Apologetics


Trans people commit suicide at very high rates compared to the general population, both before and after “gender affirmation” surgery. While this is a sad and regrettable reality, unfortunately, Christians are being blamed for this phenomenon.

People who say that those who disagree with transgender ideology are responsible for trans suicides are engaging in emotional blackmail. It is ridiculous to suggest that we must support and celebrate people’s delusions to prevent them from harming themselves. After all, who would suggest that we agree with anorexic people’s self-perception that they are fat and need liposuction to prevent them from killing themselves?

Besides, it’s not just Christians who oppose transgender ideology. Many sane people recognize that gender dysphoria is a mental disorder that is best addressed by fixing the mind, not the body.

Are we to believe that mere disagreement leads people to kill themselves? If so, then trans ideologues must be responsible for Christian suicides since they often disagree with and condemn Christians. Of course, Christians don’t kill themselves simply because non-Christians think we are wrong or hate us. In fact, no emotionally stable person kills themselves simply because others don’t approve of or accept them. The fact that many trans people do indicates that there are deeper emotional and psychological issues at hand. They are not committing suicide simply because people don’t accept the legitimacy of their professed identity, but because of the deeper psychological issues that are causing them to be confused about their gender to begin with. Even after they undergo a “sex change,” they still experience a super high suicide rate. The problem is within.


I’ve started a new podcast series titled “the case for apologetics.” I talk about what apologetics is, the Biblical basis for it, and the value it brings to both believers and unbelievers alike.

If you are unfamiliar with Christian apologetics, this will be a great intro for you. Even if you’ve been following apologetics for some time, I think you’ll find a lot of value in how I break it down.

Listen wherever you get your podcasts from or at https://thinkingtobelieve.buzzsprout.com.

The Scripture says “for this reason the man shall leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife.” The theological justification for marriage is that the woman was taken out of the man, and thus should be reunited with him in sexual union. That does not and cannot apply to same-sex couples. The man was not taken from a man, nor the woman from a woman. Same-sex marriage is excluded on theological grounds, not to mention moral grounds.

My podcast series on abortion is now complete. There were 17 episodes in the series, plus the intro episode. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you can listen wherever you get your podcasts or from thinkingtobelieve.buzzsprout.com.

Much of what I covered in the podcast series is contained in my abortion paper. And if you want to read all of my abortion-related posts on this blog, you can do so here.

Here’s a dilemma for those who support abortion.

Imagine that an IVF embryo was inserted into the wrong womb. The clinic notifies both parties. The biological mother wants the baby, but the gestational mother wants to abort the baby because it is not hers. What do you do?

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Belief in God has dropped to 81%, according to Gallup. This is down 6% from 2017, 9% from 2011, and 17% from 1953. Given the accelerated secularization of our society, this is not surprising.

What I find most interesting is who stopped believing in God. Atheism has claimed:

  • More than twice as many women as men (7% drop vs. 3%)
  • The unmarried (8% drop for the unmarried vs. 1% for the married)
  • The young (10% drop for 18-29 year olds vs. 5% for 30-64)
  • Democrats (12% drop vs. 3% for Republicans and Independents)

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June 24, 2022 will go down in history as one of the most important days in American history. I have longed for the day when I would read the headline, “Roe v. Wade Overturned.” That day has arrived, and much sooner than I ever imagined! It was made possible by God, Trump, and SCOTUS justices who care more about interpreting the Constitution than legislating from the bench.
This is not the end of the fight, but just the beginning. The reversal of Roe simply returns the issue of abortion back to the states. Now we need to work at the state level to outlaw abortion in every state of the union. It will happen, eventually. There is coming a day in this country when kids will be just as shocked to learn that we permitted mothers to murder their own children as they are to learn that we permitted people to own other people.
I published a podcast episode on the overturning of Roe after the initial leak. If you want to hear more about the implications of the decision, check it out.

