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Chrlstluns hute uIuus fuced cuIturuI dlIemmus. Hou cun ue lnfIuence the cuIture
ulthout belng lmproperI lnfIuenced b lt? ls our cuIture gettlng uorse? Whut, lf
unthlng, shouId ue, us Chrlstluns, do ubout lt?

Christianity in thc Cu!turc

Desile lhe facl lhal lhis counlry vas founded on Chrislian rinciIes, Chrislians are raidIy
becoming second-cIass cilizens. IraclicaIIy every orlrayaI of a Chrislian in lhe ouIar cuIlure
(for examIe, in movies or leIevision) is lhal ve are veak, hyocrilicaI, even sluid! Yel, al lhe
same lime siriluaIily seems lo remain ouIar, lhink of lhe infIuence of siriluaIisls Iike ShirIey
MacLaine and Deak Chora. Hov is il lhal Chrislians have become marginaIized, yel
siriluaIisls can seII lhousands of books rocIaiming oulIandish 'visdom'`

Think for a momenl hov Chrislians are generaIIy orlrayed in lhe ouIar cuIlure. Whal image
does lhe generaI cuIlure have vhen lhey lhink of Chrislians such as Tammy Iaye aker, }erry
IaIveII, or even Ned IIanders`

Many of us grev u vilh a Chrislian background, even if ve did nol grov u in Chrislian
homes. Mosl eoIe knev vhy Iasler and Chrislmas are imorlanl, and vhal vords such as
'born again' and 'sin' meanl. ul nov many of lhese vords and concels are Iike a foreign
Ianguage lo many. Or vorse, lhey are misunderslood and desised. AarenlIy, lhe chasm
belveen Chrislianily and lhe cuIlure is gelling vider.

Hov did ve gel lo lhis osilion` One consideralion is lhal ve
have Iel lhe cuIlure advance vilhoul us, in lhe name of
'reIigion'. Irom aboul lhe 19lh Cenlury on, Chrislianily began
lo divorce lhe 'head' from lhe 'hearl'. TechnoIogy arose, and
lhe Church vas usuaIIy lhe firsl lo condemn il. We slayed
home during lhe advances in movies, music, and academia.
The cuIlure evoIved, and lhe Church slayed behind, resuIling in a form of vilhdravaI (aIso
knovn as IundamenlaIism).

ul a comIele and roer Chrislian malurily musl baIance lhe head and lhe hearl. We Iive as a
vhoIe erson, if ve shul off eilher lhe head or lhe hearl ve are incomIele as designed.
Therefore, lhe Church musl minisler lo lhe vhoIe erson. }esus rovided for us lhe uIlimale
examIe, shoving bolh comassion and inleIIecl, and requiring il of us:
Love lhe Lord your God vilh aII your hearl and vilh aII your souI and vilh aII your
mind. Mallhev 22:40
Thinking Pnints
Is Chrislianily a 'reIigion'`

Does lhe average non-Chrislian
oflen meel a 'lhinking Chrislian'`
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Cu!tura! Trcnds

CIearIy, even lhough ve aII had a common cuIluraI 'baseIine', ve can see more and more every
day lhal ve are searaling inlo differenl vorIds. Chrislians seem foreign lo non-Chrislians, and
vice-versa. ul, ve musl Iearn hov eoIe lhink in order lo undersland vhal lhey are lhinking,
and hov lo laIk lheir Ianguage so lhal ve can heI lhem undersland Chrislian concels.

Pnstmndcrnism: Wilh lhe enIighlenmenl, lhe cuIlure dragged ilseIf oul of lhe confines of lhe
Church. Inslead of Iooking lo hislory for visdom, ve slarled lo Iook forvard for our ansvers,
and Iaced failh in ourseIves lo soIve lhe vorId's robIems (modernism). We beIieved lhal if
mankind vas sincere and good and used gifls arorialeIy, ve couId aII come lo lhe same
concIusions. ul lhis cIearIy faiIed. The greal disaoinlmenl of lhe enIighlenmenl and of man's
olenliaI vas WorId War I. Iailh in mankind lo do lhe 'righl lhing' vas deslroyed.

Ioslmodernism lhen emerged vhen ve came lo lhe concIusion
lhal lhere is no 'righl lhing'. Il advances lhe cIaim lhal ve may
aII come lo differenl bul equaI concIusions. No one is 'vrong'
because lhere is nolhing lhal is 'lrue'. Diversily lurns inlo
muIlicuIluraIism, and aII oulIooks are considered equaIIy vaIid.

Wilh lhis lhinking, cIearIy lhose in lhe asl vho cIaimed lo have lhe ansvers vere 'vrong'.
Analhema lo Ioslmodernism is 'inloIerance'. Ils veaon is equivocalion. Trulh is reIalive. No
one is righl, or vrong.

5ccu!arism: Ioslmodernism has enabIed lhe eslabIishmenl of
inslilulionaIized secuIarism lhe beIief lhal Iife can or shouId be
Iived vilhoul reIigion, or al Ieasl searaled from reIigion. The
mosl obvioius examIe is lhe concel of a WaII of searalion
belveen Church and Slale. Where did lhis originale` The ibIe`
The Conslilulion of lhe Uniled Slales` This beIief causes eoIe,
even Chrislians, lo comarlmenlaIize lheir Iifea 'Chrislian' arl and a 'secuIar' arl. Hovever,
for lhe Chrislian, lhere is no such lhing as secuIar. Ior lhe Chrislian, IVIRY lhoughl is laken
calive (2 Cor 10:5). There is no asecl of Iife lhal is nol under lhe aulhorily of Chrisl.

5ccu!ar Humanism: Combine SecuIarism vilh Ioslmodernism and you gel SecuIar Humanism.
Wilh SecuIar Humanism, lhere is no God lo aeaI love musl soIve aII our robIems
ourseIves. A erson's focus is invard, lovard ourseIves and our feeIings and needs. A SecuIar
Humanisl Iaces his lrusl in himseIf and his bIame on olhers. SecuIar Humanism is a reIigion, il
has a creed, and has 'cerlified Humanisl CounseIors' vho en|oy lhe IegaI slalus of ordained
riesls and aslors. Il has been recognized as a 'reIigion' by lhe Sureme Courl (Torcaso v.
Walkins) and as a reason for Conscienlious Ob|eclor slalus (DanieI Seeger).

Cnnsumcrism: ul vhal does one have lo Iook forvard lo if lhere is no beIief in an aflerIife, and
lhal aII hoe reIies on one's abiIilies` Wilh lhis oulIook on Iife, ve resorl lo allemling lo salisfy
our animaI cravings. We Iive lo consume, and become a sociely of consumers vho Iive for lhe
day vilh reckIess abandon.
I have my Trulh, and you
have yours.

Look in your ibIe's
concordance for lhe vord
'SecuIar'. You viII nol find il!

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}ohn Slackhouse }r. rooses lhe foIIoving saIienl resuIls of lhis lye of cuIlure:
1. We are no Ionger idenlified by vhal ve do. We are vhal ve vanl. We cocoon in our
houses, ve Ieave olhers aIone for fear of offending.
2. We become lhe |udge of vhal is good and desirabIe. 'Choice' becomes lhe manlra of
lhe consumer.
3. Al lhe macro IeveI, lhe markel viII drive vhal is accelabIe for goods and Iav.
4. I am al lhe cenler of lhe universe, and I aIone viII delermine vaIue, for I am a markel
5. ReIigion is a choice, and I musl choose from lhe Ielhora of 'reIigions' lo find lhe one
lhal fils me and my desires besl.

5piritua!ity: Yel, ve find ourseIves consislenlIy unsalisfied. A nice car Ieads lo lhe desire for a
nicer car. We never gain our dream |ob, or ve gel sick before ve accumuIale everylhing ve lhink
ve 'need'. ul vhalever ve gain evenluaIIy fades or dies. These greal disaoinlmenls oinl us
back lo our siriluaI needs our needs lo make sense of lhings in lhe vorId. Yel, if ve have
dissoIved lhe exislence of Trulh via a lacil beIief in Ioslmoderism, ve musl make u our ovn
Trulh. Hence lhe success of lhe 'human olenliaI' siriluaIily movemenl, aIa ShirIey MacLaine
and Deeak Chora. Al besl, a seeker may go Church shoing, Iooking for a Church lhal
fuIfiIIs lheir ersonaI needs.

Thc EIIcct nn thc Christian Church and What Wc Must Dn

IeoIe are Iooking for many means lo escaemovies, hero vorshi, sex, money, over, elc.
InlereslingIy, mosl eoIe in America lhink lhey are Chrislians (70% in lhe Iasl census). Yel,
Chrislianily is ouIar lo ridicuIe and Iimil. When ve do alleml lo vilness, ve are seen as a
lhreal or as an ob|ecl of ridicuIe. This resuIls in very IillIe discourse. We may Iose confidence lo
seak lhe Trulh in ubIc, and resorl lo a slriclIy 'ersonaI' Chrislianily. Some may lend lo
searale from lhe cuIlure or alleml lo force cerlain cuIluraI behaviors via IegisIalion
(IundamenlaIism). Some may lend lo valer dovn Orlhodoxy in order lo accommodale lhe
cuIlure's revaIenl beIiefs (LiberaIism). Some Iook for vays lo adal a consislenl and hisloricaI
message lo make il reIevanl lo a changing cuIlure (IvangeIicaIism).

We musl be resoIved! These issues ve are seeing in lhe cuIlure and ils effecl on lhe Church are
NOT NIW! Our mission has aIvays been, and sliII is, lo bring lhe Kingdom of God lo our
hurling vorId. To do lhis ve musl infIuence (creale) cuIlure, cuslom, Iav, and lhe arls (affecling
lhe 'vhoIe' erson.) The Trulh does nol changelhe eoIe do. Like IauI, ve musl Iearn lo be
'aII lhings lo aII eoIe' in order lo reach a fev.

We musl malure our gifls and aIIov lhem lo be used. We musl be malure in our Iailh, lhe
individuaI (ersonaI) and cororale (Church) gifls musl be acceled and deveIoed. We cannol
imilale lhe cuIlure, ve need lo creale ilindividuaIIy. Chrislianily musl nol onIy rovide a

'siriluaI exerience' - lhis onIy Ieads lo emolionaIIy based decisions. We musl aIso emhasize
lhe mind and lhe inleIIecluaI needs of lhe vhoIe erson.

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We can highIighl lhe unreasonabIeness of non-Chrislian vorIdvievs, vhiIe conlrasling vilh lhe
eminenlIy reasonabIe and evidenliaI Chrislian failh. We musl be ready lo discern vhen lo assisl
lhe HoIy Siril in His vork of redemlion. We musl be confidenl in our failh, and resenl lhe
lrue Ioving, caring, and fuII exerience of a Iife commilled lo }esus.

Lcssnn 5ummary

We musl undersland lhal non-beIievers 'lhink' differenlIy lhan beIievers

We musl Iearn lo undersland lhe cuIlure, so lhal ve can infIuence lhe cuIlure

We musl nol accel lhe 'ruIes of engagemenl' Iaced uon us by lhe cuIlure, bul ve
musl undersland hov lhe cuIlure vievs us and our Chrislianily

We musl Iearn lo have a confidenl failh in }esus

Ncxt Lcssnn: Hov AoIogelics Iquis The IvangeIislic Chrislian for Service In The CuIlure


A Nev ReIigious America: Hov A 'Chrislian Counlry' Has ecome lhe WorId's Mosl
ReIigiousIy Diverse Nalion, Diana L. Ick, Harer Iress, 2001

The GoseI and lhe American Dream, ruce L. SheIIey, MuIlnomah Iress, 1989

Dislorled Trulh Whal Ivery Chrislian Needs lo Knov aboul lhe allIe for lhe Mind,
Richard Mouv, Harer and Rov, 1989 Hislory from lhe Chrislian erseclive Chrislian oIIsler anaIyzing reIigious lrends in America

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://
Thinking Pnints

ShouId Chrislians be invoIved in 'secuIar' endeavors`

ShouId Chrislians Iace lheir failh in oIilics`

Have I relrealed from lhe cuIlure, caved lo il, or do I vanl lo heI lhe seekers`

Am I confidenl in my Chrislian Iailh`

Whal are MY gifls lhal I am execled lo use` Hov can I malure lhem`
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.uIuus be prepured to glte un unsuer to eterone uho usks ou to glte the reuson
jupoIoglu] for the hope thut ou hute. But do thls ulth gentIeness und respect."
1 Peter 3.15b

Dncs 5tudying Apn!ngctics Mcan "I'm Apn!ngizing Fnr Bcing a Christian?!"

NO! 'An aoIogelic' is |usl anolher vay lo say 'a defense' (from lhe Greek vord 'aoIogia'. So,
lhe sludy of AoIogelics is simIy lhe sludy of lhe defenses and
exIanalions of lhe Chrislian Iailh. The sludy of Chrislian
AoIogelics fuIfiIIs lvo uroses: il slrenglhens our failh by |oining
our mind vilh our siriluaI needs (hearl and souI), and il reares
us for discussions aboul lhe Chrislian Iailh vilh olhers.
AoIogelics is lherefore essenliaI in our ersonaI siriluaI malurily
as veII as a looI for evangeIism.

There are muIliludes of issues lhal Chrislians vonder or vorry aboul, somelimes lo lhe
delrimenl of lheir failh. And lhese same kinds of issues can emerge vhen ve find ourseIves in
evangeIislic silualions vilh a genuine seeker Iooking for ansvers. Ior examIe, ve may be
dravn inlo a debale over vorIdvievs (vhy ve lhink lhe vay ve do aboul Iife in generaI). Or ve
couId be asked lo exIain our erseclives on secific silualions vhiIe counseIing olhers vho are
craving for our (and God's) heI. Or il couId be a simIe lheoIogicaI diIemma lhal has been
nagging al someone, and has kel lhem from making a commilmenl of failh.

A basic underslanding of vhal ve beIieve and vhy ve beIieve il reares us lo be used by lhe
Siril of God vhen He moves vilhin someone and dravs lhem lo you lo exIain lhe reasons for
your failh in Chrisl.
Ireach lhe Word, be reared in season and oul of season, correcl, rebuke and
encourage.discharge aII lhe dulies of your minislry. 2 Timnthy 4:2a,5c.

Matthcw 22:37-38
Love lhe Lord your God vilh aII
your hearl and vilh aII your souI
and vilh aII your mind. This is
lhe firsl and grealesl
5nmc nI thc Qucstinns and Issucs Wc Facc (and 5nmctimcs Wnndcr Abnut Oursc!vcs.)

Where did God come from`
Why did my Ioved one have lo die`
You can'l |udge me or my choice of reIigion!
}esus vas |usl anolher good leacher.
The ibIe and lhe Koran are equaIIy lrue.
Modern man has science, and has no need for Chrislianily or reIigion.
The Church is fuII of hyocriles and has a hislory of incredibIe vioIence.
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Whal gIorious incenlive for lhe sludy of AoIogelics, lo reare ourseIves lo be lhe hands and
feel of lhe Lord vis-a-vis His Ian of saIvalion for lhe vorId, and lo slrenglhen our ersonaI failh
al lhe same lime!

A Pnp Quiz

QuickIy hov vouId you define 'failh'` And hov does lhe non-beIiever define 'failh'`
A. The same lhing as (or synonymous vilh) 'beIief'
. Iind accelance of somelhing ve do nol knov is 'lrue'
C. Our beIiefs in aclion
D. Trusl

In modern limes failh has come lo be synonymous vilh beIief, or even vorse, vilh 'bIind
accelance.' Il is nov usuaIIy acceled lhal 'having failh' is somelhing a erson does in lhe
absence of evidence, or even desile evidence of lo lhe conlrary. IeoIe 'vilh failh' are ridicuIed
as having Iess inleIIigence lhan lhose vho accel beIiefs based uon 'evidences.' ul in reaIily,
vhen aII is said and done, aII knoving requires a cerlain amounl of failh (lrusl, and laking aclion
based uon lhe beIiefs ve hoId).

The facl remains lhal aII forms of knovIedge uIlimaleIy reIy on unrovabIe assumlions. Ior
examIe, ve assume lhal lhe reslauranls ve choose lo visil are going lo rovide us vilh sanilary
food. We aIso (normaIIy) oerale our Iives vilh lhe assumlion lhal ve viII aII vake u in lhe
morning ready for lhe nexl day. None of lhese (and counlIess olher decisions and assumlions
ve make every day) are rovabIe, or are assured. We lake lhem ON IAITH! Sure, ve make
'educaled' assumlions, vhich lakes avay lhe 'bIindness.' We can and do, every day, reIy on
inluilive slalemenls backed u by IogicaI evidences and hiIosohies and exeriences, aII vhich
may or may nol be 'knovn beyond lhe shadov of a doubl.' ul lhey gel us by in our day lo day
Iives. The bollom Iine is lhal vilh roer reason lo beIieve an asserlion, desile lhe facl lhal ve
can never reaIIy be assured of anylhing, a 'roerIy Iaced failh' is nol bIind!

But I 5nmctimcs Havc Dnubts Isn't That a Bad Thing?

Iveryone eriodicaIIy has doubls, vhelher il be aboul God, }esus, or even our saIvalion. This
may make us feeI guiIly ve may lhink lhal maybe our Iack of 'failh' is bad, or lhal lhis is
evidence lhal ve may acluaIIy nol be saved. ul an honesl araisaI of lhis silualion cIarifies
vhy lhis is nol so. In a vorId lhal vaIues lhe naluraI vorId as aII lhal exisls, ve become
rogrammed lo execl concrele evidence (desile lhe facl lhal lhere is no such lhing), causing us
lo exerience doubl vhen ve don'l have il. We musl undersland lhal doubl WILL haen il's
normaI, even lo be execled, vhen ve are in a 'reIalionshi' vilh an 'unseen' erson.

Us doublers are in good comany. Remember lhal "}esus' ovn neighbors doubled Him. }ohn lhe
alisl, his cousin and forerunner, Ialer queslioned Him. Among lhe lveIve disciIes Thomas
doubled, Ieler cursed, and }udas belrayed, aII afler sending lhree years vilh }esus."
IhiIi Yancey, Reaching for lhe InvisibIe God

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In lhese limes of our Iives il is vaIuabIe lo remember lhal a significanl arl of 'failh' is choice. We
CHOOSI lo beIieve, based uon nol onIy lhe lhings ve can exerience vilh our five senses, bul
aIso vilh lhe lhings ve can feeI aarl from lhese senses (Iove, fear, Ionging, righl, vrong, elc.)
Consider lhe immaleriaI concel of 'Iove' as an examIe. We knov from exerience lhal lhe
feeIings of Iove are slrong enough lo cause us lo beIieve (or al Ieasl vanl lo beIieve) lhal Iove
exisls. We lhen add lo lhal exerience lhe hislory of Iove in our Iife and in lhe Iives of olhers.
Combining lhese evidences enabIes us lo make lhe inleIIecluaIIy honesl concIusion lhal lhe
immaleriaI concel of 'Iove' is 'reaI'. The same exercise is vaIid vilh olher 'immaleriaI'
concels, such as lhe exislence of God, or of ob|eclive lrulhs, lo name |usl lvo examIes. As ve
combine exerience vilh Iogic and corroboraling hysicaI evidence, ve end u vilh a 'failh' lhal
is credibIe lo beIieve, and lo buiId a vorId-viev uon. This is vhal lhe ibIe means vhen il leIIs
us lhal 'failh is lhe evidence of lhings nol seen'. This shovs us hov a sludy of AoIogelics can
heI us buiId our failh, and assisl in lhe buiIding of failh in olhers.

"Wc!! I Havc Just Gnnd O!d 'Faith' I Dnn't Nccd Evidcncc!"

Some cIaim lhal a failh lhal does nol need evidence is a beller failh lhan someone vho seeks
evidences. ul Chrislianily is a failh syslem lhal has aIvays been sub|ecl lo verificalion. Our
God shovs us reealedIy in lhe ibIe lhal He knovs lhal ve veak-viIIed humans vouId need
more lhan |usl lhe naluraI reveIalion lo Iead us back lo Him. He knovs lhal ve vouId need
more lhan lhe crealion lo rove a Crealor, more lhan |usl our abiIily lo Iove lo rove ve need a
Lover, and more lhan our desire for Iife lo drive us lo find hov lo Iive afler dealh. Ierhas il is
our faIIen nalure He is accommodaling for us, erhas il vas aIvays His Ian. In any evenl,
from lhe beginning of lhe failh, indeed from lhe beginning of lhe crealion, God has rovided His
eoIe vilh verificalions and evidences.

