The Genetic Fallacy: "You're only a Christian because you were raised in America!"

Can you invalidate someone's belief by showing how they came to hold it?  

As you'll discover in this short video, when someone confuses the ORIGIN of a belief with the TRUTH of a belief, this commits a textbook logical fallacy. Hear special guest Dr. William Lane Craig explain the Genetic Fallacy.  

Be sure to grab a copy of Dr. Craig's book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

A Powerful Apologetic Method: ABDUCTIVE Reasoning!

"What in the world is 'Abductive Reasoing'?" Well, abductive reasoning is employed by crime scene detectives, car mechanics, and your medical doctor.  Abductive reasoning is when you look at all the known facts, and seek to form the best explanation to explain the data.  Abductive reasoning seeks to find the "inference to the best explanation" for the known facts.   

This is a vital way of thinking and investigating that all serious Christians should be engaged in....

 - Pastor J. 


".....Christian students have not been able to rise above the dark undertow in our educational system at the primary and secondary levels. This level of ignorance presents a real crisis for Christian colleges and seminaries.
But then an even more terrible fear began to dawn on me as I contemplated these statistics. If Christian students are this ignorant of the general facts of history and geography, I thought, then the chances are that they, and Christians in general, are equally or even more ignorant of the facts of our own Christian heritage and doctrine. Our culture in general has sunk to the level of biblical and theological illiteracy. A great many, if not most, people cannot even name the four Gospels—in a recent survey one person identified them as Matthew, Mark, and Luther! In another survey, Joan of Arc was identified by some as Noah's wife! The suspicion arose in my mind that the evangelical church is probably also caught somewhere higher up in this same downward spiral.
But if we do not preserve the truth of our own Christian heritage and doctrine, who will learn it for us? Non-Christians? That hardly seems likely. If the Church does not treasure her own Christian truth, then it will be lost to her forever. So how, I wondered, would Christians fare on a quiz over general facts of Christian history and doctrine?
Well, how would they? I now invite you to get out a pen and paper and take the following quiz yourself. (Go on, it'll only take a minute!) The following are items I think any mature Christian in our society ought to be able to identify. Simply provide some identifying phrase that indicates that you know what the item is. For example, if I say, "John Wesley," you might write: "the founder of Methodism" or "an eighteenth-century English revivalist."

1. Augustine
2. Council of Nicea
3. Trinity
4. Two natures united in one person
5. Pantheism
6. Thomas Aquinas
7. Reformation
8. Martin Luther
9. Substitutionary Atonement
10. Enlightenment

How did you do? If you're typical of the audiences to whom I've given this quiz, probably not too well. If that is the case, you might be tempted to react to this quiz defensively: "Who needs to know all this stuff anyway? This junk isn't important. All that really counts is my walk with Christ and my sharing Him with others. Who cares about all this other trivia?"
I truly hope that will not be your reaction, for that will close you off to self-improvement. This little exercise will have been of no profit to you. You will have learned nothing from it.
But there's a second, more positive reaction. You may see, perhaps for the first time in your life, that here is a need in your life for you to become intellectually engaged as a Christian, and you may resolve to do something about it. This is a momentous decision. You will be taking a step which millions of American Christians need to take.
No one has issued a more forceful challenge to Christians to become intellectually engaged than did Charles Malik, former Lebanese ambassador to the United States, in his address at the dedication of the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois. Malik emphasized that as Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. Our churches are filled with people who are spiritually born again, but who still think like non-Christians. Mark his words well:
"I must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind in its greatest and deepest reaches is not cared for enough. But intellectual nurture cannot take place apart from profound immersion for a period of years in the history of thought and the spirit. People who are in a hurry to get out of the university and start earning money or serving the church or preaching the gospel have no idea of the infinite value of spending years of leisure conversing with the greatest minds and souls of the past, ripening and sharpening and enlarging their powers of thinking. The result is that the arena of creative thinking is vacated and abdicated to the enemy......."  

- Dr. William Lane Craig (