Pillars Of Faith


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  • Pillars Of Faith

    1. 1. Pillars of the Faith Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2006
    2. 2. Why Examine the Pillars of Faith Socrates said: “ The unexamined life is not worth living.” We add: “ The unexamined faith is not worth believing.”
    3. 3. It is the Great Commandment <ul><li>Jesus Said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind . This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38). </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Apostle Peter Said: <ul><li>“ 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” (1 Peter 3:15). </li></ul>
    5. 5. Pillars of the Faith <ul><li>1. ...Truth </li></ul><ul><li>2. …God </li></ul><ul><li>3. …Miracles </li></ul><ul><li>4. …Bible </li></ul><ul><li>5. …Christ </li></ul>
    6. 6. 1. The Pillar of Truth <ul><li>What is Truth? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Truth Absolute? </li></ul><ul><li>Can We Know Truth? </li></ul><ul><li>Can Opposites Both be True? </li></ul>
    7. 7. What is Truth?
    8. 8. Question: What is Truth?
    9. 9. Question: What is Truth? <ul><li>Answer: Truth is what matches its object. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Question: What is Truth? <ul><li>Answer: Truth is what matches its object. Truth corresponds to the facts. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Question: What is Truth? <ul><li>Answer: Truth is what matches its object. Truth corresponds to the facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is telling it like it is. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Question: What is Truth? Answer: Truth is telling it like it is “ This object is a table.”
    13. 13. “ Truth is not telling like it is!” Denying Truth is Self-Defeating “ Isn’t that telling it like it is?”
    14. 14. A Self-Defeating Statement “ There is no truth.” “ Is that true?”
    15. 15. A Self-Defeating Statement “ You can’t know truth.” “ How do you know that is true?”
    16. 16. A Self-Defeating Statement “ It’s true for me but not for every one!” “ Is that true for every one?”
    17. 17. “ There is no absolute truth!” A Self-Defeating Statement “ Is that absolutely true?”
    18. 18. “ You should doubt everything!” A Self-Defeating Statement “ Should I doubt that ?”
    19. 19. A Self-Defeating Statement “ Opposites are both true.” “ Is the opposite of that true? ”
    20. 20. Opposites cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. The Law of Non-Contradiction If any one denies this, then beat him and burn him until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned. ---Avicenna
    21. 21. 1. The Pillar of Truth <ul><li>Truth corresponds with facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is true for everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>We can we know the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Opposites can’t both be true. This is undeniable! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Pillars of the Faith <ul><li>1. ...Truth </li></ul><ul><li>2. …God </li></ul>
    23. 23. 2. The Pillar of God <ul><li>a. Does God Exist? </li></ul><ul><li>b. What kind of God Exists? </li></ul>
    24. 24. Three Basic Views of God Which One is True? Atheism No God at all Pantheism God is all God made all Theism
    25. 25. <ul><li>1. The Universe had a beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Life reveals incredible design. </li></ul><ul><li>3. There is an objective moral law. </li></ul>Three Reasons for God Existence
    26. 26. <ul><ul><li>1. Everything that had a beginning, had a cause. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. The universe had a beginning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Therefore, the universe had a Cause. </li></ul></ul>The First Reason:
    27. 27. Two Reasons for a beginning: <ul><li>1. The Universe is running down. </li></ul><ul><li>2. There cannot be an endless series of moments before today. </li></ul>
    28. 28. 1. The universe is running down <ul><li>a. Whatever is running down is not eternal. </li></ul><ul><li>b. The universe is running down. </li></ul><ul><li>c. Therefore, the universe is not eternal (it had a beginning). </li></ul>
    29. 29. Second Law of Thermodynamics The universe is running down; it is running out of useable energy UNUSABLE ENERGY
    30. 30. An Agnostic Astronomer <ul><li>“ Once hydrogen has been burned within that star and converted to heavier elements, it can never be restored to its original state. Minute by minute and year by year, as hydrogen is used up in stars, the supply of this element in the universe grows smaller” ( Jastrow , God and the Astronomers, 15-16 ). </li></ul>
    31. 31. An Agnostic Astronomer <ul><li>&quot;The scientists pursuit of the past ends in the moment of creation. This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: `In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth'&quot; ( Jastrow , God and the Astronomers, 115). </li></ul>
    32. 32. 2. There can’t be an endless series of moments before today. <ul><li>a. An endless series has no end. </li></ul><ul><li>b. But today is the end of the series of all days before today. </li></ul><ul><li>c. Therefore, the series of days before today is not endless (it had a beginning). </li></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><li>The Second Reason: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Every design has a designer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. The universe and life manifest design. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Therefore, the universe and life have a Designer. </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. Every Design has a Designer Far more complex
    35. 35. A Super-Intelligent Cause <ul><li>&quot;The harmony of natural law . . . reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection&quot; (in Heeren , Shew Me God, 66). </li></ul>Albert Einstein
    36. 36. Intelligent Design from an Intelligent Being! (Mom) T K E O U H G R B M T T E E A A A G O M _
    37. 38. Life is Complex                                                                      
    38. 39. { G C Cytosine Guanine 3 Who Designed the Genetic Code? Sugar & Phosphate Molecules Base Pairs 1 2 4 T A Adenine Thymine A T G C A G T A C T
    39. 40. One Ameba = 1,000 Volumes of an Encyclopedia
    40. 43. Intelligent Design : <ul><li>&quot;The conclusion of intelligent design flows naturally from the data itself--not from sacred books or sectarian beliefs…. Life on earth at its most fundamental level, in its most critical components, is the product of intelligent activity&quot; (Behe, Darwin’s Black Box). </li></ul>
    41. 44. Who Designed the Human Brain?
    42. 47. <ul><li>Summary of the Second Reason: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Every design has a designer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. The universe and life manifest design. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Therefore, the universe and life have a Designer. </li></ul></ul>
    43. 48. <ul><li>1. Every moral law has a moral law giver. </li></ul><ul><li>2. There is an absolute moral law. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Therefore, there is an absolute Moral Law Giver. </li></ul>The Third Reason for God
    44. 49. 3. There is an absolute moral law <ul><li>Otherwise,-- </li></ul><ul><li>a. We would not know some things are unjust. </li></ul><ul><li>b. We would not know some things are better. </li></ul><ul><li>c. Relativists would not be able to say “We should never say ‘never.’” </li></ul>
    45. 50. “ This world is absolutely unjust!” What’s the Standard for Judgment? “ How can he know what is absolutely un -just without knowing what is absolutely just?”
    46. 51. [As an atheist] my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. Straight Line = Absolute Standard We can’t know what is not-just unless we know what is Just. C. S. Lewis , Mere Christianity, 45.
    47. 52. “ Mother Teresa is better than Hitler” We can’t make moral comparison without an objective moral standard. But we do. Which one would you hire to baby sit your children?
    48. 53. An Outside Standard of Measurement “ The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either.” C.S. Lewis. Mere Christianity, 25.
    49. 54. Self-defeating Nature of Relativism <ul><li>1. You should never say “never.” </li></ul><ul><li>2. Your should always avoid using the word “always.” </li></ul><ul><li>3. You should absolutely avoid the word “absolute.” </li></ul>
    50. 55. Summary of Reason Three 1. Every moral law has a moral lawgiver. 2. There is an absolute moral law. 3. Therefore, there is an absolute Moral Lawgiver.
    51. 56. Question: What Kind of God Exists? Answer: A Theistic God He is super-powerful —reason 1 He is super-intelligent —reason 2 He is morally perfect —reason 3 Note: He is as different from the world as: 1. A Cause from its effect. 2. An Author from his book 3. A Lawgiver from his law.
    52. 57. The Three Major Views of God Atheism No God at all Pantheism God is all God made all Theism
    53. 58. The Possibilities in a Theistic Universe <ul><li>Could be true: </li></ul><ul><li>Judaism </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot be true: </li></ul><ul><li>Hinduism </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhism </li></ul><ul><li>New Age </li></ul><ul><li>Secular Humanism </li></ul><ul><li>Mormonism </li></ul><ul><li>Polytheism </li></ul><ul><li>Wicca </li></ul><ul><li>Confucianism </li></ul><ul><li>Taoism </li></ul>
    54. 59. The Three Major Theistic Religions <ul><li>Which one is true? </li></ul><ul><li>Judaism? </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity? </li></ul><ul><li>Islam? </li></ul><ul><li>The one confirmed by acts of God. </li></ul>God made all Theism
    55. 60. Pillars of the Faith <ul><li>1. ...Truth </li></ul><ul><li>2. …God </li></ul><ul><li>3. …Miracles </li></ul>
    56. 61. 3. The Pillar of Miracles <ul><li> a. Are Miracles Possible? </li></ul><ul><li> b. Are Miracles Actual? </li></ul><ul><li>c. The purpose of miracles. </li></ul>
    57. 62. If God Exist, Miracles are Possible <ul><li>“ But if we admit God, must we admit miracles? Indeed, indeed, you have no security against it. That is the bargain.” (C.S. Lewis, Miracles , 109). </li></ul>
    58. 63. If God Exist, Miracles are Actual <ul><li>1. If creation occurred, then the biggest miracle already happened. </li></ul><ul><li>2. If the biggest miracle happened, then smaller ones can occur too. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a. If God can created life, He can raise the dead. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b. If He can make something from nothing, then He can make something from something: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Like wine from water; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) Like many loaves from a few loaves. </li></ul></ul>
    59. 64. An Agnostic Astronomer <ul><li>&quot;That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientific- ally proven fact&quot; ( Jastrow in Christianity Today , 8/6/83, 15). </li></ul>
    60. 65. Did David Hume Prove Miracles are not Credible? <ul><li>The Skeptic’s Objection: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Natural Law is by definition a description of a regular occurrence. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A miracle is by definition a rare occurrence. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The evidence for the regular is always greater than that for the rare. </li></ul><ul><li>4. A wise persons always bases his belief on the greater evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Therefore, a wise person should never believe in miracles. </li></ul>
