An Apologetics Apology
(Available in pdf http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/theology/apologetics.pdf )
ADVANCED STUDY IN APOLOGETICS BI702
A Written Report Presented to the Faculty
of Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies
Table of Contents
Apologetics is the formal defense of the truth of Christian doctrine. In the dictionary it has two, more formal, definitions: “1. The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines,” and “2. Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system.” The word is from the Greek, apolo getikos, meaning suitable for defense. As far as definitions and etymology can go, these do not take us very deep into the art of apologetics. A definition of painting would not take us deep into the art form of Rembrandt, and this work is intent on exploring the depth of apologetics as an art.
At the onset of this study of apologetics it needs to be stated that formal arguments do not convince naysayers. God has declared that the foolishness of preaching, and the power of the Word (1Cor 1:18-211, Heb 4:122) is what the Holy Ghost uses to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). In considering the ineffectiveness of formal argument against nay-sayers the Prophet Isaiah says “Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD” (Isa 26:10), and Solomon, the wisest of men, concedes that “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him” (Prov 27:22).(As a school teacher and college professor I love the mortar and pestle analysis, but find that it often needs a little development. Some of this generation do not even know what a mortar and pestle are!) Even the Psalmist declares the lack of effectiveness of apologetics, he writes:
Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. (Psalm 10:1-7)
The Psalmist continues most eloquently to detail that the wicked will not be convinced by the righteous. At whom then is an apologetic to be aimed? What is the purpose of apologetics? What possible value can apologetics add to the Christians world? One of the earliest advancements of Christian apologetics might begin to answer these questions.
In the second and third centuries the Roman empire was actively persecuting Christians. One of the uglier slanders against Christians, a slander that rapidly spread throughout the empire, was that Christians practiced cannibalism. As slander often is, this lie was seeded in a truth; Christians do have an ordinance whereby they symbolically partake of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The art of apologetics was largely crafted during this period and its purpose was to set the malady about cannibalism to rest. Notice three important aspects in this newly formed craft of apologetics, the overall purpose, the specific strategies and then the target audience for the defense of Christian doctrine. The purpose was not to teach Christian doctrine to the Roman Empire. It has been established that the wicked will not learn righteousness from the formal arguments of the righteous. The purpose was to curb the general populous from a brazen misnomer about a Christian doctrine.
It is important to keep in mind the overall purpose of apologetics. A fanatic is someone who doubles his efforts when he has lost sight of his purpose. The purpose of apologetics is not to convince naysayers, nor to rebuke their efforts to nay say, mock, or scorn. The purpose of apologetics is to defeat the effects of malicious misinformation, so that individual soul winning efforts might gain a more receptive audience. Consider again the first apologetic effort and its purpose. Wherever the gospel of Jesus Christ was being preached in the Roman Empire, it was confronted by a majority which had heard that this new sect of religion was practicing cannibalism. The revolting nature of such an idea caused that a majority of people would not even give the gospel message audience. The purpose of the first exercise in apologetics was to confront and defeat this widespread misinformation.
In Jesus’ parable of the sower consider the plight of “wayside soil”. “And when he sowed, some of the seed fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up” (Matt 13:4). Of this illustration Jesus explained, “When one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside” (Matt 13:19). In defeating an ugly rumor and getting ahead of some untoward information apologetics will not dismiss all misunderstanding. There will always be wayside soil. Apologetics’ purpose is to make it the “wayside” less traveled.
To accomplish this purpose there needs to be some achievable strategies. A first strategy in defeating the ugly cannibalism rumor was organizing a defense for the truth. A thorough discourse on the doctrine of communion would have little or no effect on the larger misinformation. Such a discourse might be useful for keeping believers on the same page about the doctrine, but it would not reach very far into the mislead world. A defensive argument cannot be to deep, and it can not be to shallow.
While babysitting two nephews I timed an ongoing argument in the back seat of our car. For a half hour Tony said, “Is too!” And his brother Josh answered, “Is not!” “Is to… Is not… Is to… Is not…” This type of standoff is encountered all to often in immature apologetics. It occurs when the defense does not have sufficient depth and has not given proper consideration of the purpose. Structuring an apologetic defense requires some premeditated strategy.
The strategy of the first apologetic exercise was to consider who, what, when, where, and why for the misinformation. Who was swallowing this lie, what was the lie, when was the lie brought to bear, where did the lie find a root of truth, and why was this lie so powerful. Captured in a sentence the defense stated, “The idea that Christianity has some connection to cannibalism was misinformation; it started because the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ was indeed substituted for man’s sin debt.” Such a leading sentence would certainly benefit from added dialogue, but it sets the stage for a serious consideration that there is misinformation afoot, where it came from, and what the important truth actually entails? It does not delve into the whole doctrine of communion, but as a dialog continues the importance of the body and the blood have been staged for additional conversation. Such a topic sentence also has sufficient depth to avoid a “Is not… Is to…” level of contention. It addresses where the misinformation originated. It also makes the rumor past tense, and old news. These components are necessary in an apologetic which frames a strategic defense of truth. A well thought out apologetic has upfront considerations for accomplishing the purpose. First, the big picture and the overall purpose need a proper wording. Then, just the right information needs to be orchestrated. It needs only to break up the slander. It has a strategy which is carefully crafted.
A third consideration for accomplishing the purpose has to do with disseminating the defense. The very best dissemination tool is to put the right information into the hands of those who are disseminating the gospel message. Recall that the misinformation has a global and diabolical aim for preventing the gospel message from taking root. Don’t look for a conspiracy when incompetence is an adequate answer, but for a Christian, never forget that we wrestle not with flesh and blood. Satan is in the business of making wayside soil where the gospel message might never take root. Man’s own iniquity makes fertile soul for Satan’s efforts. (Excuse the double soil pun, there might be two much dirt in that analogy.) Consider that those on the front lines of getting the gospel to every creature need to be equip with a wise and thought out strategy of the apologetic. There are no better soldiers for truth than the soul winner on the front lines. For the first apologetic exercise, Christians equip with the apologetic strategy carried the banner of truth into the Roman Empire.
To get ahead of an ugly rumor you cannot come up behind it. Disseminating the truth to the masses may appear easier today than it was in the second century after Christ. No internet, radio, billboards or TV Evangelists were available in A.D. 300. And it is not like they could publish a formal defense in the Roman Times or Corinth Gazette. They could not put up billboards along the Appian Way3 The tool box may have differed, but the problem was the same; Satan had equal access to all the communication tools. Not only so, but man’s iniquity, the very nature which bends man away from Jesus Christ, away from truth, away from life, always lands on Satan’s side in this battle. The strategy here is to use every tool available, in the power of the Holy Ghost, and the strategy of a good apologetic.
When an apologetic has a described purpose and defined strategies, it is still important to articulate the target audience. The scoffer who is fueling the slander is not the main target. He is not exempt from the truth, God can use truth to bring him to belief, but he is not the main target. It helps to remember that there is a larger audience, one that has been swayed by the misinformation, but are not necessarily propagators of it.
An important tool for preachers, teachers, and other communicators is to keep their target audience in view. An apologetic is no different; it must always play to its larger audience. For an apologetic that larger audience is twofold. The general public who have not yet fully made up their minds, and the Christian audience who have fully made up their minds. The Christian needs to hear and learn the strategy of the approach. They – not the TV/Radio, they – not the world wide web, will be the major force in disseminating the truth; God said so. (1Cor 1:18-21, Heb 4:12)
The general public needs to comprehend just enough of the truth to cast a doubt on what the libelous lie is. They need to realize that there is a reasonable explanation about where the lie originated, and that there is an underlying reality which needs to be researched. With that much done, when the gospel message comes knocking on their door, they might have enough curiosity to hear its message. For this audience an apologetic is breaking up wayside soil. In doing that, you may still end up with rocky soil, or thorny soil, but some might be the good soil that God can change forever.
Targeting these two audiences, and not focusing on the nay saying scorner, does not preclude that the nay saying scorner might be reached. With God all things are possible, but that must be left to God and He does not rely on our power of persuasion or our expert defenses; Praise the Lord. The apologetic argument is designed to break up wayside soil. It is the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which changes hearts. Converts who have only bowed to our logic are our converts and not his. They will go back to their original way of thinking when we leave the scene. Only His converts hang around to the end.
The real craft of apologetics then, comes in recognizing these three aspects, 1) its purpose, 2) its strategies and 3) its target audience. The first formal apologetic gave good illustration of these important aspects. In this work apologetics will be systematically examined for such a structure. The structure of C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel and Ken Ham will be framed and explored. And then a brand new structure will be developed to defeat the malicious, heretical teachings of Gerry Beauchemin’s book “Hope Beyond Hell.” This is thus a systematic analysis of Apologetics, and as such is meant as a training tool of Bible believers.
A word needs to be said about the C.S. Lewis Society of Apologetics. Their charter states “We explore and explain the riches of the truth of Christianity, and we engage both skeptics and believers in carefully assessing the evidence that points to Christ as our Creator and Redeemer.”4 Their Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry includes this clarification, “Apologetics is the branch of Christianity that deals with the defense and establishment of the Christian faith. Christian Apologetics is something every true believer should be involved in even if it is only a little. …’But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence,’ (1 Peter 3:15).”5 The ministry of C.S. Lewis resulted in some remarkable insights about apologetics, and this organization can provide a rich source for insight to this art.
This report is not an apologetic but a systematic analysis of apologetics. It will analyze three perspectives considering 1) the defense of Christian truths from the the atheists, skeptics and agnostics, 2) the defense of Christian truths from scientists and evolutionists, and, curiously, 3) the defense of Christians truths from mislead Christendom. First under our microscope is “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis6, and “The Case for Christ”, by Lee Strobel7 These are structured as published apologetics. This effort also analyzes a harsh critique of Strobel’s book written by Jeffery J. Lowder, writing for infidels.org. Some of the infidel’s arguments are useful in order to, “advance a basic understanding of the major objections to and arguments against the reality of the Christian gospel and provide compelling refutations to those objections.”8
A second perspective to this review of apologetics will be found in exploring the Feb 2014 debate between Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Bill Nye9 the science guy. Make no mistake this debate was a published apologetic. Its purpose was not to convert Bill Nye the science guy, the mocker and opposer to God’s creation account. Its purpose was to curb the general populous from a brazen misnomers about Christian doctrine. Evaluation of this debate and its aftermath will provide an excellent contemporary insight into the art of apologetics.
The third perspective to this systematic review of apologetics might be stretching the envelope a little bit. In this perspective the report will frame an apologetic, to counter heresy. The target audience in this instance is not the general populous, but a deceived Christian populous. The microscope here focuses on the 2006 publication “Hope Beyond Hell, The Righteous Purpose of God’s Judgment”10 by Gerry Beauchemin. The heresy which Beauchemin published to the larger Christian community, is slander which needs to be corrected, but here the larger deception will be examined, a deception about the Christian’s final authority. The framework of such an apologetic will be constructed from what is learned in exploring Lee Strobel’s and Ken Ham’s previous endeavors. Let us begin by exploring the apologetic effort of Lee Strobel.
“The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel is a remarkable documentation of a Chicago Tribune reporter’s twenty-one month investigation into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its basis is that a thorough and unbiased investigation of the case for Christ will produce a solid foundation for the Christian faith. Its target audience is the agnostic and skeptic. This was a well documented investigation and its presentation and style make an intriguing, readable book. The larger context of the book is to be weighed as an apologetic. Recall that an apologetic has a defined purpose, strategy, and audience. Here Stroble’s work will be evaluated as an apologetic with this larger context.
One cannot analyze the case for Christ without recalling C.S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity” which makes the case for Christianity. It became a staple for classic apologetics. Thus It will be helpful to keep both of these works in view as their apologetic effectiveness is analyzed. The approach that these two men took could not have been more diverse. At the onset it was established in our effort, that a systematic apologetic should have a purpose, strategies, and a target audience. In making an overview of both “The Case for Christ,” and “The Case for Christianity” (“Mere Christianity”), one can describe both C.S. Lewis’ and Lee Strobel’s larger purpose.
The slight shift in title, from “The Case for Christianity,” to “The Case for Christ,” gives an indication of the significant change in the two strategies. C.S. Lewis is coming from the background of an atheist and detailing what brought him to Christianity. Lee Strobel is coming from the background of an agnostic11 and detailing what brought him to Christ. C.S. Lewis uses a moral strategy exclusively, and Lee Strobel uses a credibility strategy exclusively. As it turns out these two apologetics, with seemingly similar directions, could not be more diverse. In that regard we might expect a diverse purpose.
In the case for Christ, the purpose seems related to establishing the credibility of Scripture. In the case for Christianity the purpose seems related to establishing the moral need of man. C.S. Lewis lived in a 1940s world where atheism was considered intellectual, and “science-so-called” had disproved the existence of a Creator, they supposed. But intellectual atheism was in crisis. Adolf Hitler had shocked the world by using evolutionary theory to promote his own survival of the fittest campaign. In an astounding display of amoral behavior he took it on himself to annihilate the inferior species found in humanity. Such brazenly immoral actions manifest the amoral stance of atheism. World opinion was poised to back away from the amoral folly in evolution’s theory as well as atheism’s embarrassing exposure. C.S. Lewis walked a path from the embarrassment, and his book, “Mere Christianity,” put up the road signs which makes this, for the professed atheist, a well traveled highway.
