Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category


LGBT Movement: Part 1

There is a plethora of objections that I can share from the LGBT movement, but for time’s sake, I will try to provide you their main arguments:

LGBT Objection: The biblical prohibition against homosexuality is ancient and not to be followed anymore.

Response: Then why not apply the same logic to other sexual perversions too?  Should the prohibition extend beyond the scope of homosexuality to other sins too (i.e. adultery, etc.) if one operates off of a presupposition of the ancient? Just because something is ancient does not mean it no longer has relevant and direct applications for us.  For example, the murder is an ancient and wicked sin that can traced back to Genesis.  Should we stop prohibiting the act of murder because it is ancient? Can you imagine the repercussions if this logic was followed. The implications brings about other forms of sexual immoralities such as bestiality, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, etc.  This can of worms opens up because ones thinking is not submitted to the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge.  Greg Bahnsen stated this concerning the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge,

Paul infallibly declares in Colossians 2:3-8 that ‘All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ.’  Not he says all wisdom knowledge is deposited in the person of Christ–whether it be about the War of 1812, water’s chemical composition, the literature of Shakespeare, or the laws of logic!  Every academic pursuit and every thought must be related to Jesus Christ, for Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life” (Bahnsen, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith4-5).

To disconnect oneself from Christ is problematic because it leads to deception and moral suicide.

LGBT Objection: The biblical prohibition against homosexuality is addressed only to Jews.  Non-Jews are only affected by this prohibition if they reside in the Jewish land.

Response: Rabbi Jacob Milgrom is one person who espouses this belief.  He quotes form Leviticus 18:24-30, but he forgot about verses 25-27 (defilement and acts of abominations attributed to non-Jews too).  The passage states:

‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.  ‎25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.  ‎26 ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you  ‎27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled);  ‎28 so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you.  ‎29 ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people.  ‎30 ‘Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the LORD your God.’ ”

  • Clearly verses 25-27 refer to the other nations committing acts that is considered wicked and abominable before the Lord that the Jewish people were prohibited from following.  If God is using the other nations as examples, then clearly the Gentiles are people too that can commit abominable acts.  The criteria of abominable deeds is not determined by where you live or what race you belong to.  The prohibition against abominable acts can take place anywhere and by anyone.  Both Jews and Gentiles are culpable.  He does not have laws of morality only for one group of people or only for a specific region.

Objection stated: What is “natural” in Romans 1 is not in reference to natural homosexuals but to heterosexuals who go beyond their natural bounds and engage in homosexuality.

Response: These proponents have a complete misreading of Romans 1. It turns the argument of Paul on its head.  The sin of homosexuality just like any other sin is never natural.

  • Romans 1:26-27, For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
  • Romans 1:26-27 is in reference to all formerly heterosexuals who exchanged their natural function for the unnatural function.  Why? because there is no such thing as natural homosexuals.  Espousing that belief is tantamount to saying that Bruce Jenner was naturally a woman.  Anything sinful is unnatural.  You are what God intended you to be.  What is natural is to operate as beings that reflect the created order. If homosexuality is a natural state, then it will be illogical and contradictory for God to prescribe prohibitions.  Nice try LGBT movement, but this just shows your desperation in order to propagate your false teaching so you could justify your sin.

LGBT Objection: Paul is only speaking of pederastic homosexual behavior here, not adult homosexual relationships.

Response: Paul speaks of “men committing shameless acts with men….”  This statement when studied in the Greek text is prohibiting all sorts of homosexual behaviors.  The argument concerning whether it is in reference to pederastic behavior or not has to do with the word meaning of arsenokoitai and its cognates in extant usage.  Here is where I think Dr. Robert Gagnon’s (since I have not done complete research, I can’t fully vouch for all of Dr. Gagnon’s theology such as soteriology, bibliology, etcc.; so please use discernment to see if it aligns with Scripture)  commentary from his Facebook post concerning arsenokoitai  is helpful.  I am also thankful that Cripplegate was able to compile it and archive it for us.

