What's new
  • This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • Do not use Chrome Incognito when registering as it freezes the registration page.
  • Guest, Join Papa Zoom today for some uplifting biblical encouragement! --> Daily Verses

Feedback Separate apologetics from theology

Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
3,943
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
#81
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.
:thumb:thumb:thumb

That is so well said, Free. These are the points I'm advocating for a separation of Apologetics from Theology so that Apologetics can on some or many occasions deal with a defence of the faith where it is not always necessary to quote Scripture.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
6,568
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
#83
I think there are some things that are not being understood or are being misrepresented here.

First of all, there is a lot of leeway in the A&T forum on this idea of basing concepts on scripture. There are numerous posts where many points are made with no scripture quotes to back them up at all. Some of you are talking as if this rule has been enforced to the letter on every post. (And a forum guideline is considered a rule, otherwise there would be no reason to bother posting them. Most members wouldn't even bother to read them as has been proven by the constant begging we have to do to get members to read them even now.) But this kind of "to the letter" enforcement as some of you have been making it out to be is far from the truth. I personally let far more go by than I ever edit. And many times I will only remove a portion of a post that is in violation of some rule instead of removing the whole post, but yet I've been called just about every name you can think of for doing this as well as being told things like I am a servant of Satan and will go to hell for editing a member's post, and been called a liar because they claim their posts didn't say what I claim they said, even though there is still a clear record of it on file for all staff to see that proves them wrong! And this happens far more often than most of you would probably believe. Yet we continue to ignore and show lenience on more violations than we actually edit. In light of what some of you have said to me in SACs, why do I even bother to be lenient? I honestly don't know anymore. I think it would be easier to ask Satan to put out the fires of hell than it is to ask some "Christians" to apply the word of God to their attitudes and speech.

Secondly, Christian apologetics is not only used for evangelizing the lost who have outwardly and consciously rejected God's word. The word "apology" in this usage simply means to explain something. The word "theology" is the study of God. Therefore in the "Apologetics and Theology" forum, we are supposed to be explaining God, or more exactly, working out which of those explanations we accept and which ones we reject. This is far more an area for explaining God to Christians who want to learn more about Him and understand WHY they believe what they say they believe than it is an area for trying to persuade those who have rejected God to change their minds. In light of this it has always baffled me to no end that so many people who proclaim to be followers of God are so adamant about not being expected to base what they say about God on God's word to them! If a Christian wants to take that information from God's word and use it to testify to someone who rejects scripture, and feels they must restrain themselves from using scripture, they are free to do this. At least they will know the concepts they are apologizing (explaining) are true to God as they are based on His word even if His word isn't quoted in their specific testimony to that specific person. However I simply can not accept it as proper that a Christian should reject and refuse to follow the concept of basing what they say about God (to other Christians) on God's actual words He has spoken to us! If the concept is based on scripture, then that scripture can be cited. If they can not cite scripture to back up the concept, they need to find out if what they are saying is truly based on God's word or not. If it is not, it shouldn't be posted as either theology or Christian apologetics. It's probably a concept or personal opinion that would be better discussed in another forum.

Thirdly, evangelism and apologetics are not the same thing. Apologetics can certainly be a part of evangelism, but they are not one and the same. Apologetics has a much wider range of application than to just one type of evangelism. Since this is a Christian forum, I agree with those who have said that there really isn't that much opportunity to witness to the kind of person who is lost and who rejects God's word so thoroughly that they don't even want to hear it in this particular setting. I believe that if a person is going to try to evangelize someone in this way, they had better have a very solid grounding in the word of God and a very strong understanding of scriptural theology so that they don't go off and tell someone things about God that simply are not true. If a person can't, among Christians, show what scripture they base these concepts on, then they simply don't have sufficient grounding in God's word to take this chance. A&T is a place where they could have the opportunity to gain some of this grounding!

Now if we want to have an opportunity for those who desire and find themselves in a place of doing this kind of evangelism (to those who will close themselves off at the mention of God's word) to be able to discuss their tactics in doing this (one of which tactic I agree is apologetics), that's fine. But I would not be in favor of removing the scripture requirement, or any of the other guidelines from the A&T forum in order to attempt this. This will throw the A&T forum back into the terrible atmosphere that in the past made it an improper testimony of these forums and of Christianity in general, and I really don't want to have any part of that.
 
