Monday, 30 November 2009


We are faced, then, with the question, are Christians running away from history? Before beginning to examine it, we must be clear that this is an absolutely crucial matter. Confucianism could survive even if it were proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Confucius never lived. It is his teaching that is important, not himself. The same is true, more or less, of all the great world religions apart from Judaism and Christianity: history is not important to them.

But with Christianity it is vital. For Christianity is not an ethical system which could be maintained regardless of whether Christ ever lived or not. No, it is basically good news about a unique historical person; someone who was born a mere generation before the evangelists wrote and was executed under the Roman procurator of Judaea, Pontius Pilate. He claimed to embody God's final self-disclosure to men. He backed up that claim by his matchless teaching, the moral miracle of his sinless life, and his well-substantiated resurrection from the grave.

Such, in brief, is the Christian story. There is nothing like it in the religions of the world. It has indeed, features in common with the nature worship which underlay so many of the Eastern religions, based as this was on the annual cycle of the birth, maturity, death and resurrection of the year in its four seasons. The ancient Orient had many variations on this theme in the cults of Dionysus, Attis, Isis and Osiris, Cybele and Mithras; but with Christianity there was one fundamental difference. The Christian claim was attached, as none of these others was, to a recent historical figure, one known personally to some of the writers of the New Testament documents. This is what makes the Christian claim so stark and so challenging. It is all about the Jesus of history. Remove him from Christianity and nothing distinctive is left. Once disprove the historicity of Jesus Christ, and Christianity will collapse like a pack of cards. For it all depends on this fundamental conviction, that God was made manifest in human flesh. And that is a matter not of ideology or mythology but history. How well founded is this Christian claim?

Sunday, 22 November 2009


If you mean to come to terms honestly with that question, may I make two suggestions? If you are not convinced that Jesus is the Truth, then read a Gospel. Read it slowly, thoughtfully, imaginatively. Ask yourself how you would expect Jesus to speak and act if he was mad, or a deceiver, or, alternatively, if he was what he claimed to be. Read it, think about it, and pray to God to show you if it is true or not. Above all, be prepared to follow Jesus if you are convinced about him. God will not give his light for you to trifle with. Jesus once explained the point in these words, to people who were incredulous about his claims and sceptical about his person: 'If any man's will is to do his (God's) will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority' (John 7: '7).

But many of you who read these words have already got beyond this stage. You need no further convincing about Jesus. You believe about him but you don't know him. And you never will, until you yield your will to him, and ask him to take you and make what he wants of you. Without that decision on your part he will not dream of invading the privacy of your personality. God respects your will even when you exercise it against him. He waits for you to act. He has acted: he made you, he sustains you daily, he died for you, he is willing to come into your very being and share the future with you. He will . . . If you will. Pray to him, perhaps something like this: 'O Lord, I have been running away from you for a long time. I have tried to escape your challenge by going my own way. I admit I am to blame. I am prepared for a new start, from now on sharing my life with you, you who gave your life for me. Please come into my heart and life, as you promised you would.' To say that honestly, and to mean it, is to pass through the gateway into adventurous and immensely rewarding Christian living Dare you do it? Or are you going to take the cowards way out, and continue running away from Christ ?

Saturday, 14 November 2009


In a recent opinion poll, 94 per cent of the people claimed that they believed in a personal God. But how many of them do anything about him? Almost everybody prays to God in moments of danger, bereavement or crisis. But how many bother about him at other times? Very few. There is a widespread retreat from religion going on in the Western world at the present time. Undoubtedly the church is partly to blame for this; it has been defensive, inward-looking, lacking in social concern, cowardly in speaking out about moral issues, and sometimes reluctant to face the truth The church has gone s long way to make Christianity incredible. It is the church, not Jesus Christ, that is the main stumbling-block for ordinary people.

