Anda di halaman 1dari 59

Apologetics is not Enough

The missing cultural background


Outline
• Apologetics - the 20th century strategy
• 21st century – has delegitimized apologetics
• Uncovering culture’s blind-spots
• Developing an aptitude for apologetics
• Restoring a correct understanding of self
• Recognizing humanities need for foundational assumptions
• Circular reasoning and how to validate it
• Education – heart and head
20th Century - Defined by the ‘isms’ Struggle
• Communism
• Capitalism
• Nazism
• Zionism
• Facism
• etc

• And we said … Christianity is the true “Ism” - Apologetics


Parade of the 20th century
21st Century : the “Me-ism” Century
• “Progressive” Ideology – 21st century form
• What will move us forward to the better world?

• Most of academia / most of the media / most of the population is there

• To a degree all of us

• Or the conservative approach – stick with the tried and true


• No to untried social experiment
21st Century : the “Me-ism” Century
• Foundational assumptions Modernism / Postmodernism
• Materialism, humanism, Neo-Darwinian evolution, atheism,
• The same cosmic story / religion

• Modernism – Collectively - What is the true Cosmic Story?

• Post-Modernism – Individualism - What is my Personal True Story?


every collective Ideology rejected
history - shows that they were all used to subjugate others
21st Century : the “Me-ism” Century

• Who am I? … Anything I want to be!


The self is not bound by any limits:
- No to religion, science, tradition, parents, ideology, history, etc”

• Discovering Myself
• Redefining Myself
• Creating / reinventing Myself

• Evolutionary Story moves forward in the background


• Our individual lives just an accident - let me be!
21st Century : the “Me-ism” Century
• The “post truth - selfie” culture

• Identity Politics – the more boxes you can check the more of a victim you
are
• Not Male
• Not Middle Age
• Not White
• Not Rich
• Not Christian
• Not straight

• #Metoo Politics
(the twisted Christian ethos – become a victim not to save but to destroy)

• From class wars to gender wars


21st Century : the “Me-ism” Century
• The language of Me-ism – exposing the lies
• Pro-choice
• Gay
• Progressive
• You can be anything you want to be
• Open borders, Open society, Open everything
• Live and let live
• The future is female
• LGBTQ++

• Utopia – absolute freedom to be me - Annual Burning Man festival

• Thankfully not in Canada ?


Parade of the 21st century

Parade of the 21st century


21st Century : the “Me-ism” Century
• Just as much a collective ideology as any other “ism”
-As brainwashed by the Me-ism ideology as we were by the other “isms”

• Today’s cultural blind-spot

• How did this ideology become mainstream?


• Legislation, litigation, leftist media, leftist universities, 24/7 entertainment
• Protests and parades

• The SILENT majority - when good men and women are silent
The Accord
The West Coast Christian Accord is a document designed
to unify like-minded leaders and churches to form a
coalition from which a united stand can be mounted,
where we agree to support one another in love, both with
words and actions. While it is not intended to be a
comprehensive doctrinal statement it is intended to be a
statement of faith concerning the authority of scripture on
gender identity and human sexuality.
21st Century : Christians in the Me-ism Century
The challenge for church and education
A) Helping them understanding their cultural context / story

B) Understanding / embracing the Christian Story

• Alasdair McIntyre
“I can only understand the question ‘What am I to do’ if I can answer the
prior question, ‘Of what stories am I a part?’ ”
The missing background-canvas for life

A) The needed historical truth – the great reversal


B) The essential me-truth – I am limited / finite / probably brainwashed
C) The foundational assumptions – shape all our reasoning and outlook
D) Validating our assumptions – enlarging the circular reasoning
A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal

• God creates / defines everything.

• We individually define everything


• including God
A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• If we forget our histories then we become prisoners to the illusions of
our own age - trapped by our own cultural blind-spots

• Our ethnic family’s history


• Our western cultural history
• The history of ideas

• The STORY God is writing


• Creation / fall / redemption / restoration

The lack of historical perspective – path to self destruction


A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• 13th century – God defines everything.

• Everything created by God with an inherent meaning


• “All creation points to God”

• A sacramental world – everything / every happening saturated with


God / God-given meaning

• The human challenge


The medieval Mind / Heart-set
• 13 centuries of biblical cultural shaping

• Humankind dwelled not in a cold, meaningless universe but in a


cosmos, in which everything had meaning because it participated in
the life of the Creator (and in the ongoing process of redemption).
• CS Lewis

• To know nature correctly was to know it through its relationship to


God
A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• Historical Milestones along the way

1. From innate meaning to no-inherent meaning -13 th Century


2. From a sacred to a mechanistic cosmos
3. Deism – God removed from his creation.
4. Modernism – God pushed to the margins / defined away
5. Me-ism – God? Irrelevant / archaic / evil

How did we get here? / How do we get back ?


A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• Historical Milestones along the way

1) From innate meaning to no-inherent meaning – God simply wills


things to have this or that meaning
• Metaphysical realism to nominalism
A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• Historical Milestones along the way

1) From innate meaning to no-inherent meaning

Philosophical dilemma
• If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a
sound?

