Armouring Up - a positive thread


#1

Ephesians 6:13-18 “take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of justice: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit: and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints”

Let’s be proactive - instead of waiting for people to come on here with problems or criticisms, why don’t we all share some wisdom or some teaching or some testimony to help one another to be better witnesses and apologists.

We have 2000 years of saints, doctors and apologists to draw on, and I’m sure we have between us hundreds of experiences of talking to others and sharing our faith. Let’s make a difference.

What I’d like to see is, as this thread begins to lengthen, it being divided into different areas - arguments for the Real Presence, arguments for the existence of God, arguments for the authority of the Church, conversations with Protestants, conversations with Muslims, etc.


#2

Has nobody got anything to add?

OK, I’ll start. One thing I know a little about that is useful both when arguing with atheists with misconceptions and with fundamentalist evangelicals is the issue of creation, which has been a hot potato in recent years.

Even early in Christian history, people like St Dionysius had argued that it wasn’t necessary to believe literally in the creation story in Genesis 1.

What does matter, however, is that there is a beginning point to creation. For the first 1800 years of Christian history, this was the apologists’ greatest task when arguing with atheists.

Aristotle had used a fairly simple argument to imply that the universe was pre-existent, i.e. that there was no ‘beginning’ to the created world. Quite simply, because everybody assumed time to be linear, any creation account has to conceive of a time T0, the beginning of time, e.g.

T0-T1-T2--------------------------------------------2007

Any such argument is always subject to the question, what happened 1 second before T0? So that there is always a T-1:

T-x-----T-1-T0-T1-T2------------------------------Tx

Consequently, so Aristotle’s reasoning goes, the time continuum can never have a beginning or an end.

The biggest problem Christian apologists faced for centuries was proving that God really could CREATE time, because people could only ever conceive of time as an underlying constant.

Until Einstein developed the theory of relativity, time is relative to matter and motion, such that if there was no universe, there would be no time. Consequently, there is a beginning time in creation.

Believing that at some point nothing was, and that at the next point God said “let there be light” and there was light, is really all that it takes to understand the literal dimension of the creation story. Science and faith are actually in agreement about the fact that there was a first moment of Creation.

Just another example of science proving the wisdom of God, which seems contrary to the simple reasoning of man, but on deeper inspection is wiser than the wisest philosophers.

Also another example that, to quote Cardinal Newman “to be steeped in history is to cease to be a Protestant”.


#3

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