But when all this was said, and it must be said with deep humility by any honest Christian the current drift from Christianity is culpable. A great many people who are all too ready to dismiss religion with a wave of the hand are themselves unwilling to face up to the challenge of Jesus Christ. If Christianity is wrong about our origin or destiny, the purpose and the meaning of life, the value of persons and the secret of living together in community, then get up sad say so! Say it violently, aggressively if you like: but say it after you have personally examined the evidence. Yet this is precisely what so many are apparently too afraid or too lazy to do. On matters of such vital importance they are content to be guided by scraps of information gleaned long ago in the Sunday school, by the latest newspaper attack on the faith, or by the voice and visiting habits of the local clergy!

I am convinced that the modern apathy about Christianity is nothing less than escapism. People are afraid of facing up to the challenge of Christian standards of behaviour and Christian discipleship. Have you noticed how people avoid sitting next to the man with the dog-collar in a bus or train ? How some of the most militant atheists in a university simply dare not go along to a Christian meeting? How many a working man is literally terrified of being seen entering a church ? Behind all these attitudes lies fear; fear of having to be reminded about the God we would much rather forget; fear of having to let our lives be scrutinized and springcleaned by God; fear of what other people would say if we came out on thc side of Jesus Christ. It is much easier, much more comfortable, to run away.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


The word "apologetics" confuses many into thinking that it refers to some kind of
apologizing. Actually this word is not derived from the English world "apology", but
from the Greek word "apologia", which is a word referring to "making a defense".
Apologetics is a general term, signifying a formal defense of any kind. On the other
hand, Christian Apologetics is that branch of Christian theology that answers the
question "is Christianity believable". Integrated Apologetics stands for the special
approach developed by us in our course material where we integrate the best from
all schools of thought in Christian Apologetics.
In the past four centuries, all kinds of religious and spiritual beliefs have come
under intense attack at the hands of radical philosophers and critics. Of this assault,
the Christian faith has received the major portion because of a number of historical
reasons some of which will be mentioned later.
These criticisms against the Christian faith have received so much media coverage
that even a good number of well informed non Christians are aware of some of the
major charges labeled against the Christian faith. Interestingly, books published
against the Christian faith and sold from secular shops become bestsellers even in
countries where the buyers are not Christians. This is the result of all this adverse
publicity against the Christian faith.
Today all around us there is an atmosphere where criticism of the Bible and related
subjects is widespread. Most of the Christian students have to face these attacks
from other students in some form or other. It is quite common to meet Christian
college-students who are perplexed by questions that are hurled against their faith.
The volley of questions come with such high frequency that they find themselves at
a loss in answering even a portion of them all. Moreover, since most of them never
faced these questions before this assault, they usually do not know what to think
and what to answer. Further, they often fall into the trap of thinking that if they do
not know the answer, then correct or satisfactory answers do not exist.
Once a person erroneously concludes that answers do not exist for the questions
raised against the Bible, his own faith is the next victim. His faith in the inspiration,
authority, and the infallibility of the Scriptures suffer very much. He then finds
himself in a split mentality: he knows that it is these Scriptures which have brought
the message of true salvation to him, but at the same time he does not know what
all things written in this Book are believable !
Apologetics is the solution to this problem. A person who has some background in
the Christian apologetics can help this person to see the answers to the problems
and questions which he is facing. Further, a Christian Apologist can pass on
information to the doubting person, using which he can better face the people who
raise questions against the Bible.
The last four to five centuries have been a time in history when anti Christian
philosophies and thought patterns have flourished to the full extent in Christian
societies. Humanism, a philosophy in which man has been elevated to the position
of God, is the philosophy of the present times. It is the foundation of almost all the
present-day ways of thinking and education. Therefore, students who have been
brought up in any of the present day schools or colleges learns many things which
are contrary to the Word of God. By the time a person passes out of his college, he
accumulates hundreds of such ideas against the Christian faith.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Bible And Science

