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The Defense of the Faith (Part 6) (The History of Christianity #35)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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Our Scripture verse today is Hebrews 11:16 which reads: "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."

Our quote today is from John Calvin. He said: "A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent."

Today, we are looking at "The Defense of the Faith" (Part 5) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

Today's subject is The Arguments of the Apologists

Justin's use of the doctrine of the Logos provided a basic framework within which Christians could claim whatever they wished from the rich lode of classical culture. But there still remained the need to refute the various objections raised against Christianity. Although it is impossible to list here all such refutations, some examples will give a general idea of the nature of the arguments of the apologists.

When accused of being atheists because they had no visible gods, Christians responded that in that case many of the greatest philosophers and poets were also atheists. To support that statement it sufficed to quote the ancient writers who had affirmed that the gods were human inventions, and that their vices were worse than those of their worshipers. Aristides suggested that such gods had been invented precisely in order to give full rein to human vice. Also, a common argument was that the idols, often made of gold and precious stones, had to be guarded against thieves. How can a god that must be protected provide any protection? How can a god made by human hands be above humans? On these points orthodox Christianity held to the doctrine of monotheism and divine creation that it had learned from its Jewish background...