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The Biblical Basis For Apologetics


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#1 de_skudd

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:13 PM

Q- What is Apologetics? - a·pol·o·get·ics [ə pàwlə jéttiks]
n branch of Christian theology: a branch of theology that is concerned with proving the truth of Christianity (takes a singular verb) Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

A- Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith.

Apologetics (Types of): There are differing kinds of apologetics systems, and no universally-acknowledged way to categorize them. Divergent approaches seem to be determined by the perspective of the one categorizing them. Nonetheless, there are some generally understood terms one can employ to view in a meaningful way the distinctives among more popular approaches. Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics

For our purposes today, we are going to recognize six different types of apologetics: Philosophical Apologetics, Historical Apologetics, Scientific Apologetics, Comparative Apologetics, Pre-suppositional Apologetics and Testimonial Apologetics.

Philosophical Apologetics - Those who hold to philosophical apologetics will argue first for God’s existence before they argue from Historical Apologetics. Three examples of philosophical apologists would be Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig and Francis Schaeffer.

Historical Apologetics - Those who hold to historical apologetics will start their argument from the historical evidences of the Bible. They use historical evidences such as the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts for the evidence of the Resurrection. Three examples of historical apologists would be Josh McDowell, John Warwick Montgomery, and Dr. Gary Habermas.

Scientific Apologetics - Those who present the scientific evidence for the truth of Christian faith. Four examples of scientific apologists would be Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Dwayne Gish, Dr. Ken Ham, and Dr. Jonathan D. Sarfati,

Comparative Religious Apologetics (Polemics)- Those who argue against other religious belief systems that contradict the Christian faith. Dr. Walter Martin is a good example of a Comparative Apologist.

Pre-suppositional Apologetics - A different type of apologetics. Those who argue that you can’t prove the Christian faith, you just have to assume it to be true. Once you’ve done this you are in the position to tear down the belief systems of others. Two examples of Pre-suppositional Apologists would be Gordon Clark and Cornelius Vantill. (Most apologists disagree with this approach, and believe it is a false view that can create a lot of problems. They believe it is questionable that this is Apologetics at all).

Testimonial Apologetics - When someone shares their testimony with another, or uses their testimony to defend their faith, this is Testimonial Apologetics. Usually when a Christian opposes apologetics, soon afterward they’ll turn around and tell you their testimony. Thus unwittingly delving into apologetics themselves. The Apostle Paul used Testimonial Apologetics. It is using your testimony of what Christ has done in your life, how He saved you, if He’s healed you (etc…).


Fideism- (The anti-Apologetics) The reliance on faith for knowledge: the view that religious knowledge depends on faith and revelation…….. To accept Christianity on “Blind Faith” . Søren Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher and theologian 1813-1855) didn’t originate fideism, he did popularize it within Christianity.

He taught:
1-Faith and reason do not meet.
2-Subjective truth is more important objective truth.
3-What you believe is more important than what you can objectively prove.
4-People need to take a “Blind Leap of Faith”.
5-Christianity should not be defended, it should only be believed.

The Answer to Fideism: For the answer to fideism, the Christian must realize that our faith is a reasonable faith, and it can be defended because it is founded on facts:

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” 1 Cor 15:14-17 (NIV)

1- If Christ had not been raised = Objective Truth.
2- Then our preaching and faith are in vain = Subjective Faith.
3- Therefore our faith MUST rest on “Objective Facts”!

Who then shall we side with Søren Kierkegaard, or the Apostle Paul?


The Biblical Basis for Christian Apologetics (Four Points):

1- The Bible Commands it; The most important reason to do apologetics is that God told us to do so!

1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (NKJ) ……..Defend = Apologia (this is where we get our word Apologetics).

This verse tells us to be ready. We may never run across someone who asks tough questions about our faith, but we should still be ready to respond if someone does. Being ready is not just a matter of having the right information available, it is also an attitude of readiness and eagerness to share the truth of what we believe. We are to give a reason to those who ask the questions. It is not expected that everyone needs pre-evangelism, but when they do need it, we must be able and willing to give them an answer.

