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2011-03-08 02:36:05

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  1. 1) Three reasons why we study the existence of God:
    • a. It demonstrates the rational nature of our faith
    • b. It fulfills a goal of apologetics: confronting unbelievers with truth
    • c. The beliefs of agnostics/atheists deserve an honest answer
    • 2) Why proofs:
    • a.
    • 3) Biblically based proofs:
    • a. Biblical argument: a multitude of passages in scripture put forth Gods existence
    • b. Miracle argument: because miraculous events are outside of normal human experience, there must be a non-human being who causes them
    • c. Resurrection argument: Jesus was raised from the dead, thus authenticating his claim to be God
    • d. Religious experience argument: countless lives have been changed based on belief in God
    • 4) Philosophically based proofs:
    • a. Cosmological argument: if there’s a creation there must be a creator
    • b. Teleological argument: if there’s a design there must be a designer
    • c. Moral argument: if there’s laws there must be a lawgiver
    • d. Ontological argument: if we can consider a being greater than ourselves that being must exist
    • 5) Pascal’s wager: “we lose nothing by believing in God existence”
    • 6) Qualifiers to the existence of God:
    • a. The strength of proofs comes from their combined strength and not the superiority of any one particular proof
    • b. Proofs for Gods existence doesn’t settle the matter, they provide a basis to show that belief in God is a reasonable position
    • 7) Cosmological: “cosmos” – world; “logos” – study of
    • 8) 3 forms of cosmological argument:
    • a. Thomist argument by st. Thomas Aquinas
    • b. Leibnizan argument by gottfired liebniz
    • c. Kalam argument by Islamic philosophers
    • 9) Kalam argument, objectives and answers:
    • a. Did the universe have a beginning or not have a beginning?
    • i. Didn’t have a beginning, actual infinity is impossible
    • ii. Past events cause
    • iii. 2nd law of thermodynamics
    • b. If the universe had a beginning was it caused or uncaused?
    • i. Didn’t have a cause, uncaused events are logically impossible
    • ii. Experience shows this to be true
    • iii. Without causes there’d be no effects and life would cease
    • c. If the universe was caused was it by a personal agent or impersonal agent?
    • i. Was impersonal, presence of necessary conditions in insufficient to cause an event
    • 10) Teleological: “teleos” – end or purpose; “logos” – study
    • 11) Teleological argument: if there’s a design there must be a designer
    • 12) History of teleological argument:
    • a. Introduced in ancient Greece
    • b. Used by medieval philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas
    • c. Popular in the 1600s and 1700s in England, used by William paley
    • d. Not prominent in the 1800s or 1900s because extensive criticism by immanual kant, david hume, and evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin
    • 13) Family and examples of teleological argument:
    • a. Design as order: color spectrum
    • b. Design as purpose: plants make oxygen which humans need
    • c. Design as simple: an apple falling from a tree and the rotation of the galaxy are both governed by the same simple laws of motion
    • d. Design as complex: the arrangement of carbs, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in DNA
    • e. Design has beauty: watching the sunset
    • f. Design as ability to think: makes sense of letter arrangements, thinks far beyond what is needed to survive
  2. 14) 3 objectives and answers to teleological argument:
    • a. We have to be able to observe causes: personal experience and science and associate unobserved causes with observed events
    • b. Who designed the designer: the impossibility of actual infinity means that explanation can’t go on forever, there has to be a first cause somewhere
    • c. If the argument is correct, it doesn’t prove the existence of a Christian God: it shows that belief in god is more reasonable than belief in the world only
    • 15) Father of ontological argument: saint anselm of Canterbury
    • 16) Ontological: “ontos” – being
    • 17) Basics and key terms of ontological argument:
    • a. Fool has 2 features:
    • i. Understand the claim that God exists
    • ii. Doesn’t believe that God exists
    • b. Anselm claims that combination is unstable and inconsistent
    • c. God is a perfect being by which none greater can be conceived
    • d. More terms:
    • i. Mind – a place where ideas reside
    • ii. Reality – a place where things exist
    • 18) Rene decartes:
    • a. God alone could account for the idea of God
    • b. The idea of God could come from none other than God because the idea cannot come from nothing
    • c. Finite could have not notion of an infinite or nonfinite unless a necessary being of existence put it there
    • 19) Two objections to the ontological argument:
    • a. Ganunilo: if he could imagine a perfect island, then it must exist in reality
    • b. God is false and perhaps doesn’t exist
    • 20) Creed, confession, catechisms, and ex’s:
    • a. Creed: a short summary of the teachings of the bible (ex. Apostles creed)
    • b. Confession: longer and more comprehensive summary of the teachings of the bible (ex. Westminster confession)
    • c. Catechisms: series of questions and answers developed to teach bible doctrine (ex. Westminster catechism)
  3. 21) Apostles creed is and isn’t:
    • a. Is NOT: a document written by Jesus original disciples
    • b. IS: an anonymous work which summarizes the teaching of the apostles and is rooted in the Bible
    • 22) Apostles creed is similar to and examples:
    • a. Similar to:
    • i. OT: Jewish shema
    • ii. NT: peter’s declaration, baptismal formula
    • 23) 3 sections of apostles creed:
    • a. 1st: God the Father and our creation
    • b. 2nd: God the Son and our deliverance
    • c. 3rd God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification
    • 24) Value of the Apostles creed:
    • a. Provides a link to the church throughout history
    • b. Unites believers
    • c.
    • d.
    • 25) Apostles creed used for:
    • a.