Presentation on theme: "Session 6 – Philosophies of Apologetics In this final session of philosophy & apologetics we will be looking at the different methods or philosophies behind."— Presentation transcript:
Session 6 – Philosophies of Apologetics In this final session of philosophy & apologetics we will be looking at the different methods or philosophies behind how you do apologetics There are many more classes we could have had on the topic of philosophy, so don’t let your study stop after this class
When practicing apologetics and answering questions that people ask, there are three different methods that people use to answer those questions. Sometimes people can intermix these approaches, and sometimes you can switch between them depending on who you are dealing with Some are very dogmatic on which is the right one though
Evidential Apologetics This is a very popular style that people employ when answering questions With this style you do not assume the truth of the Bible, but you show people (multiple sources) that the Bible is supported by scientific/logical evidence.
Answering a question with this approach would look something like this Question: How do we/can we know the Bible is accurate and trustworthy? Evidential answer: If we look at the external evidence for the Bible, in different disciplines like archeology, we can see that the Bible accurately records history. Because it accurately records history we can trust it as a historical manuscript.
One of the very stressed topics in evidential apologetics is the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and if you can show Jesus Christ rose from the dead you can prove that God exists Basically, evidential apologetics stresses evidence such as miracles (mainly the resurrection), fulfilled prophecies, etc., and uses reason to support them.
Many people respond better to this form of apologetics because today people like to follow the evidence and not blindly believe something We have looked at many topics in this School of Apologetics using the evidential approach to apologetics. The obvious example would be the resurrection of Jesus Adherents are people like: B. B. Warfield, John Warwick Montgomery, Clark Pinnock, etc.
Classical Apologetics This view stresses that you need to establish through science, logic, and rational arguments the existence of God, and once you reach the conclusion that God exists you can lead them to the God of the Bible. Answering a question using this approach would look something like this
Question: How do we know that Jesus rose from the dead? Classical answers: First we need to establish that God exists. If we look at cosmology and the universe as a whole, we can see that the universe had to have a beginning, and if the universe had a beginning according to the laws of logic there had to be a cause for it. This cause would have to be greater than what he caused/created (the universe.)
This initial cause fits the description of the God of the Bible very well, being outside of time and space and being the creator of all things. If the God is real then that means his Word (the Bible) is accurate and inspired by him, and the Bible says Jesus rose from the dead and is the son of God. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between these styles
This is the most common style of apologetics out there and you’d recognize many names of people who hold to this style Early Classical Apologists include Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas. Contemporary classical apologists are Norman Geisler, William Craig, J. P. Moreland, and R.C. Sproul. Ravi Zacharias.
To be perfectly honest, I can’t always tell the difference between them. They are subtle (but they are there) There is a third method though that is very easy to tell apart from the first two While you can split apologetics into many different methods, you could narrow it down to two at the same time: Presuppositional, and Non-Presuppositional
Presuppositional Apologetics The other two methods are easy to understand and catch on to, we all understand the idea of giving evidence to support our views Because of this we will spend a long time looking at this Presuppositional apologetic method, because many people are not familiar with it and it can be very useful and practical for people to learn
This method gives you a way to engage with people who are a lot smarter than you are, on topics you may not know much about, it really won’t matter if you master this style So how does this method work? What does it look like?