Ior examIe, He rovided Moses vilh a rod lo shov His over lo Iharaoh. He aIIoved IIi|ah lo
shov off His over lo lhe rohels of aaI. Abraham asked for roof of his bIessing, and Isaiah
vas lhe vesseI of God for many rohecies 'so lhal men may see and knov.' In lhe Nev
Teslamenl, lhe evidences are |usl as roIific. }esus roduced many vonders for bolh His aoslIes
as veII as lhe earIy foIIovers. He cIimaxed His vaIidalion as lhe Chrisl by His resurreclion from
lhe dead lhe uIlimale rice vas aIso lhe uIlimale confirmalion. And lhe firsl Church vas
guided by men Iike lhe esleemed Dr. Luke, vho documenled for his coIIeagues lhe vords of lhe
eyevilnesses, so lhal 'you may knov lhe cerlainly of lhe lhings you have been laughl'. Ieler
Iikevise resenled lhe evidences, and aII bul chaIIenged lhe Iisleners lo invesligale lhe facls for
lhemseIves. And IauI reminded lhe Corinlhians of lhe eyevilness leslimony avaiIabIe aIso.
CIearIy, adding evidence lo failh is a ibIicaI concel.

Evidcntia! Apn!ngctics vs. Prcsuppnsitinna! Apn!ngctics

Wilhin schoIarIy circIes, a hiIosohicaI/lheoIogicaI debale has Ioomed for years vhich conlrasls
lhe vaIue of resenling evidences for lhe failh lo non-beIievers. 'IvidenliaI' AoIogelics assumes
lhal lhe resenlalion of evidences can convince lhe oening of minds lo lhe vork of lhe Siril in
lhe conversion rocess.

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[e--c: _.c. c|cger.c- [el.:eJ _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Al lhe olher end of lhe seclrum, 'IresuosilionaI' AoIogelics assumes lhal Chrislianily makes
sense onIy afler lhe Siril has moved in your Iife. Once you 're-suose' lhal Chrislianily is
lrue, everylhing eIse begins lo faII in Iine and make sense. ul unliI you do, lhe evidences lhal
convince a Chrislian make no sense lo a non-beIiever.

The concel of 'CombinalionaI' AoIogelics Iies somevhere in lhe middIe.

Whal is lhe reaI oinl lo be Iearned from lhis debale` Il is simIy lhal ve musl Iearn lo recognize
vhere our discussion arlner is coming from. Iveryone viII
agree lhal lhe vorId (lhe evidences) Iooks differenl lo everyone
deending on one's resuosilions. So, ve musl be carefuI in
hov ve resenl our evidences lo a non-beIiever. If his is oen
minded, lhey may assisl him in his decisions, bul lhey may
make no sense lo him al aII if he considers lhem in lhe framevork of his dis-beIieving mind-sel.

Dnn't Bccnmc an 'Apn!n-Jcdi'

Many are dravn lo a sludy of AoIogelics in order lo gel lheir 'Iack eIl' in AoIogelics and go
oul lo Iook for an argumenl. They may lhen roceed lo karale cho unbeIievers lo shreds vilh
lheir inleIIecluaI acumen and verbaI argumenls. ul one does nol sludy AoIogelics |usl lo vin
argumenls. AIlhough many famous aoIogisls are invoIved vilh olher highIy lrained
hiIosohers in debaling alheism, crealionism, and a miIIion olher ism's, lhe main urose of
aoIogelics is nol lo convince bul lo confirm.

We musl aIvays remember lhe second haIf of lhe mandale in 1 Ieler: ...vilh genlIeness and
resecl. The goseI is offensive enoughve do nol need lo add lo lhal offense vilh our
manner of seaking.

What 5hnu!d Wc Dn Nnw?

We musl do vhal aII beIievers shouId focus on our Chrislian Malurily. In our quesl for
sanclificalion lhroughoul our devolionaI Iife, our rayer lime, and our serving lime ve musl
add lime lo feed our inleIIecl. Take lime lo invenlory your siriluaI gifls. Check your 'siriluaI
fruil' baskel lo see vhal you have been bIessed vilh, and malure lhese gifls.

God is vanling lo reare us for an elernily of reIalionshi vilh Him, as veII as lo shov olhers
lhe vay lo do lhe same. To do bolh ve musl have a slrong failh lhal is nol simIy based uon
emolions or exerience, bul aIso inleIIecluaI confidence.

egin lo seriousIy ursue ansvers lo lhe queslions you may have. Slarl an 'ignorance nolebook'
in vhich you may |ournaI lhese ilems, and documenl your invesligalions. This viII assisl you in
your siriluaI grovlh, and lhe Lord may use lhem in His oulreach vork aIso!

We shouId aIso reaIize lhal AoIogelics has Iimils in evangeIism. UIlimaleIy, reasons aIone are
nol enough for anyone lo accel lhe Chrislian Iailh. Il is our inluilion - our siril - lhal Ieads us
lo accel lhe evidence as lrue, because il salisfies our naluraI God-given desire for meaning.
We shouId knov our sub|ecl
rofoundIy and share il simIy.
Wi!!iam Lanc Craig
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

The defense of lhe failh is a ibIicaI command.

Chrislians musl be reared lo exIain vhal lhey beIieve and vhy lhey beIieve il, vilh
genlIeness and resecl.

There are 'roofs' given by God evidenl lhroughoul lhe ibIe

Iailh is a Iiving, brealhing vay of Iife, based uon varranl and choice.

A Chrislian may begin lhe aoIogelicaI / evangeIicaI |ourney vilh a consideralion of

Ncxt Lcssnn: IxamIes Of The InlernaI Ividences Ior God Thal We AII Have


Apn!ngctics 5ummarics
Handbook Of Chrislian AoIogelics, Kreefl & TaceIIi, Inlervarsily Iress,1994
ReasonabIe Iailh, WiIIiam Lane Craig, Crossvay ooks, 1994
Iive Vievs On AoIogelics, Sleven Covan, edilor, Zondervan, 2000

Examp!cs OI Apn!ngctics In Actinn
When Skelics Ask, GeisIer & rooks, aker ook House, 2001
Knov Whal You eIieve, IauI LillIe, Chariol Viclor IubIishing, 1999
Knov Why You eIieve, IauI LillIe, Chariol Viclor IubIishing, 1999


On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://
Thinking Pnints

Hov imorlanl is il lo |oin our inleIIecl vilh our failh`

Can you have a slrong failh if your 'beIiefs' do nol mesh vilh your 'mind'`

Do eoIe Iike lo be 'vrong'`

Hov can AoIogelics assisl in 're-evangeIism'`

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

[e--c: [e--c: [e--c: [e--c: _|ee _|ee _|ee _|ee. . . . _u [e| [u|-e _u [e| [u|-e _u [e| [u|-e _u [e| [u|-e

Does etldence hute to be tunglbIe to be of tuIue? ls lt posslbIe to knou somethlng
ulthout protlng lt sclentlflcuII? ls reIlglous knouIedge of Iesser tuIue thun hurd

Can Wc Evcr Rca!!y Knnw Anything Fnr 5urc?

Can ve ever reaIIy KNOW anylhing` Is il ossibIe lhal ve are aII
dreaming, or reaIIy Iiving inside lhe 'Malrix'` Whal are lhe vays
lhal ve can KNOW lhings` And, more lo lhe oinl, vhal is Trulh
and can il be knovn`

In lhis modern age, ve somelimes assume lhal ve can onIy KNOW vhal is 'leslabIe'. ul is lhal
lrue` Can I KNOW somelhing oulside of lhe 'Scienlific Melhod'`

AbsoIuleIy! There are many lhings lhal ve can knov beyond lhe leslabIe and lhe rovabIe /
disrovabIelhings lhal are 5ELF EVIDENT. Here are a fev examIes:
-Mathcmatics: We do nol need lo lesl lo knov lhal 2+24. There is no ossibiIily lhal
2+25, no maller hov many vays I lesl il, or hov oflen. There is no need lo rove il or
disrove il!
-Intcrna! Knnw!cdgc: I knov lhal I exisl. I aIso knov vhal I ale lhis morning, and lhal I
Iove my vife. Any evidence you shov me lo disrove vhal I asserl lhal I ale lhis
morning is nol acceled, because I KNOW vhal I ale lhis morning! Il is a resuIl of
'inlernaI knovIedge'.
Lngica! PrnpnsitinnsThere are many IogicaI roosilions lhal can be knovn vilhoul
roving lhem. They are lrue, and can be knovn, by definilion. Ior examIe: 'A' does nol
equaI 'non-A' (e.g. I knov lhal lhis chair is nol lhis labIe.)
Ethica! PrnpnsitinnsI KNOW lhal lhere are lhings lhal are vrong, and lhal lhere are
lhings lhal are righl. A common examIe is lhal 'lorluring babies for fun is vrong'. This
is innale, ve |usl knov il lo be lrue.

Faith Is At Thc Rnnt OI A!! Knnw!cdgc
Lasl veek ve Iearned lhal failh is synonymous vilh 'lrusl'.
IroerIy underslood, lhis gives us insighl inlo our ursuil of
Trulh. Yel many insisl lo onIy lrusl facls lhal are oblained by use
of lhe Scienlific Melhod. Hovever as exemIified above, lhis is
cIearIy NOT lhe onIy source of Trulh. In addilion, lhe Scienlific
Melhod is ONLY quaIified lo examine Trulh cIaims lhal are
'maleriaI' (leslabIe in lhe naluraI vorId. Il by definilion cannol lesl for SuernaluraI Trulh.)
Thc 5cicntiIic Mcthnd
1) Observe a henomenon
2) IormuIale a hyolhesis
3) Make rediclions
4) Tesl lhe rediclions
A Truth 5tatcmcnt
Thal vhich corresonds lo
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

ul vhiIe lhe Scienlific Melhod is invaIuabIe, and cerlainIy has ils Iace in lhe ursuil of Trulh,
ve musl reaIize lhal il is ilseIf based uon IAITH! The ursuil of science reIies uon severaI
acceled axioms each unrovabIe by using lhe Scienlific Melhod. Yel lhe Scienlific Melhod
reIies (lrusls) on lhem lo vork! }usl Iike in geomelry cIass, lhere exisl severaI 'seIf evidenl' lrulhs
lhal Scienlisls musl assume in order lo advance knovIedge yel lhey cannol be 'roven'.
Allemling lo rove lhem by uliIizing lhe scienlific melhod vouId be circuIar (in effecl using
science lo rove science.) Take any of lhese assumlions avay, and lhe Scienlific Melhod faiIs.
Some examIes of lhe assumlions of science are:
- Thal lrulh exisls
- A vorId exisls indeendenl of our lheories, lhal ve can lesl
- The reIiabiIily of our senses lo leII us vhal ve are observing
- The orderIy nalure of lhe exlernaI vorId
- The adequacy of Ianguge lo describe our findings
- The use of vaIues in invesligalion (lesl fairIy, reorl honeslIy)

5n What Dn Wc Dn II Wc Cannnt 'Prnvc' Anything?

In a vord, ve TRUST. We have lo sle oul vilh roerIy Iaced assumlions, or ve couId nol
Iive a Iife of normaIcy. ObviousIy incIuded in lhese assumlions are 'suernaluraI' ilems (lhings
lhal ve lrusl oulside of lhe Scienlific Melhod.) The queslion nov becomes: 'vhal are lhe roer
assumlions`' And, in our ursuil of Trulh, 'hov does God fil inlo lhis iclure`' Can ve 'knov'
lhal God exisls` Since ve knov nov lhal ve are nol Iimiled lo lhe Scienlific Melhod, can ve
uliIize our 'inlernaI' knovIedge lo heI 'rove' lhe exislence of God`

A Cnnsidcratinn nI thc Human Cnnditinn

Our ursuil of Trulh can be slarled vilh an underslanding of lhe nalure of humanily, vhich
comes IargeIy from 'inlernaI knovIedge'. See if lhe foIIoving sounds famiIiar lo you.

-Iveryone vanls lo make sense of our exislence. This is our reIigious imuIse.

-We feeI lhal ve have some kind of moraI significance lo our Iives.

-We have Iols of lroubIes lhal face us in our Iives lhal kee us from being 'hay.' These
incIude sickness, belrayaI, Iimils lo our viIIover, var, and finaIIy dealh!!

-We reaIize lhal ve are amazing crealures vhen ve consider design and funclions. We
aIso reaIize lhal lhere is much more lo us lhan lhal vhich seems hysicaI - ve usuaIIy
caII il our souI. There seems lo be more lhan |usl lhe 'hysicaI' vorId around us lhal
someone can lesl or measure, and lhis 'souI' is one examIe.

-Desile our comIexily and vonder, ve are sliII concerned vilh lhe dark sides of
ourseIves and of lhe vorId, and vouId Iike lo eIiminale lhem if ossibIe.

-When ve consider aII of lhe above ilems, ve somelimes vonder onder lhe elernaI
queslion: 'vhy.' Why are ve here`, Indeed, vhy does lhe vhoIe vorId exisl al aII`
_ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- ~ ~~ ~ |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

-We inluiliveIy knov, and see evidenliaIIy everyday, lhal everylhing has a beginning
and lhis musl aIy even lo lhe universe.

-We reason lhal if lhe universe (incIuding us) had a beginning, il musl have had a cause.
ul lhis regression cannol go on forever il musl have slarled somevhere and somelime.
So, lo end lhe rogression lhe cause of lhe universe musl be uncaused - by definilion il
musl be somelhing lhal is nol crealed.

-Thal originaI cause musl be a ersonaI being in lhe sense lhal lhis being is avare of
ilseIf, make decisions and have uroses, and yel musl have caabiIilies lhal far surass

-We find lhal ve have many desires lhal ve cannol salisfy on our ovn or lhrough lhings
or olher eoIe, incIuding lhe desire lo knov lhe meaning of lhe universe.

5n What Arc Wc Lnnking Fnr?

These issues, lhoughls and feeIings are common lo aII eoIe. They are a arl of lhe NaluraI
ReveIalion vhich incIudes lhe cosmos, lhe vorId ve Iive in, everylhing ve see in nalure, as veII
as lhe asecls of our human nalure. Il serves as a oinler lo a suernaluraI reaIily lhal ve nov
knov can and musl be lrue. Il gives us hinls of lhe exislence of God and of His nalure.

So ve are Iooking for ansvers. We are Iooking for a SeciaI ReveIalion lhal viII ansver and
fuIfiII our queslions. Assuming lhal lhe NaluraI ReveIalion is True, and lhal lhere is a being vho
crealed us and rovides urose, ve couId IogicaIIy execl lo find a secificaIIy deIivered
message, inlended lo ansver lhe queslions ve oblain from observing lhe NaluraI/GeneraI
ReveIalion. The message musl ansver lhe issues lhal roml lhe desire for lhe seciaI reveIalion
in lhe firsl Iace, and il musl be comalibIe vilh vhal is reveaIed in lhe generaI reveIalion. And,
lo make sure ve are nol being dued, lhe message musl be corroboraled indeendenlIy, lo
vaIidale ilseIf vhen comared lo olher messages lhal may be faIse or misIeading.

Thc Bib!c CnnIirms It!

We viII consider lhe Trulh cIaims and ansvers of olher reIigions Ialer, for nov ve viII consider
lhe cIaims of Chrislianily, since il is lhe mosl evidenliaI and lherefore lhe mosl rovabIe/
disrovabIe vorIdviev. aII have a fundamenlaI dis-ease. Il is an unquenchabIe fire lhal renders lhe vasl ma|orily of us
incaabIe in lhis Iife of ever coming lo fuII eace...aII greal Iileralure, oelry, arl, hiIosohy, sychoIogy,
and reIigion lries lo name and anaIyze lhis Ionging.
Hustnn 5mith, Why Rc!iginn Mattcrs
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[e--c: _|ee. _u [e| [u|-e _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Chrislianily confirms lhal lhe Crealor is draving us lovard Him, and lhal God has Iaced lhis
avareness vilhin each of us, crealing a naluraI vacuum or lhirsl for knovIedge lhal Ieads us
lo consider Him. Indeed, God exIains lo us lhal He has done |usl lhal:

"He has aIso sel elernily in lhe hearls of men, yel lhey cannol falhom vhal God has done
from beginning lo end...God does il so lhal men viII revere Him."
IccIesiasles 3:11b, 14b.

Irom one man He made every nalion of men, lhal lhey shouId inhabil lhe vhoIe earlh,
and He delermined lhe limes sel for lhem and lhe exacl Iaces vhere lhey shouId Iive.
God did lhis so lhal men vouId seek Him and erhas reach oul for Him and find Him,
lhough He is nol far from each one of us. Acls 17:26-27

God has given us a 'sense of oughl' lhal nol onIy exisls in aII limes
and cuIlures, bul drives each of us lo a slandard lhal seems
indeendenl of us. We aII have a cIear sense of lhis 'obIigalion',
vhelher ve Iive in lhe Uniled Slales or lhe remolesl reaches of
Africa. They may nol aII be exaclIy lhe same beIiefs and
obIigalions, bul lheir universaI exislence demands exIanalion. Il
sure seems more comIicaled lhan |usl allribuling lhis (and olhers
Iike il) lo '|usl lhe resuIl of chemicaI reaclions in lhe brain!' We feeI
lhis urge so slrongIy lhal ve viII even lry lo ass Iavs lo enforce
our inlernaI desires for |uslice and moraIily. So ve shouId nol be surrised lhal our inlernaI
moraI Iav refIecls lhal of lhe Iav of God:

"Indeed, vhen by nalure lhings required by lhe Iav |of Godj, lhey are a Iav
for lhemseIves.since lhey shov lhal lhe requiremenls of lhe Iav are vrillen on lheir
hearls, lheir consciences aIso bearing vilness, and lheir lhoughls nov accusing, nov
even defending lhem. Romans 2:14-15.

Hnw Dncs Christianity Answcr Our Qucstinns?

Considering lhe requiremenls for roviding ansvers, and being corroboraled, Iel's briefIy
consider lhe ansvers from lradilionaI Chrislian beIief. We'II discuss lhese in much more delaiI in
a Ialer Iesson:

'God' is reveaIed as lhe greal Crealor, vilh ersonaI allribules, vho lakes an inleresl in
lhe universe and for our eslranged reIalionshi.

The reason for lhe eslrangemenl, as veII as a means of reconciIing il is resenled.

The ansvers are corroboraled by seciaI reveIalions sreading over 1500 years, by over
40 differenl ersons in 3 differenl conlinenls.

Iroof of lhe good nevs is vaIidaled in lhese hisloricaI documenls by lhe occurrence of
suernaluraI evenls, mosl nolabIy a resurreclion from lhe dead.
There is within every soul a
thirst for happiness and
Thomas Aquinas

Two things fill the mind with
admiration and awe, the
starry heavens above and the
moral law within."
Immanuel Kant

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

We can have reIiabIe knovIedge, inlernaIIy.

One of lhese inlernaI knovIedge ilems ve have is our reIigious inslincland il is

Our reIigious inslincl causes us lo Iook beyond ourseIves and our vorId for ansvers.

Chrislianily rovides a SeciaI ReveIalion lhal adequaleIy ansvers lhe queslions ve seek
from lhe GeneraI ReveIalion

Chrislianily confirms lhal God Iaced lhese desires inside us, so ve vouId seek Him oul.

Ncxt Lcssnn: The Ividences Ior God's Ixislence


MiracIes, C.S. Levis, Simon & Schusler, 1996

ScaIing The SecuIar Cily, }.I. MoreIand, aker ook House, 2000

InleIIecluaIs Don'l Need God (and olher modern mylhs), McGralh, Zondervan,

Does God eIieve In Alheisls`, }ohn Ianchard, IvangeIicaI Iress, 2000

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://
Thinking Pnints

Hov much 'evidence' is needed, lo have a veII-founded beIief`

Do numbers, coIors, or emolions 'exisl'`

Whal is lhe aIlernalive lo beIief in God` Is il viabIe inleIIecluaIIy`

Is Alheism / Agnoslicism lhe 'defauIl' condilion`

Whal sorl of requiremenls musl a 'SeciaI ReveIalion' have lo be credibIe`

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

[e--c: [e--c: [e--c: [e--c: cu cu cu cu. . . . _|e _.-re:ce cl _cJ _|e _.-re:ce cl _cJ _|e _.-re:ce cl _cJ _|e _.-re:ce cl _cJ

The sub]ect of God ls the most uldeI pubIlshed dlscusslon ln hlstor becuuse more
consequences for thought und uctlon foIIou the ufflrmutlon or denluI of God thun from
unsuerlng un other buslc questlon."
Mortlmer AdIer The Greut ldeus A Snoplcon of Greut Books of the Western WorId

Whn Carcs? A!mnst A!! nI Us!

