Neutrality Vs Common Ground
Have you ever had anyone ask you to leave the Bible out of it when you are discussing a subject? Perhaps they say something like, Lets discuss this, but since I dont trust the Bible, you are going to have to use better sources, so we can meet on neutral ground.
This is a subtle tact to try to get you to throw out the Bible and have a civilized discussion about a topic, without all that supposed religious stuff in other words, to be supposedly neutral. But there is actually no neutral position. The Bible makes it clear than mans heart is evil and we are either for Christ or against .
What they are subtly trying to do is to get you to give up the Bible as your ultimate authority and trust theirs . In other words, they are trying to get you to act like a secularist, and if you do so, you have already lost the debate.
Consider this analogy: You see a person who is sniffing cocaine. As an apologist you want to inform this person of addictive problems associated with this illegal drug . And they say, Listen, we can talk about this, but first you need to sniff this cocaine with me. Would you do it? Of course notyou dont give up your morality based on the Bibles authority and accept theirs, so why give up the Bibles authority in any other area to trust theirs?16
Be on the lookout for those who propose that there is such a thing as neutrality in the debate. There is no such thing as neutrality:
New Csb Apologetics Study Bibles
How do you respond when you encounter questions about your faith? When your neighbor claims that your beliefs are no different than his, when your kids ask who made God if God made the world, or when your own doubts crowd your mind?
Having questions about faith is not wrong, but letting those questions fester can erode our faith. Instead, caring about truth often means wrestling with doubts and questions about what the truth really is. Whether youre working through questions of your own or explaining your faith to others, we want to help you find the resources that will help you respond with the truth of Gods Word.
We have designed the CSB Apologetics Bibles to help you do just that. With resources like 48 Twisted Scripture sections explaining commonly misconstrued passages and 134 articles from authors including Lee Strobel and Ravi Zacharias, the CSB Apologetics Study Bible can help you to answer your own questions and the questions of others with clarity and conviction. Structured around the the top 130 questions that teens ask about the Bible today, the CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students is designed specifically to help young people wrestling with faith.
Visit apologeticsbible.com to learn more about these Bibles, to sign up for 52 weeks of free articles by leading Christian apologists and thinkers, or to order your copy today.
Apologetics Study Bible For Students: Hardcover
The CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students is a unique Bible created to encourage students to ask tough questions, get straight answers, and strengthen their faith. Best selling author and speaker, Dr. Sean McDowell served as general editor working with a team of thought leaders in youth ministry and apologetics to address the top 130 questions facing youth today. The exploration of these top 130 questions represents the core of this Bible. Supporting the articles is an exclusive collection of resources designed to anchor young Christians in the truths of Scripture by equipping them with thoughtful and practical responses when the core issues of their faith and life are challenged.
Features Include: Ribbon marker Full-color maps
The CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible® , which stays as literal as possible to the Bibles original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSBs optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.
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Apologetics: A Divine Mandate
Sadly, many believers in Yeshua do not acknowledge the importance of apologetics. Some go so far as to criticize the discipline, relegating it to mere intellectual brain candy. Theyll say, We have more important things to worry about as believers, like loving God and our neighbor! But, as well unpack a little later, apologetics is one of the means by which we walk out our love for God and our neighbor.
The reason most believers neglect apologetics, however, is not that they believe it to be unprofitable. They neglect it simply because it isnt emphasized in their congregations for one reason or another. Learning why faith in God is reasonable and why we can trust the Bible as reliable isnt given a place within discipleship. As a result, the body of Messiah suffers and is less effective in fulfilling our mission as image bearers for God.
In an effort to remind the Church of the importance of this spiritual discipline, here are five simple reasons Christians should study apologetics.
Paul Used Witnesses To Lend Credibility To The Gospel
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul asserts that Jesus appeared after his resurrection to Cephas , and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born .
Paul seems to be saying, The evidence for Jesus resurrection abounds. Check it out. Ask the eyewitnesses yourself. They are still alive! It would have been easy to destroy Pauls credibility if the claim were untrue.
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Csb Defend Your Faith Bible: Walnut Leathertouch
This four-color apologetics Bible for elementary-age children offers hundreds of features to intrigue and challenge young readers. Part of the successful Apologetics Study Bible brand, the CSB Defend Your Faith Bible introduces apologetics to kids and equips them to understand what they believe, why they believe it, and how to defend it.Features include:
- Digging into the Word.Travel to the Holy Lands, dig into the dirt, and discover the evidence!