Before taking up any discussion on Bible and Science, it must be understood very clearly that Bible was NOT written primarily to serve as a textbook of science. Rather, it was written mainly to communicate divine truths to the common man, and hence the language is popular and not technical in style. However, since it is a communication inspired by God, and since God is all-knowing, nothing written in the original autographs can go contrary to the facts of any discipline of science.
Every age has its popular theories and fads, and many of them seem to contradict some statement or other of the Bible. However, we must remember that the popularity of a theory has nothing to do with its scientific accuracy or merit. Therefore if any theory seems to contradict any portion of Bible, it is better to wait till more facts come to light.
In relation to the discussion of Bible and Science, the history of Christianity shows two major types of errors. First, some people who do not have a proper perspective about scientific theories immediately try to harmonize each and every currently popular theory with the Bible, sometimes in every minute detail. Sooner or later that popular theory is discarded by the scientific community, making that "harmonization" laughable.
The second major error is to reject those biblical passage that seem to be in conflict with a scientific theory. People who do this are only exhibiting their ignorance of history which has time and again shown that it was our knowledge, not the Bible, that was in error at a given point.
An examination of the repeated controversies will demonstrate immediately that there is a curious prejudice in the human hearts against the Bible. If a scientist makes a statement, it is generally accepted with awe even if there is insufficient data to support his statement. On the other hand if the Bible makes a similar statement, it is looked upon with suspicion even if there are enough facts to support it. Such a prejudice is surprising because many of the theories and assumptions expressed by scientists are highly unstable and are often based upon incomplete knowledge. The reason for this peculiar behaviour is obvious : the world is in revolt against God, and it will therefore accept anything which negates God's existence and actions. It is no wonder that men are hasty to play up each and every new scientific theory against the Bible.

Monday, 2 November 2009


ne of the most basic, and most fundamental, issues that can be considered by the human
mind is the question, “Does God exist?” In the field of logic, there are principles—or as they
are called more often, laws—that govern human thought processes and that are accepted as
analytically true. One of these is the law of the excluded middle. When applied to objects, this law states
that an object cannot both possess and not possess a certain trait or characteristic at the same time and in
the same fashion. When applied to propositions, this law states that all precisely stated propositions are
either true or false; they cannot be both true and false at the same time and in the same fashion.
The statement, “God exists,” is a precisely stated proposition. Thus, it is either true or false. The
simple fact is, either God exists or He does not. There is no middle ground. One cannot affirm logically
both the existence and nonexistence of God. The atheist boldly states that God does not exist; the theist
affirms just as boldly that God does exist; the agnostic laments that there is not enough evidence to make
a decision on the matter; and the skeptic doubts that God’s existence can be proven with certainty. Who is
correct? Does God exist or not? The only way to answer this question, of course, is to seek out and examine
the evidence. It is certainly reasonable to suggest that if there is a God, He would make available to
us evidence adequate to the task of establishing His existence. But does such evidence exist? And if it
does, what is the nature of that evidence?
The theist advocates the view that evidence is available to prove conclusively that God does exist,
and that this evidence is adequate to establish beyond reasonable doubt the existence of God. However,
when we employ the word “prove,” we do not mean that God’s existence can be demonstrated scientifically
in the same fashion that one might prove that a sack of potatoes weighs ten pounds, or that a human
heart has four distinct chambers within it. Such matters as the weight of a sack of vegetables, or the divisions
within a muscle, are matters that may be verified empirically using the five senses. While empirical
evidence often is quite useful in establishing the validity of a case, it is not the sole means of arriving at
proof. For example, legal authorities recognize the validity of a prima facie case, which is acknowledged
to exist when adequate evidence is available to establish the presumption of a fact that, unless such fact
can be refuted, legally stands proven. It is the contention of the theist that there is a vast body of evidence
that makes an impregnable prima facie case for the existence of God—a case that simply cannot be refuted.
We would like to present here the prima facie case for the existence of God, and a portion of the
evidence upon which that case is based.