CarI Sagan, lhe eminenl lheorelicaI hysicisl and alheisl, vhen asked vhal evidence he vouId
require lo beIieve in God, is reorled lo have said lhal 'exlraordinary cIaims require
exlraordinary evidence.' Yel il is said lhal 95% of lhe ouIalion of lhe vorId beIieves in a deily
of some sorl. CIearIy, beIief in God is nol as 'exlraordinary' as CarI Sagan mighl have us beIieve.

Catcgnrics nI Thcism / Athcism

It's as Easy as A-B-C

We've Iearned lhal lhe NaluraI/GeneraI ReveIalion (our reIigious imuIse) slarls us off on our
search for God, and lhal lhe SeciaI ReveIalion of Chrislianily IikeIy ansvers our queslions (more
on lhal Ialer). A simIe code lhal ve leach Kindergarlners heIs us remember hov easy lhis is.
When I ask lhe kids Hnw dn wc knnw thcrc's a Gnd` lhey resond by shouling back A-B-C!

A He makes us AWARE of Him Our ovn human nalure (conscious, moraI fiber, elc)
suggesls lo us lhal lhere musl be somelhing beyond ourseIves ve |usl 'knov' in our
'hearls' lhal lhere is more lo Iife lhan vhal ve can see and louch.

B He gave us lhe BIBLE Our avareness Ieads us lo Iook for God. The ibIe is lhe
evidence lhal God has Iefl us, a seIf-aulograhed documenlalion of His nalure and His
Ians. The ibIe is singuIarIy unique, conlrasled lo aII lhe olher suosed scrilures.

C We can see His CREATION One of lhe 'generaI reveIalions' aboul God surrounds
us each day, ve see lhe miracIes of crealion everyvhere. God loId us lhal ve couId
observe lhe evidence and informalion aboul Him vilhin His crealion. Il is lhe mosl
obvious facl of His exislence - for hov couId lhere be a crealion vilhoul a Crealor`
Agnnsticism /
Athcism Pn!ythcism Panthcism
eIief in a
God does
NOT exisl
We cannol
knov for sure
I have a Iack
of a beIief
Many Gods
is God

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Phi!nsnphica! PrnnIs

ul make no mislake, lhere is room for hiIosohy in lhe search for
God. LileraIIy lransIaled as 'a Iove of visdom', hiIosohy uliIizes
Iogic and readiIy aarenl evidences lo drav vaIid concIusions.
Here are examIes of some of lhe mosl usefuI argumenls lhal have
been used lo 'rove' lhe exislence of God for hundreds of years.

Thc Argumcnt nI Evidcnt Causa!ity (Cnsmn!ngica! Argumcnt) Sl. Thomas in his Sunna
Tncc|cgica roosed five roofs of lhe exislence of God vhich Iead lo lhe concIusion lhal lhere
musl be a God from lhe GeneraI ReveIalion. They can be summarized as foIIovs:

Mankind's exerience in lhe vorId indicales lhal aII lhings have a cause. Consideralion
of lhis facl Ieads us lo lhe concIusion lhal 'causes' musl conlinue in hislory back inlo
infinily. This is cIearIy nol ossibIe in raclicaIily, so lhere musl have been an 'un-
caused cause.' This firsl cause is knovn as 'God.' And because nolhing can be crealed
by ilseIf, lhere musl be lhal vhich exisls by ilseIf. Thal vhich exisls by ilseIf is knovn as
'God.' Among lhe lhings lhal exisl lhere is searalion of vaIue, indicaling a ruIe by vhich
lo measure lhis vaIue. Thal source of aII vaIue is knovn as 'God.' IinaIIy, lhe reason for
anylhing 'exisling' inslead of 'nol exisling' imIies urose - even lhings lhal aear lo
Iack knovIedge sliII have urose, and acl in accordance lo a urose beyond
lhemseIves. Thal urose beyond aII lhings is knovn as 'God.'

Thc Tc!cn!ngica! Argumcnt (thc Argumcnt Inr Purpnsc) AKA an argumenl for a Designer:

1) Ivery asecl of lhe universe disIays an incredibIe amounl of order, bolh in lhe lhings
ve can see and lhe vay lhings reacl lo each olher. (Ior examIe, consider lhe organs in
your body aII vorking vonderfuIIy for lhe suslaining of our Iives, erfeclIy luned and
connecled. This axiom can be exlended aImosl indefinileIy, from lhe amounl of oxygen
in lhe air for us, lo lhe gravily keeing us on lhe ground, elc elc elc.)
2) Iilher lhis order is lhe roducl of inleIIigenl design, or random chance.
3) Chance is incaabIe lo roduce lhis magnilude of order.
4) Order comes from a designer vilh a urose for lhe order.
5) Therefore, lhe universe is lhe resuIl of an inleIIigenl designer.

Thc Argumcnt Irnm Cnnscinusncss InleIIigence seems lo be differenl lhan inanimale maller.
In olher vords, lhere is somelhing differenl aboul lhe 'animale' carbon and olher chemicaIs lhal
make u my body, and lhe 'inanimale' carbon and olher chemicaIs found in nalure. This
difference is inleIIigence, or consciousness. InleIIigence exisls in lhe cosmos, yel lhe cosmos is nol
inleIIigenl (seIf-avare.) So vhere did il come from` Consider lhis syIIogism:
1) We exerience lhe universe as inleIIigibIe.
2) Iilher lhe inleIIigibIe universe and lhe finile minds abIe lo gras il are lhe roducls of
inleIIigence, or lhey arrived from bIind chance.
3) Nol bIind chance.
4) Therefore lhe inleIIigibIe universe and lhe finile minds grasing il are lhe roducls of
A IillIe hiIosohy incIinelh a
man's mind lo alheism, bul
delh in hiIosohy bringelh
men's mind aboul lo reIigion.
Francis Bacnn
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Thc Argumcnt nI Dcsirc An inlernaI yearning for God` Can lhal be IogicaI`! In facl, il is
cIearIy IogicaI and easy lo undersland. Lels lry il oul:

1) AII lhe desires vilhin us corresond lo somelhing lhal can fuIfiII lhe desire
2) Hovever lhere is a desire vilhin us in vhich nolhing on earlh seems lo fuIfiII
3) Therefore somelhing musl exisl oulside of earlh, lime, and maleriaI lhal viII salisfy
lhis desire.
4) This somelhing can onIy be vhal eoIe refer lo as 'God,' and a fuIfiIImenl (Iife) vilh
Him forever.

Al firsl gIance lhis argumenl may seem odd, bul uon furlher refIeclion il is cIear. There are lvo
lyes of desires: lhose lhal are naluraI (lhings such as food, sIee, knovIedge, sex, friendshi,
beauly, elc.), and lhose lhal are deveIoed (lhings such as foolbaII games, Iicorice, arbie doIIs, a
beller |ob, elc.) The former aII eoIe desire, lhe Ialler come from oulside of us - from sociely,
ficlion, or reference. ul vhy vouId aII eoIe desire somelhing lhal is never salisfied in lhis
vorId` Gel a nev car, you'II soon vanl a beller one. Gel lhal nev |ob or Iove or vhalever your
hearl desires, soon il von'l salisfy. The yearning in our hearls never seems lo be fiIIed - vhal
couId il be Ieading us lo` Il aears IogicaI lo assume lhal a Crealor may have Iaced lhis desire
vilhin us lo Iead us lo search for Him.

But Bc CarcIu!!

We musl be caulious ouIar oinion and hiIosohicaI roofs may varranl beIief in a Crealor,
bul nol necessariIy in lhe Chrislian God. We musl remember lhal ve are Iooking for secific
ansvers lo lhe queslions lhal vere generaled by lhe GeneraI ReveIalion. CIearIy nol aII lhe
reIigions rovide lhe same (righl`) ansvers. The ReveIalions MUST corresond vilh each olher.
OnIy Chrislianily rovides corresonding ReveIalions! (More on lhal nexl veek.)

Ok But Whcrc Did Gnd Cnmc Frnm?

This is usuaIIy lhe firsl queslion a erson viII ask afler ve discuss God's osilion as lhe Iirsl
Cause. ul remember, by definilion God is lhe firsl evenl, somelimes knovn as lhe 'Irime
Mover'. Therefore by lhis definilion, God is uncaused. So lhe queslion 'Where did God come
from`' is an imroer queslion. Il is a calegory error. Il is Iike asking for a square circIe, or a fIal
shere. Is il hard lo accel` Yes. ul does il make sense lo us` Of course, in lhe sense lhal ve
knov lhal lhere cannol be an infinile regress of evenls. SOMITHING had lo be firsl, and slarl il
aII off. There is nolhing in nalure lhal ve see coming from nolhing (desile lhe fifly doIIar vords
some NaluraIisls lhrov around, Iike quanlum fIuclualions, elc.) Il is |usl nol naluraI. So vhal
slarled il aII off` Il had lo be somelhing oulside of nalure - somelhing suernaluraI.

Occam's Raznr

In lhe movie Conlacl, }ody Iosler's characler aIied lhe rinciIe of Occam's Razor (lhe concel
lhal lhe simIesl ansver lo a comIex robIem is usuaIIy lhe correcl choice aIso knovn as lhe
'Lav of Iarsimony') lo lhe exislence of God. She said So vhal's more IikeIy` Thal an aII-
overfuI, myslerious God crealed lhe Universe, and decided nol lo give any roof of his
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

exislence` Or, lhal He simIy doesn'l exisl al aII, and lhal ve crealed Him, so lhal ve vouIdn'l
have lo feeI so smaII and aIone`

ul I'm nol so sure she sel u lhe argumenl correclIy. Lel's Iook al lhe diIemma lhis vay:
1) Iverylhing in lhe cosmos eilher exisled forever or came from nolhing. Gasses lhen evoIved
inlo Iighl eIemenls, and lhen inlo heavy eIemenls. Then 'dead' eIemenls evoIved inlo somelhing
aIive, and finaIIy mulaled inlo a erson vho has lhe caabiIily lo eal, see, lhink, rocreale and
knov righl from vrong. (None of lhese sles, by lhe vay, have been observed in nalure, and in
facl are conlrary lo knovn naluraI Iav - lhey are simIy vhal 'musl' have haened in an anli-
lheislic vorIdviev.)

In my viev, il seems easier lo beIieve: 2) Thal Somelhing crealed everylhing and shovs us lhe
evidence of ils aulhorshi in lhe amazing delaiIs, synergies and comIexilies of lhe cosmos and
of Iife.

CerlainIy bolh lake an aclive choice (failh`) lo beIieve, since lhere vere no eyevilnesses. We
musl hovever use ALL of our facuIlies, our inluilion and senses, lo ansver lhe queslion
lrulhfuIIy. Il does nol reIieve our minds lo accel mere scienlific facl if ve don'l aIso ansver lhe
queslions vhy and hov. ul cerlainIy belveen lhe choices above (and lhere are no olher choices)
lhere is adequale varranl lo have a beIief in a Crealor.

But Isn't Bc!icI in Gnd Just a 'Crutch' Inr Wcak-Mindcd Pcnp!c?

Sigmund Ireud caIIed lhe condilion 'vish fuIfiIImenl'.

Marx discrediled Chrislianily as lhe 'oiale of lhe masses' - vhich is usefuI lo lhose in over as a
means lo kee eoIe suressed, as lhey Iook forvard lo 'ie in lhe sky in lhe bye and bye'
vhiIe lhey suffer under lyranny in lhe resenl. Is lhis a roof againsl lhe lrulh of Chrislianily` Is
il a vaIid argumenl againsl lhe hoe of a benevoIenl God`

These lyes of accusalions commil vhal is knovn as lhe 'genelic faIIacy'. }usl because lhe
'accusalion' may be lrue, il doesn'l mean lhal lhe underIying asserlion is nol lrue. Sure, ve may
vish lhal God exisls, bul lhal doesn'l mean lhal He doesn'l exisl! In order lo rove lhal
Chrislianily is faIse, ils crilics viII have lo do MUCH more vork lhan simIy denigrale lhe
'molives' of lhe beIievers! Indeed, if Chrislianily is lrue, lhen ve vouId execl lhal eoIe vouId
indeed be Ionging for il!

If ve are lruIy searaled from our Crealor and He is lhe uIlimale exression of our urose, il
makes sense lhal ve WOULD desire Him! And if lhe Crealor is acliveIy searching for us and aIso
Ionging for our reconciIialion, il is nol beyond beIief lhal lhe needs vilhin us vouId be Iefl lhere
by Him, lo be used lo drav us lovard Him!

And finaIIy - lhis arlicuIar crilicism acluaIIy vorks againsl lhe crilic! Is il nol ossibIe lhal a
erson may ro|ecl lheir 'vish' for aulonomy and lheir 'fear' or 'disIike' of a righleous God by
ro|ecling (vishing) lhal He does nol exisl` So, if reIigious beIief can be seen as a kind of 'vish
ro|eclion', so couId reIigious disbeIief!
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

Il is IogicaI lo beIieve in a Crealor God

Il is raclicaI lo beIieve in a IersonaI God

Il is ouIar lo beIieve in God (lhe vasl ma|orily does!)

The aIlernalive lo beIief in God is un-IivabIe

ConcIusion: A eIief In God Is Warranled

Ncxt Lcssnn: Ividences Ior The ibIe (aka vhy ve shouId beIieve in lhe God of lhe ibIe)


Why eIieve` Reason and Myslery as Ioinlers lo God, C. Slehen Ivans, Inlervarsily
Iress 1996

ReasonabIe IailhChrislian Trulh and AoIogelics, WiIIiam Lane Craig Crossvay
ooks, 1995

20 ComeIIing Ividences lhal God Ixisls, Kennelh D. oa & Roberl M. ovman }r.,
Riveroak IubIishing, 2002

Mere Chrislianily, C. S. Levis

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://
Thinking Pnints

Whal are lhe imIicalions if God does exisl`

Whal are lhe imIicalions if God does NOT exisl`

Whal can ve knov aboul God from lhe GeneraI ReveIalion`

Does hiIosohy 'rove' anylhing`

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

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OId Testument Messuge.
The LstubIlshment of Gods Klngdom on Lurth, und thut God Protldes SuItutlon ln The
Mldst Of ]udgment
Tnc Icr! ui|| |aq |arc His nc|q arn in inc signi cj a|| inc naiicns, an! a|| inc cn!s cj inc carin ui|| scc inc sa|taiicn cj
cur Gc!. |saian 52.10

Neu Testument Messuge.
]esus ls the Messluh, und SuItutlon ls b Gruce, through lulth
Bui ncu a rigniccusncss jrcn Gc!, apari jrcn Iau, nas |ccn na!c kncun, ic unicn inc Iau an! inc prcpncis icsiijq.
Tnis rigniccusncss jrcn Gc! ccncs inrcugn jaiin in jcsus Cnrisi ic a|| unc |c|ictc...Gc! prcscnic! Hin as a sacrijicc cj
aicncncni, inrcugn jaiin in His ||cc!. |cnans 3.21,22a,25a

What Makcs thc Bib!c 5n 5pccia!?

More lhan |usl any olher book, even any olher 'reIigious' book, lhe ibIe is singuIarIy unique. Il
is neilher a singIe book, nor is il vrillen by one erson, as are mosl 'reIigious' lexls. Il is a
coIIeclion of 66 books lhal vere vrillen by 40 or more differenl aulhors in lhree differenl
Ianguages, in 3 differenl conlinenls. These books vere vrillen over a eriod of aboul 1600 years.
The aulhors reresenl sociely al Iarge. They vere nol |usl zeaIols, or schoIars and reachers, bul
lhey aIso vere common foIk ranging from sheherds lo doclors, governmenl officiaIs lo
fishermen, lax coIIeclors lo Kings. There are many slyIes of |ournaIislic melhod invoIved,
incIuding hislory, oelry, governmenl records, diaIogue, arabIes, sermons, rohecy, Iellers and
reIigious inslruclion. The ibIe has been conveyed lo us over 2000 years essenliaIIy idenlicaI lo
hov il vas vrillen, and il has been lransIaled inlo over 1200 differenl Ianguages or diaIecls.
Desile lhis huge diversily of hislory, lhere is one cenlraI lheme of lhe vhoIe coIIeclion of
vrilings: lhal God exisls, and vanls us lo be reconciIed back lo Him.

ul for a momenl consider lhal il is nol a book lhal cIaims suernaluraI aulhorshi, and
aroach il vilh an oen minded survey simiIar lo any olher ob|ecl of anliquily. Since ve cannol
rove lhal lhe ibIe is 'insired' by using ibIicaI assages (lhal vouId be using circuIar
argumenls!) ve can begin by roving lhal il is a Iegilimale and lruslvorlhy manuscril, and
THIN consider vhal il says. Once il is roven reIiabIe, in facl il viII be roven MORI reIiabIe
lhan any olher ancienl manuscril, ve can THIN assume lhal il is vorlhy of serious
consideralion of ils sub|ecl maller.

To summarize, lhe ibIe is unique in il's cIaims, unaraIIeIed in documenlalion, miracuIousIy
lransmilled lhrough lhe ages, unequivocaI in ils message from God, and changes Iives.

ul as for you, conlinue in vhal you have Iearned and have become convinced of, because you
knov lhose from vhom you Iearned il, and hov from infancy you have knovn lhe HoIy
Scrilures, vhich are abIe lo make you vise for saIvalion lhrough failh in Chrisl }esus. AII
Scrilure is God-brealhed and is usefuI for leaching, rebuking, correcling and lraining in
righleousness, so lhal lhe man of God may be lhoroughIy equied for every good vork.
2 Timnthy 3:14-16
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[e--c: ..e. _..Je:ce- lc r|e _.|e _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Dncumcntatinn nI thc Bib!c

The originaI manuscrils (lhe aulograha) are Iosl, bul lhere are enough
coied manuscrils in exislence, some vrillen during lhe Iifelimes of
eye-vilnesses lo lhe Resurreclion and lhe minislry of lhe AoslIes, lhal
lhe credibiIily of lhe lransmission is assured. This simIe facl is
aslounding vhen comared lo lhe evidence of olher coied
manuscrils from anliquily (indeed, lhere are NO originaIs of ANY
manuscrils from anliquily!) Ior examIe, lhere are onIy 643
manuscrils of lhe IIiad in exislence, vhich is simiIar in Ienglh lo lhe
Nev Teslamenl. ul lhere are over 25,000 ieces of evidence for lhe
ibIe, and lhey are aII so simiIar lhal lhey are considered lo be idenlicaI.

Some beIieve lhal lhis ga of -50 - 100 years before lhe GoseIs vere vrillen dovn aulomalicaIIy
deslroys lheir reIiabiIily. They asserl lhal Iegends aboul }esus may have deveIoed in Iieu of facl,
and lherefore ve have no basis in lrusling lhal lhe manuscrils are vaIid. There are essenliaIIy
lhree ilems lo consider vhen conlemIaling lhis issue:

1) Thc transmissinn nI Iact and traditinn whcn cycwitncsscs arc sti!! a!ivc. IersonaI
inlerrelalion and ad|uslmenl is easy lo do if lhe vriler or eyevilnesses are nol around,
bul much more difficuIl if you are ossibIy sub|ecl lo correclion or ridicuIe from lhem.
Wilh lhe GoseIs as cIose as 50 years afler lhe dealh of Chrisl, il is conceivabIe lhal many
of lhese eyevilnesses vere sliII aIive, as veII as Ieler and Mark and IauI and many of
lhe firsl generalion church Ieaders.

In addilion, evidence of lhe inlroduclion of lhe common 'heresies' (dislorlion of originaI
doclrine/orlhodoxy) did nol begin unliI -200 A.D., vilh lhe Gnoslic heresy and olhers.
(Indeed, lhis is one reason lhe Church falhers formaIized lhe canon.)

2) Thc incrcdib!c simi!arity nI thc disparatc dncumcnts. When ve consider lhe
emhasis on erfeclion lhal lhe scribes - lhink of lhem as 'human coying machines' -
had (remember lhal lheir IiveIihood and reulalion reIied on lheir quaIily of vork - nol
lo menlion lhe seriousness lhey look lo lransmilling vhal lhey beIieved lo be lhe 'vord
of God'), ve can Iace failh in lheir vork. We knov lhal lhis quaIily exisls vhen ve find
documenls, such as lhe Dead Sea ScroIIs, lhal vere vrillen arox. 1000 years Ialer lhan
some earIier documenls, and found lo be raclicaIIy idenlicaI.

