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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What are the practical implications of an atheistic worldview?

As I seek to get back into the game and hopefully get a "longer leash," I am thinking about starting up a "Thinkings Group" here in the Fredericksburg area. This idea came about from thinking on what to do to reach out to Christian parents, and students in helping them understand and respond to some important questions that every believer needs to learn to answer.

Natasha Crain provides these questions for us in her Christian Mom Thoughts Blog, in her posting from a couple plus years ago, 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer.

Since atheism, and the pop atheism always before us, with their railing at anything religious in general, and Christian in particular, I thought it would nice to answer a question coming from this list of sixty five (I would like to thank Natasha for the blog fodder).  The question for this posting is: "what are the practical implications of an atheistic worldview?"  Let's get to the real issue and see where those implications lead.

Defining our Terms

First off, let's define atheism.  (A (alpha of negation) - no; theos - God); Atheism is the philosophical position that denies or commits the absolute negation of any supernatural deity (God) or deities (gods). For the sake of our discussion, I am defining God as  One who is the spaceless, infinite, timeless, immaterial, absolutely powerful, absolutely moral, absolutely loving, personal, intelligent, sustainer, Creator and First Cause of the existence and design of the universe. God is the only entity in existence, the reason for whose existence is in Himself (Uncaused). Atheism commits the absolute negation of this God's existence. More on this in just a moment.

Atheism is also a worldview. When I am using the term worldview, I am referring to it being "a worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions, that may be true, partially true, or false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides that foundation on which we live and move and have our being."[1] 

Now that we have defined the two most important terms, we can move on to look at some interesting implication that show atheism's bankruptcy.  What are those implications?  Let me quickly give us five to think upon.

Atheism is logically fallacious.  Given our definition of God having infinite qualities, like knowledge, atheism violates the law of non contradiction.[2]  Atheism claims infinite knowledge that there exists no Being with infinite knowledge.  It is the claim that there is no God anywhere and they have absolute knowledge that their claim is true.    

Atheism is metaphysically hopeless.  Atheism's worldview is thoroughly naturalistic. In other words, the natural world is all that there is in reality.  So a couple of questions come about that no atheist has been able to answer satisfactorily. Where does the conscience come from?  And where does reason come from?  

Spring boarding off of this, if man is the products of naturalistic random chance, there is no meaning in life, because meaning is by chance and accidental.  There is no purpose for our existence because our existence is accidental, the result of random causes.  And there is no reason for hoping in anything.  No hope in the present other than a blind hope.  No hope beyond this life because there is no God.

One of the interesting things about this though is that when an atheist dies, they hope they leave behind a legacy.  The strength of one's legacy is only as strong as the impact upon the generation(s) they leave behind. 

Atheism's denial of free will negates culpability and accountability.  A lot of the pop atheists are saying that we have freewill. In other words, there were no free selections in what we put on for clothes this morning, what we had for breakfast, or how we asked the barrister at Starbucks or Blackstones how to mix our favorite coffee treat.  No free will means no free choices of anything. 

But that is what atheism wants. . . no moral accountability to anyone but one's self.  That is why we hear things by those believing this fallacious idea that they are dancing to their DNA. In other words all of our output is by random chance as a result of random chemicals and synapse firing off in one's brain to produce the behavior, speech etc. that they are emitting.  In this mindset, the atheist must admit that they are nothing more than a moist robot.

Atheism is spiritually depraved and leads to ultimate base depravity.  Atheists like to shove in the Christian churches' faces that religion has committed more atrocities in Western civilization over the last century.  But this is not true!

If you look at all the wars, it may be true that many of them have been started over a religious squabble, but nothing has been more atrocious than the action of atheistic regimes.  The outworking of atheism's naturalistic ethic has produced some of the most heinous atrocities in the last century.   

Atheism's denial of accountability relativizes absolute justice. We went to the Reason Rally in 2012 and had the privilege of asking some young atheists the following question: "If someone killed your girlfriend or boyfriend, you would want to see justice meted out. Where does justice come from?"  In response to that question, some said, the killer "ought to" go to prison.  Others said they "ought to" go through societal education. Others even when as far as saying that the killer "ought to" receive the death penalty.

Do you hear something their responses? "Ought to" is the key two words. Where does that come from? It comes from a Christian worldview. There are no moral "oughts" in atheism unless they appeal to society or appeal to their own moral code. But in order to appeal to their own moral code they have to appeal to the God of the Bible, which is "stealing from God."[4]

Wait a minute.  I thought they didn't believe in God.


Notes

[1] James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1988), 17. Even Wikipedia has a page that defines a worldview pretty well and can be found here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_view.)

[2] The law of non contradiction simply states that a propositional statement cannot be both true and false at the same time.  

[3] See my posting on "The Three Faces of Evil and a Christian Response" September 10, 2011.

[4] Check out Frank Turek's book, Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case



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