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Give 3 reasons why we study the Existence of God.
- 1. It demonstrates the rational nature of our faith
- 2. It fulfills a goal of apologetics: confronting unbelievers with truth (presenting) and explaining what we believe (defending)
- 3. The beliefs of agnostics/atheists deserve a truthful answer
Why proofs? (Logical and reasonable)
A proof is a logical argument that makes a particular belief reasonable to hold.
Know the Biblically based proofs (4) and be able to explain them.
- 1. The Biblical argument: a multitude of passages in Scripture put forth God’s existence
- 2. The Miracle argument: because miraculous events are outside of normal human experience, there must be a non-human being who causes them
- 3. The Resurrection argument: Jesus was raised from the dead, thus authenticating His claim to be God
- 4. The religious experience argument: countless lives have been changed based on belief in God
Know the philosophically based proofs (4) and be able to explain them.
- 1. The Cosmological argument: if there is a creation, there must be a creator
- 2. The Teleological argument: if there is a design, there must be a designer
- 3. The moral argument: if there are laws, there must be a lawgiver
- 4. The Ontological argument: if we can consider a being greater than ourselves, that being must exist
What is Pascal’s Wager?
Pascal’s Wager: we lose nothing by believing in God’s existence.
What were the “qualifiers” to our discussion on the Existence of God?
- The strength of the proofs comes not from the superiority of any one particular proof, but from their combined strength.
- Proofs for God’s existence do not settle the matter; they do provide a basis to show that belief in God is a reasonable position.
Know the family of Teleological Argument (6) and examples.
- Design as order: the color spectrum
- Design as purpose: plants make oxygen, which humans need
- 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
- Design as complexity: the arrangement of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in DNA
- Design as beauty: watching the sunset
- Design as the ability to think: make sense of letter arrangements, and thinks far beyond what is needed to survive
A definition of a creed, confession and catechism; and an example of each.
- Creed: A short summary of the teachings of the Bible. Sometimes this is in response to a particular heresy.
- Example: The Apostles Creed
- Confession: A longer and more comprehensive summary of the teachings of the Bible.
- Example: The Westminster Confession
- Catechisms: A series of questions and answers developed to teach Bible doctrine.
- Example: The Westminster Catechism
Know the value of the Apostles Creed.
- 1. It provides a link to the Church throughout history
- 2. It unites believers
- 3. It gives a concise summary of what Christians believe
- 4. It guards the Church against error
What was the Apostles Creed used for?
It was used to summarize the teachings of the Apostles and the Bible
Know and be able to describe the Two Chairs Principle.
1 chair faces towards Atheism and one chair faces towards God, we have to pick one or the other not in the middle
Know the definition of a worldview from our notes.
A worldview is the basic presuppositions or assumptions by which an individual looks at life. It forms the grid or perspective through which he or she sees the world and therefore provides the basis for personal values and decision-making.
What did we discuss was the source of faulty worldviews, and how do we combat it.
- Pride is the source of faulty worldviews. We can combat it by living in humility, meekness, and fear.
- Be able to describe a Christian worldview.
- It is the only worldview to provide a consistent explanation of all reality, it is relevant to all aspects of life, and the truth claims are clear.
Have a good grasp of the summaries of the three dominant worldviews as discussed in our notes.
- Marxist-Leninist- well developed, consistent atheistic worldview, its goal is to reduce exploitation, it is a reinterpretation of history as class struggle, and it is a systematic removal of religion because it is a tool of oppression.
- Secular Humanist- A subtler atheistic worldview, simply replaces God with man, its goal is to slowly erase God and Christianity from society, main points are materialism, naturalism, morality, and globalization.
- Cosmic Humanist- claims that nobody has complete truth, it says that it has no religious teaching of its own, individuals decide for themselves, whatever decided is right, attempts to create New Age by harmony with self, nature and cosmos.
- Islam- most important prophet is Muhammad, has 5 articles of faith, 5 pillars of Islam, it is a way of life not a religion, and they believe that there is no God but Allah.
- Postmodern- they seek their own moral compass in reaction to the problems resulting form the modern or enlightenment think and realities, their values are a commitment to relativism, and opposition to rationalism, and realities are culturally created, and the methodological tool of Postmodernism is deconstructionism.
Be familiar with the theology of each of the worldviews that we studied
- Secular Humanist- honored tradition of Atheism, supernatural doesn’t exist, there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by believing in God.
- Marxism- Scientific Atheism, “God” decreases the fervor needed for revolution, consciousness of man as supreme divinity, man is God and created God, and they want to re-establish society as atheistic.
- Cosmic Humanism- No special revelation is superior to another, religious books are of no use, all people have potential to be gods, man and god are one, inner soul searching is the only significant means of discovering truth, man is god so man has the power to create reality by creating truth.
- Islam- Believe in Unitarian Theism, one unforgivable sin is polytheism, they believe in angels and Jinn (mischievous spirits), they believe that God sent His prophets and the Koran without error, they obey the 5 pillars of Islam and the 5 articles of faith.
- Postmodernism- based on atheism, emerges from a Marxist-atheist tradition, doesn’t accept the violence of Marxism but follows many ideas of it, they believe that each person is a socially constructed self and God is dead, they believe that there is no ultimate reality or eternal truth, and they believe in pluralism (the belief that we should be tolerant of all religions because no one religion can be true).
What else is Cosmic Humanism known as?
Cosmic Humanism is known as the New Age Movement.
Why does the textbook focus on Christianity?
