What’s Next? See all videos below In previous videos, I have been talking that I wanted to do some videos on apologetic arguments. Until now, I have chosen different topics each time. Topics that some of you suggested and also topics suggested by my own family. The latest suggestion was that of the impact of […]
Apologeet.nlApologetic Arguments Made Simple
In previous videos, I have been talking that I wanted to do some videos on apologetic arguments. Until now, I have chosen different topics each time. Topics that some of you suggested and also topics suggested by my own family. The latest suggestion was that of the impact of one’s world-view on his or her behaviour and personality. Actually, it was my wife who came with that idea. I love it! But, it will have to wait because I need to read into that topic a little more before I dare to say something about it.
So, what am I going to do now you ask? As you might have discovered by now, one of my favourite subjects in theology is that of apologetics. The name of my channel is ‘Apologeet’, which is Dutch for apologist and originated from the Greek word ‘apologia’ (απολογία) , which means: ‘speaking in defence’. And yes, making an apology comes from this word as well. But in theology, an apologist is a person who offers a defence by argument. When you speak about apologetics you talk about the branch of theology concerned with the defence and rational justification of Christianity.
I would like to try to explain some of the best apologetic arguments around. Most of these arguments are around a long time already, but many Christians avoid them because they might be a bit intimidating. One such argument is the so-called ontological argument. This is considered to be a philosophical jewel. It was Anselm who formulated this argument somewhere between 1033 and 1109 AD. Ever since, the argument has been challenged by some of the brightest philosophers we know. None of them could actually counter this argument in a way that it would render the argument invalid.
This kind of apologetics comes forth out of what is called ‘natural theology’. Within natural theology you can study the theistic arguments, which are rational arguments for the existence of a monotheistic God. The most known theistic arguments are the ontological, cosmological, design, moral and religious-experience arguments for God. These arguments do not rely on the Bible but are based on objective reasons outside God’s word. An apologist, who uses this kind of arguments, believes that the existence of God is logical without having to point at the Bible. In other words, the idea of God is logically coherent, and because of that, it is possible to make these arguments or combinations of arguments to establish the existence of such a being.
What kind of being? A personal and Perfect Being of unlimited power, knowledge and goodness who created the universe out of nothing. A being that is worthy of adoration and worship, and is distinct from the world but continuously involved in it, and this Being is capable of generating miracles. In other words: The God of the Bible, YHWH.
I am fully aware of the objections towards this approach. Approach? Yes, this is just one kind of approach. Other apologetical approaches are fideism, presuppositionalism, Reformed epistemology and evidentialism. However, I’ll save them for another time, and I’ll zoom in on the aforementioned theistic arguments.
Some would say that these arguments never fully grasp God’s true being, while others say we should never go outside the Bible. True enough it does look like the Bible itself isn’t using this kind of arguments. Actually, this was Blaise Pascal’s biggest objection. The Bible doesn’t use it, so we shouldn’t use it. However, we cannot forget that in Biblical times, and probably even in Pascal’s time, most just assumed that there is a God. No need to explain the existence, let’s move on. But, we live in weird times in which we need to start explaining about the existence first. Honestly, I do not have to do that here on Madagascar because most just know God is real. But in Europe it might prove to be a good tactic.
Another objection might be that the Bible is our ultimate authority, and as such we should never try to explain God’s existence by means of external support. Let me quote Douglas Groothuis who countered this objection as follows:
“[…] whatever speaks with authority must be viewed by others as having authority if it is to be recognised as authoritative. For example, a text on physics may be the definitive statement on the subject and thus have the highest scientific authority. This authority would not be damaged by those who refuse to view it as authoritative out of ignorance, perversity or disagreement. Neither would its authority be diminished if someone were to defend its credentials. Even if its authority needed to be corroborated, it would still have the highest authority as a physics text. Certifying its credentials as an authority does not undermine its authority but rather establishes it. Similarly, although the intrinsic authority of Scripture is not dependent on the arguments of natural theology, God’s existence may be demonstrated or rendered more rational through such arguments. If so, the Bible would gain authority in the eyes of those who had previously dismissed as irrational the existence of God and any God-inspired book.”i
So again, I do understand these objections, but I still believe that these arguments can greatly help Christians to gain more trust in, and knowledge of their faith. I do not make these videos to pursue non-believers to become Christian anyway. It would be nice to see it happen though, but it is not my main goal. For that, I would rather go to the non-believer in person, and talk to him or her personally.