When C.S. Lewis, as an avowed outspoken atheist, stepped back to look at his dilemma, he examined the morality of Christianity. When he came to Christ, he broadcast his reasons in a weekly BBC radio broadcast. His theme, “The Case for Christianity”, was published as “Broadcast Talks” which was later titled “Mere Christianity”. But it was a natural outcome of his conversion and the radio broadcasts.
Lee Strobel, on the other hand, lived in a 1990s world where atheism was recovered and agnosticism ruled the mind of man. In that world the scholarly Bible critic had proven, in the infidels mind, that the Bible was just a man made book. Every Bible Society that could secure a copyright was lining up at the bank. When Lee Strobel, a life long skeptic and professed atheist, now endowed with investigative reporter skills, came to Christ, he documents his reasoning in “The Case for Christ.”
Notice that neither C.S. Lewis or Lee Strobel set out to form a systematic apologetic per se. With their works in view one can, however, back the purpose of each apologetic from the strategy which they used. “Mere Christianity” is predominantly targeting the educated atheist. It uses moral argument presented very logically and convincingly to develop a solid basis for theism and the Christian faith. It is a relatively easy read at only 100 pages. As an apologetic, then, it has a purpose to show the logical flaws of atheism and the logical strengths of theism and Christianity.
As a purpose this is reasonably general. The moral dilemma and path breaking scenario just examined should not be used to make the purpose more specific. The strategies my be specific, but the purpose of an apologetic is to be large enough to allow room for several strategies. The amoral atheism and the trail blazing logic of Lewis is weighed to make sure the purpose is large enough and general enough to capture the whole apologetic.
Keep in mind that the purpose of apologetics is not so much to present the life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is to bring a listener to a place where he might hear it. It is a tool to break up wayside soil. In this instance atheism’s amorality had collided with man’s depravity and the wayside soil was already breaking into clumps.
The purpose of apologetics at this point was to construct a defense of Christianity which would display it as the logical alternative. By following his own path from philosophical crisis to Christ, C.S. Lewis worded that defense in “Mere Christianity.” The worded purpose as stated seems reasonably balanced to capture this apologetic.
“The Case for Christ”, by Lee Strobel, is predominantly targeting the educated skeptic. It uses a seasoned journalist’s approach to examine the credibility of the accounts for the Christ of the Bible. It is an intriguing read as Strobel interweaves criminal investigative methods into the evidence for the Christ. As an apologetic it has a general purpose to show the flaws of Biblical criticism and defend the credibility of the evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God.
In his circumstance Lee Strobel saw the Bible under attack from every conceivable direction. The popular opinion of the world was that the Bible is a man made book. It, they say, is all myth and fiction telling what ancient, still evolving cavemen, contrived about God. Even Christendom, being the conglomeration of all Catholic and Protestant denominations, considered that the “Church Fathers” had developed and assembled the Bible from multiple sources. They are certain that there are numerous errors and corrections. There were, they said, no two versions which agreed. Ergo, they say, “Nobody knows exactly what the Bible originally said!”
This plight of the Christian faith was more widespread and more diverse and ingrained than the pointed moral dilemma of atheism confronted by C.S. Lewis. It was also not brought to focus by any crisis. Indeed quite the opposite, the ugly rumor was being propagated and swallowed by all of Christendom itself. One Bible Society after another was seeking a new copyright, and promising to take Egyptian manuscripts from Alexandria and solve God’s dilemma. They were in competition for the copyright of the next “Holy Bible”, which would publish, in English, what they thought God meant to say. Theirs, they thought, would take us back to a fidelity found only in the original manuscripts. Each version, however, had to be ecumenical, i.e. accepted by a majority of denominations. This flood of ecumenical copyright Bibles compounded the problem and world opinion grew more staunch, “Nobody really knows what the Bible says.” Even Christendom was rehearsing the line, “Well that is just your interpretation.”
Faced with this situation and having reviewed Lee Strobel’s attempt to remedy the dilemma, there are a couple items to be revisited in Christian apologetics. Apologetics, by definition is the formal defense of the Christian faith. In the heart of man there is a declaration, rarely said out loud, which says, “God has a problem and I am going to fix it.” Consider, for example, Sarai’s effort to solve God’s problems, and the origins of Ishmael. This noble declaration is common in apologetics, and it causes that systematic errors are equally common. Often these are working FOR God, instead of working for God, as it were.
A common systematic error in apologetics, when working FOR God, is to consider that their formal argument is bringing people to Christ. It was emphasized from the start that only God can change a heart. And he does this by the foolishness of preaching, i.e. preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is needful to keep in mind that apologetics is meant to break up wayside soil. Once it is broken up the result may or may not be receptive to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are still many “Christian Religions” which accomplish only what the Pharisees accomplished in Bible times. Jesus said they made a proselyte two times more the child of hell (Matt23:15). “Christian Religions” which require a believer to do penance to a priest instead of “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), are still dangerous side roads for broken up wayside soil. This is a common plight. Even C.S. Lewis, breaking a path from atheism to Christianity, got stalled in the religion of the Church of England. His robust apologetic, “Mere Christianity,” is still very effective. If a study should show that he never got further than confessing to the Anglican priesthood, the power of his book cannot be denied. Similar consideration should be given to Lee Strobel and his book “The Case for Christ.”
In making his case for Bile authority Lee Strobel uses arguments form ecumenical and neo-evangelical “scholars” who are up to their neck in copyright Bibles and pecking away at the very authority that Strobel is trying to advance. Bruce Metzger is Chairman of the New Revised Standard Version12 Bible Committee. Unfortunately, the majority of Christendom rejects the inerrancy of Holy Scripture, and The National Council of Churches which owns Metzger’s Bible, rejects it emphatically. This denial of the Bibles inerrancy fuels the demise of the Bible’s authority. It puts the factions in the foundation and the race to split off yet another lucrative Bible copyright causes the skeptics to conclude, “Nobody knows what the Bible says anyway.”
The apology by Lee Strobel is contending this larger fallacy, “The Bible is an ancient man made book about god (little “g”), and there are so many versions out there, that nobody knows what men originally wrote down.” Only when this larger context is put into perspective can Strobel’s strategy be fully appreciated. Only with the bigger picture in view can one extract arguments which might engage my neighbors and my kin. And only when we word the larger purpose of an apology can we systematically focus on its short falls. And all this we will do.
This purpose, however, only captures the first portion of Strobel’s book. The book is not entitled, “The Case for Biblical Authority.” That is only the first defense in his larger purpose. In “The Case for Christ” – Part 2, Strobel turns his investigative skills on to the question “Was Jesus who he claimed to be?” And in Part 3, “Did Jesus do what the Bible says he did?” It is not likely that C.S. Lewis was the first to word the thought that Jesus was either liar, lunatic or Lord. Such a defense of the Christ, however, was so well elaborated in his book “Mere Christianity,” that it has been called “Lewisism,” and been preached from many a pulpit. The power of that defense must come to mind as one reads Strobel’s defense. In Part 2 of his book, titled “Analyzing Jesus,” and in Part 3, titled “Researching the Resurrection,” Strobel captures the depth of his defense.
The purpose of an apology needs to be systematically stated in such a way as to capture the scope of the defense. An apology is aimed at a misleading which is producing wayside soil. There is a misleading, as previously stated, “The Bible is an ancient man made book about god (little “g”) and there are so many versions out there that nobody knows what men originally wrote.” Given the scope of Strobel’s defense, this needs to be expanded.
The Holy Bible, Genesis to Revelation, all sixty six books, all 1189 chapters, all 31,101 verses is about the Christ. Man’s dire need of the Christ, God’s miraculous provision of the Christ (through a seed line called Israel), the arrival of the Christ, the death, burial and resurrection of the Christ (called the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ 1Cor. 15:3-4, Acts 20:21), the return of the Christ to set on the Throne of David for 1,000 years, and finally, the tabernacling of Christ with his creation for eternity (Rev 21:3); it is all a Revelation of Jesus Christ. Which, incidentally, is the title of the 66th book.
Satan, the opposer of God, ergo the opposer of this revelation, orchestrates many misleading avenues which malign this Revelation of Jesus Christ. Mankind is complicit in the construction of these misleading avenues because he is of his father the devil (John 8:44). Apologetics is all about making these avenues less traveled.
Lee Strobel sets out to destroy three such interconnected avenues. The three avenues may be labeled 1) “the Bible isn’t what it says it is,” 2) “the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t who it says he was,” and 3) “His resurrection isn’t as the Bible declares it to be.” Putting such a succinct title on three avenues does not capture all the detail which was explored in the previous development, but it does capture the overriding purpose of Strobel’s apology. In his first section it is like the bricks were being labeled, bricks used in construction of the first avenue.. They were called “man made book”, “Ancient unreliable”, and “multiple corrupt versions.” It is always good to step back and capture the larger picture, to see the avenue and not just the bricks, to see the direction and not just the way.
The purpose of Strobel’s apology is to disrupt the travel on three interconnected avenues which are making wayside soil. These three misleading avenues, as previously described, are labeled 1) “The Bible isn’t what it says it is”, 2) “The Lord Jesus Christ isn’t who it says he was”, and 3) “The Bible’s resurrection account is not to be trusted.” This is the lie introduced by subtle deception. It is not a new lie. It was introduced in Satan’s first deception, “Yeah hath God said?” But now the package is supported and enforced by “Bible Scholars.” Indeed even a majority of “Bible Scholars.”
What is interesting about this packaged deception is that it has strong support from the ecumenical Church. The multiplicity of ecumenical Bible versions is even accepted and promoted by “Evangelical Christians.” The majority of “Christians” have accepted the marketing line that, “Only modern English Bibles are easy to read.” And yet every modernized copyright Bible is setting on this foundation, “The Holy Bible is not inerrant, it is riddled with errors and this version gets us back to what God originally said or meant to say. “ There are now hundreds of copyright versions of the Bible, each must legally demonstrate that is has “significant deviations from any previous work.” Every time a well meaning Christian, ignorant of this proliferation of Bibles says, “Well this is my favorite (copyright) version,” or “I use several (copyright) versions to compare the different translations and find the real meaning,” they are subtly contributing to the mass deception. That deception was previously stated as, “Nobody really knows what the Holy Bible originally said.” And so this wayside soil is more than prevalent in our society, it is prevalent in our Churches.
Lee Strobel has produced an apology which strives to break up the wayside soil around this deception. He pursues and discredits the outside influences which attack the authority and accuracy of the Holy Bible, the Holy Bible’s authority, and accuracy about the life of Christ, and the Holy Bible’s authority and accuracy about the resurrection of Christ. We will make note of his strategy in another section but make note here, while deliberating the higher purpose, that he did not delve into this notable source of the fractured authority, the multiplicity of copyright Bibles. Closing these three listed avenues, however, surely captures the overall purpose of Lee Strobel’s apology.
After these exercises of focusing on an apologetics purpose, the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye, Creation vs. Evolution debate cries out for a similar analysis. At first glance the purpose might seem obvious. Atheists have promoted evolution as scientifically proven fact and scoff and mock anyone who believes in the Bible’s creation account. But there is a wide gate and broad path which is stamping out wayside soil in this matter. We want to analyze the strategy of Ken Ham, the co-founder of Answers in Genesis in this debate and capture the whole purpose of the apology.
The question considered in this debate was, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” All parties agreed to the wording of the debates central question, but in considering it as an apology purpose, it does not capture the larger picture.
The purpose of this apology needs to be clarified so that it might capture the broadness of the dilemma. Ken Ham’s five minute opening statement does capture the source of the dilemma. He declares that true science has been highjacked and made out to be something it is not. He also frames several unique colloquialism to illustrate the highjacking; not the least is their use of science to support a “molecules to man” origins, a theory they purport as “scientific fact.”
In the close of the 19th century the scientific method was formalized and considered the infallible model for determining all truth. The scientific method was a systematic means of taking mans hypothesis through to a worded theory and then on to a scientific law. A most notable example of its use is found in Kepler’s development13 of the laws of planetary motion.
In the midst of the twentieth century there was an inordinate expectation placed upon the scientific method. Kepler’s laws of planetary motion showed that the “wandering stars” had no mysticism in their motions, they only followed natural courses. The expectation placed on the new formalized scientific method was that all Supernatural considerations could be dismissed with a perfectly natural explanation.
“Mainstream Scientists” attempt to encapsulated the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, inerrant and infallible characteristics in their “science”. There characteristics, of course, are Biblically credited to the Most-High-God (Hebrew El-Elyon). Lines were drawn. On one side were atheists declaring Nature and natural processes as their creator and god. On the other side were Creationist acknowledging a Most-High-God, who revealed himself and does the super-natural.
Standing in the middle, straddling the line, are a majority of people saying, “Can’t we all get along?”, and “Can’t both sides be right?” Their solutions which try to include some of each side are so nonsensical that the line has gotten blurred and smeared. The line is so trampled by this mixed multitude that the majority cannot even distinguish the two sides. A good apology highlights the line.