In addilion, vhen lhe various manuscrils are comiIed vilh lheir various insignificanl
'disarilies' (akin lo seIIing coIor as 'coIour' - an 'error' lhal does nol change lhe
meaning) ve can comiIe lhe originaI. Consider lhis exercise: If I vrile a Ieller lo a
friend, and lhen give il lo 10 differenl eoIe lo coy, lhey each may make an error here
or lhere, bul lhey aII von'l make lhe SAMI error. ecause of lhis, someone couId easiIy
delermine vhal lhe originaI Ieller said from lhese len coies. Ior examIe, 9 of lhem
may seII lhe name of lhe King righl (Oesler,) vhiIe one may seII il vrong (Oesleor). Il
vouId be a roer assumlion, vhen he sees lhe 9 vs. lhe 1, lhal my originaI had lhe
seIIing sans 'o'.
Above aII, you musl
undersland lhal no rohecy
of Scrilure came aboul by
lhe rohel's ovn
inlerrelalion. Ior rohecy
never had ils origin in lhe viII
of man, bul men soke from
God as lhey vere carried
aIong by lhe HoIy Siril.
2 Pctcr 1:20-21
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3) Thc rc!ativc!y shnrt pcrind nI timc whcn cnmparcd tn nthcr 'trustcd' picccs nI
antiquity. The OId Teslamenl books are generaIIy considered reIiabIe eseciaIIy because
of lhe revious examIes. Nev Teslamenl documenls are aIso, bul an addilionaI
comarison of knovn and lrusled ieces of anliquily aid in conveying lrusl (ve shouId
nol hoId lhese ibIicaI documenls lo any furlher doubl lhan ve do olher acceled
manuscrils - lhis vouId be a doubIe slandard of lhe ruIes of evidence in anliquily!)

"The inlervaI belveen lhe dales of originaI comosilion and lhe earIiesl exlanl evidence |isj so
smaII as lo be in facl negIigibIe, and lhe Iasl foundalion for any doubl lhal lhe Scrilures have
come dovn lo us subslanliaIIy as lhey vere vrillen has nov been removed. olh lhe
aulhenlicily and lhe generaI inlegrily of lhe books of lhe Nev Teslamenl may be regarded as
finaIIy eslabIished." (Kenyon, The ibIe And ArchaeoIogy, g 288)

Cnnsidcr thc Ru!cs nI Lcga! Admissinn

The besl vay lo consider lhe accelance of lhe documenls is lo lhink of lhem in lerms of
'hisloricaI evidence'. Simon GreenIeaf, rofessor of Lav al Harvard Universily in lhe nineleenlh
cenlury, eslabIished himseIf as a remier aulhorily on lhe ruIes of evidence. His lhree voIume
vork on lhe ruIes of evidence is sliII a slandard used by Iavyers loday.

GreenIeaf vrole a lrealise on lhe admissibiIily of lhe four GoseIs, and in shorl, rocIaimed lhal
lhe ibIe is abIe lo vilhsland lhe scruliny and be acceled as reIiabIe evidence. The ruIes he
eslabIished incIude lhe foIIoving:
-AdmissibiIily and Aulhenlicily of lhe Ividence (lhe manuscrils) as delermined by lheir
age, quaIily and quanlily,, care in lheir reservalion, and lhe Iocalion, liming and molive
of lheir vrilers.

-Corroboraling Ividence is lhen anaIyzed, incIuding archaeoIogicaI evidences, resuIls of
scienlific ayroIogy sludies, and comarison lo olher simiIarIy daled hisloricaI

-The documenls are finaIIy sub|ecled lo 'Cross Ixaminalion', assuring lhal lhe documenls
are nol inlernaIIy or exlernaIIy conlradiclory, and lhal lhe vrilers have eslabIished
credibiIily (lhal lhe message is roven by exlra-bibIicaI sources).

GreenIeaf himseIf concIuded lhal thc cnmpctcncc nI thc Ncw Tcstamcnt dncumcnts wnu!d bc
cstab!ishcd in any cnurt nI !aw." (IameIa innings Iven, Iailh On TriaI)

Whn Dccidcd What Wnu!d Bc in thc Bib!c?

The 'canon' is a lerm lhal refers lo lhe 'slandard,' or 'ruIe.' The earIy church falhers, in an efforl
lo reserve lhe inlegrily of lhe ancienl vrilings and lhe doclrines of lhe Church, 'canonized' lhe
books lhal vere recognized as 'insired' by God. When lhe vrilings vere 'canonized,' lhis
simIy means lhal lhe church acceled lhem as lhe 'officiaI' documenls rescribed by God.

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Il is imorlanl lo reaIize lhal lhey vere nol simIy 'aoinled' as officiaI, bul lhal lhey had been
recognized for some lime by lhe ma|orily of lhe Church al lhe lime as lhe insired vord of God
and used as such. The canon simIy documenls lhis recognilion.

Iour key queslions vere considered by lhe CounciI Of Carlhage (397 A.D.) lhal decIared lhe
officiaI canon of lhe Nev Teslamenl church:
1) Is lhe vriling AosloIic`
2) Is lhe vriling Orlhodox`
3) Is lhe vriling universaI`
4) Has lhe vriling had infIuence over lhe Church over lime`

These requiremenls shov lhal lhe vrilings vere nol simIy 'chosen', bul roven lo be insired by
lheir 'inlrinsic aulhorily and conslanl usage.' (Adaled: Zondervan's Handbook To The ibIe.)

But Isn't thc Bib!c Fu!! nI Cnntradictinns?

One arlicuIarIy favorile game of a skelic is lo find aIIeged discreancies vilhin lhe ibIe, under
lhe assumlion lhal lhe exislences of lhese discreancies invaIidale lhe cIaim of Divine
insiralion. The issue can be of serious imorlance lo a seeker vho erceives inleIIecluaI issues
and needs resoIulion in order lo conlinue serious conlemIalion of Chrislianily. ul aII of lhe
seeming conlradiclions can, vhen roerIy anaIyzed and underslood and nol |usl laken 'al lhe
surface', be resoIved. Mosl are examIes of mislaken assumlions by lhe reader, or of insufficienl
knovIedge aboul ancienl Iinguislic synlax or cuIluraI inlerrelalion, or simIy a misunderslood
erseclive of lhe vriler's inlenl. When one considers lhe facl lhal lhe ibIe has survived
incredibIe erseculion and scruliny, lhis shouId cause one lo consider lhe ossibiIily of
suernaluraI inlervenlion. CIearIy, lhese suosed 'conlradiclions' and 'difficuIlies' have been
vorked lhrough for a VAST amounl of eoIe for lhousands of years. The ibIe is cIearIy meanl
lo be laken seriousIy.

Thc C!aim nI Inspiratinn and Hcrmcncutics (Bib!ica! Intcrprctatinn)

The cIaim of insiralion is reaIIy quile oulrageous. A visuaI lhal comes lo mind is God diclaling,
and a 'scribe' vriling dovn vord for vord vhal God inlended lo be reveaIed lo lhe vorId
lhrough lime. This image (vhiIe inlriguing yel siIIy al lhe same lime) is nol exaclIy vhal
haened. Make no mislake, lhe vrilers vrole vhal God vanled lhem lo vrile:

Insiralion invoIves lvo aclors: God and man. This is nol lo say lhal lhe men vere insired,
simiIar lo lhe vay Mozarl vrole 'insiralionaI' music, bul ralher lhal God uliIized men lo
roduce an insired roducl. The concel of 'insiralion' is described by }. I. Iacker lhusIy:

"Scrilure is nol onIy man's vord - lhe fruil of human lhoughl, remedilalion, and arl - bul aIso
and equaIIy God's vord, soken lhrough man's Iis or vrillen vilh man's en. In olher vords,
Scrilure has a doubIe aulhorshi, and man is onIy lhe secondary aulhor, lhe rimary aulhor,
lhrough vhose inilialive, romling, and enIighlenmenl, and under vhose suerinlendence each
human vriler did his vork, is God lhe HoIy Siril."
(}. I Iacker, "Tnc |nspiraiicn cj inc Bi||c", The Origin Of The ibIe, IhiIi Comforl ed. (g 30))
_ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- ~ ~~ ~ |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Wayne Grudem, aulhor of Syslemalic TheoIogy: An Inlroduclion To ibIicaI Doclrine, defines
inerrancy as lhus: The inerrancy of Scrilure means lhal Scrilure in lhe originaI manuscrils
does nol affirm anylhing lhal is conlrary lo facl. There are severaI key messages lhal need lo be
underslood aboul inerrancy.

1) The ibIe musl be inlerreled as il vas inlended. We shouId read aIIegory as aIIegory,
slalemenl of facl as slalemenl of facl, descrilion as descrilion, elc elc. When ve say
lhal ve lake lhe ibIe 'IileraIIy', ve mean lhal ve inlerrel vhal il says as il vas inlended
lo be inlerreled. Ior examIe, vhen }esus says "I am lhe vine and you are lhe
branches", ve do nol inlerrel lhe ibIe as saying lhal Chrisl has lransformed HimseIf
inlo a Ianl and execls us lo as veII! (WhiIe ainfuIIy obvious, lhal examIe is a good
reminder lo lhose vho cIaim lo 'voodenIy' lake Scrilure IileraIIy, lo lhe delrimenl on
vhal vas meanl in lhe vriling!)

2) Ierseclive of originaI aulhorshi musl be aIIoved. To cIaim lhal a orlion of
Mallhev's goseI confIicls vilh say, Mark's goseI because lhey may have documenled
an inslance in a manner lhal aears conlradiclory. We musl remember lhal il is lhe
inlenl of lhe assage lhal is meanl lo be broughl across. Mosl of lhe so-caIIed 'errors' of
lhe ibIe can be allribuled lo imroer inlerrelalion.

3) Orlhodoxy does nol insisl lhal lhe modern 'lransIalions' are inerranl. Does lhis mean
lhal lhey are 'vrong'` Whal il means is lhal lhe ibIe is meanl lo be sludied seriousIy, lo
delermine lhe inlenl of lhe Crealor in His originaIs. A cursory reading of lhe ibIe is
IikeIy lo Iead lo erranl inlerrelalion. When sludying lhe ibIe, vilh lhe inlenl of lruIy
delermining God's vord and viII, ve musl make a diIigenl efforl of ursuil, and vork lo
undersland lhe inlenl, synlax, conlexl, and hislory of lhe assages and lransIalions.

Thinking Pnints

Why is lhe ibIe unique, and vhal is ils message` (2 minule driII)

Is lhe Canon cIosed`

Whal is lhe imorlance of lhe Doclrine of Insiralion`

Whal is lhe imorlance of TransIalion` Whal is lhe aroriale melhod`

Whal is lhe danger of 'ersonaI lransIalion'`

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

The ibIe is unique among aII 'reIigious' documenls in aII of hislory

Il is heaviIy documenled and reIiabIe

The ibIe vouId ass IegaI requiremenl scruliny

The imbedded rohecies and fuIfiIImenls heI rove ils divine insiralion.

ConcIusion: There is varranl lo accel vhal lhe ibIe says as lrue.

Ncxt Lcssnn: }esus Chrisl


On thc Wcb

The Chicago Slalemenl of ibIicaI Inerrancy

Bnnks Bib!ica! Authnrity

The Origin Of The ibIe, Id: IhiIi WesIey Comforl, 1992

Iailh On TriaI, IameIa innings Iven, 1999

Is The ibIe True`, }effery L. SheIer, 2000

Iyevilness To }esus, Carslen Ieler Thiede, 1996

Bnnks Bib!ica! Intcrprctatinn

Hov To Read The ibIe Ior AII Il's Worlh, Gordon D. Iee, DougIas Sluarl, 2003

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://
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He ls the lmuge of the lntlslbIe God, the flrstborn oter uII creutlon.lor God uus
pIeused to hute uII Hls fuIIness dueII ln Hlm."
CoIossluns 1.15, 19

What's 5n 5pccia! Abnut Jcsus?

}esus of Nazarelh has caused quile a slir in our vorId. He is undoublabIy lhe mosl infIuenliaI
erson lo ever Iive (you even sel your caIendar by His birlh!) Whal makes Him so seciaI`
SimIy ul, His c|ain and prccj of Divinily. Many olhers have cIaimed Divinily, bul no olhers
have roven il. }esus roved il by fuIfiIIing aII lhe rediclions ve vere loId lo Iook for, and by
giving us lhe mosl leIIing sign of aIIlhe resurreclion from lhe dead.

Il is no surrise lhal lhis is lhe mosl documenled sub|ecl in lhe vorId of anliquily, as ve sludied
reviousIy. CIearIy God is sending us a message. ul vhal vere ve lo Iook for` Hov are ve lo
knov lhal He is lhe Chrisl`

}ohn lhe alisl knev reciseIy vhal lo Iook for. Consider lhe ansver Chrisl gave him, vhen he
queslioned }esus aboul a rediclion from lhe OId Teslamenl:
When }ohn heard in rison vhal Chrisl vas doing, he senl his disciIes lo ask him, "Are
you lhe one vho vas lo come, or shouId ve execl someone eIse`" }esus reIied, "Go
back and reorl lo }ohn vhal you hear and see: The bIind receive sighl, lhe Iame vaIk,
lhose vho have Ierosy are cured, lhe deaf hear, lhe dead are raised, and lhe good nevs
is reached lo lhe oor. Iessed is lhe man vho does nol faII avay on accounl of me."
Mallhev 11:2-6

}esus vas vaIidaling lhe confirmalion lhal }ohn vas Iooking for in accordance vilh lhe scrilures
in Isaiah 35:5 and 61:1, vhich redicled lhe arrivaI of lhe Kingdom of God.

As for ourseIves, ve've acknovIedged our need for hoe in lhis vorId, and ve've vaIidaled lhal
lhe ibIe is a reIiabIe documenl. So cIearIy, lhe cIaims of }esus are cIearIy vorlh Iooking inlo.

But Bc CarcIu!!

If aII mankind is born vilh a seeking nalure lo seek for God, lhen making u a 'reIigion' is lhe
uIlimale con game - |usl valch some of lhe leIevision reachers, or consider some of lhe olher
nonsensicaI reIigions and you'II see lhis con in aclion. ul Chrislianily is differenl! Il benefils no
erson (il is free!), il has God reaching lo us inslead of us lrying lo aease Him, many of lhe
earIy adherenls vere kiIIed because of il, il makes cIaims lhal are oulrageous (such as lhe
resurreclion) yel il is more documenled lhan any manuscril of anliquily. IinaIIy, il has
infIuenced more eoIe lhan any olher il changes Iives! So vhen a erson cIaims lhey aIone
have received a seciaI reveIalion from God...|usl ask lhem lo rove il! evare lhe erson vho
eilher cIaims lo be a messiah, or knovs lhe vay bul |usl says 'lrusl me!'
_ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- ~ ~~ ~ |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q
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Thc Prnphccics Fu!Ii!!cd

There are 456 idenlifiabIe rohecies aboul lhe coming Chrisl found in lhe OId Teslamenl. AII
are fuIfiIIed by }esus of Nazarelh. The odds of lhis occurring naluraIIy have been caIcuIaled al 1
chance oul of 10
. The foIIoving are an examIe of |usl a fev:

Prnphccy O!d Tcstamcnt Prcdictinn Ncw Tcstamcnt Fu!Ii!!mcnt
Virgin Birth
God announced nearIy 700 years before
}esus vas born lhal His Chosen One vouId
be born of a virgin. Whal a lremendous
sign lhal vouId be indeed!
Therefore lhe Lord HimseIf viII give you
a sign: The virgin viII be vilh chiId and
viII give birlh lo a son, and viII caII Him
ImmanueI (God Wilh Us)
Isaiah 7:14
This is hov lhe birlh of }esus Chrisl came
aboul: His molher Mary vas Iedged lo
be married lo }oseh, bul before lhey
came logelher, she vas found lo be vilh
chiId, lhrough lhe HoIy siril.
Mallhev 1:18

Bnrn in Bcth!chcm
This rediclion vas vrillen aroximaleIy
750 years before lhe birlh of }esus.
ul you, elhIehem Ihralhah, lhough
you are smaII among lhe cIans of }udah,
oul of you viII come for me one vho viII
be ruIe over IsraeI.
Micah 5:2a
So }oseh aIso venl u from lhe lovn of
Nazarelh in GaIiIee lo }udea, lo
elhIehem...WhiIe lhey vere lhere, lhe
lime came for lhe baby lo be born, and
she gave birlh lo her firslborn, a son.
Luke 2:4a, 6-7a

Bctraycd Inr 30 Picccs nI 5i!vcr
An examIe of an easiIy disulabIe
rediclion fuIfiIImenl. If lhis had nol
acluaIIy haened, one couId execl lhal
lhe aulhorilies vouId have conlesled il -
lhere is no record of any kind of
disagreemenl of lhis asserlion.
The fIock delesled me...and I said 'I viII
nol be your sheherd. Lel lhe dying die,
and lhe erishing erish...If you lhink il
nol besl, give me my ay, bul if nol, kee
il.' So lhey aid me lhirly ieces of
Zechariah 11:9a, 12
Whal are you viIIing lo give me if I hand
Him over lo you`" So lhey counled oul
for him lhirly siIver coins.
Mallhev 26:15

CruciIicd with Thicvcs
An amazing rohecy, lhal lhe redeemer of
aII mankind vouId die a lhieves dealh, in
order lo redeem lhe lransgressors!
...because He oured oul His Iife unlo
dealh, and vas numbered vilh lhe
lransgressors. Ior He bore lhe sins of
many, and made inlercession for lhe
Isaiah 53:12b
When lhey came lo lhe Iace caIIed lhe
SkuII, lhere lhey crucified Him aIong
vilh lhe criminaIs - one on His righl, lhe
olher on His Iefl.
Luke 23:33

TruIy lhe mosl miracuIous sign ossibIe lo
morlaI man. CIearIy a Iife lransforming
evenl lo vilness, slrong enough lo drive ils
vilnesses lo accel marlyrdom for lhe
lrulh. viII nol abandon me lo lhe grave,
nor viII you Iel your HoIy One see
IsaIm 16:10
"Why do you Iook for lhe Iiving among
lhe dead` He is nol here, He is risen!"
Luke 24:5b - 6a

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PrnnIs Inr thc U!timatc Evcnt

Thc Empty Tnmb - One amazing facl lhal has never been disuled, is lhal lhe grave of }esus vas
found emly. This means lhal aII lhal vouId have lo occur lo disule lhis is for someone lo
roduce lhe body, or lo rove lhal He vas buried eIsevhere. CIearIy, affirmalive evidence (lhe
hisloricaI record of lhe emly lomb) and lhe absence of negalive evidence (no credibIe cIaims lo
lhe conlrary) gives us sufficienl reason lo beIieve lhal lhe lomb }esus vas buried in vas found
emly on lhal firsl Iasler morning.

Witncsscs Tn Thc Empty Tnmb - A mosl unique cIaim, in facl so unique lhal il musl be lrue, is
lhe cIaim lhal lhe lomb vas discovered and reorled emly by vomen! In IaIesline in lhese
ancienl days, vomen vere nol aIIoved as vilnesses in a lriaI. If lhe emly lomb cIaim vas a
Iegend concocled by lhe earIy disciIes, lhey sureIy vouId nol roose a cIaim based uon lhe
vilness of vomen, unIess il vas lrue!

Many Appcaranccs nI thc Riscn Jcsus - }esus made numerous aearances lo eoIe afler His
resurreclion. Some of lhem are Iisled beIov:
}esus aeared lo Mary MagdeIene (}ohn 20:10-8), CIeous and anolher disciIe
(Mallhev 28:9-10), eIeven disciIes and olhers (Luke 24:33-49), len aoslIes and olhers
(}ohn 20:19-23), Thomas and lhe olher aoslIes (}ohn 20:26-30), vilh lhe aoslIes al lhe
Mounl of OIives before His ascension (Luke 24:50-52), IauI on lhe road lo Damascus
(Acls 9:5-6).
Ierhas lhe mosl nolabIe aearance is made in a reference by lhe AoslIe IauI: "Afler
lhal, He aeared lo more lhan five hundred of lhe brolhers al lhe same lime, mosl of
vhom are sliII Iiving, lhoughl some have faIIen asIee." 1 Corinlhians 15:6. These eoIe
vho vere sliII aIive al lhe lime couId have easiIy discrediled IauI's slalemenl.

