Christianity offers the ability to interpret the world

Scripture and the Church offer a cumulative amount of arguments to offer this skeptical world that God exists.

It isn’t that these arguments prove God deductively, its that fact that Christianity offers the most reasonable and cohesive interpretation of how the world works. It offers reasons for how humanity works, and answers better than any other religion how scientific discoveries relate to God’s creation.

The Ontological argument= God is the explanation of innate knowledge of transcendence.
The Teleological argument= God is the explanation for order in the universe.
The Cosmological argument= God is the explanation for creation
The Transcendental argument= God is the explanation for Logic, mathematics.
The Anthropological argument= God is the explanation for mans yearning and consciousness of God
The Moral argument= God is the explanation for objective moral truth.
The Argument for Desire= The appreciation for Beauty, Order, Peace all temporal in this world point to another world where human desire will be satisfied fully.

For the Christian these arguments are wrapped up in scripture and authored by God. The ordinary Christian need go no further than “Thus saith the Lord” to acquire validation for holding these truths. Those who are born of God, the reality of Christ as Savior, Lord and Creator are side-by-side with the reality of physical things. For the Christian the metaphysical and the physical are realities that are non-contradictory. The Christian is the ‘only’ one that can make sense of science, theology, faith and fact without formulating long-winded contradictions. Atheism has no equal coherency, all the varied attempts by famous atheists to explain the metaphysical eventually resound in irrational banter. Many an atheist has used Ockhams razor in an attempt to dismiss my explanations because it is not simplistic enough for their liking.  However, their own explanations are either assumed without proof or asserted as though their personal opinion rests upon bare fact.  To put it bluntly, each atheist has his own nuanced belief system, each without validation and each without any more credence than the false religions they denounce.

The easiest way to push atheism back on its heels is to question the presuppositions an atheist has made. Questions concerning absolutes in morality, logic or math usually end in utterly frustrating the atheist. When he cannot ad-homenum his way out of answering you, he must re-direct the Christian to some supposed fault with God, the bible or Christians themselves. Questions concerning origins is another, he must make faith statements, not about God, but about his faith in the latest scientific theory, or faith in “what will be revealed in the future”. In any case the atheist eventually leaves his science and logic behind and jumps to the irrational and emotional for pure self-defense.

There are atheists that are stout-hearted materialists and they have worked out a personal theory of boundaries or boxes. Such materialists or those who depend upon scientism believe against sound reasoning that these boxes are reality; for these people any thing transcendent is mere fantasy and the existential is a mental contrivance. One of the problems with their explanations is that it never rings true for the greater mass of people. If such a thing is so evident and obvious why would explanations for the metaphysical carry such a dismal reception from the greater population? It’s not as though others have not thought about the philosophy behind materialism; nor is scientism without its examiners who after diligent study, refuse the limited box and seek answers outside the confining philosophy. It is now noted among the wise of this age that scientism is incapable of providing the knowledge needed by even the child; those things outside the realm of empirical proof contain a tremendous ability to invade the human mind and lay waste to empiricism…all without higher education.

The Christian on the other hand has no such obstacles. The Word of God enlightens the mind and gives him insight into invisible realities. The moral, ethical and spiritual all find specific links to each other and all of them point the way to the lawgiver God himself. God has revealed man is the creation of God and is accountable to Him. God’s handiwork in forming the mind of man to understand the understandable-universe he lives in answers to the reality that intelligent design was created for designed intelligence. We are that designed intelligence, the scriptures reveal how it is we are to live among each other, and how we are to live in light of being God’s creation and eventually judged by God. The basis for what we are and who we are and what we are doing in this world is made plain by the scriptures. Atheism has made its loudest cry and asserted its best arguments but at the sunset of the day the world is no better off and man has no hope.

Jesus Christ came into the world to reveal God to us in a way we could never have imagined. His life and death destroys the idea that God is insensitive to the needs of humanity, and his resurrection is the answer to mans greatest hope and deepest needs. If you find yourself without a credible way to understand the world, turn to the Word of God, seek out a solid Christian and ask the questions that need asking. But know for a certain, God is willing to save those who will come to him, he will forgive your sins and give you mercy instead of judgment.

