Apologetics: Quoting Christian Thinkers
If truth is relative and there are no absolute truths, how do we know that the statement, “All truth is relative”, is true? This statement claims to be true in all circumstances—no matter what, truth is relative. In other words, this statement claims that ultimate reality consists of relative truths. So, the statement, “All truth is relative”, is claiming to be absolutely true.
However, if all truth is relative, the statement, “All truth is relative” cannot be true in all circumstances. This is a contradiction at the heart of the theory that truth is relative because in order for this theory to be true, one must assume the existence of at least one absolute truth—that all truth is relative. If we make this assumption, then we cannot claim that absolute truth does not exist.
…If reason directs one to accept the existence of absolute truth, one should follow its lead. Additionally, if absolute truth exists, it must have a source, and we should attempt to discover the source as this will shed more light on the nature of absolute truth itself.
– Stephen McAndrew (from Why It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe If It’s Not True [Deep River Books 2012 pp. 43,47])
As a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. – C.S. Lewis
I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has 330 million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive. ― Ravi Zacharias
To stay away from Christianity because part of the Bible’s teaching is offensive to you assumes that if there is a God he wouldn’t have any views that upset you. Does that belief make sense? If you don’t trust the Bible enough to let it challenge and correct your thinking, how could you ever have a personal relationship with God? In any truly personal relationship, the other person has to be able to contradict you. – Timothy Keller
The tooth of time gnaws all books but the Bible… Nineteen centuries of experience have tested it. It has passed through critical fires no other volume has suffered, and its spiritual truths have endured the flames and come out without so much as the smell of burning.
– W.E. Sangster
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Today, we share the gospel as a means of addressing felt needs. We give testimonies of changed lives and say to people if they want to become better parents or overcome depression or loneliness, that Jesus is their answer. This approach to evangelism is inadequate for two reasons. First, it does not reach people who may be out of touch with their feelings. Second, it invites the response, “Sorry, I do not have a need.” Have you noticed how no one responded to Paul in this manner? In Acts 17-20, he based his preaching on the fact that the gospel is true and reasonable to believe. He reasoned and tried to persuade people to intelligently accept Jesus.
– J.P. Moreland
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. – Max Planck (Nobel Prize winning physicist)
They say that religion leads to evil. Maybe they are right. But so do marriages and having children. I am convinced that if people stopped having children, within a few generations moral evil would be abolished from this planet. – Stephen J. Bedard
For the soul of a person to be inflamed with passion for the living God, that person’s mind must first be informed about the character and will of God. There can be nothing in the heart that is not first in the mind. Though it is possible to have theology on the head without its piercing the soul, it cannot pierce the soul without first being grasped by the mind. – R.C. Sproul
Apologetics is to be seen not as a defensive and hostile reaction against the world, but as a welcome opportunity to exhibit, celebrate, and display the treasure chest of the Christian faith, and to explain and commend it to those outside the church. It aims to set out the intellectual, moral, imaginative, and relational richness of the Christian faith—partly to reassure believers and help them develop their faith, but primarily to enable those outside the community of faith to realize the compelling vision that lies at the heart of the Christian gospel. – Alister McGrath
Defense is proper and necessary because in every age historic Christianity will be under attack. Defense does not mean being on the defensive. One must not be embarrassed about the use of the word defense. The proponents of any position who are alive to their own generation must give a sufficient answer for it when questions are raised about it. Thus, the word defense is not used here in a negative sense, because in any conversation, in any communication which is really dialogue, answers must be given to objections raised. Such answers are necessary in the first place for myself as a Christian if I am going to maintain my intellectual integrity, and if I am to keep united my personal, devotional and intellectual life. – Francis Schaeffer
We tend to toss ‘Christian hand-grenades,’ occasionally entering the culture to present our one-sided arguments for the truth of Christianity and then retreating to our churches as soon as we are done. Being missional means we act more like a rescue force that is determined to stay until all are rescued, rather than a commando unit that occasionally enters hostile territory to harass the enemy! Being missional means we endeavor to develop real and meaningful relationships with those that God, in His providence, has brought into our lives—to first demonstrate the love of Christ and then be ready with an answer to explain the hope that is within us. It means we listen more than we speak; we ask and answer questions and we expand our conversations to include more than just religion; and when we speak—for goodness sake!—we speak in normal language and not ‘Christianese.’ – Michael Craven