Biblical Apologetics (Class): Week 3

Now, you can take Biblical Apologetics at your own pace! Download the class workbook (below) and then go week by week watching the class recordings and following along with any other content provided.

Watch the Class: Week 3 Session

Presuppositions and the Quicksand Quotient

Session Content

Week 3 Content: "Rope a Dope"

There are two primary aspects to any argument that must be part of one's
analysis and response to that argument.

Active listening: Listen and process what is being said.

1. The ideas of Improbability vs incompatibility. Paradox: a statement or sentiment that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet perhaps true in fact vs mystery: a religious truth revealed by God that man cannot know by reason alone and that, once it has been revealed, cannot be completely understood. This is the force of the argument.

2. And two, Remember that we hold the truth and that the objector is asking us to make God make sense according to his own understanding. In other words, they want us to make sense of their misconceived notion of God.

3. These two aspects will help us in the crucial attempt to articulate to them just why and how the position one is opposing cannot do what it purports to do.

4. Quicksand Quotient: questions designed to expose the illogical conclusion of the opponent by keeping in mind these two fundamental aspects.

a. Example: Skepticism- is a philosophical perspective characterized by a questioning and critical attitude toward knowledge, beliefs, or claims, often requiring evidence or justification before accepting them as true or valid.

b. Skeptics are generally hesitant to accept propositions at face value and prefer to engage in rational inquiry and examination of evidence to assess the credibility of a claim.

c. Skeptics will often compare aspects of Christianity to other religions. Also, they oftentimes will question the theological ideas of Christianity in order for it to make sense to them.

5. Example #1: If God exists, why does he sometimes seem hidden or absent in people's lives, making it difficult for some to believe?

a. Questions to ask:
  • In what way has God appeared to you in the past that is contrary to the way you feel about his presence presently that makes him appear absent?
  • IN what way do you normally experience the presence of God?
  • When you say people, what group are you referring to?
  • In what way do you perceive God to exist?
  • What God are you referring to, we assume it’s the Christian God of the Bible.
  • What are your assumptions of the God of the Bible?
  • Have you read the Bible at length?
  • Would it be okay if I showed you the God of the Bible?

6. Example #2: All people are inherently good.

7. Explanation of this theory:

a. Adam Smith- (1723-1790). Scottish social philosopher and political economist instrumental in the rise of classical liberalism.

Sympathy in Adam Smith's Philosophy: The article discusses Adam Smith's concept of sympathy in his work "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" (TMS). It distinguishes Smith's "projective" view of sympathy from David Hume's "contagion" account, highlighting how Smith's perspective involves imagining how one would feel in another person's circumstances.

Mutual Emotional Adjustment and Virtue: Smith emphasizes the importance of mutual emotional adjustment in human interactions. He suggests that individuals constantly strive to adjust their feelings to those of the people primarily involved in a situation, leading to the development of virtues like self-restraint and compassion.

Moral Norms and Religion: Smith argues that moral norms are based on the feelings of an impartial spectator. He discusses the role of religion in attributing virtues to higher powers and the importance of belief in an afterlife for maintaining moral commitment while also criticizing religions that prioritize ritual or creed over morality.

In summary, the article explores Adam Smith's moral philosophy, focusing on his concept of sympathy, the role of mutual emotional adjustment in virtue development, and the connection between moral norms, religion, and cultural influences. Smith's work in "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" highlights the complexity of human morality and the role of empathy and emotional alignment in shaping ethical behavior.

Questions to ask:
  • What makes you say that all decisions are neutral?
  • Why leads you to believe that all people are inherently good?
  • Do you believe that internally we are good or have no inclination one way or the other in our decision making?
  • What, then, is the baseline for one's emotional state?
  • Do you believe that the decisions you make have not been influenced by the experiences you have had?

Continue Taking This Class

Posted in


Recent Posts