Jesus and Apologetics
Last week we looked at the use of logic in apologetics. We have a reasonable faith and so therefore it should be understood using logic and reason. Just in case you are still not convinced I thought it would be fun to look at how Jesus, the most brilliant thinker in history, used logical arguments to refute His critics and establish the truth of His views. If Jesus used these methods, and we are followers of His, then logically we should do the same.
Jesus’ use of persuasive arguments demonstrates that He was both a philosopher and an apologist who rationally defended His worldview in discussions with some of the best thinkers of His day. This intellectual approach does not detract from His divine authority but enhances it. Jesus’ high estimation of rationality and His own application of arguments indicates that Christianity is not an anti-intellectual faith as opponents frequently portray.
Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1). Word translated here in Greek is Logos and it is from this word that the word logic derives.
As an apologist for God’s truth, He defended the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as His own teachings and actions.
Presenting Jesus as a worthy thinker can be a powerful apologetic tool to unbelievers who wrongly assume that Christian belief is a matter of blind faith or irrational belief.
Jesus didn’t use logic to win arguments, but so that his listeners would understand and gain insight. It wasn’t about scoring intellectual points, as many of the so-called intellectuals didn’t ‘get it’ and yet everyday people and even children did.
We see in the gospels a number of occasions where the religious authorities tried to trap Jesus and we are then treated to a masterful demonstration of Jesus defeating their arguments through logic. For example in Matthew 22:23-38
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, hoping through their questions for Jesus to change His mind and admit that the resurrection was absurd. They tried to corner Him to admit that either there was no resurrection or that heaven allowed for monogamous marriages.
Jesus, using logic, showed they were basing their arguments on false premises. He then skillfully used their own beliefs to show them why they were wrong.
This is quite a common device used by opponents to Christianity. Their arguments will appear logical but will be based on false or misleading statements and premises…
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