Last week we watched session 2 of the Reformation Montana 2014 Conference held this past June 19th. We listened to Justin Peters give a condensed version of his Clouds without Waters presentation.
This week we’ll take a look at the topic of Apologetics from a believer’s position, one that every Christian can embrace. Sye Ten Bruggencate is a lay minister whose ministry practices presuppositional Apologetics. The approach he uses and teaches differs from what the world wants in apologetics (which tends to begin with an “all views are equal and respected before we debate them) by pre-supposing that our Christian worldview is foundationally True. Namely, we don’t need to prove the Bible is true, nor do we need to prove the God of the Bible is real. According to Romans 1, the world already knows God and has rejected to worship Him as God; therefore any attempt by man to claim to be an atheist is lying about his atheism. Therefore, from a Christian perspective, we do not put our God on trial; rather, we put the lying “atheist” on trial. If the atheist asserts that there is no God, then we ask them “then how do you measure ‘truth’ and how do you define ‘knowledge’ ?” The point of this apologetic is to preach Law and Gospel without putting God on trial, because He is the Judge. This apologetic isn’t about making an unbeliever feel comfortable in his unbelief; rather, it is to expose the futility in pretending there is some philosophical alternative, there is none. There are only 2 positions, belief in Him, or unbelief. Let’s look at some of the key scriptures and then watch the video.
Romans 1:16-32 (ESV)
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another,men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
They know. There are no true atheists, only fools.
Romans 11:33-36 (ESV)
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
I hope you enjoy this presentation as much as I did.
If you’d rather have an audio-only version, you can access them from the Reformation Montana 2014 website.
If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback please feel free to share.
If you’d like to read/hear more of what Sye Ten Bruggencate teaches, check out these sites:
Let us close with Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3.
Ephesians 3 (ESV)
The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed
3 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Prayer for Spiritual Strength
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Amen, indeed. May God bless you and keep you until the Day of Christ’s Return,