What is "Pluralism"? Can all Religions be true? - Intelligent Faith Radio

What does the popular idea of "Pluralism" teach? Is it possible for opposite ideas to true simultaneously? Could it really be the case that all religions are true?? This idea deserves investigation, since it would result in the intellectual overthrow of anyone believing in absolute, exclusive truth...

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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. 

An Apologetic Master: Interview of Dr. Geisler

Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Norman Geisler?  If not, I hope that you will take some time and acquaint yourself with some of his books and lectures.   

Many of today's most effective Christian apologists, such as Dr. Craig and Dr. Ravi Zacharias, were trained by Dr. Norman Geisler early on.

Watch this video and listen to the wisdom and insight of this Apologetic Master...

 

Christianity and Non-Empirical Knowledge

 by J.P. Moreland

 Knowledge is to represent (i.e., experience or think about) reality the way it really is on the basis of adequate grounds, on a solid basis of evidence, experience, intuition, testimony and so forth. We also saw that there are three different kinds of knowledge:  1) Knowledge by acquaintance:  This happens when we are directly aware of something, e.g., when I see an apple directly before me or pay attention to my inner feelings, I know these things by acquaintance. 2) Propositional knowledge:  This is knowledge that an entire proposition is true.  Propositional knowledge is justified true belief; it is believing something that is true on the basis of adequate grounds. 3) Know-how:  This is the ability or skill, usually based on the other two sorts of knowledge, to do certain things, e.g., to use apples for certain purposes.

However, we Christians are not just committed to knowledge, as important as that is.  We are also committed to the idea that we can have various kinds of non-empirical knowledge, i.e., knowledge that does not require an appeal to what one can see, smell, taste, touch or hear in order to know it:  knowledge of God, the soul, moral values, demons and angels, and so on.  But is there really such a thing?  The answer is “Yes, indeed!” and in what follows I will briefly dismiss the charge that all knowledge is empirical (i.e., must be testable by the five senses) and then present examples of knowledge that is non-empirical.

Asserting What Can’t Be Said

People sometimes assert things that they are not rationally entitled to assert.  “I can’t speak a word of English,” “There are no truths,” “No sentence is longer than three words,” are all examples.  Why?  Because they are self-refuting.  Each statement is an example of something that refutes the statement itself.  Now the assertion “There is only empirical knowledge and truth” is not itself an example of an empirical knowledge or truth.

Continue reading --->

What is Knowledge?

Description:

Do we, the disciples of Jesus, possess through Scripture and other means a reliable source of knowledge of reality or do we not?  We have seen that this is an important question. The possession of knowledge—especially religious and moral knowledge—is essential for a life of flourishing.  To answer this question we must, first, answer another question:  What exactly is knowledge and what does it mean to say Christian teaching provides it?  Let’s begin in earnest and see if we can find an answer to this second query.

Knowledge Defined

Here’s a simple definition of knowledge:  It is 

to represent reality in thought or experience the way it really is on the basis of adequate grounds

.  To know something (the nature of cancer, forgiveness, God) is to think of or experience it as it really is on a solid basis of evidence, experience, intuition, and so forth.  Little can be said in general about what counts as “adequate grounds.”  The best one can do is to start with specific cases of knowledge and its absence in art, chemistry, memory, scripture, logic, and formulate helpful descriptions of “adequate grounds” accordingly.

Three Important Clarifications about Knowledge

Please note three important things.  First, 

knowledge has nothing to do with certainty or an anxious quest for it

.  One can know something without being certain about it and in the presence of doubt or the admission that one might be wrong.  Recently, I know that God spoke to me about a specific matter but I admit it is possible I am wrong about this (though, so far, I have no good reason to think I am wrong).  When Paul says, “This you know with certainty” (Ephesians 5:5), he clearly implies that one can know without certainty; otherwise, the statement would be redundant.  Why?  If I say, “Give me a burger with pickles on it,” I imply that it is possible to have a burger without pickles.  If, contrary to fact, pickles were simply essential ingredients of burgers, it would be redundant to ask for burgers with pickles.  The parallel to “knowledge with certainty” should be easy to see.  When Christians claim to have knowledge of this or that, for example, that God is real, that Jesus rose from the dead, that the Bible is the word of God, they are not saying that there is no possibility that they could be wrong, that they have no doubts, or that they have answers to every question raised against them.  They are simply saying that these and other claims satisfy the definition given above.

Second, 

one can know something without knowing 

how

 one knows it

.  If one always has to know how one knows something before one can know it, one would also have to know how one knows how one knows something, and so on to infinity.  Life is too short for such lengthy regresses and, thankfully, we often just know things without having any idea how we do.  Thus, a person could know he or she has experienced the presence of God without being able to tell a skeptic how he/she knows this.  When Christians claim to know this or that, they are not saying that they always know how they know the things they do.  For example, many Christians have had experiences in which they 

knew

 that God was guiding them in a certain way, but they may not have been able to say exactly how they knew this.  Now, it is often the case that some in the Christian community—for example, experts in New Testament studies or philosophy—do, in fact, know how we Christians know certain things.  But it is not necessary for the average believer to have this information before they are within their rights to claim to know God is real and so forth.

Finally, 

one can know without knowing

 tha

t one knows

.  Consider Joe, an insecure yet dedicated high school student, who is about to take his history final.  He has studied thoroughly and knows the material, but when a friend asks him if he is prepared for the test, he says, “no.”  In this case, Joe actually knows the material, but he doesn’t know he knows it.  Thus, he lacks confidence.  Today, cultural elites in the media and university tell us that we cannot know that God is real, etc.  As a result, while many Christians actually do know various things relevant to Christianity, they lack confidence because they do not know that they have this knowledge.

Three Kinds of Knowledge

Continue reading --->

What is Knowledge?

Descriptio

n:

Do we, the disciples of Jesus, possess through Scripture and other means a reliable source of knowledge of reality or do we not?  We have seen that this is an important question. The possession of knowledge—especially religious and moral knowledge—is essential for a life of flourishing.  To answer this question we must, first, answer another question:  What exactly is knowledge and what does it mean to say Christian teaching provides it?  Let’s begin in earnest and see if we can find an answer to this second query.

Knowledge Defined

Here’s a simple definition of knowledge:  It is 

to represent reality in thought or experience the way it really is on the basis of adequate grounds

.  To know something (the nature of cancer, forgiveness, God) is to think of or experience it as it really is on a solid basis of evidence, experience, intuition, and so forth.  Little can be said in general about what counts as “adequate grounds.”  The best one can do is to start with specific cases of knowledge and its absence in art, chemistry, memory, scripture, logic, and formulate helpful descriptions of “adequate grounds” accordingly.

Three Important Clarifications about Knowledge

Please note three important things.  First, 

knowledge has nothing to do with certainty or an anxious quest for it

.  One can know something without being certain about it and in the presence of doubt or the admission that one might be wrong.  Recently, I know that God spoke to me about a specific matter but I admit it is possible I am wrong about this (though, so far, I have no good reason to think I am wrong).  When Paul says, “This you know with certainty” (Ephesians 5:5), he clearly implies that one can know without certainty; otherwise, the statement would be redundant.  Why?  If I say, “Give me a burger with pickles on it,” I imply that it is possible to have a burger without pickles.  If, contrary to fact, pickles were simply essential ingredients of burgers, it would be redundant to ask for burgers with pickles.  The parallel to “knowledge with certainty” should be easy to see.  When Christians claim to have knowledge of this or that, for example, that God is real, that Jesus rose from the dead, that the Bible is the word of God, they are not saying that there is no possibility that they could be wrong, that they have no doubts, or that they have answers to every question raised against them.  They are simply saying that these and other claims satisfy the definition given above.

Continue reading --->