Thc Cnmmittcd Fn!!nwcrs - Whal vas il lhal lurned lhese covardIy men inlo slrong, fearIess
crusaders of lhe Church of }esus lhe Chrisl` In shorl, lhe ansver is seen in one verse, soken by
Ieler in a seech lo a crovd of eoIe vho vere amused al lhe aclivilies of lhe Lord vilhin lhese
men: "God has raised lhis }esus lo Iife, and ve are aII vilnesses of lhe facl." Acls 2:32

Thc Ear!y Christian Crccd - The decision lo change from lhe creed and reIigion of one's youlh is
no smaII evenl eseciaIIy in firsl cenlury IaIesline. Yel lhe AoslIes and lhousands of olhers
vere convinced enough lo change lheir commilmenl lo lheir lradilions and reIigious ubringing,
lo lhe oinl of dealh, and vilh absoIuleIy no earlhIy gain because of il. IauI describes lhis earIy
creed lo us: Nov brolhers, I vanl lo remind you of lhe goseI I reached lo you, vhich you
received and on vhich you have laken your sland. y lhis goseI you are saved, if you hoId
firmIy lo lhe vord I reached lo you. Olhervise, you have beIieved in vain. Ior vhal I received
I assed on lo you as of firsl imorlance: lhal Chrisl died for our sins according lo lhe Scrilures,
lhal He vas buried, lhal He vas raised on lhe lhird day according lo lhe Scrilures, and lhal he
aeared lo Ieler, and lhen lo lhe TveIve." 1 Corinlhians 15:1-5

Gary Habermas, erhas lhe mosl resecled resurreclion schoIar, sums u lhe evidence lhis vay:
}esus' resurreclion aearances are lhe mosl IikeIy exIanalion for lhe hisloricaI facls.
Habermas, The Risen }esus and Iulure Hoe, g 33.
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5nmc 5ay Hc Ncvcr C!aimcd tn bc thc Christ?

IncredibIy, some modern and IiberaI schoIars asserl lhal }esus never cIaimed lo be lhe Messiah
lhal il is aII a fabricalion from Ialer limes. CIearIy, hovever, lhey musl ignore Scrilure.
Consider |usl lhe foIIoving assages:
Jcsus Prnc!aimcd: I am lhe vay, lhe lrulh and lhe Iife. No one comes lo lhe Ialher
excel lhrough me. }ohn 14:6

Jcsus C!aimcd Authnrity: (Afler some eoIe broughl lheir araIyzed friend lo }esus lo
heaI him, }esus said lo him:) "Your sins are forgiven." (The crovd vas incensed by lhis
aarenl bIashemy, because onIy God has lhe aulhorily lo forgive sins - so }esus said lo
lhem:) "Which is easier: lo say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or lo say, 'Gel u and vaIk`' ul
lhal you may knov lhal lhe Son of Man has aulhorily on earlh lo forgive sins." He said
lo lhe araIyzed man, "I leII you, gel u, lake your mal and go home." ImmedialeIy he
slood u in fronl of lhem, look vhal he had been Iying on and venl home raising God.
Luke 5:20b, 22b-25

Jcsus Prnc!aimcd tn thc 5amaritan Wnman: The voman said, "I knov lhal Messiah"
(caIIed Chrisl) "is coming. When he comes, he viII exIain everylhing lo us." Then }esus
decIared, "I vho seak lo you am He." }ohn 4:25-26

What Dncs A!! This Mcan?

IN SUMMARY, consider lhe slalemenl of TheoIogian MichaeI Green:
"The aearances of }esus are as veII aulhenlicaled as anylhing in anliquily...lhere can be
no ralionaI doubl lhal lhey occurred, and lhal lhe main reason vhy Chrislians became
sure of lhe resurreclion in lhe earIiesl days vas |usl lhis. They couId say vilh assurance,
'We have seen lhe Lord.' They knev il vas he!" MichaeI Green, The Imly Cross of
}esus, g 97

Whal does lhe facl of lhe resurreclion mean lo us` The cIear ansver
is eIoquenlIy slaled by }.N.D. Anderson, lhe former direclor of lhe
Inslilule of Advanced LegaI Sludies al lhe Universily of London. He
concIudes lhis aboul lhe resurreclion of }esus:

"|Il isj eilher lhe sureme facl in hislory or il is a giganlic hoax...lo faiI lo ad|usl one's Iife
lo ils imIicalions means irrearabIe Ioss." }.N.D. Anderson, The Ividence for lhe
Resurreclion, g 3f

If Chrisl has nol been raised,
our reaching is useIess and
so is your failh.
1 Cnrinthians 15:14
He viII be lhe |udge of humankind, He forgives sins, His resence is God's resence,
one's allilude lovard him decides one's desliny. His aclions are God's aclions, He
leaches vilh divine aulhorily, he receives vorshi, His is lhe modeI human being, and
He aIies lo HimseIf OId Teslamenl lexls lhal describe God.
Iour Vievs of SaIvalion in a IIuraIislic WorId, Issay by CIark Iinnock
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Lcssnn 5ummary

There is documenlalion of lhe vorId Iooking for a 'Messiah' for over a lhousand years

The crileria for recognizing lhis Messiah are cIear

}esus fils lhe Messiah crileria erfeclIy

The resurreclion is lhe mosl rofound evenl in hislory

ConcIusion: }esus of Nazarelh is lhe Chrisl

Ncxt Lcssnn: Chrislian Doclrine Overviev


The Case Ior Chrisl, Lee SlrobeI, Zondervan IubIishing House, 1998

}esus Under Iire, MichaeI WiIkins, }.I. MoreIand, Zondervan IubIishing House, 1995

The HisloricaI }esus, Gary Habermas, CoIIege Iress IubIishing, 1996

The Signalure of }esus, rennan Manning, MuIlnomah ooks, 1996

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://

Thinking Pnints

Tvo Minule DriII: Why do ve beIieve lhal }esus is lhe Son of God`

Whal is Chrisl's 'Key Message'`

Hov does lhe message of Chrisl fil vilh lhe message of lhe OId Teslamenl`

Is beIief in Chrisl's dealh and resurreclion vaIid` Why`

Hov is }esus differenl from olhers vho cIaim lo be lhe Messiah`

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l beIlete ln God the luther AImlght Muker of heuten und eurth. And ln ]esus Chrlst
Hls onI Son our Lord uho uus concelted b the HoI Ghost, born of the Vlrgln Mur
suffered under Pontlus PlIute, uus cruclfled, deud, und burled He descended lnto heII
the thlrd du He rose from the deud He uscended lnto heuten und sltteth ut the rlght
hund of God the luther AImlght from thence He shuII come to ]udge the qulck und the
deud. l beIlete ln the HoI Ghost the hoI cuthoIlc Church the communlon of sulnts
the forglteness of slns the resurrectlon of the bod, und the Ilfe eterIustlng.

Thc "Nnn-Ncgntiab!cs"

A Chrislian musl undersland vhal makes a erson a Chrislian!
Afler aII, il is a lilIe lhal has meanl somelhing seciaI lhroughoul lhe
ages. The sludy of lhe roer doclrine is aIso imorlanl so lhal ve
viII knov vhal lhe message is lhal ve are rocIaiming! In addilion,
vhen ve undersland Orlhodoxy, ve viII be abIe lo leII vhen a faIse
doclrine arises. Il is MUCH more difficuIl lo sludy and undersland
aII lhe olenliaI faIse doclrines, il is much easier lo undersland lhe
CORRICT doclrines. ul vhiIe lhere are severaI beIiefs lhal are
'nol negoliabIe', lhere are some lhal are debalabIe. These
'inlramuraI debales' are, by definilion, nol 'required' beIiefs for conformance lo Orlhodoxy. This
veek ve viII sludy a summary of lhose Doclrines lhal are basic requiremenls for accelance
vilhin lradilionaI Orlhodoxy.

Thc Dnctrinc nI Gnd

To summarize, God is lhe Sureme eing. He is lhe Iirsl Cause, and He is lhe Slandard by
vhich aII is measured. AIlhough He is Transcendenl, He is aIso IersonaI and abIe lo be vilh us.
Iurlher, God is:

Hn!y - HoIiness is lhe essence of God's nalure. He is lhe uIlimale benchmark. 'HoIy'
slems from an ancienl vord lhal IileraIIy means 'searale'. This is an indicalion of God's
nalure as differenl from ours. (IzekieI 15:11b).

Etcrna! - In essence, lo be IlernaI means lo be aarl from lime, and lo be in exislence in
and of ilseIf. (Isaiah 57:15b)

Omnipntcnt - LileraIIy lransIaled, means 'AII-IoverfuI'. The mosl significanl Iesson ve
can lake from a sludy of God's omniolence is lhal ve are nol. (}eremiah 32:17)

Omniprcscnt - Like God's reIalionshi lo lime, God's reIalionshi lo sace is searale
(yel vilhin) il. He exisls aarl from sace, and cannol be conlained by il or anylhing eIse
in His crealion. (IsaIm 139:7-8)
e diIigenl in lhese mallers
|sludy and siriluaI giflsj,
give yourseIf vhoIIy lo lhem,
so lhal everyone may see
your rogress. Walch your
Iife and doclrine cIoseIy.
Iersevere in lhem, because if
you do, you viII save bolh
yourseIf and your hearers.
1 Timnthy 4:15-16

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Omniscicnt - NaluraIIy, a eing vho is Omniolenl and Omniresenl is 'AII-Knoving'.
The Crealor Of AII Things by definilion vouId 'knov aII lhings' lhal are vilhin His
nalure lo knov. (1 }ohn 3:20b)

Transccndcnt - A eing vilh quaIilies such as lhose above vouId by definilion be
searale from lhe crealion lhal He has crealed. He is nol a arl of il, He is differenl from
il, and nol conlained or conlroIIed by any of il. This is lhe definilion of lranscendenl.
(Ixodus 3:14b)

Pcrsnna! - He is seIf-conscious, seIf-delerminanl, cIearIy exeriences emolions, and has a
firsl erson dislinclion from olhers. (Genesis 1:26a)

Lnvc - God's very nalure is lhal of ure 'giving'. God has chosen lo describe lhis LOVI
lo us using lhe Ianguage of a Ialher. (1 }ohn 4:7b, 8b, 9)

The bollom Iine is, a being vilh lhese allribules deserves our acknovIedgemenl and our
allenlion. In olher vords, GOD is lo be retered! He is nol lo be ignored, or His allribules
diminished! To do so vouId be lhe mosl fooIish and disreseclfuI lhing a erson couId do.

Thc Dnctrinc nI thc Trinity

The doclrine of lhe Trinily is lricky, yel simIe: One God is lhree ersons (lri-unily, or lhree-in-
oneness). As Chrislians ve beIieve lhis, even lhough lhe vord 'Trinily' is never found in lhe
ibIe, because lhis is lhe vay lhe ibIe resenls God lo us. The ibIe resenls God as lhe Ialher,
and as lhe Son, and as lhe HoIy Siril. Iach of lhese are referred lo as a erson in lhe ibIe, and
each of lhe ersons of lhe 'Godhead' seaks lo and references lhe olhers as a searale erson. Yel
lhe ibIe cIearIy leIIs us lhal lhere is onIy ONI God! There are many inslances in lhe ibIe vhen
aII lhree ersons are menlioned logelher: The grace of lhe Lord }esus Chrisl, and lhe Iove of
God, and lhe communion of lhe HoIy Ghosl, be vilh you aII. (2 Corinlhians 13:14.) ul cIearIy
lhere is onIy one God: Hear, O IsraeI: The Lord our God, lhe Lord is one. (Deuleronomy 6:4)

CIearIy a bibIicaI concel` YIS! DifficuIl if nol imossibIe lo undersland` YIS! ul ve shouId
nol be surrised al our Iack of abiIily lo undersland lhe nalure of an omniolenl, infinile God!
Nov ve see as bul a oor refIeclion in a mirror, lhen ve shaII see face lo face. Nov I knov in
arl, lhen I shaII knov fuIIy, even as I am fuIIy knovn. 1 Corinlhians 13:12

Thc Dnctrinc nI Jcsus

}esus of Nazarelh is lhe God Man. As confusing as lhe cIaim is, il is one of lhe mosl imorlanl
vilhin Chrislian doclrine. Mankind has been searching for God since lhe beginning of lime. ul
ve are finile, vhiIe God is infinile. He has soken lo us lhrough Irohels and lhrough Scrilure,
bul in our hislory mankind has needed more. So God condescended (came dovn lo be vilh) lo
become one of us, so ve couId besl reIale lo Him, and undersland Him on our lerms (ImmanueI
God vilh us). In order lo do lhis, He relained His GodIy nalure, resenl in a Human form.
Again, lhis is lhe besl vay lhal ve couId undersland vhal and vho God is, on human lerms.

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Thc Dnctrinc nI Man

Mankind is God's croving crealion, for ve vere crealed in lhe image of God. Did God creale lo
have comanionshi` Yes He did, bul nol for lhe reason commonIy lhoughl. God is nol IoneIy
vilhoul mankind, because He is in an elernaI reIalionshi vilhin lhe Trinily. He did nol need
mankind in order lo fuIfiII HimseIf or any need, because He is by definilion 'needIess'. He
crealed because lhal is vhal a Crealor does, and He crealed man so
lhal He couId exress His Loving nalure by giving.

ul man rebeIIedlaking for himseIf lhe gIory lhal is deserved lo
God. This 'rimary' sin causes us lo commil 'secondary' sins such as
Iosing erseclive of vaIues, causing moraI deravily and a generaI
lendency lovard eviI.

Thc Dnctrinc nI 5a!vatinn

When ve knov lhal lhere is a hoIy God, ve may desire above aII eIse lo be reconciIed lo Him
desile our innale searalion. We are so sinfuI (unhoIy) lhal ve cannol achieve lhe erfeclion
His hoIiness requires on our ovn. The Iav lhal vas given lo describe hoIiness (in human lerms)
is imossibIe for us lo achieve. We find lhal ve are comIeleIy and lolaIIy unabIe lo be
reconciIed lo God because of our slale, and even unvorlhy lo be reconciIed lo Him. There is
IileraIIy nolhing ve can do. The individuaI facing lhis diIemma is horrified.

We cannol do il, no maller vhal ve do, so God did il for us. God has rovided lhe means of
reconciIialion, fuIfiIIing lhe same requiremenls as lhe oId covenanl, vilh a ure and innocenl
sacrifice, lhis lime for aII lhal beIieve. }esus fuIfiIIed lhis for us.- He is lhe Chrisl (chosen one.)
}esus became lhe uIlimale sacrifice - lhe one of erfecl urily and of unIimiled vorlh (because He
is HimseIf God!). His sacrifice nov |uslifies sinners freeIy vilhoul comromising lhe erfeclion
of His hoIiness. The Iav of lhe oId covenanl is nov fuIfiIIed in lhose vho beIieve in lhe Chrisl as
lheir saIvalion lo God. This nev covenanl reIaces lhe oId, and lhis lrusl (aka failh) is lhe
cornerslone of lhe nev covenanl.

Iailh in }esus as lhe Chrisl is lhe definilion of Chrislianily. ul vhal is 'failh'` Is il anolher vord
for beIief`" No! Iailh goes far beyond |usl 'mere accelance' of an ideaI, or a creed. In a vord, il
is TRUST, il is LIII, il is LIVING. We cannol earn our saIvalion by our vorks - remember lhal
our reconciIialion back lo God comes from HIM, nol from US. When a lrue failh exisls,
reenlance occurs. Reenlance is a change of hearl, affecling our fulure behavior as veII.
Therefore, a reaI failh by definilion roduces a changed Iife - a NIW Iife (born again)!

Thc Dnctrinc nI thc Church

The 'Church' is lhe body of beIievers lhroughoul lhe vorId, and in aII limes. The Church is bolh
IocaI and universaI. Il is visibIe and langibIe, as veII as invisibIe and myslic. A erson is a
member of lhe Church of }esus Chrisl if he is a lrue beIiever, vhelher he Iives and vorshis in a
Iarge calhedraI, or galhers under a lree in lhe |ungIe in submission lo his Lord. Il is lhe galhering
of sainls in a home, a cily, or a region. Il is a limeIess communily.
"ul your iniquilies have
searaled you from your God,
Isaiah 59:2a

"We aII, Iike shee, have gone
aslray, each of us has lurned lo
his ovn vay..." Isaiah 53:6a
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The Church has secific uroses vhich incIude Minislry To God
(vorshi), Minislry To eIievers (for grovlh), Minislry To The
WorId (evangeIism), and lhe Observance Of Sacramenls
(obedience lo and rocIamalion of Chrisl.) The IocaI Church is
veII-baIanced vhen a!! members arliciale in lhese allribules.

What Christianity is NOT!

There are many misconcelions aboul Chrislianily (vhich rovide oorlunily for an AoIogisl!)
Ior inslance, Chrislianily is nol a Iegacy or a herilage. Il is nol 'going lo Church' or foIIoving
any arlicuIar riluaI. Il is nol mere inleIIecluaI assenl lo lhe facls of }esus Chrisl. eing a
Chrislian does nol mean "I Am A Chrislian ecause Of My Deeds. eing A Chrislian does nol
mean "I'm Ierfecl" or "I Do Nol Sin Anymore". eing A Chrislian does nol Mean "I Never Have
Doubls Aboul My SaIvalion".

eing a Chrislian !ccs mean, by lhe grace of God, lhal ve beIieve lhal }esus is lhe Son of God. We
lrusl Him lo reconciIe us back lo God by lhe sacrifice of His erfecl Iife, in Iace of us vilh our
imerfeclions lhal searaled us from God.

A mosl cIear descrilion of hov ve become a Chrislian vas given lo us by }ohn:
"...lo aII vho RECEIVED Him, lo lhose vho BELIEVED in His Name, He gave lhe righl
lo BECOME chiIdren of God." }ohn 1:12

So in summary, a Chrislian is a erson vho, afler searching for meaning because of a God-
enabIed RIIINTANT siril, has ILIIVID in }esus as lhe Chrisl, RICIIVID Him as LORD,
and is ICOMING sanclified.

" Him ve vere aIso order lhal ve...mighl
be for lhe raise of His gIory."
Ephcsians 1:11a,12a,c
The sludy of doclrine is simIy a ursuil of God's viII and vord, in order lo Iive our
Iives in a manner lhal gIorifies Him. Our doclrine lhen, forms our beIief syslem lhal
conlroIs and comeIs our behavior.
Iailh Works, }ohn McArlhur

Sludy, lo shov lhyseIf aroved unlo God.
2 Timnthy 2:15

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

There are a fev non-negoliabIe doclrines lhal are required for one lo be incIuded in
lradilionaI Orlhodoxy

There are many inlramuraI debales regarding doclrinaI issues

ConcIusion: A Chrislian musl undersland doclrine lo knov vhal lo defend and
rocIaim, and lo be obedienl lo our Lord.

Ncxt Lcssnn: Why Chrislianily is Unique


This We eIieve, Zacharias, Iacker, Irickson-Tada, elc., Zondervan, 2000

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://

Thinking Pnints

Tvo Minule DriII: Whal are lhe Chrislian doclrinaI 'non-negoliabIes', and vhy`

Why do ve need lo knov our doclrine`

Hov do ve delermine if a beIief is 'un-orlhodox'`

Whal is lhe 'singIe message' of Chrislianily`

Can you lhink of examIes of un-orlhodox doclrine and ils imacl on lhe Church and sociely`

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

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Contrur to popuIur beIlef, Chrlstlunlt ls not ubout u Ilst of thlngs to do or to not do.

Whut Chrlstlunlt lS ubout ls u person. ]esus Chrlst.

Chrlstlunlt ls ALL ABOUT u reIutlonshlp. Our Ilfes focus ls Chrlst uIone.

Christianity is Uniquc Amnng Rc!iginns

Chrislianily is somelimes considered one of many reIigions. ul il
has one very seciaI and unique fealureils 'direclion'.

Wilh aII olher 'reIigions', ve find man allemling lo bring aboul his
ovn saIvalion eilher on lhis earlh or in lhe aflerIife. Wilh
Chrislianily, God is Iooking for us! Il rovides man vilh inlrinsic
vorlh and equaIily, yel ve cannol achieve saIvalion on our ovn. In
lhese resecls and olhers, Chrislianily is in a cIass aII ils ovn!


A veII knovn mnemonic describing Grace is "God's ReconciIialion Al Chrisl's Ixense." Whal
does lhis mean` In shorl, grace means 'GIIT'. When ve reaIize lhal il is our faIIen nalure lo
focus on ourseIves inslead of God, ve find lhal God rovides lhe means (gifl of Grace) lo bring
us back lo Him.

When ve lruIy alleml lo gras lhe meaning of God's grace, il is quile humbIing. No Ionger is
God seen as lhe oId lyranl Iooking for any reason lo quash our fun or lhrov us inlo heII if ve
cross lhe Iine. Ralher, He has done IVIRYTHING HI CAN lo bring us lo Him, even aying lhe
rice of lhe enaIly (dealh) for our sins, even lhough ve never deserve il! Through Grace He has
shovn us lhe uIlimale exression of Iove. Tru|q inc Gracc cj Gc! is cnc cj inc ncsi signijicani incncs
cj Cnrisiianiiq! And il is an absoIuleIy unique fealure of Chrislianily. Ivery olher reIigion has us
lrying lo earn our vay in lo God's grace.

