Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Power of Apologetics
Let's talk apologetics! Yay, my favorite subject. Apologetics comes from the Greek word "apologia" meaning to give an answer. And many have given answers, all the way back to the first few centuries of Christianity. Of note, Justin Martyr who wrote in response to critics in ancient Rome. If you ever get the chance read some of Justin Martyr's apologies. I've been able to find them free online, Librivox has two of them I believe in free audio format.
Justin Martyr wrote in response to Greeks and Romans who had a lot of interesting objections to Christianity. They said Christianity was for the intellectually simple in society. They didn't like a religion that used a cross as it's emblem. They didn't like Christianity's view on marriage. Come to think of it, the arguments against Christianity have hardly changed in over 1,900 years.
To give an answer for the faith in my heart is a great relief in a culture declaring "God is dead!" Not to mention the "tolerance" agenda, gay rights, and Christians being called "bigots." Scary stuff. Especially since I used to hold a lot of those same views. I just didn't know any better. Not to mention I was much more concerned with what was hip and popular, or hipster popular, than what the actual truth was. There's parties to get to, you know?
When Paul the former Jewish terrorist turned radical follower of Jesus Christ spoke to the Jews in the synogagues he reasoned from the scriptures as to why Jesus Christ was and is in fact the Messiah. They were God-believers, so he reasoned from the scriptures. But when he spoke to the Gentiles (all non-jews in the world) like the Greeks and Romans, he provided defenses of the faith, interacting with the worldview of the people in those cultures.
That's what we have to do in America today. Fifty years ago that would not have been the case; the great majority fifty years ago could've probably been, for the most part, shown the gospel from the context of the pages of the Bible. Not so anymore.
People are eating up the lame arguments of the so called new atheists, and declaring their superiority over Christianity by welcoming in eastern mysticism, new age beliefs, and in general accepting naturalism (the view that everything has a material cause without any need for the immaterial). In another way, evolution is rolled out as adequately describing reality. Science. In another way, LGBT rights is being rolled out as superior to the teaching of the Bible. A certain intellectual elite are attempting to claim the moral high ground.
Of course we Christians know that what is popular is not necessarily true. Or at least we should know that. But I keep hearing about defections by Christian musicians (how surprising) and Christian denominations to the gay rights agenda. Scary stuff. When it's easy to speak the truth, sure, Christians stand up for the Bible. What about when it's hard? And you could lose your job over it? When people around you are going to slander your name and label you a bigot? Then it's more difficult. But the intolerance of those telling us to be "tolerant" is just amazing. Such hippocracy..
The new hate speech is entirely unreasonable and unacceptable. And no I'm not talking about racism or sexism, I'm talking about the people using those words to silence those of different view points. Those who hold to intelligent design as a scientific theory are told to keep their "religious beliefs" out of science, even though intelligent design models use the same scientific models used by Darwin in his theories. Those who disagree with President Obama's policies are told to keep their "racist views" to themselves. And a lot of the time that will work, it will get the opposition to shut up, because they're so afraid of being labeled such a terrible thing. And I'm sure assuming Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, I will then be told to keep my "sexist views" to myself.
This new hate speech is really the new "politically correct" terminology. It straw man's the view of another so it will be dismissed.
A fascinating example is when in Germany, as the Nazi's were gaining power and Hitler was dismantling the former democracy... There were these people claiming Hitler had this crazy plan to start a world war and exterminate the Jews, and all of this nonsense. It was then that Hitler coined the term "conspiracy theorist" calling those who suggested such nonsense "conspiracy theorists." Then Hitler invaded Poland, later France, and World War II began. Hitler successfully used slanderous terminology to discredit the opposition so he could move forward with his plan to conquer Europe. And he did, at least temporarily.
We have to be on watch as Christians. We need Christians trained in the art of Apologetics to look at and interpret the culture of the West and explain the continuing relevance and desperate need for Jesus Christ in a fallen world! The arguments are powerful, and we need to continously counter the hate speech of the masses in the USA who are now embracing open sexuality, authoritarian government, and atheism.
Jesus Christ is just as important today as two thousand years ago. As we watch the USA and a lot of the world slipping into incredible debt (over 17 trillion owed by USA), wars, income inequality, corruption, and depravity we must continue to show why the USA is great. The USA was founded by Christian men, on the principle of a sovereign moral God. As the west rejects that to pursue their own sexual appetites and prideful arrogance we must call out to them: These things are false and wrong! Jesus Christ is real! God is real! And you can know him too!
So here are some wonderful presentations, giving an answer for the things we believe in our hearts. Enjoy and keep up the fight for the hearts and minds of this great nation, and the world at large!
1. Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, William Lane Craig.
2. Intelligent Design and it's Rejection by the Science Community, Stephen Meyer & Eric Metaxas
3. A Message to Pastors regarding the value of Apologetics in Youth Ministries, William Lane Craig
4. Apologetics for those who feel Christianity has failed them, Ravi Zacharias
Philosophy, Science, Logic, and History: Presentations on the truth of Christianity from Multiple Disciplines
Recipes for the Babylonian Captivity
Objective Truth on a Spiritual Battlefield
The Philosophy of Jesus Christ
Jesus: The God who Came
Why is Jesus the perfect example to follow?