Ken Ham discloses some of the tactic which “traditional scientists”, “mainstream scientists”, which are herein call “science-so-called” scientists, use for blurring the line. In his opening five minutes he exposes, 1) their modification of the meaning of words, 2) their bait and switch tactics, and 3) their insistence that true science supports the “molecules to man” origin of the Universe, and that no true scientist believes in the Bible’s creation account. These are the tactics employed by the science-so-called community. The tactics employed by Ken Ham to expose their deceptions are worthy of additional analysis to completely understand the apology which is advanced in the debate. However, in this initial examination it is expedient to word the core deception and thus expose the underlying purpose of this apology.
Aside from the tactics used in this debate, the line which divides the sides is this, “Is there a Supernatural power involved in the Universe we inhabit?” Bill Nye the science guy stands with his “mainstream science” crowd and would respond, “No, everything has a natural explanation with NO Supernatural involvement whatsoever.” Ken Ham the co-founder of Answers in Genesis, stands with his Bible believing crowd and would respond, “Yes, and the Supernatural Creator of the Universe has revealed himself to expose how and why he created us. “
That is the line that divides. That is the line that gets blurred by the mixed multitude tromping around in the valley of indecision. And that is the line which needs to be exposed before an artful apology can be developed. The line produces two distinct world views, but it is not the world views which divides, it is the line. The line produces three ardent, vehemently defended positions. One from mainstream science, called here science-so-called. One from Biblical Creationists, distinguished here by those who believe in the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Holy Scriptures, and a third ardent position held by those who try to compromise a little of both sides and recite the lines, “Can’t we all just get along?”, and “We all worship the same god don’t we.” The later of these ardent positions are busy blurring the lines and muddying the waters. The line is still very real and must be defined if an effective apology is to be produced.
The line, again, divides two sides. On the left is the declaration “The cosmos came into existence and continues in existence by nothing more than natural processes which true science may discover.” On the right is the declaration that, “The Universe came into existence by the creative power of the Most-High-God, and it continues in existence by the natural laws he created AND by his Supernatural involvement in the affairs of man.” These two declarations are large enough to capture the whole of the divisions. The apology proposed has a purpose to clarify this line and defend the position on the right of that line.
Pulling a higher purpose out of someone else’s apology is ennobling for comprehending its larger intent, but the real power of this exercise is to establish the higher purpose before the development of the apology. An Apology is a formal defense of a Christian doctrine. The word itself, “apology”, has migrated to a different meaning for most people. When used here, it must be reinforced in the context of its original meaning, the formal defense of a Christian doctrine. In this exercise a formal Christian defense will be developed to counter a heresy.
A heresy is a doctrine at variance with established Biblical truth. The term was introduced by Romanism to mean a variance from Roman Catholic dogma, but in its use here it refers to a variance from Biblical truth. Heresy produces wayside soil, i.e. soil which cannot be penetrated by scattered seeds of the gospel message. This particular wayside soil, which is made by heresy, is produced in the world, outside of the Church, but more so, inside of the Church. The wayside soil fits Jesus’ depiction in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. The wayside soil compressed into the aisles of our Churches causes a spiritual atrophy throughout America.
The primary source of heresy for this exercise will be Gerard Beauchemin’s 2006 book “Hope Beyond Hell.” In it Beauchemin expounds his thesis, “Does God torture people in Hell forever? Not if the Bible is correctly understood.” In this thesis statement it is pretty easy to see what his heresy is and how he will develop it.
Beauchemin contends that the traditional understanding of “hell fire”, and “forever” have been wrong for 1,973 years, and that his extraordinary insight into the Biblical languages will provide the ability to get past this errant tradition. You see, in Greek, says Beauchemin, “hell” does not meant “hell”, “fire” does not mean “fire”, and “forever” does not mean “forever.” It is all a matter of interpretation.
It is more appalling to read the endorsements to Beauchemin’s heresy than it is to read his development of it. Michael Wm. Gross, D.D., Th.D., Ph.D., Maryland, a “minister and exorcist in Baltimore”14 writes, “The magnificent love and wisdom of God has not been written about with such clarity since the days of the patriarchs. I applaud Gerry Beauchemin for producing this important book, I have waited twenty-five years for it.” Similar endorsements are written by a Willamette University Professor from Oregon, Asbury Theological Seminary, Bethesda Mennonite Institute of the Bible, and an unnamed denominational Bible College via one Ivan A. Rogers. Ivan Rogers wrote a similar book, “Dropping Hell and Embracing Grace” in 2011.
The idea that any PhD or any school calling itself “Christian” would endorse such a thesis is disturbing. How has Christendom come to a place where such heresy can be readily promulgated and accepted by “Evangelical Christians”?
Before a formal defense of Christian doctrine can be focused against this heresy, and similar ones lining up at Evangelical bookstores, it is necessary to extract the larger deception which promotes them. That larger deception is not new, Satan used it in the Garden of Eden. The subtle serpent asked, “Yeah hath God said?”
The reason that such heresy is flooding into Churches is because in Evangelical Churches the authority of Scripture is fractured and splintering in every direction. The most common response to any true doctrine is, “Well that is just your interpretation.” For these middle of the road folks there is no more Bible Truth, only a myriad of interpretations. Everyone is entitled to their own. Everyone has an ability to choose the “designer truth” that they want to believe and trust. There are a multitude of “designer truths” and you only need to settle in on the one that suits you the best. Everyone runs around talking about what they believe and comparing it to what you believe. It seems someone would ask “What is truth?” But alas, they do not.
This erosion of Biblical authority has caused books like “Hope Beyond Hell” to be popular in Evangelical circles. It causes the Presbyterians to accept sodomite marriage, the Methodists to accept women pastors, the Episcopal’s gay priests. It eliminates the uncomfortable truths of the Bible and extols the warm fuzzy ideas amenable to a Grandpa or man-upstairs who would never do anything so mean as create a place of everlasting punishment with fire and brimstone.
Now rather than promote a narrow apology which would answer for the doctrine of an everlasting hell fire, it is more meaningful to step back and look at the larger deception that is in place. There are hundreds of Bible versions out there. Each version is copyright and must, by law say something “significantly different” from any other copyright version. They cannot just say the same thing in a different way, they must have a significantly different presentation of material. Hundreds of Bible versions presenting hundreds of versions of what God meant to say, produces such a fractured authority that nobody really knows the answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Every one is thereby allowed to make up their own “interpretation” whereby their distinct personal version of a verse is as valid as anyone else’s version.
Case in point, after Pilate’s question, “What is truth?”, his next declaration was “I find in him no fault at all.” …
Or was it “I cannot find anything wrong about him.”, as copyright by James A.R. Moffatt D.D., D.LITT. in his 1950 The Bible – A New Translation. But Dr. Moffatt was also thinking that Pilate asked “What does truth mean?”, instead of “What is truth?”
Or was it “I find no guilt in him”, as copyright by The Lockman Foundation, California in their 1960 NASB (NASB is a registered trademark of the same, standing for the New American Standard Version).
Or was it, “For my part, I find no case against him”, as copyright by the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press in their 1961 NEB (NEB is a registered trademark of the same, standing for the New English Bible).
Or was it “I find no crime in him”, as copyright by the World Publishing Company in their 1962 RSV (RSV is a registered trademark of the same, standing for Revised Standard Version).
Or was it “I cannot find any reason to condemn him”, as copyright by the American Bible Society in their 1966 Good News Bible- Today’s English Version.
Or was it “Speaking for myself, I find no case against this man”, as copyright by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in Washington D.C. in their 1970 NAB (NAB is a registered trademark of the same, standing for New American Bible).
Or was it “I find no basis for a charge against him”, as copyright by the New York Bible Society International in their 1973 NIV (NIV is a registered trademark of the same, standing for New International Version).
Or was it “I don’t find this man guilty of anything!”, as copyright by the American Bible Society in their 1995 CEV (CEV is a registered trademark of the same, standing for Contemporary English Version).
Or was it “I find no guilt in him”, as copyright by Crossway in their 2001 ESV (ESV is a registered trademark of the same, standing for English Standard Version).
Many will read all these copyright renditions and repeat Hillary Rodham Clinton’s line “What possible difference could it make anyhow!” They might continue, “Pilate found nothing wrong with the dude!” Two important observations on these multiple renditions. First, words are important. Many of the words added by theses translators are not represented at all in the Greek New Testament. The New Testament is accurately recorded in the TR (Textus Receptus), and, in this instance, in this verse, the WH (Westcott and Hort) rendition is identical. The WH Greek New Testament is taken from the corrupted Alexandrian Egypt manuscripts, and copyright by The United Bible Societies of the USA in 1966. Further, the word used in the Greek, and consequently in the Authorized King James Bible, is exactly the word used to describe the Old Testament passover lamb and/or sin sacrifice which was to be without fault or blemish. But that exact word is carefully avoided by all modern versions. The wide variations in Pilate’s modernized declaration certainly come from copyright considerations, but they also show a “fault” in them which is even more diabolical.
Secondly, this is only one verse. The possible difference that this makes in the whole Bible is to be found in the 31,100 other verses. Each of them must exhibit significant deviations from all other copyright versions. The fractured authority of the Bible correlates directly to these multiple versions of the Bible. But there is an additional connection that all these copyrighted variations share.
The fifty-seven linguist who took seven years to translate the Holy Bible form the original language manuscripts to English, every one of them held dogmatically to the inerrant, infallible, verbal inspiration of those manuscripts. Now consider that not a single translator who worked on the hundreds of copyright versions believed in the inerrant, infallible, verbal inspiration of the Holy Bible. This carte blanche statement can stand because each modern Bible version justifies its production with some rendition of Dr. Thiessen’s categorical denial. In his “Lectures in Theology”, Dr. Thiessen writes, “Inspiration is affirmed only of the autographs of the Scriptures, not of any of the versions, whether ancient or modern, nor any of the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts in existence, nor of any critical texts known. All these are either known to be faulty in some particulars, or are not certainly known to be free from all error.”15
Given such a feeble regard for the doctrine of inerrancy and verbal inspiration, each modern version is an attempt, sometimes a noble attempt, albeit always a misguided attempt, to restore for the LORD God what he was unable to preserve and keep pure. And in that attempt they start with a corrupted Greek text from Alexandria Egypt, always supposing that “older is better.” Further their translation model uses “dynamic equivalence” to give what they suppose God meant to say, rather than giving the most exact rendering of what the original languages precisely dictate. All this restoration of what God meant to say but could not preserve gets mixed in to a publishers eye on his copyright and there are so many versions of the Bible out there that, so they say, “no one really knows what the Bible says anyway.”
All this gives Beauchemin the unmitigated gall to publish a book which contends, “In Greek and Hebrew “hell” does not mean “hell”, and “fire” does not mean “fire”, and “forever” does not mean “forever.”
How does one write an apology which addresses such audacity? This deception is so widespread, and so accepted or ignored that it is calloused. It has always been so in Rome and it is now in Protestants and in Evangelical Christendom. Surely stating an overall purpose for the apology will be challenging. When David heard the challenge of Goliath he responded, “Is there not a cause?” So shall we.
The deception which is producing wayside soil, even in our Churches, is this, “There are so many versions of the Bible out there that nobody really knows what the Bible says.” In the world this deception produces agnostics and atheists who scoff and scorn Christianity altogether. Wayside soil fitting of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13. But in our Churches this deception produces fertile ground for false teachers and false teachings. A Harold Camping might stand up and say, “It has been revealed to me that Jesus will return on October 21st 2011! (amended, of course, from May 21st 2011) or a Gerry Beauchemin might stand up and say “I have discovered that in the original Greek and Hebrew ‘forever’ does not really mean ‘forever’”, or a Methodist, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian has full license to disregard the clear commands of Scripture. All this is legitimate because “nobody really knows exactly what the Bible is supposed to say anyway! Now they each gain a large following of “Christians.” Biblical authority is fractured, and “truth has fallen in the street and equity cannot enter” (Isa 59:14).
An apology is a formal defense of a Christian doctrine. The doctrine maligned in this instance relates to the inerrancy, infallibility, and verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. The over all purpose of the formal defense in this instance is to counter the deceiving statement that, “Nobody really knows what the Bible says.” And the parties which are actively spreading the deception are the marketers standing in line to secure yet another copyright on the “Words of God.” The overall purpose of a formal defense in this instance is thus reasonably developed. The strategies and audience of such an apology are yet to be analyzed.
Analyzing the purpose of a defense of a Christian doctrine is a first step and it needs to be followed with a well developed strategy. This process needs to be done in order but each step needs to be revisited as one develops a cunning apology. God gives this process to Isaiah when he asks, “Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall be make to understand doctrine?” He goes on to teach this reiterative process which we use to develop an apology. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa 28:9,10) Isn’t it curious how God, then reiterates this process by repeating it a couple verses later. “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isa 28:13). It is enlightening that God would do this, teaching how to teach with the method he is teaching.
