Monday, July 25, 2011

Unshackled Apologetics

Unshackled! is a radio drama series produced by Pacific Garden Mission, in Chicago, Illinois, that first aired in 1950.  It is the longest-running radio drama in history (sorry, Johnny Dollar).
Well known evangelist and creation supporter Ray Comfort (and friend of Kirk Cameron) had his conversion story featured on Unshackled! 

WayneSpencer (M.S. Physics), who writes extensively on astronomy topics, had this to say:

The truth of Christianity is … born out in the real life experience of Christians who live by it.  Christian faith has a long track record for over 2000 years now of making positive changes in the personal lives of people.  So the reasons for having faith in the Bible are not merely intellectual, but also revolve around people experiencing God changing their lives and making life more meaningful for them.  It is usually the life of a Christian lived out with integrity that is more persuasive to most people, when it counts, than a logical argument.

C. E. M. Joad (d. 1953) was the head of the Philosophy Dept. at the University of London and was a long time critic of Christianity, but finally said, “I now believe that the balance of reasonable considerations tells heavily in favor of the religious, even of the Christian view of the world.”  Joad had appeared on BBC radio attacking Christianity in the 1940’s, but later wrote The Recovery of Belief in 1952.

Bishop John Subhan came to Jesus from a Muslim background.  When he read the Gospel the second time he came to see that is was the true Injil.  He was convinced that it was God’s Word and divine revelation.  He saw a dramatic difference between reading the New Testament and the effect of reciting the Qur’an. [1]

Have you ever heard a new convert say, “I wonder if Genesis One through Eleven is really true?”  The lost, who do not know Jesus, have not experienced regeneration and don’t have the assurance through the Holy Spirit that the Bible is true.

R. C. Sproul states, “The Scripture objectively gives evidence that it is the Word of God.  The Spirit … gives us the quiet assurance that the evidence is certain.” [2]  The Westminster Confession concludes, “… our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. (ch. 1, sec. 5).  Sproul, Gerstner and Lindsley proclaim, “… the Spirit of God persuades and assures us of the infallible truth and divine authority of the Word of God.” [3]

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit …  For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth … (1 Thes. 1:5-8).
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15, 16).
How does God give us assurance of our adoption?  Through the Bible!

These things [the book of 1 John] I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. …  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 Jn. 5:13, 20).
Glenn Beck and other Mormons claim to have had a dramatic conversion experience.  Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? by Cowdrey, Davis and Vanick, provide strong evidence that the Book of Mormon was based on a work of historical fiction, A Manuscript Found.  The Book of Mormon has been changed many times.  Beck’s evidence for Early American Jewish influence is better explained by Phoenecians traveling to the New World.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things (Phil. 4:8).

How can we think on what’s true if we don’t know the true truth?
Frank Turek, while debating Christopher Hitchens at Virginia Commonwealth University, on the topic of theism said, “I’m giving a probability argument … you can’t prove beyond any doubt that there’s a God.  I’m giving probability …  I’m giving cosmological, teleological, moral, consciousness, reason, mathematics [arguments].” [4]  Turek should have stated that as Christians we know God is there and Jesus is Lord (cf. Jn. 7:17).

1)  Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Vol. 1) by Josh McDowell (Here’s Life Pub., San Bernardino, CA, 1979), p. 351.
2)  “The Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit” by R. C. Sproul in Inerrancy ed. by Norman Geisler (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1980), p. 342.
3)  Classical Apologetics by R. C. Sproul, John Gerstner and Arthur Lindsley (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984), p. 171.
4)  See this debate at 1:14:00.

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