Pre Course Discussion Questions Theology Religion
Answer each of the followers in a mode which displays informed interaction with the texts. Answers should be individual spaced and may change in length from A?- to 2 pages. State each inquiry followed by your response. Upload to the D2L site by the day of the month specified in the course of study. Both Word and PDF formats are on site.
Discussion inquiries from Van Til, Christian Apologetics
Measure the importance of showing Christianity as a “ system ” of truth. What are the primary premises which provide the foundation for your ain “ system ” of belief?
Showing Christianity as a “ system ” of truth is of import as it relates to supporting Christian theism. Christianity is composed of a scope of theistic doctrines, but for Christianity to hold existent impact, these divinities must bind together in a manner that causes all boats to lift in the tide. Doctrine is good, nevertheless, a cohesive doctrine that all points back to the same observation about God is much better. Initially, God Himself must be defined, sketching His very being and nature. Every facet of His character and interaction with adult male should be examined to construct a proper image of who He is. What does He cognize? What power does He keep? What is His make-up? What is the Three? What is His intent for world? All of these things must be established to genuinely understand who He is.
Once God ‘s nature and character are understood, greater theological mystifier pieces can be pulled together into a larger construct of His intents. These intents expose a cohesive roadmap of systematic divinity:
Anthropology – God has a really specific and knowing intent for world. Bing made in God ‘s image, after His similitude, is no affair to take lightly. No other animal has had the benefit adult male enjoys, being fashioned after God Himself, nevertheless, no other animal knows the hurting of creative activity as deeply for adult male has fallen off from the really God He was crafted after. This apprehension of the beginnings of world in relationship to the intents of God shapes our really drive and passion in the work of the Gospel. Knowing that God has distressingly been disconnected from what He loves and created becomes paramount to seeing the large image of God ‘s intent for world.
Christology – If adult male has been cut off from a God who deeply loves him, so understanding the Son of Man is every bit of import to bind together a proper apologetically strong systematic divinity. The coming of Christ is the beginning of the salvation of world, so cognizing precisely who Christ is and why he came is critical. Jesus serves to specify the Creator-creature relationship between God and adult male, and Christology is a much needed mystifier piece in the excusatory image. In today ‘s theological universe, decently specifying Christ is rather of import.
Soteriology – Everyone seems to be okay with the construct of Jesus, nevertheless, they besides seem to be rather expert at specifying Jesus into who they want Him to be so that they can be comfy with His being and intercession in the lives of work forces. It becomes of import for the vindicator to right show the Biblical Christ, and bind Him into these other theological pieces. This all relates to the nucleus intent of the redemption of adult male, why adult male must be saved, and how adult male has been offered redemption through Jesus. My personal experience in ministry is that people struggle the most with the construct of Christ and the construct of redemption.
Ecclesiology – If there is a God, and He did direct His Son for our redemption, so associating the intent of the church to the larger image becomes of import. God does non direct Christ and leave us unto ourselves, but He empowers the church to be the courier of the good intelligence. The post-modern mentality boots against any type of organized spiritual establishment, but a balanced excusatory defence demand non merely specify God and Christ, it must besides specify Christ ‘s bride and her intent on the Earth.
Eschatology – If there is a beginning and a narrative line, so of course one excessively can anticipate an stoping. When showing the predicament of world the vindicator must wrap the full narrative within the background of ageless life.
These cardinal countries of a “ system ” of truth are the tools from which the truster defends his land. Every truster approaches these classs with the Christian beliefs that God created adult male, adult male rebelled and sinned against God, God sent His Son to deliver adult male, God empowered His church to portion this good intelligence, and there will be a concluding cornet on the last twenty-four hours where the narrative of this universe will come to a stopping point. At that clip, all who accepted Christ will be saved and all who rejected will be condemned.
How can Christianity be said to be a “ doctrine ” of life? What are the primary premises upon which this doctrine rests?
Christianity is a true doctrine of life as it non merely deals with spiritual affairs, but besides defines affairs that even the non-believer would concern himself with ; the theory of cognition, the theory of world, and the theory of moralss. In other words, Christian divinity non merely defines God, it besides defines with the universe He created. If the church is traveling to support a Christian divinity, so it must besides support a Christian doctrine. In other words, the disclosure of God in Scripture should sync nicely with the disclosure of God in nature.
The Necessity of Natural Revelation – Before the autumn Adam and Eve were instructed to forbear from eating from one tree. We know from Scripture that when they ate that their eyes were opened and they were cast out of the garden, out of the protection and proviso of God. If this theological autumn is true so the grounds of such autumn should be seen today. Harmonizing to Scripture creative activity was left in confusion and desperation. This would intend that the natural province of this Earth should reflect that same confusion and desperation aˆ¦ and it does. Even nature reveals a demand for the gift of the grace of God.