Last edited:

WIP

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
9,313
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
#84
In order to exercise apologetics as presented by the OP, an opponent must be allowed to present and defend a different view. ToS 2.1 says "This is a Christian site, therefore, any attempt to put down Christianity (or declare that it is false) and the basic tenets of our Faith will be considered a hostile act." This does not allow for non-believers to defend their beliefs or argue against our faith on CFnet. They can ask questions about what we believe and why we believe but they are not allowed to push their own beliefs or lack thereof.

This is also supported by part of our mission statement where it addresses non-Christians.

"We desire to serve non-Christians, seeking answers to questions about Christianity, by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ so they too may acquire the hope, joy, and peace that come from fellowship with the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ."
 

WIP

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
9,313
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
#85
I think there are some things that are not being understood or are being misrepresented here.

First of all, there is a lot of leeway in the A&T forum on this idea of basing concepts on scripture. There are numerous posts where many points are made with no scripture quotes to back them up at all. Some of you are talking as if this rule has been enforced to the letter on every post. (And a forum guideline is considered a rule, otherwise there would be no reason to bother posting them. Most members wouldn't even bother to read them as has been proven by the constant begging we have to do to get members to read them even now.) But this kind of "to the letter" enforcement as some of you have been making it out to be is far from the truth. I personally let far more go by than I ever edit. And many times I will only remove a portion of a post that is in violation of some rule instead of removing the whole post, but yet I've been called just about every name you can think of for doing this as well as being told things like I am a servant of Satan and will go to hell for editing a member's post, and been called a liar because they claim their posts didn't say what I claim they said, even though there is still a clear record of it on file for all staff to see that proves them wrong! And this happens far more often than most of you would probably believe. Yet we continue to ignore and show lenience on more violations than we actually edit. In light of what some of you have said to me in SACs, why do I even bother to be lenient? I honestly don't know anymore. I think it would be easier to ask Satan to put out the fires of hell than it is to ask some "Christians" to apply the word of God to their attitudes and speech.

Secondly, Christian apologetics is not only used for evangelizing the lost who have outwardly and consciously rejected God's word. The word "apology" in this usage simply means to explain something. The word "theology" is the study of God. Therefore in the "Apologetics and Theology" forum, we are supposed to be explaining God, or more exactly, working out which of those explanations we accept and which ones we reject. This is far more an area for explaining God to Christians who want to learn more about Him and understand WHY they believe what they say they believe than it is an area for trying to persuade those who have rejected God to change their minds. In light of this it has always baffled me to no end that so many people who proclaim to be followers of God are so adamant about not being expected to base what they say about God on God's word to them! If a Christian wants to take that information from God's word and use it to testify to someone who rejects scripture, and feels they must restrain themselves from using scripture, they are free to do this. At least they will know the concepts they are apologizing (explaining) are true to God as they are based on His word even if His word isn't quoted in their specific testimony to that specific person. However I simply can not accept it as proper that a Christian should reject and refuse to follow the concept of basing what they say about God (to other Christians) on God's actual words He has spoken to us! If the concept is based on scripture, then that scripture can be cited. If they can not cite scripture to back up the concept, they need to find out if what they are saying is truly based on God's word or not. If it is not, it shouldn't be posted as either theology or Christian apologetics. It's probably a concept or personal opinion that would be better discussed in another forum.

Thirdly, evangelism and apologetics are not the same thing. Apologetics can certainly be a part of evangelism, but they are not one and the same. Apologetics has a much wider range of application than to just one type of evangelism. Since this is a Christian forum, I agree with those who have said that there really isn't that much opportunity to witness to the kind of person who is lost and who rejects God's word so thoroughly that they don't even want to hear it in this particular setting. I believe that if a person is going to try to evangelize someone in this way, they had better have a very solid grounding in the word of God and a very strong understanding of scriptural theology so that they don't go off and tell someone things about God that simply are not true. If a person can't, among Christians, show what scripture they base these concepts on, then they simply don't have sufficient grounding in God's word to take this chance. A&T is a place where they could have the opportunity to gain some of this grounding!

