The perfect apologetic argument

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“If you’re searching for that perfect line of logic capable of subduing any objection, you’re wasting your time. There is no magic, no silver bullet; no clever turn of thought or phrase that’s guaranteed to compel belief…We have very limited control over how other people respond to us. That’s largely in God’s hands. We can remove some of the negatives or dispel some of the fog—and we ought to try to do both. But at the end of the day, a person’s deep-seated rebellion against God is a problem only a supernatural solution can fix.”

—Greg Koukl (from: When Your Argument Lacks Impact)

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Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

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59 replies

  1. Great post. There usually is a reason behind an atheist’s thoughts and bias against Christianity. You have clearly stated some very good ones. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • atimetoshare.me. Yes, you are correct there is a reason, however, bias or rebellion has very little to do with it, primarily it has to do with reality of life and the disbelief by atheists of ancient superstitions and the so called eternal life promised to theists who desperately strive to meet the conditions of entry.

      There is no perfect apologetic argument because you have nothing to offer that is real.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t want to get into a debate over this, but as long as we’re on the subject – there really is very little scientific evidence to support evolution vs. adaptation – creation by a higher power and evolution – mathematical design, DNA, and other support for a supreme creator rather than just happenstance. You may call what I believe superstition. I trust in the words of the Bible as actuality. You believe what you do for whatever reason. We all have a choice. Reality depends on your definition of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Understandably when you put your views on a public forum you are open to criticism and debate. I will however be as brief as I can.

          As you appear to be an intelligent person I really do struggle when you being a teacher and other Christians come up with “there really is very little scientific evidence to support evolution”. I understand 97% of scientists agree with biological evolutionary principles for over a hundred years and the evidence gets stronger every year when new fossils and artefacts are discovered.

          I understand that people can believe whatever they want for whatever reason they want, but to completely ignore something that is as real as the planet we live on just because it is not acceptable to you defies plain logic.

          All I can say is reality is here and now, not in eternal life, heaven or hell, and I am hopeful that you are not teaching children about scientific principles.

          Like

          • Steve,

            When one puts their views out there in public they do open themselves up to criticism and debate, that is a fact. One does not however, have an obligation of any kind to debate everyone who challenges them.

            My problem with you isn’t what you believe but that you have a dim view of supposedly intelligent people believing the opposite, which makes rational debate difficult.

            I came to believe in creation over evolution by a careful, rational, and reasonable examination of the facts as the they are known.

            I, like Kathy, dont want an endless debate on the subjest so I will leave you with 4 (I think good) reasons I can’t believe in evolution.

            A Lack of Fossil Evidence

            There are millions of fossils on or under the earth and hundreds of millions of living and now extinct species, yet there is not one single set of transitional fossils that clearly shows one species evolving into a new species; therefore, a lack of transitional fossils gives me cause to not believe in evolution…

            The Impossibility of Life by Blind, Random Chance

            The theory that life began when proteins, DNA, and RNA were formed by chance, or at least by chemicals coming together, has never been conclusively proven in any laboratory anywhere at any time (called “abiogenesis”). And that goes for the origination of DNA/RNA. Every single science experiment that has ever been attempted to form life has revealed that amino acids don’t form as readily with any kind of stability…

            The Law of Cause and Effect

            The law is that every effect has a greater cause outside of itself. Trace the effect of every cause back and find the greater cause of it. Atheistic origins assert that an atemporal void or quantum flux formed mass-producing particles, forming a dense ball of matter called a ylem that exploded in the Big Bang, forming the precise order of the universe with exact natural laws. But where did it come from?

            It Fails to Pass the Scientific Method

            Here are the steps to establishing something as true, which is called the Scientific Method:

            – You make observations.

            – It must be guided by natural law.

            – It must be testable against the empirical world.

            – Its conclusions are tentative and are not necessarily the final word, so it proposes a hypothesis.

            – There must be design and then performance of an experiment to test the hypothesis.

            – Analyze your data to determine whether to accept or reject the hypothesis.

            – If necessary, propose and test a new hypothesis.

            – It must be falsifiable

            Since evolution cannot be shown to be true by experimentation and, in the end, we are left with only a hypothesis, evolution is unable to be validated as factual by using the Scientific Method.

