Monday, July 18, 2016

12 Quotes From Greg Koukl on Theological Discussions

"Loving God with the mind is not a passive process. It is not enough to have sentimental religious thoughts. Rather, it involves coming to conclusions about God and his world based on revelation, observation, and careful reflection...This is not rationalism, a kind of idolatry of the mind that places man's thinking at the center of the universe. Rather, it's the proper use of one of the faculties God has given us to understand him and the world he has made."

"In order to understand the truth of the Bible accurately, our mental faculties must be intact and we must use them as God intended."

"The Bible is first in terms of authority, but something else if first in terms of the order of knowing. We cannot grasp the authoritative teaching God's Word unless we use our minds properly. Therefore the mind, not the Bible, is the very first line of defense God has given us against error."

"A commitment to truth -- as opposed to a commitment to an organization -- means an openness to refining one's own views. It means increasing the accuracy of one's understanding and being open to correction in thinking. A challenger might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, an ally instead of an enemy. An evangelist who is convinced of her view, then, should be willing to engage the best arguments against it."

Monday, July 4, 2016

How Do We Respectfully Disagree While Being Committed To Truth?

As a defender of the Christian worldview, I constantly come across people who wish to reject Christianity because of some detail of a particular, debated view that is important to them. I have heard people reject Christianity because of views regarding creation, free will, ethics, eternal damnation, reason, and many others. Many different views exist within the Christian worldview regarding each of those, and if a Christian faces a challenge to one of the details, they will usually defend a particular view and explain that the other views are false (or strawmen). This is important especially if a skeptic has an incorrect understanding of Christianity and is rejecting Christ based on that misunderstanding. However, many different views on the same details of the Christian worldview are held by those who defend the truth of Christianity.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: Tactics: A Game Plan For Discussing Your Christian Convictions

I was introduced to the apologetic work of Greg Koukl almost ten years ago. I remember when his book "Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions" (softcover, Kindle, Quotes) was released I could not wait to get my copy. I was still trying to get my footing on how to defend the Christian worldview, and this book provided a foundation for my approach that has lasted since then. Because it was so important and vital to my confidence in sharing the reasons for the hope that I have, I decided to bring it out again and do a review for those who are not yet aware of the value of this book for, not just apologists but, every Christian. This review will be a chapter-by-chapter summary of the contents of the book. I have deliberately left out many details but given enough to hopefully pique your curiosity enough to get your own copy to read and be blessed by.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Podcast Highlight: Why Are Believers Mad at God?

As a defender of the Christian worldview I come across numerous intellectual challenges. When these are addressed logically, though in many cases, it is found that the skeptic has rejected God (and Christ) due to an experience that they cannot reconcile with God's being all-powerful and all-loving. This is the classic problem of evil. Its not the logical version but the emotional version. The inability to reconcile a particularly painful experience with God's claimed nature (as reveal in the Bible) causes these people to hate God and, perhaps, even doubt that He even exists. Philosopher Dr. Ravi Zacharias reminds Christian apologists:

"You must always come to the level of the questioner because more than answering a question, you are always answering a questioner. Somebody is behind that question. And if you answer the question without answering the questioner, you may come through as being very knowledgeable, but you've not been very persuasive to the one who's looking for the answer." (Link)

While it is easy to address the logical problem of evil (the question) it is often more difficult to answer the emotional problem of evil (the questioner). As the questioner goes without an answer, their confusion can grow into hatred and even skepticism (since they do not have even an answer to the logical problem). 

In the latest two episodes of the Love and Respect Podcast, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs addresses the questioner in a way that I feel would be quite useful for the defender of the Christian faith. I encourage all apologists to listen to these episodes, and if you are struggling with some experience that does not seem compatible with the Christian God, I invite you, also, to listen with an open mind and open heart. 

Here are the links for the podcast feeds if you wish to subscribe: