1,2 What does it mean to make an "apology"?
2-1 Webster: To admit an error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret.
3 What does the word "apologetics" mean?
3-1 Webster: Branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of the Christian faith.
4 Wycliffe: the defense and justification of the Christian faith and the Scriptures against attack from doubters and unbelievers, as well as the development of 4-1 a positive evangelical presentation of the facts given in the Bible (from the Greek: apologia).
5 READ Isaiah 1:18,
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
We are called to reason together, believer and non-believer to determine the Truth. 5-1 Reason: to explain or justify on rational grounds. Note Isaiah goes into a pretty good OT description of God's plan of reconciliation and salvation.
5-2 READ Acts 17:17,
Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.
Note how Paul laid out 5-3 the framework or pattern that is to inform our attempts to witness our faith – reasoning with Jew and Gentile alike.
6 READ 1 Peter 3:15,
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Note Peter calls us to give 6-1 a defense (apologia) and a reason for our hope.
7 What are some of the "standard arguments" of apologetics?
Cosmological and Teleological Arguments - The existence of the universe 7-1 demonstrates that God exists (He was the cause) and because there is 7-2 an intricate design (order and purpose) in the world around us, that requires a designer (God).
8 Example (Cosmological): Whatever begins to exist has a cause; The universe began to exist; Therefore, the universe had a cause.
8-1 G.K. Chesterton – Catholic – argued from an "uncommon sense" point of view that thinkers and philosophers, though clever, were basically proposing nonsense in the view of the existence of God.
9 Example (Teleological): The complexity of something implies a design/designer; The universe is highly complex; Therefore, the universe has a designer (God). 9-1 Today's intelligent design appeals to these arguments (Lou Giglio – Indescribable Video).
10 Moral Argument - If there are any real morals, then there must be an absolute from which they are derived.
Example: Some form of moral absolutes exist and have authority for societies; Belief in God provides the best argument for the existence of such absolutes;
10-1 C.S. Lewis – Anglican – converted to Christianity in 1929 by the arguments of J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton. Is credited with much of the scholarly work done to refute the heresy that though a good man and teacher, Jesus was not God. His arguments gave rise to the "Jesus is either a liar, lunatic or Lord" position. (MC) He also championed the Moral Argument that people often complain that one set of morals is better than another, but that this is actually an argument for some kind of "Real Morality" to which they are comparing. (pg 26 MC)
11 Presuppositional Arguments – Arguments that require the existence of God as a necessary precondition.
11-1 Cornelius Van Til – Calvinist – Van Til proposed that Devine revelation in the Bible is the only viable standard for thought; Apart from such presupposition, we cannot make sense of the human experience as there are no set of neutral assumptions from which we can reason with a non-believer.
12 Francis Schaeffer – Presbyterian – A presuppositional theologian, influenced by Van Til. He established the L'Abri Fellowship International to help teach Christians to demonstrate compassionately and defend rationally the claims of Christ in the postmodern society. Not a leap of faith but going to the second floor of the theological house.
13 Paul Copan – When God Goes To Starbucks
13-1 Why would a God Who is supposed to be all good allow things like 9/11, child abuse, and all the other horrors of our society?
14 John Piper gave an excellent answer to this: Because of 14-1 our sin. God allows these horrors because to acquaint us with the revulsion we should feel about our sin. 15