Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 6
Presupposition and Classification In Apologetics
14-SECULAR CULTS: Secular cults are not a new phenomenon they have been around as long as the Church started by Christ. However, since the end of World War 2, they have gained in popularity and varieties. Due to the horrors of war and the lost of so much life, people began questioning the Church and even God Himself, which left a wide-open spiritual wound that the secular cults were eager to fill. Because of the mass destruction and seemingly overwhelming loss of life, the secular cults were able to draw, erroneous conclusions, that there was no God and that religion was a waste of time and energy, and the idea of orthodox Christianity and all belief systems that posit a supernatural realm as just a delusional nonsense created to control the masses.
Their main point that they used repeatedly at the end of the war was “If there is a God, then why would He allow for so much destruction and loss of life and property?” and “Why would He allow for genocides to be committed against the Jews?”
Think about it for a moment, you come back from a war to see everything you grew up knowing either destroyed or dead. You yourself, would have gone hungry, cold, and either killed to survive or seen the death of so many others. Your mind and spirit is one very large open wound and the ones that are trying to comfort you are the very same that are trying to lead you away from God. Over time, your spirit begins to heal and maybe you have returned to God only to see another war start and the old wounds reopen. Since the end of World War 2 (WW2), the world has seen multiple wars in the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, etc.), revolutionary wars in China, Viet Nam war, the massive killing fields of Cambodia, Korean War, and multiple genocidal wars in various African nations. Since the out break of WW2 the loss of human life due to war has far exceeded 150 million.
This has left more than ample room for Secular Cults to spin their web that God does not exist however; they do fail in the end because they forget to point out the good humanitarian ideals and deeds that have taken hold for the betterment of mankind. Because of the destruction, left by wars humanity has established many watch groups and peacekeeping forces to prevent or at least stem the flow of war. In addition, they fail because they preach that life is the here and now enjoy it now because when it is over, it is over. This makes you wonder if it is truly over when you die then why are they so concerned with the trying to tear down organized religion. Why do they waste their precious time, since this is the only life they will ever have, when they could be living it to the fullest? The fallacy with secular cults is that their actions do not coincide with their doctrine.
15-RATIONALIST GROUPS: Hold to a philosophical belief that the truth is founded by reasoning and analysis of factual data and not on faith, or religious teachings. Although many people will normally associate the rationalist movement or groups as atheist, it is not always the case. Although rationalism is similar to humanism and atheism, it differs from both of these, in that:
Humanism: Rationalism is found in humanism however, rationalism does not need the strong ethical component found in humanism.
Atheism: Reject the belief in God for any or no reason at all and there is no requirement for rationalism.
Keep in mind, although rationalism does reject any belief based on faith alone but it does not deny or affirm atheism. However, most rationalists today believe that theism cannot be rationalized therefore the correlation with atheism. However, some rationalists such as Deism state reason rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. Because deism believes, reason is the essential element in all knowledge they reject both organized and revealed religion. They rationalize that God does not interfere with humanity or the world because He made it perfect from the beginning and to make changes would be to state that He is not perfect.
Deism is the exception and not the norm when studying Rationalist Groups, in that they believe in a God while the other rationalist groups reject all belief in God, immortality, after-life, heaven, and hell. Many Western rationalist groups have been known to openly encourage immorality, and publish pornographic books.
16-HUMANISTS: When speaking in religious terms many of the words used will have multiple meanings and humanists is just such a word. Therefore, before we speak on one area lets look at the various forms of humanism:
Christian beliefs about the nature of God
Advocate people’s fulfilment by personal effort
Knowledge can be obtained through rational thought and experimentation
Roots in ancient Greece and Rome
Scientific method and underpinning of all sciences today
Pursuit of the humanities
Encompasses both Religious and Secular Humanism
Centered upon the needs and interests of people
Started at the end of the Middle Ages
Renewed an interest in classical studies
Promoted the concept that truth found through human effort
Similar to secular humanism
Practiced in a religious setting with fellowship and rituals
Associated with the Society for Humanistic Judaism and some groups affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Non-religiously based philosophy
Promotes humanity as the measure of all things
An in-depth look at the Humanist show that their beliefs and practices are:
They promote their roots to the philosophies of ancient Greece and regard Socrates as the first Humanist.
