Tag Archives: apologetics

What was the Scopes Trial and why was it significant?

Also known as the “Monkey Trials,” the Scopes Trial was a court hearing in 1925 in a small town in Tennessee.  A movie entitled “Inherit the Wind” was based on the trial, but it is not at all an accurate representation of what actually happened.  

Tennessee had passed a law called the Butler Act, and this forbade the teaching of Evolution in public schools.   More specifically, this law forbade the teaching of human evolution.  The American Civil Liberties Union wanted to challenge that law, so they found a newly hired teacher named John Scopes.  Scopes had been substitute teaching biology for only two weeks, and during that time he used a textbook that had a chapter about human evolution.  (An interesting note: There are conflicting sources about John Scopes, some of which say that Scopes did not teach evolution at all during his short stint as a substitute.)   Attorney Clarence Darrow defended John Scopes, and the prosecutor was William Bryant.  During the trial, there was a lot of misinformation, ridicule of the Bible, side issues, and false statements made.  At one point, Clarence Darrow put William Bryant on the stand.  Darrow then drilled Bryant with many questions about the Bible, several of which he could not answer. The trial turned from prosecuting John Scopes to actually debating Creation vs. Evolution.

What we can learn from this trial is that all Christians should understand what they believe and why they believe it.  William Bryant, who was a Christian, was not able to defend the Bible or his beliefs, and although Scopes was found guilty (he was later acquitted on a technicality), Clarence Darrow successfully “won” by making a mockery of the Christian faith.  In the play and movie, “Inherit the Wind,” Christians were poorly misrepresented and much propaganda was used that was contrary to the actual court hearing.  The actual court transcript is available to the public now for all to see it does not coincide with the play.  RTG recommends this article for more information about how erroneous the play and movie were: https://answersingenesis.org/scopes-trial/inherit-the-wind/

It is important for us to defend our faith and understand our doctrine.  It is also a biblical mandate (1 Peter 3:15).  Unfortunately, many churches do not promote the teaching of apologetics.  That should not stop the Christian from personally seeking the truth.  Why not start learning today?  There are several Internet websites to help Christians defend their faith.  

 

How can we defend the Bible from secular attacks?

Skeptics enjoy attacking the Bible.  In fact, one skeptic has gone through the entire Bible and annotated his remarks about how the text is incorrect or he simply disagrees with it.  However, a Christian apologist has created an extensive rebuttal to each of these claims.  Follow the links to the Skeptics Annotated Bible and the Skeptics Annotated Bible: Corrected and Explained (Refutation).  Oftentimes, skeptics attack the Bible based on misunderstanding the text, not reading the passage in context, or they simply disagree with what is written.  The media, such as the Discovery Channel and History Channel, do nothing to help promote the infallibility of the Bible.  So called “scholars” are interviewed, but it is obvious that they are misinformed, under-educated, or purposely deceptive on Biblical topics.  Through the use of propaganda and poor historical research, the masses have been deceived into doubting the Bible and its credibility.

We as Christians should welcome questions that are asked about the Bible and use that opportunity to witness to others and defend our faith.  But we have to be equipped in order to do so.  There are many resources available to help answer the skeptic.  RTG suggests the book: The Big Book of Bible Difficulties  and a helpful apologetics website:  http://carm.org/bible-difficulties

What are apologetics?

In 1 Peter 3:13-15, we are told to always have a ready defense for what we believe.  Apologetics is the branch of Christianity that deals with the defense and establishment of the Christian faith.  It comes from the Greek word apologia which means “a verbal defense.”

 

Source: www.noblindfaith.com

 

There are three types of apologetics: Presuppositional (emphasizes the foundations of a person’s thinking, assumes the existence of God and the truth of the bible, see 2 Peter 3:5); Classical (uses rational arguments for the existence of God like the teleological and cosmological arguments, see Rom. 1:20); and Evidential (using evidences from history, logic, etc. to support the Christian faith, see 1 Cor. 15:3-7).  There are strengths in each form, and some forms work well with certain people but not with others.  They can all be used to defend the faith.  For more information, RTG recommends the following link and ministry: http://carm.org/apologetics-outline