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Dayton Apologetics About Statement

About Statement (Rev. 2023.05)

Dayton Apologetics
Dayton Apologetics About Statement

Year

2023

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Minutes

20

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“The Bible commands it; the culture demands it; the Church needs it; and the results confirm it!”[1]

I. Purpose:

Figure 1: Feelings are Not Reliable – Cru

Why are you a Christian or why not? What is a Christian? Who is Jesus? What is faith? Who do you say I am? Apologetics implies not an admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position. Apologetics gives objective facts, reasons, properly applied logic, and evidence supporting biblical, historical, orthodox Christianity founded in scripture and God’s character over relative self-focused subjective individual feelings, lived experiences, felt needs, storytelling, perceptions of reality, feel-good Christianity, and moralistic therapeutic deism.  Apologists protect God’s sheep from wolves to lift up and defend scripture and advocate a Christian worldview thru a case making, forensic faith, while challenging non-Biblical beliefs with grace and truth.

According to Scripture, Christians should be ready to ”give a defense (apologia, G627) to everyone who asks for the reason (logos, G3056) for their hope in Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:15).  All Christians ought to know what they believe, why they believe it, how to share it with others, and how to defend it against common lies and attacks from culture.  Human intellect, social institutions, and society twist and distort God’s Word, ”if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:7-9). As Christ’s ambassadors, accurately handling the word of truth, we are to ”destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:3-6) and ”contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3). God’s testimony has greater authority than man’s (1 John 5:9). The Bible commands it.

Over past decades worldwide with relativism, post-truth, postmodern, pandemics, protests, “social justice”, and confusion about sex/gender/marriage/abortion/”race”/Israel/voting/ESG/Christian nationalism – with increased deviation from truth & reason in answers. The culture demands it.

Figure 2: Secret Battle of Ideas about God – Jeff Myers     Summit Ministries, 2017.

George Barna & ACU’s Cultural Research Center show Church pews and pulpits as confused as culture on these issues. Most Christians adopt a personalized syncretism over a Biblical centered worldview. Widely shared for over 2 decades a vast majority of post high school youth walk away from Church. Further indicators show they were already gone much earlier. Frank Turek stated how “People are screaming for leadership, how should we think, what does God say, what does the Bible say?” Acts 17. Although God will preserve a remnant - The Church needs it.

Scripture has the answers for those who earnestly and honestly ask, seek, & knock. The results confirm it.

Four essentials of historical, orthodox Christianity that all Christ-followers must tether & agree:

1. What is Scripture: Divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible, supremely authoritative, and sufficient

  1. Who is God: One triune God in 3      persons - Father, Son, & Holy Spirit; Creator of all creation
        the deity of Lord      Jesus Christ – born of a virgin,      sinless life, atoning death, & bodily resurrection

  2. Who is Man: Sinful, fallen, depraved, all equal      deserve eternal punishment & able to receive salvation

  3. How to get Salvation: by grace alone through      faith alone in Christ alone; repent, Savior, Lord & God

Figure 3: Lucas Miles, 2021

Apologists commit to strengthen Christian’s faith & attract others to the Gospel:

1. Build up the Church (ekklesia, G1577) in the truth of the faith through apologetics training and equipping (discipleship)

2. Provide rational, evidential, and trustworthy answers to people who oppose or question historical Christian faith

3. Challenge and dismantle false philosophies, secular wisdom, spirits of our age, another Jesus, and cultural idols

II. Ambassador Guidelines: II Corinthians 5:20 ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us

A.  Build Skills: Luke 2:52

  1. Knowledge: an accurately informed mind   2 Peter 3:18
    Christ’s      ambassadors need basic knowledge of the      gospel central message of God’s kingdom and how to respond to obstacles      they will encounter on a diplomatic      mission to share the good news

  2. Wisdom:  an artful      method   Proverbs 1:7
    Our knowledge must be tempered with      tactical wisdom      that makes a diplomatic conversation

  3. Character:  an attractive manner  Galatians 5:22-25
    Our character      must embody the virtues of God’s kingdom

[1] Tim Barnett of Stand To Reason, STRU: Why Apologetics? Also in article at https://www.solas-cpc.org/why-bother-with-apologetics/.


F. Clarify Essentials of the Message of salvation: these are the “Gospel issue” 


1. Scripture: Divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible, supremely authoritative, and sufficient  

a. The 66 books of the Bible are the unique, written Word of God.  The Bible is divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible, supremely authoritative, and sufficient in everything it  teaches. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs.  Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields  as history and science  (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Revelation 22:18–19). 

b. The final guide to the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself (Proverbs 8:8–9; Matthew 12:3–5, 19:4, 22:31; Mark 7:13, 12:10, 12:26; Luke 6:3; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Timothy 3:16–17). 

c. All things necessary for our salvation are expressly and clearly taught in Scripture  (foundation of the gospel: Genesis 1:1, 1:31, 3:17–19; Romans 5:12, 3:23; presenting the gospel: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 6:23, 10:9; John 3:14–18; Acts 16:30–31; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 5:1–2). 

d. The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of  biblical teaching, namely that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into secular and religious, is unbiblical and therefore should be rejected (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17; for more information on secular religions). 

e. No apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field of study, including  science, history, and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the clear  teaching of Scripture obtained by historical-grammatical interpretation. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information  (Numbers 23:19; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; Isaiah 46:9–10, 55:9; Romans 3:4; 2  Timothy 3:16). 