 

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Pitfalls of Atheist Rejection of Moral Absolutes

 

broken machines

Even if the Bible was no better than this the atheist cannot justly condemn it with a double standard.

 

Eager to be free from Moral Absolutes

One of the pitfalls the Atheist makes for himself is the rejection of Moral Absolutes. The common atheist I have met normally shuns Moral Absolutes because it then becomes tied to a metaphysical Morality-maker who everyone knows is God. In the atheists eagerness to make sure he cannot be brought under the compliance to any moral code, commandments from God or a Morality-maker he creates an abyssal that removes him from everyone else.

Justifications for morality in Atheism

To make matters worse for the atheist he then attempts to ground any moral conception or ethic in materialistic explanation. This explanation is supposedly the shield of defense against Christianity or any metaphysical authorship because it locates all morality in a variety of naturalistic explanations.  Darwinian naturalism, gets a few votes, materialism gets its votes, humanism gets it adherents, personal concoctions of newspaper, magazines, atheist blogs and YouTube commentary fill out the concept for many others.

The laymen resources

Some more sophisticated anti-theist propagandists refer to Dr. Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett or John Loftus. All of these men have written their books and debated various Christians (often with disastrous results) but they are the mainstay for new ideas, and for some the courage to attack Christians in all forms of media and public mocking.

The Atheist writers offer little help

Even with these PhD’s the inescapable conclusions reemerge in every atheist challenge. What conclusions? Morality does exist whether you claim it from God or from nature or from societal norms. What other conclusion? If there is no absolute morality there is no specific moral code binding on any one of us. I am not ruled by another’s conscience except by consent. If I am compliant without consent I am under moral constraint and seek to be free from it. It is in this mixed bag that some atheist will not admit to any morality, they are amoral and live according to their own dictates with all the internal modifications needed to interact with the world they live in. If there were any people group that need to comply the most it would be this group. Since everyone outside of themselves thinks tangental to their mental construct of morality they cannot say they have anyone agreeing with them in principle, only in terms of pragmatism…lets get along to live peaceably. The Atheist horsemen cannot set this atheist free in this world, they can only give credence to particular nuances in individual atheist ethic. For the rest who admit to morality whether its a mixture of moral absolutes or personal moral principles these people have the difficulty of preaching morality to others without the slightest authority to do so.

Read this short article taken from John Loftus website.

 http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-can-account-for-morality-were.html

What Can Account for Morality, We’re Asked?In David Eller’s excellent book, Atheism Advanced, Eller basically explains morality as those moral rules made up by people in order to define what it means to be part of any culture. They are usually based upon the religious myths each culture accepts. There is no morality then, only “moralities.”
He finds that there are moralities among animals like Chimps, so it shouldn’t surprise us when language bearing humans came up with more elaborate moral rules. And since we’re talking about human beings, it’s no surprise that our moralities have some major similarities since we are social animals who need to get along, to be loved and to love, to help and to be helped. Anyone who doesn’t accept the moral rules of a culture are not allowed in the group, or we banish them, ostracize them, imprison them, and kill them. Do you want the benefits of being in the group? Then obey the moral rules, or at least don’t get caught. Otherwise, you’re on your own. As such, there is nothing prohibiting someone from not accepting the moral rules of a culture if s/he doesn’t want the benefits of the group (which would be a Freudian “death wish”). Are acts like murder, rape, and theft objectively and universally “wrong” then? That’s probably a nonsensical question. 
Therefore, there can be no argument for the existence of God based on morality. Human beings make up their own moralities because we’re social beings who need to belong and get along. Morality is part of our survival instinct. We need other people to survive!
———-For a Christian who might be stunned by the conclusion that it’s probably a nonsensical question whether or not murder, rape, and theft are objectively and universally “wrong,” then think again. Look at your own Bible. There is plenty of that to be found in it, all sanctioned by your barbaric God. Elsewhere I’ve argued that rational self-interest can account for our morality.

