But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16
suaviter in modo, fortiter in re. Gentle in presentation, powerful in content or substance of what we say. -Cornelius Van Till
Apologetics on offense in the Bible • Acts 2:36-41 • Acts 17:22-34 • 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the faith.” • 2 Timothy 2:1-4; 4:1-5
What is the difference between biblical wisdom and conventional wisdom? Remember that the unbeliever, at some level of his consciousness, knows God and knows the truth about God, but suppresses it. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. -Romans 1:21
The Unbelievers Twin Strategies Atheism • Theoretical atheist denies God. • Practical atheist lives as if God did not exist. and Idolatry • Giving ones ultimate allegiance to some being other than the God of Scripture
Christian Apologetic Responses • Against Atheistic Relativism • Against Idolatrous Rationalism
1. Against Atheistic Relativism • Ask questions like these: • How can you be sure relativism is right, when it itself rules out all assurance? • How can you live as a relativist? Having no assurance no assurance of anything must be a terrible strain, rationally, emotionally, and volitionally. What basis do you have for making decisions? What basis do you have for criticizing he treatment you receive from others? How can you say anything is wrong, unfair, or unjust? What basis do you have for trusting logic—or, for that matter, your own mind?
2. Against Idolatrous Rationalism Ask questions like these: • What basis is there for thinking that this idol is absolute? • Does your god really do the job of a god? Did it create the world? Is it the ground of logic, mathematics, ethical value, and universal judgments in science? Is it adequate as a final standard of meaning, truth, and right?
Some other things to remember Argument by itself is not enough • God must intervene. The ultimate apologetic weapon… • Prayer