            The reality, despite what you believe, is in eternal life.

            “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

            – Romans 1:20

            Like

          • I don’t expect to convince you or anyone else of my beliefs. Just as I don’t expect you to convince me of yours. Evolution has convoluted our children’s ability to think ever since Darwin came up with his “theory”. It was never founded in fact. It is still a theory. The idea that teaching Christianity and Creation to our children is brainwashing is absurd. Filling their minds with a philosophy that they evolved from an inferior life form does more harm I believe. I hold tightly to the fact that I’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made by an artist beyond all earthly comprehension. He has mapped out my existence before I was even born, and He has provided a way for my redemption and eternal life. I suppose if you’re an intellectual, that sounds like hogwash, but when you know God’s role in your life, it gives you hope for the future.

            Liked by 2 people

        • I absolutely agree with you Kathy.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “That’s largely in God’s hands”

    As the Ricky Gervais quip goes: “If there is a God, why did He make me an atheist?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ricky Gervais also once said this:

      “So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.”

      Brilliant!

      Atheists, we are told, merely acknowledge one less God than theists. If believers understood why they reject Zeus, the argument goes, they would understand why atheists reject their God. Unfortunately, dismissing theism on such grounds betrays a paltry acquaintance with the very idea of God, let alone the God revealed in the Bible. It is true that many concepts of God present us with entities that are nothing more than glorified human beings. But anyone who is familiar with the relevant religious and philosophical literature on the subject does not need to be told that such untutored notions of God are just pointless red herrings. Popular level atheism may be fodder for invigorating debates on the Internet, but it has little, if anything at all, to do with God.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment Allallt but we are talking the eternal consequences of disbelief and you are quoting a comedian. I really don’t have time for this.

      James

      Like

  3. I am not sure what you’re getting at here James.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting Paul.

      This is all about apologetics and the perfect argument for the faith.

      Quite simply there isn’t one. People simply cannot believe unless they are led by the Holy Spirit.

      No one is argued into the faith.

      James

      Like

  4. So what about people who don’t believe because there isn’t enough evidence?
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I don’t believe because of a lack of evidence but I would say that I have doubts because good cases can be made for and against faith.

    If it were all true, why isn’t it more obvious to everyone?

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James,

    No, I don’t think it should be blatantly obvious if that’s what you mean but a little more obvious.

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sure, ask away.

    Like

    • Here is a quote from another post, after I will ask a question.

      “While sitting in a coffee shop reading C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, I put down the book and wrote in my notebook, ‘the evidence surrounding the claims of Christianity is simply overwhelming.’ I realized that my achievements were ultimately unsatisfying, the approval of man is fleeting, that a carpe diem life lived solely for adventure is just a form of narcissism and idolatry. And so I became a believer in Christ.”

      (Kevin, New York City, from the book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, by Timothy Keller.)

      Why do you think the person quoted above believes the way he does? Does he have more evidence than anyone else, or is there more to it?

      Like

  8. James,

    So you are saying evidence, reason and research have nothing to do with it?

    Paul

    Like

  9. James,

    So what about all the people who demand evidence? Or just need a little more evidence?

    Paul

    Like

    • Paul,

      I have been doing this a long time and can say that most of the people who demand evidence already have enough, they just can’t, or don’t want to believe.

      People demand evidence from me all the time, most who do simply reject it out of hand.

      If I didn’t believe or if I wanted to know more about the faith, I would read what experts have written, not debate Christian bloggers endlessly.

      James

      Like

  10. James,

    What about me? Why don’t I believe?

    I’ve been going to church with my wife for 3 years.

    Is God passing me up for some reason?

    Paul

    Like

    • Paul,

      In all honesty, God may be passing you up for some reason no one will ever understand.

      Maybe you just don’t believe yet.

      One thing you can be sure of is that God does everything for a reason and never makes mistakes.

      James

      Like

      • James,

        Yeah, I’ve heard that God doesn’t make mistakes but why don’t I believe when my wife does?

        That is why I thought I needed more evidence. I thought there might be one missing piece that might make it all make sense.

        Paul

        Liked by 1 person

        • Paul,

          So you don’t believe at all?

