THE CASE FOR APOLOGETICS

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 THE CASE FOR APOLOGETICS   


Rev J Djan


World cultural systems are based on people's ideas. 

Political theories , social systems, Religion, etc. are some people's ideas  (philosophy)  or revelation from a deity or a spiritual entity.  Ideas have consequences even to life or death, therefore life giving or good ideas must be defended over bad ones.

Great thinkers have been trying to find answers to the best possible way to live and  answers to some tough questions such as :  "where do we come from and where are we going?  What is the meaning of life?  What is out there? Is there life after death? Is there a God? How  do we find happiness, and minimize  pain,  Where do moral values come from?  How are we to live? Do all religions lead to same place.?  Why is there evil? 

Many philosophers and other great men have come with their respective opinions but some existentialists have come with the conclusion of the "ABSURD" 

The 'absurd' is a hopeless conclusion from these great thinkers who reason that the human effort to find value and meaning of life is humanly impossible due to the fact that there is a vast realm of the unknown in the universe which makes certainty of knowledge  impossible .

Another factor that affirms the absurd is the desire of man to seek meaning and good expectations only to be greeted by  the contradictory response from nature. 

We have seen good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.

A unique philosopher who is also a transcendent figure steps into the midst and claims 'I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE'

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In other words Jesus is saying  I am the one you are looking for . The light to the blind , wisdom to the wise and life for the living. I am the one that have all the answers to all your questions .

I am the ultimate solution to all problems for all; the poor and the rich, the young , the old , the great and the small.  I am the one who has been in heaven and on earth and has died and risen and have the keys of hell and of death and is the only way to eternal life.

Jesus' idea or philosophy is what is propounded by the Christian Faith but there are competing  philosophies and teachings presented and adopted in many parts of the world.

In America there are two major political ideological movements; conservatism vs Liberalism,   These take their roots from various philosophers and political theorists .

Philosophers are the authors of most of the thoughts , mindset and understanding being used in the world today regardless how you name it.  

Their works have influenced revolutions throughout centuries. The French Revolution, English Revolution, American Revolution are examples.

You can predict a person's choices by his belief system and his belief system by his teachers, mentors and the books he or she read.

You can identify a liberal or conservative by their mindset as to their perspective on issues.   These perspectives were influenced by the books they read and the teachers who taught them.  In other words they happen to adopt the same school of thought as the authors they read and the teachers who taught them.

This is why the remarks of secular humanist John Dunphy is very important

and must not be ignored .

1: John Dunphy: 

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes the spark of what theologians call

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 divinity in every human being. There teachers must embody the same selfless dedication of the most rabid fundamentalist preacher, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level -- preschool, daycare, or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved 

  Quote by: John J. Dunphy: Humanist author:

Source:

"A Religion For A New Age," The Humanist magazine, January-February 1983 [Volume 43, Number 1]

Here John Dunphy is calling for the overthrow and replacement  of the Christian philosophy by Secular  Humanism.  This is an intellectual and philosophical warfare but rooted in the spiritual and it is not new to the world.   Societies have being engaging in this type of warfare since creation.  This war is the battle of ideas and the quest to rule the world and there are principalities, powers, and  dominions behind it.  

Why do you think the Prince of Persia blocked Gabriel the Angel of God for 21 days ?  It was to prevent Daniel from receiving information 

or we may say The Truth that would make his people free.

So we can infer from this that Deception, False doctrines, False Teachings False Religions, bad Laws and persecution are weapons of war against The Truth.

The mother of such war or controversy is Satan who introduced a counter idea to God's own in the Garden. '

If it is not from God or for God then it is against him. 

Jesus affirmed that:

Matthew 12:30 (KJV)

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

There is a spiritual polarity of any idea or wisdom.   The Bible lets us know that not all wisdom is from God.   

  

     

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James 3:15 (KJV) 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.

Matthew 16:17 (KJV)

                                                       

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 16:23 (KJV)

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Genesis 2:17 (KJV)

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die...

...Genesis 3:4 (KJV)

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

 So in a nutshell it can be concluded that  the world scene is a plethora of ideas in a hierarchical warfare. Each idea is fighting for dominance .

In the midst of all these is also unique voice saying I am the way the truth and the life. That's the voice of Christianity in reference to Christ.  

Peter testified that indeed Christ has the words of eternal life.

If Christ's philosophy has all the answers and also eternal life then it must be defended in the midst of various philosophies and teachings against contrary teachings and beliefs, from both the religious and secular realm - this is 

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS 

This is a war that all Christians are called to engage in, as described by Apostle Paul below:

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2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT

[3] We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. [4] We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. [5] We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

                                                   

Jude was emphatic.  

Jude 1:3 (KJV) 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Peter was eager.

1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

John was resolute:

2 John 1:10 (KJV)

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:

Paul was already engaged in it :

Philippians 1:17 (KJV) 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense  of the gospel.

Bishop Titus was commanded to do it:

Titus 1:10-13

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

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13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith:    Titus 1:10-13

This warfare is what Christian apologetics is about.

It is the defense of the Christian Faith 

All Christians are mandated to engage in it by their God.

It is not a war initiated by the believers , the war is brought to us just as it was brought to Eve and was cornered in the Garden by the Serpent whether she was ready or not.

                                                       

Her unpreparedness  and also being ignorant  of the ominous consequence of her poor defense of the faith given to her; resulted in the Fall of man and the depravity of human generation which necessitated the death of  Christ.

Without Apologetics  the Christian Faith will be corrupted and defeated from both within and without rendering it the least viable option.

This reality is at its height today and the urgency for apologetics cannot be overstated.

John Dunphy's call is heeded by the schools, colleges and the universities and it explains why our students and graduates have almost no interest in God.

The contention of evolutionist and skeptics against the 'Truth' is what has brought the world culture into a degenerate world

In or daily social life we are confronted with apologetics issues whether we are aware or not but the  defense requires our intellectual and spiritual capacity. 

Inadequate answers will not do.

How do we do it?

How do you convince the world that your God is the only true God and that your message is from him and that he made this world and will judge it ?

How do you convince the world that Christianity is the only true religion and stands out above all religions and philosophies? 

Some Christians give inadequate answers such as:

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My teacher taught me,  I was raised that way,  It is my religion and my religion is the oldest  , It is the Law,  I believe it,  It changed my life,  The bible says so,

The word of God says so,  I received a revelation , God told me,  God made the world.

Others excuse themselves by claiming that God's word needs no defense but such claim is alien to scripture.

Apologetics is the ministry that prepares the believer for the task of rational defense and response to any one who asks . 1Pe. 3:15