It focuses on Christianity because it is the one worldview that provides a consistent and truthful explanation of all the facts of reality (including personal experiences, history, reason, intuition, science, revelation, and imagination) with regard to theology. Philosophy, ethics, economics, or anything else.
Which is a well developed Atheist worldview?
Marxism is a well developed Atheist worldview.
Where does Marxism have it’s greatest influence in America?
Marxism has a great influence on college university campuses.
What is the dominant worldview on college and university campuses?
Know who Ted Turner is.
Ted Turner owns TNT and CNN and was voted Humanist of the year in 1990. He doesn’t care about Jesus, doesn’t worry about hell, says the ten commandments are out of date, and said that Christianity is a religion for losers.
According to the textbook, creation has what place in public schools?
What does Detrich Bonhoeffer state in the beginning of chapter 2?
He states that “there are not two realities, but only one reality, and that is the reality of God, Which has become manifest in Christ in the reality of the world.”
What does Marxism want?
Marxism wants for every person to be equal, but ends up with a group of people on top of the others
Cosmic Humanism seeks what?
They seek inner truth
How do Christians embrace Secular Humanism?
By not applying Christianity to every point of their life, so they start embracing Secular Humanist beliefs.
What is the “Bible” for Secular Humanism? Marxism?
- Secular Humanism: Humanist Manifesto 1 and 2
How does Secular Humanism view the supernatural?
They don’t believe in the supernatural.
Why are all worldviews religious? What “in the beginning…” statements go with each worldview?
- Because they all believe in something.
- Secular Humanism: something came from nothing
- Marxism: doesn’t really say, the worldview just showed up
- Cosmic Humanism: the “gods” came about and created us
- Postmodernism: aliens inhabited the earth and left.
In which worldview do we need to save ourselves? Why?
Who is the supreme authority in Secular Humanism?
Man is the supreme authority.
Marx believed man created who? Be able to explain.
God, man is the supreme authority, God decreases fervor needed for revolution.
How has John Dewey’s atheism profoundly affected American culture?
He has affected public schools greatly with his atheism.
Secular Humanist theology is based on what denial, and leads to what conclusion?
They deny the supernatural, which leads to the conclusion that much can be lost by belief in God and nothing gained.
How is truth viewed in Cosmic Humanism?
Truth is viewed as inner soul searching
What is the core of Secular Humanist Philosophy? Marxist Philosophy?
- Secular Humanist: The material world is all that exists
- Marxist: Matter is all that can exist
How is knowledge acquired in each philosophy?
Detailed and disciplined study, or through culture, ubconsciously
Secular Humanism rejects what? Why?
The supernatural, it goes against the test of science.
What are the implications of Secular Humanist Philosophy?
Man has no value: the goal is to be happy and successful
Know the Marxist Dialectic.
Life is constantly changing and evolving in an upward spiral of evolution through clashes of opposing forces.
Thesis- The opening belief or starting point
Antithesis- An objection to the thesis
Synthesis- An objection to the antithesis resulting in a new thesis
New Thesis- More advanced than the previous thesis (the eternal conflict always leads to advancement)
Know the mind-body problem and how each philosophy addresses it.
- What is the mind?
- Is it a pure function of the body?
- Is it a mechanical organ based on chemical reactions alone?
- Where is personal responsibility?
- What is the difference between nature vs. nurture?
- Monism vs. Dualism
Secular Humanists- The mind is seen simply as a manifestation of the brain (this view is known as Monism). The mind dies with body resulting in complete mortality.
- Marxism- The mind is a function of the brain. The mind simply reflects matter (monism)
- Cosmic Humanists- Everything is a manifestation of god (life force). They believe that consciousness is the ultimate reality.
- Christianity_ The mind and body are two different entities (dualism). They believe that consciousness is the ultimate reality.
- Postmodernists- Anti-realists: The belief tht reality is subjectively constructed by Human thought
Cosmic Humanist Philosophy is known as what?
Where does truth lie for the Cosmic Humanist, and how do they know truth?
Truth lies within an individual. They know that it is true if it feels true to them.
What is matter for different philosophies?
1. Matter is all there is. 2. Matter doesn’t matter
Know how science and scientific method are part of certain philosophies.
- Secular Humanists- The supernatural is denied because it is not measurable, observable, or repeatable.
- Marxism- Science is a virtually infallible source of knowledge. Knowledge is that which is tested and investigated by science.
Be able to identify C.H., S.H. , and Marxist statements.
C.H.- discover inner self S.H.- The world is all that exists, no purpose for man
Be able to define ethics.
Ethics is a system or set of moral principles, it seeks to determine the rightness and wrongness of actions
Be able to describe the relationship between faith and reason in Christian Philosophy.
- 1. Evidence feeds reason to exercise faith
- 2. Accepting basic Christian presuppositions
Expands the use of reason
- a. Science is seen as a tool of reason for Christians
- 3. The mind and body are two separate entities (Dualism)
Be able to define Philosophy.
- 1. Originally, the love of knowledge
- 2. The study of processes of governing thought and conduct
- 3. Investigation into the principles of laws that regulate the universe or principles that govern reality.
Islam and Christianity are both what?...and share what?
They are both monotheistic and share biblical roots
What/who influenced Islamic philosophy?
What is truth in post-modernism?
Be able to describe the post-modern view on literature and methodology from our notes.
Postmodernists are concerned with the language of written texts and use the methodoly of deconstruction.
Deconstuction involves reading texts to find it’s hidden or multiple meanings (polysemy