This transcript is taken from a daily Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on Feb. 3, 2022. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Sam Rohrer: Well, when it comes to education, to the process of teaching and learning, and be that in a parent-to-child relationship, a teacher-to-student, or even a pastor-to-congregation, there are different techniques to which certain experts will adhere, with some favoring perhaps one over another. Yet, there is one excellent approach that you utilizes the question-and-answer approach. It’s what’s often referred to as the Socratic method or in simple terms, that means a logical technique that emphasizes asking questions. Now, asking the right questions is where the wisdom and skill and knowledge of the teacher is most greatly displayed in this process of asking questions to stimulate the student’s thinking and to develop a process that leads to logical and systematic thought.
Now, it’s a process that is often credited to Socrates, as he taught his students, including Plato, but it’s the process also used by Jesus Himself, the Apostle Paul, and really throughout scripture. The difference between the process in Jesus’ day and the contemporary society is that the original Socratic method, as it’s referred to, differs from the modern use of Socratic questioning due to this, it’s the changed perspective of truth. In the original day, Socrates and Jesus and the Apostle Paul in that era, all truth was self-evident to some extent. The mind of each person already kind of knew truth, but did not necessarily realize it.
So, crucially, the modern use of Socratic method and Socratic questioning, as referred to, does not usually proceed with an intent to expose self-evident truth. That’s a difference today. Rather, the method is used to test or to clarify a position, or actually in some cases, it can actually be used to teach error, believe it or not. So, the Socratic Method, in and of itself, cannot define or determine truth. That’s important to understand, but by its very nature, what it does is it can illuminate those instances when assumptions and definitions or relations conflict with each other, thus exposing self-evident truth. Okay. I hope that makes sense as we set this up today.
With it, I welcome you to Stand in the Gap today. Today is our monthly apologetics update, as I refer to it, as we partner in the presentation of biblical truth with Answers in Genesis. Now, today, our returning guest is Bryan Osborne, author, conference speaker, and a Christian apologist for Answers in Genesis, and an excellent book written by Bryan and our other recurring guest from Answers in Genesis, Bodie Hodge, jointly authored a book entitled Quick Answers to Tough Questions. That’s the focus I’ve entitled for today’s program, quick answers to the toughest questions.
Now, my point in today’s program is not to develop and teach the Socratic method of questioning, but to demonstrate that not only do people generally have questions, all of us, but asking the right questions, not to develop one’s concept of truth, but to expose what is already preexisting and self-evident truth, as did Jesus and the Apostle Paul with tremendous effectiveness, so can we effectively use this approach in asking and answering the right questions. Again, the effort is not to find the truth, but to expose the self-evident truth of what? Of God’s word. That’s what we try to do here. With that, let me welcome back to the program right now, Bryan. Bryan Osborne, thanks for being back.
Bryan Osborne: It’s great to be back. Hope you guys are doing well. We’re a little icy over here in Northern Kentucky, but safe and warm at the moment and it’s good to be on with you guys.
Sam Rohrer: Well, just so our listeners know that we prayed before we went on this program that all the icing that you’re getting and so much is happening around the country does not disturb this live program. So, we’ll just let it in God’s hands here, Bryan. But your book, asking and answering the right questions, is intended, at least in part, I believe, to help believers more effectively understand the prevailing questions, and then to provide truthful and compelling answers, but let’s just start here. There may be a whole lot more to it in why you put together the book. What’s the purpose for this book? In other words, why did you write it and who is the intended audience?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah, that’s a great question. Thanks for asking. What you said in a nutshell earlier is really one of the primary points of the book and that is to equip Christians with good, concise answers to really the tough questions of our day and age, in particular, in this book, in regards to science in the Bible, origins, dinosaurs, age of the Earth, all those sorts of questions, where do people come from, which connects to one blood, one race and those sorts of issues as well, but it’s meant to give people a very short and concise answer.
As a ministry, we have tons of great resources that give you very in-depth answers. You can go to our website, answersingenesis.org. There are long articles answering all these sorts of questions. We have books on each individual topic, like the age of the Earth or dinosaurs, or stuff like that. Those are fantastic. They really are. But this book in particular gives you a short answer. So each answer is less than 500 words, so it’s very quick. It’s very concise. I call it very ADD-friendly. And so, people can read it and get a short answer about dinosaurs in the Bible, or a short answer about where did Cain get his wife, or short answer about radiometric dating or other questions as well.
And so, it’s really good for a lot of age groups, honestly, because in our day and age, we tend to be very much of… Even we’re a microwave society, if they have shorter attention span than that. And so, for ages nine to 90, it’s a great, just a summary book, give you short answers. It could be an introduction to some. It can be a reference for others and a review. And then it’s also an evangelistic tool. We give biblical answers showing the Bible is true all the way through. At the end of the book is a clear gospel presentation. Also, at the end of the book is really a way to equip Christians to use these answers to share the gospel because that’s the heartbeat of our ministry ultimately is to stand on God’s word, to defend the faith, to proclaim the gospel, to see God glorified through that. And so, that’s the heartbeat of our ministry. That’s the heartbeat of the book as well.