Not so fast, there’s a problem

The Christian finds an inherent problem with this authors conclusion; namely, if that group creates its own morality that is for the purpose of a survival instinct, what makes them think that nature has not selected us to adopt a different morality that derives glory and honor from completely annihilating this other people group? We are completely with our moral right and without the slightest implied wrong-doing on our part we may conduct our warring as long as we exist. While the doomed to extinction people group may find us reprehensible we are naturally disposed to it and consequently beyond reproach. Transfer this same line of reasoning to God, the bible and Christians, how can the atheist possibly find Christianity, the bible or God morally wrong in any case since we have adopted our own moral code? It would not matter if the bible was a complete jumble of failing tic-tac-toe games or unfinished seduko games. It would not matter in the slightest if the numbers were wrong or the games were all ties. Its irrelevant. The atheist by his own admission has a morality that is only adopted by an agreeable society of atheists (if they wanted to form community) and that morality has no power to condemn or approve my morality no matter how different it may be to them.

The right to judge is rendered powerless by the atheist

The pitfall of the atheist moral relativism is that it has no authority to condemn God or the bible except among those who agree with them. The outsider need not concern himself in the slightest because their moral code is not founded upon anything other than their own personal proclivities and tastes. The atheist in his eagerness to declare himself free from moral absolutes has rendered his angry moralizing of God and the bible as irrelevant since I do not hold to their moral code…and cannot since it is not standardized.

Condemnations are no more than personal bias

There are a great many other things that can be said about atheist moralizing, but one thing is for certain, their condemnations are strictly personal and according to their own axioms I am free from any condemnation by them. Now, they spend alot of time bashing God, condemning the bible’s texts on slavery, rape or genocide, but all of that is mere bluster and grandstanding…and it has no relevance whatsoever unless the atheist is playing by the rules of the Christian where such actions would be condemned.

The double-standard renders their argument illogical

But, is this not the point? The atheist refuses to be constrained by a Morality-maker other than themselves, therefore the atheist is using a double-standard against the Christian and blatantly calling the Christian into account to the atheist…where in fact the atheist has claimed the Christian cannot condemn him because he does not believe in God or any Morality-maker.

This is the working of the power of sin in the atheist, it is the irrationality of the Void, a reigning of Sin in the heart.

Christian Apologetics Manifesto: Nineteen Theses To Shake the World With the Truth

Christian Apologetics Manifesto: Nineteen Theses To Shake the World With the Truth

By Douglas Groothuis

On this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of death will not overcome it—Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:9).

This is a manifesto to ignite the holy fire of apologetic passion and action. As did Jeremiah, we should have “fire in our bones” to communicate and commend Christian truth today (Jeremiah 20:9). This manifesto is not a sustained argument or a detailed development of themes. Rather, as a manifesto, it proclaims a short series of interrelated propositions crying out for both immediate and protracted reflection, prayer, and action. These challenges issue from convictions formed through my nearly thirty years of apologetic teaching, preaching, debating, writing, and Christian witness.

Because of (1) the waning influence of the Christian worldview in public and private life in America today, (2) the pandemic of anti-intellectualism in the contemporary church, and (3) the very command of God himself to declare, explain, and defend divine truth, I strongly advise that the following statements be wrestled with and responded to by all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Christian apologetics involves the presentation and defense of Christianity as an integrated worldview that is objectively, universally, and absolutely true, reasonable, knowable, and existentially pertinent to both individuals and entire cultures. Apologetics involves rebutting unbelieving accusations against Christianity (2 Corinthian 10:3-5; Jude 3) as well as giving a constructive and persuasive case for Christian theism (Philippians 1:7; 1 Peter 3:15).

