This is the first of a three-part mini-series on biblical apologetics. The mini-series seeks to serve as a very brief introduction to biblical apologetics and establish an apologetic foundation for better understanding of future blog posts. Unfortunately, as much I would love it to, this mini-series is unable to be all encompassing, seeking to answer all questions from both believers and nonbelievers. My sincere hope is that through comments and discussion, we can fill in most of the gaps missing regarding this much needed subject.
Hold on Just a Second!
Before we can dive into the complexity of biblical apologetics (a defense of the Christian faith), for some, they must first piece together their worldview. Everyone has a worldview, but few have really given their beliefs any thought. Have you ever found yourself in a debate, having to defend what you believe? Really think about it. It could have been about any topic in which you had to render a response based on your own worldview: politics, religion, climate change, school reform, illegal immigration, the second amendment of the U.S. constitution…anything! Now, how did that debate or conversation end? Were you persuaded enough to join the viewpoint of the person you were debating? Chances are, probably not. Why would I say that? You will find throughout this and future posts, people are not as rational as they think they are in debate or defending their worldview, especially when it comes to the biblical God. This is not to say people are dumb or unintelligent. It is because most fail to really explore what they believe, hence their often feeble attempts to defend it; thus, many responses are arbitrary, filled with conjecture, and/or are subjective.
What is a Worldview?
A worldview is a set of beliefs and assumptions a person uses when analyzing, interpreting, and rendering decisions about the world around them. We start developing these beliefs when we are very young. Our parent(s)/caretakers are normally the first to lay a foundation and influence our worldview because of their own views developed over the years. Worldviews seek to answer all types of questions: What is the purpose of life? Were we created or did we evolve? Is there a such thing as moral absolutes? What is love? What is good and evil / right and wrong? Does a god or do gods exist?
Thinking about the greater questions in life can get a bit complicated, cumbersome, and could deter someone altogether in wanting to think about them ever again. Reason being, it usually leaves the individual feeling lost and uncomfortable, and no closer to answering these seemingly impossible, philosophical questions. How could this be? More often than not, when people start trying to account for their worldviews, they eventually come to a dead end because they lack a solid foundation for what they believe. This then begs the question: Is there a worldview that has a solid, ultimate standard/foundation that can rationally account for its beliefs? The answer of course is yes, and only one. It is the biblical God through His word.
As we dive deeper into this mini-series of biblical apologetics, believers will be able to better account for what they believe and how to defend it appropriately. Nonbelievers will be able to really give their own worldviews the thought and accountability they deserve in order to defend them. They will also gain a better understanding of the biblical worldview, and will have to decide to accept it or continue to reject it. Continue to reject it? Is there not an argument persuasive enough to convince everyone of the truth of God’s word? The answer is unfortunately, no. The reason is, persuasion itself is subjective. People can (and do) accept very bad arguments, while others reject very good arguments. I will go over these points in more detail later in the series.
Before Moving on to Part 2:
Believers: I ask that you think about some conversations you have had with nonbelievers and comment about the question(s) you were unable to answer or have trouble answering. Many questions from nonbelievers have to do with science, so use that as the starting point if you are having trouble coming up with questions.
Nonbelievers: after you have given additional thought to your worldview, start asking yourself these two questions: How can I account for morality (right/wrong – good/bad)? What standard do I use to account for morality?
To all: I ask that you please post any questions in the comment section regarding worldviews. Let’s try and get a good, respectful dialogue going!
Author: Brian Kurkjian, Ed.D