How sad is this quote, and how much does this emphasize why we need at least a 101 level understanding of Apologetics?
"Many high school seniors believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife, while a majority of Americans cannot name one of the four Gospels. Jay Leno asked his Tonight Show audience one night to name one of Jesus’ twelve apostles; they came up empty. One in ten Americans believes that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, and only one-third knows that Jesus (not Billy Graham) preached the Sermon on the Mount." - Washington Monthly
“The incredibly counterproductive fads, fashions, and dogmas of American education – from kindergarten to the colleges – have yet to take their full toll, in part because all the standards of earlier times have not yet been completely eroded away. In short, too many American schools are turning out students who are not only intellectually incompetent but also morally confused, emotionally alienated, and socially maladjusted.”
Thomas Sowell, Inside American Education
Secularism & Other Religions Must be Answered
Apologetics or giving reasons "for" Christianity and the Bible have always been a passion of mine as I have written, spoke and dialoged (as has James Stroud) on the importance of not only knowing "why" you believe but "why" it is true-truth in our relativistic/politically correct world today. Does this mean Christ is the only way? Yes it does. Can most Christians explain "why" He is the only way to an athiest, agnostic or other religion? Usually not. Can they communicate the Bible accurately and smoothly to a person wanting to know more? Usually not. This is why an research/apologetical retreat as well as library on your campus (whether this is a shed in the middle of the woods, a home, or a classroom) is essential. (1 Peter 3:15)
While I give much more detail at www.Apologetics101.org, it is very important not to overlook this important step. Think about the below group of Lollard or the 72 sent out by Jesus; do you think they didn't have a clue what to say? Do you think they didn't have to discuss their views with a plethora of people who held a variety of worldviews? What about Paul in Athens speaking on Mars Hill to a wide array of religious viewpoints; did he know what he was talking about? Of course they all did and this is the heart of apologetics *not just intellectually but with our emotions and very lives to "live out" the Gospel of Christ.
Again apologetics is not a "manual-like" process so there is not a huge need to communicate a ton here. Whether your interests is in really knowing your Bible (w/o a ton of doctrinal or denominational influences), a Ravi Zacharias approach, or Ken Ham approach, or Biblical History approach, etc. etc. All are coherent and valuable though we do not want to get too tied up in any ONE approach. My own below meager resources are available for free but there are also good biblical instructions (such as the Encountering Old/New Testaments pictured below that provide a very good/non-denominational viewpoint to help one better grasp each book of the Bible). Apologetics was important in the New Testament and even more so today and in the future when Christianity will continue to be attacked on all fronts so as Lollards we too need to "always be prepared to give an answer" as described in 1 Peter 3:15, Jude and Acts.
While there is no way to cover every detail of apologetics simply because if you live in India you will probably be dealing with questions on Hinduism as well as what Christianity is and is not while in America you will most likely be dealing with atheism or pluralism; what is important here is being able to familiarize yourselves with your surroundings and the questions of the day in your own world as well as the world of tomorrow. Below is a series of videos for you to watch and familiarize yourself with the basic tennants of apologetics (what it is and is not). Once you complete watching all of these please open the attachment at the bottom of the page, fill out your QUIZ and email it back to me for grading and then move on to the next lesson!
*Remember after completing all 7 and me grading and sending you back feedback I will send out your certifcate and $100+ package!
Please begin with praying for all of us to gain insight into God's glorious kingdom and may this journey help us all to grow and better prepare through Him and His Spirit - in Christ's name Amen.
