A common question on the college campus. Enjoy this one… https://wp.me/p2ZnhB-5fM
An excellent and comprehensive blog post. Well done!
Our lecture tonight primarily focused on style. While the remainder of our time will be spent on what to say in spiritual conversations, tonight we wanted to focus on how to say it.
We first compared the style of the Nigerian Prince scammers with our typical presentation of the gospel. We saw that it is worth the effort to make our approach personal and non-random. This is how Paul did evangelism at Athens in Acts 17:22-31, which is a fair example for us today. When we are speaking with an unbeliever, we should pay attention for times when conversation comes close to spiritual matters and to have the courage to ask them what they believe (and listen to their answer!). It is only when we have understood where they are at that we will know what common ground we might try to build from.
Greg Koukl has an approach…
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Today’s article in the Stream struck a cord with me. I go to a couple of Apologetics conferences each year to connect with other Ratio Christi Directors and to sharpen the saw. And the most pleasing feature by far is the deep conversations I enjoy with the other attendees.
Tom Gilson writes…
It shouldn’t be this way. But the fact is, it’s a lonely world for the Christian thinker, the one who cares to think deeply and well about the faith.
I’ve just returned from a terrific week of fellowship at the annual Defend conference at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. It’s an apologetics conference, which means its purpose was to share and to study the many reasons for confidence in the Christian faith.
Speakers’ topics ranged from the resurrection to the problem of evil. But even though I was one of those speakers, the talks weren’t the real highlight of the week. It was the conversations instead.
Three nights in a row, my friend and team-teaching partner, Dr. Timothy McGrew, and I invited conferees for coffee and conversation. It was about 9 pm when we gathered each evening, but dozens came anyway — so many that we had to move over to a nearby dorm lounge. We stayed as long as the dorm rules allowed.
And one of the main topics of discussion was how refreshing it was to be able to have the kinds of conversations we were having there.
As for my congregation in Huntsville, I’m pleased that there is a Thursday morning men’s group. We enjoy fantastic discussion each week as we crawl through a book on the Christian faith or a book of the Bible.
But nothing has matched the tightly-focused fellowship I have had with my apologetics colleagues. They have stretched me to my intellectual limits in philosophy, physics, ethics, hermeneutics, theology, and on and on. And I love every minute!
Love to all,
This is the most popular topic I have ever presented on the college campus. Students typically flood the front area to ask questions afterward. The subjective, feelings-based, and mystical discernment model that has become the folklore of American Christianity is severely hurting the young adults I serve.
Thanks for posting on this topic, Wintery Knight.
There are two views on the topic of decision making and the will of God. The view you learn in the church is called “the traditional view”. I call this view the feelings/intuition view. This view that elevates feelings / intuitions to the level of divine communications from God. The more practical view is called “the wisdom view”. I call this view the battlefield commander view. I am a proponent of the wisdom / commander view.
[The traditional view is] that God has a plan for our lives and that we receive guidance through methods such as “open and closed doors”, “feeling led” and “the still, small, voice”.
[The wisdom view] holds that God does not have an “individual will” for our lives, but rather that all of God’s will can be…
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Come, let us reason…
Many times when I do apologetics or simply talk about it people tell me they think it is the wrong approach. To them argument, discussion, or some other seemingly confrontational approach to sharing the gospel is not what Jesus would do.
Those that appose an apologetic approach are often those who I may be arguing with, but more often than not it is a fellow Christian who believes a confrontational approach is unbiblical, unloving or even unchristlike.
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Worth a look, especially because of the long quote of Richard Howe. I have enjoyed Richard’s talks every time I have seen one. He is an excellent teacher of philosophy. He is also VERY generous with his material. See the resources tab on his website: http://www.richardghowe.com/
Image credit: Jeff Schechtman, 2015, Podcast: WhoWhatWhy
This is an article penned by the author of the blog site Thomistic Bent that is well worth the read. The author tackles an important epistemological question concerning the nature of evidence, what constitutes evidence, and how atheists fail to apply evidence consistently when they critique the beliefs and views held by non-atheists and those who believe in God. According to Thomistic Bent,
There is great post over at the Shadow To Light blog. You can find it here. That post reminds me of a statement made by Richard Howe, where he said this:
“When I was debating this atheist, I asked him, ‘what would convince you there is a god?’ He said “If all the chairs in this room rose up, flew against the back wall, and spelled ‘I am here — God’ then I would believe there is a god.” I am…
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A tough read for some Pastors, I’m sure. This is shared in love and with a plea to take it to heart for the most important generation (the NEXT generation).
Students (and faculty and everyone else) need reasons. We need much more “Paul in Athens” in our churches. But notice, Paul was familiar with the Greek poets in addition to the Scripture. He was widely read and he interacted with the world in addition to the Synagogue. -DW
My friend Wes posted an article about how communication is set up in the church, and why it’s not effective at equipping Christians to defend their worldview in hostile environments. The article describes what I encountered in church, after I was raised in a non-Christian home and become a Christian on my own by reading the New Testament. The view presented in the essay is how I viewed the church, and is probably how most outsiders view church. I think it explains why young people leave the church in droves once they move out of their parents’ houses.
On the Internet, one soon discovers that many respected church leaders are quite unable to deal directly with opposing viewpoints. In fact, many of them can’t even manage meaningful engagement with other voices. Their tweets may be entirely one-way conversations. They talk at their audiences. They can…
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A good distillation of 3 paradoxes that emerge from a materialist perspective.
Photo by Brett Jordan
This is a phenomenal piece penned by apologist Neil Shenvi. We’ve met Shenvi before in an article on my bog explaining why he is a Christian. As stated there, Shenvi is currently a research scientist with Prof. Weitao Yang at Duke University in the Department of Chemistry. Shenvi attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, he then became a Christian while at Berkeley, CA. There he did his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry. His thesis focused on quantum computation, including topics in quantum random walks, cavity quantum electrodynamics, spin physics, and the N-representability problem. From 2005-2010 he did research into nonadiabatic dynamics, electron transfer, and surface science. He then moved down to Durham in 2010 to do research into nonadiabatic dynamics and electronic structure theory with professor Weitao Yang at Duke University. Hi is married to Christina Shenvi who also has a PhD in Chemistry from Berkeley…
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An excellent post by Ken Samples. Read it carefully. He makes some interesting points that are sure to make you think.
Many people view faith and reason as being at odds with one another. For example, some differentiate faith from reason by asserting that faith merely involves hoping something is true, whereas reason involves affirming something to be true based upon justifying evidence. According to this model, faith is equivalent to wishful thinking and is thus incompatible with reason. But historic Christianity’s view of faith and reason is very different from this popular stereotypical definition.
In defining the relationship between faith and reason, historic Christianity draws upon both Scripture and sustained logical analysis. Here are five ways that historic Christianity relates faith to reason:
1. Faith’s Definition Involves Reason
In a biblical context, having faith (Greek: the verb, pisteúō, “believe”; the noun, pístis, “faith”) means confident trust in a credible source (God, Christ, or the truth). So the root word for faith in the New Testament is…
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“people examined the case for Christianity and came to believe it was true.” Steve Lee’s latest…