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Christian Apologetics: Answering the Hard Questions. John Oakes ARS Feb 26, March 5, 2011. Outline. I. Hard Questions Which Are Not Theological II. Hard Questions Which Are Theological A. The Trinity and Christology B. The Nature of God C. Predestination, Foreknowledge, Free Will

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Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Christian Apologetics:Answering the Hard Questions

John Oakes ARS

Feb 26, March 5, 2011


Outline

Outline

I. Hard Questions Which Are Not Theological

II. Hard Questions Which Are Theological

A. The Trinity and Christology

B. The Nature of God

C. Predestination, Foreknowledge, Free Will

D. The Question of Evil

E. The Problem of Pain and Suffering

F. The Problems of Violence and Slavery

G. The Question of Justice and the Problem of Hell


Required reading

Required Reading

  • “The Problem of Suffering” by C. S. Lewis

  • Essay: The Problem of Pain and Suffering. John Oakes

  • Extra Credit (on approval)

    • Suggestions: “Life in the Son” Robert Shank

    • “Troubling Questions for Calvinists” by F. Lagard Smith


Grading if you are getting credit

Grading (if you are getting credit)

  • The Reading 30%

  • Exam 30%

  • Paper 40% A research paper of 5 or more pages on a special topic of your choice (by approval)


Two cagegories of apologetic topics

Defending the Faith

History and Archaeology

How We Got the Bible (including response to form criticism, etc.)

Science

Supposed Contradictions in the Bible

Creating Faith

World View

Prophecy

Miracles/Resurrection

Claims of Jesus

Two Cagegories of Apologetic Topics


Hard questions which are not theological

Hard Questions Which Are Not Theological

  • The vast majority of critics non-theological questions about Christianity are very easily answered.

  • But… There are a few hard ones


Hard questions

Hard Questions?

  • Jesus

    • His Claims: No significant question

    • Fulfilled Prophecy: No significant question

    • Miracles: Claim that miracles do not happen

    • Resurrection: No significant question.

    • The Jesus Myth claim is a “red herring.”

  • History and Archaeology

    • Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack

    • The case of Quirinius. When did he reign as governor? AD 6 or 6 BC?


More hard questions

More Hard Questions?

  • Science

    • No science errors in the Bible!

    • But… Anthropology: Who were Adam and Eve? This is a hard question!

  • Existence of God

    • No significant arguments against God. (Shermer vs. Jacoby)

    • Who Created God?

  • How We Got the Bible

    • Very bad scholarship—another red herring.

    • Scribes and translators are not inspired.

    • Minor textual issues.


More hard questions1

More Hard Questions?

  • Supposed Contradictions

    • Hundreds claimed. Of those, only two stand out.

    • Matt 10:10 vs Mark 6:8 take a staff or do not take a staff?

    • Matthew 27:9-10 As spoken by Jeremiah the prophet.

  • Biblical World View

    • Evil done in the name of Christianity.

    • Those who do so violate everything Jesus stood for.

    • What about the good done in the name of Christianity which is consistent with the life and teaching of Jesus?

      That is it!!!


Ii hard questions which are theological or a defense of christian theology

II. Hard Questions Which Are TheologicalorA Defense of Christian Theology

  • World View: When we discuss the difficult question, remember that we are not doing this in a vacuum. What is the answer of other world views?


World view

World View

  • One's world view is the perspective one uses to process and interpret information received about the world. 

  • James W. Sire put it this way, "A world view is a set of presuppositions (ie. assumptions) which we hold about the basic makeup of our world." 

  • James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door (InterVarsity Press, 1997)

A Jain World View


A good world view defined

A “Good” World View Defined

A. It is true.

It is consistent with reality. It works.

B. It answers satisfactorily the questions people really want answered.

What is my value as a human being?

What happens to a person at death?

How do we know what is right and wrong?

What is my purpose?

Why is there suffering?

Why is there evil?

C. It causes those who hold to it to be better people than they would otherwise have been if they held to competing alternative world views.


The christian world view

The Christian World View

1. The physical world is: a. real b. created out of nothing (ex nihilo) and c. essentially good.

2. There exists an unseen spiritual reality which is not limited to or defined by the physical reality. Human beings have a spiritual aspect to their nature.

3. The creator of both the physical and spiritual realm is the God who reveals himself in the Bible.

4. Human beings have both a physical and a spiritual nature, The spiritual nature is more essential as it is eternal.

5. God is not easily defined but he can be characterized by certain qualities. God is a person. God is love, God is just, God is holy, God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.


