, California. As well as co-hosting the former The Way of the Master Radio with Kirk Cameron, he is co-host of The Way of the Master Television Show.
In 2006, Comfort recorded a segment for The Way of the Master's television show in which he argued that the banana was an "atheists' nightmare", arguing that it displayed many user-friendly features that were evidence of intelligent design. Comfort retracted the video upon learning that the banana is a result of artificial selection by humans, and that the wild banana is small and unpalatable.
On 13 April 2001, Comfort appeared at the 27th National Convention of American Atheists in Orlando, Florida, where he debated Ron Barrier, the National Spokesperson for American Atheists. Comfort later stated that "they laughed at my humor, and although there was unified mockery at some of the things that I said, I was able to go through the Ten Commandments, the fact of Judgment Day, the reality of Hell, the Cross, and the necessity of repentance, and no one stopped me."
On 5 May 2007, Comfort and Cameron participated in a televised debate with Brian Sapient and Kelly O'Connor of the Rational Response Squad, at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan. The debate focused on the existence of God, which Comfort claimed he could prove scientifically without relying on faith or the Bible. Nightline correspondent Martin Bashir moderated the event. During the debate, Cameron and Comfort repeatedly referenced the Ten Commandments and denied the theory of evolution.
In February 2009, Comfort challenged Richard Dawkins to a debate, offering to donate $10,000 to him. Dawkins, who had previously stated a general policy not to debate with creationists, said he would agree to do it if Comfort made a $100,000 donation to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science non-profit organization. Comfort raised his offer to $20,000, which according to PZ Myers was "not enough."
According to Comfort, he has designed dozens of gospel tracts since the 1970s, and sells millions of Living Waters tracts each year. Some of his tracts are designed to resemble paper money, including fake $100, $1,000 and $1 million bills. Others employ novelties intended to amuse, such as a "ticket to heaven" that invites the reader to tear it if they do not need it; the ticket is printed on a polymer substrate, making it extremely durable. The tracts typically attempt to persuade the reader that on judgment day, they will certainly be found guilty of breaking one or more of the Ten Commandments, and therefore will be sent to hell, unless they say a prayer to acknowledge Christ's substitutionary atonement.
In June 2006, agents of the US Secret Service confiscated thousands of Ray Comfort's "Million Dollar Bill" gospel tracts from Darrel Rundus, president of Great News Network. A federal district court judge ruled that the tracts, which were marked as "not legal tender", did not violate federal law and ordered their return.
In October 2010, The New Zealand Herald reported that elderly people received "appointment cards" by Comfort's California-based publishing company, Living Waters, asking them to fill out information regarding the date and time of their deaths, and advising them to contact evangelists in order to avoid hell. Recipients of these cards expressed anger and horror over receiving them, and contacted police over the matter, with one of them commenting, "It's disgusting. It was quite spooky. I just couldn't comprehend why anyone would ask you to predict the date of your death." The New Zealand Herald summarized a statement from Living Waters spokesperson Lisa Law as saying that "the cards were a way of raising awareness of human mortality in order to spark discussion about Jesus", and that Law "did not know who sent [the tracts]".
Ray Comfort has authored more than 80 books and tracts. His 2009 book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think, ranked #1 in Amazon.com's atheism and apologetics categories when it debuted in February 2009.
Controversy over abridged version of On the Origin of Species
In November 2009, Comfort released an edited and abridged version of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, with a 50-page foreword detailing creationist arguments against the theory of evolution. Stan Guffey, a biologist at the University of Tennessee, has alleged that most of Comfort's section on Darwin's life was plagiarised from his work. The book was given away for free at selected schools around the United States.
According to Comfort's website, "nothing has been removed from Darwin's original work", but Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, noted that Comfort deleted four chapters by Darwin that described the evidence for evolution, adding that two of the omitted chapters, Chapters 11 and 12, showcased biogeography, some of Darwin's strongest evidence for evolution. She wrote that Comfort's foreword is "a hopeless mess of long-ago-refuted creationist arguments, teeming with misinformation about the science of evolution, populated by legions of strawmen, and exhibiting what can be charitably described as muddled thinking".
On his website, Comfort said that the four chapters were chosen at random to be omitted in order to make the book small enough to be affordable as a giveaway, with the absent chapters available for download, and that the missing chapters were included in the second edition, which had a smaller text size that made printing the entire book as a giveaway affordable. The second edition still lacks Darwin's preface and glossary of terms. The National Center for Science Education arranged a campaign at colleges across the US to distribute an analysis of the Comfort introduction, a one-page flier, and "the NCSE Safety Bookmark" in the shape of a banana, a reference to Comfort's presentation of the banana as an argument for the existence of God.
