These are links from April 1st-7th, 2015 on Presuppositional apologetics.
Rico Tice and Carl Lafterton. Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough.
UK: The Good Book Company, April 6th, 2015. 112 pp.
Don’t judge this book by its size. It is small but packed with a lot of good content. It is biblical, clear and practical. British author Rico Tice has written a helpful book for the average church member on why a Christian must evangelize and how to practically talk about Jesus to others. As someone who for years has evangelized on a weekly basis I felt I was able to profit from reading this. I’m sure others will too. If I ever taught a course on Evangelism I would definitely make this a required reading. This is also a good book for one-on-one discipleship for the sake of training someone to be a witness. Pastors, disciple-makers and small group leaders should consider using this as a resource.
The book can be divided into two parts with the first four chapters answering the question of why one should be witnessing and chapters five through eight focus on how to share your faith.
As D.A Carson noted in the forward, not many books on evangelism tell you that you will be attacked for your Christian faith when you do witness. The book lives up to its name by being upfront and honest in the beginning: Witnessing is not easy even for the author who goes on to tell the readers how if you evangelize “you will be hit.” Tice reminds us that we will be hit throughout the book. Christians often struggle with the pain-line in which we want to either compromise our message or not share it. Yet Tice doesn’t bring this up to guilt trip the readers to evangelize. Instead he reminds us of “the other halves of the story” in which when we evangelize there will be people who hunger for God even when we don’t see all of God’s work in someone’s heart at the moment. Considering this point that there will be people who hunger for Biblical truths balances the other half that some will hate it. Chapters two present us three Biblical motivation for why Christians must evangelize even though it is difficult and consideration of these motivations tells us that it is worth it. The author realizes that some will still not be moved by those Biblical motivations and in chapter three he goes after the manner of the heart by pointing out how when we are not obedient to God’s call to be a witness we are sinning and motivated by some kind of idol in our life that takes precedence over loving obedience to God. It can be the desire for comfort, fear of man, etc. The chapter also provides some diagnostic question to help spot these idols so that the readers can know them, confess them to God and repent of it. I was really blessed and pleasantly surprised with this third chapter and found it very practical. It is practical enough that I want to be more conscious of when I don’t witness and to be on the alert for some idols in my heart that I need to resist. This chapter is excellent as it goes to the heart of the manner and focuses on the root sin that has a stronghold on those who don’t evangelize. Unless one sees the problem first, one would never go about with biblical solutions to the problem of the sin of omission when one does not witness. I don’t want to give too much of the book away but chapter four consider other biblical truths that we ought to be reminded in order to continue motivate us to maintain our witness to the world.
The second half of the book is real practical concerning how to witness. The author looks first at what one ought to say and has a helpful three word paradigm for readers to remember: Identify. Mission. Call. We want to communicate Jesus’ identity, His Mission and His call upon our lives. But this is not mere data dump and to properly engage with people the author noted we need three more word paradigm: Understanding. Agreement. Impact. That is: “Do they get it? Do they agree with it? What are they doing about it?” (62). I think it will be helpful that even after finishing the book one can go over chapter four from time to time to help us really apply this. The book also acknowledges that there are different personalities God has made and there is no need to artificially become a mode or a specific example of an evangelist that one is not. The book even surveys the various kinds of personalities in Scripture that was witnessing to establish the point of one can be oneself when witnessing. Again I don’t want to give away the whole book but one would benefit from his list of helpful questions, tips and book recommendations.
Again this is a very good book on witnessing by Rico Tice. I say buy it, it is worth the price.
NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher The Good Book Company through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.
Point: It’s not easy conveying the two crucial idea of Presuppositional apologetics that (1) a non-Christian worldview end up being self-refuting and (2) the non-Christian actually presupposes something entirely different than what the nonbelievers professes to be their operating worldview, but in their heart they are suppressing the truth they know of the Christian God and worldview. Cornelius Van Til and Greg Bahnsen has articulated this kind of argument. While all analogies break down, I think the following illustration might help the Reformed Apologist illustrate his or her point of what one is trying to do with Presuppositional apologetics.
Picture: I saw this news story over at Japan Times:
A hapless armed robber in his 60s broke his leg while holding up a convenience store in Chiba Prefecture, and then used the shop’s payphone to call an ambulance, according to a report and police.
The inept thief tussled with a 35-year-old store clerk after threatening him with a knife on Sunday.
The crook was disarmed in the struggle, which saw him fall to the ground and break his leg before hobbling out of the shop, the local Chiba Nippo newspaper reported.
In increasing pain and unable to get very far, the unnamed man limped back an hour later and used the payphone at the store to summon an ambulance, the paper said.
Detectives are planning to arrest the suspect when he is released from the hospital, the paper reported.
“A man in his 60s is being treated at the hospital he was taken to,” a Chiba police official said.
“As the victim (of the threat) took the knife away, the suspect could not achieve his purpose,” the official said.
There is the irony that the robber rob a store only to depend on the story’s payphone later on to call the ambulance. The robber is going against the store but at the same time dependent on the store for getting help.
