Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Wolves in Wolves Clothing (Part 1)

Last year, after viewing the debate on ABC between Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron and the atheists Brian Sapient and "Kelly" I found myself initially walking away with mixed emotions. The chest beating male in myself saw it as a contest of Tyson v Holyfield proportions and was cheering for my guys (Ray and Kirk) to kick some serious atheistic butt. Having been heavily influenced by Ray and Kirk's ministry I was well aware that both Ray and Kirk are fine Christian apologists who have deep familiarity with the Scriptures and are very capable at going "into the ring" with the angriest of atheists. As I watched them argue primarily from the basis of creation and human conscience pointing to a creator I found myself screaming on the inside begging them to pull out the heavy argumentative artillery and teach these atheists a lesson. Many Christian commentators felt the same and launched some stinging attacks on both Ray and Kirk and suggested that they did a poor job of defending the case for a Creator.

My thoughts were that I loved Ray and Kirk and their ministry but I was disappointed that they didn't "go for the jugular" with their opponents. They failed in their attempt to convince the American public of God's existence......... or did they. It was at this time that I was slowly working my way through the book of Romans and the Gospel of John. By the time I'd hit chapter 3 in both of these books I was convinced that my initial impression of the debate was wrong and that Ray and Kirk actually did the right thing in appealing to the idea that creation proves there is a Creator, and that the conscience reveals God's moral law written on the human heart. No one has asked me to write this, but my hope is that it would serve as a reminder as to what Scripture tells us about sinful man and what our priorities should be as the body of Christ, sinners saved by grace, embarking on the great commission.

So what happened in my travels through the early chapters of John and Romans? Over the next five days I will be discussing Five Observations about witnessing to atheists drawn from these chapters of Scripture as well as the debate that occurred between Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and those angry atheists. I hope that they will serve to galvanise and transform our evangelistic endeavors in the future.

Starting tomorrow: Observation 1

Go On To Part 2


Brazen Hussey's said...

I've not yet had opportunity to watch the debate myself, but have read commentary such as this on the result.

It seems that everyone is more familiar with the "Classical Apologetic" approach: using evidence to get near to proving "god" in a general sense, and then trying to convince the atheist (apart from Scripture) that the "general god" at least makes it possible that the "particular God" of the Bible is a rational conclusion.

Enter in the cosmological, the teleological, the moral and cumulative arguments for God's existence.

Ray and Kirk are approaching the issue from more of a presuppositional, Biblical starting point, and more power to them. It seems like foolishnes to the world: they are without excuse.

The Apostles didn't try to "prove" God's existence: they always assumed it. Then they launched into Biblical verse after Biblical verse, or pointed to heathen authors who pointed to the fact that even they knew, at bottom, that God exists.

I daresay: let's not join our enemies and second-guess our only foundation--the Word of God will endure forever. We underestimate it to our peril.

~James H

fisherwoman said...

While we KNOW God, as Romans 1 says, unregenerate man's thinking is futile. We use the Law to show the exceeding sinfulness of sin. The Gospel brings to light that the God who made everything does not dwell in temples made w/ hands, and preaches men everywhere should repent because God has fixed a day in which He will judge the worl din righteousness through Jesus, "having furnished proof to all men by raising Him frm the dead." Acts 17. We musn't forget to preach the resurrection as well. IF Christ is not raised, we are still in our sins. Justification includes His resurrection!