List of notable books published
- — (1989). Hell's Best Kept Secret. Whitaker House. ISBN 978-0883682067.
- — (1993). God Doesn't Believe in Atheists (revised ed.). Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882709222.
- —; Cameron, Kirk (2006). The Way of the Master. Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882702209.
- — (2008). Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups. Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 088270432X.
- — (2008). World Religions in a Nutshell. Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882706696.
- Darwin, Charles (September 2009). Comfort, Ray, ed. The Origin of Species (150th Anniversary ed.). Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882709192.
- — (2009). You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics. WND Books. ISBN 978-1935071068.
- —; LaHaye, Tim (2012). Hitler, God, and the Bible. WND Books. ISBN 978-1936488247.
Books by Ray Comfort
§ The Beatles, God, and the Bible WND Books (December 2012)
§ Hitler, God, and the Bible Midpoint Trade Books Inc (April 2011)
§ Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions (February 2011)
§ The Evidence Bible: New King James Version. Bridge-Logos Foundation (February, 2011) ISBN 0882705075
§ Cmo Conducir A Tus Hijos A Cristo / How To Drive Your Children to Christ. Living Waters Publications (May, 2010) ISBN 1878859536
§ God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life. Living Waters Publications (May, 2010) ISBN 1878859498
§ Luther Gold: Pure. Refined. Bridge-Logos Foundation (February, 2010) ISBN 0882706462
§ Jake's Fortune Bridge-Logos Publishers (February, 2010) ISBN 978-0882700045
§ Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition Bridge-Logos Publishers (October, 2009) ISBN 0882709194 Dr Stan Guffey has considered court action because of plagiarism in this book.  
§ Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution. WND Books (October, 2009) ISBN 1935071238
§ Conquer Your Fear, Share Your Faith Leader's Guide: An Evangelism Crash Course, with Kirk Cameron. Regal Books (2009) ISBN 0882709623
§ Moody Gold: Pure. Refined. (compiled by Comfort). Bridge-Logos Publishers (July, 2009) ISBM 0882709623
§ You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics WND Books (2009) ISBN 1935071068
§ The Charles Darwin Bible (HCSB) (2009)
§ The Atheist Bible (HCSB) (2009)
§ Comfort Food: Delectable Devotions to Satisfy the Soul Bridge-Logos Publishers (2008) ISBN 0882705288
§ World Religions in a Nutshell: A Compact Guide to Reaching Those of Other Faith (2008)
§ Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups (2008)
§ How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God (2008)
§ 101 of the Dumbest Things People Have Done. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2008) ISBN 0882705555
§ Scratch & Sniff Bridge-Logos Publishers (January, 2008) ISBN 0882703285
§ What Your Nose Shows Bridge-Logos Publishers (January, 2008) ISBN 0882703269
§ Overcoming Insomnia: Practical Help for Those Who Suffer from Sleep Deprivation. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2007) ISBN 088270334X
§ Hollywood Be Thy Name. Bridge-Logos Publishers (July 1, 2007) ISBN 0882703943
§ Wesley Gold: Pure. Refined. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2007) ISBN 0882704087
§ 101 Annoying Things About Air Travel. New Leaf Publishing Group (2007) ISBN 0883684772
§ 101 Annoying Things about Other Drivers. New Leaf Publishing Group (2007) ISBN 0892216689
§ What Your Nose Shows (Creation for Kids). Bridge-Logos Publishers (2007) ISBN 0882703269
§ Scratch & Sniff (Creation for Kids). Bridge-Logos Publishers (2007) ISBN 0882703285
§ Intelligent Design Versus Evolution: Amazing Evolution Discovery. Living Waters (2007) ISBN 1878859374
§ Intelligent Design vs. Evolution - Letters to an Atheist (2006), a collection of correspondence between Comfort and James D. Franz, an American atheist.
§ Springboards for Budding Preachers (2006), a transcript of Comfort open-air preaching with his son-in-law Emeal "EZ" Zwayne.
§ The Way of the Master. Genesis Publishing Group (2006) (previously 2004 by Tyndale House)
§ The 2004 version itself was a revised and updated version of Revival's Golden Key, which itself was a revision of God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life.
§ The Way of the Master Minute. (co-author Kirk Cameron) Bridge-Logos Publishers (April 8, 2006) ISBN 0882702203
§ How to Live Forever ... Without Being Religious (2006), a version of the Gospel of John with Comfort's commentary.
