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Why I Believe - Rethinking Apologetics for the 21st Century, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2022 6:00 am

Why I Believe - Rethinking Apologetics for the 21st Century, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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August 18, 2022 6:00 am

Are you concerned about your kids and grand kids as the world becomes increasingly hostile to Christianity? Did you know a high percentage of youth who grow up in the Church are leaving the faith after high school? And do you increasingly wonder: What do we do? In this program, Chip brings real hope and real answers for anyone concerned about these disturbing trends.

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Are you concerned about your children and grandchildren.

As our world becomes recently hostile to Christianity. You wonder why 70% of our youth are leaving the church five years after high school, and what we can do about it. If so stay with me. There is real hope and real answers on the way, welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with tripping the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians the Bible to capture early in just a minute will begin one of our more popular series why I believe screen answers to honest questions about God Bible and Christianity for the next several programs to tackle issues like creation versus evolution, the validity of the Bible, life after death why there's only one true God to help you get the most out of this series. Let me encourage you to download chips message notes contain his outline scripture references and much more by going to the broadcasts tab@livingontheedge.org Listeners Filling them with all that said, let's get the chip as he kicks off his series with this message, rethinking apologetics in the 21st entry we are living in a day of a tectonic shift in our culture that is greatly impact the church. I don't know about you but we are living in a day were evil is called good or good is called evil were living in a day where bidders called sweet and sweet is called bitter darkness is called light and light is called darkness and according to the ancient prophet Isaiah 2700 years ago. He said when this happens it brings great great sorrow. I know many of you have to be deeply, deeply concerned of what you seeing happen the culture and also happening in the church were seeing young people that don't walk with God anymore receiving the moral values in the culture and outside the church rapidly. Rapidly change and were in his series here: why I believe and I believe were in a day where we have to rethink our apologetics in apologetics is that big word that's about making a defense for our faith. It's giving a a reasoned verbal explanation for why we believe and and we can explain this great hope that we have within us. But as you can see, and as I observe as I go around the country. I meet parents and I meet grandparents to say to me you know we went to church regularly. We sent our children, even to a Christian school, or we sent them to a Christian university or a good secular university with that.

Had a good Christian group and it's now five or seven years later they don't share our morals.

They don't share our values that currently are living some with someone. I mean the world is topsy-turvy and here's what I want to tell you our approach to apologetics that this is why I believe this is what I believe it's got to change because honestly what was passed on to our children. What's being passed on through the church at large with some really wonderful exceptions. It's currently not working. You let me tell you what sort of the classic approach to apologetics is because it had a very powerful and good impact in my life. I did not grow up as a Christian I had never open the Bible in my life I came to Christ right before I went away to college and I had a wonderful experience. I mean it was a campus ministry that crew I got in the Bible. I mean my life change I had deep loving relationships. I peace and joy, my life changed so much.

My dad who is a hard-core alcoholic asked me what in the world happened to you, and I told him about this new relationship with Jesus and I was reading the New Testament. My father trusted Christ our whole family and it was were I was a revolution. It was awesome and I graduated and I was a really good student and the chairman of my department. I really admired him and I think he really liked and kinda admired me, and I was ready to graduate and and I graduated with honors and in good things like that and he had white hair and he was really bright and I really admired Connor what he thought in his opinion, and I could tell that he waited until I graduated because he wanted to ask me a question that might put our relationship at stake and so I was ready to walk across the stage you like in a day or so and all the coursework is done and I'll never forget this. I mean this was like one of those pictures in my mind. Dr. P with the snow white hair is arms crossed and the light was coming was a brick building that had IV and he tilted his head and he said Chip can ask your question is that your Dr. P. He said I just don't understand how someone who appears to be as intellectually astute as you are can actually believe in a literal Jesus in this born-again stuff and that the Bible is really God's word and then he followed that by asking me three or four rather challenging questions about my faith. How can I trust the Bible and could Jesus be the only way isn't that narrow etc. etc. and it shook me to infect him to go on record to say that it's not bad to have some doubts as a follower of Christ is not bad to to get shaken now and then and realize I need to really think through what I believe and why. And I came away from that experience with three convictions number one is I was knocking to throw my brains in the trash to follow Christ. I mean this is a man I respected and and you know what, it wasn't just I have this emotional experience and had this great college experience. If that was just a little window of unit being idealistic, then it's got a measure up to the truth. Second, I'm not gonna let someone I admire who's very very smart. Intimidate me to give up my faith and third, I made a commitment I'm to dig in and whatever it takes. I am going to learn the questions he asked me about the Bible about the uniqueness of Christ archaeology science.

