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THE WORLD'S FOLLY
The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
(1 Corinthians 3:19)
Frequently the Christian will meet an earnest seeker after the things of the God who will ask questions that are balanced and which need to have solid, scriptural answers. What a delight it is on such an occasion to open the Bible to such a one and having answered those sincere questions, "preach unto him Jesus" (Acts 8:35)
Also frequently, the Christian will meet some whose questions are flawed or even loaded. The questioner might not even be aware of this situation. "The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not." (2 Corinthians 4:4) Perhaps they object to some Christian doctrine or practice. If Christian doctrine and practice is based on truth ("Thy word is truth" John 17:17) then the objection must be based on a lie, and the lie can never compete with the truth. As long as truth maintains its rugged consistency, then the lie will run itself to ground. It's cracks will soon appear; it will run out of steam and is easily shown to be the falsehood. Unfortunately discerning the flaw of such arguments is not particularly easy. Satan has had a long time to perfect his art, and it is easy to follow his line of reasoning and find ourselves in a mire. This ought not to be.
In order to help us hone our skills of discernment , the following are some of the world's arguments against the truth of the gospel along with an exposure of their flawed foundation. Destroy their foundation and (to borrow scriptural reasoning) what can the wicked do? Hopefully fear God, for such is the beginning of all wisdom.We hope to add to this list as time permits.
1) WHY ARE CHRISTIANS/CREATIONISTS OPPOSED TO SCIENCE?
Ans:- This is one of the most loaded questions ever asked! We do not oppose science. This is evidenced by the fact that some of the greatest scientists who ever lived believed the Bible and particularly a literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis. I refer to men like Newton, Faraday etc., We do not oppose science but we oppose evolution which is a mere philosophy or even a religion believed by many whose employment is in the field of science.
2) WHERE DID CAIN GET HIS WIFE ETC.,
Ans:- Sometimes these questions of supposed Bible contradictions are asked sincerely and therefore we should endeavour to give the enquirer his answer. Often, however, they are asked in order to prove that the Bible is not God's word. The answers usually lie in a reconciliation of various accounts which can be done without any contradiction. John Gill and Matthew Poole among the commentators excel in their expositions of these controversial passages whilst John Haley's book "Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible" has been around a long time and still worthy of being reprinted. These should be consulted.
We can turn the sceptics attack to good use. Don't feel under threat as various passages are thrown up at you. In fact, agree with the sceptic's main contention that if there is a contradiction either God has made a mistake or the Bible is not His word! His reasoning here is flawless and sound. This will afford him some satisfaction. A kind of freebie that he wasn't expecting. But then launch your counter attack. Ask him - in the name of honest consistency - what if you can show that all these supposed contradictions have a perfectly viable answer…what then? Surely a flawless Book could not be the work of man? Here is the finger of God. You can point to the evidences of the Dead Sea scrolls along with recent geological findings etc., All bringing us back to the same point: Here is the word of God. Ignore it at your peril! Trust it for the salvation of your soul.
3) CHRISTIANS ARE A VERY NEGATIVE LOT. THEY DON'T SMOKE OR DRINK OR GAMBLE ETC.,
Ans:- Many people don't smoke or drink or gamble etc., but make no profession to be Christians. Beside every person, even those who participate in the above activities, has taboos in his life. We all draw the line somewhere, some further out than others. Many of those who do smoke and drink etc., refuse to steal or fornicate. They draw the line at blood shedding or murder. The man of the world is more negative than the Christian. The man of the world will not come to Christ that he might have life. (John 5:40) and life more abundantly (John 10:10) He will not read the Bible in a believing fashion nor pray nor contribute anything positive to the Kingdom of God which is righteous and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17) Unfortunately Christians often come across very negatively. We can articulate very well what we are against, but forget to argue successfully what we are for! This ought not to be. We should be ready to give every man an answer of the hope that is within us. (1 Peter 3:15) If we are asked why do we not do this, that or something else, a good answer to give is that we have something better! This is how the Lord Jesus won the woman at the well to Himself (John 4)
4) IT IS BIGOTRY WHEN CHRISTIANS PROTEST AGAINST PERCEIVED RELIGIOUS ERROR.