2. One Triune God and Deity of Jesus Christ 

a. There is one God, self-existent and eternal, infinitely perfect, the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things  (Genesis 1:1, 2:1–4; Deuteronomy 6:4, 33:27; Psalm 22:28, 103:19, 147:5; Isaiah 40:28, 45:18; Daniel 5:21; 2 Samuel 22:31;  Nehemiah 9:6; Ecclesiastes 12:1–6; Matthew 5:48, 28:18; Mark 12:29–34; John 1:1–3; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Romans 16:26;  Colossians 1:16–17, 2:3; Hebrews 1:1–3, 9:14; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 1:8, 4:11). 

b. The Godhead is triune: one God, three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each  Person is fully God, their glory equal and their majesty coeternal  (Genesis 1:1–2; Matthew 3:15–17; John 1:1–3). 

c. For his own glory and by his own decree, the triune God created heaven and earth, time, and all things, visible and  invisible, living and nonliving, material and nonmaterial  (Genesis 1:1–2:3; Exodus 20:11, 31:17; Isaiah 46:9–10; Nehemiah 9:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 22:13). 

d. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the uncreated Creator and only begotten Son of God, took on human flesh to be fully man  without ever ceasing to be fully God  (Luke 24:39; John 1:1–3, 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, 8:58; Colossians 1:16; Acts 2:22; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Philippians 2:5–8; Hebrews  1:1–3). 

e. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and lived a sinless life  (Isaiah 7:14, 53:4–6; Matthew 1:16–23; John 8:29, 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–22). 

f. Jesus died on the cross, making a full and satisfactory atonement for man’s sin.  (Matthew 1:16–23; Luke 1:30–31; John 19:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 9:11–12, 10:12–14; 1 Peter 1:17–19; 1 John  2:2). 

g. Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father  as our Intercessor, and shall return in person (bodily and visibly) to this earth as Judge of the living and the dead  (1 Corinthians 15:3–5; Acts 17:31; Ephesians 1:17–23; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 7:25). 

h. The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel  of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge (1 Corinthians 15:3–5). 

i. The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, is Lord and Giver of life, who glorifies our Lord Jesus Christ and  convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 15:26, 16:8–11, 16:14). 

j. The Holy Spirit’s work is necessary for sinners to repent and believe in Jesus Christ through the gospel call  (Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 2:6–14, 12:3; Titus 3:3–7). 

k. The Holy Spirit lives and works in each believer to produce the fruits of righteousness  (John 14:16–17; Acts 1:8, 4:31; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:18–20; Galatians 5:22–23; Ephesians 2:19–22). 

l. The Triune God has revealed himself in Scripture in the male gender with masculine pronouns and masculine titles  such as Father, Son, God, King, Priest, and Prophet (Psalm 5:2; Matthew 28:19; John 14:26). 


“Everyone loves Jesus, until you define who He is.” – Voddie Baucham 

“if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached” (2 Corinthians 11:4)  


3. Man: Sinful, fallen, and depraved (i.e., the bad news) 

a. The special creation of Adam (the first man) and Eve (the first woman) and their subsequent fall into sin is the  basis for the necessity of salvation for mankind (Genesis 2:7, 2:17, 2:22–23, 3:6–20; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:45–49). 

b. Human death (both physical and spiritual) as well as all animal death, disease, bloodshed, suffering, extinction,  thorns and thistles, and all other natural evils (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.) entered this world  subsequent to, and as a direct consequence of, man’s sin (Genesis 2:16–17, 3:8, 3:19, 4:4–8; Romans 5:12, 8:20–22; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22). 

c. All mankind are sinners, inherently from Adam and individually (by choice), and are therefore subject to God’s  wrath and condemnation (1 Kings 8:46; Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 116:11; Proverbs 16:5; John 3:16–18, 12:48; Romans 3:23). 

d. Since all of mankind is made in God’s image and also fallen, all humans are equally sinful, equally deserving of  eternal punishment, and equally able to receive salvation in Christ  (Isaiah 53:6; John 12:32; Romans 3:23, 5:12; 2 Peter 3:9). 


4. Salvation: by grace through faith in life, death, & bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (i.e., the Gospel, Good News) 

a. The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the gospel of Jesus Christ  (John 1:1–3, 1:14–18; Colossians 1:13–20). 

b. Freedom from the penalty and power of sin is available to man only through the  sacrificial death and shed blood of Jesus Christ and his complete and bodily resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:39; John 8:12, 8:36, 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:3–6; 1 Peter 1:3). 

c. Salvation is by God’s grace alone, a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8–9; Titus 3:3–7). 

d. The one who is born of God has repented, recognized the death of Christ as full  payment for sin, and received the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God (John 1:12–13; Acts 3:19, 16:31, 17:30–31, 20:21; Galatians 2:20–21; 1 John 3:9). 


The above essentials taken from parts of Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith.

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