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Archive for the ‘apologetics illustrations’ Category

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Today I want to share a thesis that was completed for a Masters of Religion that was completed over at Reformed Theological Seminary.  It was completed last year in 2018.  It is titled “A Defense of Presuppositional Apologetics and Its Practical Application to the Public University Campus” and written by R. Shane Hartley.  I have found Presuppositional apologetics when properly understood and properly employed to be a very helpful and powerful apologetic.  I am also involved with college campus evangelism in which I will start back again next Lord willing (pray for me!).  So this thesis obviously caught my attention.

What is this thesis specifically about?  In his introductory paragraph to his thesis Mr. Hartley wrote the following summary:

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GO TO PART 51

 

Point: I had to write down this analogy that I discussed in a podcast at Biblical Beginnings that is going to come out next week.  Sometimes when one engage in evangelism and apologetics the issue of alleged Bible contradiction comes up and the example given of a Bible contradiction really isn’t a Bible contradiction.   What I found helpful is to ask the skeptic to define what is a contradiction as the foundation for the direction of any further discussion of whether or not there’s a Bible contradiction.  Here’s the definition I give for “contradiction:”

A contradiction occurs when two or more claims conflict with one another so that they cannot simultaneously be true in the same sense and at the same time.  To put it another way, a Bible contradiction exists when there are claims within the Bible that are mutually exclusive in the same sense and at the same time.

 Are there illustrations to help us think more critically and accurately of when there’s a contradiction and when there’s an apparent contradiction (that is, they really are not a contradiction)?

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GO TO PART 50

 

Point: An argument in the arsenal of Presuppositional apologetics is the Transcendental argument.  John Frame describes apologist Cornelius Van Til’s transcendental argument in the following matter with one of Van Til’s famous illustration:

The non-Christian, then, in Van Til’s famous illustration, is like a child sitting on her father’s lap, slapping his face. She could not slap him unless he supported her. Similarly, the non-Christian cannot carry out his rebellion against God unless God makes that rebellion possible. Contradicting God assumes an intelligible universe and therefore a theistic one.

(Source)

I think what follows below is another illustration in explaining Presuppositional apologetics.

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Over some years I’ve been slowly writing down illustrations that I thought might be helpful for sermons or evangelism that has apologetics’ thrusts.

Here’s 50 of them arranged topically.  Which one was your favorite?

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GO TO PART 49

Point: Predictive prophecies are important in God’s attestation from His Word that Jesus is the Messiah. How could we further illustrate the importance of Messianic prophecies?

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GO TO PART 48

Point: Have you ever faced the objection to Christianity that there are too many religions out there, how can it be that Christianity is the one that is true?  Or maybe it is phrased as “I can’t believe in any religion (including Christianity) because there’s too many other contradiction religions out there…”  How should Christians answer?

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GO TO PART 47

Point: Some Christians engage in apologetics in a piecemeal fashion.  They give evidence here and there.  They refute an objection here and there.  They might not realize the importance of Presuppositional apologetics (as taught by Cornelius Van Til) with its emphasis of going beyond the individual sparring of the skeptics’ objection and instead pursue refutations of the opponent’s worldview at the level of presuppositions.  How can you illustrate the importance of refuting an opponent’s worldview?

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GO TO PART 46

Point: When someone comes to you with an attack on the Bible where they say there is a Bible contradiction and they provide you with an example sometimes Christians can respond in a knee-jerk fashion of giving a haphazard answer where they are “winging it” in order to quickly defend the faith.  But sometimes the solution might not be adequate in that both the Christian defender and the skeptic attacker haven’t dealt with the passage properly.  How can you illustrate the importance of refuting an alleged Bible contradiction in a way that motivate Christians to go deeper?

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GO TO PART 45

Point: Some Christians engage in apologetics in a piecemeal fashion.  They give evidence here and there.  They refute an objection here and there.  They might not realize the importance of Presuppositional apologetics with its emphasis of going beyond the individual sparring of the skeptics’ objection and instead pursue refutations of the opponent’s worldview at the level of presuppositions.  How can you illustrate the importance of refuting an opponent’s worldview?

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This is a recent four part series on Apologetics from the implication of Jesus’ own apologetics in Luke 20, which is an underrated chapter in the Bible that has implication for how we do apologetics.

This series is available in MP3 and also on Youtube (sound only).  Two of the sessions have additional PDF documents as well which is also linked below.  Also if you want to start with the most practical one of these messages start with session 2.

Check it out below:

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GO TO PART 44

Point: Some Christians engage in apologetics in a piecemeal fashion.  They give evidence here and there.  They refute an objection here and there.  They might not realize the importance of Presuppositional apologetics with its emphasis of going beyond the individual point and pursuing refutations at the level of presuppositions.

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GO TO PART 43

Point: Sometimes when one engage in apologetics the issue of alleged Bible contradiction comes up and the example given of a Bible contradiction really isn’t a Bible contradiction but an instance where one account gives lesser detail than another account.  Think for instance of those who raise the question “How many men were possessed with demons at the country of the Gadarenes?”  Are there examples we can give in other areas outside of the Bible of how such a tactic to claim there’s a Bible contradiction is problematic?

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GO TO PART 42

Point: Sometimes when one engage in apologetics the issue of alleged Bible contradiction comes up and the example given of a Bible contradiction really isn’t a Bible contradiction but an instance where one account gives lesser detail than another account.  Think for instance of those who raise the question “How many men were possessed with demons at the country of the Gadarenes?”  Are there examples we can give in other areas outside of the Bible of how such a tactic to claim there’s a Bible contradiction is problematic?

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GO TO PART 41

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.

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GO TO PART 40

Point: Sometimes when one engage in apologetics the issue of alleged Bible contradiction comes up.  There are times when those who assert that there are contradictory verses in the Bible fail to acknowledge that words can have more than one meaning and thus a word used in one context does not mean the same thing in another context.  But if one fail to recognize there are differences of meaning of the word being used in two separate contexts, a skeptic can easily assume there’s a Bible contradiction when there are none.  Are there any examples of this error to get the point across to a skeptic of their foolish methodology and mistake?

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