Andrew Rappaport: Apologetics
Andrew Rappaport is back! Andrew has been on the show many times, and this month he returns to talk about Apologetics. Andrew is the founder and president of Striving for Eternity Ministries, which focuses on Evangelism, Outreach, and education.
Outline of the Discussion
- Having done a show with Sye Ten Bruggencate in 2013 on Presuppositional Apologetics, and knowing that Andrew focuses heavily on the same in his ministry, this episode was meant to get another perspective on the subject.
- Andrew has been doing it much longer than Sye, but credits Sye with making it more understandable at the lay level.
- Sye did such a good job making it look easy that a lot of people hit the streets to try to do it themselves before fully understanding the “why” behind the apologetic.
- There are three main branches of apologetics: Evidential, Classical, and Presuppositional.
- Simply put, an Evidentialist thinks that, given enough evidence, an unbeliever can be convinced into the Lord’s Kingdom. William Lane Craig, J. Warner Wallace, Greg Koukl, and Frank Turek are well known Evidentialists.
- Classical Apologetics is somewhere between Presuppositional and Evidential. They will use evidence, but will not “put God on trial.” RC Sproul was a well known Classical Apologist.
- A Presuppositionalist begins with two presuppositions: God exists, and He has spoken. Andrew is Presuppositional.
- Don’t give up the Scriptures. William Lane Craig will argue that he can prove God without the Bible. Why would we want to do that?
- Atheists say they don’t believe in the immaterial, such as the soul, logic, reason, etc.
- Andrew does not see any apologetic as being inherently Covenantal. It’s just Biblical.
- Classical apologetics would be more inclined to argue with an unbeliever “on a level playing field.” However, the the unbeliever will not give up what he believes, and neither should we.
- Andrew is not opposed to evidence, he just wants it to be used wisely. Use evidence to show the flaws in the unbeliever’s worldview.
- The unbeliever uses his God-given ability to reason to argue that God doesn’t exist. It’s foolishness!
- Andrew uses the absurdity of Critical theory and Transgenderism to demonstrate the contradictions inherent in an anti-Biblical worldview.
- We don’t learn to discern lies by studying all of the possible lies. We discern lies by having a strong understanding of the truth. An analogy given is that the Secret Service does not study all of the possible counterfeit currency notes in order to spot a fake, they study the real thing.
- Unbelievers do not have an evidence issue, they have a spiritual (sin) issue. Bring them to God, not the evidence.
- The best way to learn how to be an effective evangelist/apologist is to go out and do it. Once you understand the basics, learn through experience.
- Andrew shares a few stories about his experience as an encouragement to get out and engage in evangelism. He has lots of stories, but only because he has a lot of experience.
- Romans 1 (v. 18)
- Psalm 14:1, 53:1
- Genesis 3:1
- Apologetics Live – Andrew’s weekly live show where he engages in evangelism and apologetics.
- The Great Debate: Does God Exist – Vimeo (audio) | Youtube (audio) | mp3 version (tonybartolucci.com via monergism.com) – Dr. Greg Bahnsen (Christian) vs. Dr. Gordon Stein (Atheist)
- Covenantal Apologetics – Justin Taylor (The Gospel Coalition); includes video.