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Truth and the value of apologetics

Truth: definition according to logic

  • Non-contradictory: does not violate the basic laws of logic.
  • Absolute: does not depend on time or place. 
  • Discovered: exists; we don't create it.
  • Descriptive: agreement of the mind with reality.
  • Inescapable: to deny the truth is to affirm its existence.
  • Unchanging: the firm standard by which truth claims are measured.

The claim that all truth is relative is a self-defeating statement.

Some points:

1.What is truth?
        • The first principle of all knowledge.

1.2.The law of opposites
        • Opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time, in the same sense.

2.3.Truth options
        • All views are false
        • All views are true
        • Some views are better
        • One unchanging view

3.4.Fixed point
       •Christianity: Jesus is God => Jesus in the only way; track of facts.

Truth objections:

1.I don't believe in anything that I cannot hear, feel, smell, taste or see

  • Do you then believe in reason (i.e. laws of logic)?
  • Do you believe your thought?

2.Everything is an illusion

  • Self-defeating
  • An illusion is a misrepresentation of the reality therefore something must be real.

3.All truth is personal

  • Relative truth with is self-defeating.

4.Only science verifies truth

  • Does science verify your truth?

Although opinion or preference may at times be the same as the truth, they are something different from truth. 


  • "Although clever and academically stimulating, is it necessary for Christians to spend vast amounts of time pursuing and refining these type of arguments?" 
  • "Can being unprepared for the above type debates result in a believer rejecting the faith?"

State of mankind outside of Christ

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

Ro 3:10-11  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 

Joh 8:42-47  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?  He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. 

Joh 18:37-38  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 

At the end of the day, mankind without Christ is reprobate and devoid of understanding, what is worse is that they are arrogantly so (see Stephen's stoning in Act 7:57  "Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord...." ); they define their own relative truth to suite their own lives and then purpose to not hear God.

From John 18 we see that any one who is in Christ is in the truth and that they hear (and by inference do) God's will. John 8:32 goes on to say "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." If you are in Christ, you don't need convincing about what you believe as He is your affirmation and you are complete in Him (Col 2:10). What does it mean to be "Free"; to liberate or deliver. This speaks to me of more than just deliverance from sin but also of a life of victory and continual deliverance. In short, if we are thrown by the arguments of the world, did we really know "The Truth" in the first place?

Col 2:6-10  "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: ...."

Question: How then do we convince the world?

Answer: By taking our example from scripture.

2Pe 1:16  For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

  • We simply talk of His reality and working in our lives.

2Co 3:2-3  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

  • Even more importantly we need to live it.

Rom 3:3-4  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 

  • It doesn't matter if we are note believed (or received), God IS true. He IS Truth.

Actual debate examples:

Act 18:28  For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. 

  • Paul used scripture

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 

  • Paul stresses the power in the debate is wrapped up in "sound doctrine".

Acts 26: Here Paul shares his testimony. The response; rejection by both Agrippa and Festus, with Festus calling him mad.

  • My point: Paul wasn't concerned about people opinion on what he knew to be the truth. He lived and walked in the Truth and simply declared that fact.
  • This is further supported in 1Co 2:1-2  "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 

Acts 17:22-32: Sermon on Mars Hill. Even in this sermon to non-Jews, Paul wastes no time in getting to the resurrection.

  • 1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 
  • 1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

To answer the above question, we don't convert the world, that's the work of the Holy Ghost. We are simply called to declare the truth and for that we will be called fools and even hated. The whole process is God's.

How do we prepare ourselves?

Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

2Ti 2:13-16  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

These scriptures say it all.


Apologetics can be useful if it challenges us about what and why we believe, pointing us back to the Word but if we feel we need it in order to be effective for the Lord then that is a misguided confidence.

The following is a brief outline of the salvation process.

  1. Foolishness of preaching (1 Cor 1 vs 21)
  2. Holy Ghost convicts of Sin, Righteousness and Judgement to come (Jo 16 vs 8)
  3. God gives them repentance to acknowledge the truth (2 Ti 2:25)

You will notice that clever debate doesn't come into it.