The christian world view cont

The Christian World View (cont.)

6. Although all God’s creation, including the physical world is good, evil does exist. Such evil is the result of freedom of will given to created beings and their subsequent decision to use that freedom to rebel--to “sin”

7. Because of God’s justice and his holiness, those who choose to rebel against him will ultimately be judged and separated from God for eternity.

8. The solution to evil, to sin and its eternal consequences is provided by God through the atoning substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


Competing world views for us

Competing World Views for Us

  • Naturalism/Materialism

  • Postmodernism

  • Deism

  • Pantheism/Eastern Religions

  • Islamic Worldview

  • Dualism

  • Biblical Theism


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

A Question: Who reaches out to whom?


Initiative

Initiative

Human approach Truth

God God

Mankind Mankind


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Works Salvation: Man reaches out to God.

Islam

Hinduism

Jaina

Sikkhism

Gnosticism

New Age

Buddhism?

Salvation by Grace: God reaches out to man.

Judaism

Christianity


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

THE TRINITY

Emmanuel Emeh

Evangelist, ICOC Nigeria

[email protected]


The trinity

THE TRINITY

The Most Important Apologetic Issue in the First Five Centuries of Christianit.


The trinity as an apologetic issue

The Trinity as an Apologetic Issue

  • A stumbling block to the Greeks.

    • God distant, unchanging, impassive

  • A major stumbling block to Muslims.

    • Tritheism/Polytheism

  • A problem for unbelievers in general.

    • Not logical/not rational

      Question: What is the trinity?

      Do you believe in the trinity doctine?


The trinity is not logical

The Trinity is not logical!

  • John 1:1

  • John 1:14 Not only not logical—a scandal!!!

  • Peter Chacon: “It’s not logical, it’s Godgical”

  • Q: Is the goal of apologetics to present Christianity as rational?

  • The nature of God is a mystery!


The mystery

The Mystery

1Timothy 3:16

‘‘Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:

He [God] appeared in the body,

was vindicated by the Spirit,

Was seen by angels,

was preached among the nations,

Was believed on in the world,

was taken up in glory’’.

[A possible "early creed" of the church]


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

What is 1Tim. 3:16 saying?

This scripture is telling us that we cannot completely understand the infinite God with our finite minds.

We will get into trouble if we try to make God "reasonable", or "easily understood". God is complex. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts as the prophet pointed out in

Isaiah 55: 9

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Nevertheless, God has made a revelation of Himself in the Bible, which we can accept or reject as we please.


The mystery of god

The Mystery of God.

  • I Cor 1:19-20. Where is the philosopher, Where is the wise man of this age?

  • Ezekiel 18:25 Whose way is “unjust”?

  • Mystery: Romans 16:25 gospel a mystery, Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 3:3-9 The Messiah a mystery, Colossians 1:26-27 the mystery: Christ in you Colossians 2:2 Christ a mystery.


Monotheism in the bible

Monotheism in the Bible

  • “There is no one like Yahweh our God." Exodus 8:10

  • "Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him." Deuteronomy 4:35

  • "Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other." Deuteronomy 4:39

  • "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me" Deuteronomy 32:39

  • "Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one [echad]!" Deuteronomy 6:4

  • "You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You" 2 Samuel 7:22


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "For who is God, besides Yahweh? And who is a rock, besides our God?" 2 Samuel 22:32

  • "Yahweh is God; there is no one else." 1 Kings 8:60

  • “…You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth..." 2 Kings 19:15

  • "O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You" 1 Chronicles 17:20

  • "You alone are Yahweh." Nehemiah 9:6

  • "For who is God, but Yahweh? And who is a rock, except our God" Psalm 18:31

  • "You alone, Lord, are God." Isaiah 37:20

  • "Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." Isaiah 43:10


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 44:6

  • "Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:8

  • "I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5

  • "Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God." Isaiah 45:14

  • "I am Yahweh, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me." Isaiah 45:21

  • "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me" Isaiah 46:9

  • "And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; in that day Yahweh will be the only one, and His name the only one." Zechariah 14:9


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; " Mark 12:29

  • "you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" John 5:44

  • "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." Matthew 6:24


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "I and the Father are one." John 10:30

  • "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God" John 17:3

  • "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one" John 17:22

  • "since indeed God is one" Romans 3:30

  • "to the only wise God, Amen." Romans 16:27

  • "there is no God but one" 1 Corinthians 8:4


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him." 1 Corinthians 8:6

  • "Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one." Galatians 3:20

  • "There is one body and one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6

  • "You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God" 1 Timothy 1:17

  • "which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." 1 Timothy 6:16

  • "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,"

    1 Timothy 2:5

  • "the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." Jude 25


The deity of jesus christ

The Deity of Jesus Christ


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Jesus created the universe

Gen 1:1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

John 1:3

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Heb 1:2

2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

Col 1:16-17

16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

The Divinity of Jesus

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."