§ Whitefield Gold: Pure. Refined. (compiled by Comfort) (2006)
§ The Way of the Master Minute: a One-Minute, One Year Devotional for the Busy Christian. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2006) ISBN 0882701614
§ Spurgeon Gold: Pure. Refined. (compiled by Comfort) (2005)
§ Overcoming Panic Attacks. Bridge-Logos (July 11, 2005) ISBN 0882700146
§ What Did Jesus Do? A Call to Return to the Biblical Gospel (2005)
§ How to Bring Your Children to Christ ... and Keep Them There (2005)
§ Behind the Scenes: the Way of the Master. Genesis Pub Group, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, U.S.A (2005) ISBN 0974930024
§ What Hollywood Believes: An Intimate Look at the Faith of the Famous. Genesis Pub. (August 25, 2004) ISBN 0974930016
§ Hell's Best Kept Secret. Whitaker House (December 1989, updated 2004) ISBN 0883682060
§ Scientific Facts in the Bible: 100 Reasons to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in Origin. Bridge-Logos Publishers (October 15, 2001) ISBN 0882708791
§ The School of Biblical Evangelism (2004)
§ 101 Things Husbands Do to Annoy Their Wives (2004)
§ Out of the Comfort Zone: The Authorized Autobiography. Bridge-Logos Publishers (May 2004) ISBN 0882709437
§ Evidence Bible-OE-KJV Easy Reading, Comfortable. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2003) ISBN 0882709550
§ Miracle in the Making: the Incredible Story of the Making of Left Behind II: Tribulation Force. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2003) ISBN 0882709313
§ End Time Believer's Bible. Bridge-Logos Publishers (December 2002) ISBN 0882709321
§ Who is the Lord of the Ring?. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2002) ISBN 0882708929
§ God Doesn't Believe in Atheists: Proof That the Atheist Doesn't Exist (1993, 2001) ISBN 0882709224
§ Revival's Golden Key: Unlocking the Door to Revival. Bridge-Logos Publishers (October 2001) ISBN 0882708910
§ The Untearable Bible: for the Terrible Twos. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2001) ISBN 0882708848
§ The Mystery (2000)
§ Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2000) ISBN 0882708163
§ Evidence Bible-Romans: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind. Bridge-Logos Publishers (2000) ISBN 0882708554
§ God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life. Living Waters (2000) ISBN 1878859250
§ How to Win Souls and Influence People. Bridge-Logos Publishers (October 1999) ISBN 0882707884
§ The Power of Darkness. Living Waters (1999) ISBN 1878859226
§ 101 Things Kids Can Do to Annoy Their Parents Bridge-Logos Publishers (1998) ISBN 0882707590
§ Bride of Heaven, Pride of Hell. Bridge-Logos Publishers (1997) ISBN 0882707337
§ The Secrets of Nostradamus Exposed. Living Waters (1996) ISBN 1878859188
§ Everyday Evangelism: Witnessing That Works. Huntington House Publishers (1995) ISBN 156384091X
§ Comfort, the Feeble-Minded: Consolation for People Who Do Dumb Things: an Autobiography. Living Waters (1995) ISBN 1878859161
§ Militant Evangelism. Living Waters (1994) ISBN 1878859080
§ The Undertaker's Nightmare. Living Waters (1994) ISBN 1878859218
§ The Devils Nightmare. Whitaker House (1993) ISBN 0883682842
§ The Key to Heaven Whitaker House, New Kingsingston, PA (1993) ISBN 0883684772
§ Russia Will Attack Israel: a "for the Thinking Mind" Publication. Living Waters (1991) ISBN 1878859056
§ You've Got to Be Choking. Living Waters (1990) ISBN 1878859005
§ Springboards for Budding Preachers Inspiring Illustrations, Stimulating Thoughts, Quoates and Aids for Street Preaching and Personal Witnessing. Living Waters (1987) ISBN 0908751133
§ In Search of New Jawbones: Aggressive Evangelism. Living Waters (1986) ISBN 0908751001
§ Poured Out for a Thirsty World. Living Waters (1986) ISBN 0908751036
§ Words of Comfort Living Waters (1983) ISBN 1878859064
§ My Friends are Dying. (1977) ISBN 1878859072
In 2011, Comfort wrote and produced a 33-minute documentary film called 180: Changing the Heart of a Nation. The film was criticized by The Huffington Post for its comparison of abortion to the Holocaust.
- The Secrets of Nostradamus Exposed (1995): Writer, producer
- True Fiction (1999): Writer
- The Way of the Master series (2003–14): Self – Host, writer, producer
- 180: Changing the Heart of a Nation (2011): Self, writer, producer
- Genius (2012): Self, writer, director
- Evolution vs. God: Shaking the Foundations of Faith (2013): Self, director
- Noah and the Last Days (2014): Director, producer, writer, self, runner, sound
- Audacity (2015): Writer, executive producer
- Comfort, Ray (1986). In Search of New Jawbones. Living Waters Publications. ISBN 0908751001, ISBN 9780908751006. Google Books. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Ray Comfort (1 September 2009). Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution. Jesus was Jewish. All the disciples were Jewish. The first eight thousand Christians were Jewish. I am Jewish. Christianity came from the home of the Jews. ISBN 978-1-935071-23-5.
