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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    The Pugnacious Irishman invites Christians to defend their faith

    His post is boldly entitled “Walking Around with our Pants Around our Ankles”.

    A little bit about Rich: his background is in teaching and his most recent post was in a school in a very rough part of Los Angeles.

    Rich makes an important point about the need to find people who disagree with you and engage them. You won’t find them in your house or in your church. You’ve got to go to the workplace or the university campus and start making friends with them to find out what they believe and whether they are open to new ideas!

    Rich reacts to my post from yesterday here:

    …Another thing is that when people are caught in an environment where they have to defend God’s honor, they suddenly become starved for the kind of training Wintery advocates.  If you regularly find yourself amidst a bunch of atheists, agnostics, and Muslims who are constantly challenging you on the reasonableness of your faith, chances are, you’ll start searching for answers pretty quickly.  Hey, it happened to me. In other words, if your pants fall down, buying a belt suddenly moves up a few notches on your priority list.

    The kicker is that many people never experience that felt need; they are sequestered in an environment of comfort.  A decent number go to great lengths to maintain this bubble, avoiding being exposed.  They are walking around in closeted quarters, with the shutters drawn and drapes pulled down, oblivious to the fact that their trousers are hanging around their ankles.

    Many people assume apologetics is all about merely “winning an argument,” but nothing could be further from the truth.  WK puts it in the proper perspective: it’s about defending God’s honor in public.  If someone were clowning on your spouse at work, wouldn’t you want to stand up and say something?

    That’s the first key point about apologetics: protecting God’s reputation as a way of participating in a friendship with God. He’s also got some book recommendations in his post for beginnners and I could not agree more. I own every stinking one of them!

    And he’s got an update here, where he makes the second key point about apologetics.

    Excerpt:

    Addition to today’s post:  I don’t think I underscored enough another motivation of apologetics–love.

    Why defend the faith?  Because we love our neighbors.

    This is a good point for Christians who value love. Apologetics is love. It’s one way that you can love your neighbor. God expects us all to spend some time responding to his overtures to us in nature, in conscience, and in history. It does no good to help atheists to ignore God’s calling by keeping silent about God’s will for that person.

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

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