10 Quotes from Christian Apologist Greg Koukl
Here’s the key principle: Without God’s work, nothing else works; but with God’s work, many things work. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, love persuades. By the power of God, the gospel transforms. And with Jesus at work, arguments convince. God is happy to use each of these methods. (from, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions)
The “I just take Christianity on (blind) faith” attitude can’t be the right approach. It leaves the Bible without defense, yet Peter directs us to make a defense for the hope that is in us.
Also, the biblical word for faith, pistis, doesn’t mean wishing. It means active trust. And trust cannot be conjured up or manufactured. It must be earned. You can’t exercise the kind of faith the Bible has in mind unless you’re reasonably sure that some particular things are true.
In fact, I suggest you completely ban the phrase “leap of faith” from your vocabulary. Biblical faith is based on knowledge, not wishing or blind leaps. Knowledge builds confidence and confidence leads to trust. The kind of faith God is interested in is not wishing. It’s trust based on knowing, a sure confidence grounded in evidence. (from, The Trouble with Faith)
Some take the position that if science doesn’t give us reason to believe in something, then no good reason exists. That’s simply the false assumption of scientism.
The Bible knows nothing of a bold leap-in-the-dark faith, a hope-against-hope faith, a faith with no evidence. Rather, if the evidence doesn’t correspond to the hope, then the faith is in vain. (from, Faith and Facts)
Narrow-mindedness is different than having a narrow view. We have a narrow view. That is, we believe we are right in [our Christians convictions] and therefore other views are wrong. All of the claims of truth are narrow. Narrow-mindedness does not have to do with the view, it has to do with the person. It’s a vice of thinking. A narrow-minded person is a person who is stuck in his view and is not willing to consider alternate views. I have a narrow view, but I am certainly open to considering other people’s points of view and dealing with the evidence for it.
Jesus argued with the Pharisees all the time. Even His enemies reported that “no man speaks as this man speaks.” If Jesus merely relied on the power of God and the particulars of His speech were inconsequential, if His mind and intellect and cleverness didn’t enter into it, then why don’t we behold unimpressive, muddled, uncompelling words in His discourses? No, it was quite the opposite. When we look further in the New Testament we see heated and intense disputation– polemic, argumentation–at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. We see Paul going after Peter hammer and tongs in Galatians 2:11. You can immediately see the problem with any interpretation of a verse to the effect that one must not use reason and rationality in the proclamation of the Gospel. Such a person runs smack into an army of counterexamples from the Scripture itself.
Everybody has a point of view they think is right and everybody judges at some point or another. The Christian gets pigeon-holed as the judgmental one, but everyone else is judging, too. It’s an inescapable consequence of believing in any kind of morality.
Some say Christianity is just a crutch. But let’s turn the question on its edge for a moment. Is atheism an emotional crutch, wishful thinking? The ax cuts both ways. Perhaps atheists are rejecting God because they’ve had a bad relationship with their father. Instead of inventing God, have atheists invented non-God? Have they invented atheism to escape some of the frightening implications of God’s existence? Think about it.
I once saw a sign in a restaurant that read, ‘You are what you eat.’ I pointed out to the waitress that if we are what we eat, then we couldn’t be something until we have eaten something, But we can’t eat something unless we are something. therefore, it’s not true that we are what we eat. The waitress, unschooled in the finer points of self-refuting arguments, looked at me and said , ‘you’ll have to talk to the manager.” (from, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions)
I suggest you completely ban the phrase “leap of faith” from your vocabulary. Biblical faith is based on knowledge, not wishing or blind leaps. Knowledge builds confidence and confidence leads to trust. The kind of faith God is interested in is not wishing. It’s trust based on knowing, a sure confidence grounded in evidence.
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