The term arsenokoitēs and cognates after Paul (the term appears first in Paul) are applied solely to male-male intercourse but, consistent with the meaning of the partner term malakoi, not limited to pederasts or clients of cult prostitutes.

For example, the 4th century church historian Eusebius quoted from a 2nd–3rd century Christian, Bardesanes (“From the Euphrates River [eastward] . . . a man who . . . is derided as an arsenokoitēs . . .  will defend himself to the point of murder”), and then added that “among the Greeks, wise men who have male lovers are not condemned” (Preparation for the Gospel, 6.10.25). Elsewhere Eusebius alluded to the prohibition of man-male intercourse in Leviticus as a prohibition not to arsenokoitein (lie with a male) and characterized it as a “pleasure contrary to nature,” “males mad for males,” and intercourse “of men with men” (Demonstration of the Gospel, 1.6.33, 67; 4.10.6). Translations of arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9and 1 Tim 1:10in Latin, Syriac, and Coptic also define the term generally as “men lying with males.”

  • Dr. Gagnon is correct concerning his above commentary.  Furthermore, according to Dr. Gagnon, if Paul wanted to refer only to prohibition of pederastic behavior he would of used a different term.

The terms paiderastai (“lover of boys”), paidomanai (“men mad for boys”), or paidophthoroi (“corrupters of boys”) could have been chosen.

  • Here is more commentary from Dr. Gagnon concerning the implications of arsenokoitai in Romans 1:24-27:

It is bad exegesis to interpret the meaning of arsenokoitaiin 1 Cor 6:9 without consideration of the broad indictment of male-male intercourse expounded in Rom 1:27 (“males with males”). The wording of Rom 1:27(“males, leaving behind the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their yearning for one another”) points to an inclusive rejection of all male-male relations. Paul here does not distinguish between good non-exploitative forms of male homosexual practice and bad exploitative forms but rather contrasts all male homosexual relations with natural intercourse between a man and a woman. He also emphasizes reciprocity (“yearning for one another”), a fact that rules out an indictment only of a coercive one-sided homosexual desire.

Other factors confirm the inclusive rejection of all male homosexual practice in Rom 1:27: Paul’s intertextual echo in Rom 1:23–27 to Gen 1:26–27 (which contrasts male homosexual practice with God’s intentional design in creation, “male and female [God] created them” and the consequent marital bond), his use of a nature argument (which transcends distinctions based on coercion or promiscuity), and the parallel indictment of lesbianism inRom 1:26 (a phenomenon in the ancient world not normally manifested with slaves, call girls, or adolescents).

The fact that semi-official same-sex marriages existed in the Greco-Roman world and were condemned by Greco-Roman moralists, rabbis, and Church Fathers as unnatural, despite the mutual commitment of the participants in such marriages, is another nail in the coffin for the contention that the term arsenokoitai had only exploitative or promiscuous male homosexual relations in view.

  • What I also found astonishing while studying this word arsenokoitēs, I came across this in the book called The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message About Homosexuality by Dr. James White and Jeff Neill, I came upon this discovery that somewhat startled me.  I found out some disturbing news concerning the influence of the LGBT pressures upon Christian scholarship in some lexical works concerning the changes from BGAD (2nd edition) to BDAG (3rd edition).  You can see the subtle compromises.  Limiting the meaning of the word arsenokoites should not even be a option.  Here is the excerpt below from the book:

“Some scholarly sources limit the meaning in just this way. The impact of political pressures appears even in the realm of Christian scholarship and publishing. For example, the second edition of A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker (University of Chicago , 1979) defines arsenokoites as ‘a male who practices homosexuality, pederast, sodomite’ (109). The listed sources were fairly small at this point but included Bailey’s work. With the advent of the third edition (now known as BDAG) in 2000, the entry more than tripled in size, with the main definition dropping the term ‘homosexual.’ The definition given is, ‘a male who engages in sexual activity w . a pers. of his own sex, pederast.’ The first part of the definition, however, defines a homosexual, not a pederast. The largest portion of added ‘sources’ are revisionist in nature and have already been addressed . However, BDAG does note the formation of the word based upon the LXX usage at Leviticus 20: 13, even though this very fact militates strongly against the dropping of the term ‘homosexual’ from the definition (while retaining the description of homosexuality!)” (159-160).

