Apologetics Class 5/20/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 3-4

Yesterday in my Apologetics Class, we covered chapters 3 and 4 from the excellent book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions.  This was the first time I’ve attempted to deliver the information in a unique way – we both listened to the Tactics audio book (from Audible) and I displayed the Kindle book on the screen using read.amazon.com.  As the audio book was playing, I was at the computer (which was displayed on the screen in front of class) and was advancing to the next page of the Kindle book (in really large font) so that people could both read and listen at the same time.  Each chapter took approximately 1/2 hour, so doing 2 chapters was a perfect length of time.  It turned out to be something that was well received.  Below is the note-taking form I handed out to the class so they could follow along and fill in the blanks.

Chapter 3 Getting in the Driver’s Seat: The Columbo Tactic (56:56-1:30:44= ~33 min)

The 10-Second Window

  1. Scene 1 – You son announces at dinner party that belief in God is not r_______________:
  2. Scene 2 – At Bible study, “Who are we to say Christianity is b______________…?”:
  3. Scene 3 – On bus, someone notices your Bible, says it was “o_______ w__________ by m____”:
  4. Scene 4 – At car dealer, Wrong to f________ v______ on other people. Can’t legislate morality:
  5. The opportunity when someone says something is about 10 seconds before door closes.
  6. Questions you could ask in these 4 scenes:
    1. Challenge 1:___________________________________________________________
    2. Challenge 2: ___________________________________________________________
    3. Challenge 3: ___________________________________________________________
    4. Challenge 4: ___________________________________________________________
  7. Columbo Tactic – the key to this tactic is to go on the o____________ in an in___________ way by using carefully selected q_______________ to productively advance the conversation.
  8. Never make a statement, when a question will do that job.
  9. Being an asker allows you control of situations that statement-makers rarely achieve.
  10. 3 Applications of the Columbo Tactic:
    1. To G__________ I_________________ (What do you mean by that?)
    2. To R___________ the B____________ of P________________
    3. To L____________ the Conversation in a Specific D_______________
  11. Don’t be surprised when your question, “what do you mean by that?” is met with a b____ s____
  12. Be sure to pay attention to the response to your questions! If meaning unclear, follow-up.
  13. The charge that belief in God is irrational is common, but completely without b___________. I’m not going to let anyone who makes this assertion off easily.  I want to know specifically how theism is at odds with good thinking…believing in God is like believing in a_________.  The process is exactly the same.  You follow the evidence of what you can see to conclude the existence of something you cannot see.  The effect needs a cause a_____________ to explain it.
  14. Scene 2 person’s minimal theology (“The essence of Jesus’ teaching is love, not telling other people how to live or believe”) does not allow him to escape his own charge. That’s why I asked, “Isn’t telling people to love one another just another example of telling them how they should l________ and b_______________?”
  15. Challenge 3 (Bible only written by men) p___________ what it is attempting to p__________ and therefore is c_______________.
  16. Most people who believe in the authority of the Bible did not come to this conviction through a________________, but through e_____________. Hand out the Gospel of John and let Jesus s__________ for H_________________.
  17. Challenge 4 “It’s wrong to force your views on other people”, this person does not have any business participating in the l___________ process. That’s why he asked question, do you vote?
  18. Questions are:
    1. Excellent c____________ s___________, inviting others to participate in dialogue
    2. N_____________, protecting you from getting “preachy”
    3. A means to b_______ v___________________ t__________.
    4. Essential to keeping you in c______________ of the conversation.

Chapter 4: Columbo step 2 – The Burden of Proof (1:30:45 – 1:59:54=~29 min)

  1. Christians aren’t’ the only ones that need to a___________ for their b________________
  2. Many challenges to Christianity thrive on v_________ generalities and forceful s___________
  3. 2nd step of Columbo, is called “r_________ the b_____ of p___”. It’s the responsibility someone has to defend or give evidence for his view.  Whoever makes the claim bears the burden.
  4. An a_____________ is like a simple house, a roof supported by walls. The roof is the conclusion and the walls are the supporting ideas.  No one can live in a house without walls.
  5. There is a difference between giving an e________________ and giving e_________________ the explanation is true.
  6. Model question is “How Did You Come to That Conclusion?”
  7. The first Columbo question helps you know w_________ another person thinks. This 2nd question helps you know w_________ he thinks the way he does.
  8. Most critics are not prepared to defend their f_______________, don’t be surprised if you get a blank stare.
  9. Reject impulse to c_________________ ever assertion someone manufactures, steer burden of proof back.
  10. It’s not your job to d___________ their claim, it’s their job to d_______________ it.
  11. An a____________ e_______________ (e.g. “I can explain that”) is not a r_______________.
  12. Imagining what might have taken place may be a legitimate 1st step, it is not the last one though.
  13. 3 Questions you should always ask when someone offers an alternate explanation:
    1. Is it p___________? (Some options are completely unworkable after closer examination)
    2. Is it p___________? (Does it fit the facts?)
    3. Is it p___________? (Is it the best explanation, considering the competing options?)
  14. Did he give me an a_____________? Or just an o_______________?
  15. Just because it is possible to be mistaken about something that seems obvious doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to think we are. This is the sk___________ error, do not be taken in by it.
  16. The P________’s P____ –professor may attempt to reverse burden of proof if you challenge him
  17. Fundamental rule: Never make a f________ a___________ on a s___________ f__________ in an entrenched position.
  18. You don’t have to be the e_______ on every s_______. Keep burden of proof where it belongs.
  19. “Getting out of the hot seat”, ask probing c__________ q_________ and ask for r______. When all your questions have been answered, end conversation by saying “Let me t_______ about it”.
  20. When the pressure is off, do your h______________. Craft a response based on your research.
  21. It’s not retreat, it’s just a different type of engagement and it greatly reduces your stress.
  22. It’s not enough for someone to c__________ your view by simply telling a s___________.

Additional Information

  1. I would encourage you to listen to this book in your free time (I listen to it while driving)
  2. If you have a smart phone (iPhone or Android), you can download the free app – Audible. All you need is an Amazon account to login.  You can purchase this book on Audible ($11.99).  Note, if you sign up for a membership, you can get this book for free.
  3. You can also download the free Kindle app and purchase the Kindle book (Amazon) for $7.99.
  4. Our church has small Gospel of John booklets (the Story of God) that you can hand out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s