What is/are apologetics?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by KimS, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. KimS

    KimS
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    It seems I am forever confused. Will someone please explain apologetics to me?

    Does it have anything to do with this verse:
    KJV 1Pe 3:15
    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].

    KIV says [with gentleness and respect]
    Amplified says [courteously and respectfully]

    I added the other two versions because the first on confused me. If we defend our religion, are we practicing apologetics or am I completely missing the point?

    Kim
     
  2. Bro Tony

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    Apologetics simply deal with the defense of doctrine. Every doctrinal group, whether good or bad, have their apologist. For the Christian it is standing for the faith once and for all given to the saints.
     
  3. dr396

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    Right now I am dealing with whether God is calling me to do a Master's of Theology in Systematic Theology or apologetics. The reason why I feel that God could be calling me to apologetics is because of the great attacks upon the Bible and on historic Christianity waged against the Church today by those who claim to be in the Church.

    So I would agree with Tony that it is standing for the faith "once delivered to the saints," for any Gospel that contradicts that which was preached by Paul or any teachings that contradict the Bible should be rebuked, though with gentleness and respect.

    So apologetics to me is any defense of any aspect of Christianity that is orthodox and clearly taught in the Bible or the defense of the Bible itself. This would include in my opinion Trinitarianism, salvation by faith alone, the hypostatic union, and salvation in Christ alone.

    I hope that helps,

    D.R.
     
  4. KimS

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    Thanks. [​IMG]

    DR, once you receive your masters, what will you do with that degree? Will you teach or become involved in a mission? Since it seems apologetics is a theology, I was wondering how someone would go about putting it to use.

    Kim
     
  5. GODzThunder

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    Like the above mentioned posts apologetics is the defending of the Christian belief system through the use of debating, arguments, rational statements & use of scripture in relation to scientific law & psychology.

    A master apologist is Ravi Zacharis (founder of let my people think ministries www.gospelcom.net/rzim ). This man is a master of disproving theories that try to discredit Christianity. His radio broadcasts are webstreamed on his sight, I suggest you listen to him.
     
  6. dr396

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    Well,

    There are several things that I could do with that degree. I could teach apologetics, lead workshops at different churches on various problems they are dealing with (Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses in the community, Trinitarian defence against critics, etc.), work on staff for an apologetics ministry, or work on a megachurch church staff as a teaching pastor specifically related to the apologetics field.

    However, I think that I will use it to just accentuate the ministry I feel God has called me to, which is to either be a teaching pastor in a GenX church or a college/young adult minister in a church. I may go on to get my doctorate and teach in a college that needs more good theology. Actually from what I understand Baylor and some other traditionally Baptist schools who have gone the way of liberalism are looking to supplement their faculties with conservatives which will make them more multi-dimensional.

    Right now my passion is to defend the infallability and inerrancy of the Bible against attacks from within the supposed "Church." Men like Bishop John Shelby Spong, John Dominic Crossen, Robert Funk, and others need to be answered. For far too long they have set up straw men arguments which are based on false suppositions and lack any historical evidence. Hence, I feel called to be an alternate voice for college students and young adults who need solid, critical-thinking answers.

    Anyway, Kim I am sure that is way more info than you wanted, but as you can see I am passionate about.

    As for my favorite apologists, they are Cornelius Van Til, John Frame, William Lane Craig, R.C. Sproul, Winfred Corduan, and of course Robert Stewart (my professor of apologetics and philosophy at New Orleans Seminary).

    D.R.
     
  7. Frogman

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    Ok, what is 'hypostatic union', sounds almost like a pipe fitter's term. :confused:

    Can't find the word in the hillbilly dicshunery :D

    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Jesus is 100% man AND 100% God - two natures bonded in one, without losing any of either nature.

    Big controversy in theology way back in the 4th C. (think Aryan heresy) and still active in almost every cult. Our LDS in Wyoming/Utah have a problem with it, for certain!

    When you think of a ministry of apologetics, think "Josh McDowell". His "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" series is classic apologetics and worthy of every Christians attention.

    If God can use dr396 like that . . . [​IMG]
     
  9. atestring

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    The New Testament had some apologist.
    1. Peter
    2. Paul
    3. Stephen
    We find the defense of the Gospel in The book of Acts as the defense was given in front of a crowd.
    The interesting way that they made their defense was by using history.
    They would got back to the prophets and go back to Abraham and Moses in Their arguments.

    Today we have some Great Apologist but there are also some self proclaimed apologist that are just out to make a profit on their books.

    Ravi Zacherius takes his arguments to college campuses and other venues and astounds people with his wisdom and God uses Him to open the eyes of the skeptics.