Objection stated (Rom. 1): Paul is speaking solely of Jewish purity laws, and hence this is irrelevant in a modern, enlightened society.

Response: This reveals their desperate revisionism of the text. We know that Paul is prohibiting all homosexual acts whether it be done religiously or not.  There is no indication anywhere whereby the sin is limited only to a religious homosexual act.  If that is their logic, can we say that murder, adultery, other sexual deviant acts that are not done religiously be accepted?  Paul is condemning the total homosexual orientation because it is not natural.  They love to blame totalitarian regimes such as Nazis or communists being revisionists, but they are doing the very same act of error.

Objection stated (Rom. 1): Paul is not giving a binding, universal or timeless prohibition here, but is speaking only about what was then “natural” in a conventional or social sense.

Response: Paul is not intending this to be limited to a cultural climate. This is timeless and universal.  In every generation, this sin is condemned.  Why is it only wrong in terms of under the guidance of social norms?  No where in Scripture is God’s moral law to be governed by society?  Do you see that in Leviticus 18 and 20?  If it is subjected to social norms, that means prohibitions from God are not immutable and therefore are tossed to and fro by the gross immorality of arbitrariness.  Who knows then what the next new norm would be in the coming future.  Should the Gospel change too then?   Of course not.  If so, the message we preach has no transforming power and no binding authority upon all people in all ages.  God is not mocked.  He will not be limited by social norms or time.  He is the Ageless and the Eternal one.  May this stir up our hearts to preach the eternity of God and the immutability of God.

Stay tuned for part 3.

Helpful resources consulted:

Bahnsen, Greg L., and Robert R. Booth. Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith. Atlanta, GA: Tenth Printing, 2009.

White, James; Niell, Jeff (2002-04-01). The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message About Homosexuality (p. 135). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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While teaching Christology overseas a student asked me how does one handle the following objection: “I don’t believe in the Trinity because the Word Trinity is not in the Bible.”

Here’s my take on the objection.

First, more important than the term is whether or not the concept of the Trinity is found in the Bible.  We must be more concern about the concept more than a specific theological terminology that Christians later use as a handle for the various truth claims about God.  If the concept of the Trinity is found in the Bible, it is enough to establish the doctrine of the Trinity.

I know my first point often don’t satisfy cultists and heretics. Hence the following points:

Secondly, just because you use biblical terminology doesn’t mean the concept behind the term you are using is faithful to the Bible.  I bring this point to illustrate that it is a naively flawed methodology to assume that merely finding a word in the Bible establish the truth content that one might put into the terminology.  People twists the meaning of biblical terms all the time.  In the end, what’s important is the concept behind the terms which reinforce my first point.

Thirdly, depending on the specific cultists or heretic I would also point out how the kind of argumentation presented in this objection to the Trinity also undercut their specific belief systems.   That is, the argumentation is a self-defeater to their own religious beliefs.  For instance, with Jehovah’s Witnesses I apply back this same kind of bad reasoning back to them:  I don’t believe in the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society because Scripture itself doesn’t mention these words.  We shouldn’t attend any of their Kingdom Hall because the word “Kingdom Hall” doesn’t appear in the Bible.  If one uses this flawed logic that is the basis for objecting to the Trinity, the cultist or heretic must also admit that it undermine their very own beliefs and belief system as well.  But if they sidestep this rebuttal by saying the concept is taught in the Scripture, note here that they also admit that content is what matters and not merely the appearance of a terminology in Scripture.  Either way you go, the problem is with the interlocutor.


Fourthly there are also other theological terms that Christians use that is not found in Scripture but the concept is taught in Scripture.  Think of the word “Bible.”  Yet the concept is there within the Bible.  Again, content is what is more important than merely doing a superficial word search.