I'm going to focus and do whatever it takes and I'm going to do the research and then I'll let the chips fall where they may. I mean if if God's word and my faith can hold up to scientific, archaeological, philosophical research, then I'll give up my faith. But if it does then I will know this is really true and really the teaching in the series. In the book that Iroko why I believe is the culmination of that journey.

What I can tell you is, is that I've defended my faith in front of for PhD's. I had the privilege of going around the world in different religions and philosophies and here's my joy.

And here's my desire for you. You can trust God's word. You can trust the person of Christ. But we have to rethink how we communicate this and what are apologetic is the now have to tell you experience that I had not too long ago I was teaching on controversial subjects because I mean the morals have changed in America and in the sort of lifestyles LGBT Cuban and marriage and all these things are up for grabs in I was teaching at our church about what the Bible says about homosexuality and what it says about marriage and and remember little 15-year-old girl came up to me. She's a Aminah sweet girl.

She loves God. I think she even went to her Christian school. I know her parents very very good people, but she's grown up in a completely different culture and she came up to me and she said you know Pastor Chip I heard what you said I know what the Bible actually says about homosexuality. I know you believe in the authority of Scripture and all those things. I want you know I love Jesus with all my heart but I want to tell you something if you're asking me to tell my friend who's gay that she's wrong or give up my faith. I'm to give up my faith and I mean literally, my mind's own what what if I was. I grew up and and many of you have grown up in a world that there's logic, there's authority, there's the Bible. This is what it says assists but she's grown up in a world when she has to choose between relationship and truth absolute truth she's lives in a world where you don't validate things by what the Bible says you don't validate things by person in authority, like myself, you validate it out of relationship and your experience so here's what I want to tell you the apologetics of the past have to be completely revised.

We don't give up on all those reasons I'm going to share some of those reasons I'm gonna help you understand why you can trust the Bible why you can believe in the resurrection why the God of the Bible. The most logical clear. I mean, it answers the biggest questions of life, but I'm can a tell you we can't keep doing it the way were doing it because look at the evidence, I mean just ask yourself, how is it going the cultures changing the world is changing. How is the church doing. Let me give you some of the bad news and I don't mean to be negative, but if you need awaken then let's get awakened.

Our rational answer the question simply isn't working in our day. What's the public view of Christians right now. Hypocrites sexual scandals in the Catholic Church for decades, followed by cover-up sexual scandals and evangelical Bible churches, Southern Baptist churches major mega church pastors after decades of quote effective ministry now found out to have private lives. People are looking at Christianity and saying we think you're bigoted. We think your prejudice. We think you're irrelevant.

We think you're intolerant. We think you're the problem.

The judge, the LGBT Q has very effectively reframed the entire argument not around. We have a sexual preference, but as a civil rights issue and now Christians in our day are viewed as bigoted and prejudiced and so there is this anti-Christian bias and it's popping up everywhere businessman in the Silicon Valley, who is one of the founders of a major organization gave $1000 to a cause, not putting anyone down simply saying that I believe historically that marriage is between a man and woman that went viral on social media, and he was ousted in this company. Companies like Chick-fil-A that close on Sundays who are loving and kind and care about people, but who basically just hold to traditional concept of marriage have now been moved off and outlawed in major cities like San Antonio or in universities were living in a world where giving logical answers to our kids into our neighbors into her friends no longer hold water.

Christians are viewed in a very negative light. Therefore, the message of the gospel effect the next generation has come up believing that they need to be so concerned about their friends and not be too forthright that they actually think it's wrong to share their faith if it might offend someone else. It's into that world that we have a new apologetic in the church. Here's the changes currently church attendance is down. Bible engagement is down the moral decline 60% of evangelical Bible believing believers between the ages of 18 and 30 are currently in casual sex or sleeping together giving is an all time low.

