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Kreeft 1: Apologetics

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Notes for the apologetics course at LTCi, Siliguri

Notes for the apologetics course at LTCi, Siliguri

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  • 1. Christian apologetics LTCi course 701 EBI course 222Monday 14 November 2011
  • 2. Christian apologetics apologetics Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense" plural noun [treated as sing. or pl. ] reasoned arguments or writings in LTCi course 701 EBI course 222 justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 3. Chapter 1 Apologetics Pocket handbook of Christian apologetics (2003) Peter Kreeft & Ronald TacelliMonday 14 November 2011
  • 4. 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, “Apologetics is the enterprise of obeying that command”Monday 14 November 2011
  • 5. Reasons for apologetics Some say apologetics is intellectual, rational and abstract - they say reason is less important than love and sanctity. The problem is such thinking needs reasoning - we all reason our arguments, we simply need to make sure we do it well. In chapter 2 we shall see that reason is a “friend of faith”Monday 14 November 2011
  • 6. Some people decide with their hearts more than with their heads - which is right as the heart is the centre of our being - but apologetics gets to the heart through the head - the head is the gate to the heart. We love what we know. Arguments can keep you from faith - we cannot believe what we believe to be untrue, and we cannot love what we believe is unreal. So we have to join the battle of arguments. In essence reason has veto powerMonday 14 November 2011
  • 7. “arguments can bring you closer to faith in the same way a car can bring you to the sea. The car can’t swim; you have to jump in to do that. But you can’t jump in the sea from 100 miles inland - you need a car to bring you to the place where you make the leap of faith into the water. Faith is a leap, but not a leap in the dark but in the light.”Monday 14 November 2011
  • 8. J. Allee on apologetics J. Allee (http://www.jacoballee.com/?p=44) suggests three reasons for apologetics: Apologetics, simply defined, is the rational defense of the Christian faith. 1. Apologetics Defends the Faith: The word apologetics comes from the Greek word “apologia” which means defense and is used in 1 Peter 3:15.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 9. Every Christian, to some degree, is called to be an apologist and should know God’s word well enough to be able to answer the questions and objections our friends, families etc. Apologetics defends the faith by showing that it is reasonable to be a Christian and that our faith is grounded in reality. Apologetics defuses the bombs thrown at Christianity.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 10. 2. Apologetics Affirms the Faith of Believers: Apologetics reinforces the faith of Christians - showing Christians that they can proclaim the faith boldly because the evidence is on their side. Christianity has interacted with history in such a way that it rises and falls upon historical claims such as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 11. Apologetics shows the validity to the Christian truth claims and uses history, philosophy, science and logic to provide evidence in its favor. No other religion in the world can boast the impressive weight of evidence that Christianity has going for it. The more Christians understand just how reasonable our faith is and how much support it has, the more they are confident in their faith and the more they, in turn, share it.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 12. 3. Apologetics Removes Barriers to Faith (Evangelizes): If while defending the faith we can answer the sincere questions of unbelievers then essentially we are tearing down walls of unbelief that are keeping them from trusting in Christ for salvation. Apologetics removes the wall of unbelief and allows thinking people to embrace the Christian faith.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 13. An example - Paul Acts 17:16-34 Paul reasoned with thinking men about God and the person of Jesus and although not all believed some did. Even with those who are hostile to the Christian faith or who throw out objections to avoid dealing with the truth if we are able to answer their objections, whether reasonable or not, then we strip away their screens and leave them face to face with the living God.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 14. An example - Paul Acts 17:16-34 Paul reasoned with thinking men about God and the person of Jesus and although not all believed some did. Even with those who are hostile to the Christian faith or who throw out objections to avoid dealing with the truth if we are able to answer their objections, whether reasonable or not, then we strip away their screens and leave them face to face with the living God.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 15. They will then be forced to deal with the fact that they are rejecting Christ not on the basis of genuine objections but because in their sin they want nothing to do with the true God.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 16. Concerning methodology The authors state that they try to use commonsense standards of rationality and universally agreed principles of logic in all their arguing. They do make the point that human arguments have some important features in their context: 1. The psyches of the people involved 2. The relationship of the two people involvedMonday 14 November 2011
  • 17. 3. The immediate situation in which they find themselves 4. The larger social, cultural, and historical situation surrounding them. National, political, social factors all affect our apologetics - you do not argue in the same way with a Muslim woman in Tehran as you would an African American in NYC. Our arguments should be like swords not bombs - the sword is an extension of the swordsman - tone, sincerity, concern, listening and respect matter a great deal in ensuring you are heard.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 18. 3. The immediate situation in which they find themselves The world was won 4. The larger social, cultural, and historical situation surrounding for Christ not by them. arguments but by National, political, social factors all affect our apologetics - you do not sanctity: “What argue in the same way with a Muslim woman inspeaks so you African American in NYC. are Tehran as you would an Our argumentscan hardly loud, I should be like hearthe swordsman - tone, what you swords not bombs - the sword is an extension of say.” sincerity, concern, listening and respect matter a great deal in ensuring you are heard.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 19. The need for apologetics today 1. Western civilisation is in danger of dying - the reason is spiritual, it is losing its life and soul, which was its Christian faith - western countries are engulfed by secularism - the 20th century has been dominated by genocide, sexual chaos and money worship - the authors suggest we are doomed unless we turn back the clock (spiritually) secular |ˈsekyələr| denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basisMonday 14 November 2011
  • 20. 2. As well as the civil, cultural crisis we are in there is a philosophical, intellectual one too - there is a crisis of truth Any idea of objective, definitive, truth is rejected or attacked - this is especially seen in the schools and media. 3. The deepest level of crisis in society is not cultural or intellectual but spiritual. The eternal souls of men and women, for whom Christ came to die, are at stake. Saying such a thing, in such a definite way, is not necessarily popular or acceptable today.Monday 14 November 2011
  • 21. The basis of the book The authors declare in the book they are dealing with the basic or core beliefs which are common to all Christians - those at the core of the faith as outlined in the Apostles Creed. This, they say, unites many Christians whilst Liberal or revisionist theologians will not be happy about what is written in the book - e.g. arguing for miracles, the reliability of Scripture, the reality of the resurrection, the divinity of Christ and the reality of heaven and hell.Monday 14 November 2011

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