Fifthly, to be very technical even a lot of terms in our Bible translations are also not found in the original language of the Bible.  The English Bible talks a lot about “God.”  But the Hebrew and Greek words in the manuscripts are “El,” “Elohim,” “Yahweh,” and “Theos.” Nowhere do we find in the original language manuscripts the English term “God,” the German word “Gott” or the Japanese term for deity called “Kami,” etc.  We can multiple the same thing with the term “Jesus,” “faith,” and “Salvation.”  That doesn’t mean we reject “God” because it’s not a term that’s found in the Original language of the Bible.  We might have many terms that “translates” the content of what the Bible is saying.  Note the priority: It is the content of Scripture that shapes a term that signify its meaning.  In some sense the Trinity is a theological translation of the concept of the Oneness and Threeness of the True God as attested in the Scriptures.


This objection might sound like it has a lot of force when one first hears it, but there’s no wind behind its sail upon closer analysis.

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Back in October 2014 there was a lecture series by Professor Brian Rickett on the topic of Presuppositional apologetics for the Forty-Fourth Annual William N. Paschal Memorial Bible Lectures.  It was held on October 14 and October 16, 2014 and hosted by the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) Theological Seminary.

Here are the videos from the Lectures.



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Anjem Choudary

On Memorial Day May 25th, 2015 Christian apologist Sam Shamoun debated Islamist Anjem Choudary on the question: “Is Jesus a Prophet or is He also God?”

You can see the debate loaded up on Youtube below:

The debate was sponsored by Trinity and was part of their “Apologetics Marathon.”

Let me know what you think of the debate.

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southern seminary

I am thankful that Southern Seminary makes the Doctoral dissertation available online for free in electronic format as a PDF.

An interesting doctoral dissertation in apologetics is titled “A Christian Worldview Apologetic Engagement with Advaita Vedanta Hinduism.”  It was written by Pradeep Tilak in 2013.  I found it fascinating since there’s a need for more Christian apologetics dealing with Eastern religions.

Here’s is the abstract of the dissertation with description of the chapters:

This dissertation applies the principles of Worldview apologetics to engage Advaita Vedanta Hinduism with the biblical responses of Christianity.

Chapter 1 introduces the biblical mandate for apologetics, reviewing the contemporary apologetic scene. It highlights methodological principles in Worldview apologetics.

Chapter 2 introduces Vedanta Hinduism through the teachings of Sankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva.

Chapter 3 examines Christian rapprochement and antithesis with Vedanta Hinduism. The apologist applies Worldview apologetics in understanding the access points and biblical dividing lines.

Chapter 4 commences the apologetic engagement with proof. The Advaitin presents the monistic worldview and the ultimate reality, otherwise known as Brahman. The foundational Christian worldview is represented with the scriptures, God, man, and his salvation in Jesus Christ.

Chapter 5 addresses the offense part of apologetics. The adherents of each worldview contrast their viewpoints against the viewpoint of the other system. Vedanta’s monism, impersonal reality, inclusivity, and rationality are contrasted with Christianity’s historic self-revelation of God to man.

Chapter 6 handles apologetic defense through the lens of experience, epistemology, and correspondence with reality. The Hindu worldview has transcending experience, supra-rational epistemology, and deep coherence. The Christian admits a transitory universe, which has no existence as a contingent creation, apart from God.

Chapter 7 reviews Worldview apologetic practice under metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. These deal with the ontology of reality in its manifestations and our understanding of the truth. It concludes with how we live out this knowledge today.

Chapter 8 addresses the personal, rather than technical tone of apologetics. Kierkegaard’s engagement of the stubborn will helps us understand the radical nature of convictions. After presenting the Gospel worldview, the Vedanta position is shown to be impossible from those very paths that the Hindu trusts.

Chapter 9 culminates the study of Gospel-centered apologetics. The Gospel forms the core of the apologetic encounter, in content and methodology. This dissertation opens the venue for more sound arguments to be built around the Gospel and to tear down false worldviews.

Chapter 10 makes final recommendations on practical Christian apologetics to Hindus. A biblically self-aware approach is commended to honor God in the defense of the faith.