- "About Ray Comfort". RayComfortBooks.com. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Comfort, Ray (2003). Out of the Comfort Zone: The Authorized Autobiography. Bridge-Logos Publishers. pp. 123, 202. ISBN 978-0-88270-943-7.
- Comfort, Ray (3 March 2011). "Atheists Question my Education". Bully Pulpit.
- Bashir, Martin (17 March 2006). "Kirk Cameron, From Sitcom Star to Evangelist". Nightline. p. 3. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- Comfort, Ray. Hell's Best Kept Secret. WVCY-TV 30. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- Comfort, Ray (3 Mar 2012). True & False Conversions. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Kirk Cameron and Bananas". Living Waters. 28 Apr 2006.
- "'Behold, The Atheists' Nightmare!'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- Ireland, Michael (16 April 2001). "Atheists National Spokesman Debates Christian Author on Good Friday at National Convention". AssistNews.net. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
- Bashir, Martin (7 May 2007). "The Nightline Face-Off". ABC News. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- Dawkins, Richard (14 May 2006). "Why I Won't Debate Creationists". RichardDawkins.net. Archived from the original on 13 Aug 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
- Myers, PZ (24 Feb 2009). "Got $100,000?". Pharyngula. ScienceBlogs.
- Comfort, Ray (May 2004). Out of the Comfort Zone: The Authorized Autobiography. Bridge-Logos Publishers. p. 21. ISBN 0-88270-943-7.
- "Ticket to Heaven". Living Waters Publications.
- "Million Dollar Bill Gospel Tracts are Legal, Judge Rules". Christian Post. April 2, 2010. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
- Carroll, Joanne (31 October 2010). "'Appointment with death' cards shocking for elderly". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Ray Comfort". Living Waters Publications. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Books by Ray Comfort". Amazon.com. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Thompson, Dorothy (16 February 2009). "An Interview with Ray Comfort, Author of You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think". Blogcritics. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
- "Book appeals to atheists, Christians alike". OneNewsNow. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- Phan, Katherine T. (14 February 2009). "Christian Evangelist's Book Ranked Bestselling 'Atheist' Item". The Christian Post. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "The Don't Diss Darwin Institute". Analysis and synopsis. National Center for Science Education. 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- Miller, Laura (23 November 2009). "Creationism vs. atheism: It's on!". Salon.com.
- Hall, Rikki (2 December 2009). "[University of Tennessee] Professor Considers Legal Action Over Use of Charles Darwin Bio". Metro Pulse (Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group). Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Gilgoff, Dan; Comfort, Ray (29 October 2009). "Exclusive: Ray Comfort Defends His Creationist Edition of 'On the Origin of Species'". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- "Origin Into Schools". Living Waters. 2009. Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- Scott, Eugenie (30 October 2009). "How Creationist 'Origin' Distorts Darwin". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- "Press Kit: Origin into Schools". Living Waters. 2009. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Darwin, Charles (September 2009). Comfort, Ray, ed. The Origin of Species (150th Anniversary ed.). Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882709192.
- "Got Comfort? Get protection! | NCSE". 9 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- Comfort, Ray (26 Apr 2006). Atheist Nightmare (Video). YouTube.
- "Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort (Book Review)". South View Chapel. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Lieberman, Tucker (2009). "God Doesn’t Believe in Creationists: A Response to the Books of Ray Comfort". Positive Atheism Magazine. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Speed, John (4 February 2008). "Review: "The Way of the Master" by Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron". The Informed Evangelist. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Evolution is a Fairy Tale for Grownups, says Man Who Believes in Crocoduck". The Friendly Atheist. Patheos. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Book Review: "World Religions in a Nutshell: A Compact Guide to Reaching Those of Other Faiths"". The Godless Wolf. February 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Kirshenbaum, Sheril (19 November 2009). "On Comfort's "Origin of Species"". Discover Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Keysor, Joseph (23 April 2012). "Hitler, God, and the Bible (Book Review)". Credo Magazine. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "'180' Documentary Compares Abortion To Holocaust, Goes Viral Among Pro-Life Groups". The Huffington Post. October 12, 2011.
The film, which shows a series of graphic images, is gaining attention not only because of its controversial comparison, but because it highlights 14 people who do not know who Adolf Hitler was
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ray Comfort.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ray Comfort|
- LivingWaters.com – Official website
- The Comfort Zone – Ray Comfort's blog
- The Way of the Master – Website for his ministry with Kirk Cameron
- Ray Comfort at the Internet Movie Database