Basis for the method When we look at the world everyone has the same list of facts, so why do many people have different views about life? Despite the facts, how we interpret them will depend on our presuppositions (and our worldview) The trap we can get caught in is arguing with someone as if they have our view
Here are the two popular worldviews that we will be concerned with here The Secular Worldview has a list of presuppositions based on Naturalism The Christian Worldview has a list of presuppositions based on the Bible Other worldviews do exist, but these are the ones this method primarily deals with
One of the foundational verses for this verse is Romans 1, and this follows close the thinking of John Calvin Romans 1:18-28: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them… This view comes from Romans 1
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,…
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen…
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;”
This method assumes that everyone knows that God exists already, and they simply suppress that truth The goal is to show how their views only make sense if the Bible is true and God exists, that they can’t know anything for sure, and reality becomes absurd if you take God out of the picture
This view is very against just giving evidence that God exists, because people already have that knowledge and they won’t “Put God on trial” This view holds that just using evidence is putting God on trial and making the non- believer the judge who decides if God exists
This view completely rejects (and I would agree) the idea of neutrality Here are two verses that talk about this are: James 4:4: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” If someone tells you to be neutral about these topics, remember two things: 1. They’re not Neutral 2. You shouldn’t be Neutral Don’t give up your worldview
There is no such thing as neutral ground (they don’t abandon naturalism to prove it…) Neutral ground in their mind is, let’s assume no God and then look at the evidence. How is that neutral? I hear people all the time say things like “He’s a creationist and believes in the Bible, you can’t use him to prove your point! You have to use someone neutral”
And by neutral they always mean someone who believes in evolution and that God didn’t create like the Bible says! What’s fun is every time they quote an evolutionist to support their position, say they can’t quote him they have to quote a creationist who believes what the Bible says and disagrees with their position Don’t follow their rules
If you agree that there is some neutral ground, you’ve lost (Bible says otherwise) “Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” - Titus 1:9 Use the Word of God, use sound doctrine, use the truth we have been given
Is it circular reasoning to use the Bible to prove it’s true? Is it really circular? It’s only circular if there is a higher authority to appeal to, which in this case if the Bible is the Word of God, there isn’t a greater authority Heb 6:13: ” For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,”
The claim: Only if the Bible is true (and God exists) is knowledge possible Three topics for examples: 1. Laws of Logic: These are our standard of reasoning, but what are they based on? 2. Uniformity of Nature: According to the Bible, God upholds the universe 3. Absolute Morality: The Bible says there are absolute morals because God exists
But! Atheists will agree with the laws of logic, uniformity of nature, and sometimes even absolute morality, so what’s the problem? That’s the entire point, they agree with them but have no reason for doing so (except that they really do know God, but are suppressing that truth) If an atheist is consistent, they have to admit they can’t really know anything
Replies that we get end up being self refuting, for example: Relativism (No Absolutes exist) To which we give the simple, well known response: Are you absolutely sure? If you say yes you’ve disproved your own position, if you say no you are admitting you might be wrong and absolutes do exist
Empiricism (All truth is proved by empirical observation) the scientific method How do they test the truth claim in that statement? You can’t apply the empirical method to that idea Secular/Naturalistic Worldviews will often time self destruct and have to use Biblical principles in order to survive
They have to use presuppositions that come from our worldview (Logic, Morality, and Uniformity) to argue against us This would be equivalent to Someone debating air doesn’t exist, all the while using air to speak and make his point
Bible verses that seem to contradict: Prov 26:4: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.” Proverbs 26:5: “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” First verse, don’t embrace his presuppositions, Second verse; use his own words and worldview to show the problems
Example: I don’t believe in words Well… We would disagree (don’t feel like you can’t use words to prove them) and our proof would be YOU just used them “Everyone knows right from wrong” we are told, the difference is I can explain why that’s generally true, you can’t I believe God’s law is written on our hearts and we are made in his image (Bible says)
Real life apologetic examples: Atheist Statement: There are contradictions in the Bible and it can’t be trusted You need to discern the situation, sometimes people will honestly be confused about one contradiction and it’s best to just explain it to clear the confusion Other times it’s a general statement and they’re trying to make a point in that case:
You would first disagree with them because you believe the Bible is Gods Word Second, if the God is not real and we have no basis for logic what’s wrong with contradictions in the first place? The key is to go to the bottom of their worldview and question the very foundation of their thinking
Accusation: Teaching kid’s creation is bad because we’re lying to them For starters, would we completely disagree that teaching creation to kids is lying, because the Bible says God created the world (and science supports it) That being said, if God doesn’t exist, why is it wrong to lie to kids? Isn’t that just your opinion and we might have different ones?
Accusation: If God created everything, wouldn’t that mean God created evil? To start off, the Bible says that God created everything and it was very good, so no that doesn’t mean God created evil (man brought sin and Lucifer decided to rebel) That being said, what is evil in the first place? How can you tell what’s good and evil without a moral law to govern it?
1 Corinthians 1:20: “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” It takes time to learn this method, but once you have it down it will be very helpful Don’t give up the Word of God for some “neutral” position, hold fast to the truth and be ready to dig deep
Memory Verse 1 Corinthians 1:20: “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”