The point is, a good apology will hone in on a refined purpose, a refined strategy, and a refined target audience, as it spirals into a central focus. It may be perceived as mechanical, but it is good to repeat a purpose out loud during each phase of development. This helps keep the main thing, the main thing, and there really is no harm in letting an audience know just what you are trying to do to them. I was talking to a mocker who blatantly said, “So what are you trying to convert me?” My response was premeditated, “In Matthew 18:3 Jesus said ‘Except ye be converted… ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ So, yes, I am trying to convert you.” Be up front and honest with a purpose. Sly underhanded marketing techniques work for the world just like moving the Ark of the Covenant on an ox-cart worked for the Philistines. But David was a participant in the Covenant, and was forbidden to use the worldly methods. When he used their methods, Uzzah died (2Sam 6)! David should have known, and we should learn from his failure. Know your purpose, repeat your purpose out loud, and don’t sneak around striving to enter in by another way.
So with a purpose reasonably in hand, let us pursue some brilliant strategies. Each of our test subjects had a strategy in place. C.S. Lewis and his Society of Apologetics declares, “We explore and explain the riches of the truth of Christianity, and we engage both skeptics and believers in carefully assessing the evidence that points to Christ as our Creator and Redeemer.”16 Lee Strobel asks, “If you were a journalist, how would you handle a news story so big it would utterly eclipse all other world events?”17 Ken Ham entered into public debate to answer the question, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” These three purpose driven apologies can be examined for a brilliant strategy. And in so doing we might enable a strategy to defrock Gerry Beauchemin’s contention that everlasting does not really mean everlasting, and hellfire does not really mean hellfire.
C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963), a prolific writer, poet, and scholar of English literature,18 wrote “Mere Christianity.”19 It became the baseline of apologetics because of his genius, communication skill and approach. His superb use of unrefutable logic showed his genius. His communication skill is likely from publishing his radio broadcasts as a book. And his moral arguments approach, which refute atheism and defend Christianity, outline the path that he himself trod on his approach to Christ as Saviour.
Just the same, a genius, skilled, and organized defense of Christianity written by a convert who stalled out in the Anglican Church will be wrought with some doctrinal problems. The irrecoverable blunder in his book came directly from the errant doctrines of his apostate Church. There is no Roman or Roman Protestant Church which comprehends in doctrine the Biblical conversion of a soul. They all, and C.S. Lewis as their new convert, imagine that the new birth in Christ is somehow dependent on the Churches baptism, the Churches Holy Eucharist, and attendance to the Churches teachings.
Thus, C.S. Lewis’ apology demonstrates superb strategy for breaking up the wayside soil trodden down by atheists and atheist wanna-bees. When it comes to expounding the new birth, however, Lewis is an Apollos who never connected with an Aquila and Priscilla of Acts 18.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:24-28)
The Bible and the Baptist know and affirm without apology, that at ‘Conversion’ a soul is ‘Quickened’, ‘Indwelt’, and ‘Immersed in’, i.e. ‘Baptized in’, Christ, and thereby ‘Justified’ before God. This is done with no water baptism and no Church providing a wafer or cup. It is a permanent change accomplished by the triune Godhead, and it cannot be undone. Now without this Biblical conversion there is no remission of sin. None. Notta. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted… ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
Lewis’ ignorance of this Biblical truth is to be laid right at the feet of his Anglican Church. When Lewis, defending Christianity, comes to a place where he describes how the “Christ-life” is installed in a believer he gives the patentable Roman-Anglican-Protestant description. As he states it:
There are three things that spread the Christ-life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names – Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lords Supper. At least those are the three ordinary methods. I am not saying there may not be special cases where it is spread without one or more of these. I have not time to go into special cases, and I do not know enough 20
Second Lewis alludes to the Roman-Anglican-Protestant error that one must work to maintain this “Christ-life”, else it die and they be, once again, lost. He does this with his same flawless logic and illustration. Although flawless, it is patently wrong! As he states it:
Do not think that I am setting up baptism and belief and the Holy Communion as things that will do instead of your own attempts to copy Christ. Your natural life is derived from your parents: that does not mean that it will stay there if you do nothing about it. You can loose it by neglect, or you can drive it away by committing suicide. You have to feed it and look after it: but always remember you are not making it, you are only keeping up a life you got from someone else.”21
Third, Lewis uses his good logic and a smooth argument to sooth over a perceived unfairness of God’s plan; “What about the man in the jungles of Amazon who never hears about Jesus Christ, … it is ‘not fair’ that he should go to an eternal hell.” Lewis handles such a perceived unfairness in God with blatant error. As he states it:
We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ: we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him. But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself.22
We Baptists, i.e. Bible believers, wholeheartedly agree with his latter observation, but must wholeheartedly disagree with his former. Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man cometh to the Father but by him… and his way… with his truth (John 14). The idea that God might be unfair in this matter is dealt with in this short essay:
Msg #1522 The Unrighteous Are Without Excuse
What The Bible Says
Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
One of the most thorough dissertations in the Holy Bible declares its theme in two sentences, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17). We have outlined what the soul-winner calls the “Romans Road” from this revelation, and sometimes forget that the theme of Romans is not the gospel and its salvation, from this first sentence, but the Righteousness of God from the second. Three things about the gospel that one should never shame or shun are listed; 1) the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, it is not the power of logic, philosophy, or reason; 2) The gospel reveals the righteousness of God and that the unrighteous can only attain his righteousness by faith in His faithfulness, i.e. from faith to faith; and 3) That the unrighteous are without excuse. Some have tried to shame the gospel because a soul from the darkest jungles of the Amazon, or the darkest jungles of Chicago, might never hear the the gospel message and “unfairly” be cast into the eternal flames of hell forever. God is, however, righteous in such a case, because of the next sentence, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them” (Romans 1:18,19). The unrighteous, no matter which jungle they live in, are thus, as God puts it, “without excuse” (cf. verse 20).
An Essay for week #22 May 31, 15
Msg in audio at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/audio/gs150531.mp3
Be it known that these doctrinal blunders of C.S. Lewis lie squarely at the feet of Lewis’ Anglican Church. They taught him the Roman deception that new life takes a Catholic Baptism for its installation, and a Holy Catholic Eucharist for its maintenance. In the end, the cliché goes, “Saint Peter weighs your good and bad works and figures out if you get in.” This is patently Roman and UnBiblical. And yet it has seeped from Rome into every Protestant Religion. It is held, to decree, by Anglican, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian (also in Calvinism, although Peter therein needs to figure out if they are the elect or the damned), and Methodists, whether they be United, Episcopal, Wesleyan or Pentecostal23.
The massive deception came into the Romans via the “A-B-Cs” and the three “P”s of their Latin Vulgate Bible. “A” is for the allegorical method that allows only Clergy to understand how the Catholic Church replaces Jewish Israel as the new “Elect of God.” “B” is for Baptism that washes sins away. It does not! It cannot! Yet all these Protestant denominations practice Roman infant baptism. “C” is for catholic which unites all local churches under a universal headship of one supreme almighty vicar of Christ. When protestants protested against their mother Church, they gave up the ‘supreme almighty’ classification, but kept the vicar concept for each denomination. Catholic means universal, and catholic Church means a universal Christian Church. After the breakup of the supreme catholic Church well meaning Protestants reclassified the Catholic Church as the invisible, but still catholic, Church. There is no such Catholicism in the Holy Bible.
The Protestant Reformation splintered this almighty headship away from the Roman Pope, but it kept the Catholic concept and an Arch-Bishop or Dioceses head in charge of each denomination. (This begs the question, “Which denomination is right, when they all go in different directions?” But it also answers that NONE of them are right. ALL of them contain the A-B-Cs of Roman error.)
Now the three”P”s of Roman error, used to propagate these A-B-Cs with their corrupted Latin Vulgate Bible are these: 1) “Penance” – every time the word “repentance” is used in the Holy Bible, Roman Saint Jerome, and Roman Saint Augustine substituted “penance.” Ergo where the Holy Bible says “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5) the Roman’s Latin Vulgate Bible said “Except ye do penance, ye shall all likewise perish.” 2) Priests – every time the word “presbyter” is used in the Holy Bible, Saint Jerome followed the teachings of Roman Saint Origen, the Father of Biblical Criticism, and the Father of the Allegorical Method, to ensure the Roman’s Latin Vulgate said “priest.” Note that John Calvin and his “Presbyterian” followers, caught this brazen lie and there is a strong “Presbytery” in his Presbyterian Church. They have almost no “priesthood” practicing “priest-craft.” However, John Calvin made up for this, by going whole hog overboard on the next “P.” 3) Predestination – things that were pre-ordained in the Holy Bible became predestined in the Latin Vulgate. The Roman religion applied this to those who died without their priest’s last-rites, but Protestant John Calvin took this to a whole new level of heresy. John figured that since Christians were the replacement of Israel as God’s chosen and elect people, that now individually, souls were chosen before the foundation of the world. John would not recognize a New Covenant, insisting rather, in his Covenant Theology, and his Replacement Theology, that there is no different Dispensation, no coming restoration of Israel, no upcoming King on God’s Holy Hill of Zion, no Millennial reign of Christ, and no upcoming Seven Year Tribulation. John Calvin rendered all of these events allegorical, just like his mother catholic Church taught him. John Calvin’s expertly defended position24 and exotically crafted deception has overwhelmed half of Protestant Christendom and even leavened into many Baptist Churches. But I digress.
C.S. Lewis wrote an exceptional defense of Christianity, called an apology. It describes the logic that brought him from atheism to his conversion to Christ. When the teachings of his apostate Church prohibit him from fully grasping or properly wording the great change which occurred in his own conversion his apology is tainted. I have Baptist colleagues who would disembowel his whole conversion because of this shortfall. It seems obvious that C.S. Lewis had a conversion. It is not wise to dismiss a conversion because the convert cannot Biblically word what happened and how it happened. That sort of foolishness feeds the rumor that, “Baptists think they are the only ones in heaven.” Rejoice that you, or I, or they who promote such foolishness, are not in charge of determining who’s conversion is authentic and whose is not.
Apostate Churches, which teach that their baptism and their holy communion is required to get a soul into the Kingdom of Heaven, are brazenly wrong, but their entrapments hold and deceive some of Christ’s converted ones! Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him two fold more the child of hell than yourselves.” The same holds for the apostate Churches that teach that some baptism, or Eucharist, or penance, or good work might give a soul entrance into the kingdom of Heaven. There are, however, in their midst those who were genuinely converted to Christ, and are not their proselytes. Some never have the wherewithal to leave the apostasy, even when their conversion is genuine.
I said all that to say this, C.S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity” expertly details the logic which brought an atheist to believe in, and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. To that extent it frames an excellent apology in Book 1. Book 2, 3, and 4, however, have three major dangers which cause major concerns. First. C.S. Lewis cunningly presents the apostate doctrine of the Roman Catholic, and his own Anglican Church: that being, that the new birth and entry into the Kingdom of Heaven is some how accomplished by the Church’s baptism and its “Holy Eucharist.” The Biblical truth, which Lewis did not have the wherewithal to present, is that at Conversion (being “repentance toward God and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, cf. Acts 20:21) a soul is quickened (cf. John 5, Eph 2:1,2-10), is indwelt (cf. Rom 8:9-11), and is wholly immersed into Christ (cf. 1Cor 12:13), and is thereby forever Justified (cf Rom 4:5, 24-25).
There is no other entry into the Kingdom of God, “Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Second, C.S. Lewis cunningly describes the construction of the “Christian Society” as the whole purpose for all individual Christians. Again this is a regurgitation of apostate Church doctrine. The Roman Catholic Church, Lewis’ own Anglican Church, and all Protestant Church denominations which sprang from their Roman mother Church, deny the millennial reign of Jesus Christ who will sit on the Throne of David on God’s Holy Hill of Zion (Psalm 2). A Roman Catholic Church father, Saint Origen of Alexandria Egypt, Father of Bible Criticism and Father of the Allegorical Method, gave them the tools to completely dismiss this Bible truth. They believe, just like C.S. Lewis’ cunningly defends it, that the Catholic Church will reform Society and usher in the kingdom of God without a Seven Year Tribulation, without it being as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, and without any throne set up in Jerusalem. All of C.S. Lewis’ cunning and ability are used to logically present this apostate doctrine and that makes his Book 2 through 4 a greater liability than an asset.
Thirdly, C.S. Lewis does not quote a single verse of Scripture. None. Notta. Zip. He has a profound logic and very descriptive illustrations but it is very wise to base all doctrine on nothing but the inerrant, infallible, inspired words of God. More than just wise, in this day and age of apostasy, it is imperative. Further it is not our cunningly devised logic which converts a soul, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12).
Given these major shortfalls of C.S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity”, one might ask “Why use his apologetics at all?” The contribution of Lewis to the field of apologetics is threefold. First the logic of his argument for the existence of a holy God who must send his Only Begotten Son to save the world, is not only stunning, it also shakes the ground under the proclaimed atheists feet. Of coarse God does not believe in atheists, but Lewis having left their ranks, knows how to communicate that best.
Second, C.S. Lewis is the founder of what has been called by atheists a “Lewisism.” The logic that “Jesus Christ was either a liar, a lunatic, or our Lord,” might have been said before Lewis so eloquently penned it, but since his book published in 1943 it can properly be called a “Lewisism.” The unmitigated logic in his arguments has been admitted by professed atheists and professed believer, the secular and the scholar.
Third, Lewis calls his work a defense of Christianity. It is, and as such he has been labeled as the Father of Modern Apologetics. On that ground alone his work must be given a reasonable coverage in a study of apologetics.
