Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

MUST-HEAR: Brian Auten explains why Christians ought to learn apologetics

A super 20-minute podcast from Apologetics 315.

The MP3 file is here. (20 minutes)

PDF Transcript here.

Topics:

  • what is the definition of apologetics?
  • what do you mean by defense? a testimony?
  • what is the goal of apologetics?
  • does apologetics create belief? should it?
  • what are offensive and defensive apologetics?
  • should Christians fear intellectual opposition to Christianity?
  • is apologetics good for believers?
  • does apologetics help you to be more confident when witnessing?
  • what was the role of apologetics in the Bible?
  • what was the role of apologetics in the early church?
  • was apologetics central or peripheral to Paul’s ministry?
  • does the Bible present Christianity as personal preference or public truth?
  • did Jesus appeal to objective evidence to get people to believe him?
  • is there a requirement for all Christians to make a defense of their faith?
  • should Christians care if non-believers have false beliefs about God?
  • does the Bible need to be defended? What does the Bible say about it?
  • Is an intellectual approach to evangelism antithetical to faith?

My posts on apologetics advocacy are here:

    These were all quite popular when they were originally posted, so it’s good to re-post them.

    Actual arguments and counter-arguments are here, if you want to know the basics. Debates and lectures are here to see how this gets used. Most Christians never even dream that their faith can be debated at Harvard or Columbia or Oxford!

    Christianity is a knowledge tradition. It’s not a feelings tradition.

    UPDATE: If you’re really good at apologetics, you can debate the top atheists in public, and say things like this:

    (The full debate is here)

    Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    ABC and NBC refuse to air awesome TV advertisement against Obamacare

    Story from Fox News. (H/T Hot Air)

    Here’s the ad:

    Here’s an excerpt from the Fox news article:

    “The ABC Television Network has a long-standing policy that we do not sell time for advertising that presents a partisan position on a controversial public issue,” spokeswoman Susan Sewell said in a written statement. “Just to be clear, this is a policy for the entire network, not just ABC News.”

    NBC, meanwhile, said it has not turned down the ad and will reconsider it with some revisions.

    “We have not rejected the ad,” spokeswoman Liz Fischer told FOXNews.com. “We have communicated with the media agency about some factual claims that require additional substantiation. As always, we are happy to reconsider the ad once these issues are addressed.”

    Adams objects to ABC’s assertion that his group’s position is partisan.

    They aired Obama’s infomercial though, with no rebuttal.

    Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    ABCNews refuses to allow Republican response to Obama’s health care propaganda

    ABC News sheds all pretense of objectivity. (H/T Hot Air)

    Drudge reports: (H/T Gateway Pundit)

    On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care — a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

    Highlights on the agenda:

    ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

    The network plans a primetime special — ‘Prescription for America’ — originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

    Republicans asked for a response, as is customary:

    As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC’s astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform “town hall” at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news “will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.” This does not include the promotion, over the next 9 days, the president’s health care agenda will receive on ABC News programming.

    ABC posted a rejection on their blog. (H/T Michelle Malkin)

    I hope we can all agree that a robust debate of health care issues and potential policies is in order.

    and below their rejection letter:

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Gateway Pundit notes:

    The last time Obama held a “town hall meeting” in the White House ALL of the participants were campaign supporters.

    The Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform, since last month, is former ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass.

    Shouldn’t they at least pretend to be objective?

    UPDATE: Stop the ACLU writes that they also refused commercials that opposed Obama’s health care plan.

    Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Why won’t Christians defend their faith in public?

    UPDATE: The Pugnacious Irishman has linked to me! Thank you for the link Rich! EVERYONE: GO READ HIS POST RIGHT NOW!

    UPDATE: Neil Simpson has a debate going on about whether faith is opposed to reason. 50+ comments so far.

    Shout out: Brian Auten of Apologetics 315 helped me to make this post nicer. He’s much nicer than I am.

    I would like to describe a situation that arises frequently that concerns me. The situation I describe below brings out a flaw I see in the way that rank-and-file Christians respond to criticisms of Christianity in the public square.

    Here is the situation

    Eve is busy programming away at her desk, rushing to check in her unit tests so she can spend her lunch hour reading the latest Stephenie Meyer horror novel, or looking through an Avon catalog. Suddenly Eve hears Alice talking to Bob on the other side of her cube. She stops typing to listen to the following unencrypted conversation.

