Translations

Friday, October 28, 2022

CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES (APOLOGETICS): Introduction (published 10-28-2022; article #368; series article #1)

4/7/2017 Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

Hello, dear reader! You are uniquely you. You may be a first-time or regular reader. Thanks for stopping by! I started this article yesterday. I published it today, 10/28/2022, Friday.

Yesterday, at 12:15 PM, website analytics showed, at that minute: all time views 157,831 (since 3/6/2006, so far), 10/27/2022 84 (so far), 10/26/2022 169, this month 2,259 (so far), and last month 2,325. In the last 24 hours (as of 10/27/2022, at 12:15 PM), viewers were from: United States 63, India 11, Netherlands 6, Germany 5, United Kingdom 5, Taiwan 4, Japan 3, Austria 2, Canada 2, China 2, Russia 2, Belarus 1, Spain 1, France 1, Israel 1, Iran 1, and Poland 1.

You, dear reader, are still uniquely you. I write as if we're talking one to one.

Inspiration for this Article (in New Topic Section)

Being retired, I'd thought, yesterday, about running a couple of errands, or hiking, or touching up the paint on the front porch rocking chairs. I thought about fixing the knob on the door between the kitchen and laundry room.

Yesterday, before sunrise, however, I had checked my Folks, to Whom I Subscribe section and found that brother Phil Robertson had published an article the evening before. I read and commented on his article: “Let’s Talk About What’s Really Wrong with Our Elections: I’ll vote on November 8, but I’ll pray more.” By Phil Robertson, on “Unashamed with Phil Robertson,” 10/26/2022. Mine was the twelfth comment.

The tenth comment was from another brother in Christ, Jim Richardson. He has an active website that I enjoy visiting at times. Jim writes well. Yesterday, I commented on his article: “Inward Parts: A most incredible filtration device,” by Jim Richardson, on “From My Brain To Yours,” 10/23/2022.

Brother Jim replied with his comment, which suggested that I read his article on the same topic: “First Cause: Did you know that every design has a designer?” By Jim Richardson, on “From My Brain To Yours,” 9/7/2022. Jim's articles of 9/7/2022 and 10/23/2022 affirm that God exists, based on the argument from design. Jim articulated the affirmative quite well. Thanks, Jim!

Yesterday, using Search My Website, I looked for “Christian Evidences,” “proof God exists,” and “apologetics.” I found articles, which I've written over the years, that touch on those topics. My Logic - Theology - Deep Stuff Topic Section has 37 articles. I glanced through each article.

I realized that my website does not yet have a full article, or series of articles, on Christian Evidences (or Christian Apologetics). The Religion/Apologetics section, of my website, links to seven websites that provide articles on the topic.

I've preached sermon series on the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, and the deity of Christ. When we lived in Charleston, Missouri (1986 - 1992), I wrote a series of newspaper articles on the topics. I may be able to retrieve those old sermons and newspaper articles from floppy disks.

Introduction to Christian Evidences (Apologetics) Series

This is the introductory article to my new Topic Section series on Christian Evidences (Apologetics). I stand on the shoulders of many fine scholars. In college, I sat at the feet of scholars, who taught Christian Evidences. My library includes several books – which I have read, written by scholarly authors – on the subject. The purpose of this series is to encapsulate my lifelong study on this topic into website articles.

My articles publish in chronological order (Website Archive). Articles on other topics will intermix, chronologically, with articles on this topic. The Christian Evidences (Apologetics) Topic Section will contain each article, as I publish them, in topical order.

This series will be available, freely, for readers to share with others. It could be utilized, freely, by preacher training programs, to teach Christian Evidences to students.

My plan – Lord willing, over several months – is to add articles to this topic section. Additional articles will be on the following subjects, in order.

Does God exist?

The ultimate question is: does God exist? If God does not exist, then matter is all that exists. There is no human soul. There is no life after death. I will affirm and prove that God exists. I will use the following three arguments as proof. Each argument, alone, verifies that God exists.

The moral argument: If absolute moral law (morality) exists, then a Divine Lawgiver exists. Absolute moral law (morality) exists. Therefore, a Divine Lawgiver, God, exists.

The teleological argument: If the creation (i.e., the universe, the earth, the human body, etc.) indicates intelligent design, then an Intelligent Designer exists. The creation indicates intelligent design. Therefore, an Intelligent Designer, God, exists.

The cosmological argument: If the universe is not eternal, then an Eternal First Cause has always existed. The universe is not eternal. Therefore, an Eternal First Cause, God, has always exited. A simpler form is: If something exists, then something or Someone has always existed. Something (i.e., the cosmos and all that is in it, including the earth, you, and me) exists. Therefore, something or Someone, God, has always existed.

What is the nature of God?

Proving that God exists does not prove the nature of God. What is the nature of God? What is God like?

Evidence from reason and nature will affirm certain aspects of God's nature. The full answer to the question, however, will include the answer to the next question.

Is the Bible the solely-inspired written word of God?

Many so-called inspired books exist. Some of them predate the Bible (Old and/or New Testaments). How do we know that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God?

In contrast to other so-called inspired books, I will affirm that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God. I will do so by arguments from the accuracy of the Bible, the unity of the Bible (in theme, purpose, and doctrine), and biblical prophecy.

Proving that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God will confirm that all other so-called inspired books are not inspired by God. I will not need to examine all the so-called inspired books (e.g., the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the many Hindu writings, etc.) – if the Bible is verified to be the only book that God inspired. My library contains the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and Hindu writings. I read them decades ago.

I will mention, briefly, how the canon of scripture (66 books, 39 Old Testament, and 27 New Testament) is verified. I plan to suggest website links that explore the art and science of textual criticism – a subject that is separate from Christian Evidences.

Is Jesus the Son of God?

Once I have proved that God exists and that the Bible is his solely-inspired, written word, then I will affirm that Jesus, the Christ, is God – the eternal Word who became flesh, dwelt among us, died as the atoning sacrifice, arose, and ascended back to heaven – and that he is the only path to salvation.

The affirmation will prove that Christianity (as opposed to other world religions) is the only (exclusive) way to God and to salvation.

Conclusion

Yesterday – as I concluded the introduction to this new Christian Evidences (Apologetics) Topic Section – I had wondered if I should have just gone hiking!

I will have my work cut out for me. Of course, I've spoken and written on this topic before – in sermons, in newspaper articles, and in one-on-one evangelism. I need to encapsulate my work in this website article series.

My work stands on the shoulders of authors, educators, and speakers, who have instructed me. Today, as I publish this introduction, many others have written (books and website articles) on this vital topic. My future articles on this topic, Lord willing, will link to several of those sources.

Why do I undertake this significant task? I have national and international readers, who may need to read what I will, Lord willing, continue to write. They may wish to share my writings with others. Preacher training programs may wish to use my article series to teach Christian Evidences to students. I trust that I am sowing on fertile soil.

I am still just one poor beggar, who continues to try to help other poor beggars find the Bread of Life. As the inspired apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth: “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit” (2 Corinthians 2:17, NIV). All my articles are free – and they always will be.

Phil Robertson, Jim Richardson, many others, and I are trying to bring the Light to the blind. In his same second letter to the Christians at Corinth, the apostle Paul also wrote:

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, NIV)

Perhaps this article series – as I continue it, over several months, by God's grace – will help readers unblind themselves to the Light. Readers who already know and see the Light may use my articles to help the blind, whom they know, to see the Light.

You, dear reader, are still uniquely you. I write as if we're talking one to one.


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