Saturday, 31 October 2009


here are two extremes that must be avoided, whether in a study and presentation of Christian
apologetics or in a Christian’s daily life: the use of reason alone; and the use of revelation
alone. In practical terms, this is not a situation of “either/or” but “both/and.” The
proper relationship should be that of reason and revelation. Though many religionists posit some sort of
separation between faith and reason, I argue that such is not the case. Faith and reason are to be distinguished,
but never separated. To illustrate this, consider the relationship of the mind and body. The body
is not the mind, nor is the mind the body. Yet they are inseparably joined in this present mode of existence.
Therefore, the mind and the body can be, and ought to be, distinguished, but not separated. In a
similar way, faith and reason are distinct, but not separate. Both are essential to Christianity, though each
must function within its proper sphere. Faith is primarily an act of both the intellect and the will, whereas
reason is essentially an act of the intellect.
The word family of pistis and pisteuo in Scripture is related to the term peitho. These three words are
used 244, 248, and 55 times, respectively, in the Bible. The verb pisteuo primarily has reference to the act
of faith, while the noun form more clearly depicts what faith means. Liddell and Scott define the noun as
follows: “a means of persuasion, an argument, proof ” (1869, pp. 1272-1273). Peitho, in the active voice,
means “to be fully persuaded, believe, trust: of things, to be believed” (1869, p. 1220). At the very least,
the terms imply a prior understanding (i.e., knowledge) of what is to be believed or trusted. In other
words, faith is based upon a foundation of knowledge. Moreover, faith can lead to a greater expression of
Faith is used in Scripture in a general way to refer to those things both supernaturally and naturally
revealed by God (cf. Hebrews 11:1,3,6, Psalm 19:1-14, Romans 1:18-22, and 10:9-17). Scripture records
at least seven different ways in which the term “faith” is used, five of which (the first five in my listing)
play an indispensable role in man’s salvation. First, faith is used to designate “belief ” (John l2:42; Hebrews
11:6). Second, faith sometimes means “trust” (John 14:1; Romans 4:17-20; Luke 7). Third, faith
often refers to “obedience” (Numbers 20:12; John 3:36, ASV; Hebrews 10:39; Romans 1:5,8; 16:25-26).
Fourth, faith frequently refers to steadfastness, loyalty, or “faithfulness” (Habakkuk 2:4; Galatians 3:9;
Hebrews 10: 23,38; Revelation 2:10). Fifth, the word is used objectively to refer to the content of faith,
hence, “the faith” (Romans 10:9; Jude 3; Galatians 1:11,23). Sixth, at times faith is used of strong personal
conviction (Romans 14:2,23). Seventh, faith also is used on occasion to speak of a spiritual gift (1
Corinthians 12:8-9; Matthew 17:20, 1 Corinthians 13:2). While faith sometimes is contrasted with sight
(2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:1; cf. John 20:29 for an exception), doubt (James 1:6; cf. also Matthew
14:3 and 21:21), and deeds of the law (Romans 3:28; Galatians 3:2-5), it never is contrasted with knowledge
so as to imply a separation.
In John’s Gospel, pisteuo with the dative is employed frequently (John 2:22; 5:46; 8:31-47). With
regard to the nature, mission, and role of Jesus, John utilized pisteuo with a hoti clause, as in John 8:24
(“be convinced that I am”), John 20:31 (“be convinced that Jesus is the Christ”), as well as several other
passages (see John 13:19, 14:11, and 17:8). Pistis (belief) here is close to gnosis (knowledge), as in John
6:69: “...we have believed and have known that you are the holy one of God.” Both faith and knowledge
are concerned with the fact that the Father sent Jesus (faith—John 11:42; 17:8,21; knowledge—John
17:3). Both faith (John 16:27-30) and knowledge (John 7:17) realize that He and His teaching are from
the Father. If knowledge relates to the truth (John 8:32), faith relates no less to Him who is the Truth
(John 14:1,6). The fact that He is the Christ is an object of faith (John 11:27; 20:31), but it is also an object
of both faith and knowledge together (John 6:69).
Scripture refers to itself as having been written to produce both faith (John 20:30-31) and knowledge
(1 John 5:13). Furthermore, there are numerous passages in which faith and knowledge materially pertain
to the same object at the same time and under the same aspect (see 1 Timothy 4:3, 2 Timothy 1:12,
4:42, 6:69, 17:8, 1 John 4:6,16, and 5:13). Moreover, the apostles used a variety of types of evidence to
lead men to a commitment to Christ. For instance, in Acts 2:14-40, Peter used eyewitness testimony (see
John 4:39), the miracles of Christ (see John 20:30-31), and predictive prophecy (see Isaiah 41:21ff.). Indirect
credible testimony is also a predominant line of evidence leading to faith (see Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:3,
2.36, 9:22, and 13:38). Thus, faith often is portrayed biblically as knowledge based upon testimony.
Though this issue will be addressed more thoroughly later in this study, I already have said enough
to advance the following thesis: Any concept of faith that severs it from its objective, epistemological
base (foundation of knowledge) is at variance with biblical teaching. Biblically speaking, one does not
believe that God is (or any other item to be accepted “by faith”): (1) against the evidence; (2) without evidence;
or (3) beyond the evidence. Rather, one believes on the basis of evidence sufficient to establish the