2. Any intellectual discipline, church practice, or teaching that minimizes or denigrates the importance of apologetics is unbiblical and must be repented of (Matthew 4:17; Acts 17:16-34; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3). The degradation of apologetics can only lead to the further vitiation of the life of the church. “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

3. The fundamental issue for apologetics is not how many apologists one has read, or what apologetic method one embraces (although that must be worked out carefully). Rather, the essential issue is whether or not one has a passion for God’s transforming truth—reasonably pursued and courageously communicated—and a passion for the lost because of the love of God resident and active in one’s life (Romans 9:1-3; 10:1). Like the Apostle Paul at Athens, we should both be “greatly disturbed” because of the rampant unbelief in our day. We, like that great apologist, should also be intellectually equipped and spiritually prepared to enter the marketplace of ideas for the cause of Christ (Acts 17:16-34).

4. The apologist must be convinced of the truth, rationality, pertinence, and knowability of the Christian worldview, which is derived from Holy Scripture as it is logically systematized and rightly harmonized with general revelation (truth knowable outside of Scripture). This is an intellectual goal for a lifetime as the disciple of Christ seeks to love God with one’s mind and take more and more thoughts captive to obey Christ (Matthew 22:37-40; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The apologist should never rest content with an ad hoc or piecemeal worldview, as is so typical of those afflicted with postmodernist pastiche sensibilities.

5. In light of (1), (2), (3), and (4), fideism—the claim that Christian faith finds no positive warrant from reason or evidence—should be rejected as unbiblical and harmful to the great cause of biblical truth (Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 22:37-39; Romans 12:1-2). Fideistic confessions such as “I just know that I know in my knower,” do little to challenge unbelief or induce unbelievers to consider the saving truth of the gospel. Moreover, members of other religions can use the same technique to attempt to support their false beliefs. This is especially true for Mormons, who rely so heavily on subjective feelings to verify objective claims. Fideism strips Christianity of its rational witness to the reality of God’s holy revelation to humanity.

6. Any theology, apologetics, ethics, evangelism or church practice that minimizes or denigrates the concept of objective, absolute, universal and knowable truth is both irrational and unbiblical. As such it must be rejected and repented of. Thus, the postmodernist view of truth as socially constructed, contingent, and relative must be rejected by Christian apologists. Anything that might be true in postmodernism can be found elsewhere in better philosophical systems. What is false in postmodernism (the vast majority of it) is fatal to Christian witness. Without a strong, biblical view of truth apologetics is impossible.

7. The work of the Holy Spirit in bringing people to saving faith should not be artificially separated from faithful apologetic engagement. Many Christians wrongly think that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is exclusively non-rational or even irrational. The Spirit is free to win and woe unbelievers in a host of ways—including dreams, angelic visitations, healings, visions, meaningful coincidences, and so on—but we must remember that He is “the Spirit of truth,” as Jesus said (John 16:13). There is no reason to separate the work of the Holy Spirit from rigorous and skillful argumentation for Christian truth. The Holy Spirit can set the redeemed mind free to argue logically and winsomely; he also reaches into the unbeliever’s soul through the force of arguments. Apologists should earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit will make them as intelligent and knowledgeable as possible.

8. All apologetic endeavors should manifest the virtues of both humility and courage through the empowering of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16-26). If we have been bestowed by Almighty God with truth to defend rationally, this is because of God’s grace, not our own goodness (Ephesians 2:1-8; Titus 3:5-6). There is no room for pride, which goes before a fall. If Almighty God has bestowed us with saving truth to defend rationally, we should take it to the streets and not shrink back from appropriate encounters with unbelief. There is no room for cowardice. As Paul counseled Timothy, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Humility should not be confused with uncertainty or timidity. One may be confident in one’s worldview and defend it publicly without being arrogant. The grand apologist, G.K. Chesterton explains this perfectly and memorably.
But what we suffer from to-day is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt—the Divine Reason.

9. Apologetics must be carried out with the utmost intellectual integrity (Titus 2:7-8; James 3:1-2). All propaganda, cheap answers, caricatures of non-Christian views, hectoring, and fallacious reasoning must be avoided. Sadly, some apologetic materials are too cavalier for serious use. One should develop competent answers to searching questions about the truth and rationality of Christian faith. This demands excellence in scholarship at all intellectual levels, even the most popular. This cognitive orientation takes time, money, and sustained effort. It will not happen by watching television or by otherwise wasting our limited time. Christians must thus cultivate the virtue of studiousness in order to grow deep in their knowledge of God, the Christian worldview, and how to bring the Christian message to bear on unbelief.