"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • Col 2:9: the fullness of deity

    For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

  • Heb 1:3: exact representation of His nature

    The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

  • Jn 14:8-10: He who sees Me sees the Father.

    Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Jesus is called God

Heb 1:8 When God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire." But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • Phil 2:6-8 Jesus existed in the form of God

  • 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

  • 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

  • Jn 20:28 'My Lord and My God’

  • 28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!“

  • Isa 7:14 ‘A Child Will Be Born And His Name Is Called": "Emanuel: God with us“

  • Isa 9:6 "A Child Will Be Born And His Name Is Called": "Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace"


Creeds

Creeds

  • A second century Roman creed (said at baptism)

    • I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, and in the Holy Ghost, the holy church and the resurrection of the flesh.


Doctrine of the trinity

Doctrine of the Trinity

  • Tertullian AD 160-220

    • Invented the (Latin) word trinity

    • The Father and the Son are different “not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect”


Questions for thought

Questions For Thought:

  • How can God be a baby?

  • Who was taking care of the universe while God was a baby?

  • Did Jesus know he was God when he was 3 years old?

  • Did Jesus have the ability to work miracles at 5 years?

  • To what extent was the omnipotence/omniscience of the Son limited while he was incarnate?

  • What happened at Jesus’ baptism?


Heresies

Heresies

  • Most, if not all of these heresies were attempts to rationalize the relation between Father and Son and the nature of Jesus.

  • Ebionites: Jesus a mere man.

  • Adoptionism:God adopted the man Jesus at his baptism

  • Gnosticism:

    • Jesus a spiritual emanation which occupied a human. Cerinthus, Valentinus

  • DocetismJesus only appeared to be human

  • ArianismJesus was not divine—he was a created demigod


Early heresies cont

Early Heresies (cont.)

  • Modalism The “Father” the “Son” and the “Holy Spirit are different aspect of a single entity, appropriate to the situation.

  • Monophysitism Two natures before, one nature after the union. “God in a bod.”

  • Nestorianism Jesus virtually two persons: one human and one divine. Sought to emphasize the humanity of Jesus.


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Modalism states that God has taken numerous forms in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and that God has manifested Himself in three primary modes in regards to the salvation of mankind.

Thus God is Father in creation (God created or begat a Son through the virgin birth), Son in redemption (God manifested Himself into or indwelt the begotten man Christ Jesus for the purpose of His death upon the cross), and Holy Spirit in regeneration (God's indwelling Spirit within the souls of Christian believers).

In light of this view, God is not three separate Persons, but rather one God manifesting Himself in multiple ways. It is held by its proponents that this view maintains the strict monotheism found in Judaism and the Old Testament scriptures.


Church councils

Church Councils

  • Nicaea AD 325

    • Condemned Arianism Jesus homoousios With the Father

  • Constantinople AD 381

    • Nicene Creed Holy Spirit also homoousious

  • Ephesus AD 431

    • Nestorianism condemned, Pelagius anathematized.

  • Calchedon AD 451

    • Define the “two natures” of Jesus

  • Constantinople II AD 553

    • Monophysitism (one nature)

  • Constantinople III AD 680

    • Monothelitism (one will)


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousios, of the same substance, consubstantial as opposed to homoiousios) with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Is this what we believe?


Chalcedon ad 451

Chalcedon AD 451

“In agreement with the holy fathers we all unanimously teach that we should confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same Son; the same perfect in Godhead and the same perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, the same of a rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father in Godhead and the same consubstantial with us in manhood; like us in all things except sin; begotten of the Father before all ages as regards his Godhead and in the last days the same, for us and for our salvation, begotten of the Virgin Mary, the theotokos (as opposed to the Christotokos of the Nestorians) (the God-bearer, the mother of God) as regards his manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, made known in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation…


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Chalcedon (cont.)

“Without confusion and without change”

to oppose monophysitism/Coptic Christianity

Monophysite = one nature

“Without division, without separation”

to oppose Nestorianism

Q: Are we splitting hairs here?