conclusion (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Isaiah 41:21).
Biblical faith is built upon a prior understanding (knowledge) of what is to be believed. Information
regarding “saving faith” (i.e., what one must do to be saved) comes only from special revelation (i.e.,
Scripture—Romans 10:17; John 6:44-45). But there is another type of faith that is derived from general
revelation (i.e., nature—Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:19-22; Hebrews 11:3,6; et al.). Later in this book, when
I speak of proving the existence of God, I shall be speaking primarily about this second type of faith. I
hope to make clear that such a faith is built and based upon evidence—that is, it is “rational belief.” I intend
to make clear that I am opposed to every notion of faith that is irrational.
I cannot survey in this limited space the various words from the Greek text translated “know” in the
Scriptures (there are several). I will, however, examine numerous ways of coming to knowledge as revealed
in the Bible. In short, I will be examining the types of evidence that can be used to prove one’s
case. I argue that the term “proof ” cannot be limited to what is seen, felt, heard, tasted, or smelled (i.e.,
concerning only empirical evidence). What, then, are legitimate means of coming to knowledge?
1. There is induction, which is simply a “gathering together” of available evidence.
2. There is deduction (Scripture abounds with examples), which is the marshaling of evidence in
such a way that conclusive results can be obtained (see Mark 3:4, et al.).
3. There is the use of empirical data (see Luke 12:54-56), which is simply a direct experiencing of
an object (for instance, a door) or an event (such as the weather outside).
4. There is credible testimony (see John 20:25-31, 1 Peter 1:8-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, et al.),
which is testimony from witnesses who either are known to be trustworthy, or whose testimony cannot be
justifiably doubted.
5. There is intuition (see Matthew 12:24-28), which must be distinguished from a mere hunch or
guess (the usual modern understanding of this word). By intuition, I mean a knowledge that does not depend
in any way on sense perception or empirical experience. It is evident immediately, even though it
may require some effort to grasp. The passage alluded to above is an example in Scripture of such. It is
intuitively absurd to suppose that Jesus would cast out Satan’s coworkers by using Satanic power. Other
examples include the metaphysical principle of non-contradiction (“a thing cannot both exist and not
exist at the same time and in the same sense”), and the logical law of contradiction (derived from the
metaphysical principle) which states that “contradictory statements cannot both be true.” These principles
are known immediately and with absolute certainty. Any attempt to deny them, in fact, presupposes them
(i.e., if you deny either principle, then your denial is either true or false; it cannot be both true and false).
And this knowledge does not depend upon even a single empirical observation. For instance, these principles
hold true for the Universe as a whole, and even for God Himself. I know with certainty that God cannot
both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same sense. He either exists or He does not. Empirical
observation is worthless here. Yet this is a legitimate pathway to knowledge.
6. There is metaphysical deduction, a term that I have coined to refer to a deduction made from
things that can be observed to things that potentially may never be seen (see Luke 17: 20-21 and Hebrews
11:3). Robinson Crusoe (so the story goes) was marooned on an island. While walking on a beach, he discovered
a footprint in the sand that clearly was not his own. He deduced accurately: (1) that there was
another being on the island; and (2) that this other being was a human being. If he had never seen “Fri-
4 -
day” face to face, the certainty of his knowledge nevertheless was not jeopardized. This same concept
relates to the arguments for God’s existence. God has left His “footprints,” as it were, throughout the
Universe (note Acts 14:17: “Yet he left not himself without witness...”). Naturally, each person is responsible
for reasoning properly and for drawing correct conclusions from the available evidence (Romans
1:19-22; Psalm 19:1-6; Hebrews 3:4; et al.).
There is nothing, in or out of Scripture, to suggest that only one of these ways of arriving at truth results
in “proof,” while every other means is denied such a status. One may prove his case using any, or
all, of these legitimate means of coming to knowledge (so long as the limits of each method are understood).
It has become apparent that many today hold that “knowledge” or “proof ” is restricted to scientific
investigation alone, and that whatever is not “scientific” then is designated as “faith.” Such a dichotomy
accounts for the strange things one reads on the subject of faith and knowledge. One author suggested,
for example: “Scientific knowledge we know, and things seen we know, but faith is the assurance
of what we accept that we do not yet know but are hoping for” (Thomas, 1974, p. 137). This position
agrees with that of philosopher Bertrand Russell, who said: “Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be
attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know” (1935, p. 243).
Such a position is patently false, because it disregards other important means of arriving at a knowledge
of the truth.