          James

          Like

          • James,

            I believe in God, generally, but not the rest of it. At least not entirely.

            Paul

            Liked by 1 person

          • Paul,

            Do me a favor and read what’s below. It’s a bit long but it’s a very good presentation of the Gospel.

            If you read it honestly and feel moved, then you are being led by the Holy Spirit to respond.

            Realize Who God Is

            It all starts with a realization of Who God is. The Bible says He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1) and creator of man (Colossians 1:16). God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), righteous (Psalm 145:17), perfect (Matthew 5:48) and is the judge (Romans 2:16) of all mankind. He is all-powerful (Luke 18:27), all-knowing (Psalm 139:2-6), and is everywhere (Job 28:24). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (Psalm 102:25-27), and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). He is sovereign (Romans 8:28-30), good (Psalm 25:8), merciful (Daniel 9:9), and gracious (Psalm 103:8). Understanding these attributes helps build a proper foundation to our need for Him.

            Realize That You Are A Sinner

            To become a Christian, you must realize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that your sin is rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). Think about every time you have lied, stolen, lusted after someone, hated someone, disobeyed your parents or used God’s name disrespectfully. You will never be good enough to enter Heaven on your own merit (Ephesians 2:8-9) because committing even one sin deserves judgment (Revelation 20:12) according to God’s law (James 2:10). No amount of good deeds can ever erase your sin.

            Repent Of Your Sin

            According to the Bible, God is filled with wrath and hates sin (Romans 1:18). Sin is very serious to God and you must be willing to repent (Romans 2:4-8). To repent means that you are changing your mind about your sin and realize that your sin does not please God. True repentance starts with genuine sorrow and regret over your sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) and leads to a change in behavior.

            Believe In Jesus Christ

            God loves you so much that He made a way for you to escape eternal punishment in Hell and allow you into Heaven. Jesus willingly died on a cross to pay for the penalty of your sins (1 Peter 2:24) and rose from the grave (Matthew 28:5-6) to conquer death. The Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). It is not enough to just believe these facts, but you must personally receive Jesus Christ into your life (John 1:12).

            Trust In Jesus Christ

            You can personally receive Jesus Christ by trusting in Him as your Savior to rescue you from the penalty of your sin (Romans 8:1-4). You must also be willing to follow Him as your Lord (Luke 9:23-24). Nothing is more important than where you spend eternity, so please don’t wait another day to turn to Christ.

            What We Deserve

            We are all sinners deserving of hell. That is because we sinned against a Holy God who gave us life. He sees every sinful thought, attitude, word and deed we have ever committed. Think about how many times you have sinned. It is not possible to be good enough to deserve Heaven (or bad enough to not be forgiven). You broke God’s laws and deserve punishment. Only Jesus can pay the fine you owe.

            Proper Motivation

            Think about how you would feel if you were guilty of countless crimes and got sentenced to life in prison unless you could pay a 100 billion dollar fine. Then, all of a sudden someone comes and pays your fine and sets you free. How would you feel? Probably extremely thankful, undeserving, indebted, and excited. That should be your attitude towards what Jesus did for you because He paid a fine you couldn’t pay. Your motive to follow Jesus should be because He took the punishment you deserved to save you soul and allow you into Heaven, not because you fear Hell or desire a better life on earth.

            Need For Forgiveness

            Maybe you want forgiveness for your sins and want to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Please take some time and think about your very own sins that sent Jesus to the cross. It should break your heart. Think about the humiliation, beatings, and eventual death He endured for your sins. More significantly, he endured the very wrath of God. That is how amazing Jesus is and how much he loves sinners.

            Cry Out To God

            Confess to God that you have broken His law and sinned against Him. Tell Him you are going to turn from your sins (repent) and that you need His help to clean you up. Ask Him to forgive all your sins. Thank Him for sending His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in your place to pay for your sins. Believe that He rose from the dead to conquer death. Receive His free gift of eternal life in Heaven. Place your trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord.

            If you believe that God has saved you, keep on believing and following the Lord. Read the Bible every day and obey what it says.

            Like

  11. James,

    I’ll read it.

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  12. OK I understand my comments must be to upsetting for you and your exclusive congregation and obviously takes you to far out of the comfort zone so you need protection. You really do need to examine your own beliefs if it is to difficult to face criticisms that may raise some serious thinking.