This first video is from a conference I attended in Tulsa Oklahoma with noted scholar William Lane Craig which my wife and I went to Italy, Greece and Turkey with on a Christian research travel in the Summer of 2013; it is titled "What is Apologetics?":
Before watching the next video please read chapters 3 and 4 of our book: http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/files/alliance1003.pdf?465 after reading and watch the 2 below videos: The next video (after you watch the above one) is top-level review on apologetics concept 1 and 2: The Concept of God and Christ (watch all 3 parts of the video):
Our last video is a sampling (as I cover each major religion in the book briefly) on Dr. Subodh Pandit in whom I have worked with on 3 different occasions at universities/colleges. Dr. Pandit covers his own search from India and through the 5 major religions to be able to see why it is Christianity that is true over that of other religions. This too we must at least have a working knowledge of:
Now it goes without saying that there are TONS of other concepts that should/could be dove into but for our "Lollard" purposes we are simply wanting to familiarize ourselves greater with these concepts at a top-level approach and the deeper areas of apologetics wll be left up to you and your own sphere of influence. Upon watching these 7 videos (including the ones below) and reading the short 100 page book we have been going through (http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/files/alliance1003.pdf?465) you should now be much more prepared and ready to answer 80-85% of any questions a skeptic might ask. If we ask if this is really important or foundational - our last video on this lesson will help you answer that. It is very important that you watch all of the videos and have read the very simple 100 page book I have included; if you do this and prayerfully read your Bible you will see how plausible Christianity is above and beyond all worldviews. Please finish reading the remaining pages of our book and watch the below video and we will then be ready to proceed to our first quiz. Thanks again and God Bless - remember you can alway email us if you have any questions:
Last video - how to easily share these learnings with another (even if they are very arguable):
Congratulations on finishing lesson 1!!! Now please answer the below 30 questions and send to us for grading and final analysis and proceed to the next lesson. Thanks again and God Bless!
1) What is apologetics? (Fill in Blank - you can just email me the answers or copy/paste them into a word document or notepad.)
2) What are some of the reasons William Lane Craig gives in the 1st video for the importance of apologetics? (Do you agree or disagree and why?)
3) Why is knowing the truth important to both Christian as well as non-Christian?
4) Should the Christian be able to communicate to a non-Christian why Christianity is true? Why?
5) In the next video what are some of the problems that Lee Strobel sees with atheism?
6) What is naturalism and is it plausible?
7) What is evolution? Is it a cut and dry answer and why is it important for the Christian to know?
8) What are some of the problems with evolution according to Lee Strobel?
9) What does science now teach concerning the origins of the universe? Has the universe always existed? Did it have a beginning? (according to Strobel video)
10) Does the beginning of the universe help support naturalism or theism? Why?
11) What is meant by fine-tuning of the universe? (according to the Strobel video)
12) Is it more plausible that life being permitted on earth is due to chance, necessity or design? Please explain. (according to the Strobel video)
13) What is irreducible complexity? (according to the Strobel video)
14) According to part 2 of the Strobel video as well as the 3rd video with Josh McDowell, is the literature of the Bible based in history? Why is that important?
15) Is the Bible accurate and reliable from a historic standpoint? How does the Bible compare to other works of literature in quality and quantity?
16) Do we have the original copies of the Bible? Does it matter? How do we determine if they are reliable historically? (See both your reading text as well as McDowell video)
17) What is archaeology and why is it important for biblical historic verification?
18) What are the Dead Sea Scrolls and why are they important?
19) From your readings (online book link) what are some of the other non-biblical historic sources that verify Jesus of Nazareth and who he was?
20) According to Jesus why does Jesus matter? Can we have Christianity without Christ?
21) What is relativism and pluralism? What are some of the problems with these viewpoints?
22) According the Dr. Pandit (the 5th video) what are some of the ways in which we should test a religion for its validity? Is the Bible the only religion based in and on history?
23) According to Dr. Pandit video what were the highest claims of each of the 5 great religion’s founders? Why does it matter?
24) According to the Dr. Pandit video what founders of the great religions (Mohammed with Islam, Jesus with Christianity, etc) lived up to their own claims? What is the role of prophecy in the great religions? Please explain:
25) In your own words explain “why” in a nutshell Dr. Pandit discovered that Christianity was the only religion that fulfilled all venues of belief? In other words why is Dr. Pandit a Christian? Do you feel his points are valid?
26) According to the 6th video, why does Ken Ham feel that it is so important to base our presuppositions on the Bible as opposed to man’s words and discoveries? Do you agree with him?
27) According to Ken Ham why has our foundations changed? Why is this important and what are some of the problems he discusses?
28) Ken Ham discusses some of the importance reasons why we must accept the Bible holistically or not at all; do you agree? What are the problems with believing in parts of the Bible but not in others such as Genesis?
29) According to the last video why does Kokul feel it is important for Christians to share their faith? Do you agree with his points? (why or why not?)
30) Last question! – What does Kokul mean by the “Columbo Tactic?” Can you explain how you could use the Colombo Tactic to a non-believer to share the information covered in this lesson? Can you give an example if you were discussing why you believe in God with an atheist as well as a Muslim? (Pease provide a couple of examples)
Congratulations! This first lesson is the hardest for most so praise the Lord it's now done! Please send your answers to:TheMartyrsCry@yahoo.com