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TheBeastSlayer

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PostSubject: Apologetics Question   Thu May 27, 2010 7:22 pm

I wonder...
Is a good idea to research other religions in order to find their flaws and explain to their followers why that religion is wrong?

Like with Wicca....I have found a bunch of flaws with their practises and quite a few red flags.
Is this a good idea?

Is this how people go about apologetics?
Studying their own religion as well as others so they know how to refute them?

Just curious.
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Shamax

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PostSubject: Re: Apologetics Question   Thu May 27, 2010 8:05 pm

Essentially. Although the basic thrust isn't *specifically* to point out weaknesses and refute their views, although that is part of the practice of apologetics. The motivation behind it is to be able to better communicate *your* worldview to people who don't understand or share it and may have any number of alternative worldviews themselves. For example, the way you would communicate the gospel to a Mormon or a Jehova's Witness would probably look completely different from the subjects you would cover when communicating with a neopagan (I've done some extremely minor studies of Wicca and neopaganism, myself out of curiosity).

The key areas of study though should first and foremost be your own worldview and primary source materials and secondly any primary source materials or people viewed as "authoritative" in the worldview you're researching. So in addition to knowing the Bible and doctrine backwards and forwards (in addition to common objections to "Christianity"), if you were conversing with Wiccans you'd probably want to know the difference between a Sabbat and an Esbat, a Pentagram and a Pentacle, a coven practicioner and a "solitaire", and preferably have read some stuff by Margot Adler, Gerald Gardner, etc. If it was Islam, you'd want to know a lot about the Koran, the Hadith, their holy days and Sharia law, etc.

that way, especially if common terminology is used (but with different backgrounds or meanings) those differences can be identified and spelled out, because a Mormon for instance will use much of the same terminology as a protestant evangelical but with radically different meanings attached.
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TheBeastSlayer

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PostSubject: Re: Apologetics Question   Thu May 27, 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks Shamax!
That helps me out alot!
YOu get fistbumps.
*fistbump*

This is where Im trying to head.
To be able to converse with people about both their religion and mine with the similar terminology....Just dont know where to start haha.
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MetalMatt

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PostSubject: Re: Apologetics Question   Thu May 27, 2010 10:41 pm

If your faith is strong enough.....

If it is and you know nothing can shake you or decieve you, then study everything man! I encourage you to learn other religions....you't really refute it unless you know about it.

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Shamax

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PostSubject: Re: Apologetics Question   Thu May 27, 2010 11:24 pm

MetLHed4GZus wrote:
If your faith is strong enough.....

Exactly! Which is why I stated as step #1 to know your own faith/worldview backwards and forwards, especially objections to it. A great exercise is to look for things like lists of "Bible contradictions" or common charges against the faith, like the DaVinci Code (and many other people's) assertions about conspiracy stuff at the Council of Nicea. If you're stumped for answers or where to being addressing things, look for some good resources.

I know some people will instantly be turned off by the fact that he's a Calvinist, but I highly recommend the apologetics ministry of James White (www.aomin.org). On his blog, his twice-weekly radio show, youtube videos, and professional debates he addresses a multitude of subjects from Islam to Mormonism to Protestant/Catholic debates to Atheism and just about all points in between. In Dr. White's youtube videos and on the Dividing Line program, he'll often play entire presentations by people and address things point by point which is especially useful in the case of common arguments against Christianity from other worldviews.

I also recommend Greg Koukl's Stand to Reason ministry (www.str.org). Greg doesn't do formal debates, but he has an excellent way of breaking things down to the core issues and takes calls on his weekly radio program. It was Greg who forced me to look at my own faith a few years ago and ask myself hard questions. The website has extensive radio archives on it with listings of the topics discussed on each show, although I think you have to create a free account to see anything older than the current month's worth of radio shows.

Another good resource would be http://www.apologeticsindex.org/ for info on a plethora of topics. Some topics are extensively covered, some not, but it's a great starting point for further inquiries.
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PostSubject: Re: Apologetics Question   Fri May 28, 2010 12:25 am

Do proceed with caution though. Many religions speak blasphemies as truth. Especially if you start researching into Bibles.

One of my research interests is European History/Classics as well as anything involving the Middle East. You will find very quickly that belief systems are heavily influenced by personal misconceptions and governments.
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