    I will not bother you again as some of these other religious bloggs really do have balls.

    Like

    • I have very, I think, seriously examined my faith for more than 15 years and have found that it is as reasonable as a belief system can be.

      Until you can admit that Christians can be capable of rational thought, no kind of productive discussion is possible.

      James

      Like

      • James, you and Wally from past blogs seem to find hidden messages and attitudes in my writing that I am unaware of as an excuse to block anything that you perceive as causing some discomfort.

        “Rational thought” based on reason or good judgment; logical or sensible: We all think we have this rational thought don’t we? I am unable to discuss any productive points with any of you on this basis especially when you will ban my views at random.

        I think that you guys are so tied up in your own little world and ban atheists at will, therefore as you can see atheists do not bother with any of your sites because it is not worth the wasted effort. I write the same about many issues but have never been banned from any other religiously based sites and I doubt I ever will.

        Good luck to you all anyway.

        Like

        • Steve to say most atheists don’t bother with Christian sites while spending substantial time on one may just win the award for nonsensical comment of the year LOL.

          Again, you struggle with facts. You are not banned on my site.

          Mistaken impression from you? No, Steve you quite clearly indicate you think Christians are either stupid or mentally ill. Fact.

          But, as you said. Good bye and peace

          Like

        • Steve,

          How can you say you’ve been banned from a site you are commenting on right now?

          Like

          • Wally my meaning was that most atheists do not visit both yours and James sites not all atheist sites, because that would truly be a LOL.

            You say “Mistaken impression from you? No, Steve you quite clearly indicate you think Christians are either stupid or mentally ill. Fact.”

            Just because I find your beliefs illogical or I may think you are delusional about certain issues regarding your belief as all atheists do does not actually mean you are stupid or mentally ill. I would never make mention of mentally ill and disadvantaged people.

            I think you and James are simply insecure in your belief and are protecting the vulnerable followers of your small group and the issues that make up your faith. Wally, you have often been very upset over a bloggers assumption of an aspect of your faith and this has shown your insecurity and temperament with a reluctance to explain what you believe. Maybe you are ashamed of something or you do not want to appear stupid.

            James you said “How can you say you’ve been banned from a site you are commenting on right now?”

            This is very funny James; LOL you appear to have selective ideas on banning atheists to protect your faithful followers. I did not write anything breaching the rude commandment on my last couple of posts to you and atimetoshare.me, however it was obvious you were protecting your flock and I was the ravenous wolf to use biblical speak.

            Like

          • I don’t see you as a ravenous wolf at all Steve. I see you as someone who believes they can help me.

            I see you as someone who believes you are one of Dr. Boghossian’s ‘horsemen’ who’s on a mission to transform a broken world long ruled by unquestioned faith into a society built on reason, evidence, and thought-out positions.

            I don’t however, see you as someone who truly wants to discuss faith and where it supposedly has it all wrong as there are plenty of very good apologetics posts on this blog you have never bothered to comment on at all, seeking instead only the low hanging fruit.

            And, unlike you, I don’t see the beliefs of those who disagree with me as illogical, I know exactly why they believe as they do.

            Knowledge of God is unique in that it is conditioned by moral and spiritual factors. A spiritually indifferent person can have a profound knowledge of physics, or literature, or history, or sociology, or even of theology. But a spiritually indifferent person cannot know God. According to the Bible, the knowledge of God is promised to those who honestly seek him.

            “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

            – Jeremiah 29:13

            Have you ever honestly sought God Steve, or do you prefer running from Him?

            James

            Like

          • You are far from the mark James, I have not read much on your site that would be attributed to apologetics, however I only read your site occasionally.

            Low hanging fruit? Do you mean these people are unable to defend their faith, that is a bit harsh on your faithful regulars is it not?

            My stepmother was a lovely lady and was a full time missionary in African countries for much of her life for Christianity and really believed she was doing the Lords work by convincing the locals to abandon their witchcraft and accept the Christian religion. If she were alive today to see the images of the so called witches being burnt alive to obtain land rights and being partially justified due to religious acceptance as is the case in Papua New Guinea she would probably be sick and turn atheist.

