Posts Tagged ‘Apologetics’

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3. You mischaracterize the nature of faith.

I heard it over and over again growing up in my church, and I see other Christians say it all the time today: Just have faith. The predictable context is usually a difficult conversation about Christianity or the nature of God – for example, after a tragedy in the news. Unfortunately, “just have faith” is often the catch-all response Christians use when we can’t answer difficult questions. To be sure, we don’t have all the answers, and we should be honest with our kids about what the Bible does and does not tell us. But, oh, how dangerous it is for kids to believe that the primary answer to most difficult Christian questions is “just have faith.” Those three words, too carelessly tossed about, can leave a permanent impression on your kids that Christianity can’t answer tough questions and that blind faith is the answer…”

– Natasha Crain, via http://christianmomthoughts.com/6-ways-you-may-be-raising-your-kids-with-an-oversimplified-faith/

It’s very true that we over-simplify Christianity. It’s a good thing I’m a stubborn guy, because when I went to a “Christian” college, they tried every way they could to undermine my faith. Thankfully, I had immersed myself in the Scriptures as a teenager (while everyone else was partying and messing around). That was time well spent. I had a keen thirst for truth…not just pat answers…but solid truth. Even though I was hindered by Word-of-Faith theology, I had taught myself the fundamentals of logic. I had investigated my own questions- which turned out to be many people’s questions.

Our kids are bombarded daily by an acrid secularistic worldview. I’m not fully convinced that the earth or the universe is as old as scientists tell us, but I’m open to old-earth creationism. Science has missed it badly before, and they could be wrong now. I have confidence that real science will not contradict the author of nature’s book.

The whole article is worth your time.

simul iustus et peccaries,

Eric

IMG_0030.JPG Image titled Dirt Bath, courtesy of The U.S. Army through a CC Generic 2.0 License. No alterations have been made to this image.

2CO 10:4-6 ESV

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

“What are the satanic strongholds that spiritually imprison people, the strongholds that we seek to destroy? Arguments and opinions. Where is the battle raging? Where our thoughts are.

And arguments are not merely strongholds, they are weapons of mass destruction. Adam and Eve (and all of us with them) fell because of an argument. They believed the serpent’s argument and stopped believing God.

That is the deadly essence of sin: not believing God. To not believe God is to ally with Satan, whom Jesus said is “a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth… for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).” – Jon Bloom, via http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/where-satan-will-attack-you-today

IMG_1397.JPGThe First Council of Nicea from the public domain

“Early Christians recognized the authority contained in these writings already; they did not arbitrarily pick which ones would become authoritative for the Church. The early Christians were very careful and thoughtful about which books would get the label ‘Scripture’ alongside the Old Testament. It is simply a fact of history that by the end of the 2nd century (before Constantine), the four Gospels, Acts, and the letters of Paul are already recognized as authoritative and being used that way in house churches. Now some discussion about a handful of books continued on through the centuries between the Eastern and Western churches. But, while there was no universal declaration concerning the final list, it is safe to say that the canon was effectively closed by the time of the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D.”

– See more at: http://www.thinkchristianly.org/who-chose-the-books-of-the-bible-and-why/#sthash.iQwoKOve.dpuf

Most of our New Testament was accepted as Scripture long before the Council of Nicea.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric

20140716-182134-66094254.jpgphoto titled Playing safe by Brett Jordan through a CC License

“Without God, a perfect, objective, supernatural being to create people with purpose and meaning, then purpose and meaning are self-derived from the minds of men. Men who are purposeless and without meaning. The truth is, God exists and He created everything with a purpose and meaning. God created mankind which has inherit value, derived from Himself as we’re all created in His image. If anyone needs a crutch, it is undoubtedly those who reject God, attempting to prop themselves up all on their own.”
– Terrence Covin, from the post “A Life Without God Is A Life Of Fantasy”

via http://jeticsleague.org/a-life-without-god-is-a-life-of-fantasy/

EPH 2:11-13 ESV

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Accusing theists of needing a crutch is a little hypocritical.

Life without God is meaningless and absurd. You don’t know where you came from, why you are here, or where you are going- and yet you create these things from yourself out of thin air…and how paltry they are without an Eternal Being to give them substance and meaning. Your only honest philosophy would be nihilism, and yet you don’t have the courage for that.

Truly Solomon was speaking of this worldview when he wrote:

2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.
7 All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.
8 All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.

– ECCLESIASTES 1:2-11 ESV

Simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

20140624-065011-24611023.jpgPhoto by Ryan Holloway, used through a CC Attribution 2.0 License

“The truth is that every believer already, whether they realize it or not, does apologetics. The question now becomes, do they want to continue to do it poorly or do they want to do it well? We all get questioned or challenged about our faith, whether it is a direct challenge or an indirect one. We can respond by saying, “I just believe” or “That’s just the mystery of God,” but when we do we are essentially telling the one challenging and questioning us that their inquiry is not worth our time or our energy.”
—Rob Lundberg (from, Why Do Christians Need Apologetics?)

via http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2014/03/apologetics-training-is-no-longer-an-option-12-quotes.html?utm_content=buffer8ecc6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer?)

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

20140624-062026-22826185.jpgPhoto by James Thompson through a CC Attribution 2.0 License

“Before I can call upon Christ as my Savior, I have to understand that I need a savior. I have to understand that I am a sinner. I have to have some understanding of what sin is.I have to understand that God exists. I have to understand that I am estranged from that God, and that I am exposed to that God’s judgment. I don’t reach out for a savior unless I am first convinced that I need a savior. All of that is pre-evangelism. It is involved in the data or the information that a person has to process with his mind before he can either respond to it in faith or reject it in unbelief.”
—R.C. Sproul (From, Defending Your Faith)

via http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2014/03/apologetics-training-is-no-longer-an-option-12-quotes.html?utm_content=buffer8ecc6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The Reformers thought of saving faith as being composed of three characteristics:

1) notitia- brute facts of Christ’s saving work
2) assensus- acknowledging these brute facts
3) fiducia-trust in Christ’s saving work

The work of pre-evangelism falls under notitia. Make no mistake, however. If people do not have the knowledge of Christ, or their own need for Him, or have their immediate questions answered, there will be no assensus or fiducia.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

20140621-121245-43965997.jpgImage by Nemo through a Public Domain CC0 License

“Hall claims that Atheism’ logical conclusion is a more humane way of living. This is simply not the case. Atheism, if taken as derived from a Naturalistic worldview is Darwinian in nature, which, as said above, does not lead to any sense of morality to speak of. If we are, as the naturalistic view would have us, without value, worth, meaning, purpose, or morality, we are merely animals, and in this world “might makes right.” Its easy to sit back in a first-world country and give platitudes of morality that we all respect, but tell that to those who were under the rule of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, or Joseph Kony. If God does not exist, then there is no objective morality to speak of or to adhere to. Morality does not begin and end with us, as Hall states. It begins and ends with God, who is also the one who create all men in his image, which gives us intrinsic value, worth, meaning, and purpose.”
-Matt V. Walker, Anchor a Apologetics

via http://anchorapologetics.com/2014/06/09/is-atheism-in-america-undergoing-a-radical-change-a-response-to-salon-magazine/

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams