- Modern scientific enlightenment has made god unnecessary.
- It is unethical to make judgments about moral decisions.
- Only arrogant people claim to know truth.
- Overwhelming scientific evidence proves that all life came from a common ancestor through random mutations over long periods of time.
Challenges are an opportunity to proclaim and explain the truth. God’s Word is truth. Therefore, nothing in God’s Word is false, and nothing discovered to be true outside of God’s Word will contradict God’s Word. This does not mean that all truth is contained in God’s Word, or that we have complete knowledge of God’s Word. But it does mean that followers of Christ have no reason to fear challenges. Here is a good start on how to discuss subjects with friends, co-workers and even instructors:
Check Your Attitude
Start out by checking your spirit. Don’t be a jerk. God’s truth will be offensive—but you don’t have to be. The truth is not a club, and using it as such will poison the well for an eternal soul. If you beat a dog with a stick he won’t play fetch. So argue well, but don’t be argumentative.
- A question is an inquiry:
What is the moon made of?
- An assertion is a statement:
The moon is made of green cheese.
- An argument is support for an assertion:
Samples from Apollo 11 contained entirely green cheese.
- If the Bible is full of fairy tales, then you cannot trust the Bible.
- The Bible is full of fairy tales.
- Therefore, you cannot trust the Bible.
Terms, facts, logic
Every argument contains terms, facts and logic. Errors in an argument come from misusing terms or using inaccurate facts and logic. You can make most of an opportunity for the truth by learning to ask three kinds of questions.
- Definition of terms:
What do you mean by fairy tales?
- Establishing facts:
How do you know the Bible is full of these fairy tales?
- Questioning logic:
How does the presence of these accounts prohibit trust in the Bible?
Remember the best answer of all when you don’t know: I don’t know. Some skeptics will claim that because you do not know something it is not true. That is false in itself, of course. To quote Dr. Jonathan Strand (Condordia University, Edmonton), “The fact that you don’t know something doesn’t entail anything significant, except that you don’t know everything, which, of course, you already knew.”
How do we know the Bible is true?
As with any ancient document, we must ask three questions: How many manuscripts do we have, how close are they to the time of authorship, and how well were they copied? Answers to these questions establish that we have reason to trust the Bible more than any other ancient document. After that we must look at internal consistency (does it agree with itself) and external accuracy (does it agree with outside evidence). While skeptics will disagree, the results are very favorable to the authority of Scripture. And remember, how do you know the Bible is false needs answering, too.
How do we know God exists?
If someone asks for proof of God’s existence, ask what kind of proof they will accept. There is a chance that they won’t consider what you’re about to say, so ask first. Don’t be fooled: There is no proof that God exists is an assertion, not an argument. While there are several strong extra-Biblical reasons to believe that God exists, we need the revelation of Scripture to know Him intimately. But start with these three arguments:
- The universe exits- Followers of Christ have an answer for In the beginning… (Genesis 1:1)
- The universe exhibits design- This implies a designer, for In Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).
- Moral law exists- Everybody knows it’s wrong to torture babies for fun, cut in line, or hit your mom with a shovel. This implies a moral law giver. The law of God is written on their hearts (Romans 2:15).
Be sensitive on this one, especially if someone in pain is doing the asking. This is the most difficult question posed to followers of Christ, and oddly, one of the easiest to answer. The answer comes from Genesis 3, the fall of mankind. Where are all the good people? There aren’t any. The real question is how great is the mercy of God that would spare us from the penalty of sin. Further, we see what God intended (in creation) and what God has prepared (in heaven). The sin, death and darkness we experience in between is brief, and specifically a result of sin. The follower of Christ has the only answer that is sufficient. The more difficult version of this question relates to the sovereignty of an all-powerful God, but the basic answers hold.
by Pastor Wade Mobley
- The Bible- know the truth so well that lies become obvious
- Stand to Reason, http://www.str.org/. How to be an ambassador for Christ’s truth.
- Cross Examined, http://www.crossexamined.org/. The Biblical apologetics web site of Frank Turek, author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
- Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/. Biblical creationism with scientific analysis.
- A Ready Defense, Josh McDowell. A compilation of great basic writings on finding the truth.
- Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli. General answers concerning the Christian Worldview.
- Common Ground Without Compromise, Stephen Wagner. 25 Questions to Create a Dialog on Abortion
- Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult, Garrett J. DeWeese and J. P.Moreland. A beginner’s guide to life’s big questions.
- Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig. A bit technical, but a great primer on philosophy, logic and methodology for finding answers.