IMITATING THE GREAT TEACHER Logical Reasoning

Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK
Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored ninety-two books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. It can also be earnestly contending for the faith and saving one from losing their faith, as they have begun to doubt. Moreover, it can involve rebuking those who contradict the truth. It is being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks the Christian evangelist for a reason for the hope that is in him or her. – Jude 1.3, 21-23; 1 Pet 3.15; Acts 17:2-3; Titus 1:9.

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As Christians, we all are called to make disciples; therefore, we want to have the skills to reach hearts with sound, persuasive reasoning. (Acts 19:8; 28:23-24) Some Christians hear the words, “logic,” “reasoning,” and “persuasion,” which then leads them to believe that they must learn to make use of, apply, or resort to sophisticated logic in order to convince others about the truth of God’s Word? This is not really the case. Sound reasoning from the Scriptures does not need to be complicated. We can offer logical arguments in a simple manner, which can often be even more effective. First, let’s define persuasion; then, we can look at one example of offering a simplified logical argument.

Young Christians

Persuasion: (Gr. peithō) The Greek word literally means to 1.) persuade, convince (Matt. 27:20; Ac 12:20; 18:4; 19:8, 26; 23:28; 26:28). Through the art of persuasion, one can cause another to adopt a certain position, view, belief, or course of action. Someone convinces or persuades another, by bringing about a change of mind by means of sound, logical reasoning. Someone convinces or persuades another to adopt a new belief and to act on that belief. It also means to 2.) trust, rely (Lu 11:22; 2 Cor. 1:9); 3.) be assured (1 John 3:19); 4.) obey (Heb. 13:17); 5.) be a follower, be a disciple (Ac 5:36, 37); 6.) be certain, be sure (Heb. 13:18).

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS

footprints

Cause and Effect

What if someone said to you, ‘I only believe what I can see, and I have never seen God.’ We can reason with this one on the natural law of cause and effect. The principle of causation means that if we see or observe an effect, we know for certain that there must have been a cause. You might ask, if you were walking down the beach on an uninhabited island that you had just been stranded upon and came upon some footprints in the sand (effect), you would readily accept that someone (cause) was on that island with you. So, you follow the footprints and come across a house with cupboards filled with food (effect), so, again, you willingly accept that someone (cause) built the house and has stocked its cupboards. So, when we see the infinite amount of design in nature and the wealth of food easily produced by the earth, humanity’s “pantry” (effect), we can logically conclude that someone (cause) is responsible. The Bible itself makes this simplified argument: “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4) However, we must not allow unrealistic expectation to stumble us into believing that all people are able to see the simplified logic. Many are willfully blind and no amount of logical, reasonable argumentation we make, not everyone will be convinced. Only those with receptive hearts will become believers. –  Acts 13:48; 2 Thessalonians 3:2.

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM

house in the woods

The Cosmological Argument

Mark Water simplifies the cosmological argument for us. “The cosmological argument for the existence of God comes from the Greek word kosmos meaning world or universe. It states that everything that exists must have a ‘First Cause’. Nothing that we observe in the world today was produced by itself. This argument concludes that there must have been an infinite, un-caused ‘First Cause’ or ‘Prime Mover’ who initiated a chain of secondary causes and effects. We assume a ‘First Cause’ and we call this ‘First Cause’ God. If we look at the world around us we can see the evidence of the scientific law of cause and effect. The vastness of the universe and the wonder of creation point to an infinite creator God.”[1]

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS APOLOGETICS

Whether we are sharing God’s Word with an unbeliever or carry out a Bible study class within the church, we can use logical reasoning to make known God’s qualities and his ways. One very effective way is the “how much more” argument that Jesus was known to use in his reasoning with others. Jesus tells the illustration (parable) of a persistent friend that comes calling in the middle of the night asking for food, Jesus makes the point, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13) Jesus also went onto highlight our worth by arguing the point, “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (Luke 11:14) This type of contrasting, reasoning can have a deep impact on others.

[1] Mark Water, The Bible and Science Made Easy, The Made Easy Series (Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd, 2001), 7.

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