I hinted last week that a defense attorney’s job is to show how a prosecutor’s case fails as well as defend their clients case. This is like criticism apologetics; refuting claims that conflict with Christian claims.
The Apostle Paul commends this in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.” I know criticism sounds harsh, no one likes to be criticized and it sounds so uncaring, but let’s set those sentiments aside to discuss next week. This week I want to explain why criticism apologetics is necessary.
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Christianity (indeed, all worldviews) make certain claims about what is real. Each worldview believes that their claims match that reality, but there are big differences between some of these views. So it is not possible that all these world views actually match the way things really are.
If we are to defend the way that we believe reality truly is, that also means knowing how something is not true. If Christians claims are true, all other religious world views that conflict with Christianity are necessarily false. Knowing how they are false can aid in leading people to the Truth. In fact, defense and criticism are really two sides of the same coin.
Knowing how a worldview is false can aid in leading people to the Truth.
For example, I had a lovely lady visit my home several months back. She wanted to talk to me about the “truth.” She immediately told me that Jesus is not God and the Trinity is not in the Bible.” I could tell right away that she was a Jehovah’s Witness. The Trinity is very important in Christianity, but Jehovah’s Witness’s fiercely deny that Jesus is God. Rather they believe that Jesus is one of God’s (Jehovah’s) first creations.
So I asked her if I could see a copy of her Scriptures (for the record they have their own “translation” of the Bible). While I was turning to John 1:3, I asked her if something could create itself. She thought for a moment and said no. I then read “All things came into existence through [Jesus], and apart from [Jesus] not even one thing came into existence.” I then asked her, “If not one thing was created without Jesus, did he then create himself?”
That poor lady thought for a moment and said that Jehovah created Jesus first and then Jesus created everything else. To which I simply repeated to her “apart from [Jesus] not even one thing came into existence.” Not even one, then not even Jesus. So according to her own Scriptures, Jesus must be the uncreated creator of all things (meaning Jesus is God).
I put a stone in her shoe that I hope is productively annoying her closure to the actual Truth!
I defended my case for the Trinity from my Bible translation. However, it was not until I pointed to this passage from her own “translation” that she actually stopped to listen to what I was saying. I put a stone in her shoe that I hope is productively annoying her closer to the actual Truth!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Apologist,
Question: How do you react to criticism about religious issues?