Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Name: Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Group or Owner: Matthew J. Slick
Education: Master of Divinity (Westminster Theological Seminary 1991)
Position: Associate Pastor, Wellspring Christian Fellowship, Escondido, CA
Date Started: October 1996 Last Date Accessed: 19 October 1999 Total Hits: 420,000 (Slick claims over 500,000 as of 30 January 2000)
Religious Affiliation: Evangelical
Statement of Faith:
CARM's statement of faith is a typical evangelically, shading into fundamentalist. The Holy Bible is inerrant in the autographs, and is "the one and only infallible, authoritative, and trustworthy rule for faith and life." Jesus Christ is "God who became a man," " miraculously born of the virgin Mary," who "rose again in the same body He died in on the third day after His death." Humanity is so pervasively corrupt and wicked, that no man is able to believe in Jesus Christ by himself, nor can he win salvation by his attempt at good works, nor can he understand the spiritual things of God " Jesus' death effected a substitutionary atonement, which allowed humankind to enter into the sanctification of God. Divine election, charismatic gifts, and a Rapture and the Second Coming are all elements of CARM doctrine.
Statement of Purpose:
According to About CARM, "CARM is non-profit, Internet based ministry with three main goals: 1. Equip Christians in the truth. CARM does this by providing information on Christian Doctrine, theology, evangelism, and other subjects. The goal is to present an accurate and biblical representation of Christian truth. 2. Answer opposition to the Christian faith. CARM does this by documenting the beliefs of cult groups, aberrant religious groups, and alternative religious systems and compares them to biblical revelation. 3. Bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus. CARM does this by presenting the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Religious Groups Considered:
New Age Movement
According to the About CARM page:
"I began studying cults in 1980 starting with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. After a few months, a friend of mine and I started a swapmeet ministry (flea market). We set up a booth every Saturday for 2 1/2 years and we passed out literature on cults, evolution, evangelism, the new age, etc. It was there that I learned most of what I know today -- by debating with hundreds of people. Next, I began doing beach evangelism where I dressed up like a punker (really), pierced my ear, and carried a huge Bible. It was a very interesting experience.
Then there was the year when I put an ad in a local publication that said, "Learn the truth about Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, Christian Science, and Unity. Call - phone number." That too was very interesting. Next came a position teaching evangelism at a local church, then teaching Bible studies, then a few speaking engagements, then college, then seminary, more speaking engagements, radio, and the web.
During the past 15 years of teaching, I had a computer. I also did everything on the computer and never got rid of anything. So, when the internet became a reality, I converted my files into web pages and gave it the name Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. I chose this name because I couldn't think of anything else to call it that wasn't already taken. And besides, calling it the Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry would have given it an acronym of CRAM. I didn't think that would go over to well, especially when my last name is Slick."
CARM is a fairly elaborate site, with secondary pages on Christian Doctrine, Apologetics, Major and Minor Cults, Religions, Philosophy, Evolution, and more. It is maintained by Matt Slick, with the help of family and friends. As Slick notes: "CARM is simply one man, me. I write all the articles on the site -- except for the testimonies and archived debates on the evolution board." The choice of cultic and sectarian movements for consideration is unusual. Rarely, for example, does one see Christadelphianism listed as a "major cult." Similarly jarring is the juxtaposition of Christian Identity and Eckankar. However, when one considers Slick's own account of CARM's history, the eclectic nature of the site gains some context.
While the front page is a little crowded, too many things crammed into too little space, the site navigates reasonably well. While secondary pages devoted to different "major cults" expand into a number of tertiary discussions, single pages deal with "minor cults."
Each "Major Cult" has an index page, the first three links from which consider: (a) What do the _____ teach? (b) The history of _____? And (c) is _____ Christian? In each, the answer to (c) is "No."
CARM also maintains ten different discussion forums, an on-line dictionary of theology, and a link request form on which those wishing to link from CARM to their own websites must sign an electronic confessional statement.
Douglas E. Cowan, Phd
The University of Calgary
Copyright © Douglas E. Cowan