Financially per capita it actually those during the depression gave more generously than today that tells us something is happened to Christians hearts. Families are fractured. Divorce is about the same in the Christian community is the non-Christian community, we find that 68% of our children. Five years after they leave high school are banning the faith. I mean I could go on and on and on. We have the highest level of people who have no religious affiliation of those under 35 it's like 25, 30% of them have no religious affiliation, and generation Z those coming up literally. They don't know God they don't know the Bible and Christianity is currently to them irrelevant.

These are big big issues, it's gonna take more than opening the Bible and telling your kids or sitting down with a friend over coffee and telling them here's the five or six intellectual reasons why I believe in God's word or why believe Jesus is the Savior of the world's going to take a bit of a different apologetic, we are much more like the first century than we are the last century. What I mean by that is that many of us have grown up for quite a while where the culture agreed with what we believed, you know, it supported it. The major institution supported it, and now were living in a world that is more and more and more anti-Christian. So here's what I want to suggest I want to suggest that we rethink because of the change in the culture are apologetic yesterday. Apologetics were about what we believe and why. And it was aimed answering the skeptic and his questions are her questions today, ready for this.

I believe we need to aim apologetics first and foremost toward believers, especially young people, aimed answering the questions that equip them to keep their faith something fundamentally is wrong with the current Christianity in the current church in the current faith when those inside our churches and our families are leaving the faith.

Second, yesterday we needed to master facts and data in history to intellectually prove what we believe is true today. We need to model concern and compassionate and a lifestyle that proves that what we actually believe is even relevant. Third, yesterday we needed to win the debate.

In fact, a member the day when your evangelicals.

An atheist would debate no one even wants to hear debate today. We need to win an audience. We need to live in such a way were people were asking us how do you have a marriage like that and how your kids turn out like that and how do you handle the adversity coming your way with such an raising kind and loving attitude forth yesterday we communicated on a level playing field. The presumed the truth was objective reality. Today we communicate on this shifting sands of truth is a subjective reality and I told you that story about high school girl what I want you to know is that this whole next generation and millennial's, they look at life through different classes. They don't look at facts and say will. These are three facts and these are logical and therefore this is right and that is wrong there evaluating truth, not as an absolute, but something that's relative and it's why the experience of the collective group. It's what they feel that your truth, that's my truth and so now you begin to talk to people I can, I can give them five or six good reasons or scientific facts in the responses that your truth that's not my truth recently, a lady who I really admire her name is Rosario Butterfield and she was a teacher in elite school as she was a lesbian and she made friends with the pastor and he invited her over for dinner. I I don't mean just a few dinners, but was months and months and then a couple years and she often left and she said it disturbed me. We disagreed about the homosexual lifestyle. We disagreed about truth and epistemology and how you, truth, and she was a literature professor and very, very, very bright, but she says as they love me and love me and love me and I began to examine what I believed in. Why I begin to understand God begin to move my heart and so she goes to this prestigious university, and she shares her testimony and if I gave you the name of it. Most of you would say wow are you kidding I mean, it's one of the elite sort of the Harvard's of Christianity and when she got done.

Students protested, and here's what you need to get that protested and the sign said that's just your story.

In other words, there comment was it. We love Jesus but now you're alienating people that are LGBT because she was a lesbian teacher who came to Christ saw what the Scripture said and says now this is my new lifestyle so so what I want you to understand is is that it's a whole different world and just faxed the shifting sand of relative truth means are apologetic and are way to do are apologetic has to change fifth. Yesterday the church and the culture shared a general knowledge of the Bible.

I mean you could talk about Adam and Eve or Noah or Jonah or Jesus or a few of his stories and people go yeah I got you today. Both the church and the world is biblically illiterate. I had the privilege of teaching literally all across America in multiple places around the world and I can't start anymore and assume that people know even the general idea of Scripture causes us to start at a different starting point.

Six.