    Others just get on a rampage against other ministers of the Gospel. Instead of lifting up Jesus they just put down people. The internet is full of this type.
     
  10. Plain Old Bill

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    Right on Dr. Bob,
    Evidence that Demmands a verdict vol 1 & 2 are what I cut my teeth on.I think I have given away 15 or 20 copies to friends in a witnessing mode.If one can be convinced by facts Josh McDowell will show you how to do it in simple terms anyone can understand.
     
  11. gb93433

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    One of the things that interests me is the extrabiblical evidences for the Christian faith and why we have every reason to put our trust in Jesus and follow Him. It seems that so much of my time in dealing with others is the serious lack of preparation for Christians to share their faith. They are unable to answer some of the world's darts. Recently a mother asked me about an article her son read and some of his friends were discussing at school. It was about the gnostic gospels. He came home asking her how we could know that what we have was the truth. He wanted to know how we knew the Bible was true and not some other kind of document. So that night was spent mostly on evidences for the truth of scripture. The mother is about 47. In a Sunday School class three years ago that I was attending the teacher asked, What is a Christian ? There were all kinds of answers. Everyone of them revolved around what a Christian does. After listening for several minutes I could see that nobody really addressed the question. So I said, "A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ." Often in teaching Sunday School classes and teaching Bible studies I will ask, "What is salvation?" The majority of Christians will tell you about going to heaven but never address the issue of how salvation changes our entire life, our entire being.

    James1:21, "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and al] that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls."

    Salvation does not just change our mind.It changes every aspect of our life both eternally and temporally. It changes everything about us.
     
  12. dr396

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    gb,

    I see where you are going and I agree. So does John Frame in his book, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God . His premise is that apologetics and theology go hand in hand. You cannot do one without using some of the other. I personally feel that at least 3/4 of all apologetics need to be done in the church in order to teach them who they are and what they believe. And it needs to be done with serious integrity and not by using straw men arguments that do not prepare our people for real world questions like "How do we know what we know about God and how do we know that we are not missing something?" A really great series on the relation of Scripture and truth is Carl F.H. Henry's God, Revelation, and Authority . It's 6 volumes, but really great stuff on Scripture, epistemology, and the like. I feel your frustration, however, and hope that you can be a shining light to your brothers and sisters in your church regarding doctrine and Scripture.

    D.R.
     
  13. Corry Cox

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  14. preachinjesus

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    Apologetics is a discipline and every Christian is mandated to have solid answers for those who question the Gospel and its various aspects.

    We don't have understanding seeking faith, rather we should endeavor to have faith (first) seeking understanding. Our ground in apologetics should be faith first, explanation later. Our metaphysics should inform our espistemology.

    Perhaps most important is that our lives must be excellent examples of Christian apologetics. Look at the early Church apologists, they had lives worthy of the calling of God. Their lives were their primary apologetic.
     
  15. dr396

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    Preachin',

    What type of apologetic do you hold to? Fideist, Reformed Epistomological, or Presuppositional? I am doubting that you are a classic or evidentialist. I tend to lean toward comprehensive apologetics or cumulative case. One of my professors taught this and I have found that it is true: whatever you learn in relation to apologetics will likely be used by God at some point in your life (and often times very soon after learning it).

    D.R.
     
  16. Deacon

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    Hey Doc, give us a quick run-down of what the different approaches mean.

    Rob
     
  17. dr396

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    Well,

    I will try to be short. This is according to Boa and Bowman's Faith Has Its Reasons.

    Fideist -- The view that one should believe apart from evidences or any reasoning.
    Reformed epistemological -- the view that we ought to ground reason and fact on the Christian faith rather than trying to prove or defend the faith on the basis of reason or fact.
    Presuppositionalism -- It is a form of the reformed approach first formulated by Cornelius Van Til in which one shows the irrationality of the non-Christians worldview by revealing his or her presuppositions.
    Classic apologetics -- this is also called two step apologetics because typically CA attempts to prove the existence of God and then show that God to be the Christian God. This is what people typically see as apologetics.
    Evidentialism -- Also called one-step apologetics because it assumes a God when it uses evidences for the Christian faith such as proofs for the resurrection. This is the apologetic of Josh McDowell, hence his book, Evidence That Demands A Verdict .

    These are skeleton definitions, but can be examined more closely by getting Kenneth Boa and Robert Bowman's book mentioned above. You can also look these up on the internet. The study of apologetic systems is called metapologetics. You can probably do a search on this word and get more info on the above systems. Cumulative Case and comprehensive apologetics use varieties of the above methods. Hope this was helpful.

    D.R.
     
  18. mioque

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    To watch some truly atrocious apologetics being practiced. Just read some of the other religions/doctrines section of this very baptist board.
     

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