- Science in the Bible. God created an orderly universe and amazing world for us to enjoy. See how His fingerprints are all over Creation.
- Untwisting Scripture. Unravel the Scriptures to discover the consistent truth of Gods Word.
- Defenders of the Faith. These true stories of men and women, boys and girls will inspire you to defend your faith.
- Thats a Fact. Fun facts and statistics that help you go deeper and understand more about Gods Word.
- Know Question. Its important to ask questions. Its even more important to know where to look for the answers.
- Introduction to each book of the Bible
- Presentation page
- Full text of the CSB
What Is Christian Apologetics
Christian apologetics is a branch of theology and Biblical study that aims to defend the authority of Gods Word, the character of God, and Christian belief as a whole. The idea here is of giving a reasoned defense of the truth, like a defendant on trial giving an answer to the judge. However, in this case, the judge is the world.
The intention of apologetics is not necessarily to convert people to Christianity. Instead, it is an attempt to show that belief in Christ and Biblical theology is rational, based on sound reasoning and factual information. In proper apologetics, there is no attempt made to prove that Christianity is true. As theologian Dr. William C. Davis writes in Reason for the Hope Within:
For those who do not already believe, good arguments present a challenge to their faith in Gods nonexistence, but there is no argument which can force the unbeliever to choose between belief and irrationalityThe way of escape will often be implausible, but it will be there.
As a defense of the Christian faith, apologetics is a massive field of study. Some common categories of apologetics, as can be found at Cross Examined, are as follows:
– Truth exists.
– The New Testament is historically reliable.
– Jesus has risen from the dead.
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Paul Repurposed Secular Ideas
In Pauls speech before Athenian philosophers on Mars Hill, he quotes the pagan poet Aratus : We are offspring . Pauls argument that springboards from this quote is as follows:
If we are Gods offspring, then obviously we should not think of him, as you Athenians do, in terms of gold or silver or stone images. God creates us we do not create him. He gives life and breath to us we do not design and make him. God is the Creator, and we are created in his image.
In this way, Paul uses a pagan quote to support his own point. Ironically, Paul uses a Greek quote originally referring to Zeus as a critique of the Greek philosophers own idolatry.
Paul masterfully argues within the plausibility structure of his audience by quoting their own poet, reimagining the quote in light of biblical truth and then turning it against their pagan beliefs.
This demonstrates that the Bible is not against reasoning within secular cultural narratives, because those very narratives can be turned on their heads and used as highly effective apologetic tools.
God Speaks For Himself Through Miracles
In the Old Testament, Gods acts of power serve as both a defense against alternative deities and an argument for the reality of the living God. In Exodus, for example, God demonstrates his power over false gods by turning Mosess rod into a serpent and by directing the ten plagues against particular Egyptian gods.
Many such acts of power are recorded in the Old Testament, but perhaps the most famous occurs in 1 Kings 18, when Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal. Elijah sets the terms of competition: the god who ignites the wood under a sacrificial bull on an altar will be recognized as the true God.
The 450 prophets of Baal shout loudly, prophesy frantically, dance around the altar, and cut themselves with swords and spears, but they are unable to awaken their god. When they finish, Elijah douses his sacrifice with eight large jars of water and then asks God to ignite it so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again . The fire of the Lord falls, consuming everythingthe sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and the water. When the people see this miracle, they fall prostrate and cry, The Lordhe is God! The Lordhe is God! . God, through acts of power, is his own apologist.
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Presuppositional Apologetics : What Is It
Van Tillian presuppositional apologetics places God and His Word, the Bible, as the absolute authority in every area. God, who knows all things, has stated in the Bible that all other worldviews are wrong, so by extension all other worldviews have inconsistencies and must borrow from the Bible to make any sense of the world, whether they realize it or not.
Christian theism is not arbitrary, it is consistent, and has the preconditions of intelligibility . Other worldviews are arbitrary, inconsistent, and lack the preconditions that make knowledge possible. So presuppositional apologists do an internal critique of the unbelievers worldview to show where it is arbitrary, inconsistent, and where they lack the preconditions necessary for knowledge.
