In previous classes we have defined Apologetics as the scientific validation of the truth and absoluteness of the Christian religion against unbelief on the basis of human reason and science. We previously looked at 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 1:3, but these came up short as proof texts to support apologetics. It would seem that the right use and limits for apologetics may be a bit more complex. The use of human reason in apologetics is able to judge correctly in the things of this world. Based on creation and conscience, apologetics can reveal that there is a God, who makes a distinction between right and wrong. Nevertheless, apologetics cannot discover the will of God or validate “the truth and absoluteness of the Christian religion.”
Beginning with this class, we will look at the “Four Points Raised in John Warwick Montgomery’s article, ‘Christian Apologetics in the Light of the Lutheran Confessions.’” Today’s class looks at points one and two. 1. Man cannot “by his own reason or strength” accomplish or make any advance toward his salvation. Nevertheless, we do use human reason in a ministerial way when we use the laws of language to discover God’s will in the revealed knowledge of God. 2. History is a proper subject for apologetics. The Christian faith is a historical religion that correctly describes reality. Although faith is not merely knowledge, it does include historical knowledge of what the Triune God has done in history (combined with the promise concerning those facts). “Therefore it is not enough to believe that Christ was born, suffered, was raised again, unless we add also this article, which is the purpose of the history: The forgiveness of sins” (Ap IV, What Is Justfiying Faith, 51).
Outline for today’s lesson: Apologetics-Moving-Forward.pdf
Book of Concord References for today’s lesson: Apologetics-Part-2-for-Aug-4-2019.pdf
Handout from July 21: Apologetics-Definition-a.pdf Page 2 has outline of Four Points Raised…
Note: Sunday, September 1, we will begin a new 9-month Bible study on the Book of Concord. The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.
Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf
Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf