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September 10, 2022 12:01 am
What is the most common objection to the Christian faith that people brought to R.C. Sproul? Today, he responds to questions about the discipline of apologetics and our responsibility to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ.
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RC why would a creator what the human race mess up his creation like we have and what about injustice, why doesn't he just step in and fix it.
The question is something people have always wondered today on Renewing Your Mind. The jerseys grows going to address that and other thoughtful questions.
This is the final section of the series we been pleased to feature the past few months on classical apologetics called defending her faith not only completed the lecture part of our study of apologetics and defending your faith. We've asked our studio audience here if they have any questions within the realm of apologetics and soberness spend this time. Now giving them the opportunity to raise particular questions that are on their mind. These questions I've been seeing there is no rehearsal here so were just ad-libbing as we go and were going to try to make this something that will be helpful to those who watch the program and you have the microphone and what your question RC what are three good books to three good books to prepare a young man a young woman to be able to articulate their faith before they go to college by so were talking about books for young people, not heavy academic tones on the subject of defending your faith. One of my favorites is reason for faith that Dr. John Gerstner wrote that I think is very helpful for students going off to college on the issue of the Bible. FF Bruce little volume. The New Testament documents are they reliable. Even though Bruce is an accomplished academician in the scholar.
I think that little overview would help them in that regard my book objections answered, was written as a specific response to people like people who are engaged in evangelism and they kept track of the most frequently raised questions and objections to Christianity and then gave me that list and asked me how I would answer those questions and then there's a section after each chapter of summary. These are the points that you need to go over when you're answering the question that's again those are designed to help train people for these encounters. RC what is the number one intellectual objection that you been given over the last 3040 years against the existence of God and how briefly have you answered that I would say that the number one objection to the existence of God that I've heard over the years is the problem of evil in the presence of evil in the world as John Stuart Mill said that Christianity affirms that God is omnipotent and that God is good and according to Mill.
He can't be boats because with the presence of evil and pain and suffering and misery in the world.
If God is really good he would not permit such hardships and misery to continue and so iffy does permit them to continue, then they must not be able to overcome them. And so he is not omnipotent, and if he is omnipotent as the power to end all of this pain and suffering and misery and chooses not to do it than that would cast a shadow on his goodness, and so according to Mill. You can't have it both ways. I think the flaw in that argument of course is that suffering and pain and misery is according to Scripture, entered into the world because of sin, and that God did allow sin to take place for his own eternal purpose and that what we know about the character of God through his revelation of himself is his justice, his goodness, his righteousness and his promise to redeem this world from the reality of pain and grief and basically the biblical answer to that problem is it's not over yet and that that the pain and misery that we endure for a short period of time is not worthy be compared with the glory that God has prepared for those who love him. They will enjoy forever.
But the actual philosophical question of the origin of evil is I think one that I can answer and I've never met anybody who can. Other than this and I don't know how evil came into this world, but I know that it did I know that it's real and that I can't have a problem of evil without first having an understanding of an absolute norm of goodness, by which evil is defined so indirectly the problem of evil bears witness to the reality of all good RC what is the relationship between Christian character tweeting character and apologetics.
We talked a lot about the ideas behind apologetics that we can fortify our minds with, enable us to answer questions bless the relationship of the Christian lifestyle the Christian character to apologetics one of the interesting things that we see in the early church in the early apologists. Justin Martyr, for example, was one of the first apologists who wrote the apologia to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, and after giving his philosophical defense of the truth claims truth claims of Christianity then moved to the practical argumentation and he basically said to the pagan society of his day. If you want evidence for the truth of what we assert.
Look at our lives look at our behavior look and see. You won't find adultery numbered among us, and so on.
Well, that's the last thing apologists would argue for today to defend the Christian faith because the polls seem to indicate the professing Christians lifestyle behavior differs very little from the pagan community in which we live, which notifies Christ's command to his disciples that they be light to the world. The people were supposed to see our good works and the love that we display should be a convincing argument that we have encountered something transcendently powerful and life-changing and I still think that there is so obviously some value to that, but we have to be sure that we are living up to those standards that are given to us. However, I can't rests simply on my life as proof of the Christianity of God to go beyond my life because my life isn't good enough to prove the truth of the Scriptures by any means.
If anything, it proves the truth of Scripture where Scripture says that all of sin and fall short of the glory of God. I'm a good witness to that truth. RC why should one believe in Christianity when it's only one of many religions and not even the one that has the most followers on not sure that last statement is accurate. Miller believe that's Christianity still is the largest religion in the world, although in terms of numerical appearances. There are others that are closing in on it but I'm in again. This is also part of the culture which relives the science of comparative religion began in earnest in the 19th century as people began to encounter cross-cultural pollination. The world became smaller, and so on. With modern forms of transportation, communication, in the 19th century theologians and philosophers sought a common core or essence of all religions and said that basically all religions are at heart. The same we all believe the same God. The mountain analogy was set forth where there are many roads up the mountain, but doesn't matter which road you get on sooner or later you get to the same God.