The Authority of Natural Revelation – The garden begins with God ‘s obvious and apparent authorization. He serves as the Rule Giver, albeit there is merely one regulation, do non eat of one tree. Bible exposes God ‘s authorization in the garden, hence even within nature there should be a contemplation of a regulation giver, an order giver, and one who designed or created the systems, procedures and criterions. Ultimately, the wickedness of adult male can non get away the authorization and being of God. Man invariably errs, and justifies himself while in his iniquitous province. His really nature reveals the background of the authorization of God.
The Sufficiency of Natural Revelation – One might inquire if God ‘s disclosure in nature is adequate even still today. After all, the universe population has exploded, mankind has invented new ways to transgress, and the universe to many seems to be bleaker than of all time before. Remember though that natural disclosure must merely function to make and understanding of separation between those who serve God and those who do non. It need make nil more than make a difference between the redeemed and the doomed.
The Perspicuity of Natural Revelation – One interesting facet of how God chooses to uncover Himself to mankind is the incredible lucidity in which He chooses to talk. His message is clear, His words are clear, and the manner out of our wickedness is clear. One can non minimize the complexness of wickedness, nevertheless to the grade that wickedness brought complexness, God offers a simple solution that anyone who hears can have. He is the “ Hidden God ” that chooses to uncover Himself to simple adult male.
To what extent do Christians portion common land with non-Christians? How adequate is this for the Gospel informant?
Understanding and encompassing the common land between Christians and non-Christians is a non-negotiable place the vindicator must recognize. Too frequently Christians seem to happen pleasance and a sense of increased worth in being “ saved ” . Although it is a great award and privilege for God to uncover to us our demand for a Savior and authorise us to state “ yes, ” finally the redeemed adult male and the lost adult male portion two nucleus facets that make them rather similar.
First, they both were made in the image of God and hence both portion a deep drawing and point of contact with God ‘s divinity. It is the “ God sense ” inside of adult male that assists him in mentally acknowledging that there is a God and assisting him to see God when God reveals Himself to him. Without this “ God sense ” the narrative of Jesus would be no more impactful than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. There is something within adult male that resonates with the construct of the Christian God.
Second, they both experienced entire corruption. Although the redeemed adult male has been delivered from his wickedness, even Paul admonished the early trusters non to bury where they came from. The comparing between saint and evildoer is in some ways non much different than one mendicant stating another mendicant where to happen staff of life.
Discuss the job of “ method ” in Christian informant? If forced to take, which “ method ” would you follow? Why?
I am non certain I wholly understood the construct of “ method ” in this chapter. The writer strongly parallels Calvinism, Arminianism, and Roman Catholicism throughout the book as the baseline for his statements as he paints them in full and complete contrast to one another. I believe the original publication of this work was 1976, which means many theological books have been written from so until now. These extra plants do non contradict the cogency of Van Til ‘s surveies, but they might restrict them in comparing to modern divinity and application to some grade. In the 1976 theological universe it was likely rather acceptable to utilize three simple pails to demo merely three possibilities, nevertheless, the changing grade of theological positions that one can stand on today made it hard for me to wholly understand where Van Til was coming from.
What I suppose the statement of “ method ” to be, is that Van Til contends the Roman Catholic and Arminian semen at apologetics with a direct method, utilizing rationalisation and ground to seek to wheedle the non-believer across the religion line. Their evangelistic manner would be considered softer, and through flexibleness and give might convert the non-believer. Whereas the Calvinist makes no apology for biblical presuppositions, and uses them as the baseline for his statements. He would believe that the lone manner to convey person to a complete cognition of God is get downing with the terminal in head. Although the lost might kick against those presuppositions, through ground and Scriptural evaluation the non-believer would finally see that the presupposition must be true because the statement built underneath it fits it decently.
I found myself falling in between both cantonments to some grade. I begin every treatment with non-believers from Biblical presuppositions ; nevertheless, there are some points that can be made without necessitating chapter and verse mention in my informant. Additionally, I wondered what acceptance Van Til might give to marks, admirations, miracles, relational evangelism, servant evangelism, etc. There seem to be merely a few more tools in the tool chest from what I can see, but possibly I am losing the point. I will look frontward to this subject in category!
How does the issue of “ authorization ” impact the Christian informant? Which position of authorization would you follow?
