Friday, September 27, 2013

Teaching Christian Apologetics from a Confessional Perspective

What are Christian Apologetics??

Ø What is an apologetic?? Where have you heard the word before???

An apologetic is a deffence of the faith... There are apologetics in the Lutheran Confessions and Plato wrote "The Apology" of Socrates on trial.

Ø “In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense [ἀπολογίαν] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15.

Ø Where are more apologetics in the Bible?

Any story in the Bible is a historical defense of God and his acts. This goes from Paul’s personal experiences all the way back to Adam’s creation and conversations with God. There are also questions posed: Who else could call the stars out by name??

How is the Lutheran view of apologetics different than most??

Ø What is the point of many apologetics? What’s the difference between offensive and defensive apologetics??

Ø “We believe, teach, and confess that the unregenerate will of mankind is not only turned away from God, but also has become God’s enemy… Just as a dead body cannot raise itself to bodily, earthly life, so a person who by sin is spiritually dead cannot raise himself to spiritual life… ‘Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.’ It is God’s will that His Word should be heard and that a person’s ears should not be closed (Psalm 95:8). With this Word the Holy Spirit is present and opens hearts, so that people… pay attention to it and are converted only through the Holy Spirit’s grace and power, who alone does the work of converting a person.” Article II. Free Will: Affirmative Statements (646 in the Lutheran Confessions).

Ø “Though philosophy cannot grasp it, yet faith can. The authority of the word of God goes beyond the capacity of our minds.” Luther’s Against Transubstantiation

Ø “We know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” 1 Cor. 8:1-3.

Where do you start??

Ø Is it better to prove that (1) God exists then prove that he revealed Himself in Christ or (2) that Christ exists as Lord first and then continue by explaining that he also pointed back to the Father??

Ø What are some historical arguments for Jesus Christ??

· “C.S. Lewis – Lord, Liar, or Lunatic” – In Mere Christianity

· Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ

· Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict

Starting on page 119.

Ø What are some arguments for God??

· C.S. Lewis: Converting the imagination in Surprised by Joy & Personal Ex.

· William Lane Craig

-- The Contingency Argument

God’s the best reason for everything’s continued existence.

-- The Kalam Cosmological Argument

He’s the reason for everything’s origin.

He’s the Primary Cause or Source of existence.

-- The Design Argument

The reason that the universe’s fine-tuning.

The physicist Dr. Bloom is a good source for this one.

-- The Moral Argument

Best reason that objective morals exist

The holocaust is an example of something objectively evil.

-- The Ontological Argument

Thinking that God could exist hints at his actual existence.

Where else would we get that idea??

Descartes would agree with this (the infinite proves the finite)

How do you teach it??

Ø Know your audience.

· Discussion *** Conversation of the Classics

· Experience *** Own life and debate

· Outline *** Formal argument structure (P1, P2, C)

· Video

· Literature


o Authors:

v Josh McDowell

v William Lane Craig

v Ravi Zacharias

v C.S. Lewis

v G.K. Chesterton

v Angus Menuge

v Lee Strobel

o Books:

v On Guard – Craig

v New Evidence that Demands a Verdict – McDowell

v God in the Dock - Lewis

v Reasonable Faith – Craig

v The Case for Christ – Strobel

v Tough-Minded Christianity – Misc.

v Agents Under Fire - Menuge

v The End of Reason – Zacharias

o Online:








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