            The point and fact is, that life is not altered regardless of what or who you worship and in fact it can have huge negative implications because of the worship without realising it. If nothing amazingly positive can be done on earth by a supposedly most powerful God with the power to direct the actions of millions of religious people, the chances of something amazing happening when you die such as eternal life in heaven or hell are at best implausible and therefore I do not want to seek God.

            I am unable to accept any god or deity and have never run away from this or any superstition because I understand it only exists inside my own head.

            Like

          • Steve,

            You misunderstood what I said, the low hanging fruit comment was directed at atheists who continue to claim that I am unable to defend my position when I defend my position all the time in posts and comments. Those are the people who tend to reply to lighter posts while completely ignoring the serious apologetics.

            Also, it seems people confuse my lack of interest in entertaining scoffers with an unwillingness to debate when I have debated plenty.

            The rest of your comment is anecdotal and speculative. Your stepmother might have very likely continued in her faith despite the atrocities that are committed in the name of religion. The purpose of missionaries, after all, is to spread the true Gospel message to those who haven’t heard it and those who may practice some twisted version of Christianity. For example, burning witches is clearly unbiblical.

            I have been all over the world myself and my faith is as strong as ever even with all I have seen. In fact, it’s probably stronger because I have seen people maintain remarkable faith in the worst conditions. Only westerners who live relatively comfortable lives reject faith because of suffering or evil.

            Fact is people are not fleeing the faith in large numbers because witches are being burned in Papua new Guinea, your logic simply doesn’t follow.

            Just because you believe an afterlife is implausible (to be fair I used to believe the same way), doesn’t mean it isn’t a reality.

            As I have said before, there are people who will never believe, no matter what, maybe you are one, maybe you will believe some day, who knows?

            Now, can I ask you a question?

            If religion is just the stuff of fools, why do you bother with it at all? When I was an atheist I didn’t even care, yet you seem to care quite a bit.

            Why?

            James

            Like

          • You missed my point, and that was highlighting the fact that preaching religious doctrine is not always good and in fact my example proves it is often damaging.

            Another point is that the South Africans and PNG people are only practicing what they believe just as the Islamic terrorists do and just like yourselves they believe they are undertaking Gods wishes.

            I did not claim people were fleeing the faith, however since you mention it and with a quick look around the internet it appears on average they are fleeing the faith, especially in the USA and even here in Australia where religion is not as strong anyway.

            To get to your question of why do I bother with it all I am glad you asked because there are a number of obvious religious orientated things that should be challenged due to the damage and death caused to many people.

            My strongest reason is the manipulating of children into religious indoctrination. I have always thought it to be abhorrent for altering children’s innocent minds with your own ideology and removing their right for choice, just as the uneducated are attempting to get creationism into schools.

            I cannot understand why certain religions are allowed to mutilate the genitals of children, it is by modern standards physical abuse of a child.

            Discrimination against gay people and same sex marriage. If you are to quote the Bible on this, why do you not condemn people who commit adultery, unmarried couples or prostitutes in the same way as gays? Despite the fact that at least half of the Christians would fall into any of these categories.

            Religious politicians, your President Bush sought divine assistance before going to war, need I say more?

            The paedophilia that exists within the priesthoods, the bogus evangelists and faith healers scamming the vulnerable within society, the cults that separate families, the terrorists and violence etc. and I am sure there are plenty more.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for the reply Steve, I will respond more in-depth later in the day when I have more time.

            In the meantime, I hope you will read something I wrote about Christians indoctrinating their kids.

            James

            https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/why-do-christians-indoctrinate-their-kids/

            Liked by 1 person

          • You believe “indoctrination is common, low threat,” You are misinformed James, as history can testify.

            You may be too young to remember how indoctrination techniques had been used to some success by Mao’s Communist China and Eastern Europe communist regimes for many decades however, you must be aware of the North Koreans who currently rely on indoctrination to keep control of their citizens and they are so efficient at it you can see how the people exercise their freedom, right?

            You must have also been made aware of the Nazi indoctrinations such as the long term effects on this link and I haven’t even mentioned religious indoctrination.

            http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/illusion-chasers/the-long-lasting-effects-of-nazi-indoctrination/

            Like

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