Christianity would dispute that vigorously because one of the things it's most unpopular and politically incorrect about Christian truth claims is the claim of exclusivity towards Christianity saying it is the only true religion Scripture goes through all kinds of arguments to the show that it is man's propensity for idolatry. Man's propensity to stifle and repress the knowledge that God gives of himself to all men universally in nature. That is what produces various world religions. Religion according to the Bible is a human invention. It's what men do to escape the truth of God and even Christianity can be a religion in that pejorative sense, where people can use religious trappings associated with Christianity in order to escape the true God who reveals himself both in nature and in the Bible. But again, that in my little book objections answer do not answer the question. Is Christianity the only way to God because that is one of the remarkable claims that Christ makes that he is the only way to the father and again that tends to be offensive to many people who examine that. But to me, the question would be why should there be any way of redemption to God. If we've all violated him.
Why is God obliged to give us five saviors or six saviors are seven savings and if you really look in a comparative way, analyzing the content of world religions with each other.
A cursory glance will show you that these relives are not the same at at many points are mutually exclusive. I hear people say there is this underlying unity we all believe the septic that's not true what Muslims believe about what is good and the nature of redemption is radically different from what Christianity teaches for ship Buddha was an atheist who simply claim to be enlightened. Confucius talked about the veneration of ancestors.
That's a long way from the face of the Scriptures and what you don't have in Buddhism, and Islam, Confucianism, Shintoism dollars in these other religions is an atonement you don't have a way of redemption that we have in Christianity nor do you have a living mediator. Moses is dead.
Buddha is dead. Confucius is dead and Mohammed is dead. There is no resurrection in these other religions, Christianity has elements to it content to it that distinguish it from all other religions and with that distinction comes the claim of Christ, but it is the only true way to go RC why would a Creator let the human race mess up his creation like we have and what about injustice, why doesn't he just step in and fix it. Well, now you're asking me to read the mind of God. I don't know why God allowed sin to enter in the world why he allowed human beings to mess up, as it were, to use your language, the creation obviously he does not allow the human culprits in this regard, to have the final word because in the renovation of the universe and the re-creation of all things, he will not permit the creature to mess it up. He has an eternal plan of redemption that the whole creation is now groaning together, waiting for the vindication of the things of God.
Again, I don't know why God allowed this mess up, to occur, but I know that he did allow it that it's real and that he is sovereign over it and his work of redemption is the work of showing forth both in his judgment against sin and his mercy, and redemption. Both declare his eternal glory that even the mess that you speak of bears witness indirectly to the perfection of God and you ask why Disney step in, but he has stepped in these done remarkable things such as the coming of Christ into the world and is given to the human race a way of salvation and model things people fail to understand is the salutary influence of Christianity is had on human history, the critics of the Christian faith will say local religion doesn't Christianity spread the Crusades that had the punishment of Galileo and it breeds wars and fighting since I want that if you look at the other side of the ledger see the influence of the Christian churches had in the history of Western civilization, including the hospital movement, the educational movement. The movement of the establishing of orphanages. Historically, not to mention the abolition of slavery so that the Christian churches had a tremendous impact on the level of life that people in this world.
Enjoy not to mention the influence on social ethics and on morality that there is much evil in the world. There's much evil in this country.
There's no question about that and is not like the church is sinless, but I think we need to see that there's a huge difference between the legacy of Christianity on culture and the legacy of barbarian is on culture, doctors Pro, inasmuch as there is only one source of truth in Christianity. Why is it that there's so many great differences within the church.
They seem to be so far apart. Yet they both rely on the Scriptures and are so different can explain that I will. I think it's true that they are very very far apart. These are debates within the household of the Christian community.
But within that Christian community there is huge huge distances between the Christian left the Christian right in various denominations that are in between but obviously Ashley said, you have people from different stripes in different views who both agree that the Bible is the word of God, but they differ. Why the simple answer in the quick answer. The quick and dirty answer is sin. That's why it's not that the Bible is so obscure that people who are of sound mind can't come to an agreement on what it teaches. I teach my students in the seminary exit.
If you and I have a different understanding of the Scripture were one of us is right one of us is wrong to be wrong in your interpretation, Scriptures assent is a limited witness that we just made a mistake well is that it would make a mistake how we make a mistake.
Why do we misinterpret Scripture and I then asked the Mrs. or anybody in this room coating may who has love God with all of his mind.
Have you been so diligent with your love for God with your mind that you have absolutely perfectly applied yourself to the in-depth careful comprehensive study of every word that proceeds from the mouth of God to the point now that you have such a mature understanding of the whole scope of sacred Scripture that you were not in such a position where you end up distorting it. So don't think so.
Basically one of the primordial sins of the human race is sloth and we have been lazy.
We haven't done our homework. We haven't done the study that we should do and not only that we come to the text was bias and prejudice and some things were more interested in defending our love lines were all guilty of this sort of thing.
