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The Apologetics Thread

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  • 1 Peter 3:15 serves as the foundation for the defense of the Christian worldview and for apologetics as a whole. We are called to do this is a respectful manner...

    "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect..." 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV).

    Apologetics is not about apologizing. It's just as much a form of evangelism as what missionaries to across the world and just as much a Christian calling as cheerful giving is to every believer in tithing and charity. It's about winning souls, and in the same way that spreading the gospel requires training, so too does apologetics. The purpose behind this forum is to help in training all of us to defend Christianity with gentleness and respect with regards to every opposing worldview. It's not only about refuting arguments and giving them; apologetics refers to the way that we discuss some of the most important and controversial topics of our culture and society.

    In this thread, a few things will be addressed. Specific arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity will be addressed. Objections to Christianity and the existence of God will be addressed. But just as important is the way in which we view other human beings who may not agree with us and how we talk to them. Paul pointed out that he had a distinct way of addressing people with different views. To the Jew, he became like a Jew, and so on, to win more souls to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:20). Taking these biblical examples, we can come to conclusions on how we address others. Specific doubts that some of you may have will be addressed as they come up. I just ask that you all try to present your doubts in a way that will not make it seem as if it is a part of another discussion. Other discussions being addressed at the same time are fine, but make it clear that your point or discussion is separate from any others. And please check the other discussions to make sure that you're not repeating the topic of a discussion that's already in session.

    Finally, I will soon be posting blogs related to apologetics on the group blog page. Discussion is welcomed there, too, but please try not to derive from the topic of the blog. If I am, in one blog, discussing the Cosmological Argument, please try not to begin a discussion on the Moral Argument in that blog's comment section.

    I pray that this forum and the subsequent blogs will help all of us in training us to defend the faith and to address the unbelievers in a more respectful and rational way. God bless.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • I apologize for the massive wall of text.  Something with the formatting isn't working.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Looking forward to reading these blogs.

  • One of the things that I think is most beneficial in examining the arguments for and against God's existence is answering to either objections to the positive arguments or to the objections to God's existence.  To do this, I will first post a positive argument for God's existence, and then I will post a possible objection.  You, my fellow Christian Group members, will have to answer to the objections after closely studying the argument.  I've personally found that this is very helpful in understanding what you are trying to defend.  I'll begin soon with the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Great idea!

  • This is the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  It is one of the more well-known arguments for an Uncaused First Cause (not necessarily God) and, for a reference, has been addressed and defended extensively by William Lane Craig.  It is often presented in the form of a syllogism (form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions or premises).  Here it is:

    Kalam Cosmological Argument:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

    2. The universe began to exist.

    3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

    Both of the premises come from their own reasoning; I just don't have the time right now to address each premise.  We can talk about them if you all want to.

    These are the conclusions of the attributes of the cause that come from analyzing the cause of the universe:

    1. Eternal (uncaused, timeless)

    2. Immensely powerful

    3. Immaterial

    4. Spaceless

    5. Personal

    Again, all of these can be explained in greater depth.  First, if you are unsure of one of the parts of the argument, we can address those.  If you don't have any questions, then I will move on to the objections.  For now, I will give all of you time to examine and analyze the argument for yourselves.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • I fixed the format of the description of the thread!  Now it looks so much better.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Since no one has raised a question or point of discussion about the Kalam Cosmological Argument, then I will post the first and easiest objection to answer.

    Some attempt to refute the Kalam Cosmological Argument because they claim that it doesn't logically lead to the existence of the Christian God of the Bible.  How would you answer this objection?

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Take it in steps.  Once the existence of a higher power is logically established, you begin to examine the various theories concerning the specifics of that power.  Higher Criticism of all religious texts eventually leaves one that is perfect, historical, scientific, and logical.

  • I will act as the skeptic here to move through the ideas in more detail. It may be that once we establish logically the existence of a higher power, then we can assess in more detail what the higher power is like (i.e. if it is personal or not) by analyzing religions and such. But this is not what the objection states. The objection states that because the argument doesn't necessarily lead to the existence of a Christian God, then the argument is false. You must answer to the objection in light of the argument.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • The conclusion, "therefore, the universe has a cause." provides no argument for God.  It only states that the universe couldn't have just come into being from nothing.    The argument itself is true, but if one is using it alone to prove the Christian God exists they aren't fully equipped for the debate.  Now I realize that neither if my replies answer the original question.  They're just thoughts.

  • I have two points to reply to this.

    First, I think that you have to consider the implications of the conclusion to the argument.   After concluding that there is a cause to the universe, you are led to conclude that the cause is immaterial, spaceless, timeless, etc.  That's the second list in the argument that I posted above.

    Second, what you said about the argument being true but not proving the existence of the Christian God is precisely what I wanted to read.  While it is true that the argument doesn't prove the existence of the Christian God, this doesn't mean that the argument is therefore false.  The Kalam Cosmological Argument isn't meant to support Christianity.  It supports theism and is also often used by Muslim apologists.

    That is my answer to the first objection, but if anyone has any more points concerning the objection, then I'll wait for any more responses.  If there are none, then I will move on to the next objection.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

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