    61. 66. Did David Hume Prove Miracles are not Credible? <ul><li>The Skeptic’s Objection: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Natural Law is by definition a description of a regular occurrence. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A miracle is by definition a rare occurrence. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The evidence for the regular is always greater than that for the rare . </li></ul><ul><li>4. A wise person always bases his belief on the greater evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Therefore, a wise person should never believe in miracles. </li></ul>
    62. 67. Answer to Hume’s Skeptical Objection <ul><li>The evidence for regular events is not always greater than the evidence for rare ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from Hume’s own world view: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. The origin of the universe has never been repeated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. The origin of life from non-live is not being repeated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Macro-evolution has not been repeated. </li></ul></ul>
    63. 68. 3. The Pillar of Miracles <ul><li> a. Are Miracles Possible? </li></ul><ul><li> b. Are Miracles Actual? </li></ul><ul><li>c. The purpose of miracles. </li></ul>
    64. 69. The Purpose of Miracles <ul><li>John 3:2 -- “ Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with them.” </li></ul><ul><li>Act 2:22 -- “ Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God id through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know.” </li></ul><ul><li>Heb. 2:3-4-- The message “was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His will.” </li></ul><ul><li>A Miracle: An act of God to confirm the word of God through a prophet of God. </li></ul>
    65. 70. Pillars of the Faith <ul><li>1. ...Truth </li></ul><ul><li>2. …God </li></ul><ul><li>3. …Miracles </li></ul><ul><li>4. …Bible </li></ul>
    66. 71. The Pillar of the Bible <ul><li>Question: “Is the New Testament Historically Reliable?” </li></ul><ul><li>Answer: It is the most reliable book from the ancient world. </li></ul><ul><li>1. There are more manuscripts (c. 5700). </li></ul><ul><li>2. There are earlier manuscripts (150 yrs.). </li></ul><ul><li>3. They are better copied manuscripts (99.5). </li></ul><ul><li>4. There are more contemporary writers (9). </li></ul><ul><li>5. There are more contemporary writings (27) 6. There is more historical confirmation… than for any book from the ancient world! </li></ul>
    67. 72. Reliability of NT Documents
    68. 73. Archaeological Confirmation <ul><li>“ In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments— corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Jeffery Sheler, “Is the Bible True,” US News & World Report , October 25, 1999, 52) </li></ul>
    69. 74. “ House of David” 900 B.C. (Discovered 1993)
    70. 75. Jesus’ Home Town of Nazareth
    71. 76. “ Pontius Pilate Perfect of Judaea” 26-37 A.D. (Discovered 1961)
    72. 77. Ossuary of Joseph Caiaphas: High Priest 18-36 A.D. (Discovered 1990)
    73. 78. Crucifixion Victim 1 st Century A.D. (Discovered in Jerusalem)
    74. 79. A.D. 63 Reference to Jesus “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”
    75. 80. An Empty Tomb Like Jesus’
    76. 81. Pillars of the Faith <ul><li>1. ...Truth </li></ul><ul><li>2. …God </li></ul><ul><li>3. …Miracles </li></ul><ul><li>4. …Bible </li></ul><ul><li>5. …Christ </li></ul>
    77. 82. 5. The Pillar of Christ <ul><li>The Claims of Christ </li></ul><ul><li>The Credentials of Christ </li></ul>
    78. 83. 1. He Claimed to Be…. 2. He Proved to Be…. Was Jesus the Son of God?
    79. 84. Jesus Affirmed His Deity by Claiming: <ul><li>To be the great “I Am” (Ex. 3:14). </li></ul><ul><li>To be Yahweh (Jn. 8:12; 10:11; Rev. 1:8). </li></ul><ul><li>To be equal with God (Jn. 10:30-31) </li></ul><ul><li>To be the Messiah-God (Mk. 14:61-62) </li></ul><ul><li>To be worthy of worship (Jn. 20:28) </li></ul><ul><li>To be equal in authority with God (Mt. 28:18-20). </li></ul><ul><li>To be the object of prayer like God (Jn. 15:7). </li></ul>
    80. 85. Jesus: Liar, Lord or Lunatic? “ I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish things that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would rather be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - Or else he would be the Devil of Hell” ( C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity , 55-56).