Now if we want to have an opportunity for those who desire and find themselves in a place of doing this kind of evangelism (to those who will close themselves off at the mention of God's word) to be able to discuss their tactics in doing this (one of which tactic I agree is apologetics), that's fine. But I would not be in favor of removing the scripture requirement, or any of the other guidelines from the A&T forum in order to attempt this. This will throw the A&T forum back into the terrible atmosphere that in the past made it an improper testimony of these forums and of Christianity in general, and I really don't want to have any part of that.
This is evident in the way we moderate the A&T forum. When posters begin to stray away and present their opinions without providing the basis behind them, in most cases, we will post a reminder message in the thread to please remember the guidelines when posting. We put it in red to call attention to it. This message often includes a link to the guidelines or the guidelines themselves are posted. Sometimes we repeat the message multiple times as we try to redirect the discussion back toward a Scriptural basis. When those reminders are ignored we will typically start to delete part or all of the non-compliant posts hoping those involved get the hint. When that fails, we take things a step further.

How many reminders or deletions take place before we progress to stronger action is not written in any by-laws. It is to moderator discretion and probably has to do more with the tone of the discussion than anything. If the moderator senses the posters are becoming too riled up or puffed up we progress much more rapidly than when the discussion remains friendly and light or if the deviation from the guidelines is short-lived.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Messages
12,153
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
#86
I'd like to thank the mods here for allowing me to post here for, I believe, some 12 years now. Without being banned. Even though coming close a few times. :nod

It is difficult territory, scripture, to traverse between ourselves. There are many sincere believers who post here, and everywhere, where they do threaten the salvation of other believers. Personally, I like to see such postures dragged out into the open, as I know it lurks there, just beneath the surface of their positions. I believe this is a violation of the rules here, to threaten other believers as not being christians, and rightfully so. I do not make this my practice, as I believe it is basically impossible for Jesus to lose a single sheep, even if they have "bad doctrines" so this perhaps has saved my posting hide. Don't know. But thanks anyway. :nod I travel the way of peace with believers, even in disagreements, and do not believe God in Christ will lose any.

The point may be, that without a collective undertaking with believers who may not think alike, that there is going to be some friction. It's only natural that there would be. I LIKE exposure. Full disclosure. Let's have it all out in the open. Without this kind of dynamic friction, there is nothing to ponder between ourselves and no comparisons to be made. With RCC members in particular, imho. As frictional as that can be. These people need to escape. So in my view and sights, friction is entirely beneficial in the long run for everyone. I have had my own positions quite well debunked in the past, primarily from posting boards for christianity, when they emerged in the 90's. I needed correction! Years of charismatic LIES had taken me down a long long ways. It was hard to crawl out from under those lies. And I've found the experiences to be entirely beneficial, to test and compare what we may think we know, and to cast off that which is pale. I have had the pleasures of posting with Dr.'s of theology, of students on their way to the pulpits, of christian mystics, kabbalists, Jews, Messianic christians, etc etc. It is good to test and be tested. I've also engaged many other branches of christianity, maybe all of them, in these various formats. It is great fun and always interesting. I love The Word, even if Word proves me wrong, which it has and will continue to do. I accept those measures.

I am also not in favor of banning, necessarily, of anyone. There should be a place where such people can vent and be challenged, with extreme patience. This is a good practice for all of us to engage in. For unbelievers as well. That takes real patience. In fact most who bother to post aren't really unbelievers, they are disenfranchised believers who have fallen from the faith, and it takes an extreme amount of patience and sharing to restore such to faith, if it's possible.

Challenging for sure. What IF our faith is challenged by Satan himself? Would we not rise to the challenges? I might think so and expect so for any who give a defense of the faith. We really are commanded to give such defenses, as witnesses of Him. Witnesses testify. If the testimonies of the witnesses do not transpire here, they will transpire elsewhere. So, why not here? This board is as good as any.

I have noticed during my posting time here,what seems to be a marked decline in participation. It is not uncommon at other places either, as various factions "take control" and "take over" and the Gospel shuts down to a progressively smaller set of tighter filters where only people who agree can post. Dead end. The Doors of the Gospel should in fact be flung wide open, to all. Come what may. This will come, and is a promise of the Gospel of all who carry same, to preach it in the whole wide world.

John 7:43
So there was a division among the people because of him.

I would not like to see outright heresies promoted in "believer" areas however. And these are not always easy to spot, at first. But they deserve special treatment. These are the worst to come out of, and such people are trapped, enslaved, captured, need help. I have personally witnessed to many such, and they received help and came out from under these various spells.

Philippians 1:18
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

I might think that Paul saw Jesus Is Capable, regardless.

just my 2 c's