I already quoted from Groothuis, and I think I am going use his book, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, for many of the following videos on this topic. I’ll put the credentials in the description of the video when I do.
Talking about description! You’ll find a lot of information there. Whenever I find or use some interesting things, I’ll link it there. But you can also find ways to support me. Some of you already did and some are doing it regularly! Thank you very much for that. I would also like to invite you to my Odysee channel. Odysee is a platform which based on a new protocol called LBRY. It is censorship free, unlike YouTube or others. It would be great if you start following me there. I am mostly active on that channel. You may comment on my videos on BitChute or YouTube, but you most likely won’t receive a reply. You can also start your own channel on Odysee. If you use my invitation in the description we will both receive some free LBC!
As always, thank you for watching, God bless you and we see each other in the next video!
i Groothuis, D., Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove Illinois, 2011, pp. 173-174.
All videos in this series
Introduction In his 1078 work Proslogion, Anselm of Canterbury came with the idea which is known as ‘the ontological argument’. In this argument God’s existence is not just possible or probable or very likely, but is logically ensured. Anselm defined God as “that than which nothing greater can be thought”. Anselm said that this being […]
Do you know mister William Lane Craig? This is a hugely smart man, and listening to him sounds like you’re reading an official academic essay. I’ve written a lot of essays and I wish I could write them as fast as he formulates his sentences. Mister Craig is well known for his philosophical way of […]
What do you think? Are we like orphans or are we citizens of our universe? Are we just an accident, a fluke, a product of mere chance? If we have to belief the secular world we are just a result of time, space, matter, chance and impersonal laws. No, the universe is just what it […]
A new video! On apologetics again. I promised in my last video to show you a bit of our road here in the countryside of Madagascar. So, stay tuned, because I will paste some of that footage at the end of this video. Anyway, let’s get started. I grew up in a time that knew […]
We have discussed several arguments for God. Now we’ve come to the fifth argument and I think this one will tricker most resistance. The Religious Experience argument for the existence of God! A religious experience is when someone feels they have had a direct or personal experience of God. This argument basically says that if […]
The material world we know is a world of change. My oldest son is about 1.76 metre. But he was not always that height. When he was born, he was about 51 centimetres. Yes, he changed a lot during the last 15 years. General Sherman is the biggest tree in the world. According to estimates, […]
This argument is closely related to the ontological argument. It starts from the idea of God. However, unlike the ontological argument, it does not say that real being is part of the content of that idea. Nope, it tries to demonstrate that only God Himself could have make this idea to develop in our thoughts. […]
This argument from miracles, and others, like the argument from religious experience and the argument from change, are not designed to prove the absolute existence of God they only claim a strong probability. Still, I include these kinds of arguments because they, together with all the other arguments, form a strong cumulative case. Other arguments […]
What is good for you, isn’t necessarily good for me. Did you hear that one before? I did! It is called ‘moral subjectivism’, and it is very popular in our western society. But things seems to change if you start to talk about one’s conscience. I have met many who do not, or who refuse, […]
In the last video, and the videos before I asked you whether you have any topics you would like me to discuss. So far, I have several. One of you want to talk about deism and why it is or isn’t a flawed idea. And Nortega came up with also a good topic. He said: […]
You Wanna Bet on it? My kids love to climb trees. Overall, I’m okay with that, but I normally give them one very important but simple rule: You are not allowed to fall out! And whatta you know… They tend to break that one simple rule every time. One day, one of them came running […]
Atheist Experience 30-03-2008i This wager thingy was still on my mind when I came across a YouTube channel called the ‘Atheist Experience.’ This channel is already running 13 years, so you could say that these guys are pretty experienced in them being atheistic and all. One of the faces of this channel is mister Matt […]