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What is Apologetics?

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2018 12:56 pm

What is Apologetics?

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland

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March 22, 2018 12:56 pm

03-11-08 What is Apologetics? by Truth for a New Generation

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Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan burrow together bringing you the truth for a new generation. This is TMG radio. I got a call two days ago from a parent whose child is in high school and the child for a research paper project wanted to write about the Bible and the teacher said to the student.

You can't write on the Bible because the Bible is not historical so the parent asked me Alex is the Bible, historical now with that and within unpack that we welcome you to today's edition of truth for new generation radio and were going to talk about apologetics and Christian worldview maybe some of the questions that you've heard or maybe pondered yourself and were going to look at how we can defend the Bible and how we can speak with accuracy about the truth of God's inspired and infallible word. Dylan Burroughs, it's great to have you as always welcome my dear brother greatly with you. Alex yeah you and I've been traveling is our privilege. We were in Nashville Tennessee for a convention just last week actually enough.

Your back in Chattanooga, your hometown and I'm back in North Carolina but before get into the topic of apologetics. We've got a pretty big thing coming up in a few days that we been working on for a long time to tell people about our big conference will certainly for those who are unfamiliar truth for new generation. We have a conference coming up that the national conference in Greensboro, North Carolina area coming up March 23 and 24th and you do not want to miss this. This is a time to be equipped and inspired in your faith. There'll be people there, such as Todd Starnes or Fox news, there will be one of the greatest apologetics, leaders of our time. Josh McDowell will have an entire cast of experts in defending the faith that you want to be part of and bring your church to as well. So please get the information it treats for new generation.com Alex will be speaking there as well in case you're wondering he will be hosting the event and looking forward to meeting with you in person at that time.

You know Dylan you and I were in Nashville at the conference and I was talking to a publisher, and in fact were working on a book right now on revival and spiritual awakening, but one of the publishers with whom we work told me that worldview and apologetics or the biggest areas of growth in Christian publishing and part of the reason for that is because people have questions will first Peter 315 very very famous verses set apart Christ as Lord in your heart and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks. The reason for the hope that you have do this with gentleness and respect via the King James is with meekness and fear. But Dylan, you know, every time I read first Peter 315.

I think about so many things we have to make a decision we have to resolve within our heart that we will be equipped set apart Christ as Lord in your heart and and what be prepared, be ready always to give an answer doing what you think. First Peter 315 seems to be such a clarion call that we get equipped we be equipped and we stay equipped well the first thing that stands out the most people.

That is the full package.

It begins with our commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord. It answers the reason for the hope with Dennis, which deals with apologetics answering the questions people have addressing the misconceptions people have and also tells us the way to do it tells us to do it with gentleness and respect her gentleness and reverence. Some translations say and you look at that you think will how that relevance my life today. Let me give you one quick example when we are at this national religious broadcasters convention in Nashville Tennessee. Recently we had the opportunity to hear from VP Mike Pentz know it's quite an honor. You'll get to hear from the vice president of the United States every day among a group of Christian leaders as I was interested to see what he would have to say and of course he spoke about some of the at issues of our time. He addressed Billy Graham and the legacy that he is left but near the end of his speech, he addressed and quoted this exact verse from first Peter 315 and 16. The vice president of the United States believes it's an important part of our Christian faith to live it out to defendant and to address these issues with gentleness and reverence, and he challenge those Christian leaders in the room to do so and likewise really challenging you to do the same in your life today, exactly, exactly, a wonderful language brought that up.

Back to the phone call I got from the parent.

The parent asked me a little bit in a nervously my child wants to write a paper on the historicity of the Bible is the Bible, historical, and the teacher said you can't write on that subject. Because the Bible is not historical. So when they ask me, is the Bible historical I said well yes and no. Do I believe the Old Testament accounts of Israel and all of the things that we read in old and new Testaments. Did they really happen.

Of course I believe with 1000% conviction in the truth. The trustworthiness of the Bible, but we began a conversation and I said you know within the word of God. There are different really different genres of literature. It is the word of God given by the Holy Spirit inspired preserved and market down. The Bible is God's word and you can depend on.

But there are things in the Bible that have not yet happened. For instance, the prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel and John on the Isle of Patmos in Revelation Revelation 4 through 22. I would say that is not historical because it hasn't happened yet. It's future, it's prophecy. Now if this sounds like a complicated answer to a simple question. It's because sometimes presenting explaining and defending the faith does take a little bit of of intellectual heavy lifting. I guess we could say Dylan and so folks on this show on today's edition of truth for new generation. I want to talk about apologetics and and really the biblical call to the life of the mind. Now you might be thinking yeah but I'm just a church member. I'm not a pastor I'm not a professor.