10. The artificial separation of evangelism from apologetics must end. Many evangelistic methods die when those evangelized ask questions related to apologetics. Therefore, all evangelistic training should include basic apologetic training as well. The Apostle Paul serves as a model for us in that he both proclaimed and defended the Gospel in the Book of Acts (Acts 17:16-34; 19:8-10). Jesus also rationally defended his views as well as propounding them.

11. Apologetics is meant just as much for believers with doubts and questions as it is directed toward unbelievers. Therefore, Christians with doubts should not be shunned or shamed, but given good apologetic arguments (as well as pastoral care) in dealing with their intellectual struggles. When follows of John the Baptist came to Jesus with John’s questions about Jesus’ messianic identity, Jesus did not rebuke them, but provided evidence for why John should believe that Jesus was the Messiah (Matthew 11:1-11). Jude also counsels us to “have mercy on those who doubt” (Jude 22). One way to show mercy to the doubter is to build him or her by giving reasons for Christian faith. The apologetic witness of the church is strengthened tremendously when Christians gain rational assurance that their faith is indeed true and cogent.

12. Since all Christians are called and commanded to have a reason for the hope within them (1 Peter 3:15), Christian teachers, pastors, mentors and educators of all kinds are remiss if they avoid, denigrate, or minimize the importance of apologetics to biblical living and Christian witness. The commonly heard canard, “No one comes to Christ through arguments” is patently false. Many people, such as the apologists C.S. Lewis and John Warwick Montgomery, were drawn to the gospel through apologetic arguments. By God’s grace, I have been able to help unbelievers see the truth and rationality of Christianity through apologetic arguments. Well-respected Christian philosophers and apologists, William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland concur. Not all Christian teachers are equally gifted in apologetics, and some will emphasize this discipline more than others; but none should minimize the necessity of apologetics or preach around it when the biblical text requires otherwise.

13. Those outside of the leadership positions mentioned in (12) should humbly but boldly request that apologetics be made a constitutive part of these institutions if this is not already the case and pray to that end. We must stimulate each other to love and good deed in his area (Hebrews 10:24).

14. In light of (12) and (13), Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches should incorporate apologetics into their institutional/educational life, mission, and vision. Specifically, every Christian high school, college, university, and seminary should require at least one class in apologetics for every degree in their curriculum. Sadly, this is not now the case for most institutions of Christian learning. Moreover, every discipline should be taught from a Christian worldview, since all truth is God’s truth. This has significant apologetic value in and of itself. Duane Litfin, President of Wheaton College, has written very insightfully on this practice with respect to the Christian college.
Christian education within the church, especially the junior high level and above, should become more intellectually serious and thus more apologetically oriented. Classes should be taught by thoughtful teachers who engage students to outthink the world for Christ. These settings should become more like prayerful classrooms and less like chattering religious coffee and donut centers. Along these lines, churches should invest significantly in church library that is well stocked with books on apologetics and other topics.

15. Mission agencies should insure that their missionaries are adequately trained in the apologetic issues and strategies required for their place of service. The Great Commission requires that Christ’s followers disciple the nations by teaching them everything Jesus taught his original disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Since Jesus prized the life of the mind and defended this theology and ethics rationally, Christians should bring the best arguments for Christianity and against non-Christian religions to bear on the mission field. The nations cannot be discipled apart from the full orbed teaching and defense of the Christian worldview as it relates to all of life.