OPPONENT: I don’t get what you are trying to do. What’s your point.
CHRISTIAN: I’m trying to show how your worldview is self-refuting and how you actually need God to even justify the tools and argument that you are trying to use against it. I suppose an illustration would be appropriate. Did you hear the story of this recent robber in Japan?
CHRISTIAN: Do you think the robber was going against the store?
CHRISTIAN: Do you think he was also relying on the services the store provided, in this case their phone?
CHRISTIAN: In the same way I see you are doing the same thing, but with God. You are going against Him and yet at the same time relying on Him for help. That is, you are using things that He alone can provide for your communication, reasoning, etc.
Posted in apologetics illustrations, apologetics methodology, christian apologetics, Christianity, Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Van Til | 14 Comments »
It’s Resurrection Sunday! Another year…and another year closer to Christ’s Second Coming.
Here is a series of posts over at The Cripplegate that is worth your time reading and reflecting.
This is too good not to post in light of all the discussion about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
I wonder if the Left will try to go force Muslim bakers and cake makers to bake Gay Wedding Cakes? Or worst, do what they did to an Indiana Family Pizza Shop, threaten them. I don’t condone that at all by the way, just noting the double standard.
See the video below:
Point: Have you heard any nonbeliever object: “Why do you Christians feel compelled to share their faith with others?” Sometimes one need a defense or an apologetics for our evangelism! Ultimately Christians evangelize out of a heart of worshipping God, in which one evangelizes out of loving obedience to Him; certainly the Gospel motivates us to serve Him including our duty to witness. Second to the primary motivation is that a Christian wishes to see other people come to know Jesus as the Savior of sinners from the fate of hell. We see Paul have that kind of motivation described in the beginning of Romans 9. It is this secondary point I feel compelled to give an analogy to help reinforce the understanding of the Christian motivation to go all-out in evangelism out of love for sinners. Picture: On the news there is this story:
Minnesota man didn’t know he had Superman power until he bent the door of a burning SUV with his bare hands to rescue another motorist.
Bob Renning, 52, was driving with his girlfriend on a highway in New Brighton, Minnesota, when he looked in his rear-view mirror and noticed flames under a vehicle directly behind him. Michael Johannes, the driver of the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer, apparently didn’t know his car was on fire, so Renning started to slow down in an attempt to get his attention.
Renning’s girlfriend rolled down her window to try to alert Johannes, too. But by then, Renning said it appeared that Johannes’ vehicle had stopped working and was pulled over to the freeway shoulder. “The taillights started flashing without control, the brakes stopped working, the speed calculator went to zero, the electronics just got messed up.” Johannes recalled to ABC News. And worst of all, the car doors were locked and the power windows rolled up. Johannes couldn’t get them open. Renning pulled over about 200 feet in front of Johannes. As his girlfriend dialed 911 and gave the police their location, Renning jumped out of his car and sprinted towards Johannes. When Renning got to the SUV, the heavy smoke has infiltrated the car and he couldn’t see anyone inside. “It just happened all so fast. It was like a movie,” Renning said. Renning then saw Johannes frantically pounding and kicking the passenger-side window. Renning pulled on the door multiple times, but the door wouldn’t open. Acting on instinct and adrenaline, he gripped the door frame with his fingers, braced his foot against the door, and pulled. The door frame bent in half and the glass shattered.
“I was trying to hold my breath and not inhale any smoke,” Johannes said. “I was going to climb to the backseat and get a heavy-duty flashlight to break the window.”
As soon as Johannes heard the glass shatter, he climbed out the window with Renning’s help. Johannes was a little stiff and bruised, and had some minor cuts from the shattered glass. Renning, an Air Force first sergeant, said he had no idea how he was able to bend the door. He said he runs a few times a week, but is no bodybuilder. “I don’t spend money on the gyms,” Renning said. “My mom teased me and said: ‘You were supposed to run away from the car, not run towards the car,’” Renning said. “But my grandkids were impressed with me. So that is enough.” “It was a miracle. He was a husband, he was dad,” Lisa Johannes told ABC News. “He was just telling himself: ‘I had to get out of there the entire time.'” Renning said the story is not about him, but about Johannes. “I had no idea what went through his mind at that time,” Renning said. “I just talked to him [Renning] yesterday and I will call him again later today,” Johannes said. “He saved my life. I will be forever grateful.”
POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
OPPONENT: Why do you Christians always try to convert people anyway? It’s so annoying.
CHRISTIAN: I’m sorry to hear that. My main reason is to obey God because of what He has done for me. I also shared to you the Gospel because of my concern for you since you are lost. Can I give you a story that probably give a better illustration of why I am sharing with you? <Insert Illustration>
OPPONENT: What a story!
CHRISTIAN: Do you see why this guy goes all out and seem to even have superhuman strength? What motivated him?
OPPONENT: To save that guy’s life.
CHRISTIAN: That’s analogous to the same motivation why I am going all out to warn people. It is out of concern for those lost and going to hell because of their sins. Before we go off on another rabbit trail I want you to know my sincere motivation and intention…