Presuppositional apologetics is a well-known method by which apologists go on the offensive to confront false worldviews . In other words, an apologist makes adherents of other worldviews, like secular humanism, atheism, Hinduism, Islam, cults, and the like, try to defend their worldviews so they can show the problems within their professed view. And in all this, point out clearly where these other religions borrow from the Bible to make sense of the world.
Right and wrong exist because we have an absolute authority, the God of the Bible, who defines what is right and wrong in the Bible.
This list can go on for hours! But in an unbelievers worldview, they lack the very foundational basis for such things.
The Prophets Engaged Their Culture
In the Old Testament world, the predominant question wasnt about the existence of a god or gods, but which god was true. For this reason, Old Testament prophets often employed polemics against false gods. Much of the Old Testament was written in defense of the true God and against ancient Near Eastern gods.
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Apologetics Study Bible: Hardcover Indexed
The CSB Apologetics Study Bible helps todays Christians better understand, defend, and proclaim their beliefs in an age of increasing moral and spiritual relativism. This revised and updated edition includes new articles and extensive apologetics study material from todays leading apologists to reflect and provide deeper understanding of the relevant apologetics issues and questions being discussed today.
Features Include: Full-color maps 9.75-point type size
The CSB Apologetics Study Bible features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible® , which stays as literal as possible to the Bibles original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSBs optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.
What Is Presuppositional Apologetics
Presuppositional apologetics is a reasoned defense of Christian beliefs based on recognizing the foundational beliefs that form the basis for our thinking. My presupposition is that God exists and he has given us his Word . An atheist believes that man decides truth, and so views the world and Bible accordingly.
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Speak Logic In Love Not Love Logic
As humans, I think its too easy to get caught up in heated arguments with others especially when it comes to defending our faith. Such hot-headed blowouts happen every single day!
However, ideally, this is not a good attitude for a Christian apologist to take or any Christian for that matter.
Rather, as Peter says:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15
In short, as an apologist, you should aim to share / defend your faith in a well-reasoned and logical manner.
However, as a Christian who believes in what the Bible says, it is important that you do this with patience, gentleness, and respect for others.
Remember, the ultimate goal of Christian apologetics is to point people to Christ. It isnt about a self-interested desire to win or embarrass others in a fiery debate.
In short, speak Gods truth in love and reason but be careful not to idolize your own logical mind and reputation. Always check your heart!
They Challenged Their Culture
Old Testament prophets spoke against their culture, challenging it, often in the form of polemics. In his book Against the Gods, John Currid explains that in using polemics, Old Testament writers took familiar aspects of their cultureits thought forms and stories, its expressions and motifsand them with radically new meaning in order to contrast their beliefs and way of life with the pagan culture around themin particular, their worship of the one true God as opposed to the worship of many false gods so prevalent in the ancient Near East.
In this way, the polemics employed by the Old Testament writers were, above all, characterized by a commitment to monotheism and a fierce critique of polytheism. The Israelites spoke with their culture out of a shared conceptual world while simultaneously speaking against their culture in order to uphold the existence of the one true God.
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God Chooses Who He Reaches And When
Christian apologists try their best to win over people to Gods side.
However, we should never forget: it is God who ultimately decides who He wants to bring into Him. In short, salvation is His gift to give, not ours!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing it is the gift of God,
In short, being a Christian apologist is simply a chance to apply the gifts God has blessed you with . It is you doing your humble part to bring Gods Kingdom to others as you are proportionately called by Him to do. This is wonderful!
However, dont pressure yourself to convert others out of your own will. Instead, just focus on speaking Gods truth, in faith and reason, with love and logic. And let Him work on the hearts of the people willing to listen. Trust God to do what He does best.
May God bless you on your journey of discovering the joy of Christian apologetics!
Apologetics In The Bible
The Bible commands that we give a reasoned defense of the faith in 1 Peter 3:15. Peter also makes it clear this is to be done by first setting apart Christ as Lord in your heart and to do this with gentleness and respect.
Far too often Christians obtain a few answers and they think they are then ready to force those answers on to people so they can beat their opponent. Instead, this should be done with gentleness and respect. We need to show the same grace, mercy, and love that the Lord showed to us. This is why apologetics should always be used in conjunction with the Gospel in other words, dont do apologetics for the sake of doing apologetics to try to win an argument, but do it for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But consider other pertinent passages also:
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete .
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself .
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