Ans:- Is the questioner protesting against our perceived error in protesting against the perceived error of others? Physician, heal thyself! Besides, to protest against perceived error is a double negative and in the English language that makes a positive. Often the cry of bigotry is hurled in the absence of a reasoned consistent argument. Bigotry is hating someone merely because they hold to a particular view. To seek to bring that person into the truth of God which leads them to experience the joy of salvation is hardly the work of an enemy. Paul said: "Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)
5) YE SHOULD JUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED:
Ans:- True…but as above, is this the questioners considered judgement? The questioner is quoting Matthew 7:1 In John 7:24 this is explained. We are not to judge according to outward appearance i.e. by outward circumstances. People who live in upper class areas are not necessarily better than those who live in lower class areas etc., but we are to judge righteous judgement i.e. judgement based upon the teaching of God's word.
Paul said that he had already judged in a particular case in Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:3) - a successful judgement as 2 Corinthians 7 bears out. He invited the Corinthians to judge the things he said (1 Corinthians 10:15) David set forth his benchmark for judgement: "I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; And I hate every false way." (Psalm 119:128) However, we should remember that as we judge, so will we be judged (Matthew 7:2) and so we should not preach that another should refrain from stealing etc., but steal ourselves (Romans 2:21-24) If we practice what we preach (and we preach what is true) then we can judge.
6) THE BIBLE IS TOO HARD TO UNDERSTAND:
Ans:- Doubtless there are "some things hard to be understood" (2 Peter 3:16) but they are only some things and are not too hard to be taken on board. Bishop J.C. Ryle has a good answer to this one: "Men may tell you that there are difficulties in the Bible, things hard to be understood. It would not be God's book if there were not. And what if there are? You do not despise medicines because you cannot explain all that your doctor does by them. But whatever men may say, the things needful to salvation are as clear as daylight. Be very sure of this, - people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it only too well; they understand that it condemns their own behaviour; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgement. They try to believe it is false and useless, because they do not like to allow that it is true." (Thoughts for young men)
7) ALL CHRISTIANS ARE HYPOCRITES
(This is a bit of an Aunt Sally really - a straw man - which is not really met with that often now. But we include it because the answer shows how we can adapt the thrust of the questioners argument to advance the claims of the gospel.)
Ans:- Evidently this is a blanket statement. Do you know every Christian? Obviously not. But if you loathe hypocrites…do you want to spend eternity in their company? The Bible says that no hypocrite will enter into the Kingdom of God. The only place to be free of them in eternity will be Heaven and you can't go to Heaven unless you're born again.
8) I BELIEVE IN THE BIG BANG (EXPLOSIVE STUFF)
Actually there are two quite different answers to this one. Both good. If you use the second, you will probably have to fall back on the first. If you use the first…use the second also.
First Ans:- If nothing existed before the big bang…what actually exploded? Whenever did 0 + 0 = 1? Order from an explosion? Was there order after Hiroshima? What scientific proof (note the word proof) do you have? Since there is no actual proof …ask does common sense not prove this theory wrong? (Note Sir Fred Hoyle who coined the phrase "Big bang" actually rubbish's the idea that it happened. He believes that life came to earth from other planets. Just when you think you have problems explaining… )
Second Ans:- "I too believe in the BIG BANG! Only my big bang is at the end of the world." Quote and apply 2 Peter 3:10 which says: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, [lit: Big Bang] and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
9) GREAT MEN SAY THAT THERE IS NO GOD
Ans:- Evidently their greatness does not come from their perception of spiritual matters. Certainly God does not see them as great (Psalm 14:1/53:1) Bishop Ryle's observation is worth quoting again: "The fool might have said, 'There is no God'…but he has never proved it." OK, the issue moves on to whether or not we can prove there is a God, but remember the evidence is there in so great abundance that the atheist is left "without excuse" (Romans 1:20) We might use the argument that if there is no God, we have lost nothing. We have experienced the peace and joy of serving Him any way. But if there is a God…the atheist has lost everything. Besides, equally great and if not greater men have admitted there is a God. Even the agnostics who are great in some field or other [literally: "one without knowledge" or "ignoramus"] won't go as far and say that there is no God. Even atheism is a religion. It too has it's guru's, sacred books, and fanatical disciples with their worn out mantra's.
10) THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES
Ans:- How sure are you of this viewpoint? Is that definite? How sure? (Wait for the little word to appear) "Absolutely." Point made. Explain that there are absolutes. God is absolute. That death follows sin is absolute. That salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone is absolute etc., A similar line to this can be taken if you meet any of the devotees of Ellen White i.e. the Christian Science folk. They believe that all matter, disease, hunger and death do not exist, being merely the mistaken ideas of the mortal mind. Simple question: If we cannot trust our senses when they report death and pain, how can we trust them if we read the works of Mary Baker Eddy? The latter data are far less compelling than the former!
11) I AM TOO BUSY FOR GOD
Ans:- More an excuse than an argument or question, but flawed nevertheless. It was Billy Sunday who said that "An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie" and so it is. All of us have 24 hours in the day - no more or no less. Busier men than us have found time to walk with God, and indeed would argue that they could not cope with the demands placed upon them without doing so. The sad fact is that those who make this excuse have found another god and so transgress the first commandment. It is all a matter of priorities. Our soul should be the first priority.
12) FIVE MINUTES BEFORE I DIE WILL BE TIME ENOUGH TO GET SAVED
Ans:- When do you propose to die? Although it is indeed a time appointed (Hebrews 9:27) yet the timing of it has been hid from our eyes (Proverbs 27:1) There is a dreamy notion of a death bed repentance. The masticated frame of a dying man, lying his venerable head on a white pillow. The preacher is summonsed and shortly before he dies, he barely whispers a prayer making his peace with God. Sure, if he is sincere and repentant and trusts the finished work of Christ alone as his refuge, he will be saved. No one doubts the mercy of God to forgive the erring upon repentance/faith. But how do you know you will have a deathbed scene? You can't repent if you are in a comma. Your deathbed scene might consist of the cold concrete of a pavement, lasting but a few seconds or a burning car etc., Many just drop without a moments warning…and their opportunity to get saved is gone for ever. No wonder the Bible says: "Today is the day of salvation" and indeed "Now is the accepted time." (2 Corinthians 6:2) Proverbs 27:1/29:1 should not be ignored.
13) I AM NOT ONE OF GOD'S ELECT
Ans:- How do you know? Have you access to the Lamb's Book of Life? How can you tell? If you come to Christ, this is sufficient evidence that you are among the elect: John 6:37/Romans 8:28-30 Robert Murray McCheyne once preached on the great text where Wisdom (Christ) says: "Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man." (Proverbs 8:4) In this sermon, he addresses the various excuses men make, including the one above. McCheyne answers: "No one ever came to Christ because they knew themselves to be of the elect. It is quite true that God has of his mere good pleasure elected some to everlasting life, but they never knew it until they came to Christ. Christ nowhere invites the elect to come to Him. The question for you is not, Am I one of the elect? But, Am I one of the human race?" A sage reply!
I like D.L. Moody's illustration about election which (at least to me) gives a perfect explanation about the relationship between the gospel invitation and election. Moody spoke about a man standing outside a door. Above the door was written the teaching of Revelation 22:17 "Whosoever will may come" Once the man stepped inside the door, He looked back and written above the door on the other side were the words of Ephesians 1:4 "Chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world" Sometimes we try to run before we can walk. The drowning man does not wait for an explanation on how an air filled life belt can float sufficiently on water to bear its own and his weight. He does not want written guarantees that if he avails of the belt, that he will be saved. He lays hold immediately and sorts out the details afterwards. So too should the sinner flee to Christ. Then he will find that he has been chosen to do so from before time began. Blessed thought!
14) DEALING WITH THE CHALLENGE TO PRAY FOR GUIDANCE CONCERNING THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON
If you ever debate with Mormon missionaries, you will find that they are very zealous to get you to read their Book of Mormon (practically to the exclusion of the Bible) and claim to have experienced for themselves the "sacred burning in the bosom" which is meant to confirm the authenticity of the Book. They urge you to pray to God to show you whether of not this book is of Him. This can put some people on the spot as they feel that by refusing to do so, they appear to be running scared. Yet, if they do so…are they also not appearing to endorse the book? A no win situation.
The answer is to refuse to offer up such a prayer and state clearly why. It is not that you are running scared. You refuse to so pray because it is forbidden to tempt the Lord your God. God has already spoken on this matter. The last of the revelatory prophets is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1) The NT is referred to as "the word of Christ" (Colossians 3:16) and therefore we look for no other. Since we know that the Book of Mormon contradicts the word of God (contrast 2 Nephi 25:23 [page 99-100] with Ephesians 2:8-9) it would be folly and therefore sin to run to God with such a prayer and so refuse to do so. Anxious as we are to win Mormons, we must draw the line at this. Remember the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9 about becoming all things to all men is not a blank cheque.