"Il does nol, lherefore, deend on man's desire or efforl, bul on God's mercy." Rnmans 9:16

"Ior il is by grace you have been saved, lhrough failh and lhis is nol from yourseIves, il is lhe
gifl of God." Ephcsians 2:8

"Therefore, since ve have been |uslified lhrough failh, ve have eace vilh God lhrough our Lord
}esus Chrisl, lhrough vhom ve have gained access by failh inlo lhis grace in vhich ve nov
sland. And ve re|oice in lhe hoe of lhe gIory of God." Rnmans 5:1-2

Thc 'Avcragc' Rc!iginn

TeIIs you lo be 'good enough'
and eilher scares you,
encourages you, or vanls lo
seII you lhings lo heI you be
'good enough'.
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!


Iailh lhal }esus is lhe Chrisl is lhe definilion of Chrislianily. ul vhal is failh` Is il anolher vord
for 'beIief`' No! The mosl common misunderslanding of failh is lo simIy lransIale il inlo
meaning onIy 'beIief.' ul 'failh' goes far beyond |usl 'mere accelance' of an ideaI, or a creed.
In shorl, il is LIVING TRUST. We have Iearned lhal ve can never be as hoIy as God, lherefore ve
can never earn our osilion vilh Him. So hov do ve become reconciIed` He rovided lhe vay,
vilh }esus acling as our medialor. Trusling }esus as our medialor is lhe firsl sle lovard a
'LIVING' Iailh.

What Dncs 'Bnrn Again' Mcan?

'orn Again' is used synonymousIy vilh 'Saved'. Or, erhas
someone refers lo lhemseIves as a 'orn Again Chrislian.' olh of
lhese are correcl vhen roerIy underslood. The firsl lime a erson
is born, he is born inlo lhis vorId vilh a body of fIesh. The 'orn
Again' exerience lhal }esus is laIking aboul refers lo lhe 'siriluaI'
birlh of a erson.

Hov does one knov lhal lhey are 'orn Again'` The evidences of
being 'orn Again' are lhe same evidences of being 'Chrislian.' The
change in siril resenls a nev focus, nov ve are no Ionger concerned vilh vhal makes
ourseIves hay, bul vilh vhal makes God and }esus our Lord hay.

'orn Again' is an exression of lhe lransformalion a Chrislian exeriences uon lrusling Chrisl.
Ils evidences are seen in lhe changes in riorilies, and in lhe rocess of Sanclificalion (siriluaI
malurily) in lhe Chrislian's Iife.

Thc 5pccia! 5igniIicancc nI Man

Chrislianily is quile unique in ils descrilion of lhe vaIue of man. Chrislianily rocIaims lhal
God crealed us in His image. When ve reaIize lhe imorlance of lhis gifl of God, ve reaIize lhe
significance ve have in His sighl. We are indeed lhe crovning achievemenl of His crealion. The
facl lhal He enlrusled lo us a gIimse of HimseIf ensures every erson's righl lo feeI seciaI,
needed, Ioved, and lo be lrealed as such. Wilh God aII of mankind is equaI, and seciaI.

Wilh Chrislianily no arlicuIar erson has a higher Iace vilh God lhan any olher (excel
Chrisl). The image of God ve have ensures our significance in His sighl, and exIains vhy He is
reaching oul lo us, lhrough Chrisl, lo eIiminale he effecls of our lurning avay from Him and
re|oin our aroriale Iace in communion vilh Him. Il is onIy vilh Chrislianily lhal man has a
urose exlernaI lo himseIf, and lhal aII men and vomen are equaI. Indeed, onIy in Chrislianily
does man (or anylhing for lhal maller) have vorlh lhal is defined oulside of lhemseIves, equaIily
in lhe sighl of God, and urose beyond seIf.

...}esus decIared, "I leII you lhe
lrulh, no one can see lhe
Kingdom of God unIess he is
born again." "Hov can a man
be born vhen he is oId`"
Nicodemus asked. "SureIy he
cannol enler a second lime inlo
his molher's vomb lo be born!"
Jnhn 3:3-4
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Thc Uniquc Church nI Jcsus Christ

In shorl, lhe urose of lhe Church of }esus Chrisl is Minislry.

Ministry Tn Gnd - AIso knovn as vorshi. AII beIievers (vhich means lhe Church) are
direcled lo 'sing lheir raises lo God', and lo Iive for lhe 'raise of His gIory'. This is
erhas lhe mosl obvious allribule lo lhe vorId, vhen lhey see lhe beIievers galhering
and singing raises, raying, and conlribuling lo lhe minislry.

Ministry Tn Bc!icvcrs - The cororale body is aIso lhere for each olher. In a heaIlhy and
groving Church body, lhere are many needs, and many gifls lo meel lhese needs. Irom
lhe nurluring of lhe nev beIiever, lo lhe exaIlalion of God's vork in our Iives, ve heI
each olher grov in lhe Siril. We rovide each olher accounlabiIily, moraI and financiaI
suorl, and share in each olher's griefs and |oy.

Ministry Tn Thc Wnr!d - The oel said, "He gave us a romise and He gave us a |ob -
He'II be vilh us bul lhe vork is u lo us." We are lo lake lhe unily and malured gifls ve
are nurluring vilhin lhe Church and exlend lhe Iove of Chrisl lo lhe vorId, vhich is
hurling and Iosl vilhoul Him. In effecl, ve are Chrisl lo lhe vorId, vhen lhe non-
beIiever sees us (our aclions and Iove), lhey are seeing lhe aclions and Iove of Chrisl.

Christian Maturity

As Chrislians, ve knov lhal }esus is lhe Chrisl - lhe redeemer of our souIs. He is lhe God-Man
vho endured lo become lhe avenue for us lo achieve hoIiness and vorlhiness in God's sighl.

He is resonsibIe for bringing us lo feIIovshi vilh lhe Crealor and Lover of ours souIs forever,
according lo His greal Ian. Ior lhis, ve commil lo vorshi and obey lhe commands of lhe
Chrisl, because He has earned il!

"And He died for aII, lhal lhose vho Iive shouId no Ionger Iive for lhemseIves, bul for
Him vho died for lhem and vas raised again." 2 Cnrinthians 5:15

Nov, He asks us lo reare our Iives for lhis elernaI communion vilh Him vhiIe ve are yel on
lhis earlh, bolh in a siriluaI acl of vorshi, and lo oinl olhers lovard lhe Kingdom of God.

"Therefore, I urge you brolhers, in viev of God's mercy, lo offer your bodies as Iiving
sacrifices, hoIy and Ieasing lo God lhis is your siriluaI acl of vorshi." Rnmans 12:1

"If you Iove me, you viII obey vhal I command". Jnhn 14:15

"I leII you lhe lrulh, anyone vho has failh in me viII do vhal I have been doing." Jnhn 14:12

"A nev command I give you: Love one anolher. As I have Ioved you, so you musl Iove one
anolher. y lhis aII men viII knov lhal you are my disciIes, if you Iove one anolher."
Jnhn 13:34-35
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Why 5hnu!d A Pcrsnn Invcstigatc Christianity First?

Some feeI lhal lhey shouId sludy lhe various reIigions lo see vhich vork for lhem. Chrislianily is
oen lo lhis chaIIenge. In facl, lhere are many reasons a seeker shouId consider Chrislianily firsl:

Christianity Is Evidcntia! and Tcstab!c. Chrislianily is based uon soIid hisloricaI facl.
You can lesl lhe evidence for ils reIiabiIily, you can begin lo consider lhe vaIidily of ils
cIaims. If you invaIidale lhem, you can move on. The lroubIe vilh olher 'reIigions',
eseciaIIy surreaI vorIdvievs such as uddhism, Hinduism or Nev Age, is lhal you
musl eilher agree lo accel incoherenl osluIales, or you musl commil lo a Ioooong
rocess of discovery (since many - such as uddhism - make cIaims lhal il lakes a Iifelime
of devolion in order lo finaIIy reaIize vhal lhey're laIking aboul!).

Christianity Is Uniquc With Gracc. Wilh Chrislianily, you don'l have lo buy anylhing!
SaIvalion is free lo lhose vho beIieve! God has sel forlh imossibIe requiremenls for us
lo fuIfiII, bul oul of His Iove rovides us vilh lhe means lo accomIish il! evare lhose
vho aear lo be 'rohels for a rofil'!

Christianity Is Livab!c And Fits Our Knnw!cdgc OI Thc Wnr!d - Wilh Chrislianily you
can be honesl vilh yourseIf. Wilh many of lhe olher 'reIigions' you musl Iive a 'Iie'.
Chrislianily aIIovs for a comIele IifeslyIe based uon lhe Crealor's inlenlions, nol vhal
ve seem lo 'vanl' or 'hoe'. Wilh olhers you viII rocIaim one lhing, lhen Iive anolher.

Jcsus Christ - One very inleresling asecl of many olher 'reIigions' is lhal lhey incIude
}esus! IsIam says He vas definileIy a ma|or rohel from God, even higher lhan
Abraham - |usl nol higher lhan Muhammad. }udaism admils lhal He Iived, |usl nol as
lhe Messiah lhey are Iooking for. Many adherenls lo Hinduism or uddhism admil lhal
He vas a very seciaI man, and had lremendous imacl on lhe vorId and is lo be
Iearned from and admired. There seems lo be a lrend, and lhal is lhal aII lhe ma|or
reIigions beIieve lhal He exisled, and lhal He vas a lremendous infIuence. So il is
erfeclIy IogicaI lo begin vilh a sludy of lhe reaI }esus - lo see vhy aII lhe olhers incIude
Him and revere Him so veII. A roer sludy of Chrislianily does |usl lhal.

In summary, if one is seeking for lhe Trulh, and vanls lo begin a sludy of lhe vorId's 'reIigions'
lo delermine vhich one fils our Iives, our needs, and our vorId besl, il makes erfecl sense lo
begin vilh an oen minded and in delh sludy of lhe Chrislian failh firsl!

Thinking Pnints

Tvo Minule DriII: Why is Chrislianily 'differenl' from lhe resl`

Whal does il mean 'lo have a reIalionshi vilh }esus'`

Whal are lhe marks of malurily in a Chrislian beIiever`

Whal is lhe difference belveen obedience and IegaIism`

Tvo Minule DriII -2: Describe vhy a 'seeker' shouId invesligale Chrislianily firsl.
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

Chrislianily is unique in il's 'direclion'

We are saved by grace, lhrough failh

Chrislian malurily is evidenced in obedience and Iove

A Chrislian viII sland aarl from lhe vorId

ConcIusion: A Chrislian is free lo obey oul of lhankfuIness for Grace, inslead of coerced
lo obey oul of fear

Ncxt Lcssnn: Comarisons To Olher WorIdvievs


Reaching for lhe InvisibIe God, IhiIIi Yancey, Zondervan IubIishing House, 2000

}esus Among Olher Gods, Ravi Zacharias, W. IubIishing Grou, 2002

IssenliaI Trulhs of lhe Chrislian Iailh, R.C. SrouI, TyndaIe House, 1998

The Universe Nexl Door, }ames Sire, Inlervarsily Iress, 2004

Underslanding lhe Times, David NoebeI, Harvesl House IubIishers, 2004

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://

_ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- ~ ~~ ~ |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q
[e--c: |.:e. _r|e c|J..e.- _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

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Lterone hus u reIlglous lmpuIse thut seeks to unsuer the foIIoulng questlons.

Creutlon Where dld ue, und eterthlng eIse, come from?
Purpose Wh ure ue here?
MoruI Slgnlflcunce Whut determlnes rlght und urong?
Beuut / Lote These klnds of thlngs seem to be dlfferent from the rest of the uorId!
Redemptlon Hou cun l better mseIf und m fumlI, und escupe sufferlng?

AII reIlglons must hute ucceptubIe unsuers to these questlons.

What arc thc Impnrtant Cnnsidcratinns?

We've seen lhal lhe Trulh is, by definilion, excIusionary. So vhal shouId one Iook for in lheir
ursuil of lhe Trulh` Is il reasonabIe lo execl a vorIdviev lo ansver lhe foIIoving adequaleIy`
-Does il adequaleIy salisfy lhe reIigious imuIse (our reIigious condilion`)
-Is il reasonabIe`
-Does il fil lhe reaI vorId`
-Is il IivabIe`
-Is il evidenliaI (seciaI reveIalion)`
-Does il rovide hoe`
-Does il rovide benefil for aII`

Consider furlher lhe queslions lhal }ames Sire (The Universe Nexl Door) asks of a vorIdviev:
-Whal is lhe 'reaIIy reaI'`
-Whal is lhe nalure of reaIily`
-Whal is a human being`
-Whal haens lo a erson al dealh`
-Why is il ossibIe lo knov anylhing al aII`
-Hov do ve knov righl from vrong`
-Whal is lhe meaning of human hislory`

Natura!ism / Athcism / '5ccu!ar Humanism

Natura!ism: The beIief lhal lhe 'naluraI vorId' is aII lhal lhere is. (There is no suernaluraI, souI,
or Iife afler dealh), is lhe core dogma of Alheism and usuaIIy resuIls in SecuIar Humanism.

Athcism: (Slrong) The beIief lhal lhere is no God, (Weak) The beIief lhal ve cannol knov if God
exisls (aIso Agnoslicism)

5ccu!ar Humanism: The naluraI vorId is aII lhal lhere is, and humans are lhe source of our
robIems, and lhe source of our saIvalion.
A beIief sel cIaiming lo be
'Chrislian', bul having beIiefs
oulside of orlhodoxy

A varied beIief sel vilhin
Chrislian orlhodoxy

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Cnrc Bc!icIs and RamiIicatinns: CIearIy a 'non-rovabIe' osilion, lhough generaIIy
masquerading as lhe onIy 'scienlific' osilion. IIaces hoe for mankind in his imrovemenl,
desile lhe lerribIe lrack record ve have lhroughoul hislory. Humans have no seciaI Iace in
lhe universelhey are one of many secies lhal have evoIved from 'nolhing'. There can be no
basis lo moraIily excel lhal vhich lhe 'slrong' or lhe 'ma|orily' desires. IersonaIily exires uon
dealh, vilh no Iasling meaning lo our Iives or anylhing ve do. There is no exlernaI benchmark lo
|udge righl from vrong. Is seen lo be lhe calaIysl lo 'if il feeIs good do il', and 'eal drink and be
merry', for soon ve die. Has resuIled in Marxism, desolism, and many olher forms of sociaI
lyranny over lhe individuaI. Has an aearance of coherence, combined vilh an allraclive seIf-
inleresled focus on Iife. ul a roer inquiry of lhe resuIlanl fuliIily of Iife can Iead lo nihiIism
and desair (usuaIIy broughl aboul by lhe conslanl faiIure, incIuding lhe faiIure of success.)


IsIam is lhe faslesl groving reIigion in lhe vorId. The vord 'IsIam' means 'lo submil', meaning
submission lo God (AIIah is lhe Arabic lerm for God).

Muhammad (-570 AD632AD) has rocIaimed himseIf as lhe 'finaI
rohel of God.' He cIaims lo have received 'reveIalions', or visions
from God, vhich are comiIed in lhe Koran and olher vrilings
(incIuding lhe Hadilh). Afler lhe beIievers in Mecca re|ecled his
leaching, he mounled a successfuI miIilary camaign uon lhem, and
conquered lhem. Mecca is lo lhis day lhe cenler of IsIam and lhe sile
of a required iIgrimage of aII adherenls.

IsIam recognizes }esus as a rohel of God, bul nol as divine or a member of lhe Trinily.

There are five iIIars of failh required for aII MusIims: 1) eIief and riluaI recilalion of lhe IsIamic
creed. 2) RiluaI rayers. 3) AImsgiving lo lhe oor. 4) Iasling during Ramadan. 5) A iIgrimage
lo Mecca. A sixlh duly is associaled vilh lhe failh, vhich is lhe raclice of }ihad, or 'hoIy var'
againsl lhe infideI (vhich brings inlo queslion lhe asserlion lhal IsIam is a reIigion of 'eace'.)

A MusIim gains favor of God by vorking for il, causing lhem lo never have assurance of lheir
saIvalion. The Koran has been revised many limes, and sliII has inlernaI inconsislencies. The
hislory of IsIam is one of var and conquesl, and is based uon lhe leachings of one conlroversiaI
man. Muhammad remains dead lo lhis day.


Hinduism is one of lhe oId, surreaI 'Iaslern' reIigions. Il is
comrised of numerous secls, making a singIe anaIysis difficuIl.
IssenliaIIy, rahman is lhe elernaI essence, and everylhing
(Alman) is rahman. In olher vords, God is arl of us and aII
around us. Reincarnalion enabIes lhe cycIe of good/eviI aclions
lo have lheir consequences (lhe Iav of Karma), eilher in lhe
currenl Iife or lhe nexl one.
To lhose vho beIieve and do
deeds of righleousness halh
AIIah romised forgiveness
and a greal revard
5urah 5:9

...lhe rohel said, 'If
somebody (a MusIim) discards
his reIigion, kiII him.
Vn!. 4, Bk 52, Nn. 260 (Hadith)
Iaslern anlheislic monism is
non-doclrinaIbecause no
doclrine can be lrue
Jamcs 5irc
Thc Univcrsc Ncxt Dnnr
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Nirvana is lhe slale of erfeclion one enlers once finaIIy breaking lhe cycIes of Karma. The
Veda's are lhe 'hoIy scrilures', lheir mosl sacred book is lhe hagavad Gila.

There are lhousands of eviI gods lo leml us, bul no sureme god lo save us, |udge us, or leach
us. The vorId and aII ils issues are iIIusionary, and lhere is no hoe for one caughl in lhe bad
cycIe of Karma (eseciaIIy lhose in Iover casles) excel dealh and a olenliaI beller Iife Ialer.
Hinduism is one of lhe mosl confusing and comIicaled vorIdvievs, escheving Iogic and reason,
resuIling in a Iife lhal is 'unIivabIe' and hoeIess.


TechnicaIIy a secl of Hinduism, uddhism vas eslabIished from a dread of lhe hoeIessness
vilhin Hinduism caused by lhe endIess cycIe of dealh and rebirlh. Siddharlha Gaulama (Ialer
knovn as lhe uddhalhe enIighlened one) Iefl his famiIy's riches and ursued reIigious
salisfaclion lhrough various means, finaIIy reaIizing 'enIighlenmenl' afler silling under a lree for
7 days raclicing lhe deniaI of seIf.

Nirvana is sliII lhe finaI goaI for lhe uddhisl, bul il is
described as lhe finaI accelance of lhe deniaI of seIfin shorl,
uddhism leaches lhal suffering is caused by desire and no one
viII overcome suffering unliI lhey eIiminale aII of lheir vorIdIy
desires. CrilicaI lhinking is underslood as misIeading, and lhe vorId is iIIusion.

There are many secls of uddhism, each vilh lheir reseclive leachings and leachers. Zen is lhe
mosl commonIy knovn secl in lhe Wesl, erhas because of ils varialion concerning lhe
imorlance of lhe seIf: 'Look inside you, you are lhe uddha'. As vilh Hinduism, lhere can be
no reconciIialion vilh Chrislianily, since lhere is no God lo sin againsl and lherefore no need for
alonemenl. Mankind is |usl anolher being on lhe Ianel, vilh no God-given urose or vorlh.


In 1838, }oseh Smilh (lhen 14) cIaimed lo have seen his firsl vision from God, vhich evenluaIIy
Ied him lo decIare lhal lhe exisling Chrislian churches have been embracing a faIse goseI. He
subsequenlIy roduced a 'nev reveIalion' inlerreled from goIden Iales vrillen in a heavenIy
longue lhal onIy he couId inlerrel (vhiIe reading lhem as lhey vere conceaIed inside a cIosed
bIack bag, diclaling lo a lrusled confidanl.) The Iales vere lhen mysleriousIy Iosl.

The Mormons loday consider lhemseIves |usl anolher secl vilhin
Chrislendom, hovever one can quickIy see lhal lhey faII oulside
of Orlhodoxy. They do nol beIieve in lhe concel of lhe Trinily.
God vas formerIy a man vho achieved 'god-ness', as can any
obedienl Mormon. }esus is lhe siril chiId of a heavenIy falher
and molher, and is lhe brolher of Salan. }esus' dealh on lhe cross
did nol rovide fuII alonemenl for aII sin. IuII beIief in lhese
doclrines is required, as veII as submission lo lhe church and ils Ieaders.