The strategy of Lewis’ apology is to present a defense of Christian doctrines about God and his Son, based solely on pure and incontestable logic. This strategy serves him very well, and it could be a useful weapon in the arsenal of a Christian witness. Recall that an apology is not intended to bring a soul to conversion, it is intended to break up wayside soil, and bring a prospect to a place where he might give the gospel message audience. It is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which can convert the soul. Our cunningly devised logic might convert a mind, and if we do not use great care that proselyte might end up two fold more the child of hell. Let His gospel and His Spirit do the perfect work. For a professed atheist or a profound agnostic, Lewis’ approach might provide an ear which might hear the whole gospel presentation.
It is left as an exercise of the student to outline the logical arguments which Lewis presents to defend the existence of a Holy God and the necessity of his sending his Only Begotten Son. It is left as a warning to the student that delving into Lewis’ how-of-conversion, and his why-of-Christianity will expose them to apostate teaching of his Anglican Church.
Below is listed the content of C.S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity”:
Book I. Right And Wrong As A Clue To The Meaning Of The Universe pg 1-34
1. The Law of Human Nature, 2. Some Objections, 3. The Reality of the Law, 4. What Lies Behind the Law, 5. We Have Cause to Be Uneasy,
Book II What Christians Believe pg 35-68
1. The Rival Conceptions of God, 2. The Invasion, 3. The Shocking Alternative, 4. The Perfect Penitent, 5. The Practical Conclusion
Book III. Christian Behavior pg 69-152
1. The Three Parts of Morality, 2. The “Cardinal Virtues”, 3. Social Morality, 4. Morality and Psychoanalysis, 5. Sexual Morality, 6. Christian Marriage, 7. Forgiveness, 8. The Great Sin, 9. Charity, 10. Hope, 11. Faith, 12. Faith
Book IV. Beyond Personality: Or First Steps In The Doctrine Of The Trinity pg 153 -227
1. Making and Begetting, 2. The Three-Personal God, 3. Time and Beyond Time, 4. Good Infection, 5. The Obstinate Toy Soldiers, 6. Two Notes, 7. Let’s Pretend, 8. Is Christianity Hard or Easy?, 9. Counting the Cost, 10. Nice People or New Men, 11. The New Men
It is widely acclaimed that Lee Strobel started his investigation of Christ as an atheist, and completed it as a believer. That claim cannot be fully substantiated in his book or his biographical sketch, but he does follow a unique strategy in his book “The Case for Christ.” We have already sketched out a purpose found in his apology, and stated it as: Lee Strobel pursues and discredits the outside influences which attack the authority and accuracy of the Holy Bible, the Holy Bible’s authority and accuracy about the life of Christ, and the Holy Bible’s authority and accuracy about the resurrection of Christ. Now it will be helpful to analyze his strategy in more detail.
If there is a mainstream skeptic who has cast dirt or stirred up mud about the authenticity of the Christ, his resurrection or his Bible, Lee Strobel has addressed his mud in his three hundred page text. He seems to be intent on addressing each and every one. And he does this by addressing each in a face to face interview with a believer and expert in the area of concern.
His approach, as we stated previously, is that of an investigative reporter, but his strategy is to thoroughly bankrupt each and every line-of-attack leveled against Christianity. He uses this strategy in three specific areas that will be analyzed separately. Lee Strobel defended the authenticity of Scripture, the authenticity of Jesus’ claim to be the Christ, and the authenticity of his resurrection . Remember in this analysis of his strategy, that this is an apology. It is not a detailed definition of a doctrine; it is a deliberate attempt to breakup the wayside soil which prevents the gospel seed from penetrating the soil of mans heart. If the strategy is successful a skeptical proselyte might be inclined to give a gospel witness a more willing ear.
Consider the skepticism aimed at the Word of God. Stand on any street corner (I need not say “in America” here, but that would scope this authors experience) and quote John 3:16,17,18 and 36 to the passerby. Thirty plus years ago the response would generally be: 1) Recognition, 2) Approval, and 3) Curiosity. Presently, however, the response would generally be: 1) Ignorance, 2) Hostility, and 3) Animosity. The Holy Bible hods almost no reverence in America. Wayside soil is rampant.
“Can biographies of Jesus be trusted… and stand up to scrutiny?” These questions may, at first glance, seem like a back alley entrance into the authenticity of the Holy Bible. Remember we are using this on the man on the twenty first century street. Many have not even heard the phrase “Holy Bible.” My concern, stated previous, that Lee Strobel never even address the deeper cause of Scripture’s fractured authority, is valid. However, in an apology’s strategy, the greater focus is on the approach. The depth and cause of the deceit is to be considered under the purpose of the apology. The strategy deals more with the approach to accomplish that purpose. I do not like the lack of depth in Strobel’s understanding of the overall cause of the broken Bible authority, but his strategy for the defense of Christ seems to be sound.
It is uncertain how much the man on the 21st century street has heard about the Bible but it is certain that he has heard more of its attack than he has heard about its authenticity. Part 1 of Strobel’s book shows some of the slander of the Bible “scholars” who refuse inerrancy, infallibility, and inspiration of Scripture. Lee Strobel uses the “intelligent and educated” who have made themselves “expert” in areas of research, but he does not use Holy Scripture. Although his first expert, Dr. Craig L. Bloomberg, author of “The Historical Reliability of the Gospels,” meets Strobel’s requirements, and is a man of integrity, his writings and opinions are not inspired and infallible. To that end it is important to insert pertinent Holy Scripture into each apology. Scripture is what has the power of God on it. Scripture should never be left out of an apology. The zeal, research, and logic of Dr. Bloomberg is good for kicking the legs out from under Satan’s lies about the authenticity of the Gospels, but it is the Word of God which seeps into the heart of man and does His perfect work. Lee Strobel expertly uses the former but woefully neglects the latter.
There are two possible explanations for this lacking use of Holy Scriptures. The more cynical is that Lee Strobel does not recognize the power of the Book which he is defending. The more likely is that he is trying to maintain his character as an impartial skeptical reporter. That characterization would be tarnished if he started quoting Scriptures like a Baptist preacher.
Whatever the reason the effect is the same. A good apology must include the only source which is alive and powerful and can pierce the heart of man, “even to the dividing assunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12b). Notice also that Strobel’s “experts” do not quote a single verse of Scripture in the defense of the Scriptures. To me, that is disturbing. If Strobel is trying to maintain an “air” of being an impartial skeptic, what “air” is being maintained by the “experts” which he employs? Are they not “Bible experts?” Why do “Bible experts” fail to quote the Holy, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God? It is disturbing that the “experts” employed by Strobel in his “Defense of Christ,”do not believe in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture. But such is the fractured authority even for the 21st century’s “Bible expert.” Which version? Which version? Which version!25
As it is, Dr. Craig Bloomberg, attempting to defend the eyewitness’ of Christ, never quotes the eyewitnesses! He never reveals the most powerful declaration of the Apostle John on the subject: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you… (1John 1:1-3a). He does not resort to the inspired, inerrant, infallible witness given in the Apostle John’s Gospel, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31).
Dr. Bloomberg does not even present the Acts record where the eleven disciples declare, “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22). Peter also references himself as an eye witness: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed” (1Peter 5:1). Nor does Strobel or Bloomberg employ the Apostle Paul’s careful declaration that he, too, was an eye witness of the resurrected Christ. Dr. Yamauchi, however, makes some disparaging references to Paul’s claims to be a witness in his presentation of Corroborating Evidences.26
A good apology might not rely solely on Holy Scripture, bit it must not complete disregard it. Both C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel advance this blunder. It could be Lee Strobel is trying to advance a supposed ideological method of gaining the naysayers trust without trusting the “yeahsayers” supreme source, the Holy Bible. Indeed he calls Holy Scripture, “Eyewitness Evidence”, and never calls it Holy-anything. He and his experts, such as Dr. Bloomberg, Dr. Metzger (Chairman of the RSV27 committee), and Dr. Yamauchi, do not quote a single authoritative Scripture.
Dr. Bloomberg references Luke 7 and Matthew 11 to pretend that the Bible Source Criticism and their Q-Source hypothesis is somehow a valid but ineffectual hypothesis.28 In reality the Q-Source hypothesis and the whole concept of Bile Source Criticism is a scheme hatched from the pits of hell in order to malign what God says about Bible inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility. How unfortunate that the good doctor would not use such bluntness.
Dr. Metzger, Chairman of the RSV29 Committee, which patently denies the existence of an inspired, inerrant, infallible Bible, references only 1John 5:7 and 2 Corinthians 13:14.30 Unfortunately, he quotes these two in order to defend the ecumenical modernists who throw the first into a trash can, and us the second to say “What possible difference could it make?” (That phrase may, by now, be patented by former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She used to to emphasize that words are not that important!) When the Chairman of the RSV31 Committee defends ripping 1John 5:7 out of the Bible and throwing it into a trash can, he reveals two dangerous ideologies. First, that words are not that important, and second that verbal plenary inspiration is nowhere in his belief system.
It may not be surprising that Dr. Yamauchi quotes no Scripture at all, let alone quoting it with authority. His theme, after all, is “The Corroborating Evidence.”32 It might be observed, however, that the quotes of Josephus, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger33, are all given in non-copyright, public domain format, and rendition, while any, and every attempted quotation of Holy Scripture is given in a very-copyright, very much owned, man modified version and rendition. Thus the blaring effect and uncanny result of Satan’s attack on Holy Scripture is never confronted in Lee Strobel’s book. But it is in evidence for those with eyes to see.
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Lee Strobel’s strategy in his defense of Christ does not rest or even rely on the authority of Scripture: for his sole authority is the opinions of “experts.” The question, which then begs to be asked, “Is there value added by his monumental effort?” It could be that Brother Strobel took this course and used this tactic on purpose. It could be that, as a tactic, this would prevent a skeptic and naysayer from being beat over the head with a Bible. With this possibility, we should ask and analyze, “Is complete disregard of Scripture a wise strategy for an apologetic?”
The purpose, in general, of an apology is to break up the wayside soil given in Jesus’ illustration of what happens when the gospel message is “sown” in this world. In that illustration, gospel seed does not penetrate the wayside soil but lays on the surface to be devoured by the fowls of the air. The fowls, as is generally the case, are representative of Satan himself. In this instance, Jesus said so. We have examined the first formal apology which circumvented the lie, “Christianity involves cannibalism.” There is not enough documentation on that early apology to determine how much reliance it had on Holy Scripture, but this Baptist Preacher has a good opinion on that. We then looked at C.S. Lewis’ apology and found no direct use of Scripture whatsoever. Indeed, all of Lewis’ writings are found to be very abstract extensions, far away from actual Scripture. We will shortly examine some of Ken Ham’s strategy against “science-so-called” and their wild hypothesis of a Universe that evolved here by random chance. There, this preacher found a disturbing lack of authoritative Scripture. So the question before us is, “Should a formal apology use Holy Scripture, quoted with authority, as part of its strategy?” Consider this insight:
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
It has already been established that when it comes to righteousness, the unrighteous will not be persuaded by the arguments of the righteous (cf 1Cor 1:18-21, Heb 4:12, Isa 26:10, Prov 27:22, Psalm 10:1-7). In the case of an apology our purpose was not the presentation of the gospel, but the breaking up of the wayside soil so that the gospel might, at a later time, find a more receptive ear. Certainly the presentation of the gospel message must rely primarily on the authoritative use of Holy Scripture: it is the power of God, it is the Sword of the Spirit, it is the discerner of the thought and intents of the heart, it is quick, and it is quickening. Just the same there might be a time and place to reason with a man with a closed Bible. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov 25:11).
Recognize, however, that God’s words are always more fitly spoken than man’s. Always use Holy Scripture in an apology.
It is the thesis of this author that the Word of God, accurately quoted from an uncopyright source, should be carefully integrated into every apology. Such an apologetic strategy should be a mainstay of any soul winner who is attempting to break down barriers to the effective presentation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be mindful that God’s Words are always more powerful than man’s words. Don’t go to battle without the Sword of the Spirit. Even Nehemiah’s wall workers kept a sword handy while they used their trowels. Lee Strobel’s defense of Christ, defense of His Scripture, and defense of His resurrection are well strategized for refuting the many arguments present in the 21st century mind. His lacking use of Holy Scripture is, however, a blaring blunder. One which you or I should not replicate.
The strategy in a public formal debate is not only documented, it is formally graded. Although I am not versed on formal debate strategies and rules, it seems obvious that Ken Ham did not stay on track in this debate. We can all learn some things about apologetics from this debate; learn about the deception, the deceivers, and in hindsight declare what should have been said. The observations below show how Ken Ham had trouble keeping the main thing the main thing, and are insightful considerations of a strategy against evolutionist. 1
Recall the purpose in this apology. It was stated previous that a line divides two sides. On the left is the declaration “The cosmos came into existence and continues in existence by nothing more than natural processes which true science may discover.” On the right is the declaration that, “The Universe came into existence by the creative power of the Most-High-God, and it continues in existence by the natural laws which he created AND by his Supernatural involvement in the affairs of man.” These two declarations capture the whole dilemma of this great division. The apology proposed has a purpose to clarify this line, and defend the position on the right of that dividing line.