A view of morality you’ll hear a lot in the public square is social contract theory. Contractarianism holds that “morality rests on a tacit agreement between rationally self-interested individuals to abide by certain rules because it is to their mutual advantage to do so.”1 There is nothing intrinsically wrong with murder, rape, or torture, for example, but since rational self-interested persons do not want these things being done to them, they agree to extend the same courtesy to others.2 Philosopher, Edward Feser, offers at least six helpful criticisms of Contractarianism: (more…)

Many unbelievers have dismissed the testimony of the Biblical writers regarding the resurrection of Jesus on the basis that these witnesses are Christians. They argue that as Christians, the Biblical authors were biased to believe in the resurrection, making their testimony unreliable. Greg Koukl discussed the merits of this argument on his radio broadcast many years ago. I would like to share some of his ideas with you, as well as add a few of my own.

This objection presumes that rational objectivity is impossible if one has taken a position on a matter (in this case, the resurrection of Jesus Christ), but this ignores the fact that rational objectivity may be what led these individuals to believe in the resurrection in the first place. The evidence could have been so strong in favor of that conclusion that they were incapable of remaining intellectually honest without affirming that Jesus rose from the dead.

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Since we are not omniscient, we can be wrong about any number of things for which we think we are right. How would we ever know if we are, in fact, wrong? One way to do so is to actively engage with the best arguments of your ideological opponents. What are their criticisms of your view? What are their arguments for their own view?

Another way to check our beliefs is to be self-critical. How would you argue against your point of view? What would you identify as the weakest link in your argument? What presuppositions does your view require? What sorts of objections might opponents raise against your argument or view? In other words, try to disprove your point of view. You will strengthen it in the process, or perhaps, change it if you discover the evidence points in another direction.

When discussing our views, it is also helpful to be transparent about the weaknesses of our argument, our presuppositions, and address objections that others have raised against it. People will appreciate your honesty and it often makes your case more convincing.

Greg Koukl delivered a lecture at the 2006 Master’s Series in Christian Thought on the topic, “Truth is a Strange Sort of Fiction: The Challenge from the Emergent Church.” While the Emergent Church has morphed into the Progressive Church, the information is just as relevant today as it was in 2006.

Koukl argued that truth and knowledge are essential to the enterprise of Biblical faith, demonstrating this both Biblically and philosophically. Here is a summary of his case:

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People act as if there is no connection between sex and babies, such that when they get pregnant they have the right to abort their baby because they didn’t want a baby. Amy Hall observed that this is like thinking there is no connection between food and calories. The fact of the matter is that if you eat too much, you’ll get fat. That’s the natural consequence of eating too much. You can’t choose to eat without also consenting to the calories. Likewise, each time we engage in sex, we consent to the possibility of creating a child because that is what the act is designed to do.

This is a difficult question. It’s not difficult theologically, but practically. If we give a simple “yes” answer, it makes Christianity and the God of Christianity look petty or bigoted. So how can we communicate the answer in a way that is both truthful and tactful? Greg Koukl from Stand to Reason has some tips for answering this question in a tactical manner.

First, clarify why it is that people go to hell. It’s not because they fail a theology test, but because they fail a moral test. People will be sentenced to hell for their moral crimes against a holy God, not for their failure to believe in Jesus. Sin is like a disease. Both will kill you (one physically, one spiritually) if they go untreated. Those who die of an untreated disease do not die because they haven’t visited the doctor, but because of their disease. Likewise, people do not go to hell because they have failed to believe in Jesus, but because of their sin.

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If God is omniscient, then He knows everything that will happen in the future – including everything you will ever do. God knows that on x date at time t1 you will stub your toe, and on q date at time t5 you will forget where you placed your keys. God has had such knowledge from eternity past. Since God cannot be mistaken, it is certain that you will stub your toe on x date at time t1 and forget your keys on q date at time t5. How, then, can our “choices” be free? Does God’s knowledge of the future eliminate free will, reducing us to mere actors who simply perform the parts of a cosmic play written for us by God from eternity past? Are we puppets with no control over our own destiny? Is our experience of free choice illusory? Darwinist, Robert Eberle, sums up the problem nicely:

[Francis] Collins asserts that there is still free will, but fails to explain his logic for arriving at this extraordinary conclusion. Either what will be is known and fixed or it is not. An infallible god that knows what is going to happen is in conflict with the idea that there is free choice and thus a responsibility for one’s actions.[1]

I am not persuaded that God’s knowledge of the future determines our fate for two reasons. First, knowledge is not a cause of anything. Knowledge of some x is not what causes x to be. The truth of x must precede the knowledge of x.

