What is Apologetics?

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Afternoon at the Religious Freedom Monument (Part 4)

When Atheist's Start with Reason from Evolution

We finally come to the fun part of this series, where I get to share some of the dialogue and some of the subject matter that seems popular to those embracing this "popular (new) atheism." Keeping the tools in the back of our minds, it is vitally important to keep your bearing when talking to people who reject the Creator, God, especially when someone comes bursting into the conversation and gets in your face with their own answer.

Let me back up a bit. When I asked "Glen" where reason came from he immediately told me, "Evolution."  But before we were able to pursue a dialogue, I want to tell you how one younger woman came bursting into the conversation, and how you can cordially diffuse an interrupting objection.

To "peel the onion" a little deeper about the dialogue, I mentioned earlier that there were four atheists involved in the visit. That is true, however two of them each wanted a copy of the first chapter of "True Reason" that I had also given to "Glen." I told them that the book was an intelligent response to Richard Dawkins and others; and that they could get the book on Amazon and in e-book format, if they wanted to pursue the topic further.

Just then this young woman comes into the discussion from off to my right, and she blurts out, in my face, "OUR BRAINS! AND OUR BRAINS ARE HIGHLY EVOLVED MACHINERY JUST LIKE THE ANIMALS REASON COMES FROM EVOLVED BRAINS!" I just looked her and smiled, asked her, "may I ask you a question?" The dialogue was short and she left with a stone in her shoe.  What was that stone and what did it look like.

How Does Reason Work with Evolution?

Simply stated, reason does not line up with evolution at all.  The thinking of this gal was interesting.  Equivocating the brain and the mind is like saying that apples and oranges taste the same.  This young lady's thinking was that the mind and the brain function the same way, and are the same. They are not.

Our minds are a part of our soul that seat our conscience and give us our abilities in reasoning.  The brain is the physical organ inside our cranial cavity, which atheists like Richard Dawkins and others believe has evolved into the incredible machine we have today.

After explaining this to her, I asked her, if she thought that our thoughts were mere accidents stemming from an evolutionary chance process.  She told me, "Yes, I believe that our thoughts are accidental, just like the animals, but more developed."

With her response I moved quickly to the point that there seems to be some order to those accidental thoughts in our conversation. I also told her that if there seems to be some apparent order, then that must show some design in those thoughts, and that they cannot be accidental, but by design.

Her response was interesting and I could see that she was struggling with the answer I gave her. All she could say is that she had to get down to the Central Rappahannock Library to be at the Rev. Barry Lynn talk. She thanked me and moved on her way.

A couple take-aways from this part of the dialogue

1. The attitude of the conversation was cordial. Please note that this was not an exercise in walking by the lion's cage and rattling the bars of the cage to rile up the beast.  Nor, I did not try and make her worldview look stupid, but just posed a couple questions about reason being from evolution that I found problematic. If we ever try to make a religion or a worldview look ridiculous, the chances are that we have not understood it.  As deluded as atheism is in their epistemology, we need not ridicule or put the person down for their unbelief.

2. Reason originates from our minds.  Reason comes from our minds and not our brains. It is said that our mind is in our brains. Reason comes from a depraved mind as well as a redeemed mind. We can reason well or we can reason poorly.

If we are using our reasoning capacities properly, we will in most likely find that our reasoning lines up with reality and falling in line with God's truth.  True truth, and true reason is that which corresponds to reality.  If we are reasoning poorly, it is most likely a type of reasoning that is seeking that which is ground in ourselves, and manifested in bankrupt worldview that does not line up with reality.

For example, if we were to follow the trail of reason within the atheistic framework, we will find out that the end game is not a pretty picture. Please note that I am definition of the term "atheism" as the belief that God does not exist. Spelling out atheism's the definition in practical terms, it is the unbelief in the Judeo-Christian God, who is personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and the Creator of the universe.

If you want to see faulty reasoning, just look at over the last century, with the regimes that were not favorable toward religion nor the Christian worldview.  If we look we will find that the last century was the bloodiest century in human history.  Most of those who lost their lives were under the oppressed hand of anti-religious regimes.

As I wrap up this series tomorrow (or Saturday), I will share with you some thoughts from "Glenn's and my conversation.  One of the things we need to keep in mind is that we are not the one's who are delusional, so long as we understand why our Christian faith is true.

I want you to know that I was told that the atheists do not have a problem coming in to our churches. If they don't have a problem coming to us, why do we have a problem going to them? I will tell you why. It is because we are not trained up to understand them, and under a faulty thinking that we can speak "Christian-ese" with them and they will accept what we have to say.  This is not the case.

You and I must make our faith "conversationally personal" to where we can communicate it without using Christian terminologies.  In other words, we need to be bilingual.  Make your Christian worldview real and communicate it to the glory of God.  And as you go out today, "Go out and give them Heaven."




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