In the 2014 Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate the question was asked, “What, if anything, would change your mind?” Ken Ham gave the classic Christian answer, “Once you meet the Lord, the King of Glory, there is nothing that can change your mind.” This is altogether true for a born again believer, there is no going back. There is no changing allowed or possible from the quickening that took place when one is justified in Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. That quickening gives us (present tense) eternal life and God has promised that it cannot and shall not ever be taken away. That is a marvelous truth; there is no going back or changing of the mind allowed for a Christian. However, that is the wrong truth to present in a creation vs evolution debate with Bill Nye the science guy.
In a confrontation with an unbeliever, particularly when they are scoffers of any and all spiritual truth, it is important to meet them where they “are at,” to go to the ground where they are standing, and deal with the stumbling blocks that they are confronting. In a formal debate we are given points and “adaboys” for how well we remain on topic throughout the confrontation. But such a formal grading structure is in place because reaching out to the position and the understanding of the opponent is a wise and prudent thing to do.
Talking about meeting Christ, about a life that is changed forever, and about eternal security might draw a hearty “Amen” and applause from the born again crowd, but it does nothing to forward the debate about creation vs evolution, nor does it have any particular effect on Bill Nye the science guy. Remember the stumbling block where Bill Nye is standing is clear, he rejects the statement, “There is a God who does the Supernatural.” He cannot, and will not surmount that obstacle in his mind. He has entered into this debate because he “knows” there is a natural explanation for everything. One who believes in a Supernatural involvement is not, in Bill Nye’s opinion, scientific. He is defiant of Ken Ham’s promotion of a Supernatural involvement in creation. Ken’s saying he has personally met this Creator will not bode well in this debate. Understanding where an adversary is coming from is essential for a good defense of Christian truth. Never loose site of your purpose.
An answer that would have delivered a one-two punch to Bill Nye and the topic at hand would have been ideal for the question, “What would change your mind?” I am not in the “hot seat” and I often step back, as an arm-chair quarterback does, and say, “What I should have said,.” or in this instance, “What Ken Ham should have said….” But just the same consider this.
I raise beagles, and we are all familiar with dog shows and the many many dog breeds that they parade across the showroom. Incidentally, the Miss P, the beagle, won first place at the 139th Annual Westminster Dog Show this past February 2015. But if you could keep working with these dog breeds until one of them produced a Clydesdale horse, then I would step back and say, “Whoa, maybe I was wrong about this hypothesis of evolution.” Anything less than that will not persuade me. Darwinians hypothesize that by accident and random chance beagles turn into Clydesdale horses, lizards accidentally turn into bald eagles, and completely by random chance, molecules turn into man! Go to now, get down to your laboratories, practice some real science, count your chromosomes, tweak the DNA, and change a beagle’s genes to a Clydesdale horse’s genes. Then we true scientists will grant the right to change such a wild hypothesis as evolution into a bona fide theory. We might call it, “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”, or perhaps “The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” one of those titles might fit that theory. In the mean time, get serious! A theory must be producible and repeatable in a laboratory. God said beagles will reproduce after their kind; Bill Nye, the science guy, says beagles will produce Clydesdale horses. Let’s do some experiments and see which is the truth I need to see some real evidence and some real science before I’d even consider that God got this one wrong.
But because Bill Nye, the science guy, says creationists make no predictions, allow two very formidable predictions with this observation. First, no matter how many dog breeds you bring together, there will never be a horse or hoof of any sort produced from that pool of genes. Second, no matter how obvious and outlandish their unmitigated broach on true science is, no matter how mute their DNA analysis, no matter how silent their cloning laboratories, the “main stream scientists,” that earn and deserve their title “scientist-so-called”, will still insist that dogs accidentally breeding into horses, that lizards accidentally hatching out eagles, and that molecules evolving into humans is still, in their opinion, a valid “theory.” In reality, there is not a shred of laboratory evidence! What they say happened “naturally” in eons of time, they cannot reproduce in the most sophisticated laboratory. It is all an unsubstantiated, inconceivable hypothesis forced on us by main-stream science-so-called. No rational mind could change from a creation account to such a hypothesis without some kind of meaningful evidence, and they have none.
Now, the blunder that Ken Ham made in refuting Bill Nye’s hypothesis in this debate is that he failed to consider the basis of Bill’s reasoning. Every ounce of the evolutionists brain rests on an assumption that everything is natural, and there is no Supernatural existence or involvement in the Universe. Ken’s argument that he has personally met the Supernatural LORD God and would never change his mind will eventually reduce to a “Have not!”, “Have to!”, “Have not!”, “Have to!”, kind of argument which has no place in a formal debate. So to, in a Christian’s defense of truth, such an approach will have little value. In defending against the evolutionist, always keep their major contention foremost in your argument. We want to break up the wayside soil not pack it in harder. They hypothesize that there is no Supernatural involvement in the Universe, and every observed phenomena must have a natural explanation. When they hypothesize a natural explanation that accounts for the species seen today, they must construct an inconceivable molecules to man evolutionary scheme. Ken Ham had an opportunity to confront this total lack of evidence, but he let Bill Nye, his contender, walk away unscathed. It is essential to keep the main thing the main thing in these situations.
Another instance where the main thing got set aside, while Bill Nye mocked on and on, dealt with the impossibility of Noah’s Ark. Ken Ham missed this profound opportunity on two fronts. First Noah built an Ark, not a ship. The unsuccessful five masted schooner ship, which Bill Nye used to illustrate his mockery, could have been sunk by pointing out that Noah was not a ship builder, he was God’s Ark builder. God’s Ark had no masts. None. Notta. Zip. But this second blunder needs to capture our full attention for a moment. The “main thing” that is to be pursued here is this: the Christian believes staunchly in the Supernatural God who involves himself in the affairs of man. Mainstream science, that Bill Nye the science guy is representing, contends that there is NO Supernatural, and that EVERYTHING has a purely natural explanation. In this instance Ken Ham completely departed from the main thing! He tried his best to explain the Ark and the Flood, and then the multitudes of species produced after the flood, with ALL NATURAL explanations. What a shame! What a missed opportunity to point out the main thing that Bill Nye is purposefully missing. Every conversation, with an unbeliever, every dialogue, every contest, must go back to the main thing. There is a God in Heaven, and He miraculously orchestrated the Ark, the Flood, and the re-speciation of this world. Trying to explain any Supernatural event with only natural sciences… well… that is the essence of the unbelievers dilemma isn’t it? Ken Ham tried to play on their “natural” turf and detail a natural explanation for building an Ark, fitting in two of every kind, and repopulating the world with a modified and replaced Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species! (Ken Plays Chess On Friday Getting Suspended)
Respeciation is a miracle. It cannot have a natural explanation. Consider that the KPCOFGS (Kingdom-Phylum-Class…), post-flood classification, or taxonomy, of living things has been our practice since the turn of the 18th century AD. Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708), a French botanist, is considered “the founder of the modern concept of genera, and Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), (also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné) a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, is known as the father of modern taxonomy. For example, Canis is a Genus of dogs, in the Family of Caridae. It includes dogs, wolves, coyotes and jackals. The important thing about a Genus is that they can all interbreed, and thus they can align with the distinction that God gave them in Genesis 1:25, “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” It is demonstrable that interbreeding a dog, a coyote, and a gray wolf can produce a golden jackal or an Ethiopian wolf. They are all of the same “Kind.” In God’s order, and in biology’s taxonomy, or ordered system, they are in the same Genus and Family.
Contrast that with a Genus Felis, of the Family Felidae, containing lions, tigers and … cats. (Dorthy was also concerned with bears, but that is yet another Kind, ordered into the Genus Ursus in the Family Ursidae, Indeed they are all in the Order Carnivora, but it is only the whole Family, Canidae, that are interbreeding to produce black, grisly, cinnamon, brown and polar bears.) Now this Genus and Family , the Felis, can interbreed and make all kinds of feline creatures, but woe to the man who breeds a Canidae with a Feelidae. They would get… well… nothing. You see, you cannot breed cats and dogs because they are of different Kind. Everybody knows that. The genes and chromosomes and DNA are completely different in Kind. And yet, mainstream science, i.e. science-so-called, wants to completely ignore this truth and pretend, for the sake of their hypothesis, that these various Kind came from common ancestors. And not only that, they did it by natural selection and survival of the fittest! The magnanimity of this deception is staggering. If evolution were a real science, it would be required that their scientists get down to the laboratory and crossbreed cats, dogs and bears, and re-produce a common ancestral Order Canidae which connects them. But the only place that is even possible is in a fictional ancestral tree, printed in our children’s “science” text books!
Further, the evolutionists have brain washed our society into thinking that if cats , dogs, and horses have a common ancestor then so do mammals, birds, lizards and insects! Their hypothesis includes the unbelievable presumption that two rocks rubbed together in a primeval sea and produced some amino acids which, by pure happenstance, flicked off into accidental life forms. These life forms used natural selection and survival of the fittest to produce a Stanford PhD! Shame on Charles Darwin, he was no scientist!
Species: S. camelus
Species: H. leucocephalus
God established that his creatures reproduced after their own Kind. When he miraculously directed them to get on an Ark (not a ship) he said “Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive” (Gen 6:20). He reiterated this Supernatural miracle in case some might doubt what he did:
In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. (Gen 7:13-16)
Bill Nye the science guy, and his mainstream scientists standing behind him, have insinuated that all creatures great and small have arrived at their present Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family Genus and Species, by a natural process starting with two rocks in a primeval sea and driven by a survival of the fittest. They allow no Supernatural involvement whatsoever, and they provide no repeatable laboratory evidence to support this wild hypothesis. Although the vast majority will recite in unison, how beautiful and auspicious are the Emperor’s new clothes34, there will always be a few Bible believing Christians who yell out from the sidelines, “The Emperor has no cloths, the Emperor is stark raving naked.” There is a God in heaven, and he created creatures which reproduce after their own kind.
I said all that to say this, in Ken Ham’s debate with Bill Nye, Ken did not keep the main thing the main thing. Bill Nye is solidly persuaded and most firmly believes that every thing in this Universe arrived here, and continues here, by nothing but perfectly natural and logically understandable processes. He is totally against the inclusion of a single Supernatural event. He purports only Natural Science as his Creator and Sustainer. The main thing in any Christian defense here, is to point out the absurdities in that hypothesis. Always keep a focus. Ken Ham did not.
Ken’s attempt to refute Bill Nye’s hypothesis by testament, that he personally met the Supernatural Creator is ineffectual, i.e. a “Have not!”, “Have to!” kind of argument. But his attempted use of the natural sciences to explain an Ark, a Flood, and a re-population of God’s creation, was absolutely deplorable. He was completely off target and Bill Nye the science guy knew it. If Ken Ham’s strategy had kept the main thing the main thing, this debate could have asserted that Creation is not only a “viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era”, but it is the ONLY viable model in any era!
When developing an apology, a defense of Christian doctrine, always know the main thing, the grounds of the detractors, and the strategy which will refute them. If you cannot, it might be better to not answer at all. The Bible says “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him.” The next verse says “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit” (Proverbs 26:4,5).
Another observation on the evolutionists wild hypothesis that all Creation has a common ancestor (somewhat and somehow removed from the amino acids of a rock) is their hypothesis of a Cambrian Explosion. Because all the present Orders coming from one or two Kingdom-Phylum-Classes is so inconceivable even in billions of fictional years, science-so-called has hypothesized what is called a Cambrian Explosion.35 In this hypothesis, 530 million years (or so) ago, a wide variety of animals must have just burst onto the evolutionary scene. Therein marine animals must have “evolved” most of the basic forms that are observed in “modern groups.” Many of the animal Phyla must have diverged during the Precambrian era, they hypothesize, since plants evolved different than fungi, anthropoids and chordates. They thereby derive ancestors of the lineages that they identify from this Cambrian Explosion.
This wild hypothesis within a wild hypothesis has no scientific evidence whatsoever. They take a precarious stack of fossils back to what they imagine is a half a billion years, then they wave their hands and say there was a Cambrian Explosion. It is unfortunate that Ken Ham spent all his time trying to differentiate “historical science” from “evidential science,” and none of his time rubbing a Cambrian Explosion into Bill Nye’s face.
What’s more, there was an incorrigible amount of debate time used up introducing creationists who made scientific contributions of late. This was also completely off topic. Bible believers will win nothing by appealing to what the majority are saying or doing. The true believer lot is that of a minority in this world. Indeed “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 16:25). And again, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Matt 7:13). It is only the Roman Religion which thought that (and still thinks that) the Catholic Church would usher in a new world where “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa 11:6) No, true believers will always be the minorities in this debate and in the end we dare not use any majority arguments. Further, it was defensive posturing even before an offense was mounted! It was ineffective. In an opening statement, when you get to go first, an offensive jab is far more effective than a defensive posture.
An ideal opening offensive should have been aimed at the evolutionists time clock. They insist that it takes 168,000 years for light to travel 168,000 light years. Their whole world view hangs on this fallacy. It does not take much development to throw a wrench into that thinking and fracture that foundation. The theories of relativity have established that time and distance are interrelated, and somehow “relative” to ones current coordinate system. That is why so many sci-fi ideas concern themselves with time travel, time warps, worm holes, etc. in the outer reaches of space. There is some basis of truth behind most sci-fi imaginations and evolutionists completely ignore this truth. Einstein established that light traveling through firmament outside of our immediate coordinate system “is not relative” to our tiny little coordinate system. This all unfolds inside Albert Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, theories which evolutionists purposefully remain balefully ignorant.