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It’s not uncommon to hear some people characterize atheism as a religion. Is it? It depends, in part, on how one defines religion. That’s a tricky subject that does not have widespread agreement. Be that as it may, I think most people would say atheism can’t be categorized as a religion because religions worship deities, and atheism explicitly denies the existence of any deity. However, that’s not accurate. Most forms of Buddhism could be categorized as atheist or agnostic. There is no worship of any deity, and yet Buddhism is properly categorized as a religion.

That said, I don’t think atheism should be categorized as a religion. There are no “cult” practices, for example. There is no set of moral principles that atheists are bound to. Atheism is just an answer to a single question: Does God exist? A point of view on a single issue does not constitute a religion. It is not robust enough. And while it’s true that this question is properly categorized as a religious question, that doesn’t mean that every answer is a religious answer or constitutes a religion. Atheists answer the question in the negative. They do not think God exists. So atheism is a negative claim about what does not exist. How can a claim about what does not exist constitute a religion? Surely religions make positive claims about what does exist, not negative claims about what does not. As a meme I once saw expressed, if atheism is a religion, then “off” is a TV channel.

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Is gender something more than our biology? Are our souls also gendered?

I tend to think our souls are also gendered given how differently men and women are. We think differently, we value different things, etc. Since these are functions of the mind, and the mind is a function of the soul, it seems to follow that there are different kinds of souls: male and female. Of course, it’s possible that these differences could be caused by hormonal differences between men and women. What do you think, and what are your reasons?

When Christians offer arguments for the existence of God based on the beginning of the universe or the objective nature of morality, some atheists will respond by asking, “Why can’t we just say we don’t know what caused the universe or what the objective source of morality is?” How might a thoughtful Christian respond?

I would suggest that you turn the question around. Ask them, “Why can’t we just admit that God best explains the origin of the universe and the objective nature of morality?” The atheist wants to plead ignorance, but we are not ignorant on these matters. It’s not as if we don’t know what the options are. We do. And it’s not as if the evidence is equal for all options. We have solid scientific, philosophical, and logical evidence that points to God as the cause of the universe and ground of morality. In other words, we have knowledge, not ignorance. So why not just say we don’t know? It’s because that would be a false statement. We do know. The evidence clearly favors the theistic hypothesis.

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Jesus’ foremost mission was the salvation of sinners, not social justice. While the marginalized and oppressed tended to be the most receptive to Jesus’ message, his message was for all people because all people need to be saved.

What about Jesus’ healing ministry? While Jesus surely had compassion on the sick, His miracles had a bigger purpose than just helping the destitute and needy. They were intended to reveal His identity and confirm His message.

Jesus never raised money for the poor or went on a campaign to liberate the oppressed. If those things could be done, great, but that was not Jesus’ mission, and it’s not the church’s mission either. Our primary mission is to preach the gospel and call sinners to repentance. If we can help their lot in life along the way, all the better, but we must keep the Great Commission the central mission of the church.

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason recently wrote an article related to this topic. He debunks the idea the myth that Jesus was a social justice warrior championing the cause of the poor and oppressed. Check it out.

When it comes to evangelism, some of the hardest people to work with are those who are apathetic toward spiritual things. They simply don’t care whether God exists. This is often a conversation stopper. If you want to press on a bit more, however, there are some tactics for doing so. I’ve offered some thoughts on this in the past (here and here), but as I was reflecting on this the other day again, I came up with another tactic you might find helpful.

When Mr. Apathetic says he doesn’t care if God exists or not, ask him what he does care about. Often, what he cares about will be tied to the existence of God in some way. Tactically speaking, our job is to help him see the relationship between (1) what he cares about and (2) God’s existence in hopes that this will raise his interest in the latter.

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If you don’t know why those who believe different than you believe what they believe, then it’s hard to be dogmatic about what you believe. After all, they may know something you don’t. You may be wrong and don’t know it.

That’s not to say you have to thoroughly examine all positions before being justified in taking a position and believing it to be true. You can take a position based on the evidence you have seen, but in the absence of knowing how others justify their positions and their arguments against the position you hold, you should not be dogmatic about your position.

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