Apologetics Workshop with Raymond and Isaac

Thanks to Mr. Tim Halim for providing his notes!

 

Understanding your opponent, the nature of the sinner, is more important than knowing all the theories.

  1. Anthropology (Romans 1:18-23)
    • They know who God is, that He exists. We are not proving that God exists.
    • V. 21-22 the sinner does not honor God as God.
    • These non-believers are fools (Biblically a fool is someone who disregards God’s Word). Man knows God exists, they can perceive what is around them. It is the fool that suppresses the truth that God exists.
    • Romans 3:10-18
      Total description of man’s natural state.
    • Ephesians 2:1-3
      Sinners are dead in their trespasses and sin. Exact opposite of a Christian
    • 1 Corinthians 2:14
      Things that are spiritual can only be discerned by those are spiritual, yet sinners are dead in their sins, they
      cannot understand the spiritual things. There is a large gap between man and God, and when we share the Gospel, we are not pushing them away from Christ since they are doing it themselves already.

  2. Myth of Neutrality – We need to meet nonbelievers on neutral ground.
    •  “We should not back up our arguments with Scripture”; this is a myth: Scripture is ultimately our authority, whereas the nonbeliever uses reason and logic as their authority. There is no reason we need to give them the ‘home’ advantage. If Christ is at the center of our hearts, shouldn’t we be sharing the Gospel to everyone?
    • Colossians 2:2-3, 6-8
      Wisdom comes from Christ. This means there is reason to have Scripture as our authority when arguing. As Christians, all things happen with Christ in our lives, why is evangelism any different? We should not discount the power of Scripture when arguing or giving a defense of the faith. To make a case for Christ, why do we not use Christ as our authority?
    • Futility of Evidence.
      • Even if we intellectually argue every point the nonbeliever has, the nonbeliever’s sin is suppressing the truth. We instead show them how their sin is suppressing the truth of the Gospel.

  3. Foolishness of Non-Christian Worldviews (Psalm 14:1)

    • The description of their thinking is foolish and irrational. The Bible anticipates the nonbeliever to be irrational in thinking, because they are denying God’s existence. Three characteristics in how nonbelievers may be irrational are seen below.
    • The first is their Basic Beliefs of Reality.
    • Environment vs. Justice: The bad things people do are a product of their environments (“We are all victims of circumstance”). This contradicts with justice because with the justice system each person is held accountable for themselves, not because of their circumstance (prison, or any kind of execution of justice).
    • Matter vs. Logic: Some atheists argue that matter in the universe and everything is random & chance. Nothing is immaterial in the universe. Laws of logic are immaterial, but people cannot sense logic (“rules that people generally abide by”). Tension between what these nonbelievers say and how they live. It is not irrational for Christians to believe this since they understand and believe in God. The nonbeliever is always borrowing ideas from the Christian faith, whether he knows it or not.
    • The second is their Basic Beliefs of Human Knowledge.
    • Absolute truth is impossible to find; everything is relative, Both are two statements that are very circular. Aren’t those statements pretty absolute?
    • The third is their Basic Beliefs of Human Ethics.
    • Pleasure vs. War/Rape: If pleasure is king in the human life, then humans are justified in all things they do.
    • Residue of God’s Image.
    • There is residue of God’s attributes, because God is ultimately all these things (logic, morality, justice). The non-believer has been made in the image of God, whether he likes it or not.
    • Romans 1:18
    • They do know the ultimate truth, but disregard it making them fools in their sin.
    • When sin occurs, it is because they love the sin and do not want to give it up.
    • As Christians we are to help them see the tension in their lives. We can do this by threatening their sin. They will get angry and frustrate but this will get them to think.
    • John 3:19-20
    • The light in the passage is representative of Christ. The reason they reject Christ is because they love their sins too much, they love darkness and hate the light (hate Christ).
    • Romans 8:7-8, 5:10
    • There is a direction the nonbeliever is headed: the opposite direction of God because they are at war with God. Sinners are not in neutral, they are running headlong into sin (constantly moving). This is the reality that Scripture reveals to us, that we are moving either toward God or toward sin and death. Some may say that they are “not as bad as other people”: God knows every thought and deed. To say that they are not as bad from their human perspective with human standards. Our feelings do not matter ultimately when God is the one who is judging them in the end.

     

  4. The Gospel
    At best, make the non-believer pause and think about their sins. We are not going to make them love the things of God.

    Romans 1:16
    The power of God is not your personality, coziness, or anything, but rather the power of God and salvation is the Gospel itself.
    It is a petition to someone to turn away from the things of death.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25, 2:1-4, 3:18-23
    When people mock the Gospel, it is expected because it is foolishness to them. To us, those who are saved, it is the power of God, the message of the cross is not foolishness to the elect.
    Paul was aware that his ministry was not to impress the philosophers, but trusted in the sovereignty of God that the Word could be applied to save sinners (1 Corinthians 2:4).
    You cannot boast in anything but the message of God (1 Corinthians 3:18-19). There is always the temptation to appeal to the pagan, to sound smart and eloquent, but don’t dilute the message which is simply calling sinners to repentance. It is not enough to appeal to the human will to turn them to Christ, they will not listen

    John 16:7-11
    Ministry of the Holy Spirit: to convict the world of sin. The Spirit will show that God is righteous and they are not so that sinners will be convicted that sin leads to death.
    These three issues are important when preaching the Gospel: sin, righteousness, and judgement. If you focus outside of these things, the Holy Spirit is not in your message.

    If you only had five minutes with someone, here is a simple acronym to guide you in sharing the gospel: (LEJ) Law, Exclusivity (John 14:6), Judgement
  • The high wall of the law: the law and their sin, it warrants punishment to those who don’t believe
  • The exclusivity of the Gospel: there is a substitute that is needed, Jesus Christ the perfect God-man is the only substitute
  • The ultimate destination of sin: this is hell, and I love you to tell you of these things, the urgency of time

    Luke 5:31
  • There is nothing you can offer in terms of forgiveness to other people.

    Acts 17:29
    Paul is condemning the Gentiles for their sin, their idolatry. The rhetoric is rather similar to that of the Jew, creating gods and idols of their own. They do not have a free pass because they did not read the Scriptures.