To access the PDF click HERE.

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John Frame Selected Shorter Writings Volume Two

 John M. Frame. Selected Shorter Writings Volume Two.  Phillipsburg, NJ:
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2015. 382 pp.

This book is the second volume of John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings that contains some of John Frame’s essays that are outside of his Theology of Lordship SeriesI have previously reviewed volume one of Dr. Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings. Although I highly recommend both volumes I actually enjoyed volume two more in comparison with volume one.  As usual with John Frame’s writings, I appreciate what he has to say since he makes me think more deeply about the inter-connectedness of Biblical doctrines, theological foci and various method and divisions of theology and philosophy.  Readers will not be disappointed.  Frame’s characteristic way of writing that stresses the authority of Scripture, his exploration of the inter-dependence and inter-connectedness of perspectives along with his straight forward and clear way of writing is evident throughout the book.

The book is divided into seven parts: There are miscellaneous theological topics, theological education, theological method, apologetics, ethics, the church and a personal section.  All seven parts of the book contained essays which were very stimulating and eye-opening.  I have read thousands of pages of Frame’s work and I found that there were still things I learned from reading this book.  Anyone who thinks a book titled “Selected Shorter Writings” means that this is a stale collection of ad hoc old ideas is badly mistaken.  I was highlighting a lot of materials as I was reading through it.  In what follows I want to share some of what I appreciated from the book.

PART 1: Theological Topics

  • I appreciated the first chapter of the book that was adapted from Frame’s ETS presentation in which he talked about inerrancy and how Evangelicals must not be naïve to think that the question of inerrancy can be resolved with liberals and non-believers by simply talking about facts since methods and presuppositions are important.  Using Alvin Plantinga’s famous essay on the role of Christian philosophers’ project being for the Christian community rather than just appeasing the secular academic world, Frame also calls Christian scholars to embrace inerrancy “as a place to live” in one’s academic career.
  • Concerning the relationship between philosophy and theology I thought chapter five presented the most succinct presentation of the Van Tillian perspective: theology and philosophy need each other, theology and philosophy are similar although it uses different language and terminology to describe the world and the nature of ultimate reality and of course there is a need for philosophy needs to examine itself from a biblical theological perspective, etc.

PART 2: Theological Education

  • The first three chapters in this section comes from the first three chapters of his book titled The Academic Captivity of Theology and Other Essays, published by Whitefield Publishers.  This is one of Frame’s lesser known work but after reading these chapters I admit I want to read the rest of the book to see Frame further articulate his distinct philosophy of theological education.  He has a lot to say that those involve in leadership of Christian institute of higher education needs to hear.  He has a good point concerning the problem of Evangelicals idolatrously seeking doctorate programs in schools that does not honor God’s Word.  I thought it was fascinating that he noted how in the past famous Christian scholars such as Machen and Warfield did not have earned doctorates but were nevertheless highly effective with their masters’ degree.  Frame also talked about seminary desire for academic respectability from the world sets it in conflict with its aim to train men for the ministry at the church.  He argues that in the end it is the church who has the authority to evaluate the means and goals of a seminary and not a secular accreditation agency.  Accreditation agencies often making a seminary do more unnecessary and unhelpful work in order to be accredited.  There is so much more than I can summarize here in this review.
  • His essay on the demise of systematic theology also demonstrated the difference between a liberal philosophy of education and the biblical aim of seminary education.  A doctorate in systematic theology at centers that does not have a high view of Scripture would only teach guys to teach theology that becomes more of a kind of historical theology that only states what other scholars believe; but this kind of method is inadequate in an Evangelical seminary where the skill requires is finding out what the Word of God says about a respective subject.

PART 3: Theological Method

  • The chapter “Arguments and Conclusion in Theology” is partly in response to WSC and those who advocate “Escondido Theology.”  However it’s usefulness extends beyond the debate of Radical Two Kingdom Theology.  Frame rightly point out that some systematic theologians today are weak in logical thinking.  Case in point: Those whom Frame critiques in his book Escondido Theology responded to Frame’s book by denying the conclusion of Frame’s argument.  But the critics have not interacted with Frame’s actual argument that lead to his conclusion.  It is not enough to say one does not like the conclusion but one must also demonstrate why the argument does not lead to the conclusion.