• "If a man speaks and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still
wrong?"
A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• Historical Milestones along the way

2) From a sacred to a mechanistic cosmos


• God using Natural Laws to sustain cosmos

• God created and controls through the laws of nature


the expanse of space – through gravity

reproduction – through the laws of biology

• Johann Keppler “ thinking God’s thoughts after him”


A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• Historical Milestones along the way

3) Deism – God removed from his creation. 17-18th century

God created, set it all into motion, removed himself

The absentee watchmaker


A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
• Historical Milestones along the way

4) Modernism – God irrelevant 19th – 20th century


God pushed to the margins / defined away

• “Objective” truth – but whose truth ?


• The great ideological wars of the 20th century
A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal
Postmodernism
• We individually define God and everything else too

• Marriage / Family / Sexuality / Gender / Fetus


• The victory of the autonomous self

• Post – truth just My-truth

• Just my subjective opinion – everybody’s equally valid


A) Historical Truth Fact - The Great Reversal

• God defines everything.

• We individually define everything.


• including God … if we want there to be a god

• What comes next? Is anyone even asking that question? No sense of history
B) Me – Truth Fact - Humans are limited / finite
• The illusion of autonomous choice / control

• The illusion of the autonomous self-actuating self - Our identity rooted


in the story we are living – we are a product of our time (brainwashed)

• Confronting / Destroying human pride – cultivating creaturely humility


• Life does not revolve around me, around us humans
• Concrete Reality out there – if I don’t bring my life into harmony with it ….

• Page 167
B) Me – Truth Fact - Humans are limited / finite
• No turning / change / repentance unless we deeply recognize
• our lostness
• Brokenness
• Trapped-ness

• Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps

• Step One “admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had
become unmanageable”
B) Me – Truth Fact - Humans are limited / finite
• 9/11 a brief turning to God and then

• Jonathan Cahn The Harbinger / The Paradigm

• What kind of shakings will God allow before we repent?


• Forest Fires / Pipe line Explosions / Hurricane Mitchel
B) Me – Truth Fact - Humans are limited / finite
• Physically
• Greatest illusion of all time – death is inevitable / yet we live as though we will not die

• Volitionally
• Romans 7

• Spiritually – awareness of spiritual dimension


• Middle ages – evidence of the fall
• Today – it is all an illusion / fake

• Intellectually – the illusion that we will eventually figure it all out


• Reason is the path to truth
• The cosmos is beyond our intellect
• We all must begin with assumptions before we can even begin the reasoning process
B) Me – Truth Fact - Humans are limited / finite
• Militarily - annihilation

• Technologically - environmental destruction

• Computer – privacy / governmental control

• Communication gadgets – fake news

• Our churches - ???

• God will destroy our idols


C) Discerning our Foundational Assumptions
• Reason is not foundational

• Postmodernism’s great “discovery” - We all hide behind our own


biases
• Philosophy – we assume human reason
• Theology – we assume revelation
• Today – we assume our feelings

• The inevitability of circular reasoning


C) Discerning our Foundational Assumptions
• Christianity's assumptions

• Atheistic Secular Liberal Humanism’s Assumptions

• Buddhism’s assumptions

• A 21st Century neo-pagan’s assumptions

• handout
D) The strategy
- enlarging the circular reasoning circle
• What arguments / evidences suggest that truth lies in this direction?

• Secular atheism / Evolutionary materialism


• liberal progressive Me-ism

• Buddhism
• Christianity
• etc
Add Scientific Add Experiential
Facts Facts

Faith Assumptions. According to


Add Historical Reason, there is no
All by accident. Facts need for God.
Reason is the way to truth (and no evidence)
Reason’s Interpretation of History
Progress through Science and Technology, Education and Evolution
Some philosophies state that we can never escape
circular reasoning because our arguments always
come back to axioms or first principles, but in these
cases, the circles are very large and do manage to
share useful information in determining the truth of
the proposition”

Bo Bennet, “Logically Fallacious”


Evidences for Secular atheism - Materialism

• Matter is eternal - similar to eastern religions


• This is the way we experience the world around us. Solid / eternal / immovable
• Matter is the source of all things

• The universe is infinite in space and time

• Life evolved out of the material


Evidences for Secular atheism
Evidences from Science
• Evolution’s challenges / the needed talking points
• 4 Critical considerations Dr. David Berlinski
• No comprehensive sequential evidence – just anecdotal
• The fossil record too chaotic – does not produce any substantive theory.
Must impose one’s theory upon fossil record.
• No computer modeling has been successful to show that random selection
and mutational variation can produce the complexity we see.
• All species seem to have limitations that restrict mutational changes within
said species. Eg dogs remain dogs / birds remain birds / Galapagos Finch
beaks remain beaks, fruit flies remain fruit flies
Evidences for Secular atheism
Interpreting Experiences - Empirical evidence

• Life is so much easier without this “making sense of God” struggle

• How do we help each other process this “proof”?


