Ele era Ph. Geisler, Norman L Ethics: Alternatives and Issues. The Christian Ethic of Love. From God to Us. To Understand the Bible—Look for Jesus.
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Geisler Introduction Christianity is under attack today, and it must be defended. There are attacks from within by cults, sects, and heresies. And there are attacks from without by atheists, skeptics, and other religions. The discipline that deals with a rational defense of the Christian Faith is called apologetics.
It comes from the Greek word apologia cf. Objections to Defending the Faith: Biblical and Extra-Biblical Many objections have been offered against doing apologetics. Some offer an attempted biblical justification.
Others are based in extra-biblical reasoning. Objections to Apologetics from Within the Bible 1. The Bible Does Not Need to Be Defended One objection to apologetics often made is the claim that the Bible does not need to be defended; it simply needs to be expounded.
It is said that the Bible is like a lion; it does not need to be defended but simply let loose. A lion can defend itself. Several things should be noted in response. First, this begs the question as to whether or not the Bible is the Word of God. One must appeal to evidence to determine which of the many conflicting books really is the Word of God.
Likewise, no non-Christian should accept our claim without evidence. Third, the analogy of the lion is misleading. A roar of a lion speaks with authority only because we know from previous knowledge what a lion can do. Hence, we should be content simply to believe without evidence.
Indeed, Jesus did on occasion rebuke sign seekers. Luke However, this does not mean that Jesus did not desire people to look at the evidence before they believed for many reasons. Likewise, Paul gave many evidences for the resurrection in 1 Cor. Third, Jesus was opposed to sign-seeking or entertaining people by miracles. On other occasions He did not do miracles because of their unbelief Matt. However, this interpretation is based on a misunderstanding of the text. For one thing, Paul did have results on Mars Hill.
For some people were saved, including a philosopher. Second, nowhere in either Acts or 1 Corinthians does Paul indicate any repentance or even regret over what he did on Mars Hill. This is reading into the text what simply is not there. This is what he did everywhere. So there was nothing unique about what he preached; it was simply how he did it. Paul tailored his starting point to where the audience was.
With the heathen at Lystra he began by an appeal to nature Acts 14 and ended by preaching Jesus to them. But with the Greek thinkers Paul began with creation and reason to a Creator and on to His Son Jesus who died and rose again Acts f.
In fact, it would appear that asking for reasons, rather than simply believing, would displease God. In response to this argument against apologetics two important points must be made. First of all, the text does not say that with reason it is impossible to please God. It says without faith one cannot please God. It does not eliminate reason accompanying faith or a reasonable faith.
Second, God in fact calls upon us to use our reason 1 Pet. For example, the evidence that someone is a reliable witness justifies my believing his testimony of what he saw and I did not. This cannot be known by mere human reason but only by divine revelation. This leads no one to God. What use, then, is apologetics? In response to this argument against apologetics two things should be observed. First, Paul does not say that natural persons cannot perceive truth about God, but only that they do not receive it Gk: dekomai, welcome.
Second, 1 Cor. In other words, they know God in their mind Rom. He alone can convict, convince, and convert John ; Eph. This is certainly true, and no orthodox Christian denies this. However, two things must be kept in mind. First, the Bible does not teach that the Holy Spirit will always do this apart from reason and evidence. It is not either the Holy Spirit or Reason. Rather, it is the reasonable Holy Spirit using good reason to reach rational people.
God is always the efficient cause of salvation, but apologetic arguments can be an instrumental cause used by the Holy Spirit to bring one to Christ. Second, apologists do not believe that apologetics saves anyone. It only provides evidence in the light of which people can make rational decisions.
It only provides evidence that Christianity is true. One must still place his faith in Christ in order to be saved. Only the Holy Spirit can persuade him drink. There are two basic reasons for this misunderstanding. First, by and large the Bible was not written for unbelievers but for believers. Since they already believe in God, Christ, etc. Hence, apologetics is directed primarily for those who do not believe so that they may have a reason to believe. Second, contrary to the claim of critics, apologetics is used in the Bible.
Carmel when he proved miraculously that Yahweh is the true God, not Baal 1 Kings He not only presented evidence from nature that God existed but also from history that Christ was the Son of God. Indeed, he cited pagan thinkers in support of his arguments. Objections to Apologetics from Outside the Bible These objections against apologetics are geared to show either its irrationality, inadequacy, or fruitlessness.
Many come from a rationalistic or skeptical point of view. Others are fideistic which denies reason should be used to support ones faith. Some critics assert that human reason cannot give us any information about God.
But this statement itself is offered as a reasonable statement about the issue of God. So reasoning about God is inescapable. Reason cannot be denied without being employed.
Second, purely hypothetical reason itself does not tell us anything exists, including God. But since something undeniably exists e.
For instance, if something finite and contingent exists, then something infinite and necessary must exist i. And if God exists, then it is false that He does not exist. And if God is a necessary Being, then He cannot not exist. Further, if God is Creator and we are creatures, then we are not God. Likewise, reason informs us that if God is omnipotent, then He cannot make a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it.
For whatever He can make, He can lift. Reason is Useless in Religious Matters Fideism argues that reason is of no use in matters that deal with God. One must simply believe. Faith, not reason, is what God requires Heb. In response to this several points can be made. First, even from a biblical point of view God calls on us to use our reason Isa. God is a rational being, and He created us as rational beings. God would not insult the reason He gave us by asking us to ignore it in such important matters as our beliefs about Him.
Second, this position is fideistic and is self-defeating. For either it has a reason that we should not reason about God or it does not. If it does, then it defeats itself by using reason to say we should not use reason. If fideism has no reason for not using reason, then it is without reason for its position, in which case there is no reason why one should accept fideism. Furthermore, to claim reason is just optional for a fideist will not suffice.
For either the fideist offers some criteria for when we should be reasonable and when we should not, or else his view is simply arbitrary. If he offers some rational criteria for when we should be rational, then he does have a rational basis for his view, in which case he is not really a fideist after all. Reason is not the kind of thing in which a rational creature can choose to participate.
Geisler Introduction Christianity is under attack today, and it must be defended. There are attacks from within by cults, sects, and heresies. And there are attacks from without by atheists, skeptics, and other religions. The discipline that deals with a rational defense of the Christian Faith is called apologetics. It comes from the Greek word apologia cf. Objections to Defending the Faith: Biblical and Extra-Biblical Many objections have been offered against doing apologetics.
He attended a nondenominational Evangelical church from age nine but was not converted until the age of eighteen. He immediately began attempting to share his faith with others in various evangelistic endeavors—door-to-door, street meetings, and jail service, rescue missions, and Youth for Christ venues. Some of his conversations forced him to realize that he needed to find better answers to the objections he was hearing. Arkansas Board of Education. Duane Gish , a creationist, remarked: "Geisler was. His testimony, in my view I was present during the entire trial , effectively demolished the most important thrust of the case by the ACLU.
Christian Apologetics, Second Edition