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How to Defend Your Faith

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Title: How to Defend Your Faith


1
How to Defend Your Faith
presented by David Asscherick
2
Does the faith need to be defended?
We can easily answer this question by posing a
second question Is the Christian faith under
attack? If the answer to the second question is
yes, the answer to the first is also yes. Yet
while it is true that the faith needs to be
defended something else is still more true...
3
The faith needs to be lived even more than it
needs to be defended.
Oxford scholar CS Lewis was once asked how he
defended his belief in the Bible. He responded by
saying that he defended the Bible in much the
same way one would defend a caged lion. You
simply let it out of the cage, he said. The
Christian faith is just like this. It needs to be
displayed more than merely defended.
4
Defending your faith is easy. You need only do
two things
Be in-filled Be informed
5
Defending your faith is easy. You need only do
two things
Be in-filled (with the Spirit) Be informed
(with the facts)
6
Philippians 116,17
I am set for the defense of the gospel (KJV)
I am appointed for the defense of the gospel
(NASB)
I am here to defend the good news about him (CEV)
7
1Peter 315
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be
ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you
with meekness and fear (KJV)
...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as
holy, always being prepared to make a defense to
anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope
that is in you yet do it with gentleness and
respect (ESV)
8
1Peter 315, 16
...but in your hearts consecrate Christ as Lord,
being always ready to make your defense to any
one who asks from you a reason for the hope which
you cherish. Yet argue modestly and cautiously,
keeping your consciences free from guilt, so
that, when you are spoken against, those who
slander your good Christian lives may be put to
shame. (WNT)
9
apologia (to give an answer/ defense)
Note this text (1Peter 315) and note it well. In
it believers are not only exhorted to give an
answer/ defense (apologia), they are taught the
two essential elements of an effective defense a
compelling answer and a consistent life. That is,
both what you say and how you say it. An
effective defense, then, encompasses both the
message and the messenger.
10
apologia (to give an answer/ defense)
Note this text (1Peter 315) and note it well. In
it believers are not only exhorted to give an
answer/ defense (apologia), they are taught the
two essential elements of an effective defense a
compelling answer and a consistent life. That is,
both what you say and how you say it. An
effective defense, then, encompasses both the
message and the messenger. This is Peters way of
saying... An effective defense, then, encompasses
both the message and the messenger.
11
Be in-filled Be informed
12
Be in-filled Be informed
If your life is not attractive and consistent no
one, really, will care what it is you say.
13
Be in-filled Be informed
If your life is not attractive and consistent no
one, really, will care what it is you say.
If your answers are not sound, reasonable, and
appealing your Christian life will be little more
than a kind of wholesome novelty.
14
Be in-filled Be informed
Both are essential in order to effectively defend
your faith.
If your life is not attractive and consistent no
one, really, will care what it is you say.
If your answers are not sound, reasonable, and
appealing your Christian life will be little more
than a kind of wholesome novelty.
15
Be in-filled
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of
Christianity. (GW 122)
16
Be in-filled
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of
Christianity. (GW 122)
17
Be in-filled
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of
Christianity. (GW 122)
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of the
gospel. (HP 181)
18
Be in-filled
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of
Christianity. (GW 122)
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of the
gospel. (HP 181)
19
Be in-filled
You are the light of the world... let your light
shine before others, so that they may see your
good works and give glory to your Father who is
in heaven. Mt 514, 16 (ESV)
20
Be in-filled
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are
grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from
thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good
fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A
healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a
diseased tree bear good fruit... Thus you will
recognize them by their fruits. Mt 716-20 (ESV)
Note not only will you recognize others this
way, but you also will be recognized this way.
21
Be in-filled
Let your language be always seasoned with the
salt of grace, so that you may know how to give
every man a fitting answer. Col 46 (WNT)
Note here again we see the two-fold division
of 1) what you say and 2) how you say it. Both
the message delivered and the method of delivery
are critically important.
22
Are you a true Christian?
