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Fideism is the only Scriptural apologetic

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 507 times Debate No: 98830
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Affirmative Thesis: The only Scriptural (Biblical) apologetic is Fideism.

Before delving into why I believe Fideism is the only proper and suitable Scriptural apologetic, it will serve us well to offer up a definition. What is Fideism generally taken to be? Fideism, as defined by The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, is, "best understood as the claim that one's fundamental religious convictions are not subject to independent rational assessment (W.Has. 294)." While this definition is useful, it is too strong for my taste. The working definition of Fideism that will be used by the Affirmative is as follows
  • Fideism: the epistemological thesis that certain truths (for the purpose of this debate, Fideism deals in religious) are only knowable by faith

A working, comprehensive definition of faith will be provided in the following sections. I wish my opponent the best and wish to give all glory and honor to God our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

What does faith mean?: An Initial Definition

Since this debate is foremost about which epistemology is most Biblical, it will be assumed that the primary mode of argumentation will be taken from an interpretation of the Bible. To begin, it will serve us well to quote from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews: the definitional chapter on faith in the New Testament. The first verse says:

  • Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1

Faith, according to Hebrews 1:1, is the "substance" of something. The word substance in the Greek is P17;πa2;στασις or hypostasis. This word means, in this instance, a steadfastness of mind or confidence (Thayer's Greek Lexicon). Another way of phrasing Hebrews 11:1 would be to say that, "Now faith is the firm confidence/belief in things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." With this new translation now in mind, we may understand the second clause in vs 1 a little better. Faith, then, is the internal apprehension of truths not attested to by reason, intuition, or sensible experience.

What is apologetics?

Apologetics is the defense of something. It is commanded of Christians to be apologists in some capacity in 1 Peter 3:15. It says:

  • But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. - 1 Peter 3:15
This command has spawned centuries of apologetic work that is as varied as the people who came up with these different methods. All apologetic methods have one thing in common, they aim to "give an answer to ever man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you."

What is faith?: A means to acquire knowledge

We return to faith after our initial definition. Earlier, it was said that faith was, according to Hebrews 11:1, the evidence and confidence of and in things "not seen." Our working definition coincides with this by adding the clarification that things "not seen" includes truths graspable by reason, intuition, and sense experience. This makes faith into a unique cognitive capacity that may be possessed by human beings. Now we shall examine some of the Scriptures relating to the acquiring of knowledge, specifically religious truths.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:4-14

    4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

    5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

    7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

    8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

    11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

    12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

    13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This passage of Scripture is the crux of my argument. Paul begins the second chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians with an interesting statement; Paul did not speak with the wisdom of the world, but with the Spirit and with Power. The idea of speaking with the Spirit of God is something that Paul will use to develop an argument. The Spirit is the one who reveals and testifies of spiritual knowledge. Paul calls this spiritual kind of knowledge "faith" and contrasts it with the wisdom of the world: elsewhere equated with vain deciet and philosophy. He then goes on to develop the argument and says that he speaks the wisdom of God in a mystery. That mystery is that which is discerned not carnally but spiritually by the testimony of the Spirit. The princes of this world, Paul says, would not have crucified Christ had they known what the Spirit reveals. Vs 9 is the metaphorical "nail in the coffin" for any epistemology of religious truth that goes beyond what is accepted by man after the testimony of the Spirit. Paul says that no experience or thought could begin to put together God's magnificent plan for his children; however, in vs 10, Paul does reveal how we can know this plan: through the Spirit of God in faith (vs 4-5). Vs. 12-4 are the final line of development for the argument. There are two types of men: natural and spiritual. The natural man, having the spirit of man (vs 11) knows not the things given by the Spirit for they are only spiritually discerned; however, the spiritual man may know the things of the Spirit because he has recieved the Spirit through faith (vs. 12).

I wish to close with one final piece of Scriptural evidence: 2 Corinthians 5:7. Paul plainly states that:

  • 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) - 2 Cor. 5:7
I pray that we follow God's truth that He has revealed. We go through our Christian walk walking in faith, which is a God-given cognitive capacity that we exercise in response to the revelation and testimony of the Spirit of God.


Now this is not true there is at least some other type of apologetic. Now if there were to be only one apologetic why would you argue for no damn reason
Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 1 year ago
You should attend this debate:
Atheism- A lost reality! A hopeless, helpless cause!
Posted by I_Believe_in_God 1 year ago
You are disobeying the command of inspired Scripture if you ignore apologetics. Woe to you.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 1 year ago
Despite its harsh sound, its intention is not so, printed words do not carry the note of intention as well as the spoken word. The shortness of the times requires different topics, was the point.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 1 year ago
Christ commands we go and make disciples of the nations, not that we argue useless apologetics's. We are to share the gospel to a dying world not attempt to win over someone to mans way of thinking. God allows man to believe whatever he wants as long as that man understands that he will be held accountable for what he has allowed himself to believe.

God does not call us to belief in our own thinking but to preach Gods word, not our own. In that day Christ shall require of you what you have done with the salvation he has given you, , woe to you that can only say you were merely able to get people to believe in a FORM of apologetics while their souls die in their sin, best you read Ezekiel 3:18-19
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