Apologetics

Where do arguments get you?

 Apologetics can turn into a  ping pong  game of political beliefs instead of a discussion of the philosophy of religion. "It is implied that to defend Christianity is to  belittle non-Christian religions, which is unacceptable in a  multicultural society. Especially to those of liberal political  convictions, the multicultural agenda demands that religions, in order  to avoid the dangers of imperialism and triumphalism, should not be  permitted to make truth-claims. Indeed there is a widespread perception  that the rejection of religious pluralism entails intolerance or  unacceptable claims to exclusivity. In effect, the liberal political  agenda dictates that all religions should be treated on equal footing.  It is but a small step from this political judgment to the theological declaration  that all religions are the same. But is there any reason for  progressing from the entirely laudable and acceptable demand that we  should respect religions other than our own to the more radical demand  that we regard them all as equally valid manifestations of some eternal  or 'spiritual' dimension to life?" [McGrath, Alister E., Intellectuals  Don't Need God & Other Modern Myths, p. 110-111 ]  

Do Intellectuals Need God too?

 I could hardly do a better job here  than has already been done by Mr. Alister McGrath in his book Intellectuals Don't Need God & Other Modern Myths.  Chapter 5 is devoted to the common misconceptions which create  intellectual barriers to faith. So I strongly recommend that you read  this entire chapter. Try your college's or your town's local library and  see if you can find a copy. If you can not, then perhaps you are  beginning to realize  how the western liberal political agenda has a  monopoly on your universities' and your libraries' choice of books.  

Are all religions the same?

There is a  tendency in western liberal intellectual circles to reduce all religions  to an equally valid perception of the truth.  Many try to stuff all  religions into a "black box" which at first sounds laudable. After all  we are trying to respect different religious views. However a closer  examination shows the futility of this method.  Here McGrath  puts forth two propositions to  discuss this notion:

"A. Different people have different religious views.
 

 B. Therefore all religious views are equally valid.
Is proposition B in any way implied by proposition A?  For the  form of liberalism committed to this approach, mere existence of a religious idea appears to be a guarantor of its truth! Yet no one seems  prepared to fight for the truth content of defunct religions, such as  classical polytheism - perhaps because there is no one alive who is  committed to them, whose views need to be respected in a multicultural  situation.

The  fatal weakness of this approach usually leads to a modified version,  which can be stated thus: "any view that is held with sincerity may be  regarded as true." I might thus be a Nazi, a Satanist, or a passionate  believer in the flatness of the earth. My sincerity is a guarantee of  the truth. It would follow if someone believed that modern Europe would  be a better place if six million Jews were to be placed in gas chambers,  the sincerity of those convictions allow that view to be accepted as  true. British philosopher of religion John Hick summarizes the absurdity  of this view: 'To say that whatever is sincerely believed and practiced  is, by definition true, would be the end of all critical  discrimination, both intellectual and moral.' " [McGrath, p. 111 ]. 

In fact the above  assumption that sincerity justifies all gives us a perfect right to  invent a religion which only exists to make money for us, because we  sincerely want to make money. It also gives someone a right to slaughter   millions of Christians if they are annoying us with misunderstood  concepts of sin, salvation, or a higher moral standard. 

Some philosophers, such as Hicks may also make statements such as all  religions lead to God in the sense that they are all varying human  experiences of the same infinite divine reality. So he suggests that  religions may be understood to complement each other. Hence for Hicks,  the ultimate perfect perception of reality can be distilled from an  amalgamation of these various flavors of truth.  However,  some religions are polytheistic, some are monotheistic, and others are  nontheistic [McGrath, p.111]. Therefore it is hardly logical to say  that all views are equally valid. These three different opinions on how many Gods there are, if there are any at all, can not all be true at once. When  one takes the time to think about all the beliefs that are out there,  an honest intellectual must agree that just the definition of the word  religion is practically impossible.   Christianity  doesn't fit a very convenient mold. It claims to have only one way to  God the Father. It claims that the savior Jesus Christ was resurrected  from the dead after dying to save us from the penalty of our sin. At  first and second glance, the basic concepts don't make much  sense. They  are not probable events or easy to grasp precepts. However upon the  most rigorous investigation, the entire system of salvation devised by  God is logical and consistent. It is said that man could not write the  Bible if he would, and he would not write the Bible if he could. God tells it like it is, however uncomfortable the truth is. What other  religion addresses the problems of man's mortality, man's failures,  sufferings, loneliness, stupidity, and vanity as well as Christianity?  Christ is the only one with an empty tomb. Lon Solomon, a pastor in  McLean Virginia, is fond of saying "Follow a dead savior and you'll end  up just like him." 

Unashamed Workmen

Prepare to defend yourself.

Apologetics means never having to say you're sorry that you're a Christian! 

Learn how to defend your faith. A critical examination of Christian doctrine will strengthen your views.

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Ravi Zacharias

My favorite go to person for Apologetics is Ravi Zacharias. His books and web site are a great starting point to learn about both defending your faith and comparative religions.  

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