Tritheism catholic trinity

Tritheism: Catholic Trinity

Three Gods in One?

Tritheist by observation


Norwegian 1300ad

Norwegian-1300AD


Apologetics and the trinity

Apologetics and the Trinity

  • Bottom line, the trinity is a mystery. We cannot defend it as a logical concept.

  • It is not rational, but it is also not irrational.

  • The “apologetics” of the trinity is that God became a man so that he could reach out to us—so that we could know Him.


Outline1

Outline

I. Hard Questions Which Are Not Theological

II. Hard Questions Which Are Theological

A. The Trinity and Christology

B. The Nature of God

C. Predestination, Foreknowledge, Free Will

D. The Question of Evil

E. The Problem of Pain and Suffering

F. The Problems of Violence and Slavery

G. The Question of Justice and the Problem of Hell


Predestination foreknowledge free will

Predestination, Foreknowledge, Free Will

  • How can God foreknow without predetermining?

  • Critic: The Biblical God is the source of evil.

  • If God already knows what I will do, why do I need to take responsibility for my actions?


Attributes of god

Attributes of God

  • Eternal

  • Omnipresent

  • Omniscient

  • Omnipotent

  • Righteous, Holy

  • Sovereign

  • Love

  • Justice

    God is not merely loving, he is love

    Is it logical for God to be omniscient, loving and just?


Sin redemption salvation

Sin, Redemption, Salvation

  • Augustine!!!!!

    • The City of God Soveriegnty

    • Total depravity

    • Monoergism (only God)

    • Predestination

    • Original Sin

    • Infant baptism required for salvation

    • City and State

    • Opposed Donatists

Augustine of Hippo (from 6th century)


Augustine evil and free will

Augustine: Evil and Free Will

  • About Augustine: “Evil arises from the corruption of a nature which is essentially good. What is called evil is good corrupted; if it were not corrupted it would be wholly good; but even when it is corrupted, it is good in so far as it remains a natural thing, and bad only in so far as it is corrupted.”

  • “A man’s free will avails for nothing except to sin.”


Augustine

Augustine

  • Strong emphasis on depravity of man.

  • The Sovereignty of God: “The City of God”

  • Monergism.

  • Very logical!

  • Augustine: “An infant who dies unbaptized is damned even where no baptism is possible.”

  • “Rightly, therefore, by virtue of that condemnation which runs throughout the mass [of humanity] is he not admitted into the kingdom of heaven, although he was not only not a Christian, but was unable to become one.”


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Pelagius AD c. 354-430

Works Salvation?

Affirmed the existence of free will. “Evil is not born with us, and we are procreated without fault.” Rejected infant baptism. Taught that we become holy through our own effort?

Adam was not immortal

“We are procreated without fault”


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • Q: What is the nature of “the Fall” of mankind? What happened in the garden?

  • Puritans: “In Adam’s fall we sinned all.”

  • Romans 5:12-19 What “death” is this in v. 12


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Thomas Aquinas

1225-1274

Aristotle

Revelation by reason

Scholasticism

Arguments for existence of God

Natural Theology

“Summa Theologica”


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Thomas Aquinas:

“God, therefore, is the first cause, who moves causes both natural and voluntary. And just as by moving natural causes He does not prevent their actions from being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary; but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them, for He operates in each thing according to his own nature.”

In other words, Aquinas believed in free will and not a strict monergism.


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Question:

Do you believe in Predestination?


History of the doctrine of predestination

History of the Doctrine of Predestination

  • Augustine of Hippo AD 354-430 “The City of God”

  • Martin Luther (1483-1546): an Augustinian monk.

  • Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) Reformed Theology.

  • John Calvin (1509-1564) “Institutes of the Christian Religion”

  • The key: A profound belief in the sovereignty of God

  • Double Predestination and TULIP


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Martin Luther 1483-1541

Augustinian Monk

Faith Alone

Grace Alone

Scripture Alone

Predestination


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Martin Luther:

“Away with James… His authority is not great enough to cause me to abandon the doctrine of faith [alone] and to deviate from the authority of the other apostles and the entire Scripture.” St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others (Romans, Galatians, John) for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it.”


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Ulrich Zwingli

1484-1531

Opposed baptismal regeneration

Double Predestination

Reformed Theology

“Those individuals who end up damned forever in hell are also eternally determined by God for that fate.”


