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Featured Is Defense of the Gospel a Legitimate Activity?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by thomas t, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. aketo

    aketo Member

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    Sorry. Opposition has many reasons. Misunderstanding, response to claims of knowledge or to fallacious logic, personal incredulity, etc. I'm sure you know a few.
     
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  2. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I have found most apologetics to be sophistical and illogical.

    The problem, as I see it, comes from having a set of beliefs that you feel must be defending from all onslaughts as opposed to an open mind to see where the evidence points. Instead of only *defending* an idea, it is also good to look at weaknesses and failures of that idea. To be only on one side tends to produce an imbalanced viewpoint.
     
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  3. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I voted no only because I don't see a need to defend your personal belief.
    "Here's my belief, take it or leave it."
    One can discuss why they believe what they believe but I don't see this as "defending the belief". It is just your personal reasons, whatever they happen to be.
     
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  4. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Ov Fire and the Void
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    Definitely not an atheist but it's as legitimate as any other philosophical endeavor, especially if you believe it's the ultimate truth.
     
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  5. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    And there is the dishonesty amd deceit that easily chokes apologetics. Everything must conform and meet satisfactory standards. Everything else is wrong, amd often we see this transform into the "auto-damn" of others who believe differently. And often still is apologetics basically trying to make apologies for the inexcusable doctrine and teaching they promote as sacred, holy, possibly even inerrant.
     
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  6. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean "The Gospel"?

    I presume you mean the message of Jesus Christ! Or is it Pauls? Or is it the Bibles? Is it the Gospels message? Is it the eschatology?

    Is it the Gospel Jesus supposedly preached when the "Gospels" say he "preached the Gospel" which means the "Gospels" are not necessarily the "Gospel"?

    Also by saying "defending" is it a stance where "no matter what, true or false I will defend it" or is that you are gonna analyse it and then defend it but set out with the intention of defending no matter what? Which one is it?

    I definitely do not think its a waste of time however. Whatever path you had chosen I mean.
     
  7. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I’m a Baha’i, not an atheist. I believe the willingness of Christians to engage in discussion of a spiritual nature a potentially valuable activity providing it is done well. While a sound knowledge of one’s faith, history and the capacity to reason are essential, personal qualities such as sincerity, truthfulness, courtesy and respect are far more important. The manner in which we conduct ourselves needs to embody the message we wish to communicate. So I have no issue with Christian apologetics or apologetics from any legitimate religion. I do have an issue with the quality of apologetics. In my experience poor apologetics can do enormous harm.
     
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  8. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    It can be. But all of the online sources that I have ever seen end up being Liars for Jesus.
     
  9. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    I let the thread speak for itself,
    as for now, 4 atheists see defending one's faith as illegitimate.
    6 voted for the legitimate option, but let's be focussed on the former for a while.

    To me, their vote comes across as saying, there should be no defense against statements such as this one:
    Google Image Result for https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ed/e8/34/ede834e8e8c815a2b58a3201304f4dba.jpg

    (it's the famous quote by Dawkins saying "God is ..." and then he goes on calling Him names.)

    I think quotes like this one for instance, shouldn't remain unchallanged by Christianity. Every Christian has the right to speak up against this.
     
  10. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    Well I for one don't say that anything else is wrong, Shadow.
    If people just don't conform, I say nothing, of course.
    in my opinion, nothing in the Bible is inexcusable, well I mean indefensible :p..
    And by the Gospel I mean both Jesus's Gospel and Paul's (and also the Gospel of the whole Bible) @firedragon .
     
  11. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I believe that you misunderstood what was posted. If you are referring to me that is.

    I get a bit irate when Christians try to use apologetics sites that clearly lie as a source for their arguments. Once a site lies it loses all credibility. Apologetics could be a valid practice, but I do not think that I have ever seen people apply it properly.
     
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  12. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    The question is how would one use apologetics properly?
     
  13. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Lol. Alright alright. Peace.
     
  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Approaches to the bible cover a spectrum. At one end it's treated as a set of ancient documents informing us of ancient thought at various times and places, and objectivity is the rule.

    At the other end you have the custom of religions and sects of prescribing what the follower should think the bible says and means. Thus the bible can only be read so as to accommodate those teachings.

    And it falls to the apologist to be the enforcer, the inventor of plausible arguments and excuses, the defense attorney paid to get [his] client acquitted regardless of the facts.

    Thus, for example, Christianity very generally says that the bible is not a collection of books but a single long novel, and the uncountable contradictions to such a thesis must be explained away, excused as exceptions in exceptional circumstances, or simply shouted down.

    I have great respect for a number of biblical scholars. I have little or no respect for most apologists.
     
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  15. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    Then it would not need defending. And, of course in any group numbering millions (much less billions) there are Don Quixotes who ride out tilting at windmills.

    Still, one of the interesting facts is that Christianity does seem to get attacked a lot in actual reality by serious mischaracterizations aimed to make it look very different than it is.

    What if after being vilified and attacked by right wing talk radio, Obama never once did anything to correct the falsehoods.

    What if Obama didn't even bother to show his birth certificate?

    Would that have been better? I think it was best that Obama countered the mischaracterizations. Some things we can just ignore ( and most of us do), but some things it's best to correct.
     
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  16. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    "A woman shall not usurp authority over a man" is inexcusable. Eternal damnation is inexcusable. Executing homosexuals is inexcusable. Saying it's best to not be married and not have sex is not only inexcusable, it's a direct contradiction of god's own oft-repeated commanded to be fruitful and multiply.
    Apologetics leads to these, and other examples of atrocious behaviors, being excused and downplayed, twisting great evils (happy is he who dashes
    your little ones against the rocks) and justifying them to try to make them seem good.
     
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  17. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    Apologetics is really not a defense of the Gospel. It's typically a defense of a particular understanding of the Gospel, according to their particular theologies. So they should just call it, a defense of their opinions.
     
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  18. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    Context changes those meanings into something more rational. Starting with the 2nd: from context we get the message is it's only best for some to be celibate, those for whom this fits. That's clear in the context: "... if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. " Context clarified.

    Next: not only is a woman to seek harmony over conflict, in her way, but also a man, in his way. *Both*.
    Context expands helpfully: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." It goes both ways.

    Hell is the "second death" and those there "perish" and God "destroys body and soul" there -- these words don't sound like metaphor, because they are not.

    And so on. Getting the full context helps a great many things become clear. It's just like if you were reading a poem -- to get it well, you'd have to read it completely.
     
  19. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Is Defense of the Gospel a Legitimate Activity?
    To defend your belief is a form of weakness:
    a) IF you have strong faith THEN no need to defend yourself
    b) IF you are a doubting Thomas THEN it's good to defend yourself, it will make you stronger

    Below anecdote clarifies above:
    Once Buddha was verbally attacked, and his disciples got really angry. Then they asked Buddha, why don't you defend yourself?
    Buddha calmly replied "if a postman delivers the wrong package to you, where does the package go? Right, it goes back to the postman"
     
    #39 stvdv, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  20. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Thanks for proving my point.
    Paul clearly said it's best to be like him, unmarried and celibate. The next best thing, according to him, was what god was telling people and animals to do from day one. He also did say women are not to "usurp authority" over a man and she is basically to shut up in church and fully submit to her husband.
    The Bible is laughably inconsistent about this darkness, and furnace, or whatever the punishment that await those who do not obey. It's also hideously cruel, and makes god far more wicked, cruel, and demanding of absolute submission than any human dictator. But there is a never ending supply of Christian apologetics who try to excuse this heinous atrocity, often shrugging it off as "the righteous judgements of a god who's ways are not our ways."
     
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