Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Catholic diocese of Providence, said the “gay marriage” bill si...
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Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Catholic diocese of Providence, said the “gay marriage” bill signed into law in Rhode Island by its governor, Lincoln Chafee, constituted a “new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered.” .

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Education without values as useful as it is seems

Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Catholic diocese of Providence, said the “gay marriage” bill signed into law in Rhode Island by its governor, Lincoln Chafee, constituted a “new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered.”

"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems

rather to make man a more clever devil.“

- C.S. Lewis, ‘Mere' Christianity, 1943


Unleashing your faith

Unleashing Your Faith

Overview

Discussing Truth

and

Christian Convictions

1


What s your response

Each day in America the chances are increasing that you will find yourself in a conversation with someone who dismisses Christianity as a mythology-ridden anachronism… or accuses you and other Christians of being THE problem.

What will you do when they try to paint you into a rhetorical corner and belittle your beliefs?

What’s your response?


What questions do you hope nobody will ever ask you

What makes you so sure God exists at all when

you can’t see, hear, or touch him?

Why should I think that heaven actually exists –

and that a loving God sends people to Hell?

What Questions do you hope nobody will ever ask you?


Has this or something like it ever happened to you

  • Your co-worker tells you he doesn’t believe in God because of all the evil in the world.

  • Your Mormon friend asks you what you think about a Mormon becoming president of the USA.

  • You’re in a diversity training session at work where the consultant says “Historically, more people have been killed by Christianity than any other cause.”

  • Your co-worker tells you that Hinduism gets it right when it accepts all religions as being valid.

  • Your neighbor invites you to his church’s mid-week service - you go and hear taught: “The Bible is just a man-made book written by men doing their best to explain the world.”

  • Your sister-in-law says to you “I’d never have an abortion myself but I think if another woman has one, that’s okay because it’s her choice.”

Has this (or something like it) ever happened to you?


Our goal in responding

  • Glorify God

  • Stop the mouths of unbelievers

  • Ensure that Truth is given a hearing

  • Create a launch pad for evangelism

  • “Put a stone in the unbeliever’s shoe”

    In a word - OBEDIENCE

    Through the knowledge and proper use of

    APOLOGETICS

Our Goal in Responding


Education without values as useful as it is seems

DEFINITION OF APOLOGETICS

The task of developing and sharing arguments for the truth and rationality of Christianity and the falsehood and irrationality of alternatives with the aim of strengthening the faith of believers and provoking non-believers to consider Christ


Education without values as useful as it is seems

APOLOGETICS has a questionable reputation among non-aficionados. By definition, apologists defend the faith. They defeat false ideas. They destroy speculations raised up against the knowledge of God. Those sound like fightin’ words to many people…

- Gregory Koukl


What is apologetics

…But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess, yet do it with courtesy and respect…

1 Peter 3:15

απολογιαν

apologian

What is “Apologetics?”


What is apologetics1

…But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess, yet do it with courtesy and respect…

1 Peter 3:15

- a question ?

- a suggestion ?

- a debate topic ?

- a command from God ?

- something else ?

What is “Apologetics?”


Our target audience

  • The atheist, who denies God’s existence, so does not hear God speak

  • The agnostic, who does not know what he believes and does not hear God speak

  • The religionist, who follows man-made traditions, the false doctines of charismatic leaders, or marches to a trumpet that blows an uncertain sound that is not God’s voice

  • The elitist, who lifted up by pride, has knowledge without wisdom, and refuses to hear the voice of God

  • The multitudes, who ignore God’s voice

  • The believer who needs to be encouraged and supported by the voice of God.

Our “Target Audience”


Unleashing your faith1

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

  • to give an answer

  • to anyone who asks

  • about the hope you possess,

  • yet do it with courtesy and respect…

    1 Pet 3:15

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Unleashing your faith2

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

Presuppose the truth of the Bible

as the foundation of your defense.

No such thing as neutrality!

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Education without values as useful as it is seems

“The religion of Jesus Christ aims at nothing less than the utter overthrow of

all other systems of religion in the world; announcing them as inadequate to the wants of man, false in their foundations, and dangerous in their tendency.

It not only solicits the grave attention of all to whom its doctrines are presented, but it demands their cordial belief, as a matter of vital concern. These are no ordinary claims; and it seems hardly possible for a rational being to regard them with even a subdued interest; much less to treat them with mere indifference and contempt.”

- Simon Greenleaf


Unleashing your faith3

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

Tactics such as “Columbo”, “Suicide”, and “Taking the Roof Off”

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Unleashing your faith4

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

  • to give an answer

Proof – Argue in favor of your faith

Defense – Answer accusations

Offense – Critique other worldviews

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Unleashing your faith5

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

  • to give an answer

  • to anyone who asks

Know your audience…

professors, coworkers,

neighbors, kids, etc.

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Unleashing your faith6

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

  • to give an answer

  • to anyone who asks

  • about the hope you possess,

The content of your faith:

The Gospel, Apostle’s Creed, etc.

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Unleashing your faith7

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

  • to give an answer

  • to anyone who asks

  • about the hope you possess,

  • yet do it with courtesy and respect…

You are an Ambassador for Christ.

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Unleashing your faith8

  • Set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts

  • and always be ready

  • to give an answer

  • to anyone who asks

  • about the hope you possess,

  • yet do it with courtesy and respect…

    1 Pet 3:15

Presuppositions

Tactics

Know Your Audience

Credo

Ambassador

Model

Proof, Defense, Offense

Unleashing Your Faith


Some good resources

Pre-suppositional

Classical

Evidential

Some Good Resources


Four approaches to apologetics

(Pre-suppositional)

Four Approaches to Apologetics


Education without values as useful as it is seems

DEFINITION OF APOLOGETICS

The task of developing and sharing arguments for the truth and rationality of Christianity and the falsehood and irrationality of alternatives with the aim of strengthening the faith of believers and provoking non-believers to consider Christ


Education without values as useful as it is seems

Arguments for the truth of the Christian faith

(vindication / proof / positive apologetics)

Aim– to show that Christianity is

reasonable and rational.

Using philosophical arguments and evidence from science, archaeology and history to show that the Christian faith has greater power than any alternative belief system to explain and interpret the world we live in.

1


Education without values as useful as it is seems

Arguments refuting accusations made against the Christian faith

(defence / negative apologetics)

Aim– to show that Christianity is not

unreasonable / irrational.

Removing objections that are made against Christianity, for example claims of contradictions in the Bible, alternative interpretations of historical and scientific evidence and misconceptions about Christian belief.

2


Education without values as useful as it is seems

Refutation of opposing beliefs

(offense)

Aim– to show that non-Christian belief

systems are unreasonable / irrational

Focuses not on specific attacks against

Christianity but on undermining the foundations of other belief systems.

3


Education without values as useful as it is seems

"...it has become abundantly clear in the second half of the twentieth century that Western Man has decided to abolish himself. Having wearied of the struggle to be himself,he has created his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, his own vulnerability out of his own strength; himself blowing the trumpet that brings the walls of his own city tumbling down…

until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keels over a weary, battered old brontosaurus and becomes extinct.”

- Malcolm Muggeridge


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