Saturday, 24 October 2009



The exact relationship between faith and reason has consistently been a battleground within
Christendom. From near the beginning of Christianity, there have been serious reflections on
this topic. Why then, one may ask, is yet another essay being offered on the subject? I would
like to offer at least three reasons for the present volume.
First, there always is a need for a study of biblical faith. Many of the studies on this subject, I believe,
have ignored important biblical evidence—evidence that will be presented and discussed in this
book. Since ultimately the question is, “What does the Bible teach about faith and reason?,” one must not
divorce his reflections from a biblical foundation. Unfortunately, this has occurred in far too many cases.
Second, there is a need for this study, if for no other reason, because of the increasing prevalence of
agnosticism within the confines of Christendom. Admittedly, this is a serious charge, yet it is one that can
be documented in literally hundreds of cases—some of which will be mentioned in the body of this work.
There are those who simplistically assert, “Where there is knowledge, there is no longer any room for
faith.” Such a statement is a perversion of plain biblical teaching. Still others have surrendered any claim
to a foundation of evidence for faith.
Some years ago, a seminar was conducted in Dallas, Texas, in which a “debate” occurred between
world-renowned atheists and theists trained in the empirical sciences, social sciences, and philosophy.
The philosophy panel was represented by Paul Kurtz, Antony Flew, Wallace I. Matson, and Kai Nielsen
on the atheists’ side, and Alvin Plantinga, W.P. Alston, George Mavrodes, and Ralph McInerny on the
theists’ side. The theists were to defend God’s existence against the challenge of the atheists. I listened in
shocked amazement as theists Plantinga and Alston actually urged rejection of the law of rationality,
which states that “one should draw only such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence” (cf. 1 Thessalonians
5:21 and Isaiah 41:21). The astonishing thing was that these men spent an inordinate amount of
time giving evidence for their conclusion that one should reject the law of rationality—a position that is
hopelessly self-contradictory. They “reasoned” that one should reject reason with reference to the question
of God! And this was how they hoped to defend God against the attacks of those who challenged His
existence? Since these men are some of the heavyweights in the academic community, this was disheartening,
to say the least.
Third, of course, there is a need to study and understand biblical faith because of the consistent
challenge to Christianity from the atheistic camp. In his book, Atheism: The Case Against God, George
Smith wrote: “The conflict between Christian theism and atheism is fundamentally a conflict between
faith and reason. This, in epistemological terms, is the essence of the controversy. Reason and faith are
opposites, two mutually exclusive terms: there is no reconciliation or common ground” (1979, p. 5).
Smith summarized his claim by saying: “It is logically impossible to reconcile reason and faith” (p. 101).
At least one of my motives for publishing this treatise is to demonstrate that Smith’s position is completely
false. We are not required to flee into the land of irrationality in order to escape the challenge of
the skeptic. My desire is that the reader will come to this same conclusion through a study of the material
made available in this volume. The conclusions drawn from the various arguments presented here become
our shared responsibility. I am traveling the road of reflection regarding the faith/reason controversy; I
now bid you to accompany me on the journey.

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