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1 Faith and Fact A Study of Christian Apologetics Lesson One: Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Faith and Fact A Study of Christian Apologetics Lesson One: Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Faith and Fact A Study of Christian Apologetics Lesson One: Introduction

2 2 Apologetics The branch of theology that deals with the defense… of Christianity (American Heritage Dictionary) The English word is descended from the Greek word APOLOGEIA, which is translated defense in I Peter 3:15.

3 3 I Peter 3:15 But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

4 4 A Biblical concept? Matthew 11:2-4 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else? Jesus answered and said to them,Go and report to John what you hear and see… Acts 17:2-4 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ. And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.

5 5 A Biblical concept? Acts 17:10-11 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Acts 18:4 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

6 6 A Biblical concept? Acts 18:19 They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. John 20:30-31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

7 7 A Biblical concept? Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

8 8 Evidence The data on which a judgment or conclusion may be based, or by which proof or probability may be established… that which serves to indicate or suggest (American Heritage Dictionary) We use evidence to draw conclusions. Evidence establishes fact.

9 9 Fact and truth Archaeology is the search for fact... not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall. - Dr. Henry Jones Jr.

10 10 Fact and truth We tend to use the two terms interchangeably, but they mean different things. –Fact: Knowledge or information based on real occurrences… something believed to be true or real (American Heritage Dictionary) –Fact is mans understanding of the universe; it is thus fallible and may be true or false. –Truth is simply that which objectively is.

11 11 How do we establish truth? An example: Prove that this person exists.

12 12 How do we establish truth? In cases where we arent eyewitnesses, we must draw conclusions based on the facts we have. Jesus said to [Thomas], Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed. (John 20:26)

13 13 What is faith? Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

14 14 Faith Faith involves a conviction based on certain facts that lead one to a certain conclusion. An illustration Fact can push us in the direction of faith, fact can bolster faith – but fact is not the same thing as faith.

15 15 Two extremes to avoid Rationalism –The belief that we can and must absolutely prove the existence of God, the theory of intelligent design, etc. –Rationalism requires absolute proof, thus removing faith from the picture (Hebrews 11:1); however, without faith it is impossible to be pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6). –Faith is compatible with reason, but not a slave to being proved.

16 16 Two extremes to avoid Fideism (FĒ·dā·ĭz·əm) –The belief that religious faith is a separate kind of truth not rooted in demonstrable evidence in any way. –Fideism holds that religious faith is irrational and cannot be communicated, which is contrary to the Scriptures. –As weve seen, Biblical faith is not blind, irrational, nor incommunicable.

17 17 Our objectives To demonstrate why theism (belief in God) is a more reasonable conclusion than atheism. To present evidence that intelligent design and special creation are more logical conclusions than spontaneous generation and macroevolution. To show that the most reasonable conclusion is that the Bible is the reliable, complete word of God. To present evidence leading to the conclusion that Jesus existed on earth, was the Christ, and was resurrected.

18 18 An important note God doesnt always give us all the answers as to why He does things. The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

19 19 An important note God doesnt always give us all the answers as to why He does things. –An illustration: Job –Remember that God doesnt owe us the answers. He is the Creator; we are simply His creation. Thankfully, He has elected to give us some of the answers. For others, we can only suggest a reason. For some few others, we may have to be content with not knowing the answer in this life.

20 20 Conclusion With these thoughts in mind, in the next lesson, we will begin a study of miracles. In particular, we will focus on the philosophical views of naturalism and supernaturalism. This will be a foundation for our study. If one presupposes that miracles cannot and have not occurred or that the supernatural does not exist or does not affect the natural world, one cannot accept God, the Bible, or Christ.

21 21 Things Which Do Not Disprove Christianity Immoral Christians –This only shows that the people were wicked. –It tells nothing about Christianity itself. The insignificance of man –Simply because man occupies a small speck of the universe proves nothing. –Is a ton of gravel more valuable than a small diamond? Or a 63 man more important than a 52 one? The passage of time –This is sometimes called chronological snobbery. –The age of an idea is unrelated to the truth of it. –Basic laws of logic and math remain unchanged throughout the centuries; does this mean they are to be discarded as well?

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