Essy on Psalm 119 and How it Relates to Apologetics

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Biblical apologetics can be defined as the science of defending the Christian faith. Out there are many skeptics who do not believe that God exists or who attack belief of him mentioned in the bible. Also, there are numerous critics who attack the inerrancy and inspiration of the bible, as well as false prophets who promote misleading doctrines while denying the main truths of the Christian faith. The aim of apologetics is to discredit these movements and promote the Christian truth and God. This essay looks at how the Bibles book of Psalm 119 relates to apologetics.

Perhaps the top verse for apologetics is found in the Bibles book of 1st Peter chapter 3 verse 15, .your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.. Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.. This quote shows a Christian believer should not get an excuse for failure to defend his or her faith. However, this does not mean that each Christian has to be an expert in apologetics. All in all, true believers should be aware of what they believe and why, how to share it with other people, and ways of defending it from falsehoods and attacks. Another aspect of apologetics that is often ignored is found in the second half of the above-mentioned verse, .but do this with gentleness and respect.... While using apologetics to defend the Christian faith, believers should never be angry, disrespectful, or rude. In fact, they should put some effort to be strong in their defense while also being Christ-like in their presentation. If an individual wins a debate but turns someone even further away from God by the wrong attitude, then he or she has lost the true purpose of apologetics.

Christian apologetics come in two main methods. The first one is commonly referred to as classical apologetics, and is all about sharing evidences and proofs that there is some truth in the Christian message. The other is commonly referred to as presuppositional apologetics and involves confronting the assumptions and pre-conceived ideas relating to anti-Christian positions. Those who support the two methods often argue with one another about the most effective one. However, it would appear much more productive if both strategies are used, depending on the current situation and the person. All in all, apologetics are simply a way of providing a reasonable defense of the Christian truth and faith to skeptics who disagree. All believers are commanded to be equipped and ready to defend their faith and proclaim the gospel.

Apologetics can easily be obtained from the Books of Psalms in the Bible. Often, when people hear of these scriptures, what come to their minds are prayers or songs. In a way, thats what they are. Christians rarely consider the books as a source of apologetics. However, the Psalms are written from a human beings perspective and in an attempt to understand life by worshiping a Holy God. Thus, they usually define the relationship and often do so in a manner that offers proof. In addition, since the Psalms go about worship by describing God as the creator, their verses contain arguments in favor of his existence.

A notable chapter that shows how apologetics are contained in the Bible is in the book of Psalms chapter 19. The first line goes like The heavens declare the glory of God. This verse summarizes the premises of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. The first premise is that everything that exists, in this case the heavens, has a cause. The second premise is that the universe-made up of all the space, time, and matter, also exists. A conclusion can be made from this verse that the universe i.e. the heavens, must be in possession of an immaterial, timeless and space less cause, which is God. With this in mind, it is the heavens themselves that proclaim the glory of God by their mere presence.

It is worth looking at another claim made by King David, the psalmist. Just like Paul, he claimed that the cosmological argument in the form of this heavenly declaration of God does so transcendently. No person can argue with or escape what the universe is stating, which is that God exists. Psalms chapter 97 verse six says The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. David wrote that day to day and night to night, knowledge and speech are poured out. He goes on to say that there are no words or speech that is not heard throughout the entire earth, meaning by all people. The instance of divide power highlights the folly of non-believers who observe there is a heaven but still claim there is no God; who witness the effect and go on to say it does not have a cause.

In a poetic way, David is saying that the glory of God is declared by the heavens, and that not a single person in any time or place can escape such knowledge. While this is an argument gotten from transcendence, it does not end there. His praise is similar to another classical argument for the existence of God referred to as the Argument of Design, or the Teleological Argument. After that, David changes gears and starts praising God for the Law of the Lord. Simply put, his praise changes from focusing on General to Specific Revelation. The point is: if someone is having difficulties finding biblical references that argue for the existence of God, then he should consult the books of Psalms. They are a great resource for apologetics.

Apologetics can be summarized into two categories. The first one involves objective evidence and reasons that Christianity is true and goes hand in hand with reality. The other is all about spreading that truth to the entire world. Since the earliest believers were Jews, the first ever apologists also happened to hail from that community. While they shared their new faith with their Jewish family members and friends, they mainly referred to the Old Testament and the resurrection of Jesus as the top reasons for their belief in Christianity. In the twenty first century, apologists are expected to content with ideologies and philosophies such as atheism, naturalism, post-modernism, and pantheism.

The Christian Gospel should be clearly preached and understood for it to be believed. Every new generation of Christians is expected to spread and defend the faiths message in the cultural and social context that it finds itself in. While the culture is expected to change as time goes by, the core Christian message remains the same. Apologetics try to build bridges to non-believers by presenting proof and reasons that Christianity is real, worthy of believe, and rational.

References Kreeft, P., & Tacelli, R. K. (2009). Handbook of Christian apologetics. Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Towns, E. L. (2008). Theology for Today. Boston,MA: Cengage Learning.

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