Apologetics Class 12/10/2017

Here is the video we watched in class today – Peter J Williams on New Atheists & Old Testament (incl. The Canaanites):

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Dr. Peter J. Williams: New Atheists & Old Testament 12/10/2017

  1. Objection – God commands the destruction of the Canaanites in the Old Testament
  2. Is that your most difficult/important question?  If so, other ones can be dealt with too

Religion and violence

  1. Secularist conclusion: Religion causes violence – this is true in part
  2. Other things cause violence too: politics, leadership, thinking, etc.
  3. M__ & S_____ (atheists) responsible for more deaths (80-100 million) than all the religious wars
    1. Can people be held responsible for what is done in their name? Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Buddha, Jesus Christ
  4. Objections about violence in the Old Testament:
    1. General reporting of war and conflict
    2. Penalties in Old Testament laws.
    3. God tells his people to destroy the Canaanites.
  5. Atheist equate Old Testament violence with religious t______________ and g___________.

Morality and the nature of the universe

  1. Atheists and Christians disagree about the n______________ of the universe.
  2. God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, affected by Abraham’s view of the universe.
  3. What is the right thing to do? The right thing to do is what God c_______________.
  4. The character of God. God reveals himself as merciful. Old Testament gives record of His gracious actions. God has p_____________ c______________. Humans can trust Him.
  5. Think about these situations, do they bear guilt? A tiger kill someone? Someone who kills by accident? Someone who kills while mentally ill? Someone who sincerely believes he has authorization? Someone who actually has authorization?  9/11 executive authorization to shoot down planes? Not obviously wrong.

The Old Testament story of the destruction of the Canaanites

  1. The new atheists launch two simultaneous attacks on the Old Testament.
    1. It didn’t h_______________.
    2. It’s u____________.
  2. In order for an atheist to critique the m_____________ of a story in the Old Testament, they have to enter into that story.
  3. God is character in story-can’t say, I don’t believe in God, therefore d______ Him from the story.
  4. What you need to know about the Canaanites.
    1. They were punished for their wickedness, not for their race.
  1. Rahab and extended family were spared, Joshua 6:25.
  2. When Israel committed same sins as Canaanites, judged like the Canaanites.
    1. The people in the land knew what God could do and chose to resist.
    2. The Canaanites had s________________ their children, Deuteronomy 12:31.
  1. What you need to know about the Israelite Conquest.
    1. Israel had a unique position as God’s judicial r_________________.
    2. Accompanied by miracles as sign that it was not of human initiative.
    3. They could not they could not reasonably doubt God’s command.
    4. The punishment should be l_________________ by proportionality.
    5. Unparalleled restraint in ancient warfare.
    6. What if?
  1. Put an end to Canaanite child sacrifice.
  2. Over centuries might result in killing of fewer children.
  1. What you need to know about God.
    1. Merciful/gracious, slow to anger & abounding in love & faithfulness, Exodus 34:6.
    2. God delayed their p___________________ by hundreds of years:
  1. The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete, Genesis 15:16.
  2. In the story, God actually did most of the f__________________.
  1. Doesn’t the Bible Encourage people to kill others today?
    1. Absolutely not!
    2. No group has same judicial position as Israel had on Earth.
    3. God did not order their action privately, but with greatest show of signs and all history.
    4. Completely different from all modern wars.
    5. Readers know they’re reading about something unique.
  2. Dawkins says story of Joshua is morally indistinguishable from H______ or S_________ Hussein.
  3. Here are the differences.
    1. Specific guilt.
    2. Not indiscriminate.
    3. Concern for children.
    4. 400 year delay.
    5. Warning ignored.
    6. Warrant.
    7. God fights.
  4. Example of amputation by a s___________ versus an amputation as a part of a t_________ act.
  5. Which objection is being made?
    1. It was immoral for God to command the destruction of the Canaanites.
    2. It was immoral for the Israelites to obey such a command if it really was given in the way the Bible describes.
  6. Conclusion.
    1. Problem isn’t taken away.
    2. Not all questions are answered.
    3. But most difficult moral objection to Bible is shown not to be a conclusive d__________.
  7. Christ on the cross took our sins on Himself. What happened to the Canaanites becomes for us a picture of how a__________ s_______ is and how much Jesus Christ did on the cross.


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