PART 4: Apologetics

  • This was by far the longest part of the book!  It is also the section of the book that demonstrate Frame at his best!
  • I appreciated that Frame in his opening chapter to the section looked to the Scripture first concerning why it is hard to believe in God and at the same time why it is easy to believe in God.  A good editorial decision that lays the foundation before the other chapters look at some intense apologetics’ matters.
  • Chapters 19-22 were on Van Til.  Some of these were short summaries of Van Til but then you also have chapter 21 titled “Van Til: The Theologian.”  This chapter was originally published years ago as a pamphlet and also as a chapter in a Festschrift for Van Til that was published by theonomists in the 1970s.  When I read this essay many years ago it totally revolutionize my own theological method and how I looked at theology so it was refreshing to re-read this essay again now that I am older.  “Van Til: The Theologian” was what got me going with teaching systematic theology in such a way as to try to portray how doctrines from Scripture beautifully integrate and mutually support one another.  This essay has ever since moved me to doxological fervor in teaching the inter-connectedness of theology in order to deepen our worship and further a coherent apologetics by showing how a truly Biblical system of theology have doctrines “cohere” with one another while also maturely handle theological paradox.

PART 5: Ethics

  • His chapter on the failure of non-Christian ethics is a very good summary of the problem of trying to ground morals and ethics apart from the Christian God.  Excellent!  It is worth reviewing from time to time.
  • I must say though that the weakest chapter of the book was found here:  Frame sees Joel Osteen as less of a problem than I would like and I wish Frame could have considered the question as to what Osteen believes concerning the role of repentance and the Gospel.
  • “But God Made Me This Way” is a neat chapter and very relevant in light of the advancing agenda of homosexuality and Same Sex Marriage in today’s culture.  Good response.

PART 6: The Church

  • Good discussion about the problems of denomination and also church unity.

PART 7: Personal

  • A light hearted chapter on Frame’s Triperspectivalism applied to the issue of eating and dieting.

Again there is more to the book than my highlights mentioned here.

After finishing the book I’m convinced that this book is useful for Christians across all spectrum of theology and familiarity with the John Frame.  I think the nature of short essays make it helpful as an introduction to those who are new to John Frame’s work.  The book also has a “theological devotional” flavor to it that makes a wonderful read for those who want something to stimulate their minds more deeply in terms of devotional materials.  I believe it would make a wonderful “devotional” for the theologian in which one can read a chapter a day (give or take for the longer ones) where one has something theological that is God-centered at the same time it exercises one’s mind to love God’s truth (that was practically how I did read this book).  For those who consider themselves “John Frame buff” or experts of his theology, this book is still worthwhile to purchase the book as there are still things in this book that I think is new to chew on.  It also serves as a good refresher to Frame’s Theology of Lordship.

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.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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Point: Ever had someone object that all religion are all the same, that it leads down to the same road?  Or ever have someone say that the details of religion doesn’t matter and that any religious differences between Christianity and other religions are rather superficial?  How do you respond?

Picture: I saw a news story with the following title “Kenyan headed for South Korea accidentally traveled to North Korea:

SEOUL, April 24 (UPI) — An indigenous Kenyan cow herder registered to attend a U.N. biodiversity conference in Pyeongchang, South Korea, said he was detained in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, after booking a wrong flight last September.

Daniel Olomae Ole Sapit, 42, who is from Kenya’s semi-nomadic Maasai tribe, said the similar sounding names had confused him and his travel agent in Kenya, who booked the flight.

“For an African, who can tell the difference?” Sapit told The Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal and South Korean media, Sapit was eventually allowed to leave North Korea and board the correct flight to South Korea’s Incheon Airport, but only after he signed a North Korean document admitting to violating laws, being detained for several hours, and paying for a new ticket and a fine of $500 for entering North Korea without a visa.

