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Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category

Pagan Heart of Today's Culture

This work can be purchased for a discounted cost if you click HERE.

This is a fascinating booklet and a new addition to the Christian Answers to Hard Questions series this is the result of the partnership between the faculty of the Westminister Theological Seminary and P&R Publishing.  Early in the booklet Peter Jones argues that the three “isms” of Postmodernism, Gnosticism and Polytheism provides “the lens through which we can understand what is sometimes called the New Spirituality” (7).  The booklet defines Postmodernism, Paganism and Gnosticism and then argues that the transition from Modernity with its atheism and emphasis on logos is now being replaced by the spirit of postmodernity, pantheism and mythos.  Paganism attempts to join opposites (good and evil, male and female, Creator and creature, etc) which Gnosticism also does too.  The irony that Jones note is that modernism’s skepticism and atheistic outlook in attacking Christianity gave rise to polytheism instead in its wake.  This is because man is incurably religious, though they suppress the truth and make idols instead according to Romans 1.  Jones make the argument that atheism and paganism has more in common with each other (“cousins”) because they both shared in the belief that all reality is ultimately one (Jones calls this “Oneism”); at the end of the day there is really two worldviews competing, that of the Christian worldview’s “Two-ism” and that of Monism.  This book is an excellent summary of Jones’ life work in the area of Paganism and our culture.  It is well researched and for a small booklet it has 121 footnotes.  I only wished he employed Van Til’s argument of the one and the many to refute “Oneism.”  I do recommend the book.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by P&R Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Here are links on the subject of Presuppositional apologetics gathered from the World Wide Web between July 1st-7th, 2014.  Which ones did you enjoyed?

1.) Mars Hill: A case for friendship evangelism or antithesis?

2.) Word Faith worldview: An Inexhaustive Internal Critique

3.) Theological Memeology: Infinite Punishment for Finite Crimes

4.) Keep A Record Of God’s Providence In Your Life

5.) The motivation of Frame

6.) Life is but a dream–Great point about the paradox of atheistic materialism being similiar to Idealism and a fading dream!

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camden buceyIf you listen to Reformed Forum Podcast you will be familiar with the name Camden Bucey who is the President of Reformed Forum and currently a Pastor at Hope OPC.  He also has an Master of Divinity and a doctorate in Systematic Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dr. Bucey has taught a series on Presuppositional apologetics last year.  The audio recording of those messages has been made available on the church website and are reproduced below.  Click on them to download the MP3s.

1.) Introduction to Defending the Faith

2.) Worldviews and Philosophy According to Christ

3.) WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?

4.) Revelation

5.) Who and What is Man?

6.) The Antithesis

7.) Common Grace

8.) Presuppositions

9.) Apologetic Method

10.) Strategies and Tactics

11.) Proof and Evidences

12.) Review and Examples

Enjoy!

Thanks to Jeff Downs for pointing these out to us!

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Celebrating Francis Schaeffer 30 years Anniversary

A British Christian organization called Christian Heritage over at Cambridge has featured an event back in May 15th, 2014 celebrating the life of Francis Schaeffer on the 30th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death.

Here’s a description of the event from the event page:

The 15th May was the 30th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death. To many he was unquestionably one of the twentieth century’s most outstanding evangelical leaders. His influence throughout the church was vast. Had he not ‘buried’ himself in a small mountain village in Switzerland to start a little-known work called L’Abri Fellowship, committed to prayer rather than ‘advertising’, perhaps more would know his name. Was he a prophet? Did his extraordinary authority arise from a quite unique biblical analysis of our culture? Were his warnings and pleas not exactly what were needed?  But was he – for that very reason – not also an uncomfortable prophet? Did his critiques of Evangelicalism not cut too close to the bone? Join us to find out more.

Here are the talks:

Thursday 15 May, 5.45 – 9.00pm

5.45 – 7pm: The Real Schaeffer byAndrew Fellows who is the Director of the English L’Abri Fellowship and Ranald Macaulay, Schaeffer’s son-in-law and founder of Christian Heritage

7.30 – 9pm: Schaeffer’s ‘True Truth’ byDr Os Guinness who is aprolific author and social critic

 

(HT)

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GO TO PART 22

IFWT_firefighter

Point: What do you do in a conversation when someone raise the objection that they find it repulsive that Christians believe Christianity is the Only Way?  What do you do when people don’t like how narrow it sounds when Jesus said ““I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6)?

Picture: Space does not permit me to deal with all the presuppositions behind the various form of objections against the exclusivity of Christianity but I do want to tackle one major undercurrent which asssumes that such an exclusiveness of Christianity is mean-spirited and not nice.  Think of the following scenario that puts the objection in perspective: A high rise apartment caught fire one night and a man living in one of the upper floor is stuck in his bedroom with no way out.  Fire is all around him and certain doom appears to be his fate.  But one courageous firefighter went up on a latter to rescue him.  No one would say the firefighter is mean to have provided only one way for the man to be rescued because there was no way out beforehand.  Furthermore the firefighter has put his life on the line to make sure there is at least one way out of the inferno.  As an analogy to spiritual truths, Jesus came on earth with the mission of saving sinners.  He didn’t just risked His life but GAVE HIS LIFE in order to save us by dying on the cross for our sins.

POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

OPPONENT: I can’t believe in Christianity because of the fact that Christianity proclaim that there is only one way to heaven.

CHRISTIAN: I see.  Are you aware that this isn’t just mere Christian opinion but the teaching of the Bible itself?

OPPONENT: Yes.

CHRISTIAN: I just wanted you to be aware and realize that it’s not just Christians thinking they are right, just because they happen to believe in Christianity.  Have you heard of John 14:6 before?

OPPONENT: Not sure.

CHRISTIAN: It says “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

OPPONENT: Uh, okay…there you go…

CHRISTIAN: I brought that up so that you hear it from God’s Word itself.  Now…

OPPONENT: That is so mean!  Why only one way?  Why not many ways to God and heaven?

CHRISTIAN: I think we need to have a little perspective here.  Allow me to give the following illustration [Insert analogy].  Now then, imagine you are the person who is stuck in the room with the fire at this very moment.  Would you complain to the firefighter who reaches up to you in a latter that he’s only provided one way?

OPPONENT: Of course not.

CHRISTIAN: That’s what I figured.

 

GO TO PART 24

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Sye Matt

On May 31st, 2014 Christian apologist Sye TenBruggencate debated atheist Matt Dillahunty.

The debate has now been loaded up online on Youtube.

You can see the debate below:

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GO TO PART 20

Patrick Rock

Note: After completing our series of Twenty Apologetics Sermon Illustrations, I can’t help it but to see more good analogies out there for an apologist’s toolbox.

Point: How often do you hear people say that they are against Christianity because of the hypocrisy of those who say they believe in Christianity or are leaders in the Christian community?  Does the existence of hypocrites rule out the truth claims of the propositions set forth in Christianity?  While we don’t want to downplay the responsibility of people’s sin and hypocrisy we must also realize that hypocrisy as an argument against Christianity does not have that much weight as it might seem initially.

Picture: The following news story seems to be an appropriate analogy to illustrate my point.

A senior adviser to David Cameron was arrested on child abuse images allegations, Downing Street said tonight.

Patrick Rock, who had been involved in drawing up proposals for internet porn filters, resigned after being questioned by police. Officers from the National Crime Agency examined Downing Street’s computer systems and offices used by Mr Rock, 62.

He was an been adviser to the Conservative party for 30 years and got to know Mr Cameron in the mid-1990s when they were both worked for Michael Howard when he was Home Secretary.

The Prime Minister brought him into Downing Street in 2011 to work in the Number 10 policy unit. He took responsibility for home affairs issues and was among officials who were involved in drawing up controls against internet images of child abuse.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “On the evening of February 12, Downing Street was first made aware of a potential offence relating to child abuse imagery. It was immediately referred to the National Crime Agency.

“The Prime Minister was immediately informed and kept updated throughout. Patrick Rock was arrested at his home in the early hours of February 13, a few hours after Downing Street had reported the matter.

“Subsequently, we arranged for officers to come into No 10 and have access to all IT systems and offices they considered relevant.

“This is an ongoing investigation so it would not be appropriate to comment further, but the Prime Minister believes that child abuse imagery is abhorrent and that anyone involved with it should be properly dealt with under the law.”

The Daily Mail quoted a friend of the Prime Minister as saying: “He has known Patrick for a long time and never expected anything like this.”

(SOURCE)

POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

OPPONENT: I can’t believe in Christianity because of all the hypocrisy I see. <Insert moral argument (Example: Church experience, Christians throughout history who were oppressive, etc) >

CHRISTIAN: I see.  I don’t want to downplay the tragedy of people committing evil acts.  I would join you in saying that when Christians or so-called Christians sin, that is a wrong that ought to be called out for what it is.  Do you know I agree with you that hypocrisy is wrong?

OPPONENT: Okay.

CHRISTIAN: Now let me ask you another question: Do you think that just because someone is a hypocrite means that the ideas itself that allegedly espoused must necessarily be false?

OPPONENT: No.

CHRISTIAN: I think therefore its not enough to point out there are hypocrites and rule out Christianity…

OPPONENT: I mean yes.

CHRISTIAN: Oh.  I’m curious, do you think Child Pornography is wrong?

OPPONENT: What?  Of course it is wrong!  It is sick!

CHRISTIAN: Have you heard about how in the UK there is a man name Patrick Rock who is really against Child pornography on the internet?

OPPONENT: No tell me about him.

CHRISTIAN: <Insert apologetics illustration>

OPPONENT: Wow.

CHRISTIAN: I imagine you agree with me that what Patrick Rock did was wrong.

OPPONENT: Yes.

CHRISTIAN: But does Mr. Rock’s inability to live up to his own standard rule out his ideology that Child Pornography is wrong?

OPPONENT: Of course not…

CHRISTIAN: I agree, I’m glad you said that.  In the same way, you can’t just dismiss Christianity as doctrinally false just because there are hypocrites who claim to follow and represent it.  If we reason this way, why, we would be in a world of problems won’t we?

 

GO TO PART 21

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