I have favorite teachers. I come out of a certain ecclesiastical background and so I want to see that vindicated in my understanding of Scripture. Rather than saying speak Lord for thy servant here I went I have to get rid of all of my sinful failures in my mind before I'm going to stop distorting or coming to an erroneous understanding what the Scripture said that's why we need to have cross-fertilization and and debate and discussion among ourselves and we ought to be able as Christians, with the assumption that the both sides are trying to come to the truth. Have a asked no quarter.
Give none idea of getting to the mat. Let's wrestle this thing through. Let's respect each other's human beings. But let's understand what the truth of God is more important than my reputation than your reputation than your pride or my pride and let's try to come to a point where we can agree on these things based on the sober evaluation of the word of God. Marcy, recognizing that it is grandparents in this fast-moving world today that we don't have a whole lot of opportunity to sit and talk with their teenage grandchildren. How do you respond to the 16-year-old grandson will say to you, I can't accept the Bible as the word of God because there's too many contradictions in it even though he can't present to you the contradictions of God and try to be patient with my 16-year-old grandson and I have the hat. Why don't have a €16 have a 17-year-old 21-year-old someone that I have other people say to me. I don't believe the Bible because is filled with contradictions. I like to tell the story of an occasion was in seminary will very very sharp student made that comment to me that why do you still believe the Scriptures when it's filled with contradictions in lesson as I don't think it is filled with contradictions and I said I'll tell you what, let's look at these alleged contradictions together as long as you do. This is 1 o'clock this afternoon. Now when we meet back here tomorrow at 1 o'clock and you bring me a list of 50 contradictions that you find in the Scripture which should be a simple task for you to do. Inasmuch as this Bible is a big book and it's filled with the according to your search. So he agreed to the challenge to the next afternoon at 1 o'clock. He came and he was bleary-eyed and on the sciences office been up most of the night and was friends with them. The sorts of matters as well. We spend most the time librarian here in this critical environment. He sifted letting it 50 said but I got 30 is okay. Ashley got 30 so let's say first of all, this task of finding carcinogens is not quite as simple as you thought it would be when used declared yesterday the Bible still contradictions. I asked you for a mere 50 and you only revocable 30 and so yeah I say they like and that's okay. It's okay. Let's look at the one by one, and we looked at them one by one in this fellow had studied philosophy in college and had been a philosophy major both that had courses in logic. We knew the difference between a paradox of discrepancy in an actual contradiction and so that saved us some time. We looked at the first one and I showed him that the statement that he produced there did not actually violate the law of non-contradiction and I showed not to my satisfaction, but that is say he finally granted. Yes, that's not Rosa Ballard on the 29 was like Agatha Christie's 10 Little Indians in an hour that I went through painstakingly every one of 30 and to his satisfaction.
He agreed that each one of them under close scrutiny analysis did not in fact violate the law of non-contradiction. So by the time we were finished this book that he said was filled with contradictions had yielded none according to his own analysis. Now I have to say this, I sent him. I thought there were taxi could come up with. That would've been more difficult to resolve than the ones he actually did, and yet I said now do you see that your statement the Bible is filled with contradictions is not a valid statement and he said to me, but look what you've had the duty of Catholic views the philosophy of segues at a bend over backwards except you had a good used Venn diagrams and all the stuff to escape the obvious one, or just admit the obvious. The Bible's filled collectors, etc. because it's not obvious to me.
What's obvious to me is a 30 time 00 but again this is the task of apologists that whenever somebody charges that the Bible is filled with contradictions written of the make the charges.
There's one contradiction we have to be prepared to answer the allegation of contradictions, but I would do the same thing with my 16-year-old I would say to them what I have a $10 bill my wallet that says there are no contradictions in the Bible, not my wallet and open up my $10 bill and I have written on the top of that there are no contradictions in the Bible, but he's already lost that kind of thing with me. She knows not to trust me with the those kinds of things been seriously I would say to him you go do your homework come back with a list of contradictions and will talk about and I suggest you do the same thing and if you can answer their books like Gleason archers made a tremendous contribution to Christian scholarship at this point, the man who speaks like 12 or 15 languages a doctor from Harvard is retired Prof. of Old Testament Trinity in Chicago wrote a thick book called Bible difficulties were he deals with the standard tax that people bring the alleged contradictions and shows their resolutions magnificent piece of assistance for Christians that's your thing you need to know is that if somebody asked you a question you can answer you want to be honest intellectually but don't just panic right away and say to myself or wait a minute. Maybe I'm not the first person's ever had to face this issue. Maybe there's a whole history of apologetic defense about this question that I'm not aware of. Check it out before you just jump to the conclusion that the Bible is as vulnerable as it may seem first some challenging questions there and some very helpful answers from Dr. RC Sproul, thanks for joining us for Renewing Your Mind on the Saturday I will be web and we are wrapping up more than 30 weeks studying Dr. scroll series defending your faith. It's an overview of classical apologetics that equips you to defend the existence of God. That's an important skill set to have in this postmodern age.
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