    Alice: I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel last night that said that the universe has always existed, so there is no God!

    Bob: I was watching a documentary on PBS last night showing simulations of how the first life started on Earth! God didn’t do it!

    Alice: I saw “Inherit the Spin” on the weekend! The only reason people oppose evolution is because of the Bible! Not because of science!

    Bob: I’m going to see “The Va Dinci Code” this weekend! It says that the Gospels are unreliable and that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross!

    Alice: I just bought the latest Dichard Rawkins book “Christians Should Be Fed to Lions and the Bible Should Be Burned”!

    Bob: I will read that as soon as I finish Histopher Chritchens’ book “Why God is the Evilest, Stupidest Person in the World”!

    Eve double-majored in business and computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, and has an MBA from the London School of Economics. She has spent a ton of time, effort and money studying very difficult subjects for her job, and she even publishes research. She works full-time and runs her own business part-time, and earns about 200K per year. She lives in a huge house, drives a huge car, and goes on vacation abroad to all the best vacation spots.

    Eve thinks she is a Christian. She has attended church since childhood, her husband is a church elder and she sings in the church choir. She reads the Bible and prays. She gives money to the poor. She teaches Sunday school to children.  She has even read all of the Narnia novels three times!

    But even though God is being maligned in Alice and Bob’s conversation, Eve is not going to stand up to defend God’s reputation to them, (or even to her own children, who are both committed atheists).

    Why won’t Eve stand?

    I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why it is that most church Christians are not able or not willing to make a public defense when God’s reputation is called into question. It seems to me that there are two bad effects that follow from Eve’s unwillingness to stand up and invite Alice and Bob to lunch so that she can address their questions and concerns.

    1) God’s reputation is being trashed by Alice and Bob on the basis of lies they’ve swallowed from pop culture. These lies about God’s existence and character could be easily corrected with a minimal amount of study, which Eve is capable of.  If someone said similar lies about her husband or children, she would speak up, but she won’t speak up for God.

    2) Alice and Bob are bound for Hell unless someone cares enough to correct their mistaken beliefs, which, along with their sinfulness, is what is keeping them from a relationship with God that would go on in Heaven. If Eve’s husband or children were mistakenly about to drink poison thinking it was Aspirin, then Eve would speak up. But to save her co-workers from Hell, she won’t speak up.

    Eve is capable of studying to defend the faith, because of her great success in other areas where so much time and effort were required to master difficult material. So why has she not applied herself to answering public challenges to her Christian faith from her professors, teachers, actors, the media, politicians, scientists, historians, etc.?

    It seems to me that if she did spend some time studying, and then made her defense to her co-workers, then two things would follow:

    D1) Eve would be demonstrating her love for God and her friendship with God by protecting his reputation when it is called into question by unbelievers in public settings. That’s what friends do – if Eve wanted to be God’s friend, she would care that no one believed lies about him and told lies about him in public settings.

    D2) Eve would be demonstrating her love for her neighbor if she was able to correct some of these false beliefs, such as that the universe is eternal, or that a historical case cannot be made for the resurrection, or that evil is not compatible with theism. It’s important for Alice and Bob to know that Christianity is not stupid.

    So why is it that Eve is able to go to church for 20 years, sing in the choir, read the Bible, read the Narnia stories, pray on her knees, and yet still be unwilling to do the best thing for God and the best thing for her neighbor?

    Questions for my readers

    Can anyone help me to understand why Christians are willing to accept this? Why is this not being addressed by churches?

    Do you have an experience where a Christian group stifled apologetics? Tell me about that, and why do you think they would do that, in view of the situation I outlined above? My experience is that atheists (as much as I tease them) are FAR more interested in apologetics than church Christians. Why is that?

    My answers

    My answers to these problems are given in the following previous posts.

    In general:

    Also, this debate I blogged about before talks about postmodernism and relativism, which has infected the church and has an impact on this question of whether we will study and defend our beliefs in public. I highly recommend giving it a listen – you will learn something about how we got to this point.

    Disclaimer:

    I want to clear that this is a problem for male and female Christians. I have seen it manifested by equal numbers of men and women in leadership roles. I picked these names because there is a running gag in computer network security where these names are used to describe the actors. Eve is the eavesdropping hacker, get it?

    Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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