The only reason that mainstream scientists believe and preach that the world is thirteen billion years old, is because the edges of the Universe which they can presently “see” is thirteen billion light years away. They contradict their own logic when they assert that the Universe is also unbounded and infinite, but that needs to be another investigation. For now, for this present argument, be it known that the ONLY basis for their 3.5 billion year old universe is that they saw a glimmer of light from a star that, for their best guess, is 3.5 billion light years away! Notice that as they got greater telescopes they raised all their estimates, and they have done that for all my 50 years of listening to them. They will surely soon get to thirty-two, or three-hundred and two billion! They used to believe and preach that the Universe was an astronomical two million years old, but then they kept building bigger telescopes and revising their “known facts” and their outlandish hypothesis. They always preach their hypothesis as “irrefutable fact,” and get more and more offended at Christians who will not line up with what they are preaching.
The stark reality is this, Bible believers see that God has revealed a Universe that he created only 6,019 years ago, in 4000 BC. (If you are not offended by the genius of James Ussher (1581-1656), who determined when all the planets were aligned, we can use his first day after creation as Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC, I would warn, just the same, that you not be quick to sit in the seat with his scoffers). If the observed supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud occurred 168,000 year ago, because it took 168,000 years for the light to get here, then God has deceived us in his revelation. The tiny remnant of Bible believers who are going to hold to the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word are going to herein reject the preaching of mainstream science. We will contend that their ever changing Godless hypothesizing is still in error, and we will hold out for their more thorough comprehension of Albert Einstein’s Theories, not to mention their own Law of Entropy! Let God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)
Further, when they drill a hole through a large tree and find it older than God’s earth, we will contend that they are mistaken; when they dig down through layers of ice and hypothesize that it is older than God’s Universe, we will sympathize with their ignorance, but we will not reject God’s revealed Word. When they hypothesize about continents drifting at a forever constant rate, about the moon slipping away from the earth while collecting NO cosmic dust, or about planets solidifying at an exponentially slower rate than is NATURAL, Christians have a “going in” position, and it is, “God does not lie.” Evolutionists have a “going in” position as well, it is that there is no Supernatural God involved in the affairs of this Universe. One is right, one is wrong. Truth, i.e. our Lord Jesus Christ, is on our side. Don’t back down. Don’t rely on their false god of Natural Science, when we know the LORD God who created the universe.
Bible believing Christians hold to God’s Word which declares that just over 6,000 years ago the LORD God created the heavens and the earth. Evolutionists hold to (and forever modify) Charles Darwin’s hypothesis that molecules turned into man in (at last check) thirteen billion years of random happenstance. For the Bible believing Christian the Big Bang and lizards evolving into eagles is not a viable model for the creation of the Universe. Now just deal with it, Bill Nye the science guy.
A word about an apologetics strategy which comes from this analysis is in order. We found the purpose in this apology crafted into two declarations. On the left is the declaration “The cosmos came into existence and continues in existence by nothing more than natural processes which true science may discover.” On the right is the declaration that, “The Universe came into existence by the creative power of the Most-High-God, and it continues in existence by the natural laws which he created AND by his Supernatural involvement in the affairs of man.” Granted there is a mixed multitude (cf Exodus 12:38 and Nehemiah13:3) running around in between these two lines, but a Bible believer should never cross certain lines. Stand with the clear winner in this purpose, “that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph 6) Recall his promise:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (Isa 41:10-13).
Now, a strategy which would pursue this purpose might be to resign oneself to being the underdog. Just be brazenly obvious that the majority of “scientists”, the majority of “religions” and even the majority of “Christendom” is not going to hold emphatically to dictates of God’s inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word. But let Bill Nye the science guy, or any of his cohorts, know that he just crossed a Bible believer who is emphatic. Aggressively pursuing the notion that God’s creation model is the ONLY viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era is far better than some defensive posture, or some pretense that there are a great number of us holding and defending such a position. Remember the victory which Gideon saw; remember the loneliness which Elijah felt; remember how much they hated God’s Only Begotten Son, and then keep the main thing the main thing.
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.
Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.(Isaiah 45:5-12)
Outlining the purpose and designing a strategy for a defense of the Christian faith is not adequate until consideration is given to the target audience. We have briefly examined an early apology which dealt with the Roman Empire’s perception that Christianity involved cannibalism. We have more thoroughly examined C.S. Lewis’ “Case for Christianity,” and Lee Strobels “Case for Christ.” And then I took a keen interest in the Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate and its defense of Christianity against science-so-called. The purpose and strategies of these leaves us to consider who is the audience for such a defense, and more particularly, how do we get the needed defense into the hands of that audience.
Consider, again, the very first documented apology. The defense was not published in the Roman Times, or a Corinthian Gazette. It was not published in a book that made the Athenian best sellers list. The defense was instead distributed to Christians. They were made sensitive to the lie which Satan was propagating. They were educated with some good strategies for defeating the deception. It was Christians who injected the defense into the world empire. As they confronted the populous with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, they confronted the naysayers and scoffers with the truth about the symbolism in the unleavened wine (no alcohol) and the unleavened bread. As they did this they kept the emphasis on the substitutionary aspect of what Christ did. “For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). As the Apostle Paul put it, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.“ That is the gospel we preach.
It is the thesis of this author that such a target audience of an apology, the Christian soldier preaching the gospel message, is still the best approach. It is most prudent to put the tools for busting up wayside soul into the hands of the soldiers on the front lines; soldiers aptly armed with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17). Notice that this approach changes the normal target audience of an apology. A defense of a Christian doctrine is best aimed at saints who hold the doctrine. Aiming the defense at the scoffer will not have nearly the effect.
Consider this approach for C.S. Lewis’ apology. His case for Christiantiy was first argued in several BBC radio broadcasts. Each broadcast brought feedback from both believers and skeptics. The believers were both well versed and unversed (some pun intended). The skeptics were both hardened scoffers and pondering listeners. Their feedback helped frame Lewis’ defense. He then published the transcripts of these broadcasts in his book, “Mere Christianity.” The target audience, for both his radio broadcasts, and his book was his old cronies, the atheists, agnostics, and apathetics (which I call the AAA crowd). I have not done, or read of any official polling on Lewis’ book, but by far the most influenced group have been born-again Christians who find his book insightful for making arguments against atheism. I am sure his broadcast and publication has had its impact on atheists and agnostics but I have more particularly witnessed Christians with a bolder witness to skeptics because of C.S. Lewis’ book. (Mere Christianity not referencing and not having read his many fables). Ergo I contend, again, that the target audience of an apology ought to properly be the Christians soldier.
The same holds true for Lee Strobel’s book and apology. His book, “The Case for Christ,” has targeted the agnostic and skeptic. His marketing seems to be directed that way. I know it might be the circles that I run in, but my first hearing of Lee Strobel’s book was from another believer who praised it for the boldness it gave in approaching his own agnostic friends. “Did you hear about the atheist who investigated Christ to discredit Christianity and ended up a born-again believer?” That question is more often formed by believers who read (or heard about) Lee Strobel’s book than by the skeptic who became a believer because of it. Consequently, I contend all the more that the most effective target audience for an apology is the Christians who are approaching the lost with Christ’s gospel message.
I do not know that Lee Strobel’s book could have been better written with such a target in view. It could, perhaps, have honed the pointers and questions after each section toward that Christian audience. The information given, and the investigative reporter type format, however, is perfectly adequate for Christians absorbing his arguments.
Consider the audience for Ken Ham’s apology. The debate was held on home turf, in the Creation Science Museum auditorium. Of course a formal debate cannot be structured to give Christians instruction on how to approach a skeptical “scientist” type, but it does give a “watch this” performance for Christians. The idea that a majority is siding with “science-so-called,” and rejecting the Creation account of God can be intimidating. Seeing Ken Ham face-off against Goliath is encouraging. Seeing the worlds most educated trying to defend the Emperor’s fine wardrobe was certainly enlightening, and often entertaining. Be assured that few of the worlds most educated are aware of their involvement in “The Emperor’s New Cloths” scenario. Again the greatest value of the debate was what it does for the Christian soldier who is about his Father’s business, preaching the gospel to every creature. Others found it interesting. Some found it moving. Soldiers of the cross found some new tactics. This supports my thesis, the the target audience, for an apology, should be the Christian soldier on the front lines.
It is left as an exercise for the student to compose an appropriate apology for the Beauchemin heresy. The heretical teachings of Gerry Beauchemin’s book “Hope Beyond Hell” are glaring enough. Any student of the Bible, knowing and believing in the inerrancy, infallibility, and verbal inspiration of Scripture might have the wherewithal to center a defense against man making the Holy Bible say whatever man wants to believe. God said what he meant, and meant what he said. The challenge for such an apology is to first scope its purpose. One could easily go to narrow here and only focus on Gerry Beauchemin. One could, possibly, go to large and include all who would misrepresent what the Bible declares as truth. But certainly, somewhere in the purpose, mans propensity for changing God’s message will need to be the focus, and that focus will need to address the fractured authority caused by multiple copyright versions.
The purpose was reasonably developed previously in this work, but a strategy for addressing Gerry Beauchemin’s twisting of truth is in need of development. Cunning craftiness is always refreshing, and memorable in devising a strategy. Remember what came to be called a Lewisism. Such craft is needed for the soul winner who has to answer the cry, “Well that’s just your interpretation.” And, lastly, remember that that soul winner is most likely going to be the target audience for a well developed apology. It is going to be a weapon in his arsenal.
A comprehended purpose, a crafty strategy, and a target audience, every apology needs them. A defense of Christian doctrine dare not lessen a Christians offense; the preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is to occupy every fiber of our being. The defense is intended to break up wayside soil where the gospel seed cannot penetrate; as illustrated in Jesus parable of the soils. In that regard it is intent on dispersing the hardened lies of Satan which pack a hardened shell over the souls around us. A good apology will cause a person to take pause, and consider again the tug of God on their reins. In that pause, a gospel seed might penetrate their soul and allow God to do his perfect work. It dare not be the apology that takes on that role. If a life is changed by our fair speech, it will but revert back to its sinful condition on our departure. If the gospel produces a genuine conversion, our Lord Jesus Christ does his miraculous work of quickening, indwelling, and baptism whereby his Father declares that soul justified. That work cannot be undone.
What are the lies that harden the soul? We have considered several in this work. 1) Christians practice cannibalism! When actually we partake in the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ on a spiritual, not physical plane. 2) The atheist says there is no God! When actually, God does not believe in atheists. 3) The agnostic says God is far off and cannot be known! When actually, God reveals himself to man. 4) True science requires all natural explanation with no Supernatural involvement whatsoever! When actually Natural Selection, i.e. imagining a lizard once turned into an eagle, is preposterous and the Supernatural is obvious in true science. 5) The cosmos existed for billions of years else the light from outer galaxies would not have arrived here yet! “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2Pet 3:5-8). 6) It is impossible that there was a world flood, and more impossible that Noah fit all animals on a ship! When actually, there is a Supernatural God who does the impossible. And 7) Man devised and carelessly copied the bible, and there is no inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God to be a reliable guide through these modern times. When actually, God says otherwise:. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt 5:18).
Standing here on the cusp of immorality wherein the Supreme court of the United States voted 5/4 for the immoral, requires that this work on apologetics address the atrocious lie of Satan’s court. This lie has several layers that men and women are the same, that men having sex with men is acceptable, that God accidentally created some men with a woman’s soul, and that sodomy and the effeminate behavior is right and alright. The framework of an apology might well be found in the following 300 word essay, and further developed from the attached letter to the LGBT community. The open letter to Bruce Jenner, a hallowed and Hollywood worshiped transvestite, is included as additional insight that is presently ignored by our politically-correct world. Several Baptist believers are presently at work on such an apology, and Satan is always usy finding new areas to pack down wayside soil. The soul-winner needs to be ever vigilant and should study to shew themselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed. May God bless your pursuit of effective apologies.
What The Bible Says
Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Last week the Supreme Court of the United States decided, five-to-four, that sodomy (the word is in the dictionary with graphic detail) is an acceptable alternate lifestyle. Sodomy has been immoral and outlawed in societies for over six-thousand years of human history. It was outlawed here just twenty years ago. So why did five justices disagree with four and declare that sodomy is the new approved law of the land? Why did our president, Barack Hussein Obama, rejoice that this approval of sodomy “makes us a more perfect union?” The answer is in the contemporary world-view of the progressive liberal. Since we humans evolved here from animals, they say, and the governments we create are evolving to a new world order, they say, we must keep “progressing” on to new levels, they say. We are moving away from the dark ages, they say, and it is an evolving progress, they say. If you oppose their evolving progress, you are surnamed “Hate-Speech.” The right wing, they say, want to take us back to the dark ages. In America, due to incessant brainwashing of each generation, the “they say” in this world view, outnumber the Creationists. Bible believing Creationists have no sympathy for an evolutionary hypothesis. It is clear, however, that the “they” who think themselves progressively evolving to these higher levels, will soon be a full majority. Karl Marx (1818-1883), Vladimir Lenin, (1870-1924) and Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) portrayed this evolution in government as a progression from a monarch, to a republic with capitalism, to a democracy with socialism, to pure socialism, and finally to communism. It is getting like Sodom and Gomorrah around here, but our Lord Jesus Christ did not say to march on Washington, he said “preach the gospel to every creature.” Even to those in homosexual sin.