Gary Dull: We’ll dig into that book here as we go throughout the program today, Bryan, but we’re talking about apologetics, and apologetics is something that we’re all very interested in and we support here at Stand in the Gap and Answers in Genesis and so forth. But for the sake of clarity, can you define the word apologetics to our audience and then illustrate how your new book helps in the understanding or the practice of apologetics?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah. No, absolutely. I think sometimes we hear the word apologetics and the first thing that pops into our minds, if you’re new to the word is, “Wait, are you saying we got to apologize for our faith?” That’s not the word means at all. So, it comes from a Greek word apologia. It’s pronounced in different ways, but we see in the 1 Peter 3:15 would call it to give a defense. That’s where we see the Greek word. It literally means to give a rational, reasonable answer for why you believe what you believe. That’s the idea of a lawyer in a courtroom, laying out a defense for why he thinks, what he thinks on particular issue.
So, we’re commanded by God’s word to give a defense for the reason for the hope that we have. We get that from 1 Peter 3:15. We get it from Jude 1:3, we’re told to contend for the faith, and many other places in scripture. Actually, looking at the entire New Testament is you read about Paul’s warning to Christians in these different epistles. Quite often, he’d tell them, though, to watch out for false teaching for false doctrines in the church and to fight against those, and that’s doing apologetics as well. [crosstalk 00:07:43].
Sam Rohrer: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you, Bryan for this. Apologetics is not to apologize. To the contrary, it’s to know how to give an answer for what lies within us. And then, hopefully, what lies within us is the truth and that’s where we’re going to go. When we come back, we’re going to begin to identify the top three that are really out there revolving around the issue of creation and evolution.
Sam Rohrer: Our special guest today is Bryan Osborne. He’s an author, conference speaker and Christian apologist for Answers in Genesis. Our theme today, our focus, this monthly focus apologetics update is what I refer to it as, and we’re focusing on this theme, quick answers to the toughest questions. We talked a little bit about setting up that in the first segment. We’re going to move into some more specifics now. Since the creation, people, created in the image of God, literally have a God-shaped vacuum in their souls and their hearts and their minds. You’ve heard that phrase before because it’s really true.
People, whether they understand it or not, long for meaningful relationship, for purpose in life. And that innate search, if logically pursued with truth as the bedrock, will lead to an undeniable acknowledgement of God as creator and self-evident truth, as described in Romans 1, I’m going to put in there. Those words you hear from our founders in this country, self-evident, that’s what they’re talking about, those things which are true, where the existence and the power and the authority of God are seen. Romans 1 says, even in creation. So we look around, we should come to that conclusion. So, it’s logical that some of the toughest questions of life be asked, and with questions reflecting self-evident truth then can provide the answers. And that how it fits within our emphasis here on apologetics, not apologizing for what we believe, but to the contrary.
So, Bryan, in your book, as reflected on your book cover are the areas of Bible, science, creation and evolution, and for this segment, I’d like to combine areas of creation and evolution and have you share what you’ve found. You have more questions in this, but I’d like you to identify the top three toughest questions that you cover in your book regarding creation and evolution, and just to identify them first and we’ll come back and have you answer each one of them in order. So, identify the three as you would have them in the book.
Bryan Osborne: Yeah, that sounds good. So, in the book, we’ve covered 33 total questions and the three I’ll say off the top that we can cover right now first will be what is the supreme starter point? What is the ultimate authority? That is a big question. It’s asked in multiple different ways, and it’s crucial to how we answer all these questions. It’s actually crucial to how the secularist answers these questions because we’re all trusting in something, and that’s what we got to point out with that particular issue. Second question will be, why did God make the world like this? The worlds are broken. It’s broken my sin and death and the curse. We see the consequences around us. Why did God make it like this? And that questions worded a different way, but we’ll get the answer here in a bit. Don’t we see animals evolving? Doesn’t that prove evolution? Don’t we have to believe in evolution as a whole because we see these variations within animals occurring today? And so, there are other tough questions as well, but those are three foundational ones we can really build off of.
Sam Rohrer: Okay. That sounds great, Bryan. So, let’s go back here and I agree with you starting at the beginning. Authority, big issue, we talk about that a lot here. So, that’s what you laid out. You said, what is the supreme starting point? Okay. So, let’s go right there. What’s an answer to that? How do you answer that most fundamental question?