16. Because apologetics is meant to be the presentation and defense of Christianity as true, reasonable, pertinent, and knowable, competent apologists should attempt to offer their arguments in as many public venues as possible. Therefore, qualified Christian apologists should learn to become public intellectuals: thinkers who have mastered their material and are willing and able to enter public discourse and debate in a way that challenges and engages the non-Christian mind as well as galvanizes other Christians to hone their apologetic skills. Areas of apologetic engagement include the following:

  • Writing letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines.
  • Writing op-ed pieces for newspapers.
  • Calling talk radio programs.
  • Engaging in public debates and dialogues on religious and ethical issues, particularly in university campuses, where young minds are being forged for a lifetime.
  • Making apologetic contributions to interactive web pages.Writing books oriented to those outside the typical evangelical market, published by secular publishers if possible.
  • Creating apologetics tracts for specific events.
  • Any other creative outreach—drama, poetry, cinema, and more.

17. Christians should also labor to present reasons for faith in as many private settings as possible. Many who are not gifted as public speakers or writers can shine in their interpersonal Christian witness. This can include apologetic encounters such as:

  • Inviting people into one’s home for apologetic messages and discussions.
  • Giving apologetic literature to friends, family, and coworkers.
  • Writing letters to friends, family, and coworkers explaining and defending Christianity.

18. Young Christians with an aptitude in philosophy and academic pursuits in general should be encouraged that these disciplines are just as spiritual as anything directly church-related. For example, being a Christian philosopher at a secular college or university is just as godly and spiritual than being a pastor, missionary, or professor at a Christian institution (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). As the Dutch statesman, theologian, and journalist, Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine!'” One may prudently apply one’s apologetic skills in these settings and extend the Christian witness.

19. All apologetics ventures—whether in writing, speaking, or dialogue—should be backed by personal prayer by the apologist and supporting prayer of the church (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Certain apologetic ventures—especially those that deal with the occult and false religions—may require fasting in addition to prayer (Matthew 6:18-20; Acts 13:1-3).

May we who are redeemed through the blood of the lamb and who yearn to proclaim, explain, and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ take as our charge the Apostle Paul’s rousing conclusion to his glorious exposition of the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

A shorter version of this manifesto, featuring sixteen theses, was published in Areopagus Journal, Volume 5, no. 1 (January/February, 2005), 28-29.
For a defense of this view of biblical truth, see Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism (InterVarsity Press, 2000), especially chapters three and four.
On apologetic method, see Gordon Lewis, Testing Christianity’s Truth Claims (University Press of America, 1990), Steven Cowan, editor, Five Views of Apologetics (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2000).
See Groothuis, Truth Decay; Millard Erickson, Truth or Consequences (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001); Gary Scott Smith, Truth and a New Kind of Christian (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005). For a review of Brian McLaren’s influential defense of postmodernism in A New Kind of Christian (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001), see Douglas Groothuis, “A New Kind of Postmodernist,” The Christian Research Journal, volume 25, number 3 (2003); available on-line at: HYPERLINK “http://www.equip.org/free/DP808.htm”http://www.equip.org/free/DP808.htm. For an incisive review of McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), see Jeremy Green’s review in Denver Journal, available on-line at: HYPERLINK “http://www.denverseminary.edu/dj/articles2005/0400/0406.php”http://www.denverseminary.edu/dj/articles2005/0400/0406.php.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (New York: Doubleday, 1959; orig. pub., 1908), 31
See Douglas Groothuis, “Television: Agent of Truth Decay” in Truth Decay, 281-295.
On the intellectual virtue of studiousness, see Jay Wood, Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998); James W. Sire, Discipleship of the Mind (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990); Habits of the Mind (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000); J.P. Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1997).
See Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind, 131-134.
On Jesus as an apologist and philosopher, see Douglas Groothuis, “Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist,” The Christian Research Journal, volume 25, number 2 (2002); available on line at: HYPERLINK “http://www.equip.org/free/DJ700.htm”http://www.equip.org/free/DJ700.htm; see also Douglas Groothuis, On Jesus (Wadsworth, 2003).
On this, see Os Guinness, God in the Dark (Crossway Books, 1996).
J.P Moreland and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundation for a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 4-5.
Duane Litfin, Conceiving the Christian College (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004).
For specifics on developing these kinds of values in Church education, see Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind, 195-197.
For specific suggestions on this, see Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind, 195-197.
See Darrow Miller with Stan Guthrie, Discipling Nations, 2nd ed. (Seattle, WA: WYAM Publishers, 2001).
On how to write a clear and persuasive letter to the editor, see Douglas Groothuis, “How to Write a Letter to the Editor,” The Christian Research Journal, volume 29, number 1 (2006).
On the philosophy of making and distributing evangelistic/apologetic tracts, see Douglas Groothuis, “Event Specific Evangelism” in Confronting the New Age (InterVarsity Press, 1988), 217-222.
On the spurious separation of sacred and secular, see Arthur Holmes, All Truth is God’s Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), 1-30; Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2004); and Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 1981).
On the meaning of fasting, see John Piper, A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997).

