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December 15, 2009

By Dr. Gary S. Day

Because the attacks upon Christianity has gotten more sophisticated beginning about sixty years ago, the need for tools by which to address the attacks became necessary; for it was then that opposition to Christianity and the Bible began to be highly organized.  Rationalistic and atheistic publishing houses grew throughout the earth, Prometheus being the largest publisher of atheism in the world.

The combination of their efforts helped them to refine their methodologies of attack from every field of study, like science, technology and the social sciences.  The rise of communism helped to develop the propagandist techniques of the radical theologians, rationalistic thinkers and the atheists.  To meet this challenge the Christian apologia had to become sharper, for studies specializing in mind manipulation, mass media propaganda, fuzzy logic and many other techniques grew exponentially and their cannons were all aimed at denouncing the claims of Christianity and the Bible.

In the 1980’s, Dr. Johnson Phillip of Calvin Research Group in India was the first to develop specific tools based on the analysis of the detractors’ techniques and the study of historic apologetics to help the Christian apologist to refute error efficiently.  To date, twelve Tools of Apologetics have been developed by Dr. Philip and others and are quite effective in fulfilling their task.  Some of them are as follows:

1. Analysis of Errors of Interpretation

Basic to hermeneutics is the way a Bible book is interpreted.  The culture, social values and date of the book’s writing should be the watershed of interpretation, not modern day secular values and attitudes which are predominately at odds with those in Biblical times.

2. Analysis of Scripture Twisting, a book by James W. Sire

Many times the twisting of Biblical information is done intentionally.  The errors introduced by such devious methods are subtle and used in debates by all kinds of anti-Christian elements.  The many unintentional errors tend to be more unsophisticated.  Mr. Sire’s book analyzes these Scripture twisting techniques.

3. Analyzing Bible Difficulties

The majority of so-called Bible difficulties are born out of ignorance of the Bible and the myriads of cultural milieu, numbering traditions and history, to name a few areas of lack.  In actuality there are only a couple of dozen or so types of Bible difficulty questions.  Once these questions are learned, a host of asserted difficulties will be able to be handled.

4. Analysis of Scientific Information

This tool handles the problems developed using “science” as a sword in their attacks.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to thwart off the attacks with the scientific label.  Of the Normative sciences, Math and Logic are the two most foundational divisions of scientific knowledge; for they set the standards for objective evaluation and deduction..  Logic is important to arrive at the correct deduction in any study, including Bible interpretation.  But random errors can be made in logical discussions, due to the complexity of the issue or even ignorance.  Sometimes false logic is used to sway people.  This why it is important for the Christian Apologist’s to learn the next tool well.

5. Analyzing Fallacies of Logic

Reading through the precepts of this tool several times will help in the grasping of the principles put forth.  For many of the assertions against the Bible and Christianity are based upon the fallacies of logic.

6. Analysis of Propaganda Techniques

The rise of mass political movement, consumerism, and mass media are elements common to the modern world.  Many businesses, activists, and dictatorial governments have spent considerable amounts of brain power, energy and money to develop the techniques of propaganda and mind manipulation.  The radical theologians and the Rationalists were eager to use the insights gained against conservative thinking and Christianity, though the two are not necessarily the same. 

7. Analysis of Mind Manipulation Techniques

Both Propaganda and Mind Manipulation techniques are empirically and scientifically discovered techniques, and their methodology must be mastered before effective counters to them can be upheld effectively. 

8. Analysis of Debating Techniques

Debates tests wits more than truth, for the purpose of debating techniques is to win, not necessarily to put forth truth.  Activists, Cultist, Muslims and debaters from the community of Radical theology are not looking for truth, but to win the war of ideas.  The reason many of these debaters win against the average Christian is not because they have better facts, but because of better strategies and preparation.

9. Analysis of Leading Questions; and the Formulation of Leading Questions

One of the fundamental strategies is the art of the question.  Ignorance in the application and asking of a properly worded question spells doom for the would-be Christian apologist.  Leading questions are often used against the Christian apologist, but can also be used against the attackers of the Bible and Christianity. 

The reason why specific tools for the practice of Christian Apologetics is a must is that the tools are geared purposely for accomplishing its task more efficiently.  In the using of these tools it must be kept in mind the condition of human depravity and rebellion against God.  Wherefore the attackers of Christianity and the Bible will use all sorts of dishonesty and false presuppositions in their arguments, so be aware.  The fight against Christianity’s detractors demands that their ideas must be disarmed like the peeling of an onion, layer by layer.  A one time statement of a truth will not convince the deliberate rebel. But a systematic destruction of their premises will show the error of the critic to himself and to those observing the exchange.  And like in the playing of any sport, practice makes perfect.  Go to one of the many Christian Forum on the Internet and listen to the questions being discussed.  Reflect on the questions and formulate your answer using one or more of the tools mentioned above, then write you answer down.  This will help in the mastering of the tools and sharpening the responses.

The shortcoming of this type of analytical thinking is that one tends to pigeon-hole people and ideas before a broad understanding of the oppositional content is fully understood.  But you have to first build an intellectual box before you can think outside of the box.  The up side is that when these tools are learned, a strong foundation is built upon which to place your box.

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