This command also links the work of pre-evangelism with Christ’s place as Lord in our hearts. If he is really Lord, then we should be obedient to him as we see in:

2 Corinth 10:5 “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”

This means we should confront issues in our own minds and in the expressed thoughts of others that prevent us and them from knowing God. That is what apologetics is all about.

In Philippians 1:7 Paul speaks of his mission as “defending and confirming the gospel.” He adds in verse 16, “I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” This implies that the defender of the gospel is out where he or she can encounter others and defend truth.

But, we need to keep in mind how we are to deal with non-Christians-

Col 4:5-6 “ Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (NKJ)

And Paul teaches the church leadership how to deal with those “who contradict” in Titus 1:7-9. Some take the translation “overseer” and or “bishop” to mean pastor. But the word episkopon, is translated to mean a superintendent. It is a derivative of the word episkopeo which means to “look diligently, or take oversight. And, I feel means anyone in a formal leadership position in the church.

Titus 1:7-9 “ For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” (NKJ)

2- The Bible speaks of natural revelation;

Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (NKJ)
Psalms 94:9 “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?” (NKJ)…. The effect cannot be greater than the cause…..

Romans 1:18-22 “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (NKJ)… Though man cannot see the invisible God, they can see the visible work of His hands…

Romans 2: 14 & 15 “ for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them” (NKJ) … Each man has an idea of right and wrong written on his heart…

3- The Bible speaks of Historical Evidence;

1st Corinth 15: 3-8 “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. (NKJ)…Paul lists the many eye witness testimonies, or eye witness evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ…

4- Early Church defends the faith (eye witnesses);

Acts 2:32 “"This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses” (NKJ)

Acts 3:15 “And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. (KJV)

Acts 10:39 “And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree” (KJV)

John 20:30-31 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (NKJ)

Acts 9:22 “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”(NKJ)
Acts 17:2-3 “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” (NKJ)

Acts 17:31 “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (NKJ)

Acts 18:4 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.” (NKJ)

Acts 19:8-10 “And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (NKJ)

Acts 18:24 & 28
(24)“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. (NKJ)
(28) “for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” (NKJ)

Jude 1:3 “ Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you tocontend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (NKJ)


Why is Apologetics needed? (Five Reasons)

1- To Confirm the faith of believers:

Nothing will cause doubt quicker in a young Christian than when an atheist presents (what he thinks) is evidence against Gods existence.
When a believer gives proof for God, it builds his/her faith (and those around)

2- To persuade non-believers by removing intellectual stumbling blocks:

It’s not mans mind that gives into God…. It’s his heart.
Removing Intellectual stumbling blocks is just the beginning of the process

3- To stand up for what is right, even when no one is listening:

Isaiah 5:20 “Evil is good and Good is evil”… Morality is reversed

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isa 5:20 (KJV)

Society is so messed up that Christians have become evil


4- To show the world that Christianity is not irrational:

You can be an intellectual and a Christian at the same time

Remember what Paul told Festus in Acts 26:25 - “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.” Paul appealed to reason because he knew what he was saying was true, and a reasonable person would see that!

Why else apologetics are needed? Because Reason Demands It. God created humans to reason as part of his image, Gen 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” and Col 3:10( b ):“which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (NIV)

Indeed, it is by reasoning that humans are distinguished from “brute beasts”:

Jude 1:10 - “Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals-- these are the very things that destroy them.” (NIV)

God calls upon his people to use reason:

Isa 1:18 - "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (NIV)

5- To discern truth from error:

I John 4:6: “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (NIV)

And the maturity to know right from wrong (or good from evil):

Heb 5:13-14: “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (NIV)

Therefore the fundamental principle of reason is that it should give sufficient grounds for belief. An unjustified belief is just that—unjustified

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He surely would have been willing to add that the unexamined belief is not worth believing.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon Christians to give a reason for their hope. This is part of the great command to love God with all our mind, as well as our heart and soul

Matt 22:36-37 - “"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (NIV)

Summary: The Word of God calls us to defend our faith. The Word of God gave us the intellect and reasoning to defend our faith. The Word of God gave us rules on how to defend the faith. And lastly, the Word of God gave us MANY examples of His Disciples defending their faith.

Conclusion: Given all the above information and examples. This is a question we need to ask ourselves is this: If you are an intelligent, mature and reasoning believer in the Word of God, are you defending your faith?

