I. What is Apologetics?
A. Apologetics comes from a Latin legal term which means to give a defense during a trial.
B. I Peter 3:15b-16 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks
you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness
and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously
against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
II. What Apologetics is not.
A. An intellectual half-nelson.
B. An apology, though it may include one.
C. An argument.
A. World View - A comprehensive personal philosophy or conception of the world. A series of assumptions by which reality is understood.
B. Truth - The quality of being in agreement with experience, facts, or reality.
C. Fact - A verifiable event, condition, or assertion.
D. Wisdom - Following the best course of action based on knowledge, experience, and understanding.
VI. The Scientific Method
A. Uses a process of observation, hypothesis, testing, re-hypothesis, and theory. To establish facts and truth.
B. The best scientific evidence is from multiple randomized, prospective, blinded studies.
C. Followed by single well designed studies.
D. Followed by limited studies.
E. Followed by observed data.
F. Followed by opinion.
VII. Legal/Historical Method
A. Uses a system of comparisons between evidence based on the number, quality, proximity, bias, and acceptance of facts.
B. The best evidence is based on multiple, unbiased, eye-witnessed, observations, close in time to the events in question, and consistent with accepted processes.
C. Lower quality evidence is lacking in one or more of these traits.
VIII. Which is better?
A.Depends on what you want to know.
B. The Scientific System is designed to test and evaluate repetitive physical phenomena. It does very poorly when evaluating one time events, and non-physical questions.
C. The Legal/Historical System is designed to test documents, physical evidence, and eye-witness accounts. It does poorly if asked to answer the causes of physical phenomena.
A. G.I.G.O. Garbage In Garbage Out - The best logic or mathmatics applied to bad data or bad assumptions results in bad conclusions.
B. Asking the wrong question: If you ask how a process results is a condition you may miss a process that actually responsible.
C. Category mistakes: what does the color blue small like. This is a classic catigory mistake; another example is the question could God make a rock so heavy that he couldn't lift it? The answer is that the question puts God in the wrong catigory (it puts him as a physical law follower instead of a physical law creator). As the creator, God made a universe where it always takes more energy to make a rock, than to move it. He could have made things otherwise, but is not bound by the laws he makes.
D. Bias: bias clouds conclusions.
E. Asking for an inappropriate level of evidence: many people ask for more evidence than exists for any condition, or more evidence for conclusions that they don't like, that for those that they do like.
X. Evaluating the Canon
A. The 66 books in the Bible were added based on their authorship, authenticity, consistency with the rest of scripture, prophecy, and their acceptance by the people of God.
Many people feel uncomfortable with this level of evidence, but it actually quite substatial, and can be reconfirmed in modern times.