I'm not a missionary on the mission field. I just am a Christian and I love the Lord.

I would say this. Dylan and I want your response. It really is the privilege of every Christian more than a privilege really the duty of every Christian to to grow and to get a good solid grasp on what we believe and the reasons why if were going to rise to the challenge of first Peter 315 and be ready to give an answer. We have to embrace the responsibility to cultivate the Christian mind.

That's true in a great place to look at that is where Jesus talks about the greatest commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind while your mind as part of that. A lot of times we think emotionally.

We should be completely committed to Jesus Christ. And yes, we should, but intellectually we should as well and this is where Scripture gives us many examples from the apostle Paul and the other apostles in the New Testament of defending their beliefs in front of those who disputed the claims of Christ or those who believe they were up to no good and gave a clear presentation of who Jesus was, what he did his resurrection, and how he can change our life today only come back here truth for new generation were going to talk more about some of these verses that address the issue of apologetics in worldview and how they impact your life today for stick with the right, our country is falling apart, political unrest, social upheaval, the breakdown of the family.

The rise of atheism. The rise of Islam are religious freedoms are under attack. There's gender fluidity gender identity is making a mess of freedom of expression. So we need to put some skin in the game and love this nation.

As Christians we are to stand strong. There has to be some personal investment in the living out in the preservation of stand strong American is that you face help you become a champion champion for Christ in stand strong American Jason Jimenez and I lay out the facts about our nation. The current condition and how you yes you will. Family community can be involved in keeping this great Republic stand strong America is a guide for encouraging wherever Christian attention all Christians would like to become more effective in presenting and doing buildings are but this is Alex McFarland and I urge you to mission of truth for a new generation evidence. PNG is coming to Greensburg Carolina March 2024. Here, an amazing lineup. Josh McDowell apologist Jay Warner Wallace, Lorne Greene and parts torrents both from Fox news and much much more. This is Abraham Hamilton, the third of the American family. We battle for the future of our nation and I want to see you truth for new generation as we pray and get equipped to defend the faith, asking God to save our nation. Don't miss truth for new generation March 23 24 Greensboro, North Carolina. You may register for a new generation.com truth of the war truth for a new generation.com so two centuries before the birth of Christ, Aristotle, the great thinker, to whom we are all indebted, you may not realize it, but we every day of our life have a little bit of debt we owe to Aristotle. Maybe we'll talk about that later. But Aristotle said all true learning is accompanied by pain. Well, welcome back to truth for new generation radio Alex McFarland Dylan Burroughs were talking about apologetics and you know Dylan reading the Bible.

Learning the word of God really understanding how the great themes of Scripture fit together like gods.

God's great work of creation God's great work of redemption, God called forth Abraham who was the father of the Jewish nation and God told Abraham through you all the families of the earth would be blessed because through Abraham and Israel came Jesus Christ the Savior and then Christ rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven. The church was birthed. Peter preached at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came Saul of Tarsus was saved and that the New Testament has the letters of Paul to the various churches and so much about Christian living in evangelism and ministry interest precepts for life are all in their the word of God closes out the. The final book of the canon of written Revelation, the book Revelation by John on the olive Patmos. Now people frequently ask is the Bible true and the answer is yes.

Is the message of the Bible that which corresponds to reality absolutely is the word of God and of the Bible says God cannot lie, and the Bible was given by God.

Therefore the Bible can't and won't lie, but Dylan don't you think more than ever.

We've got to help people understand you know we can't just give Pat glib answers when they've read books from sophisticated skeptics or maybe they've read some blog site on the Internet and maybe their faith is shaken and doubts have undermined their belief in Jesus. We really do have to on a lot of levels.

Be prepared and friend that brings us to our topic. Christian worldview and apologetics will certainly when we look at the examples we see in the New Testament the apostles and early church leaders took great links to explain their faith to those who either did not believe, and did not know about Jesus or those who spoke out against them, and if we look at the Christian faith we see two things about one its historical meaning. The facts about history that are mentioned in it are accurate as far as we can identify and evaluate, and second, that Christianity is a testable faith is something we can evaluate.

Is it something that really happen. Let's look at the evidence and see where it leads. And Alex you are big on this that you follow the evidence and see where it leads you don't come to the Bible with some predetermined bias and say this is what I think it says you go to the Bible and you look at it and say let's look at the evidence.