Life is unreaI and is saluraled
vilh ain.
Buddhism's First Nnb!c Truth
The lradilionaI Chrisl of
vhom lhey seak is nol lhe
Chrisl of vhom I seak.

LD5 Prcsidcnt Hinck!cy, LD5
Church Ncws, wcck cnding
6-20-98, pg 7
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Their 'infaIIibIe' reveIalion has been changed many limes, incIuding finaIIy acknovIedging lhal
eoIe of African descenl can be admilled inlo lhe rieslhood in 1978. CIearIy, and al lheir ovn
admillance, lhe Mormons beIieve in a syslem of failh lhal is differenl from (lherefore counler lo)

Jchnvah's Witncss

AIong vilh lhe Mormons, lhe }ehovah's Wilness movemenl is knovn for bolh lheir roseIylizing
and lheir search for incIusion in lhe vasl aIe of Orlhodoxy. ul lhey cIearIy beIieve a differenl
'reIigion' lhan orlhodox Chrislianily.

Ior inslance, God is neilher omniresenl nor omniscienl. }esus is nol God. efore }esus Iived on
earlh, he vas MichaeI lhe ArchangeI. Afler dying on a slake, he vas resurrecled as a siril, and
his body vas deslroyed. He viII nol relurn again al lhe end of lhe eschalon.

A lrue beIiever musl be balized inlo lhe }W failh, and earn lheir vay inlo saIvalion by vorks,
vhich incIudes door lo door vilnessing. SaIvalion is Iimiled lo 144,000 'anoinled ones'.
SaIvalion is nol achieved lhrough grace.

The }W do nol ceIebrale birlhdays or Chrislmas, vole or sing
alriolic songs, or |oin lhe armed forces. TyicaI of lhe various
cuIls, lhe foIIovers are mandaled lo Iearn lhe leachings of a fev
eoIe, never inlerrel lhe ibIe for lhemseIves, and fear
shunning if lhey dare lo Ieave lhe failh.

What Abnut A!! Thc DiIIcrcnt Christian Dcnnminatinns?

The Ielhora of denominalions vilhin Chrislianily is used by some as an examIe of
Chrislianily's incoherence. The difference, lhough, is lhe adherence lo lhe rimary Orlhodox
beIiefs, vhiIe aIIoving diversily for secondary issues. A secondary issue may be ilems such as a
referred form of church governmenl (ishos, for examIe), or melhods of balism (srinkIe vs.
submersion). These lyes of differences usuaIIy mark individuaI inlerrelalions, and generaIIy a
church body is in agreemenl vilh lhem in order lo be cohesive. Terliary differences are lhose
differences vhich IocaI members may even debale amongsl lhemseIves, such as lhe liming of lhe
second coming, elc.

These differences, vhiIe lhey may seem divisive al firsl gIance, acluaIIy heI slrenglhen lhe ody
of Chrisl, as lhey aIIov and disIay lhe freedoms of individuaI exression and inlerrelalion lhal
fosler grovlh and ersonaI allenlion. The aIlernalive vouId be a form of IegaIism, lo vhich
every erson vouId be required lo conform. Again, lhis freedom is cIearIy made ossibIe
assuming conformance lo lhe 'non-negoliabIes', vhich are lhe core beIiefs lhal make lhe Church
an orlhodox 'Chrislian Church'.

We aII need heI lo
undersland lhe ibIe, and ve
cannol find lhe ScriluraI
guidance ve need oulside lhe
'failhfuI and discreel sIave'
Watchtnwcr, Fcb 15, 1981
Orthndnx Bc!icIs, as dcIincd by thc Bib!c
The Trinily
The deily of Chrisl
The resurreclion of Chrisl
SaIvalion by grace, lhrough failh
Gcncra! Marks nI Cu!ts
Addilions lo scrilure
Sureme aIIegiance lo one erson or grou
SaIvalion accomIished lhrough vorks
Misunderslanding of lhe nalure of God

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

One musl undersland and conlrasl lhe beIiefs of non-Chrislian doclrines againsl lhe
essenliaI requiremenls (Orlhodoxy) of Chrislian beIief as defined by lhe ibIe.

Many non-Chrislian vorIdvievs are dis-simiIar lo Chrislianily in common vays.

The various so-caIIed 'Chrislian' secls vho do nol adhere lo Orlhodoxy are by definilion,
nol Chrislian.

Wilhin Orlhodoxy, lhere is room for heaIlhy debale of secondary issues

Ncxt Lcssnn: The DifficuIly of NOT eIieving!


The Kingdom Of The CuIls, WaIler Marlin, Hank Hanegraaff (generaI edilor). elhany
House Iress, 1997.

Does God eIieve In Alheisls`, }ohn Ianchard, IvangeIicaI Iress, 2000. A veII
documenled discussion aboul alheism.

The Universe Nexl Door, }ames W. Sire, Inlervarsily Iress, 1997. A vorIdviev calaIog.

Mormonism 101, iII McKeever & Iric }ohnson, aker ook House, 2002. Irom lhe
founder of Mormonism Research Minislry ( Gives an exceIIenl hislory and
overviev of Mormon doclrine, and hov lo vilness lo a Mormon.

A Ready Defense, }osh McDoveII, Thomas NeIson IubIishers, 1993. An exceIIenl
overviev of cuIl beIiefs and vilness lis, OnIine minislry of lhe Chrislian Research Inslilule, Hank Hanegraaff
(lhe ibIe Ansver Man)

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://
Thinking Pnints

Whal are lhe common marks of a non-Chrislian reIigion`

Whal are lhe common marks of a non-orlhodox Chrislian cuIl`

Hov is lhis knovIedge essenliaI in discussions vilh lhe adherenls of differenl failhs`
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

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lf uhut ue beIlete dlctutes hou ue Ilte, uouIdnt ue uunt to muke sure ue hute u
tuIld beIlef sstem?

ShouIdnt ue be open mlnded enough to udmlt uere urong lf our non-Chrlstlun beIlef
sstem protes to be lntuIld?

ShouIdnt u tuIld beIlef sstem be one of the most lmportunt thlngs ue cun pursue?

Wc A!! Bc!icvc 5nmcthing

Some boasl lhal lhey simIy 'have no beIief' lhal guides lhem. ul
is lhere such a lhing as a 'neulraI' beIief syslem` Lel's lhink aboul
lhal for a minule. To do so, ve shouId consider hov ve mighl Iive
under such a beIief syslem.

If il is 'unIivabIe', lhen cIearIy il is nol ralionaI. Thal is, if ve cannol
acluaIIy do, or carry oul vhal ve rofess lo beIieve, lhen il is nol
vorlhy of our beIief. Ior inslance, some eoIe beIieve lhal lhey shouId nol leII anolher hov lo
Iive. ul cIearIy, lhis is an 'unIivabIe' syslem - every day ve musl
vork oul muluaI agreemenls, usuaIIy in lhe form of Iavs. Is il ok for
lhe governmenl lo give Iavs, as Iong as lhey are muluaIIy
beneficiaI` Who decides vhich Iav lo enacl, and hov` Iverylhing
from desolism lo anarchy couId reign in lhis lye of a syslem il
|usl deends on vho is lhe slrongesl. Do ve reaIIy vanl lo Iive in a
vorId in vhich lhe eoIe in over may decide lhal one race or
anolher is nol vorlhy of Iife, and shouId be kiIIed` This is exaclIy vhal haens if lhere are no
vaIues lhal are 'absoIule', meaning lhal somelhing is righl or vrong regardIess of vhal eoIe
lhink aboul il. To exisl in a sane vorId, TRUTH musl exisl, vhelher I knov il or nol, vhelher I
vish lo beIieve il or nol.

Some eoIe feeI lhal vhal lhey vanl lo beIieve is a maller of ersonaI choice. This is cerlainIy a
Chrislian rinciIe (desile some modern misunderslandings), since ve are nol coerced in our
beIiefs. ul again, if one chooses nol lo beIieve in an 'absoIule lrulh' (meaning lhal nolhing is
lrue vhelher ve vanl il lo be or nol) il is sliII an inleIIecluaIIy vacanl beIief, even if il is ouIar.

Since somelhing guides our everyday decisions, shouIdn'l ve ursue lhis lhoughl, and make
sure lhal our syslem of beIief (and consequenlIy our Iife) is coherenl`

The basic funclion of reIigion
in cuIlure is lo suIy eoIe
vilh lrulh and meaning."

CIarke Iinnock, Iour Vievs of
SaIvalion in a IIuraIislic
WorId, g 115.
Whal's vrong vilh lhe
slalemenl I never lhoughl
aboul il lhal vay!
I |usl don'l lhink aboul il
al aII.``

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

An Examp!c nI Incnhcrcnt Thinking

Quile some lime ago bolh lhe Archbisho of Canlerbury and }ane Ionda vere on a laIk shov.
The Archbisho vas discussing asecls of lhe failh, lo vhich Ionda vas increduIous. IinaIIy, in
an ansver lo her queries inlo lhe reasons for vorshi and Lordshi of Chrisl, lhe Archbisho
remarked "WeII, He is lhe Son of God you knov." Ionda reIied "He mighl be for you, bul he
isn'l for me." The Archbisho disIayed lhe ignorance of her commenl vilh a brief reIy, "He
eilher is or He isn'l."

Irratinna!ity nI Nnn-Thcism

Ravi Zacharias describes lhe feeI good vorIdviev, vhich he caIIs Thc Athcist's Crccd. Il
reIales cIearIy lhe inconsislencies and Iack of lhoughl lhal goes inlo lhis vorIdviev:

We beIieve in Marx, Ireud, and Darvin. We beIieve lhal everylhing is OK, as Iong as
you don'l hurl anyone, lo lhe besl of your definilion of hurl, and of knovIedge. We
beIieve in sex before, during and afler marriage, ve beIieve in lhe lheray of sin. We
beIieve lhal aduIlery is fun, ve beIieve lhal sodomy is ok, ve beIieve lhal laboo's are
laboo. We beIieve lhal everylhing is gelling beller desile evidence lo lhe conlrary. The
evidence musl be invesligaled and you can rove anylhing vilh evidence. We beIieve
lhere is somelhing in horoscoes, UIO's and benl soons. }esus vas a good man |usl Iike
uddha, Muhammad and ourseIves. We beIieve he vas a good moraI leacher aIlhough
ve lhink his good moraIs vere reaIIy bad. We beIieve lhal aII reIigions are basicaIIy lhe
same. They aII beIieve in Iove and goodness, lhey onIy differ in mallers of crealion, sin,
heaven, heII, God, and saIvalion.

We beIieve lhal afler dealh comes nolhing because vhen you ask lhe dead lhey say
nolhing. If dealh is nol lhe end lhen lhere is heaven for aII excel maybe HilIer, SlaIin,
and Khan. We beIieve in Maslers and }ohnson, vhal is seIecled is average, and vhal is
average is normaI and vhal is normaI is good. We beIieve in lolaI disarmamenl, ve
beIieve lhere are direcl Iinks belveen varfare and bIoodshed, and lhal lhe Americans
shouId beal lheir guns inlo lraclors and lhe Russians viII be sure lo foIIov. We beIieve
lhal man is essenliaIIy good, il is onIy his behavior lhal Iels him dovn. This is lhe fauIl
of sociely, sociely is lhe fauIl of condilions, and condilions are lhe fauIl of sociely. If man
does vhal is righl for him, lhen reaIily viII adal accordingIy. The universe viII re-
ad|usl, hislory viII aIler. We beIieve lhere is no absoIule lrulh excel lhal lhere is no
absoIule lrulh. We beIieve in lhe re|eclion of creeds and lhe fIovering of individuaI

Zacharias lhen describes lhe inevilabIe oulcome of lhis Iine of lhinking:

If chance is lhe falher of aII fIesh, lhen disasler is his rainbov in lhe sky. When in a slale
of emergency lhe snier kiIIs lhe chiId, lhe youlh go Iooling, or bomb bIasls rock lhe
schooI, il is nolhing more lhan lhe sound of man vorshiing his maker.

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Thc Tactic nI Fa!!cn Man

UnliI recenlIy, our Iavs, cusloms, and sociaI mores vere buiIl uon a slrong Chrislian foundalion
(such as lhe Ten Commandmenls and lhe various lrealises of Chrisl such as 'Love lhy neighbor
as lhyseIf'), vhich rovided our cuIlure and our chiIdren a nurluring incubalor vilh vhich lo
deveIo a heaIlhy sense of 'righl and vrong' and lo mainlain order. When chiIdren grov u in
lhis lye of environmenl, lhey receive indireclIy lhe ersonaI and socielaI benefils of virlue and
elhics, vhich resuIl in a malure and reslrained sociely, in vhich ve may comele honeslIy for lhe
good of sociely and for God's Kingdom.

ul lhe drive of man vis-a-vis his faIIen nalure (lo be seIf-sufficienl and seIf-defining) is
inevilabIe, slrong and limeIess. The slralegy is cIear in hindsighl: if man can eIiminale lhe
suernaluraI, lhen everylhing eIse comes u for grabs. If ve can eIiminale ob|eclivily, ve'II
shake ourseIves Ioose of any indeendenl advisor (or accuser) and more imorlanlIy any
slandards of righl and vrong. Therefore mankind's abiIily lo do as he vanls deends uon lhe
eIiminalion of bolh lhe ob|eclive and lhe suernaluraI. And lhis is easiIy accomIished because
ve cannol 'see' elhics. If our reaI endeavor, er our faIIen nalure, is lo accomIish our ovn
desires and creale our ovn elhic, lhen ve have a chink in our coIIeclive armor lhal is readiIy
acceled by a seIf-defining ouIace.

A simIe sludy of human hislory demonslrales lhis degeneralion. We see lhe evidence in ils
earIy form in lhe slory of lhe faII of Adam, vhere he and Ive vere lemled lo be 'Iike God',
reIacing God's righlfuI osilion as Sovereign over aII crealion vilh man's seIfish desires and
definilions of righl and vrong. We see lhe same effecl in Iicurus' ursuil of exislenliaI meaning
and lrulh in en|amin Wiker's cIassic book MoraI Darvinism. And in cIassicaI
hiIosohy/hislory, ve see lhe same ballIe for urose and lhe con|oining elhics in IIalo, as he
ursues inleIIecluaI and siriluaI meaning and lrulh (aka Logos) and ballIes lhe humanislic
forces of DeIhi.

Thcrc Arc On!y Twn Chniccs Inr Hnpc and Inr Mcaning.

- Ob|eclive Trulh
- Ividence lhal is leslabIe
- Hoe in lhis Iife
- Hoe for aflerIife
- Iurose and meaning
- Coherenl and IivabIe vorIdviev
- Chrisl
- Grace
ALL Othcrs
- Sub|eclivism
- AccidenlaI
- Nolhing beyond currenl Iife
- Iear / Coercion
- Ior man's uroses
- Ividence lhal is susecl

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Christian Thcism: Thc On!y Ratinna! Chnicc

To cIarify, Iel's consider vhal a erson musl beIieve if lhey DON'T beIieve Chrislianily. Ior
examIe, if you don'l beIieve Chrislian Theism, aarl from aarenlIy man-made reIigions, you
MUST beIieve lhe foIIoving:

-You musl beIieve lhal your caacilies for IogicaI lhinking and ralionaI decision making
emerged from randomness. If lhis is so, lhen hov can ve KNOW lhal our IogicaI
faciIilies are reIiabIe` Indeed, lhere is NO scienlific evidence for lhis 'evoIulion' of

-Seaking of science: Many eoIe accel lhal lhe scienlific melhod is lhe onIy reIiabIe
basis for beIieving somelhing lo be lrue. ul indeed, hov do ve knov lhis asserlion lo
be lrue` SureIy science cannol rove il! Thal vouId be a circuIar argumenl - using
science lo rove science is lhe source of lrulh. Hence, ve cannol knov IOR SURI lhal
science is lhe ONLY vay lo rove lrulh. CIearIy ve couId miss somelhing, if ve reIy
onIy on science. esides, by definilion science can onIy ansver queslions reIaling lo

-You musl beIieve lhal somelhing can come from nolhing. In facl, you musl beIieve lhal
IVIRYTHING came from nolhing! You musl beIieve lhis, desile lhe facl lhal lhere is
absoIuleIy NO evidence of anylhing lhal comes from nolhing.

-You musl beIieve, desile lhe IVIRYDAY evidence lhal everylhing has a cause, lhal
'everylhing' ve see in fronl of us inevilabIy had no cause al ils beginning. CIearIy,
anolher examIe of an un-rovabIe beIief. (The inleresling lheories lhal 'scienlisls' come
u vilh lo counler lhese robIems are quile amusing. Ior inslance, lhe mosl ouIar
beIief al lhis lime is lhal lhe universe has aIvays exisled, or lhal lhere are an infinile
number of universes. This simIy roves lhal mankind viII beIieve aImosl anylhing,
desile lhe evidences lo lhe conlrary, in order nol lo beIieve in a God!)

If lhese seen lo be loo hiIosohicaI, consider lhis one: You musl beIieve lhal mankind, and
everylhing in lhe vorId, evoIved from 'air'. This is knovn as 'moIecuIes lo man evoIulion'. And
desile vhal is convenlionaIIy acceled aboul 'macro-evoIulion' (lhere is no disule over 'micro-
evoIulion'), lhere is absoIuleIy NO evidence for il!

Thinking Pnints

Tvo Minule DriII: Whal vas il lhal Ied you lo Chrisl`

DeveIo an aoIogelic based uon lhe exislence of moraIs/virlues.

Whal aboul 'reaI Iife' brings eoIe lo Chrisl` Whal shouId ve be Iooking for in lhe rocess
of evangeIism`

Whal haens vhen eoIe have no hoe`

IxIain lhe concel of 'borroved cailaI'.
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Lcssnn 5ummary

Iveryone beIieves somelhing

Nol lhinking aboul vhal one beIieves is irresonsibIe

Once a sociely Ioses an ob|eclive base, anylhing goes

Il is difficuIl lo 'lhink ralionaIIy' and NOT be Chrislian

Ncxt Lcssnn: IvangeIism


TolaI Trulh: Liberaling Chrislianily from ils CuIluraI Calivily, Nancy Iearcey,
Crossvay ooks, 2004

The ScandaI of lhe IvangeIicaI Mind, Mark NoII, WiIIiam Ierdmans IubIishing, 1995

MoraI Darvinism, en|amin Wiker, Inlervarsily Iress, 2001

Whal On Iarlh Are We Doing`, }ohn Iischer, Vine ooks, 1997

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://

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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

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We ure often toId thut ue cunnot tuke unthlng ulth us to Heuten.

But ln fuct, there ls one thlng ue CAN tuke ulth us uhut ls lt?

Evangc!ism and thc Christian LiIc

The very firsl lhing lhal Chrisl asked of his nevIy minled AoslIes vas lo Come afler me, and I
viII make you lo become fishers of men (Mark 1:17b). The very Iasl recorded vords of Chrisl
are you shaII be vilnesses unlo me...unlo lhe ullermosl arl of lhe earlh (Acls 1:8b).
CIearIy, ve have a mandale. And ve have lhe Trulh on our side, as ve've sludied for lhe Iasl
fev veeks. ul il's scary. We've Iearned lhal lhe vorId has lheir ovn message, one lhal is
dislinclIy againsl ours.

Is lhere a melhod lo evangeIism` Or are ve lo vail unliI 'lhe Siril Ieads' and everylhing |usl
faIIs inlo Iace` Can I, in effecl, mess il u enough so lhal someone misses elernily vilh
Chrisl` Hov can I accomIish lhis vilhoul overIy offending anyone, or lurning lhem off` Hov
can I kee from Iooking sluid`

These and many olher queslions aboul evangeIism are vaIid loday, and have been of concern for
ages. ul ve musl undersland lhal evangeIism is nol 'souI vinning'. We do nol have lo converl
anyoneonIy lhe HoIy Siril can do lhal. We are here lo vilnessand ve do lhis vilh our
IifeslyIe, our aclions, and our vords.

We can'l evangeIize by 'ambush', and ve can'l |usl execl lhe aslor lo carry lhe Ioad. We are
resonsibIe, and in a malure Chrislian Iife il comes naluraIIy. The malure Chrislian Iife is
beaulifuI and desirabIe lo lhe unbeIievernol because ve have aII lhe ansvers or lhe besl |ob,
bul because ve have eace. We have vhal olhers need and vanlil is our |ob lo find a vay lo
exress our hoe and lhen cIearIy dscribe lhe message of eace lo lhem.