#2 de_skudd

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 06:23 AM

Attached is the William Lane Craig –vs- Bart Ehrman debate "Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?" . It's an excellent source for topical points!


http://www.bringyou....ogetics/p96.htm



#3 de_skudd

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 07:37 AM

I have wanted to include this debate for some time now, but had to find a link to the manuscript. You can google “The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein” for the mp3 (highly recommended). I use the manuscript for references on how to debate an atheist.

The Great Debate: Does God Exist?

Enjoy

#4 CTD

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 02:04 AM

I have wanted to include this debate for some time now, but had to find a link to the manuscript. You can google “The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein” for the mp3 (highly recommended). I use the manuscript for references on how to debate an atheist.

The Great Debate: Does God Exist?

Enjoy

View Post

That's a nice document. Even when I can watch video, I prefer to read a written version. It's easier to re-read a sentence or paragraph than to try to rewind to just the right spot on those occasions when one asks "did he really just say that?"

At present, I'm stuck. Just thinking about all the potential interpretations of one sentence.

p 29 (IV, Stein's Rebuttal) "This is a trap! I might have fallen into it, I don't know."

Undertaking a doomed task is falling into a trap, but that's not what he's trying to say. I'll be able to move on once the amusement wears off, of course.

Writing is advantageous in several ways and I think we are blessed to have the opportunities we now have.

The advantages to written debate are enormous, and it may very well be that the internet forum is the best venue yet devised by man. We have time to gather our thoughts, and organize precisely what we want to say. We can link to evidence. We even have search engines to help locate evidence. Several parties may participate, so if there's a flaw it has to slip past multiple minds. The words are recorded, so when stories change one can scroll up and see just what was said.

That's not to say there aren't drawbacks. Anonymity is double-edged, and there are poor sources for sure. Overall, I still think this venue is the best, although there's room for improvement. Bad books were available in times past - that was no guarantee. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the inability to draw simple pictures on a chalkboard or some such and point to this and that. It would sure be handy sometimes.

#5 de_skudd

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:02 PM

That's a nice document. Even when I can watch video, I prefer to read a written version. It's easier to re-read a sentence or paragraph than to try to rewind to just the right spot on those occasions when one asks "did he really just say that?"

At present, I'm stuck. Just thinking about all the potential interpretations of one sentence.

p 29 (IV, Stein's Rebuttal) "This is a trap! I might have fallen into it, I don't know."

Undertaking a doomed task is falling into a trap, but that's not what he's trying to say. I'll be able to move on once the amusement wears off, of course.

Writing is advantageous in several ways and I think we are blessed to have the opportunities we now have.

The advantages to written debate are enormous, and it may very well be that the internet forum is the best venue yet devised by man. We have time to gather our thoughts, and organize precisely what we want to say. We can link to evidence. We even have search engines to help locate evidence. Several parties may participate, so if there's a flaw it has to slip past multiple minds. The words are recorded, so when stories change one can scroll up and see just what was said.

That's not to say there aren't drawbacks. Anonymity is double-edged, and there are poor sources for sure. Overall, I still think this venue is the best, although there's room for improvement. Bad books were available in times past - that was no guarantee. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the inability to draw simple pictures on a chalkboard or some such and point to this and that. It would sure be handy sometimes.

View Post


I originally listened to this debate on mp3. And I listened to it over and over attempting to figure out how Bahnsen so thoroughly dismantled Stein. This was such a sound thrashing that I almost felt sorry for Stein. It was said that Stein was a broken man after this debate.

But the bottom line is this:

Bahnsen was a superior debater.
Bahnsen seem to be the superior intellect.
But the difference was the Bahnsen had the superior message.

But, back to your query on Steins trap. Throughout the entire debate, Stein proved that he couldn’t handle logic on any level (we run into this at this forum all the time). It got so frustrating for him that he wilted under its pressure at that point.