Let's see where it leads. And I'll make my decision based on where that leaves me instead of where my pre-arm, not my misconceptions lead me you had on something Dylan that I think is is really it would be kind of an epiphany to a lot of people that faith claims can be tested and all belief systems really are based on claims of propositional statement a proposition is a truth claim is the Bible the word of God or is the Koran the word of God did. Jesus died on the cross and rise from the dead, or did he not, and would first Peter 315 says be ready to give an answer. The word answer and the word reason in the original language is the word from which we get the word apologetic.

Now let me say what apologetics is not apologetics, the Christian apologetics mission that were talking about is not apologizing. I know sometimes will get emails Dylan and letters people who said you know just a minute.

I don't apologize for being a Christian, not adult birds that from your mind to say I'm sorry that's a Latin phrase.

Mea culpa. My guilt I'm culpable apologetics in the New Testament sense is a legal word, it means to speak in defense of something, ask 22 verse one it says brothers and sisters listen to my defense.

In first Corinthians 9 verse three Paul says this is my defense or my response or my answer to those who sit in judgment of me. So when we talk about apologetics or Christian apologetics we might be talking about the evidence, like history or archaeology. We might be talking about the reasonableness of Christianity that it really is rational and logical to believe in God and his word and his son Jesus Christ. We might be talking about a Christian response to competing faith claims the Christian message versus the message of Buddhism or Hinduism or Baha'i or Islam, you name it we might be talking about what we might call experiential apologetics changed lives.

You know, Dylan, I love the story of Billy Graham when he was in London in 1957 people coming forward in the altar call was going and there were people up in the stands and the man said to his neighbors that I need to go down there and I want to go pray will will you come with me and the man said I need to go down there to in the choir singing just as I am, and the man said, look before get down there and do business with God and pray. Here's your wallet back. I'm a pickpocket and came in here to make some money but I don't want to face God having stolen your wallet now friend that's experiential apologetics. That's an example of God's power to change a life. Now understand this. Listen very carefully, folks, different religions could talk about how this or that religion cause somebody to change the behavior in terms of apologetics. I really advocate what might be called an eclectic apologetic. In other words, when you put all these things together. The preservation of the biblical manuscripts. The content what this manuscript say, history, archaeology, philosophy, logic really even mathematics. And that's another subject for another day and then experientially the power of the gospel to change lives to make a promiscuous person, virtuous, a dishonest person, honest, a selfish person self less the power of the gospel to change lives. You take all of this together and I believe it's a pretty compelling case for the truth the trustworthiness. In fact, the urgency and relevancy of this wonderful message we call the gospel. He had a very good point there.

Alex not the idea that we don't talk about the Christian faith is a deductive argument in logic.

There is a deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning would be a 2+2 = 4, near the outcome must be a certain number or amount or objective and inductive reasoning we are compiling all the information in trying to make the most logical conclusion based on all of the evidence and when it comes to the Christian faith. We can look at this evidence we can evaluate it. We contested and see that it points toward the reasonableness and the accuracy and the integrity of Scripture and the teachings of Scripture, we want to help you look at more these stick with this will be right back in a moment entry for new generation if you're a Christian parent. You of course want to instill a biblical view of life in the hearts of your children, your pastor, you want to offer ministry that draws young families to your church.

This is Alex McFarland encouraging you to check out my new book and video curriculum. The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask about Christianity. I interviewed hundreds of children ages 5 to 12 and we address actual questions from actual children.

The spiritual issues that are on the minds of your kids the book and video lessons are great for groups of any size and was produced with the goal of equipping kids to stand strong for Christ in any situation. The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask the book study guide and video series. You'll find it@aastore.net that AFA store.net attention all Christians believe that America needs a spiritual revival, an awakening, a message of the gospel for our times this is Alex McFarland encouraging you to attend the 2018 addition of truth for new generation. The conference on apologetic worldview and evidence for the Christian faith, Greensboro, North Carolina, March 23 and 24 here, an amazing lineup that includes Josh McDowell apologist Jay Warner Wallace born green and hot storms both from Fox news attorney Dave Hamilton, the third of the American family Association music by the band and orchestra from the University and much much more sessions for all ages equipping to share your faith confidently in any situation. Visit truth for new generation.com that's truth for a new generation.com TNG 2018. Say a nation March 23 24 brought by North Greenville University. Christ makes the difference in this March 23 24 Greensboro, North Carolina. First time back in North London really 15, but you will see and hear in person, Josh McDowell, Jay Warner Wallace Kemal selenium former Muslim compulsively. Juan Valdes is going to be talking about the issue is Christianity based on ancient mythology.

