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God's Not Dead

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Ever tried reasoning with an atheist? I have and its very difficult because they are closed to the facts and only open to their naturalistic worldview. However as Ray Comfort says apologetics is the bait, and the law is the hook. We can certainly bait an atheist with apologetics arguments. When I run into an atheist I usually ask him/her if it took millions of years for his/her smartphone to evolve, and they will usually laugh, as they know there is a designer. So in the same sense why doubt the existence of God? The sky, the mountains, the animals, the insects, and the universe all has a designer, and that designer is God. And then I use the law so he can see the error of his ways.

    So how do you reason with atheists? There is a multitude of books defending Christianity which book is the best?
     
  2. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I talk to atheists all the time about faith and questions that they have.

    Some are certainly like that, but when a believer actually engages humbly and asks relevant questions in regard to their presuppositions and concerns, you will often find them opening up. If a believer is close-minded and only wants to deal with an atheist just long enough to push their message - but not engage them as people - then that person is unlikely to make progress.

    Honestly, patiently, and with a relaxed attitude. The believer is not responsible for results, only being a witness.

    The Christian scriptures and general knowledge of the world and the basics of philosophical thought are all that is necessary.

    You have to invest in people, not just hit and miss encounters. Also, you don’t go into the discussions to win an argument, but to be helpful in Christian love.
     
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  3. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    The Bible.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I think I told you before of witnessing to a friend who was an atheist. Now he is a youth pastor.

    You listen, mostly, and give feedback when opportune. Each time I would offer the gospel message (mostly by way of testimony...e.g., "I understand your view here, and I respect that. Here is what I believe and why...."). Never try to "convict the person under the Law", but lean on the fact even the atheist is already under conviction and present the gospel of Jesus Christ (not too long, but every single time). End on a positive note and follow up.
     
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  5. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    I will rephrase the question.

    What is the best book defending the Bible & the Christian faith?

    You cant use the Bible to defend the Bible as thats circular reasoning.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    No, that's not circular reasoning. God's Word is His own revelation of Himself to mankind. The Spirit testifies to His Word, as does Creation itself.

    We cannot expect to win souls to Christ by depending on man. We do Kingdom work Kingdom ways.
     
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  7. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    You don't need another book.

    You presume that the Bible needs to be defended.

    It is easy to deny things, but much harder to live when you have denied truth. The best defense of the scriptures is by possessing a transformed character and the ability to hold a rational conversation without trying to manipulate the other person. When Christ is present in your life and His character shines forth, the Bible is relevant to even an atheist.

    But the strategy of trying to prove the Bible while demonstrating a character that refutes the scriptures is a recipe for failure - and worse, you are providing more evidence to the atheist that their beliefs are true.

    I am in the position of answering biblical questions for more than a half dozen atheists at the moment. They are interested in the Bible - it's hard to sustain atheism without reacting against religious belief - and when I can demonstrate love and patience, plus competently explain some biblical passages that trouble them (for instance, just last week I had a long discussion with an atheist friend about Abraham being commanded to offer Isaac), then God can work with that.

    The issues with faith in God for an atheist are rarely intellectual - they are often tied to other things, with a reductionistic materialist worldview tied to it. The issue is fundamentally a matter of the will. They have decided that they are not going to seriously inquire any more about God. When you can demonstrate that you are a reasonable person who is well-informed, open to thinking about the big issues, and also a person of faith, they want to know how you can hold that faith.

    The Spirit uses faithfulness and love of neighbor as part of the drawing of the atheist to faith.
     
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  8. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    A book to defend the bible? LOL!

    Defend it like Charles Spurgeon defended it. He said, "I would defend the bible the same way I would defend a lion. Just turn it loose. It can defend itself!"

    Hebrew 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
     
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  9. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    NOTE: I never said I needed another book as I have plenty of apologetics books. Your take is completely different than our resident apologist at our church who has read The New Evidence that demands a verdict cover to cover (impressive). He recommends using the arguments in that book when dialoguing with skeptics.
     
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  10. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    You most definitely can and in fact must use The Bible to defend Christianity.
     
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  11. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Well, you asked about the "best book for defending the Bible & the Christian faith."

    If that is not a request for another book, then I'm confused.

    Lots of people read books cover-to-cover. Back in the mid-1980s, I read both volumes of McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" and found them an extremely uneven read. As an agnostic, I saw the merit in a few of the arguments, but most fell flat on the basis of either missing the point or assuming logic presuppositions that the skeptical reader would not have. The books are clearly written for those who already believe, who want a few intellectual arguments to maintain their faith.

    I would not. I haven't read the new versions, but I found the old versions of those books to be not that helpful. Furthermore, your assumption and the assumption of the books is that atheism is primarily about the intellect, and that God can be proven without a doubt. You can go a very long way in that direction, but if the new books are anything like the old ones, they won't get you there.

    Probably the best book that helps with the intellectual (knowledge) foundation of the faith using careful thought is Dallas Willard's, "Knowing Christ Today," where he establishes a careful argument for the accessibility of knowledge, spiritual knowledge, and how we can know God exists. But that won't convert anyone. The Spirit converts people and enjoys using us as helpers in that process.

    Atheism is about a choice of the will -- a dogmatic claim that there is no God, even though the atheist has no way of truly knowing whether or not God exists outside the realm of his/her knowledge.

    Unless a person moves from the atheistic assertion to agnosticism or admits the possibility of spiritual knowledge, then nothing human (book, word, deed) will change that person.
     
  12. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I read The Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Nothing profound there. I doubt the update is much better.
     
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  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
     
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  14. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    When the atheist asks, "How do you know there is a God?" or "Why do you believe in God?", the response is not to pull out some apologetics book and get into a debate, the answer is, "Because He changed my life and let me tell you how."

    There is no argument against that. It personalizes the issue. It gets right down to the nitty-gritty of WHY the atheist is asking--the atheist is searching for a meaning to life. Don't get bogged down in debate points and trying to win an argument, show the atheist what Jesus has done for you.
     
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  15. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Not sure what kind of a pastor you are, but my pastor reads a dozen or more commentaries in preparation for each message and sees the value in books helping one to understand scripture.
     
  16. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Well this is why there are lots and lots of other books out there to aide one in answering the objections of the skeptic. Personally when I witness to skeptics on the street I use nothing but the Bible, however this is not to say in a college classroom or other intellectual environment books defending the christian faith cannot be helpful. In fact when making a presentation one is usually required to have sourced half a dozen books defending the faith.

    As I said there are a multitude out there to aide one in such a task. But getting the skeptic to read one is a problem.
     
  17. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I doubt you really know what he does. In fact most people do not know what kind of time and resources pastors put into preparing but you are not a pastor preparing a sermon. You are an immature laymen who likes to think he knows more than he does and cannot tell the difference between using reference material and completely relying on books as you do. I do not say that to be mean or even critical I say it to help you understand the reality of your situation. You are trying to be something you are not, you are trying to be more than you are, and you are trying to run with the big dogs when you have not yet been weaned. You are constantly getting stomped on and its your own fault.
     
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  18. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Actually I do know because he said the other week he looks at 12-15 commentaries in preparation for each sermon!
     
  19. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    The atheist will say “so what?” Plenty of Buddhist, and Mormons have changed lives so why is Christianity any different?
     
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    sigh right over your head.
     
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