Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Apologetics Series 7: The Day of Reflection

Happy 2014, Everyone! I hope your year turns out to be absolutely fantastic!

This post will conclude the Apologetics Series. For this and my future series, I will write 6 posts on the subject and a seventh post reviewing what was said. This is modelled after the days in which the Lord created the world. 6 days of work, and one day to reflect what he had made.

Framework: Assumptions Necessary

In order to form any sort of worldview, it is necessary to assume something. No matter how hard we try to prove our points without using assumptions, we will inevitably fail. There is a reason there are assumed postulates in geometry. The question we must ask ourselves is, which assumptions are more rational? 

Truth Exists

There is absolute truth in this world. How do I know this? Well, I don't. But it logical to assume that truth is absolute. For starters, as R.C. Sproul states
"Modern relativists...proclaim that there are no absolutes (except for the absolute that there are no absolutes!)."

Thus, no matter what anyone wants to tell you, there is a truth universally acknowledged. The question then becomes, how much? It would be easy to draw the line of absolute vs. relative on the issue of preference (i.e. vanilla vs. chocolate). All other lines seem arbitrary. For instance, do we keep morality as an absolute? Yes, we really should because the consequences of relative morality, as Nietzsche himself admits, are absurd!

A God Exists

Standard for Truth

But how is it possible for there to be absolute morals and truth exactly? There must be a standard for these concepts. As Francis Schaeffer writes
"If there is no absolute beyond man's ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict.  We are merely left with conflicting opinions.  Yet to say that no judgements are universally true is absurd.  Every instinct within us tells us that at least some moral judgments are absolutely correct."

There needs to be a living being to provide a standard for truth. Furthermore, this being must be immutable and eternal. After all, if this living standard changed or died, then morals would cease to be absolute; they would change with time. Thus, we need a perfect, immutable, and eternal being to provide a standard. That being could be nothing other than the God. (Note: There can be only one because multiple gods would lead to multiple standards for morality).

Recognizing Evil

As Descartes reasons, if we had no perfect being in the world, we wouldn't be able to tell that this world is imperfect. Too often we hear atheists claim that a loving God wouldn't let evil into the world, but how do they know that what they are seeing in the world is evil exactly? Because they compare it to God. 

For instance, if you had never seen a chair before and then saw a three-legged chair, you wouldn't know anything was amiss because you wouldn't have a correct version of a chair to which to compare it. As Douglas Wilson says
"It is far better to believe in God and acknowledge the problem of evil than to be an atheist and to have no way of even *defining* the evil that you have mysteriously come to believe constitutes such a problem."

Cosmological Argument

The Law of Causality is a universal law that applies to all of a creation. It states simply that for every effect, there is a cause. For instance, if a frisbee hits you in the back, you assume and know that someone threw it in your direction. It is illogical to believe that this universe itself did not also have a cause. If it somehow created itself, it would have to be existent before it existed. In simpler terms, it's not possible.

Teleological Argument

There is order in this universe. When we look at intricate working of this world, we are amazed. The natural conclusion is that someone formed it. This is our reaction when we look at the order of a dictionary or the beauty of a work of art. Yet that which is both beautiful and orderly, namely the world, is often thought to have come about unplanned. The problem is that unplanned order has never been observed, nor does it make any rational sense. Furthermore, it is definitionally impossible.

The Bible is The Only Book of God's Words

To know who this God we have discussed is, I desire to simply look at the various books claiming to be God's holy words. 

Unique Position of Disciples

When examining all the religions and alleged holy books in the world, only the New Testament has writers who would know whether what they were saying was true when they record for instance that they saw Jesus resurrected from the dead. As Gamaliel stated at the time, if they were lying, they would not be willing to die for their beliefs. 
"Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

The Canon 

From this view of the New Testament, we can know that the Disciples really did see Jesus after his death (unless all 11 hallucinated at the same time, which is not very likely). This is why the New Testament canon was established based on the writings of the Disciples.

Additionally, we should not doubt the works of the Jewish canon of the Old Testament (which protestants use today). It was good enough for Jesus and his disciples, it's good enough for us.


The Bible is a book written either by God, or by 40 different authors over a period of 1500 years. One would expect that the latter would be a book with a slew of contradictions. On the contrary, however, the Bible has prophecies written in one book that are later fulfilled in other books of the Bible. One may wish to nit-pick these prophecies, but as Matthew Mcgee writes
"Are we to believe that the Old Testament prophets each decided to write the beginning of a great story and then said, "Maybe in a thousand years or so, someone will come along and write a good ending to this?" That would be ridiculous. No man would decide to do such a thing on his own, much less a large group of men who did not know each other or even live at the same time. Therefore, the unity of scripture despite a diversity of writers is evidence of the Bible's divine authorship."

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