Todd Stearns from Fox News Lauren Greene from Fox News. Amazing that the bands and singers from North Greenville University, and then also an exclusive screening of the movie the God who speaks produced by American family studios. The last as far as we know, the last filmed interview with the late theologian Dr. RC Sproul, the website is truth for a new generation.com truth for a new generation.com Dylan I'm so excited. We have partnered with Child evangelism Fellowship our dear friend Bob Fowler, compassion international, the Billy Graham radio ministry. My dear friend Jim Kirkland up in Asheville it at the Billy Graham radio broadcasting department and so many others friend people are coming in just two weeks to central North Carolina.

We got registrants from Texas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, all around the country. Why, because of our theme. Save a nation, we believe that the future of our country if we have any hope in a future at all. It's in the Lord Jesus Christ were going to learn how to defend our faith, but were going to pray, and this would be especially appropriate to bring a young person to if you've got any teens or college students or young people in your life. Dylan middle school is not too early to start kids on apologetics either is your exactly right.

I have two teenagers myself.

Now one is in high school, one in middle school in seventh grade is about that age were the best questions come out here they start asking about the conflicts between science and the Christian faith. And why can't all religions lead to God.

Is there more than one way to heaven and when those questions arise. That's the time to address is not to wait until college, when you get into a class at a state university or you're being challenge for your faith but when you are first growing in your faith in your first coming up these questions were you can have an influence is apparent.

So come with your parents bring your young people with you. This can be an exciting time, but as we turn back to our discussion today I want us to also talk about this idea of apologetics from another angle we talk about apologetics. Often, as his idea defending your faith, but it's about the defense and offense is in italics. We have a side where we speak out against false ideas of the Bible and of God and of Jesus Christ. But there's also the positive case we make of the faith is what we see Paul talk about in Philippians 17 where he talks about speaking in the defense in the confirmation of the gospel that something the Billy Graham was known for being the app outspoken advocate for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So we both defend those ideas but we also do so in order to communicate the good news of Jesus. Only Alex. What we really do and I think it's important that you're right there's there's a negative in that we are dismantling false claims were trying to respond to attacks on the gospel. There's a positive that we are speaking in favor of this true message and so think about three words as your witness for Christ as your out there and people are watching the way you act the way you react to what your priorities are, what you talk about do your words match up with your walk. Think about this present explain, defend, now friend the way you walk and live and carry yourself the deal. Moody talked about your comportment the way that you project yourself. You are preaching a sermon you really are. And may God help all of us present a message that our life really is completely yielded to the Lord and that we are showing in a we have a true Savior and were to be true messengers. We often talk about first Peter 315. Be ready always to give an answer first Peter 215. Also one of my favorite verses. It says this is the will of God, that by doing well. You will put to silence the arguments of foolish men. First Peter 315 is what we believe and why. But first Peter 215 is how we behave and we we have a true message we need to be true messengers present.

Explain we need to be equipped to explain what the gospel is and then if need be, and the situations do present themselves. We need to be able to defend the faith. That's what apologetics is verses like second Corinthians 711 Paul says with godly sorrow. We are eager to clear ourselves and defending their reputation again. Apologetics is not apologizing for God like oh I'm a Christian.

Please like me anyway know it's to speak in defense of something, and when we've done this, all of our lives like in second grade 711 you know, maybe your defending your reputation may be your defending why you love a certain brand of ice cream. Who knows, but biblically the word, apologetics means to stand up for the faith.

Jude verse three says that we believers are our two earnestly contend for the faith that means consistently with conviction and passion effectively present.

Explain defendant present, explain, defend the gospel now, is this always easy to know not necessarily, but it's it's always the right thing to do.

Dylan and I know you you you are a young theologian that I deeply, deeply respect some of the concepts of Christianity.

Some of the truth claims.

Some of the realities of the Bible.

Some are very simple. God loves you. Others are very complex and require little bit of thought reflection, but isn't it in the times that we wrestle with complex intellectual ideas is and is not the time in which we really really grow it is and I think so much about how things have changed over the years with us living in information age where there's plenty of information for those who want to investigate the faith. But there is much to be said in terms of how to sift through the ideas of our time. How to determine what is right what is true what is most accurate. But then there's also the way in which we presented 10 I think about a college student, I want share my faith with and I was really the first person who share the faith with them and had done so in a way that was caring and compassionate and compelling to him. So he hung with me long enough to come to faith in Christ. I think about Ephesians 415 where it tells us to speak the truth in love.

Yes, we cannot compromise on the truth on the issues of our time that we must do so in a way that shows the love of Christ that we are both convincing. We are compelling and we are changing lives in the process and we thank you for being with us here truth for new generation radio. We look forward to being with you next time. Thank you so much for a new generation in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new generation.com or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 485, Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 that's PO Box 485, Pleasant Garden Carolina 71 will give online@alexmcfarland.com generation.com. Thanks for listening and join us again next time.

As we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio


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