To be an effective spokesperson for the Christian
faith, you must yourself first be a Christian. Do
you want to defend the faith? Do you first have
any faith to defend? The Gospel is more than a
concept to be studied, appreciated, and defended.
It is a life to be lived. Not by you, but by
Christ inside of you. (see John 35-8 Gal 220
Col 127 John 1416, 17 Gal 522-25)
23
Be in-filled
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of
Christianity. (GW 122)
A kind, courteous Christian is the most powerful
argument that can be produced in favor of the
gospel. (HP 181)
24
So just what is the Gospel?
A better question is Who is the Gospel? The
Gospel is a person. It is the good news about a
person. (See Romans 11,3 1Cor 151-8) Hanging
upon the cross Christ was the gospel. (6BC 1113)
25
Be in-filled
You must first be a Christian before you can hope
to defend the Christian faith effectively. You
cannot be a Christian if Christ is only outside
of you. You must have Christ in you by His
Spirit. You must be born again. You must be born
of the Spirit. This is the first and most
important step in effectively defending your
faith. You must first live your faith. Not in
your own strength, but by the power of the
indwelling Christ.
26
Be in-filled
A well-defended faith is first and foremost a
well-lived faith. The Gospel must be more than
defended, it must be displayed.
27
Defending your faith is easy. You need only do
two things
Be in-filled (with the Spirit) Be informed
(with the facts)
28
Be informed
Christianity is true, objectively true. This is
what we believe and teach. We should not,
therefore, fear scrutiny. We should welcome it.
If what we hold as dear is true, then we have
nothing to fear from the facts. Many Christians
are afraid of the facts and of intellectual
conflict. The first Christians, however, were
not. Should we--the last Christians--be any
different?
29
Be informed
Those who desire to know the truth have nothing
to fear from the investigation of the word of
God. But upon the threshold of investigation of
the word of God, inquirers after truth should lay
aside all prejudice, and hold in abeyance all
preconceived opinion, and open the ear to hear
the voice of God from His messenger. (RH, March
25, 1902)
30
Be informed
Of all men upon the face of the earth, those who
are handling solemn truths for these perilous
times should understand their Bibles and become
acquainted with the evidences of our faith...
Those who are ambassadors for Christ, who stand
in His stead, beseeching souls to be reconciled
to God, should be qualified to present our faith
intelligently and be able to give the reasons of
their hope with meekness and fear. (2T 342)
31
Be informed
God never asks us to believe, without giving
sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith.
His existence, His character, the truthfulness of
His word, are all established by testimony that
appeals to our reason and this testimony is
abundant. Yet God has never removed the
possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon
evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to
doubt will have opportunity while those who
really desire to know the truth will find plenty
of evidence on which to rest their faith. (SC
105)
32
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
33
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
Theism
(versus atheism)
34
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
Theism
(versus atheism)
35
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
Theism
(versus atheism)
36
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Ex nihilo nihil fit (out of nothing, nothing
comes) - Atheism posits a universe that came out
of nothing, for nothing, by nothing, because
of nothing. This is an article of sheer faith. -
Every thing that begins to exist has a cause. The
universe began to exist. Therefore the
universe had a cause. That cause, must itself, be
uncaused. There cannot be an infinite regress
of causation. - Why is there something rather
than nothing?
37
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Life begets life - Non-life has never been
shown to give rise to life. - Materialism must
affirm that inanimate matter gave rise to life
somehow, sometime in the distant past. This is
unscientific and, once again, an article of
sheer faith. - Theism posits a living beginning
to all subsequent life God. God had no
beginning. He is the eternally existent one. He
is the I AM. - Where did life come from? And why?
And how? And when? The atheist has no answers.
He accepts lifes origin on faith alone.
38
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Life begets life The evidential situation of
natural (as opposed to revealed) theology has
been transformed in the more than fifty years
since Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize for
their discovery of the double helix structure of
DNA. It has become inordinately difficult even to
begin to think about constructing a naturalistic
theory of the evolution of that first reproducing
organism.