The radical reformation

The Radical Reformation

Menno Simmons

  • Separation of Church and State

  • Opposed strict predestination

  • Opposed infant baptism

  • Believed in baptismal regeneration


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

John Calvin1509-1564

Institutes of Christian Religion

His emphasis: the sovereignty of God

TULIP


Tulip

TULIP

  • Total depravity

  • Unconditional election

  • Limited atonement

  • Irresistable grace

  • Perseverence of the saint (once saved, always saved)


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Jacob Arminius

(1560-1609)

Opposed Reformed idea of predestination.

Are we Arminians?


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

  • Q: Scriptures which appear to support the doctrine of predestination?

  • Q: Scriptures which prove free will and refute predestination?


Christian apologetics answering the hard questions

Jonathan Edwards

“A Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God.”

How do we know we are of the elect?


1800 s america predestination light once saved always saved

1800’s America: Predestination LightOnce Saved, Always Saved

  • Preservation of the Saints

  • Believer’s Prayer.

  • Once God saves you, in is impossible to lose your salvation, no matter what.


Predestination

Predestination?

  • Romans 8:28-30

  • Romans 8:31-39 Nothing can separate us (except we ourselves because we

  • have free will)

  • John 10:27-29 No one can snatch them out of my hands…

  • Romans 9:10-21 (read v. 14-18)


Hebrews and falling away

Hebrews and Falling Away

  • They shall never enter my rest 3:11, 4:5

  • We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first. 3:14

  • They were not able to enter because of their unbelief 3:19

  • Be careful not to be found to have fallen short of it. 4:1

  • Some… did not go in because of their obedience 4:6

  • Let us make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience 4:11

  • Do you get the point?


Hebrews 6 4 6 who is he talking to

Hebrews 6:4-6 Who is he talking to?

  • a. been enlightened (NT church “enlightened” = baptized)

  • b. tasted the heavenly gift (salvation?)

  • c. shared in the Holy Spirit

  • d. tasted the goodness of the word

  • e. tasted the coming age (saved)

  • Yes, you can fall away! Conclusion: You had better move on toward maturity in Christ.


Hebrews 6 4 8

Hebrews 6:4-8

  • It is impossible… if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance.

  • They are crucifying the Son of God all over again.

  • Land that produces thorns… will be burned.


Falling away hebrews 10 26 31

Falling Away Hebrews 10:26-31

  • Crucifying the Son of God all over again.

  • Subjecting Jesus to public disgrace

  • Trampling the Son of God under foot. (Heb 10:29)

  • Insulted the Holy Spirit (Heb 10:29)

  • Blasphemed (spoken against) the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:32)

  • Committed the unforgivable sin (1 John 5:16 )

  • What is the “unforgivable sin?” To willfully, deliberately continue in sin. (Hebrews 10:26)

  • Also; Hebrews 12:14-17, 12:25 you will not escape… if you turn away…


Biblical predestination

Biblical Predestination

  • God predestined all of us for salvation.

  • God’s sovereign will is that we have free will to choose to accept or refuse the offer.

  • God predestined that Jesus would come and die to provide salvation for our sins.

  • God intervened in history to make this happen.

  • But God did not steal free will from anyone.

  • God can perfectly predestine and perfectly give free will at the same time. God is awesome!!!


Summary

Summary

  • Correct theology (God, Jesus, salvation) is harder to find than you think.

  • Do not fall into the trap of relying on human reason too heavily.

  • Always protect the mystery.

    • Trinity

    • Jesus

    • Faith, Works and Grace


D the problem of evil

D. The Problem of Evil


Augustine on evil

Augustine on Evil

  • When accordingly it is inquired, whence is evil, it must first be inquired what is evil, which is nothing else than corruption, either of the measure, or the form or the order, that belong to nature. Nature therefore which has been corrupted, is called evil, for assuredly when incorrupt it is good; but even when corrupt, so far as it is nature, it is good, so far as it is corrupted it is evil.

  • Sin is not the striving after an evil nature, but the desertion of a better, and so the deed itself is evil, not the nature which the sinner uses amiss. For it is evil to use amiss that which is good.


Apologetics and evil what are the alternatives

Apologetics and Evil: What are the alternatives?

  • Dualism: Good and Evil in an unending more or less equal balance

  • Pantheism: The physical world is evil. Evil is being tied down to the physical—it is missing the god-likeness in you.

  • Naturalism: There is no evil.

  • Postmodernism: Evil???

  • Determinism/Fate God is the cause of evil.


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