Reasonable Faith Perth Overview

 

When: On the first Thursday of the Month 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Where: 260 Bagot Road (Subiaco Church)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReasonableFaithPerth/

 

Reasonable Faith Perth aims to provide in the public arena an intelligent, articulate, and uncompromising yet gracious Christian perspective on the most important issues concerning the truth of the Christian faith today. RF was started by William Lane Craig (https://www.reasonablefaith.org) and has a three-fold mission:

- to provide an articulate, intelligent voice for biblical Christianity in the public arena.

- to challenge unbelievers with the truth of biblical Christianity.

- to train Christians to state and defend Christian truth claims with greater effectiveness.

 

What is Apologetics

  • 1 Pet 3:15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. (NET)

  • ἀπολογία , the act of making a defense (BDAG, 117)

 

What is Christianity?

  • A religion, the faith I was born in, attending church, a list of dos and don’ts, an anti-science belief, submission to God, doing good to earn one’s way into heaven.

  • A relationship, about loving others, about the death and resurrection of Jesus.

 

Why Believe Christianity?

  • I have good reasons to think it is true

  • It is beautiful

  • It makes a difference in my life

 

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hope in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Cor 15:14-19)

 

Reasons for Thinking that Christianity is True?

  1. God’s presence is real in my life

  2. There are good reasons to believe God exists

  3. There is evidence for the resurrection

  4. Bible is historically true

  5. Your best life now and hope forevermore

 

God’s Presence in My Life

  • “The Spirit himself bears witness to/with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom 8:16). Or Heb 10:15-16.

 

Warranted Belief

  • Basic belief – one which is not held on the basis of another belief. It is fundamental.

  • Non-basic beliefs are based on or derived from basic beliefs.

  • A properly basic belief is one that is both basic and is reasonable/justified (doing so would not violate another epistemic belief)

Plantinga, Alvin. Warranted Christian Belief. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/plantinga/warrant3.html

 

Evidence that God Exists

 

WLC’s Cosmological Argument

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

  2. The universe began to exist.

  3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

Video: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/kalam

 

Teleological Argument video

  1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.

  2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

  3. Therefore, it is due to design.

Video: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/finetuning

 

Moral Argument

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

  2. Objective moral values exist.

  3. Therefore God exists             

Video: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/moral

 

Ontological Argument

  1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

  2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

  3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

  4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

  5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

  6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

 

The Resurrection of Jesus

  1. Jesus Death

  2. Burial

  3. Discovery of the Empty Tomb

  4. Appearances

 

Death

  • Jesus was whipped, speared through the side and died on the cross

  • Tacitus the Roman historian who did not believe in Jesus, never the less wrote in early second century that Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate.

 

Burial

  • Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish council called the Sanhedrin. His tomb was in a known place (Matt 27:57-58; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50-52; John 19:38).

 

The Empty Tomb

  • The tomb was discovered empty by women who in first century Jewish culture were not considered reliable witnesses - as such, this was an embarrassing fact unless it was actually true.

 

Appearances

  • Jesus appeared alive three days later over a period of forty days, in various locations, ate food and was seen by over 500, including skeptics such as 'doubting' Thomas, to enemies like Saul of Taurus (1 Cor 15:3-8; Mark 16:1-8; Matt 28, Luke 24; John 20-21).

  • The disciples believed that God had raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 13:28-31).

 

 

The Bible is Historically Accurate

  • A reliable account of the world and corresponds to reality.

  • Some archaeological support.

 

 

Abundant Life Now and Forever

  • God as the maximally perfect being is the great person to have a relationship with.

  • There is a joy in Christ that surpasses understanding.

  • Christianity is not about rules, but just like, when you are in a relationship, cheating is not the best idea, so there are better things to do as a believer.

  • There is hope that life does not end at the grave

 

We are Restless until We Find Our Rest in God

  • If I find in myself a desire, which nothing in this world can satisfy, then the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

 

Stand Firm

  • Church

  • Pray

  • Read your Bible

  • Tell others

 

Defeaters

  • What objections are there that would indicate that despite being sincere, Christianity is wrong?

 

Pluralism

  • The view that there is no privileged religious perspective – all* religious traditions are equally legitimate.

  • This is itself a privileged perspective to be able to say that.

 

What about Other Worldviews and Religions?

  • Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, Confucianism, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses…

 

 

 

Isn’t Everything Relative

  • The view that there is no objective/absolute truth – true for everyone, everywhere, everywhen.

  • The phrase “Everything is relative” is itself an absolute statement.

 

  • https://carm.org/relativism

  • Beckwith, Francis and Gregory Koukl. Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998.

  • Copan, Paul. True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers, 2009.

 

What About Science?

  • The idea that we can depend on the future to be orderly grows out of a Christian worldview. As such science is one of many avenues to learning.

  • It is wrong to say science can explain everything or that we can only trust scientific discoveries.

 

  • Young Earth position: http://creation.com/ (macroevolution –no, big bang and cosmic evolution – no)

  • Progressive Creationist (old earth): http://www.reasons.org/ (macroevolution –no, big bang and cosmic evolution – yes)

  • Theistic evolution position: http://biologos.org/ (macroevolution –yes, big bang and cosmic evolution – yes)

 

What About Evil?

  • When you say there’s such a thing as evil you’re assuming there’s such a thing as good. When you say there’s such a thing as good you’re assuming there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But when you say there’s such a thing as a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver. (Ravi Zacharias)

 

  • Plantinga, Alvin C. God, Freedom, and Evil. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974.

  • Dew, James K Jr. and Chad Mister. God and Evil: The Case for God in a World Filled with Pain. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2012. 360 pages.

 

© 2015-2019 by Reasonable Faith Perth.

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