    81. 86. Answering Objections to His Deity <ul><li>Jn. 14:28 : “The Father is greater than I.” </li></ul><ul><li>Answer: The Father was greater in office , not in nature. The Father as God was greater than Christ as man . </li></ul><ul><li>Mt. 24:36: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Answer: As God , Jesus knew everything. As man , his knowledge was limited (Lk. 2:52). </li></ul><ul><li>God can’t be three and yet only one: </li></ul><ul><li>Answer : Many things are three in one (e.g., a triangle, 1 to the third power, love, and thought. </li></ul>
    82. 87. Father Holy Spirit Son Human Nature Divine Nature
    83. 88. Father Holy Spirit Son Human Nature Divine Nature Father Who³ Who² Human Nature (Divine Nature) Who¹ What² What¹ (Son) (Holy Spirit)
    84. 89. Three Ways Jesus Proved to be God: 1. By fulfilling supernatural predictions 2. By performing supernatural acts 3. By His supernatural resurrection No other religious leader ever did this!
    85. 90. Human Race Woman, Gen 3:15 Ethnic Group Abraham, Gen 12:1 Tribe Judah, Gen 49:10 Dynasty David, 2 Sam 7:12 How Virgin, Isa 7:14 Where Bethlehem, Mic 5:2 When 33 A.D., Dan 9:24
    86. 91. Jesus Proved to be God by performing supernatural acts: 1 . Jesus told the Scribes (Mk. 2:10-11) 2. Nicodemus said so (Jn. 3:2) 3. Earliest history says so (Acts 2:22)
    87. 93. Evidence Jesus Died <ul><li>1. Nature of his crucifixion ensured death. </li></ul><ul><li>2. His mother, friends and, closest disciple witnessed his death. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Roman soldiers, who were professional executioners, pronounced him dead. </li></ul><ul><li>4. The spear in His side assured His death. </li></ul><ul><li>5. The Roman authority Pilate confirmed His death. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Jewish and secular historians recorded His death (Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, Lucian, Phelgon, and The Jewish Talmud.) </li></ul><ul><li>7. Modern medical authorities confirmed His death. </li></ul>
    88. 94. Medical Confirmation “ Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between his right rib, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge&quot; ( JAMA March 21,1986, p. 1463).
    89. 95. Evidence Jesus Rose from the Dead <ul><li>The tomb was empty with grave clothes in it. </li></ul><ul><li>He was seen 12 times by 500 witnesses. </li></ul><ul><li>They touched His physical body. </li></ul><ul><li>They saw His crucifixion scars. </li></ul><ul><li>They ate with Him four times. </li></ul><ul><li>He taught them for 40 days. </li></ul><ul><li>He did miracles for them. </li></ul><ul><li>He transformed them. </li></ul><ul><li>From cowards to martyrs overnight! </li></ul>
    90. 96. Question : “Is the Bible the Word of God? Answer: The Son of God Affirmed the OT: <ul><li>It is divinely authoritative (Mt. 4:4, 7, 10) </li></ul><ul><li>It is imperishable (Mt. 5:17-18) </li></ul><ul><li>It is infallible (Jn. 10:35) </li></ul><ul><li>It is inerrant (without error) (Mt. 22:29) </li></ul><ul><li>It is historically reliable (Mt. 12:40; Mt. 24:37-38) </li></ul><ul><li>It is scientifically accurate (Mt. 19:4-5) </li></ul><ul><li>It has ultimate supremacy (Mt. 15:3, 6) </li></ul>
    91. 97. The Son of God Promised the NT “ But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things , and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (Jn. 14:26). “ However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth ; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (Jn. 16:13).
    92. 98. Summary <ul><li>1. There is absolute truth. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Truth can be known. </li></ul><ul><li>3. It is true that a theistic God exists. </li></ul><ul><li>4. If God exists, miracles are possible. </li></ul><ul><li>5. The NT is historically reliable. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Jesus claimed to be God. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Jesus was proven to be God by miracles. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Jesus claimed the Bible is the Word of God. </li></ul><ul><li>9. Therefore, the Bible is the Word of God. </li></ul><ul><li>10. Jesus said He was the only way to God. </li></ul>
    93. 99. “ I am the way …. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”
    94. 100. Jesus Claimed It <ul><li>John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” </li></ul><ul><li>John 10:1,9 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber…. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” </li></ul>
    95. 101. His Disciples Affirmed It <ul><li>Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” </li></ul><ul><li>1Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus….” </li></ul>