Ultimately, every non-believer may oppugn with what authorization any statement can be based. The post-modern universe even jettisons the importance of authorization wholly, because there is less and less accent placed upon the power and truth of any given authorization. Where the moderns embraced important establishments and criterions, the postmoderns kick against them no affair where they come from.
Van Til explains the construct of “ authorization ” comparing the Catholic, Reformed, and Arminian positions. He sees the Catholic position as keeping to the authorization of the church, the Reformed adopting the authorization of Scripture, and the Arminian being non far off from the Catholic position, rejecting the hierarchy and rites of the church, nevertheless practically seeing all authorization resting within the church.
Personally, I would to the full and wholly thin to the authorization of God ‘s Word, ( similar to Reformed ) nevertheless, my presentation of God ‘s Word might non come away to the non-believer every bit strong as a Reformed presentation might. The Reformed theologist would show God ‘s Word, book, chapter, poetry, and argue the authorization of their place from the authorization found in Scripture. I would propose that the truth of God ‘s Word is ever valid, ever impactful, and ever powerful, and ever maintains complete authorization in all things, even if one does non allow the non-believer know book, chapter and poetry. I do non experience my place is contrary to Van Til ‘s, nevertheless my methodological analysis might change somewhat. I say, stand on the truth of Scriptural authorization ; nevertheless, use discretion when citing that truth as being rooted in the Bible.
Discussion inquiries from Frame, Apologetics To The Glory Of God
Measure the function of natural disclosure in Christian apologetics.
Natural disclosure is disclosure that reveals God through His creative activity. Everything God has made holds a specific fingerprint of His handicraft, and by creative activity entirely, worlds can see that there is a Creator. Man besides suppresses this disclosure of God, which is expressed in the words of Paul, “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of work forces, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his unseeable properties, viz. , his ageless power and godly nature, have been clearly perceived, of all time since the creative activity of the universe, in the things that have been made. So they are without alibi. For although they knew God, they did non honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thought, and their foolish Black Marias were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became saps. ” ( Romans 1:18-22 )
If world has the “ cognition of God ” built within him, so the vindicator can appeal to that natural disclosure by indicating out God ‘s admirations throughout creative activity. Using scientific facts about creative activity, the vindicator can direct the searcher to the complexness, beauty, and admiration of how everything made is held together. Extrabiblical grounds found within research, history, and scientific discipline books all become valuable tools in the statement.
State and explicate the metaphysical rules underlying the Christian position of God.
When the vindicator encounters the non-believer he should near Christianity non ab initio as a faith, instead foremost as a doctrine. Mankind has inquiries about life and Christianity replies these inquiries with astonishing lucidity. When the vindicator presents the full bundle of God ‘s disclosure of Himself to mankind an full doctrine can be built around the intent of adult male, the significance of life, and every inquiry world has asked for 1000s of old ages.
The Absolute Personality of God – God is absolute and later the foundation and root of everything that exists. He is self-existent, and self-sufficing, so there is no demand for anything or anyone to add to His being in any manner. Besides, God is a personal God and non merely conceptual or ethereal in some manner. Man trades with the kingdom of the personal and the impersonal, so when measuring God he is forced to acknowledge God ‘s personal properties and brush Him at that degree.
The Distinction Between Creator and Creature – Although adult male was created in the image of God, there is a true differentiation between the creative activity and the Creator. God is both surpassing and subjective, and being such, He is in the center of our “ here and now ” piece at the same clip larger than anything we can conceive of. There are facets of God that adult male can grok and embracing and there are facets of Him that will exceed adult male ‘s ability to understand and embracing.
The Sovereignty of God – Every Christian cantonment defines God ‘s sovereignty otherwise. However, no affair the pick of definition, the terminal consequence seems to be the same ; God is to the full and wholly in control. It becomes of import to lock down this critical fact, as the vindicator must do the statement that because God is wholly in control He besides maintains control over the regulations of the game, the drama of the game, and the result of the game. Man can non be left to believe that he can come up with his ain alone definition of God. God entirely defines Himself and in His definition He remains wholly in control.
The Trinity – God is one God in three individuals. He came non merely as Father, but surrendered His life as Son, and empowered our lives as Spirit. All three individuals in the Godhead interact with world and they work every bit, with no high quality or lower status between them. The construct of Trinity is of import within the kingdom of apologetics because God ‘s “ individual ” becomes the centre ground for adult male ‘s interaction with Him. God is non a individual God of sludge, mass, vapour, or inanimate “ stuff ” . He is one God, three individuals, and wholly capable of holding an synergistic relationship with adult male.
Clarify and measure the function of “ cogent evidence ” in Christian apologetics.