Dr. Bahnsen does a good job of explaining Dr. Stein’s problems with logic at “IV Rebuttal Bahnsen” (page 31, 4th Paragraph)

“Now, of course, if you don't like the tough philosophical questions that are asked you about the nature of laws of logic, how they are justified, the nature of natural law, how it is justified, and so forth, and just dismiss it as absurd questions or non questions that no one understands and do not have meaning, seems to me is just to try to give medicine to a dead man. You see, it's to say, "I'm not going to reason about that, because I don't have an answer to it, and that's just uncomfortable." But you see, these are philosophical questions which not just Christians, by the way, but all philosophers have had to ask and face throughout the centuries.

Dr. Stein doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of giving us an answer of how an atheist world view can account for laws--laws of science, laws of logic, laws of morality. And yet he does tell us without them, science would be impossible.

As for the transcendental argument "not being logical," I mean, you can claim that, but I have yet to see Dr. Stein show any self contradiction on any violation of the laws of logic in it, but of course, if he were, I would ask him if that law of logic is one of the things that we are necessarily to live according to?

Are we to reason by this law, or is that just a convention? Should I say, "well, it's your convention, but it's not mine." Or is that law of logic universal, invariant and something that must be followed if we're going to arrive at truth? If it is, I'm going to ask him how it's possible to have such a thing in his universe; how he can justify it at all. But he hasn't, shown any contradiction; he has simply, again, called it illogical.”-
Dr. Greg Bahnsen “the great debate”.


In fact this rebuttal encapsulated the entire problem with atheistic logic and morality.

Then he finishes it up with explaining how the problem of evil isn’t a problem for the theist. The theist understands where evil came from. But, there shouldn’t be a problem of evil in “an atheist's universe because there is no evil in an atheist's universe. Since there is no God, there is no absolute moral standard, and nothing is wrong. The torture of little children is not wrong in an atheist's universe. It may be painful, but it is not wrong” - Dr. Greg Bahnsen “the great debate”.

He goes on to say “It is morally wrong in a theistic universe, and therefore, there is a problem of evil of perhaps the psychological or emotional sort, but philosophically the answer to the problem of evil is you don't have an absolute standard of good by which to measure evil in an atheist's universe. You can only have that in a theistic universe, and therefore, the very posing of the problem presupposes my world view, rather than his own.” -Dr. Greg Bahnsen “the great debate”.

#6 Ron

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 05:15 AM

I just had to dig this one up. There is a ton of good information here, and it is important for the Christian to have these facts! :)

#7 Ron

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 05:24 AM

That's a nice document. Even when I can watch video, I prefer to read a written version. It's easier to re-read a sentence or paragraph than to try to rewind to just the right spot on those occasions when one asks "did he really just say that?"

View Post


I enjoy doing the same. Some of the points Bahnsen brings to the table just knocked all the wind out of Stein's sails. And are major focal points that, when taken on honestly, are extremely hard for the atheist even to attempt to assail!

#8 MarkForbes

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 01:38 AM

Attached is the William Lane Craig –vs- Bart Ehrman debate "Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?" . It's an excellent source for topical points!


http://www.bringyou....ogetics/p96.htm



Is this the same Mr. Ehrman that wrote this article?
http://www.huffingto...o_b_840301.html

#9 Ron

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:57 AM


Attached is the William Lane Craig –vs- Bart Ehrman debate "Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?" . It's an excellent source for topical points!


http://www.bringyou....ogetics/p96.htm



Is this the same Mr. Ehrman that wrote this article?
http://www.huffingto...o_b_840301.html


Yes... He's also the guy who wrote "MIsquoting Jesus"

#10 jason

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:11 AM

and yet will that mr.ehrman will run to defend athiesm and darwin as saints. that we can be sure about that.

#11 MarkForbes

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:11 AM

Yes... He's also the guy who wrote "MIsquoting Jesus"

I'll may have a closer look at that article, merely analyzing the logic of his statements.

#12 Ron

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:47 PM


Yes... He's also the guy who wrote "MIsquoting Jesus"

I'll may have a closer look at that article, merely analyzing the logic of his statements.

He makes a lot of assumptions, and attempts to pass them off as facts....

#13 de_skudd

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:56 AM

Is this the same Mr. Ehrman that wrote this article? http://www.huffingto...o_b_840301.html


Indeed it is. He claims to have been a Christian at one time, and yet, in his writings he uses very fallacious arguments in attempt to disprove the Bible.




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