Most scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus Christ was an historical figure, yet not all are in agreement concerning His identity. It is without question that no other individual has had such an impact on the world. It is estimated that there are over two billion people in the world who profess to believe in Jesus Christ. If you were to take time to read the Gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus it will become clear that He was not an individual that you could ignore. What were His claims? Jesus Christ made the clear and bold claim that He is the promised Messiah and the Son of God. Continue reading Plain Proof Jesus is the Son of God
Picture Credit: some rights reserved by jimforest
The importance of the Trinity for Christianity cannot be overstated. The Christian doctrine of God defines our faith more than any other doctrine. A particular aspect of Christian evangelism and practice, that of apologetics, will be my focus here. The importance of the Trinity for Christian apologetics is likely greater than we realise.
In a recent conversation with a Muslim colleague, I maintained that our God is triune, to which she exclaimed “No he’s not. God is One. If there is more than one God then there would be war within God.” There’s a big conversation which flows from that statement, which I cannot go into. Some people would say that me raising the Trinity in an evangelistic conversation with a Muslim is apologetic suicide. In this context, it surely wasn’t. Why? Because the doctrine of the Trinity makes it abundantly clear to our fellow theists that the Christian God is not the same God as their Allah.
Likewise, when discussing who God is with a postmodern pantheist (who would reject the labels because labels are oppressive and not postmodern), I think it wise to raise the Trinity early on in the conversation. And not to get into a deep discussion about how it works, but mainly about who He is. Who is our Triune God? He is not one and the same as the world, that’s for sure.
The Trinity is highly useful in apologetic conversations, because there is no god like our God. We should not capitulate to the spirit of the age and say “Yes, of course all of our conceptions of god are ultimately valid and the same.” That is a lie. The fact that our God is triune makes that abundantly clear. To make this distinction saves us from wandering down a dangerous labyrinth with our unbelieving friends, and it saves them from thinking that all is well with their beliefs. The doctrine of the Trinity confronts everyone with the stark and dangerous truth that our God is three persons, and one God. When we are trying to convince someone of the truth of Christianity, we must ensure that they understand who our God is. We are defending and propagating the Christian faith, after all.
UCCF: The Christian Unions in the United Kingdom, have a couple of excellent websites. Both are vital resources for the Christian. I have utilised them for a number of years, now, and have not been disappointed at any point.
The biggest website is bethinking.org. This is an immense apologetics resource, featuring articles, talks, interviews, debates, and scholarly papers, all free of charge. Topics include culture & worldview, other religions, the historical Jesus, evangelism, and many others. There are talks from some of the greats of Christian apologetics, including Francis Shaeffer and William Lane Craig, and you’ll be introduced to some excellent British apologists like Michael Ramsden and Amy Orr-Ewing. If you talk with non-believers (and I sincerely hope you do!) you should utilise this resource. It covers just about everything you want to cover.
The second website from the UCCF crowd is theologynetwork.org. This is another brilliant resource, this time focusing on theology, and church history. Mike Reeves is the dominant figure on this website, and he really is one of the best communicators in theology today. Again, there are articles, talks, interviews, and so on. Many of the talks are from UCCF staff training sessions, and so are good for someone looking to tuck into some meaty, but accessible, material. There are sections on basic Christian beliefs, biblical studies, historical theology (including an outstanding series of talks on important theological figures from the Apostolic Fathers through to the awful, but important, Friedrich Schleiermacher). Download some articles to read, or put some talks on your phone to listen to while driving. It’s good stuff.
Bring it on!
It’s all happening on the Christian Apologetics-front. Paul Whitfield has preached at Hills Bible Church on responding to the New Atheists. The Global Atheist Convention is on in Melbourne, and the Reason for Faith Festival is up and about in response to it. Bring it all on, I say! Let me surprise you all, then, by offering a novel – yes, a novel – as an apologetic tool.
Marilynne Robinson is described by Christianity Today as a “narrative-Calvinist.” Being a Calvinist is an excellent start, but who ever heard of a “narrative” Continue reading ‘Gilead’ and Christian Apologetics