I am reminded of the bumper spines many trusters have on their cars, “ God said it, I believe it, that settles it. ” Besides, I can hear the voices in my ears of those that have defended their religion with the simple words, “ religion is adequate, ” or “ religion without ground. ” However, God seems to hold a different attack to this issue. He does necessitate the religion of adult male to believe in Him, but He besides seems rather pleased with offering adult male more than blind religion, instead, He besides provides some stone solid grounds of His being.
His Word becomes the greatest mark of “ cogent evidence ” for the disbeliever. If His Word is inspired and inerrable, so it becomes the baseline of cogent evidence by which all other facts must be judged. In adult male ‘s incredulity he seems to necessitate some step of grounds for everything he accepts or believes, and God meets adult male in this demand for cogent evidence as He makes Himself non merely spiritually desirable but intellectually piquant.
How of import are the classical statements in set uping the being of God? Which do you experience is most persuasive?
There are several classical statements for the being of God. The Moral Argument, The Epistemological Argument, The Teleological Argument, The Cosmological Argument, and the Ontological Argument all fill the vindicators toolbox with “ proofs ” of God ‘s being to portion with the disbeliever. These statements are rather critical because they allow the truster to add extra weight to the statement of Scripture. Where the disbeliever may non accept the authorization of Scripture, the classical statements allow the truster to confirm what Paul speaks about when He says that even from the creative activity adult male can see a Creator.
Personally, there are two of these statements that become my “ go-to ” statements when talking with disbelievers. First, the Moral Argument is a strong presentation of the being of a Creator. Man is the lone animal in the full animate being land that operates with a moral codification and even societies that do non subscribe to a Christian worldview will hold some of the similar moral Torahs as Christian people groups. Thou shalt non kill, thou shalt non steal, thou shalt non covet, etc, are reflected throughout world in about every folk and people group on the planet. If there is no common writer to this moral codification, how is it possible that the codification be so similar from people group to people group?
Second, I appreciate the Cosmological Argument. Man seems to make a good occupation coming up with replies to complex jobs when he excludes or overlooks major factors in the equation. Supplying development as an account for the beginning of adult male seems responsible to the scientific head, but what about the works land, the planet, the Moon, the galaxy, and the full solar system? The enormousness of the full solar system is adequate to overpower the head of adult male. If we can non come up with an account for its being, so possibly there is something larger than us out at that place.
How does our position of the Bible impact our apologetics? Give some illustrations of how the function of Scripture has been devalued.
Without a baseline of committedness to Scripture one will ever be at the clemency of personal sentiment when seeking to spot who God is, what He does, and why He does it. Scripture serves as the “ absolute ” that gives us an immoveable foundation by which to construct our apologetics statements. Over the old ages at that place have been many cases of people and motions that have devalued the authorization of Scripture, and those establishments ever suffer for that move.
Most theologists accepted the authorization of Scripture until the 1600 ‘s. Supernatural Biblical mentions were non questioned, and inerrancy was ne’er a hot subject of argument. During the early phases of the Age of Enlightenment the church began to travel off from its traditional position on Bible. The supernatural came into inquiry, and even the inerrancy of Scripture fell under unfavorable judgment. Most of the major church denominations held true to Biblical authorization, at least until the 1900 ‘s. In the last decennaries many major church denominations and motions have watered down the Bible ‘s function in their religion, and in making so, have moved off from old standing basic Biblical truth. Today we have what many would name “ broad divinity ” that embraces alternate sexual life styles, moral flexibleness, and a Gospel that is more about ministering to the natural demands of world than the religious. I am non against run intoing natural demands, but merely a people that have forsaken the importance of Scripture could come to the decision that working in the soup kitchen is so of import that it has replaced the instruction and sermon of Scripture wholly.
Briefly province each of the nine classical replies for the job of immorality. Which one or two of these do you experience is strongest? Weakest? Why?
The Unreality of Evil Defense – The belief that immorality does non be at all, and it is an semblance impacted by one ‘s philosophical position.
The Divine Weakness Defense – This belief argues that some immoralities can non be overcome merely because God is unable to make so. There is a step of immorality in the universe due to God ‘s inability to halt it.
The Best Possible World Defense – This belief contends that the universe was created with a step of immorality in it, for immorality to some grade is necessary for good to boom. The statement is non that God could non halt the immorality, but that it serves a intent and must stay in the mix.
The Free Will Defense – The belief that the universe was created with world holding free will and a pick. This ability to take besides leaves work forces free to take evil instead than good.
The Character Building Defense – This belief centres on the construct that adult male was created uncomplete. As such, evil, hurting and agony must be for adult male to come to a full religious adulthood.