15) ANOTHER ARGUMENT RE: THE BOOK OF MORMON:
In the introduction of the Book of Mormon, we read the following words:
"The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God's dealing s with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel." Simply point out that you already have the fulness of the "everlasting gospel" in your Bible and since you have the fulness, you need nothing else. After all…how full is full?
16) WHERE DID THE SOUL OF LAZARUS OF BETHANY/WIDOW OF NAIN'S SON ETC., GO DURING THEIR TIME OF DEATH? (A JW QUESTION)
If you say "Heaven" (or, if you believe, the nice side of the divided Hades) they say - "What! Only to return again within a very short time?" Which, on the face of it, does seem a bit of a let down. Best answer is to say simply: "We are not told." Which effectively means that the JW (or any other of the soul sleep crowd ) cannot expand upon it either. Obviously you can point out the rarity of these particular cases also and keep to the general cases of scripture.
WHILE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT OF THE CULTS…THE FOLLOWING IS A GOOD TACTIC WHEN DEBATING ANY OF THEIR FOLLOWERS:
17) SUPPOSE THE JW SAYS TO YOU: NOWHERE DOES THE BIBLE SAY THAT JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH:
(We use this argument for an example - tactic can be used in many other points of debate)
Before you answer…ask the JW is he prepared to exalt the Bible's teaching above that of the Watchtower organisation? Obviously he must say "Yes" unless he believes in the infallibility of Watchtower. (If he believes in the infallibility of Watchtower…you have a difficult job on your hands. Self imposed blindness. Although easy research will show the many embarrassing errors of the Watchtower Movement) However, the vast majority will admit that the Watchtower Movement professes to be subject to the Bible (a point you might like to reinforce)
Push the matter a little further by pointing out the sheer centrality of the question. If you can prove from the Bible that Jesus is Jehovah, then surely the Watchtower movement is fundamentally in error and that the decent and only safe thing would be for them to leave. Although shocking to their thought patterns yet they would have to agree. (Likewise, if you really know what you are doing, you could admit that if the Watchtower was right, then you are fundamentally wrong and would have to reconsider your position. This might encourage them to take the point further.) *
Upon agreement of this analyse of the issue, turn in your own Bible (or even better in their New World Bible) to Jeremiah 23: 5-6. As you read it, ask them to identify the "righteous sprout" who will be "raised up to David" (NWT) and the "king [who] will certainly reign with discretion and execute justice and righteousness in the land." They will answer: "Jesus" Ask then, if you wanted to address this One by name and refer to Him by name…what name could you rightfully use? v6 gives the blessed answer: "Jehovah is our Righteousness" or "Jehovah Tsidkenu" (AV margin) Remember. Only One can bear this name as a personal name: the one true and living God. Psalm 83:18 (AV) declares: " That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth" Whilst the NWT gives a different rendering, yet the JW will acknowledge that only One can be rightly called Jehovah. Jeremiah 23:5-6 identifies the Lord Jesus as Jehovah. You may, of course, use any one of a number of convincing texts for the deity of Christ and still employ this tactic. However…do use a good solid proof text and not some secondarily argument. Lay the axe at the root, then simply point out that Watchtower is at serious loggerheads with the word of God and remind the JW of the earlier point established i.e. that the word of God must have preference to the very fallible (and changing) opinions of his Organisation.
* If you should ever get into difficulties in debate…there is nothing wrong with seeking an adjournment and getting expert help from your minister. We concede to the JW this right also to get his elders in on the job. If we are going to spring something, we must allow time for a good researched reply. We are trying to establish truth, not score easy points. By allowing/asking for further time to consider the various points made, we are acknowledging the importance of the matter discussed.
18) THE FOSSILS TELL US THAT THE EARTH/DINOSAURS WERE MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD:
Ans:- No they don't. They don't come attached with the little labels you see nicely printed on display stands. Evolutionists only suppose they prove old age but state it as fact. A young earth creationist can look at the same evidence and conclude something completely different. The evolutionist often falls into circular reasoning as the following references show:
"Palaeontology, the study of fossils, is important in the study of geology. The age of the rocks may be determined by the fossils found in them." World Book Article on Palaeontology [p. 103 1990 edition]
"Palaeontologists determine how old a fossil is by measuring the radioactive isotopes in the rocks that contain the fossil." World Book Article on Fossils [p427 1990 edition]
As the man said: You need brains to be smart.
