Monday, July 28, 2008

Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Introduction

My notes follow. Write your own questions for them, if you wish.

Use of apologetics
  • "What is your hope?" (1 Peter 3:15) - because Jesus Christ rules you.
  • Not apologizing or excusing oneself for something.
  • See also Acts 22:1, 25:16; 1 Corinthians 9:3; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7, 16; 2 Timothy 4:16. Answers "Why are you a Christian?"
  • Christianity is an all-or-nothing religion.
Christianity as fact: historical!
  • D. E. Jenkins; Clark Pinnock. What about the logical side?
The best defense
  • A good offense (i.e. Christ's claims). See Hebrews 4:12.
  • "Blind faith." But one loves what one knows. See Matthew 22:37; 2 Timothy 1:12; John 8:32. Reasonable faith.
  • "Only your belief matters." But the power is in the object of faith, i.e. Christ. See 1 Corinthians 15:14. Quantity of faith matters less.
  • "____ doctrine/event is a myth." But eyewitnesses (e.g. 2 Peter 1:16) ensure that a given event (e.g. the virgin birth) applied to an actual individual. See also 1 John 1:1-3; Luke 1:1-3; Acts 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:6-8; John 20:30-31; Acts 10:39-42; 1 Peter 5:1; Acts 1:9.
  • "Others didn't think the same way." But New Testament writers told critics (Acts 2:22, 26:24-28) that "you saw this too!"
  • Presupposition: "There can't be a God because philosophy says so." But John Warwick Montgomery says that this is a poor way to investigate history. Presuppositions "of substantive content" assume "a body of truth already" that may be faulty - vs. presuppositions "of method" that will "yield truth." History is not a closed system; facts should be relied upon more than philosophy.
  • "Blind leap into the dark." But honestly studied evidence makes it rather a "step into the light." Choose "historical probability" over "100% provable."
  • "It's anti-intellectual." But people have motives (e.g. Bertrand Russel) for choosing not to believe. Reasons: ignorance (Romans 1:18-23; Matthew 22:29), pride (John 5:40-44), or a moral problem (John 3:19-20).

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