--Anthony Flew, former world-renowned atheist
39
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
A very special universe - Our universe is
perfectly tuned to permit the existence of life.
- This fine-tunedness is sometimes called the
anthropic principle. This notion suggests that
the universe is too fine-tuned to have arisen by
chance. Self-reflective life is the purpose not
a mere product. - Atheism cannot account for
this staggering fine-tunedness. They believe
it just happened. This is an article of sheer
faith. - The odds of a non life-permitting
universe arising by chance and natural
processes are near-infinitely greater than the
odds of a universe such as ours arising by
these means. - The Bible says that God made the
universe to be inhabited.
40
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
A very special universe Uni or Multi? - The
theory du jour which seeks to account for the
fine-tunedness of the universe is the
Multiverse Theory. It says that there are a vast
number (perhaps an infinity) of universes of
which our is only one. - There is no evidence
for these other universes. Their existence is an
article of sheer faith. - It is simpler to
believe in one God than in an infinite number of
unknown and unknowable other universes. -
Some scientists are seriously suggesting that our
universe is, in fact, likely a fake--a
computer-generated world created by super-
intelligent residents of one of the other real
universes. No kidding.
41
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
The existence of self-reflective life - Humans
are unique in that they understand their place in
the universe. We are able to contemplate the
universe and our place in it. This simple fact
has impressed many of the worlds greatest minds.
- Horses, trout, and kookaburras do not reflect
on the amazing fine- tunedness of the universe.
They do not stare at the stars or look
longingly at a glorious and arresting sunset. -
Einstein remarked that the most incomprehensible
thing about the universe was its
comprehensibility.
42
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
The existence of self-reflective life You find
it strange that I consider the comprehensibility
of the world as a miracle or as an eternal
mystery. Well, a priori one should expect a
chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the
mind in any way. . . . The kind of order created
by Newton's theory of gravitation, for example,
is wholly different. Even if man proposes the
axioms of the theory, the success of such a
project presupposes a high degree of ordering of
the objective world, and this could not be
expected a priori. That is the "miracle" which is
being constantly reinforced as our knowledge
expands.
--Albert Einstein
43
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
The existence of self-reflective life The
enormous usefulness of mathematics is something
bordering on the mysterious . . . . There is no
rational explanation for it . . . . The miracle
of the appropriateness of the language of
mathematics for the formulation of the laws of
physics is a wonderful gift which we neither
understand nor deserve.
--Eugene Wigner, physicist (nobel prize 1963)
44
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
The existence of self-reflective life To me,
belief in a final cause, a Creator-God, gives a
coherent understanding of why the universe seems
so congenially designed for the existence of
intelligent, self-reflective life. It would take
only small changes in numerous physical constants
to render the universe uninhabitable. Somehow,
in the words of Freeman Dyson, this is a universe
that knew we were coming.
--Owen Gingerich,
former Professor of Astronomy and of the History
of Science at Harvard University and senior
astronomer emeritus Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory
45
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
The existence of self-reflective life It would
be very difficult to explain why the universe
should have begun in just this way, except as the
act of a God who intended to create beings like
us.
--Stephen Hawking,
Sir Isaac Newton Chair of Mathematics, Cambridge
University
46
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Which came first mind or matter? - The mind
and the brain are not the same thing. For
example, you can change your mind, but not
your brain. You can lose your mind, but not
your brain. - Atheism, with its necessary
materialism, cannot give adequate account of
the mind, for the mind appears to be immaterial.
Atheists, yes, typically believe in the
existence of the mind, but this is the result
of experiential necessity not philosophical
consistency.
47
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Which came first mind or matter? - The mind
cannot be merely an emergent property of the
brain, for it is fundamentally (substantively)
different from the brain. The brain is made of
matter. The mind with its intentionality,
volition, and mental events is plainly not
made of matter. - Philosophical materialism
cannot account for basic human realities such
as identity, consciousness, self-determination,
moral accountability, and the placebo effect.