19) THE USE OF THE RETORT:
Sometimes it is better to say nothing - certainly silence is to be preferred to a bitter outburst. Especially since the tongue is a little member capable of inflicting great damage. And yet, the rejoinder to a smart Alec can be used of God. Sometimes it can even take the heat out of a situation if given in the right spirit. I think many rejoinders are but an expression of an individual's personality. Some folk are more reserved and slow to speak whilst others are more outgoing and quick witted. The best thing to do is to ask God to use your tongue for His glory. The following are some rejoinders heard in the course of evangelism. They are not all mine.
When offered a tract, a young man crumpled it up in front of the Christian worker with the remark: "I'll use it to light the fire." The Christian worker - quick as a flash - replied: "When you get there!" The young man's friends roared with laughter and he blushed and said no more.
"We are all laughing at you" can be answered with the observation: "No you're not. You're sneering and there is a difference." This can be improved upon by showing that sinners are never really happy in their sin. Proverbs 14:13 is a good verse here Cp. Psalm 16:11
One preacher was heckled by someone who sneered that things had not improved much after about 2,000 years of Christianity. The minister asked the heckler to hold up his hand. When he raised his dirty hand, the minister replied "more than 2,000 years of soap, and still dirty hands."
The practical test is a great leveller. We can all wax eloquent on "How it ought to be done…" but are seldom willing to do it ourselves. When someone challenged D.L. Moody on some of his evangelistic methods, the good man replied to the effect: "Tell me…what strategy do you employ to reach the lost?" The critic had to confess that he did not have any strategy at all…to which Moody simply replied that he preferred to have his own, no matter how imperfect, than none at all. The practical test can be used in all sorts of situations.
One fanciful character was quite irked when having boasted of a "healing ministry" was asked: "How many have you healed?"
In my own experience in door to door work when labouring for the Lord in Cork, a lady sought to discourage me by informing me that her street was "Catholic" Quick as a flash, I asked "How many go to mass?" She smiled and had to admit very few. The conversation ceased to be hostile after that. Again, like all the retorts or (to employ a nicer word) the rejoinders…it all depends on the attitude we employ. We are not looking for "put downers" ("I like your dress…pity it's two sizes too big") but "lifter uppers" i.e. we are ultimately trying to bring people into a frame of mind whereby they will listen honestly to the claims of Christ.
I think it was Lloyd George, before he became the British PM, who was speaking one evening at a political rally. He was interrupted by a lady who began her sentence: "I don't think…" but got no further as Lloyd George grasped control again with the comment: "That's your problem…you don't think!"
If someone should say to you: "I don't think/see how your message is relevant/true/worth listening to etc., " you can simply reply with words to the effect: "If you did think" or "The reason why you cannot see is that the god of this world has blinded your mind…" Perhaps a gentler reply might be: "What is it in the gospel that is inconsistent with reason? etc.," and work from there.
20) CHRISTIANS ALWAYS START OFF ON THE PREMISE THAT THE BIBLE IS TRUE
Whilst there are many arguments for the authority of the Bible , yet it is worth pointing out that sceptics often start off on the premise that it is not true and that no matter what evidences come to light, it never will be true. This is wilful self inflicted blindness. However, the word of God is not bound and even where the hearer does not profess to accept its authority, be sure nevertheless to bring forth its message. Remember, behind many a defiant statement, a heart might be caving in to the demands of the gospel. Saul was kicking against the pricks but moments before he was converted to Christ.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN ARGUMENT RECEIVED RECENTLY FROM A ROMAN CATHOLIC:
21) PROTESTANTS ARE CONSIDERED AS SEPARATED BRETHREN-FELLOW CHRISTIANS…THANKS BE TO GOD THAT HE CAME TO ME IN BAPTISM AND THAT SINCE THAT TIME I HAVE BEEN IN HIS FAMILY. COME JOIN US.
Ans:- If we are now accepted as "fellow Christians" by the Church of Rome…then by definition of the term Christian, we are already in the family of God (John 1:12-13) Why are you asking us to "join God's family" if we are already in it? (Actually, you are asking us to join the Church of Rome which is another matter) Note also and refute the error of baptismal regeneration.