But BcInrc Wc Bcgin

We musl see lhe second arl of lhe verses above.
1) IoIIov me. Mark 1:17a.
2) ul ye shaII receive over, afler lhal lhe HoIy Ghosl is come uon you. Acls 1:8a

These are lhe secrels of an effeclive evangeIismve are lo be
failhfuI foIIovers of Chrisl, rooled in lhe over of God via lhe
indveIIing of lhe HoIy Siril. The lask is nol accomIished by us
aIone, ve are lhe 'hands and feel' of Chrisl and lhe Siril lo
accomIish his vorks here, and lo eslabIish His Church and Iive
failhfuI Chrislian Iives of Chrislian malurily.

The man vilhoul lhe Siril does
nol accel lhe lhings lhal come
from lhe Siril of God, for lhey
are fooIishness lo him, and he
cannol undersland lhem, because
lhey are siriluaIIy
1 Cnrinthians 2:14

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Christian Obcdicncc

In order lo be Chrisl's vorkmen, ve musl be reared lo vork and lo be His messenger.
AII lhis is from God, vho reconciIed us lo HimseIf lhrough Chrisl and gave us lhe
minislry of reconciIialion. (2 Corinlhians 5:18).
And He died for aII, lhal lhose vho Iive shouId no Ionger Iive for lhemseIves, bul for
Him vho died for lhem and vas raised again (2 Corinlhians 5:15).
Chrisl said If you Iove me, you viII obey vhal I command. (}ohn 14:15).

Do ve have lo be erfecl` Of course nolve never viII be erfecl on lhis earlh. ul ve slruggIe
lo obey, lo grov in Chrisl and lo ursue His viII, oul of arecialion and for lhe good of lhe
message. Chrisl said As you have senl me inlo lhe vorId, I have senl lhem inlo lhe vorId. My
rayer is nol for lhem aIone. I ray for lhose vho viII beIieve in me lhrough lheir message, lhal
aII of lhem may be one, Ialher, |usl as you are in me and I am in you. May lhey aIso be in us so
lhal lhe vorId may beIieve lhal you have senl me. May lhey be broughl lo comIele unily lo Iel
lhe vorId knov lhal you have senl me and have Ioved lhem even as you have Ioved me.
(}ohn 17:18,20,21b,23b)

Thc Naturc nI Evangc!ism

According lo IvangeIism IxIosion, lhere are lhree arls lo lhe
nalure of lhe GoseI resenlalion: 1) Inlroduclion, 2) GoseI
message, and 3) Commilmenl. Lel's Iook al lhese in some delaiI,
considering Chrisl's modeI in His discussion vilh lhe voman al lhe

Iirsl, He began lo seak lo her 'vhere she vas al' (lhe veII!) vilh a
conversalion aboul a muluaI goaIvaler. He gol her allenlion by
'breaking a convenlionaI ruIe' and asking her (a Samarilan) lo |oin
vilh Him. He lhen iqued her inleresl vilh somelhing He knev she
vouId desire, and lhal lhey had in common: Iiving valer. Nexl, He
oened her eyes lo lhe facl lhal she vas indeed a sinner, even lhough she aarenlIy vas hiding
lhe facl. And finaIIy, He eslabIished lhe message lhal He is lhe vay, and lhal lhe scrilures
confirm il. She lhen had a choiceeilher lo accel or re|ecl Him.

We can Iearn from lhis diaIogue lhal lhere are laclicaI means lo galher allenlion, lo ask queslions
in order lo gain underslanding, and finaIIy lo cIose lhe deaI.

5igns nI 5piritua! Opcnncss What tn Lnnk Fnr

Chrisl heaIs our voundsaII of us have lhese! Some
are siriluaI, some are emolionaI, some are hysicaI,
and some are inleIIecluaI. These are lhe vounds and
needs lhal hound us conlinuaIIy, even if ve are good al
hiding lhem under lhe surface.

Thc "Gnnd Ncws"

You are suffering from a Ioss of
hoe, or of slrenglh.

The ansver lo lhese queslions
Iies in lhe underslanding of lhe
uroses of lhe Crealor.

We can undersland lhe nalure
and urose of lhe Crealor
lhrough His Son.
Thc Human Di!cmma in a Nutshc!!
(Rnmans 1-3)

1) Lack of a fear of God, vhich resuIls in.
2) Sin (nol Iiving lo our God given urose)
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Some are Iooking for meaning, some for hoe. Some are Iooking for Iove, some for hysicaI
comforl. AII of lhese have a siriluaI dimension lo lhemand lhis is vhal ve need lo be oen lo,
in lhe Siril.

Some are quile adel al hiding lheir need, some have broken dovn
and surrendered, and are |usl vailing for heI. ul lhe message of
Chrisl's Iove and Grace and lhe resuIling hoe brings heaIing for

But Hnw Dn I Dn This?

Our circIes of infIuence are acluaIIy quile Iarge. We louch lhe Iives of
eoIe everyday in our vorkIace, al home, or al lhe slore. The
vilnessing silualion may come aboul as an occasionaI inlroduclion
silling nexl lo a erson on lhe bus or slanding in Iine al lhe movies. Il
may come as a need for rayer aboul a Iife changing evenl, such as a birlh, marriage, divorce, or
dealh. Il may occur al a hoIiday season, or an oening momenl of siIence al a foolbaII game.

AIvays slay mindfuI of lhe eoIe, lhe silualions, and lhe cuIluraI
evenls around you. IeoIe are infIuenced mosl by lhe foIks lhey
have a reIalionshi vilh. So cIearIy, a Chrislian musl have non-
beIieving friends vilh vhom lhey can have reIalionshis vilh.
Then, one can accomIish 'bar-b-que' vilnessing (elc!) vilh lheir
nev 'friends'.

Above aII, remember lhal il is 'Ioving and caring eoIe' vho make disciIes, nol rograms or

Thc Impnrtancc nI Training

One cerlainIy does nol need a Th.D. (a doclorale in TheoIogy) in order lo vilness of lhe Iove and
grace of Chrisl. ul, one shouId be reared vilh a cerlain minimaI amounl of siriluaI
knovIedge lo assisl lhem in discussion aboul lhings of Trulh. To lhis end one shouId acliveIy
arliciale in a heaIlhy evangeIicaI Church lhal assisls lhe Chrislian in lhis educalion, and
rovides knovIedgeabIe eoIe vilh various gifls lo address secific queslions and needs lhal
may arise (lhe 'seciaIisls').

This lraining never slosil becomes arl of our siriluaI grovlh and malurily via siriluaI
disciIine, and becomes a source of service for you and your secific gifls (you may in facl be one
of lhe 'seciaIisls' lhal someone needs lo laIk lo aboul a given sub|ecl.

Those vho suffer He
deIivers in lheir suffering, He
seaks lo lhem in lheir
Jnb 36:15
e reared lo describe your
ersonaI |ourney lovard
Chrislianily. The Siril may
Iead eoIe lo you in simiIar
silualions as yours.
IvangeIism isn'l
somelhing you DO, il
5nmc Opcncrs:
- Where are you on your siriluaI |ourney`
- Do you KNOW if you viII go lo Heaven if you died loday`
- If God asked you vhy He shouId Iel you inlo His Heaven, vhal vouId your ansver be`
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2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Mcmnry Vcrsc Timc

A soIid base of ibIicaI memory verses is essenliaI orlraying lhe Word of God lo olhers. Here is
a good slarl:

I vrile lhese lhings lo lhal you may KNOW lhal you can have elernaI Iife.
1 Jnhn 5:13

ALL have sinned and faII shorl of lhe gIory of God. Rnmans 3:23

The vages of sin is dealh, bul lhe gifl of God is elernaI Iife lhrough }esus Chrisl...
Rnmans 6:23

Therefore no one viII be decIared righleous in His sighl by observing lhe Iav, ralher ,
lhrough lhe Iav ve become conscious of sin. Rnmans 3:20

...righleousness from God comes lhrough failh in }esus Chrisl lo aII vho beIieve.
Rnmans 3:22

Therefore, I urge you, brolhers, in viev of God's mercy, lo offer your bodies as Iiving
sacrifices, hoIy and Ieasing lo Godlhis is your siriluaI acl of vorshi. Rnmans 12:1

Thinking Pnints

Tvo Minule DriII: Whal vas il lhal finaIIy convinced you lo beIieve`

Tvo Minule DriII Iarl 2: Whal vere lhe evenls Ieading u lo lhis decision` (e reared lo
discuss lhese vilh someone in a Iike silualion)

ShouId Chrislians be hay eoIe`

Whal are your SiriluaI Gifls` Hov can you malure lhem so lhal you can be a 'seciaIisl'`

Do lhe eoIe al vork knov lhal you are a Chrislian` Hov`

Whal shouId be done afler a erson makes a commilmenl for Chrisl`

Remember lhal someone in your shere of infIuence is considering Chrislianily loday!
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Lcssnn 5ummary

One of lhe Chrislian's |obs is lo carry lhe message of Chrisl lo a hurling and needy vorId

A key asecl of our evangeIism is our commilmenl and our siriluaI malurily

AII men are seeking for lhe ansvers

IvangeIism is onIy carried oul via reIalionshis

The HoIy Siril of God Ieads and converls, ve are His 'hands and feel'

IvangeIism is nol 'somelhing lo do', il is one asecl of a malure Chrislian Iife

Our shere of infIuence is videsomeone ve knov is seeking for ansvers loday

Ncxt Lcssnn: HumbIe AoIogelicsIveryone beIieves somelhing

Rcsnurccs Fnr Furthcr 5tudy:

Hov To Give Avay Your Iailh, IauI LillIe, Inlervarsily Iress, 1988. A cIassic summary
of vhal ve beIieve and hov lo share il.

IvangeIism IxIosion, D. }ames Kennedy, TyndaIe Iress, 1996. Handbook of lhe
ouIar IvangeIism IxIosion Church minislry.

Hov To Reach SecuIar IeoIe, George G. Hunler, Abingdon Iress, 1992. Discusses hov
lo discuss Chrislian concels vilh a osl-Chrislian vorId.

ecoming A Conlagious Chrislian, iII HybeIs, Zondervan Iress,1994.

Life-SlyIe IvangeIism, }oseh AIdrich, MuIlnomah Iress, 1981
Hard lo find, bul fuII of greal advice aboul Iiving for Chrisl so lhal olhers see Him in you

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://

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[e--c: _.e|.e. |u|e c|cger.c- _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

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Remember thut ue mu be the onI BlbIe thut someone eter reuds!

Thc Fina! 5ummatinn

We have Iearned lhal aII eoIe are seeking ersonaI salisfaclion bul in reaIily lhey are seeking
lhe fuIfiIImenl of lheir Divine mandale from God. They viII never resl unliI lhey find lhis
reconciIialion. We have seen lhal everyone Iives lheir Iives vilh failh in somelhing.

We have seen lhal lhe ibIicaI Chrislian Iailh is varranled, AND IivabIe. We nov undersland
vhy Chrislianily is lhe Trulh and lhe onIy means lo reconciIialion vilh God. We nov knov lhal
ve need have no fear al aII in Iacing our lrusl in Chrisl, and in sharing lhal failh vilh olhers as
lhe Siril Ieads.

We have Iearned lhal aII Chrislians are required by lhe Lord lo share lheir failh, and lo be
reared lo share lhe reasons for lheir beIiefs.

The queslions of lechnique have been considered, and lhe message is cIear. Whal ve need nov is
some advice aboul issues lhal may arise, and hov exerienced minislers have handIed lhem.
Of ulmosl imorlance in lhe endeavor is a cIear reaIizalion lhal lhe HoIy Siril is in conlroI of
lhis area. He Ieads, and ve serve. He oens doors and rovides oorlunilies, and ve reare
and lake advanlage of lhem.

Currcnt Evcnt Apn!ngctics

A very convenienl and reIevanl means lo reIay your beIiefs lo
eoIe (vilhoul being loo offensive) is in your everyday
conversalion. IraclicaIIy everyday lhere is an issue in lhe nevs
lhal gives us an oorlunily lo reIay our beIiefs, and discuss lhe
ro's and con's of lhe various vorIdvievs.

Nol onIy is lhe sludy of ibIicaI aIicalion lo currenl evenls an effeclive vay for rearing lo
reIale lhe goseI lo olhers, il can slrenglhen your ovn failh as you malure your gifls in lhese
lurbuIenl limes. In facl, lhe aIicalion of Chrislianily lo modern Iife is lhe meaning of ersonaI
devolions, lhis lye of sludy viII heI bolh you and your non-beIieving friends!

Remember lhal lhe GoseI is
'offensive' enough. We
shouIdn'l add lo lhal vilh our
ovn 'offenses'!
Grcg Knu!d (5tand tn Rcasnn) warns us nI pn!cmica! dangcrs:

We're righl because ve have lhe lrulh.
We oughl lo be kind lo lhose vho do nol have lhe lrulh.
Many limes lhose vho have no argumenl are beIIigerenl.
So be carefuI lhal ve don'l come across as having no argumenl.
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Bringing Up thc 5ub|cct

}ohn Slackhouse recommends lhal ve kee in mind lhree differenl lesls of lrulh as ve carry oul
our discussions. These can heI us reIale Chrislianily lo lhe cuIlure.

Iirsl, lhe cIaim of lrulh shouId be coherent. Coherence is lhe 'exlenl lo vhich lhe various
eIemenls of a hyolhesis fil logelher and confirm each olher. The second is correspondencelhe
exlenl lo vhich lhe hyolhesis fils lhe dala vhich is in need of exIaining. The lhird is prugmutlc
tuIue, lhe exlenl lo vhich lhe imIemenlalion of lhe hyolhesis makes a difference in acluaIily.

In raclice, in a discussion of lhe issues, one couId oinl oul vhy lhe Chrislian viev is ralionaI
and has varranl for beIief, vhy lhere is beller varranl for lhe Chrislian viev lhan for olher
vievs, or vhy lhe Chrislian viev is lhe onIy varranled viev lo be heId.

Tactics Inr Mnunting a DcIcnsc (OIIcnsc?) (Adaptcd Irnm Grcg Knuk!, www.str.nrg)

Iassive Queslions The Chrislian is usuaIIy soIeIy caughl in defending his osilion. This shouId
nol be lhe case! Whoever makes a cIaim shouId be abIe lo defend il. We aIso can chaIIenge lheir
ideas and vievs and exose lhe underIying assumlions behind lhem. Hov did you come lo
lhal concIusion` Whal do you mean by lhal` Why nol beIieve.`

Aggressive Queslions Like an allorney, somelimes ve shouId onIy ask queslions lhal you knov
lhe ansver lo! Never confuse a erson's oinion or an asserlion for an argumenl. Hov do you
knov lhal` Why do you beIieve lhal` AII queslions shouId drive lhe erson lo consider lheir
beIiefs, lo lhink aboul vhal lhey beIieve as veII as rovoke furlher lhoughl.

Ixose Inconsislency - IxamIes of inconsislenl slalemenls lhal are quile revaIenl loday are:
AII lrulh is reIalive. There is no absoIule lrulh. Il is vrong lo |udge eoIe. You can
never knov anylhing for sure. You shouId nol force your moraIily on someone eIse.

Agree Wilh Them(!) Somelimes a erson has nol considered lhe IogicaI resuIls of lheir
vievoinl. So, for lhe sake of argumenl ve can accel lheir remises and ursue lhe resuIl of
lheir beIiefs lo lheir concIusion. Then lhe absurdily, inconsislency or un-IivabiIily of lheir
osilion can be reveaIed (rc!uciic a! a|sur!un). An examIe of an absurd osilion and ils IogicaI
resuIl is 'moraI reIalivism', since moraI reIalivism uIlimaleIy resuIls in a socioalhic uloia.

Shov Me! Many limes asserlions are confused vilh facls. SimIy asking a erson lo confirm
'facls' lhal are dubious is cerlainIy fair! IxamIes of undocumenled (and vrong) asserlions
masquerading as facls are: Chrislianily has 'kiIIed' more eoIe lhan any olher reIigion!
There are so many lransIalions of lhe ibIe lhal ve can never knov vhal il reaIIy says.

Take A realh! Many eoIe viII alleml lo overvheIm vilh queslions or issues, by
inlerruling or being hosliIe. Sle back, ask for a momenl lo ansver, lhen begin again. If lhe
queslions kee coming, ask lhem if lhey reaIIy vanled an ansver or nol. If il occurs again, kee
your earIs (and yourseIf!) from being lramIed. UnforlunaleIy, lhere are many eoIe vho are
|usl inleresled in arguing, NOT in Iearning.
_ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- ~ ~~ ~ |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q
[e--c: _.e|.e. |u|e c|cger.c- _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Thcrapcutic Apn!ngctics

UnbeIief comes aboul eilher because of a 'reason' or a 'cause'. A 'reason' can be discussed and
reveaIed. They are usuaIIy nol defensive. A 'cause' causes a erson lo have incorrecl beIiefs
because of rior sychoIogicaI issues (evidence viII nol move lhem.)

Some examIes of causes: SociaI condilioning againsl Chrislianily, igolry, Reaclion formalion
(e.g. anli-IegaIism), Anger againsl God, Desire lo do one's ovn lhing

AoIogelics focused on 'causes' shouId be 'lheraeulic', in olher vords, il shouId heI vilh lhe
seIf decelion many eoIe exerience. The malure Chrislian viII lry lo heI lhe erson Iover
lheir defenses. Many limes guiIl or shame can cause lhe reression of knovIedge (such as lhe
knovIedge of God.)

We shouId aIvays rovide accelance and Iove by genuineIy Iislening lo lheir lhoughls. Shov
you care, ask good queslions, eeI back lhe Iayers of lheir issues. Look for lhe signaIs of need
and ma|or Iife evenls (lriaIs): divorce, sickness or dealh, vorry or slress. Lislen, Love, and Lead!

But Watch Out!

If eoIe relreal from you, STOI! IxIore olher eoIe's beIiefs, don'l |usl 'dum' your beIiefs
on lhem. We musl aIvays be carefuI aboul ro|ecling an irralionaI siriluaIily. Never shool
from lhe hi. If you don'l knov an ansver, lhal's okrefer lhem lo one of lhe 'seciaIisls.'
Remember ve vanl lo heaI eoIe, nol |usl 'vin argumenls'!

What Must Wc Dn?

-Kee informed on lhe issues of lhe day.
-Kee informed on lhe issues vilhin lhe Church.
-Memorize scrilure and ray every day.
-Iray for guidance and comassion for lhe Iosl, visdom and reslrainl for lhe redeemed.
-Offer lhe message, don'l demand lheir adherence.
-Take your resonsibiIily for evangeIism seriousIy.
-IoIIov your inlereslslhal's vhere your gifls are.
-ecome a 'seciaIisl' in your gifl for olhers lo uliIize.
-Teach firsl, reach second.
-Look for lhe need, and buiId bridges as Chrisl's ambassador lo your arl of lhe vorId.
-Meel roulineIy vilh olher evangeIisls for suorl, lraining, and sharing.
-Lislen, Love, and Lead!

Rcmcmbcr that Evangc!ism is a Prnccss

I Ianled lhe seed, AoIIos valered il, bul God made il grov.
1 Cnrinthians 3:6
_ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- _ruJq .: _|.-r.~: c|cger.c- ~ ~~ ~ |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q |~r e _e|.e.e ; |q
[e--c: _.e|.e. |u|e c|cger.c- _cg.rc, _gc _eJc. [ _|.:|, _|eelce [ _e|.e.e!
2006 Nichael Sutherland www.Why! Nike@Why!

Lcssnn 5ummary

We are here for Chrisl's urose

We aII have a gifl lhal ve musl use in buiIding, suslaining, and exanding lhe Kingdom

e reared lo discuss lhe inlernaI and exlernaI issues from a Chrislian erseclive

We are here lo heaI, nol condemn

e avare of lhe evangeIism rocess, and vhere you may be in il for lhis arlicuIar erson

Lislen, Love, and Lead!

Rcsnurccs Fnr Furthcr 5tudy:

HumbIe AoIogelics-Defending The Iailh Today, }ohn Slackhouse }r. Oxford Universily
Iress, 2002

Conformed To His ImageibIicaI and IraclicaI AIicalions lo SiriluaI Iormalion,
Kennelh oa, Zondervan

On!inc Fnrum: HeI buiId our on-Iine communily by adding your insighl or asking queslions
regarding lhis loic al our Iorums Iocaled al: hll://

Thinking Pnints

Whal are lhe bibIicaIIy reIevanl issues in lhe cuIlure loday` Whal is lhe Chrislian resonse lo lhem`

Whal are your siriluaI gifls` Hov are you maluring lhem`

Hov viII you use your gifls for lhe benefil of lhe Kingdom`

Hov viII you make yourseIf avaiIabIe lo lhose vho may need your siriluaI seciaIly`

Who do you knov lhal is suffering from seeking`

Love is lhe finaI aoIogelic. Irancis Schaeffer

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