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Archive for the ‘apologetics tactics’ Category

 

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 60 of them arranged topically.  Which one was your favorite?

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If you read this blog you know that I subscribe to Presuppositional Apologetics.  I won’t be rehearsing what Presuppositional Apologetics is but check out here for a compact definition and here for a lists of many lectures and of those many messages check out Apologetics: What Would Jesus Do? 4 Messages if you can’t decide.

From time to time I hear people say Cornelius Van Til, the father of Presuppositional Apologetics was a Postmodernist and that Presuppositionalism is Postmodernism.  This post was from a discussion I had online in another social media platform about this objection.

I don’t think this is true but I want to write a post to think through how does one deal with people bringing this objection and in general objections for other points about Christianity.

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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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There is something called the Dunning–Kruger effect.  It is when people of low ability inaccurately believe their ability is greater than it is.  Here’s a short TED animation video about it:

I think this phenomenon in which incompetent people think they are more knowledgeable than they really are explains the behavior of some such as the troll attacking our series refuting Bible contradictions which I responded to in “Mr. Hodge’s Dodge from Proving a Bible Contradiction.”  That particular individual would assert I need to learn Greek and Hebrew while he himself doesn’t know Greek and Hebrew and somehow he failed to see my posts regularly deal with the Greek and Hebrew when it is relevant.

Although it won’t be easy to deal with an incompetent person who think they are amazing yet what can a Christian apologist do in dealing with such individuals?  Here are six principles to keep in mind.

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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 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 36

love-figure-of-speech

Point: Sometimes what is found in the skeptics’ list of Bible contradictions are not contradictions but are what appears to be contradictions because the skeptic hasn’t account for the Bible’s use of figure of speech.  Of course to bring this point up the skeptics might respond by saying this is a cop-out.  But are there are figures of speech we use that appear to be contradictory on the surface level but really they are not?

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GO TO PART 31

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Point: What do you do in a conversation when someone object to the truth that Salvation can only be found in Christ alone?  We have covered this objection previously but this is another example of an illustration that responds to this objection.

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GO TO PART 30

dmx anti cop save by cop

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.

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

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GO TO PART 28

fbi hostage rescue team

Point: Some Christians engage in apologetics in a piecemeal fashion.  They give evidence here and there.  They refute an objection here and there.  They don’t see the importance of Presuppositional apologetics’ emphasis of going beyond the individual point and pursuing refutations at the level of worldviews.

Picture: Earlier this year I read a book on counter-terrorism titled Counterstrike by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker.  There was a conversation in the book that really stayed with me in terms of the FBI’s post-9/11 change of strategy against terrorism.  Instead of going after an individual they were now going after networks.  Here’s an excerpt from page 38 and 39:

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Here are some animated Youtube video by “Apologetics Dood” that is pretty much a skit of what Presuppositional apologetics (Van Tillian) dialogues look like in action.  They have been loaded up recently.

I like the back and forth exchange that raises objections one commonly see when one engage an unbeliever with Presuppositional apologetics.

As more is being loaded online I hope to add more to them here.

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dictionary apologetics

I am in the middle of John Frame’s latest book Selected Shorter Writings Volume Two.  I have benefited immensly from Dr. Frame’s insight especially in the area of apologetics and theology.  I think he’s able to apply Cornelius Van Til’s insight more broader than Van Til was able during his lifetime.  Lord willing I would be able to finish the book sometime next week and have a review up on here.  In the chapter on the problem of evil Frame said something that I found helpful.  Speaking of God, John Frame said

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This is a lecture series by Professor Brian Rickett on the topic of Presuppositional apologetics for the Forty-Fourth Annual William N. Paschal Memorial Bible Lectures held on October 14 and October 16, 2014 that was hosted by the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) Theological Seminary.  Rickett is a capable teacher specializing in the Old Testament and also Presuppositional apologetics.

The messages have just been made available over at Sermon Audio.  You can download the lectures of this four part series below:

1.) Apologetics and the Contemporary Setting

2.) Biblical/Historical Justification for Apologetics

3.) Worldview and the Apologetics Tool Box

4.) Presuppositional Praxis: Applied Apologetics

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Christian apologetics and apologetics’ methodology must take into account the reality of Total Depravity.  Much more could be said beyond the video but this might be a place to start in terms of thinking about presenting evidence in light of one’s listeners’ presupposition and sin.

Can we say a Reformed apologist is a Reformed apologist if they are naively presenting evidence without being wise in how they go about presenting evidence?

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