I got a reply on this one from the RC who pointed me to the parable of the Prodigal Son. (If nothing else, this goes to show that few answers prove to be of the "knock out" variety. Gear yourself for the long haul) However, our friend is in error again because in the said parable the prodigal son lamented that he was "perishing" (Luke 15:17) This can never be said of the man who has believed savingly on the Lord Jesus (John 3:14-15) The fact of the matter is - as I pressed home - is that I have got all that I need in the Lord Jesus. I am "complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10) and there is nothing which the Pope can add to it! This augers also for any of the cults which abound whose party piece seems to be that we need something more…be it church tradition (Rome) the Book of Mormon or the Watchtower/Awake! (JW's) Not so.
22) EVERY ONE IS THEIR OWN GOD - THERE ARE NO RIGHTS AND WRONGS - EVERYONE IS RIGHT IF THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO:
Ans:- What happens if two "god's" meet and disagree? Which one is right and which one is wrong? What happens when they meet with disappointments? When plans go wrong? Or sickness? If one "god" wants to give his money to a certain charity and another "god" breaks into his house and steals it for himself - is the robbed "god" wrong to be disappointed or wrong to resist? Is the thieving "god" wrong to take the money? Surely they can't both be right? Where is the sense of justice? Again: Is it right for me to "push my religion down your throat? Insist that you give me 30 minutes of your time while I remind you of your responsibilities before Jehovah God and regale you with the joys of His salvation?…or is this wrong?" Who decrees what is right or wrong?
23) THE FOLLOWING IS A SCENARIO (RELATED BY CREATIONIST, KEN HAM) WHICH SHOWS HOW SOME OF THE OPPOSERS THINK. IT IS NOT HARD TO EXPOSE AND EXPLOIT THIS FOR THE GOSPEL SAKE:
"After a presentation on creation, one student stated, "There is no way Noah's Ark could be true--he could not have fitted all the animals on board." I then asked the student, "How many animals would he have needed to have put on board?" He gave the usual reply: I don't know, but it certainly couldn't have happened." I then asked him how big was the ark? Again he answered, "I don't know, but he couldn't have fitted the animals on board." In other words, here is a student who did not know how big Noah's Ark was, or how many animals God would have needed to put on board, but he has already decided it is a fairy tale that could not have happened." [The next step is to ask the student why he has this bias against the Bible and then proceed to show him the innate wickedness of his heart and God's remedy for the same.]
24) YOU DON'T HAVE TO DEFEND ANY NON SCRIPTURAL NOTION:
A good example of this is thinking that we have to defend the thought that "God can do anything." Whilst we believe in the omnipotence of Almighty God who can do what He will, when He will and as He will, we recognise that there are things that God cannot do. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) come to mind. These verses are Bible principles and they could be extended out to the thought that God cannot let a sinful soul into Heaven or **** one of His children etc.,
A variation of the above is the old trick question: "Can God make a stone too heavy for Him to lift." The answer, obviously, is No! God wouldn't do something so foolish as that. Just say No! and explain what God cannot do - it will give an opening for the gospel i.e. what God is able to do: save to the uttermost etc., (Hebrews 7:25) keep from falling (Jude 24) etc., Point out that there are things He is able to do now which He will have to refrain from at a later time i.e. pardon the guilty soul while it is still the day of salvation etc., There is plenty of room for expansion.
25) WATCH FOR HOW THE ENEMY OF THE GOSPEL WILL OFTEN USE TWO OPPOSING ARGUMENTS:
Which is inconsistent to say the least. A good example of this is gleaned from correspondence with Romanists. They like to point out how Protestantism is hopelessly divided into thousands of sects - usually providing statistics from America in general or California in particular. The implication is that each sect or group is at the throats of all the rest - plenty of paint being dashed on to make the overall picture so engaging. (Click here to see how to answer this criticism) Further on in the argument - having separated Protestant from Protestant - they will then produce some unsavoury doctrine or practice from perhaps one of the more remote groupings and then try and "tar us all with the one brush" i.e. they unite us when seeking to scandalise our cause and then divide us to further their own claim that they alone possess "apostolic unity" Very subtle but easy to watch for and expose. It is not recommended to ride two horses at the one time.
Needful to remember also that whilst you can win arguments...you really want to win souls. Beware too of relying on the enticing words of men's wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:4) We need to recognise/rely on the Sovereign work of the Spirit of God who alone has the power to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgement to come.