An Essay for week #26 Jun 28, 15
See and print a Letter to the LGBT www.gsbaptistchurch.com/lgbt/
Christianity is not a condemning religion, but many have practiced condemnation in its name. Nor is Christianity a condoning religion, while many have pretended that God will condone any sin that His creatures tangle with, because God is love. In the strictest definition ‘Christianity’ is not a ‘religion’ at all: it is a relationship, a relationship with God through Christ of the Bible. Please take a moment to read this letter from a Baptist Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will cut through all the hype and denominational garbage of churches and lay out, as plainly as can be stated, what the Bible says about your condition, and your status with your Creator. Don’t dismiss this letter lightly.
‘Religion’ is what man can DO, and ‘DO religiously’, in order to be well pleasing to, and finally accepted by his Creator. Officially there are over 242 major ‘Christian’ denominations and 252 opinions of what one must DO. The Bible, however, is explicit: there is only one act, there is only one thing that man can do, which will separate them from their Creator for all eternity. That one thing has nothing to do with your sexual orientation or your opinion on homosexuality, it has everything to do with your relationship with the Only Begotten Son of God.
The Bible states emphatically that, “There is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10) Further clarifying that, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (vr. 11-12) ‘Sin’ is man falling short of God’s expectations and commandments. All have sinned. The verse of Hebrew law stating that, “If a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination,” (Leviticus 20:13) clarifies that, although it may not have made his top ten list, the homosexual act is still, and is emphatically designated as a sin. That law from God was given to the Hebrews to ensure the continuation and sanctification of the Hebrew Society; the Society God chose to reveal Jehovah God to mankind, the Society that provided the Words of God, written down, and the Society that provided the promised Seed of Woman, the Messiah (Hebrew), the Christ (Greek). For the perpetuation of that Hebrew Society, the penalty for violation of God’s law was very strict, very corporal, very swift. The verse of Hebrew law continues, “They shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13b) In Hebrew Society, the death penalty was common for acts of disobedience. There is no provision for the continuation of the Hebrew Society or its strict and harsh punishments after the coming of the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God. But neither is there cause to dismiss or lighten God’s definition of sin; in fact, Jesus, the Christ, heightens its definition to say, if you are lusting, you are guilty of adultery, if you are hating without a cause, you are guilty of murder (Matthew 5-7) For Christianity, the whole purpose of the law is to demonstrate that, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) ‘All’ means ‘all’. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6a)
Since all have sinned, then all are guilty, and all are condemned under the law. If you are guilty of violating one commandment, then you are guilty of all. (James 2:10) The gospel that Christianity is supposed to preach to every creature is that, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The wages of sin is death, and we are already under that condemnation, (6:23) but Christ took our place. The Only Begotten Son of God was our substitute, and when we believe and accept what he has done for us, we have forgiveness of all sin and he ‘quickens’ inside of us, an eternal life that shall never perish. (John 3:16) With that much background information anyone can get a Bible and read John 3:16-18, 36 and Romans 10:9-10, 13 and be saved from their sin the Bible way, which Jesus said was the only way. (John 14:6)
You can find an Episcopal Priest, or any other Church Clergy, who will tell you that ‘sodomy’ is not sin, and God accepts you as you are, no matter how you are living. You can find a Bible thumping crazy man who says homosexuality is the awfullest sin in existence, it is an unpardonable sin, he will say, and God has given you up to uncleanness and vile affections, he will quote. (Romans 1:24,26) The Bible reality, however, is that “sodomy”, clearly defined in a dictionary; is “sin”, clearly defined in a dictionary. So is adultery, murder, lying, using God’s name in vain, stealing and coveting; and further, every human born into this world is born guilty of sin and condemned under God’s law. The good news, called the gospel of Jesus Christ, is that God will save every ‘whosoever‘ that will call on him and ask him to be Lord and Saviour of their soul. (John 3:16-18, 36, Roman 10:9-10, 13)
To the parents and friends of one tangled in the sin of homosexuality: 1. God can save anybody. (Isaiah 59:1) 2. God is not willing that any should perish. (2Peter 3:9) 3. The only unpardonable sin is to leave this life without repenting and calling on the Only Begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18) And 4. God hears and answers prayers of his saints. (John 14:13) May God bless you for hearing this Bible truth. My prayer is that you will meet the Author of Perfect Peace and call on him to be your Lord and Saviour.
Pastor Ed Rice
Good Samaritan Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamental KJV Bible Believing Baptist Church
54 Main St. Box99, Dresden NY 14441 (315) 521-3466 www.GSBaptistChurch.com Email PastorRice@GSBap…com
This letter is available at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/lgbt
Dear Bruce Jenner,
Lets review some differences between men and women.
Men and women differ in every cell of their bodies. This difference in the chromosome combinations is the basic cause of development into male or female as the case may be. Women have greater constitutional vitality, perhaps because of this chromosome difference. Normally women outlive men by 3 or 4 years in the US. They differ in skeletal structure. Women have a shorter head, broader face, less chin, shorter legs and longer trunk. There are also internal differences. Women have a larger stomach, kidney liver, appendix, yet smaller lungs. In bodily functions, women have several important ones totally lacking in men: menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. Women’s hormones are different and more numerous than men’s. These hormonal differences influence behavior and feelings.
The thyroid gland behaves differently in the two sexes. Women’s thyroid is larger and more active. Consequently, it enlarges during pregnancy and during menstruation; it make her more prone to goiter, provides resistance to cold, is associated with the smooth skin, relatively hairless body and thin layer of subcutaneous fat. Women’s blood contains more water (20% fewer red cells), thus they tire more easily and are prone to faint. In England war factories increase the work day from 10 hours to 12 hours caused a 150% increase in accident rates for women and 0 % increase for men.
In brute strength, men are 50% stronger. Women’s hearts beat more rapidly 80 to 72. Their blood pressure is 10 points lower, and varies from minute to minute, but they have much less tendency to have high blood pressure, at least until after menopause. Women’s breathing power is significantly lower. Women withstand higher temperature variations better than men because their metabolism slows down less. As to sexual drive, the woman’s relates to her cycle and man’s drive is fairly constant. Women are affected by touch, words, and emotional feelings. Men are affected by sight.
Intuition is an unconscious perception of minute details which are sometimes tangible, sometimes abstract in nature. Since it is usually an ‘unconscious’ process, many times a women isn’t able to give any specific explanations for the way she feels. A man tends to follow a logical analysis of circumstances or people.
God made us different. God made us for different roles. Obey God’s roles, live life to the fullest.
The work of apologetics must not rest. This is a call for those who believe in the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired word of God, that they might take up the work. Is there not a cause?
(available for review at http://www.theology.gsbaptistchurch.com/an-apologetics-apology/ )(available in pdf at http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/theology/apologetics.pdf )
Evang Phd 6 Apr 2015
Sub:Re: April Theology Working Paper – An Apologetics Apology
Bro. Rice, just a note to express my appreciation for your apologetics paper. It was excellent. I trust God will use it to convince pastors of the need to have some answers and to stand for the faith. Additionally, that they will train their members to do the same.
I have edited over 150 books so typos jump off the page and I automatically mark them. If you are interested I would be willing to share some of those I saw. Of course, every book has some typos. Anyway, let me know. We leave for conferences in NJ, PA, MD, and VA on Saturday so I may not get back to you for a few weeks. Blessings. Don Boys
From: Pastor Ed Rice <PastorRice@GSBaptistChurch.com>
To: Evang <>
Sent: Thu, Apr 2, 2015 7:42 am
Subject: April Theology Working Paper – An Apologetics Apology
The Holy Bible
Anderson, Hans Christian, “The Emperor’s new Clothes” 1837, Public Domain and repeated in its entirety in the appendix of this author’s dissertation.
Beauchemin, Gerry, “Hope Beyond Hell, The Righteous Purpose of God’s Judgment”, Malista Press, 2010. [This book is heretical. To appease sensitivities about God’s meeting out eternal punishment Beauchemin defends the heresy that in Greek, “forever” does not mean “forever,” “Hell” does not mean “Hell,” and “fire and brimstone” does not mean “fire and brimstone.” Shame on Beauchemin. This work is critiqued and refuted in this report.]
Gaussen, L., Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science, David Scott’s translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS’N., 1840.
Lewis, C.S., Mere Christianity, 1943, Scan and OCR by Copper Kettle, Yakaterinburg, Published in England under the title “Broadcast Talks”. [“Mere Christianity” is a classic work of apologetics, but it is at issue in this study because of its blatant error concerning the method of the new birth; error which springs directly from Lewis’ Anglican Church and its apostate doctrines.]
Rice, Edward G., The 357 Magnum Errors of the Modernist’s Critical Texts, Public Domain, http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/baptist/bible/texterror.pdf, http://www.lulu.com/shop/pastor-edward-rice/the-357-magnum-errors-of-modernists-critical-texts/paperback/product-5586759.html
Strobel, Lee, “The Case for Christ”, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998, ISBN: 310-22646-6 (hardback), 310-20930-7 (paperback)
1 1Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
2 Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
3 en.wikipidea.org, s.v., The Appian Way (Latin and Italian: Via Appia) was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic.
6 C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”, 1943, Scan and OCR by Copper Kettle, Yakaterinburg, Published in England under the title “Broadcast Talks”.
7 Lee Strobel, “The Case for Christ”, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998.
8 Quoted directly from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary’s Course 702 objective.
9 Bill Nye is a scientist, engineer, comedian, and inventor. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University where he studied under Carl Sagan. He worked on the 747 as an engineer at Boeing before creating and hosting his much-loved Emmy award-winning PBS show Bill Nye the Science Guy. He holds six Honorary Doctorate degrees – from Lehigh University, Willamette University, Quinnipiac University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Goucher College, and Johns Hopkins, and teaches at Cornell regularly as a visiting professor.
10 Gerry Beauchemin, “Hope Beyond Hell, The Righteous Purpose of God’s Judgment”, Malista Press, 2010.
11 American Heritage Dictionary, s.v., ag·nos·tic (²g-n¼s“t¹k) n. One who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God but does not deny the possibility that God exists.
12 The Revised Standard Version, New Testament, is copyrighted 1946, © 1971, 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
13 Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer.
15 Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949, 107.
17 Ibid, Strobel, flyleaf.
18 His most famous book is “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, the first published of his Chronicles of Narnia.
19 C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”, 1943, Scan and OCR by Copper Kettle, Yakaterinburg, Published in England under the title “Broadcast Talks”.
20 C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”, 35.
21 Ibid. 32
22 Ibid. 33
23 Pentecostalism is an inclusive term applied to a large number of revivalistic American sects, assemblies, and churches. Many have either a Methodist or Baptist background, and they are primarily concerned with perfection, Holiness, and the Pentecostal experience…. Most believe in… manifestations and “blessings” of the working of the Holy Spirit – the fiery Pentecostal baptism of the Spirit, … Many practice divine healing, and speaking in tongues is widespread…. Varying in size from small group meetings to huge mass meetings, pentecostalists are found in every state in the union, with greatest strength in the South, West, and Middle West. The churches bear a great variety of names and do not always include the word Pentecostal – for instance, the largest single group, Assemblies of God, with over half a million members, and the Church of God groups….The General Council of the Assemblies of God is actually an aggregation of Pentecostal churches and assemblies accomplished at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914. From Frank S. Mead, “Handbook of Denominations in the United States” Pierce and Smith, 1951, 194 – 195
24 John Calvin, “Institutes of the Christian Religion”, 1536, – Christian Classics … www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.html Published first in 1536, the Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin’s magnum opus. Extremely important for the Protestant Reformation, the Institutes has remained important for Protestant theology for almost five centuries. Written to “aid those who desire to be instructed in the doctrine of salvation,” the Institutes, which follows the ordering of the Apostle’s Creed, has four parts. The first part examines God the Father; the second part, the Son; the third part, the Holy Spirit; and the fourth part, the Church.
25 Every modernist version of the English Bible is trying to compensate for what they perceive as God’s failure to preserve inerrancy and verbal inspiration of Holy Scripture; they thus operate on the assumption that their copyright version is more accurate than any and all previous version. A premise that this author, and other KJV only students, quite vehemently reject.
26 Ibid., Strobel, 88
27 RSV is a registered trademark of the World Publishing Company which holds the copyright on their 1962 Revised Standard Version.
28 Ibid., 27
29 RSV is a registered trademark of the World Publishing Company which holds the copyright on their 1962 Revised Standard Version.
30 Ibid., 65
31 RSV is a registered trademark of the World Publishing Company which holds the copyright on their 1962 Revised Standard Version.
32 Ibid., 73-91
33 Ibid., 79, 82, 83
34 Hans Christian Anderson, “The Emperor’s new Clothes” by Danish author and poet, Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875 A.D.) First published in 1837 currently Public Domain and repeated in entirety in the appendix of this author’s dissertation.