http://blogs.christianpost.com/bookstop/christian-apologetics-manifesto-nineteen-theses-to-shake-the-world-with-the-truth-8817/

A Mulitiverse of options

A Mulitiverse of options

In my readings of various Apologists, I’ve noticed a recent trend. The use of ‘possible worlds’. It goes like this. If I wanted to speculate that something might happen I couch the speculation in “in that world a unicorn can fly”, so I present the possibility within a synthetic world that may exist in another universe. So goes the argument. The use of the “in another world” or “in another universe” is supposed to give a place-holder for a premise, or a thing or a person. This is to show that no matter where “it” might exist it might well fail the logic that would be common in all universes ad-infinitum.

I see two serious problems with using the ‘in another world’ speculative procedure.

1. There are no other worlds, and it is highly unlikely there are multiplied universes paradigm-ed after this one so that every counter-factual faced by every person ad-infinitum is available for viewing. In short this is an elongated and protracted method of simply speculating. But it carries the ‘possibility’ upon the speculative-back that we are not referring to this world. I see this as a introducing a philosophical construct that once entered gives the unbeliever endless possibilities for rabbit-hole-ing; he has found out that an ingenious tool has been offered him, namely the ability to speculate in another possible world that every truth of this world and Christianity must submit itself to the critical-logic of the speculator. In short, the conversation never ends and the gospel is now floating upon (and this is the egregious part) philosophical suppositions rather than being grounded in this world and the history of this world we both live in
The only way to back out of this deep-mine is to say “lets stop speculating and start getting to the business of the gospel”. But because you’ve introduced the ‘in another world’ speculation-permission the seg-way is awkward and it turns against you as ‘begging the question’ or affirming the antecedent. Let’s face it, you’ve given the unbeliever an intellectual tool to dig endless holes in which to hide from real-world truth. If there was ever a pill that one can take to increase cognitive dissonance this would be it.

2. I see this ‘in another world’ speculative method as a great hindrance to directly offering the gospel. To use a simple analogy; say I owned a dog that didn’t know its master and would never come by the name I call it. If I were to let that dog loose in my fenced yard, I will have some difficulty getting the leash on him. But if I purchase 10,000 acres of open land and then release that same dog, I might never expect him back.
So, too, that dog is the unbeliever with a heart that does not recognize the masters voice and has no intention of staying within the historical realities that the gospel is affixed to. So, with my exciting new philosophical pony I decide to release the unbeliever into an open-land of other-world speculations and multi-verse possibilities I doubt whether my pony and I will ever round up this dog. I have exponentially increased my effort to offer the gospel and now I must intellectually counter hundreds of new ‘areas’ that hold no safe place for the dog, but the dog can run there.

My perception of this kind of philosophical tool is one of disdain and one that I find greatly defeating to an apologetic that need not add the additional work of this kind of philosophical construct.

Believe me, when I read others use it in their conversations it sure sounds high-sounding and intellectually-stimulating but I find that their unbelieving friend has found an ally to keep running; namely the permission by the Apologist given to the unbeliever to intellectualize everything. Unfortunately the less savvy Apologist can make a game out of apologetics instead of using it as a genuine tool for the conversion of people going to hell. Whether or not the apologist does this purposely in order to intellectually spar with another intellect or whether the apologist just doesn’t realize (borrowing from my analogy) the extra work they must do now to round up the dog that never needed to be let out in the first place.