The Stable-Environment Defense – C.S. Lewis argued that world needs a stable environment. We live in a universe of absolutes, so that we can larn how to work within the universe. Although these absolutes were intended for good, such as the jurisprudence of gravitation, they can besides go accidentally evil, such as one falling off a drop and gravitation doing his decease.
The Indirect Cause Defense – This belief supposes that immorality is indirectly created, but non caused by, God. God set the universe into gesture, and His actions started motion. What moves may besides impact things negatively. Although God starts the motion in a adult male, the way that adult male moves may negatively impact person else.
The ex lex Defense – This belief contends that God is “ above the jurisprudence ” . He set the jurisprudence in gesture, but He is non bound by or limited by the jurisprudence. Therefore, He can run in any manner that he chooses without being guilty of go againsting the jurisprudence.
The ad Hominem Defense – This is when the vindicator contends that adult male is non in a place to inquiry God, hence any inquiry of to the Lord of the beginnings of immoralities are improper and should be avoided.
The two which I would see as the weakest defence would be the Unreality of Evil Defense and The ex lex Defense. In a temple, supplication room, conjuration room, or any safe seaport it might be easy to propose that immorality does non even exist, nevertheless seeking to use that in the existent universe to the sex slave, drug nut, colza victim, etc, does non keep much H2O. Additionally, it seems farcical to believe that the God we serve created Torahs and regulations that He Himself violates. This would look like the greatest lip service and do God out to be mentally huffy, non wise and merely.
The two that I would see as the strongest would be The Stable Environment Defense and the Free Will Defense. Although the Stable Environment Defense does n’t reply the inquiry to the full, it does do sense on some degrees that things are deemed evil or good based upon their applied intent. Although the Free Will Defense runs counter to the writer ‘s Calvinist divinity, if one subscribes to liberate will at all one can besides accept that free will in the Earth is a gate that allows both good and evil to go through through.
Evaluate Frame ‘s reply to the job of immorality.
Frame contends that God has a position that world does non hold, and hence may leverage anything and everything to carry through a greater good. It seems sensible for adult male to acknowledge that God knows much more about the large image than we could of all time trust to. Subsequently, with His position in head, what might look incorrect in one microscopic state of affairs could be rather necessary for some good concluding result in a bigger state of affairs. Frame admits that his statement does non supply an reply to the beginnings or account of immorality, nevertheless, he contends that it becomes incorrect for adult male to flush inquiry God.
Additionally, something happens when adult male surrenders his bosom to the Lord. Our lives shift from meaningless and directionless roving, to lucidity of spirit and bosom. Once Christ comes into the image adult male seems to hold such a bosom transmutation that he no longer struggles with immorality, or the construct of immorality, because finally he is now raised above it.
This reply seems rather sensible on many foreparts. It does non supply an reply to the job of immorality, but it does supply a 30,000 pes God position to the glorifications of redemption, and its power over immorality.
What are the primary constructions of unbelief confronting Christian religion today? How might an effectual Christian excusatory reference these?
Atheism – There seems to be a rise of unbelieving doctrines today throughout the United States. In the name of moral relativism, people are turning to an option that allows them to stay God position over their ain lives. As an atheist, anyone truly can believe whatever they want, because there is no higher authorization to dispute their beliefs. Frame suggests two inquiries for the atheist, foremost, how can you be certain relativism is right, when relativism itself regulations out complete confidence. Second, how can you populate as a relativist, holding no frame of mention to cognize whether or non you are of all time acquiring it “ right ” . How is it possible to cognize in such a universe whether anything is right, incorrect, merely, unfair, just, unjust, etc.
Idolatrous Rationalism – This method of belief allows the truster to impute God position to something other than the true and living God. Whether this be a false God, an political orientation, or a cultural motion, the truster fundamentally erases God from the equation and replaces God with another God. Again, there are two cardinal inquiries for covering with Idolatrous Rationalism. First, how does one cognize their graven image is absolute? What cogent evidence or grounds exists? Second, does this graven image truly function good in make fulling the true function of God? As it relates to covering with inquiries about creative activity, immorality, wickedness, and other issues of world, does this graven image have replies?
Atheistic Idolatry – This goes beyond the simple attack of non believing, this takes a more hard-core stance to kill God off and turn out He does non be. The atheist in this mentality will leverage doctrine, scientific discipline, and every rational tool within his clasp to do the construct of God travel off. Frame suggests that this is one of the hardest groups to convert, and supplication will be your greatest arm. Make attempts to demo this type of atheist the contradiction he creates of unifying the rational with the irrational, nevertheless, God will necessitate to demo up in this treatment to truly unfastened 1s head and change over them from their current stance.