Lecture Two

 

Our plan to study this course is to deal with several facets at the same time. That is why you are dealing with several subjects in different ways. Your discussion question deals with one of three issues you are reading about; your response paper deals with another; an additional note will deal with the background of Apologetics, and this lecture covers the other issue in your reading. With this in mind, what we are doing is allowing your study to blend all of this information at the same time.

 

While reading the text one must have a strong impression that they are reading a text on Liberalism. In fact, the author does indeed describe this system of thought that we face everyday.

 

Chapter Four in your text is titled, “Man is Good by Nature but Corrupted by Society.” Several of your assignments will allow you to pit these theories against the Bible. It is obvious that this particular view flies in the face of the book of Romans. Man is not good by nature and it is true he is corrupted by society, but that is not the root problem.

 

The system of thought that has produced such concepts is flawed because of its view of man and God. In fact, their conclusion in the matter makes man god. If it appears to the reader that these intellectuals are constantly apologizing for man, given his failure, you are right. This is blame-shifting and is exactly like what happened in the garden of Eden at the fall of man.

 

The condition of man

 

Adam was created in a state of untested innocence. He had not sinned but was capable of it. In the fall however he became totally depraved. He was affected by the fall socially, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically. He died spiritually and then possessed a sin nature and, therefore, therefore, became a sinner by act. Like our father Adam, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All of us in this class were born in sin, possess a sinful nature, and have sinned. It is true that we are open to sin through the world, the flesh, and the devil, but that is not the root of our sin.

 

This certainly does not sound like what you read in chapter four of the text. While it is also true that man has worth, it does not mean he is worthy of what he needs as to forgiveness, holiness and salvation. One does not have to look far in our society to see the philosophies described in the text. They are everywhere in the media, entertainment, business, government and courts. What is stunning is the presence of these concepts in the churches. Our first response would be to describe the existence of these man-centered views in the liberal church. The sad truth is that these ideas have taken root in most of the evangelical and fundamental churches in America. All this is far too obvious in the current “marketing the church” movement. Here we have selling the Gospel, feel good theology; with all that rises from man-centered philosophies.

 

The positive side of it all

 

The marvelous thing about all of this is the power of truth. The truth that resides in the Word of God. That is the challenge of this course: learning to retrieve that information, learning to understand it, and finally communicating it. Later on in this course we will practice using this apologetic. Answering challenges from Scripture provides a deep confidence for the believer and that is the goal of this course.

 

Illustration

 

There is a debate about recognizing counterfeits. Some argue that one only needs to know the real and then counterfeits will stand out. Testing this in a military situation explains why knowing the enemy is so important. The believer needs to know the condition of the real world. This is a lost art in Evangelicalism. Students need to know the thought-process of those who err. It is only then that they can test their grasp of the truth that rises from Holy Writ. This is not to say our goal is to create those who can argue well. We really seek those who can communicate, explain, and answer with biblical truth sufficiently to silence the folly of men.

 

 

 

 

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