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Ray Comfort (born December 5, 1949) is a New Zealandmarker-born Christian minister and evangelist. Comfort started Living Waters Publications and The Way of the Master in Bellflower, Californiamarker and has written a number of books.

Personal life

Comfort was raised with next to no religious experience, or any theological education having stated, "I went through life without any Christian instruction at all. I think I went to church about three times in about twenty years. I hated it. I found it an insult to my intellect."

The Way of the Master ministry

Origins and theology

Comfort believes that evangelisation is the main reason that the Christian Church exists and that many of the evangelistic methods used by the church over the last century have produced more false conversions to Christianity than true ones. The key component Comfort uses is the "Moral Law of God" (the Ten Commandments) to speak about evidence of sin in the lives of his listeners before presenting the gospel of Christ to them. (See Biblical Evangelism for more details.) His realization of this method led to him in the mid-1980s to formulate two sermons entitled "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True and False Conversions." Comfort has no theological degree and has had no formal training.

Comfort currently continues as a speaker at many churches and evangelism seminars, including Worldview Weekend events. Comfort also preaches most Saturday afternoons at Huntington Beach, Californiamarker. As well as co-hosting the former The Way of the Master Radio, he has been, together with Cameron, the co-host of The Way of the Master Television Show, since December 2003. The show has aired three seasons. Comfort recently became the "Creationism Examiner" on The Examiner.

Comfort and Cameron were also involved in rewriting some key scenes in the film, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, which co-starred Cameron.

Interviews and debates

Rational Response Squad

Comfort has debated atheists, including at the 27th National Convention of American Atheists in Orlando, Florida on April 13, 2001 (Good Friday) when Comfort debated Ron Barrier, the National Spokesperson for American Atheists. Despite the hostile crowd, Comfort later stated that "[t]hey 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 May 5, 2007, Comfort and Cameron participated in a televised debate with atheists Brian Sapient and his colleague, Kelly O'Connor, of the Rational Response Squad, at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattanmarker. At issue was the existence of God, which Comfort stated he could prove scientifically, using at least one argument without relying on faith or the Bible. Nightline correspondent Martin Bashir served as moderator at the event. Highlights included Cameron and Comfort repeatedly referencing the Ten Commandments and denouncing the theory of evolution; conversely, the RRS provided counterarguments in favor of atheism.

Dawkins debate offer

In February 2009, Comfort challenged Richard Dawkins to a debate, offering to donate $10,000 to him, or any children's charity he names. He said, "(Antony) Flew said that he simply followed the evidence. I would like to see Richard Dawkins follow his example." Comfort ended, "I would be delighted (and honored) if Mr. Dawkins has the courage to debate me, but I'm not holding my breath." Dawkins, who has a general policy not to debate with creationists, stated that "I'm not aware of having had any communication from Mr Comfort, whom Iknow only as the Banana Man. $10,000 is less than the typical fee that I am ordinarily offered for lecturing to a serious audience (I often don't accept it, especially in the case of a student audience, because I am a dedicated teacher). It is not, therefore, a worthwhile inducement for me to travel all the way across the Atlantic to debate with an ignorant fool." However, he added that he would do it if it could be filmed by Josh Timonen for Dawkins' website, RichardDawkins.net, distributed by as a DVD, "if [Josh Timonen] thinks it is funny enough," and if $100,000 is donated to his foundation. Comfort then raised the offer to $20,000, upon which Dawkins, still only in contact with the journalist, replied that while this was closer to the usual amount, he was not "in this for the money", but presupposed the amount to make it unavailable to creationists and to actually use it against them.

Comfort countered this with a new offer, although to date there are no indications that he has communicated it to Dawkins or that Dawkins has been made aware of it. Comfort proposed that Dawkins go onto a BBC Radio studio in Cambridgemarker and for 30 minutes explain why God does not exist, remarking, "He doesn't even have to acknowledge that I exist." Comfort also stated that "[Dawkins] is afraid, and he thinks he’s safe because I won’t pay that much money for an hour of his time;" however, in the same letter, Comfort also stated that he had raised his offer to $40,000 per hour.

Tracts and books

According to Comfort, he has designed dozens of gospel tracts since the 1970s, leading to the tract ministry of Living Waters currently selling millions of tracts each year.Comfort has also authored a number of books, including God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists, How to Know God Exists and Evolution: the Fairy Tale for Grownups. His 2009 book, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think, is Comfort's most recent written work, and his first book published by WND Books, Comfort went on a promotional tour to promote the book, which Amazon.com ranked No. 1 in both atheism and apologetics categories under religion, and No. 2 in spirituality and No. 6 in Christianity when it debuted in February 2009. Comfort later asserted "some sort of atheist conspiracy on Amazon" of one-star reviews to be negatively affecting his sales. On September 22, 2009, Comfort released his latest book, Nothing Created Everything, which claims atheists "believe – that nothing created everything, which is a scientific impossibility – and in so doing expose the common error that atheists are committed to logical thinking."

In November 2009, Comfort released a creationist-edited version of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, with a lengthy foreword by Comfort, and with Comfort's evangelical musings, which include creationist arguments. The book was given for free at a number of schools around the United States. According to Comfort's website, "Nothing has been removed from Darwin’s original work." Anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education, Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, reviewed the book and noted that Comfort deleted four chapters by Darwin that described the 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." According to Laura Miller of Salon.com, most of Comfort's brief section on Darwin's life was plagiarized from a short text by Dr. Stan Guffey. Discussing the portions of Darwin's book that Comfort deleted, Scott stated, "To take a simple example, why do all land vertebrates (amphibians, mammals, and reptiles and birds) have four limbs? Not because four limbs are necessarily a superior design for land locomotion: insects have six, arachnids have eight, and millipedes have, well, lots. It's because all land vertebrates descended with modification from a four-legged ('tetrapod') ancestor." 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, but 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 U.S. to distribute an analysis of the Comfort introduction, a one page flier and "the NCSE Safety Bookmark (for use with Comfort's edition of Origin)" in the shape of a banana.

Publications

  • Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution (September, 2009, WND Books).
  • You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think WND Books (February 12, 2009) ISBN 1935071068
  • The Charles Darwin Bible (HCSB) (2009)
  • The Atheist Bible (HCSB) (2009)
  • Comfort Food: Delectable Devotions to Satisfay 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
  • 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
  • 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 Textbook (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 (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


References

  1. Taken from the MP3 recording of his Christian testimony, downloaded from, accessed 8 May 2006.
  2. Bashir, Martin; "Prepare for a Conflict: The Nightline 'Face-Off' No-Holds Barred Battle Over the Existence of God"; May 7, 2007
  3. (Page )
  4. Miller, Laura. "Creationism vs. atheism: It's on!" Salon.com; November 23, 2009
  5. Press Kit, Livingwaters.com


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