Separate apologetics from theology

Discussion in 'Questions & Suggestions for CFnet Staff' started by OzSpen, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    That was a very helpful explanation of your thoughts. When the comments to the OP begin to wander, a moderator's one liner would help get it back on track: 'This is not what the OP is discussing. Let's get back to the OP. If you want to discuss that topic, please start a new thread'.
     
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  2. Eugene

    Eugene Staff Member Moderator

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    There lies the need of editing & gentle moderation to keep an active forum. We deal with many levels of spirituality, and can be instrumental in keeping things moving along in a manner to edify, and aiding their growth in Christ.
     
  3. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    All conversations need rules. It's not legalism, but a requirement for healthy dialogue. I can't and wouldn't use bullying tactics of swearing at a fellow employee on the job. I have boundaries for conversation at work and at church. On this forum should be no different.

    Imagine what it would be like if there were not fundamental rules for the playing of football, tennis, cricket and baseball. I have to abide by the rules of driving on Australian roads, for obtaining a driver's license and then the speed and boundaries of driving on the road.

    'More rules' do not necessarily lead to 'more legalism'. Rules are at the core of Christianity. John 14:6 (ESV) and Acts 4:12 (ESV) could be defined as 'more rules, more legalism' but it is core Christianity. There are some very definite rules in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7).

    It is most definitely a Christian forum if rules are required because boundaries (rules) are necessary for disciplined Christian living, an example being, 'If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless' (James 1:26 ESV). So the legalism of bridling the tongue is a demonstration of religion that is worthwhile before God.

    Oz
     
  4. Allen Wynne

    Allen Wynne Member

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    You might find yourself in a forum all by yourself.
     
  5. Abigail123

    Abigail123 Member

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    Perhaps I'm incorrect here, but Apologetics, imo, is believers defending their beliefs and differing ideas in a theological discussion using the Bible to "prove" their point.

    Evangelism is what comes to mind for me when I read the OP, this is dealing with non believers, witnessing to them and talking to them about our faith. Instead of changing A&T, perhaps an Evangelism section would be better suited, this way we all learn how to approach those non-believers when they ask questions similar to those presented in the OP. :shrug
     
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  6. Eugene

    Eugene Staff Member Moderator

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    I do not think that rules other than our current Terms of Service is needed. I do know that certain forums have individual restrictions such as no debate I hope would be relaxed a bit on the new Theology Forum.
     
  7. Free

    Free Staff Member Moderator

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    Firstly, comments like this need to stop. Secondly, he is right.
     
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  8. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    Nice response Free this is the whole reason for the rules... I really like this
     
  9. Free

    Free Staff Member Moderator

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    Apologetics is defending one's faith against those who believe differently. In this case, it is about Christians defending their faith against those who are not Christians. It isn't about Christian versus Christian in a theological discussion.

    Apologetics and theology are two different subjects; related but different.
     
  10. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Since I live in a very secular, post-Christian country, I find that sharing the Gospel will lead almost immediately into non-Christian challenges that can be quite inflammatory at times, like:
    • 'That's garbage (and followed by a string of expletives)';
    • Myth! Trash! Nonsense!
    • Science has proven your creation myth to be to be just that - myth - that is found in many of the stories of mythology.
    If you were here, I wonder what kind of response you would get by using the Bible to prove your points. These antagonists do not believe the Bible and my experience tells me that quoting it won't engage them in conversation.

    This afternoon I travel by train to the inner city Town Hall for a meeting of The Gospel Coalition. I'll engage the person beside me on the train in conversation and I'll try to get onto a Christian topic, but I don't plan on engaging that person by quoting the Bible. They are way back further than that in initial contact.

    Steven B Cowan is the general editor of Five Views on Apologetics (Cowan 2000). In his introduction to this book, he wrote on 'the nature of apologetics':

    This is an especially useful format for a book on apologetics. It provides expositions on 5 different methods:
    1. The Classical Method, William Lane Craig;
    2. The Evidential Method, Gary R Habermas;
    3. The Cumulative Case Method, Paul D. Feinberg;
    4. The Presuppositional Method, John M. Frame; and
    5. The Reformed Epistemological Method, Kelly James Clark.
    I enjoy this format because following the exposition of each author's method, the other 4 apologists provide their responses.

    Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler have edited a very practical volume to address apologetic issues at the local church level, Is Your Church Ready? Motivating Leaders to Live an Apologetic Life (Zacharias & Geisler 2003).

    Oz

    Works consulted
    Cowan, S B (gen ed). Five views of apologetics. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.

    Zacharias, R & Geisler, N (gen eds) 2003. Is your church ready? Motivating leaders to live an apologetic life. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
     
  11. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    :thumb:thumb:thumb
     
  12. WIP

    WIP Staff Member Administrator

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    So if I understand you correctly, by applying the guidelines the way we have, you are saying we have eliminated apologetics from the A&T forum to the point that it is now just a theology thread.
     
  13. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    That is the case, generally, where I live. By requiring me to address apologetics topics on CFnet by insisting on the quoting of Scripture, we have moved into theology when I would like to deal with apologetics with resistant or antagonistic people. You and I know that it will take a compulsory ministry of the Holy Spirit to change a person's heart.

    I agree with the application of rules but it is the requirement or guideline to use Scripture that I find unnecessary in finding common ground with post-Christian secularists.

    For example, some non-Christians and even Christians on CFnet use logical fallacies in their responses. I find it necessary to show what the fallacy is and how they use it by linking to a logical fallacies' site, but to do this does not need a Scripture reference.

    Oz
     
  14. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    My education is not much.... it took a long time for me to let those who know every thing not stop me from posting...
     
  15. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Reba,

    I don't understand what you mean by this statement. Would you please be able to help me understand what you mean by 'not stop me from posting'?
     
  16. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    I was intimated by members smarter then my self especially when they chose to correct the way i deliver my thoughts.. ..
    this type of posting was extremely hurtful ...
    I really do not understand why there are 4 pages here of some one trying every avenue possible to not want to use scripture in a Christian forum...in the only forum on the site that requires them...
     
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  17. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    My simple mind has had enough of this.... Thinking back on my childhood... there was always a few in the church that had better ideas for everything..... they most never followed through and left the mess for some one else.. Lessons from being a Preachers kid
     
  18. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    ok. I have been intimidated by men and women with higher education. try debating those with a science degree and all you know is the bible. That can be intimidating . While that idea of yours is commendable, not all have the education to grasp science to debate a theistic, naturalist evolutionist.
     
  19. Free

    Free Staff Member Moderator

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    The two main issues are these, as have been stated several times in this thread:

    1. Apologetics and theology are two different subjects, and both are fairly large subjects at that. They should never really have been made into one forum in the first place. Having a separate Apologetics forum would allow for arguments to defend the faith to be gathered in one place, and therefore be effective in helping train those who are interested in defending the faith.

    2. Not all apologetic arguments rely directly on Scripture. Defending traditional marriage and the sanctity of human life can be based on both arguments from Scripture and arguments not at all based on Scripture; the problem of evil is largely argued without Scripture; some of the arguments for the existence of God are not base on Scripture; etc. Not to mention the fact that many non-Christians dismiss the Bible and won't listen if one only tries to argue from Scripture. That's just a fact of the world we live in. One of the main points of apologetics is to get people to a point where they will be willing to listen to Scripture. More often than not apologetics is a necessary component of evangelism these days. It would be of great service to the Christian community to have a place where Christians can learn and get trained.
     
  20. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Reba,

    You have misread what I've written. I am NOT promoting the view NOT to use Scripture in a Christian forum. I'm addressing the ministry of apologetics which deals with objections to the Christian faith. To begin or continue an apologetic discussion with somebody objecting to some dimension of Christianity, it often is not helpful to begin with a 'thus says the Bible' answer. I've given a good number of examples in this thread to demonstrate that some objections to the faith do not require us to start with the Bible. Please go back through this thread to see the specific examples I have given.

    I do not appreciate it when you misrepresent what I said. I am most definitely NOT advocating the elimination of Scripture in a Christian forum. I'm advocating that Apologetics is a separate discipline to Theology and that Apologetics needs to be more open. It does not need a requirement or suggestion to always use Scripture.

    By the way, I have a very high view of Scripture and quote Scripture often in the forums on which I participate on CFnet. The issue is Apologetics and not needing to always need to quote Scripture.

    Oz
     

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