48
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Which came first mind or matter? The
subjective character of experience is hard to
capture in physicalist terms. How could
consciousness have evolved from matter? Can
matter think?... The simple fact of
consciousness is a serious difficulty for
physicalism materialism
--JP Moreland, author philosopher
49
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Which came first mind or matter? Science has
proved that our brain is only a set of particles,
and that biological life consists uniquely in a
succession of chemical reactions, which, in their
turn, consist uniquely in physical processes. On
the other hand, consciousness transcends the laws
of physics and cannot then be considered the
product of biological and cerebral processes.
This implies that our mind and our brain are not
the same entity, but two different yet
interacting entities.
--Marco Biagini, physicist author
50
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Which came first mind or matter?
Every materialistic attempt to explain the
existence of consciousness implies that what
suffers, loves, desires, feels etc. in us are
objects such as electrons or electromagnetic
fields. The point is that these objects can
feel nothing at all.
--Marco Biagini, physicist author
51
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Which came first mind or matter? No man
can survey himself without forthwith turning his
thoughts towards the God in whom he lives and
moves because it is perfectly obvious, that the
endowments which we possess cannot possibly be
from ourselves.
--John Calvin, protestant reformer
52
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
We want to know whether the universe simply
happens to be what it is for no reason or whether
there is a power behind it that makes it what it
is. Since that power, if it exists, would be not
one of the observed facts but a reality which
makes them, no mere observation of the facts can
find it. There is only one case in which we can
know whether there is anything more, namely our
own case, and in that one case we find there is.
Or put it the other way round. If there was a
controlling power outside the universe, it could
not show itself to us as one of the facts inside
the universe -- no more than the architect of a
house could actually be a wall, or staircase, or
fireplace in that house.
53
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
The only way in which we could expect it to show
itself would be inside ourselves as an influence
or a command trying to get us to behave in a
certain way. And that is just what we do find
inside ourselves. Surely this ought to arouse our
suspicions? In the only case where you can expect
to get an answer, the answer turns out to be Yes.
. . Suppose someone asked me, when I see a man in
a blue uniform going down the street leaving
little paper packets at each house, why I suppose
that they contain letters? I should reply,
"Because whenever he leaves a similar little
packet for me I find it does contain a letter."
54
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
And if he then objected, "But you've never seen
all these letters which you think the other
people are getting," I should say, "Of course
not, and I shouldn't expect to, because they're
not addressed to me. I'm explaining the packets
I'm not allowed to open by the ones I'm allowed
to open."... It is the same about this question.
The only packet I'm allowed to open is Man. When
I do, especially when I open that particular man
called myself, I find that I do not exist on my
own, that I am under a law that somebody or
something wants me to behave in a certain way. I
do not, of course, think that if I could get
inside a stone or a tree I should find exactly
the same thing, just as I do not think all the
other people in the street get the same letters
as I do.
55
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
I should expect, for instance, to find that the
stone had to obey the law of gravity -- that
whereas the sender of the letters merely tells me
to obey the laws of my human nature, He compels
the stone to obey the laws of its stony nature.
But I should expect to find that there was, so to
speak, a sender in both cases, a Power behind the
facts, a Director, a Guide.
--CS Lewis, Oxford scholar author
56
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Is anything really wrong? - Atheism cannot
account for objective, absolute moral standards.
At best it can create a kind of consensus
morality. - Is the torture of innocent
children always wrong? Or could it be
justified in some extenuating circumstances? - If
morality originates in man, then it can be
modified by man. - Whose moral code should we
adopt Hitlers, Hefners, or the Hebrews? How
can we judge between moral codes? Whose
standards would we use to judge, ours or theirs?
Might what we call immorality be decidedly
moral in their culture and code?