Evidences for Secular atheism
Interpreting history
• Tremendous progress in terms of technology and Science
• We assume this implies progress in other areas as well
• Enlightenment’s interpretation of religion
• From primitive pantheistic gods to one transcendent Being
• Classical Age / Dark Ages / Renaissance / Enlightenment / Modernism

• How do we help each other process these “proofs”?


Evidences for Secular atheism
Interpreting history
• The divisiveness with the church
• The Religion wars
• The many sacred books / the divisive interpretations of the Bible

• How do we help each other process these “proofs”?


Christianity’s circular reasoning

• Foundational Assumptions

• Circular Reasoning
• Add scientific evidences
• Add Historical arguments
• Add Experiential arguments
Add Scientific Adding
truth Facts Experiential
Stone # 8 Truth Facts

Faith Assumptions Add Historical


There is a God Facts
Revealed Himself in the
Stones # 1 - 5 Because the Bible says
Bible so!

The Coming of the Kingdom of God


Evidences for Christianity’s circular reasoning
Science
• Four Mega – Science Discoveries that suggest the God Hypothesis

1) The universe has a beginning


2) Space Energy and Time have a beginning
3) The laws that make cosmos and life possible have been fine-tuned
with precision
4) The encyclopedic information within each DNA molecule
Evidences for Christianity’s circular reasoning
Science

• “The God Hypothesis is now a more persuasive and respectable


hypothesis than at any time in the last hundred years”

Fred Burnham Physicist


Evidences for Christianity’s circular reasoning
Science

• “A common-sense interpretation of the evidence suggests a super


intellect has monkeyed with physics and chemistry as well as biology
to make life possible.”

Fred Hoyle - Physicist


Evidences for Christianity’s circular reasoning
History
• The Jewish story
• The Jesus story / wake
• The Bible’s story
• The Church’s story

• The Next Christendom –The Coming of global Christianity Philip Jenkins

• Intense persecution, Venomous criticism, Blatant internal corruption, vitality


draining cultural compromise

• Those that are willing to look a little deeper will find overwhelming
evidence
Evidences for Christianity’s circular reasoning
Empirical Evidence
• The Psalms
• 3000 years devotional

• Nicoli, Arman M. (Harvard Professor)


• The Question of God, CS Lewis and Sigmund Freud debate God, Love, Sex, and
the Meaning of Life.
Evidences for Christianity’s circular reasoning
• Four truths that support the Biblical Story (Ravi Zacharias)

1. The faith it takes to doubt it


Everyone must take the leap of faith
2. The problems you have without it.
Making sense of both the beauty and chaos of life
3. The beauty we find in it
The story of the Bible/ the Jews / Jesus / understanding of self / eternity
God has written himself into our cosmic story – to be our saviour
4. “God has not given us a watertight argument, He has given us a
foolproof person.”

• Apologetics – a help to Spirit-induced Faith


Strengthening Christianity’s circular reasoning
• Evidences to support our circular reasoning
• Scientific
• Historical
• Experiential

• Tested in the crucible of criticism and persecution

• Validation by the Holy Spirit within


The missing background-canvas for life
• How do we help our students develop these mind & heart understandings?

• The Great Reversal – history of ideas


• The myth of the autonomous self actuating self
• We all must begin with assumptions
• The need to strengthen our circular reasoning arguments
• Apologetics
than on heart shping
The Book - A primer on religion
• A Senior Grades Christian Perspective Resource / Text Book

• An adult Home Group discussion guide


• 13 lesson teacher’s guide / blog available
• A 270 page Gospel Tract
• A witnessing tool

• A personal devotional reading


• Encouragement for the journey
Why this Book
* Moving the Argument to a Deeper Level
• Book’s thesis - Religion at the root of all these issues

• Apologetics alone – more heat than light, my arguments


against your arguments

• Religion is to the heart what apologetics is to the mind


The “heart” of the Matter
• Our school system / apologetics was created to meet the philosophical
needs of modernism --- Reason

• The church era developed the monastic system to meet the philosophical
needs of the Kingdom --- Shaping the heart

• Does our problem (60-70% youth leaving) demand a radical solution?

• Church / school / family working together for 24/7 Kingdom shaping

• The Benedict Option Rod Dreher


• A strategy for Christians in a Post Christian World
The missing background-canvas for life
• Rethink the way we do school
• Focus on heart shaping, not just mind and body development

• Teach History – more foundational than science


• The history of ideas
• How ideas shape eras / cultures

• Teach responsibility / accountability - not just Self Esteem

• Add an extra half hour to the school day / kids clean up the school!
The missing background-canvas for life
• Proactively reshape
Teen Culture 24/7

Mind as well as heart


The missing background-canvas for life
• Relationships with older generation / funerals
• Intergenerational Community

• Work camp at Bible Camps / Boot camp in Christian service

• Reduce Technology?

• Reduce Entertainment? – overwhelming cultural influences


• Theology of technology / Entertainment