A committed Christian man or woman in the past and yesterday was admired. You know she's a woman of integrity. He's a man who loves God. He's a man who leads his family well. I mean that's the kind of person you want to be today a strongly committed man or woman is actually been called dangerous. Recently they were doing some appointments for court positions a very significant roles in the head Senate hearings and a couple senators came out there was a lady who was a strong candidate and she happened to be a devout Catholic and she had very clear views on the life of the unborn and it was just that now I believe life begins at conception among the sciences and even Planned Parenthood. When they they don't talk about a fetus anymore. They talk about a baby and two senators in our country in America said this lady cannot be a judge in our court system. Because of her dangerous ideas. It's a dangerous idea in America. In our day to believe that an unborn child's life should be protected. Think of how much has changed in our world seventh. We used to be able to begin with the truth and then express grace. I mean, people believe that truth was absolute and we would say this is right and this is wrong today, we must begin with grace in order to share the truth. What I want you to know is that the apologetic has to start with how you live and how you treat people and that we actually make an impact and we actually demonstrate that we deeply, deeply care, it's not about a a competing philosophy anymore. No one wants to hear what the Bible says or anything about Jesus until they see a life track loving, caring will be back in just a minute.

This application you've been listening to the first part of his message rethinking apologetics for the 21st century from a series why I believe knows you may or may not know there's actually a lot of solid verifiable evidence that supports Jesus existence and his ministry. The real challenge is articulating that and other biblical truths to those who genuinely want to know more. So how do we do that will in this series chip shares ways we can effectively and would simply answer honest questions about our faith that will attract people to the gospel not repel them from it. For more information about why I believe, or our resources go to LivingontheEdge.org the chipping roadmap or call AAA 333-6003 trips with me and studio eligible, you know, I don't think I've ever heard you more passionate about a particular series than this one. Share with us if you will what's behind.

I think first day. This was a real challenge to me personally. It was a number of years ago and issues were quite different, but I had to have a faith right and through my brains in the trash and so at an early age. Working through these issues was very important. I think the second reason why I'm so passionate today is the world has changed and apologetics needs to be refined. It's completely different this time around with our own children and grandchildren.

I made the rules of change. The right answers and the facts and the research alone.

They just don't suffice anymore so troopship so what are you hoping to accomplish through the series. Well, three things. One, I want to help parents, pastors and grandparents and literally youth workers understand that it's a whole new world and it requires a different approach to apologetics. The second thing I want to do is create a resource to help them first, understand, and then second help their kids own their own faith in a way that it comes from their heart and then third, I will help all of us be equipped so that we can build the kind of relationships and have the opportunity where those facts and those truths and that evidence really come into play after we built a bridge where people were literally asking us about the hope that sent us. Thanks for that insight chip will I hope you'll join us for each part of the series and let me also encourage you to get plugged in with the resources for why I believe to whether that strips popular book or the small group study guides during the series. We've discovered both. So order either of these resources today to learn more, call AAA 333-6003 or go to LivingontheEdge.org Listeners tap special offers.

Now the final thought. Here's chip as we closed today's program. I think I need to clear up a misconception. Yes, we need to be prepared with answers, and we have to know the truth and yes we face some real challenges in our culture, but I want you to know God always changes one person at a time and I just want to remind you that the average person is far more willing to listen to your answers than you might think if you have a real relationship if they know that you really care. But there's a lot of frustrated parents and grandparents and even youth workers a talk to me about wowing I give people eight reasons why I believe in the Bible, or why I believe Jesus rose from the dead and it's like BBs off the tank will. It's a new day and it's a new world and what I want you to know is that were going to learn a lot of good answers and would learn to win simply share our faith engage in and communicate with the next generation. But I will tell you there is something that never ever fails. It's a four letter word is not a bad word. It's love.

People long to be loved. People long for peace people's lives aren't working well.

Whether it's teenage suicide, or anxiety, or family breakups. What the world is looking for what people what your neighbors what your coworkers what your grandkids are looking for is someone who deeply cares and accepts them. Once you build that bridge we will give you some tools to help them know about Jesus, the Bible and eternal life.

Stay with this. I think this series is going to be a real help to you. Thanks.

Chip.

Let me take just a brief second and think the generous people will make monthly donations to support the ministry of Living on the Edge your faithful gifts help us inspire Christians to live like Christians. Every gift makes a huge difference.

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Text the word donate 741 41 or visit LivingontheEdge.org app listeners tap donate will. Until next time, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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