They except knowledge through reasoning and/or hard evidence and not on faith
The belief that historical progress conflict between organized religion and secular society beliefs and practices have gradually replaced with secular beliefs
That religious groups promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful
Acceptance of democracy and rejection of both theocracy and secular dictatorships as dangerous to individual freedoms
Combating bigotry, hatred, discrimination, intolerance and censorship
Support the separation of church and state
Liberal beliefs about topics, like abortion, corporal punishment of children, death penalty, enforced prayer in schools, homosexuality, physician assisted suicide, etc.
For the purpose of this course, the concentration will be on the Secular Humanists a non-theistically based philosophy that promotes humanity as the measure of all things and considers man as the Supreme Being in the Universe. Essentially, there are no actual differences between secular humanists and atheists. The facts show that the essence of their presuppositions and practices are identical. Many secular humanists do not accept this fact and use the name ‘humanist’ instead of ‘rationalist’ because they do not yet have the courage to declare who they actually are.
They do not believe in:
A personal God, a Goddess or a combination of Goddesses and Gods
Supernatural beings such as angels, demons, Satan, Holy Spirit, etc
Heaven or hell or life after death
The separation of a person into body, soul and spirit
Survival of an individual in any form after death
The existence of a deity, or they don’t really care about the topic
The concept of a personal God, and regard humans as supreme
They do believe:
Excellent codes of behavior and morality can be created through reason
About human rights and equal opportunities for all
Humans created the Gods and Goddesses in their own image
There is no God in heaven to intervene and save us from a disaster
That full responsibility for the future of the world, its political systems, its ecology, etc. rests with humans
A universe that was not created
In the theory of evolution and a universe that obeys natural laws
Rejection of divinely inspired ethical and moral codes in favor of codes derived by reason from the human condition
And they tend to be at the liberal end of the spectrum on such controversial topics as abortion access; equal rights for gays, lesbians and bisexuals; same-sex marriage, physician assisted suicide, separation of church and state, etc.
17. Pre-suppositions Of Courses On This Website: The writers of these apologetics courses are all theological conservatives. The following four presuppositions are a MINIMUM starting point:
Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone)
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
However, additional presuppositions describe their positions more fully. These are:
Inspiration: Each word of the Bible is recorded there by God’s inspiration (verbal inspiration). This inspiration extends not only to the words, but also to ideas and historical/scientific facts.
Inerrancy: The Bible is totally and completely free of moral, spiritual, historical, and scientific errors.
Infallibility: The Bible is infallible in all matters of doctrine, practice, morals, and every subject on which it makes an authoritative pronouncement.
Canonicity: The 66 books of the Old and New Testament, and they alone, are the Word of God. The Apocrypha are not part of the Bible.
Revelation: Christ and the Bible are the only divine revelations given to mankind through the Holy Spirit. Mankind can know God only through Christ and the Bible.
The Biblical record makes no sense without the above presuppositions. The Bible demands that we approach it with the above presuppositions in mind. Anything less would force a person to explain away significant portions of Bible and theology.
Summary: Every apologist should know both his own presuppositions as well as the major presuppositions of his opponents. Asking suitable leading questions to expose the anti-biblical presuppositions of one’s opponent is a powerful method to expose error. Only continuous study and analysis will help.
All doctrinal positions — whether conservative or radical — require adherence to certain minimum presuppositions. Calvin Research Group is unashamedly a conservative institution, and the minimum required presuppositions are:
Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone)
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Other Lessons In Course 02 Lessons
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 1
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 2
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 3
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 4
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 5
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 6
- Christian Apologetics Free Course 02, Lesson 7