Appologetic Lecture Notes 1

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Lecture One:
THE NEED FOR APOLOGETICS:
A SUMMARY OF THE ESSENTIALS OF CHRISTIANITY

FOUR ATTACKS ON GOD: AN INTRODUCTION TO ANTI-THEISM
In our current generation, Christianity has faced a fresh new series of assaults. In recent years such books as Sam Harris’ The End of Faith and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion have become best sellers. Their attacks have focused on the reasonableness and logic of the faith, and the have lobbed salvos against such modern Christian authors as Frances Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis[i].

Their attacks clump all religious movements together into one political ploy for control of the individual. In their belief, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and all other systems are equally suspect. Power, not faith, is the goal of religion, according to many of these authors. Religion is responsible for warfare, wholesale ethnocide and suppression of human rights. Religious people launched the Crusades and 9/11. Religion kills. Religion drains human potential.

Richard Dawkins personifies this approach when he said,
Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labeled only by a difference of inherited tradition.[ii]

These attacks against religion flow from four basic streams: attacks from philosophy, sociology, theology and science. While many of the popular works center on Christianity, all religions are within their crosshairs. With our current context of a religion holy war (jihad) on the horizon, other authors have been emboldened to write against mystical movements such as Hinduism, as well as theistic religions as Islam.

Thus, religion is not the force for change and betterment, but rather the cause for worldwide, systemic destruction. It is an enemy, not a friend. This modern atheism can be categorized by the following taxonomy (chart of categories):

CHART:FORMS OF MODERN ANTI-THEISTIC ATTACKS
|FORM OF ATTACK |BASIC THESIS |EXAMPLE | |From Philosophy |The mind constructs an alleged need for a god, but reason |J.J.C. Smart, Atheism and Theism, 1996 | | |disputes this necessity. | | |From Sociology |Religion is a means to enforce my will upon others. It is a|Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State, 1871 | | |political, rather than spiritual, movement. | | |From Theology |Religion is inconsistent and illogical. Speaking of God is |Thomas Ogletree, The Death of God Controversy, 1966. | | |irrelevant, but the social activism of religions is good. | | |From Science |There is no scientific proof of a Supreme Being. In fact, |Victor J. Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis (Prometheus,| | |the sheer lack of evidence proves a godless universe. |2008) |

The alternatives they offer emerge on the world stage as movements themselves. In other words, they are becoming the new world religions. Political atheism gave us Marxist communism. Sociological atheism is the basis...
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