The Kenyan national said he did not suspect anything wrong, even after boarding an Air China flight to Pyongyang, North Korea.

When he glanced out the plane window as he descended, however, the view below struck him as odd.

“It seemed to me a very underdeveloped country,” said Sapit, who was expecting to see the urbanized and industrialized cityscape of South Korea.

After landing at North Korea’s Sunan International Airport, where he saw hundreds of soldiers and portraits of North Korea leaders, he knew he had made a mistake.

Pyeongchang, a South Korean city on the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula, is scheduled to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Dick Pound, a Canadian member of the International Olympic Committee since 1978, said in 2002 there was initial confusion about the name, when Pyeongchang first emerged as a bidder for the Winter Olympics.

There was more confusion, the Journal reported, when South Korean provincial governor Choi Moon-soon suggested North Korea could host a few events, such as snowboarding – a statement he was later forced to retract.

In 2014, CNN reported North Korea opened a ski resort and hotel, Masik Pass, located in the northern half of the same province that will host the 2018 Winter Olympics. The ski resort was completed in just under a year, and was an attempt to convince South Korea that Pyongyang could host at least some of the 2018 events.

I think this News story is a helpful apologetics illustration for the objection.  Let me explain by the following scenario below.


OPPONENT: I don’t really see any differences between Christianity and other religion.  They are all the same.

CHRISTIAN: You think they are the same?

OPPONENT: Yes.  There are a lot of similarities between Christianity and other religions.

CHRISTIAN: Such as…?

OPPONENT: Christianity like other religions teaches good morals.  Wouldn’t you agree?

CHRISTIAN: Christianity certainly has high standards of ethics.  Other religions I’m sure teaches some morals and have rules.  But I think there is a difference in terms of the end goal and motivation for why Christians pursue holiness that sets it apart from other religions.

OPPONENT: Oh but the details doesn’t matter.

CHRISTIAN: You really want to say the details doesn’t matter?  And that the differences of the end goal and motivation doesn’t matter?  Have you heard about this one story?

OPPONENT: I’m listening.

<Give illustration >

CHRISTIAN: Do you think it’s important not to confuse the city of “Pyongyang” and “Pyeongchang?”


CHRISTIAN: Even though for an outsider such as the Kenyan Man, it sounds the same?


CHRISTIAN: So I suppose details does matter.  If details matter in our day to day mundane life why is there an exception for religious and spiritual matters?

OPPONENT: Good point.  But I must protest…

CHRISTIAN: Let me finish my point first if I may.


CHRISTIAN: Let’s say you discovered the error the Kenyan man made while you were chatting with him as you two were sitting in the terminal lobby.  You are heading to Pyeongchang and his ticket says Pyongyang.  He’s convinced that the details doesn’t matter.  In fact he sees your scheduled departure at the terminal next to his as a sign that there’s no difference.  Is the Kenyan man reasonable to see the near proximity of your terminal with his as meaning that the end goal of the flight being the same?

OPPONENT: Of course not!  Being next to one another in terms of terminal has no bearing as to where the flight is going!

CHRISTIAN: I submit the same is true with our religious direction if we are wrong with the details and wrong with the destination.  At first it might seem that both flights are taking the same course of direction for most of the journey from Africa to the Korean Peninsula.  But the moment of truth arrives when one finally gets closer to the destination.  Suddenly the path diverges.  In the same, there might be times when outwardly it looks like the various religions teaches someone a life path that somewhat follows the Christian path.  But sooner or later the path diverges as one gets closer to the end goal.  It is the same with Christianity and other religion.  Christianity’s end goal is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  A Christian salvation means escaping hell through Jesus’ work on the Cross where one is declared righteous not because of one’s own righteousness but that of Christ.  Other religions’ end goal of what salvation means differ.  For the Buddhist it’s about Nirvana.  For the Buddhist, it’s being back to one with God in which one’s Divinity is absorbed back into One.  The means are also different: God in Christianity provides grace for salvation through faith alone in Christ alone.  Other religions teaches works-righteousness as a means to achieve salvation.


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