57
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Beauty, meaning, and love - Atheism fails
utterly to account for the most fundamental
features of human experience friendship,
love, beauty, meaning, and joy. - Any philosophy
which fails to account for that which is
fundamental to our experience and existence as
human beings should be rejected out of hand on
experiential grounds alone. - Even if atheism
worked on the blackboard (which we have argued it
doesnt), it cannot work where is matters
most in day-to- day life.
58
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
Beauty, meaning, and love If reality is
fundamentally physical, then the primary force
binding it together is electromagnetic. If,
however, reality is fundamentally social, then
the most powerful constituting force is that
which binds persons together, namely, love.

--Millard J. Erickson, author president ETS
59
Be informed
Theism
(versus atheism)
causation (ex nihilo nihil fit) the origin of
life (life begets life) a fine-tuned universe
(the anthropic principle) self-reflective life
(awareness of our place in space) the mind
(identity, consciousness, self-determination)
moral absolutes (Be holy for I am Holy Lev
1144) human experience (love, meaning, joy,
beauty, etc)
60
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
Theism
(versus atheism)
61
Be informed
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
This is really quite simple. Jesus staked his
identity and claims on the fact of His prophesied
resurrection from the dead (John 219). Paul said
the very same thing about Jesus resurrection
(1Cor 151-20). If Jesus rose from the dead, then
Christianity is true. If He did not, then
Christianity is not true. So the debate hinges
right here on this question. Significantly, there
is excellent reason to believe that Jesus did, in
fact, raise from the dead as He Himself said he
would.
62
Be informed
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
The resurrection of Jesus acquires such decisive
meaning, not merely because someone or anyone has
been raised from the dead, but because it is
Jesus of Nazareth, whose execution was instigated
by the Jews because he had blasphemed against
God. If this man was raised from the dead, then
that plainly means that the God whom he had
supposedly blasphemed had committed Himself to
him. The resurrection can only be understood as
the divine vindication of the man whom the Jews
had rejected as a blasphemer.
--Wolfhart Pannenburg, theologian
63
Be informed
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
If the coming into existence of the Nazarenes, a
phenomenon undeniably attested to by the NT, rips
a great hole in history, a hole the size and
shape of the resurrection, what does the secular
historian propose to stop it up with? The birth
and rapid rise of the Christian Church remain an
unsolved enigma for any historian who refuses to
take seriously the only explanation offered by
the church itself.
--CFD Moule, theologian, Cambridge
64
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
Theism
(versus atheism)
65
Be informed
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have
been set in the world as watchmen and
light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the
last warning for a perishing world. On them is
shining wonderful light from the Word of God.
They have been given a work of the most solemn
import,--the proclamation of the first, second,
and third angels' messages. There is no other
work of so great importance. They are to allow
nothing else to absorb their attention. (Ev 120)

66
Be informed
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
sola Scriptura (the Bible is our creed)
salvation by faith alone through grace alone
(reformation) soon return of Jesus (signs of
the times) seventh-day Sabbath/ law
(near-universal Sunday observance) state of
dead/ nature of man (rampant spiritualism)
Jesus ministry as priest in sanctuary (1844)
the Spirit of prophecy (prophetic guidance)

67
Be informed
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints,
those who keep the commandments of God and their
faith in Jesus. Rev 1412 (ESV)
68
Be informed
For the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, their
faith must be defended on three levels .
Seventh-day Adventism
(versus other Christian perspectives)
Christianity
(versus non-Christian religions)
Theism
(versus atheism)
69
Defending your faith is easy. You need only do
two things
Be in-filled (with the Spirit) Be informed
(with the facts)
70
The faith needs to be lived even more than it
needs to be defended.
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints,
those who keep the commandments of God and their
faith in Jesus. Rev 1412 (ESV)
71
The faith needs to be lived even more than it
needs to be defended.
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints,
those who keep the commandments of God and their
faith in Jesus. Rev 1412 (ESV)
72
The faith needs to be lived even more than it
needs to be defended.
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints,
those who keep the commandments of God and their
faith in Jesus. Rev 1412 (ESV)
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