Bryan Osborne: That’s a great question. We understand why it matters so much, even as we dive into the question, because we need to realize that ultimately, no matter what issue you’re dealing with, whether you’re talking about origins, age of the Earth, dinosaurs, social issues, sexuality, how someone answers comes down to their authority, comes down to their worldview. What’s your worldview is the way you view the world, the things you assume to be true as you engage the culture. Bottom line, Sam, there’s two foundational starting points someone can start with, either you start with God’s word and you build your thinking from there, or you reject God’s word and you’re left with man’s ideas as your ultimate authority. And then if you decide to do that, reject God’s word and accept the man’s ideas, then you, as an individual, you sort through the ideas you see. You determine truth for yourself. You become as your own God.
And so, it’s battle over authority, God’s word versus man’s. So, we got to understand that first. And then once we can lay that out there, people will get that core point, then we can say, “Okay. What starting point are you leaning on, God’s word or your own, God’s word or man’s?” Because you do have a starting point. By the way, you believe it by faith and that’s another key point. We all got faith, just where do you put your faith, God’s word or man’s? And so, we can start out by pointing that out. By the way, Sam, from the introduction of what we did here today on the show, asking questions, we can point out to the person they’ve got faith. Ask them what they believe and why. How do you know that to be true? Where did you get that from? Those sorts of questions will pull out their foundational assumptions and their authority so they can realize, “Oh, well, I’m trusting in something, something I can’t ultimately prove. I’m believing it by faith. Therefore, yeah, I’ve got beliefs too.” And you can go from there.
But we can point that out and then we can show it to the Bible worldviews. And then we can show the Bible consistently explains all of reality, the best, it’s the best explanation for everything. And then also we could point out how the biblical worldview alone makes sense of even asking the question or any question you might ask. Why do we have questions? Why do we have laws of logic? Why can we think? Why do we have self-awareness? Why do we have all these things? So, the biblical worldview make sense of that. It goes, God made this place, the material and the non-material. He made us in His image and so we can think. We have self-awareness so we can engage and ask these questions. The biblical worldview can explain not only the answer to the questions we might have, but also why we even ask the questions to begin with and why we can ask the questions.
Gary Dull: These are some tremendous questions. As I said in the last segment, Bryan, I’m looking forward to getting this book myself and digging into it because I think it’s going to be a very good study and a very good study for people almost of any age, as you mentioned in the last segment. It’s important that we go back to what does the Bible say and have the Bible as our authority because man’s answers only create more questions. But when we go back to the Bible, we can see what God says and our questions are answered. The second question, though, that you talked about as being a very important question, I like this and I’ve had this come to me from time to time and that is this, why did God make the world like this? What’s your answer to that in your book?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah. Here’s the really short answer, He didn’t. He didn’t make it like this. If we go back to the Bible, go back to the very beginning, God made it perfect. Another way people ask this question is, well, why did God make the world full of so much death and suffering? Like I just said, He didn’t. The Bible is clear, God made this world perfect. Originally, there was no death, no suffering, no bloodshed, no disease, and that was clear that when man sinned to bring death and suffering into the world, it was man who sinned that wrecked the whole of creation. We broke God’s creation in our sin. So God made it perfect. We wrecked it. And then God chose His love and mercy by providing a bridge of salvation for us, even after we wreck His perfect creation. And so, you can see there, even in a very short way, the Bible gives you a very good, powerful answer. This issue of suffering and death and evil in the world, we can explain it really concisely. And then there will be emotional issues attached to it as well as we engage people in love.
Sam Rohrer: All right. Bryan, that’s excellent and that leads us right into the third one. Third question that you pose arises really out of these other two and you phrased it this way, why don’t we see animals evolving? Now that goes right into the evolution type of the question, which people are so… It’s put out there as the dominant thought evolution. We just got here because we are evolving. All right. Well, answer that question, then why don’t we see animals evolving if that’s true?
Bryan Osborne: That’s right. If you open the common textbook, you’ll see Darwin’s finches, those are different sizes of big finch, or the peppered moths and variation within moths. They’ll say, “See, things are changing. That means they’re evolving. That means whole theory is true.” Now, do animals change? The answer is yes, there’s variation within created kinds, but they don’t change from one kind to a whole different kind. So, dogs change to variations of dogs, from Great Danes to Chihuahua. There are tons of variations of birds or finches, but they always stay birds. Bacteria, there are variations of bacteria, but it stays bacteria. And so, we do see wonderful variations and change, but they stay within the creative kind, like the Bible says in Genesis 1, “God made the same kind of creatures according to their kinds.”
We never observe a dog changing into a cat or something that’s an intermediate between the two. They stay within their creative kinds. And that we see variations are called natural selection and mutations, but those simply called variations within creative kinds. Dogs made dogs, cats cats. That’s what we expect to see within the biblical worldview and that’s what we do see. Guys, if evolution were true, we expect to see all of these transitions going from fish to amphibians, to reptile, to mammal. Things are intermediate in these in-between stages. We don’t see that. We see fully formed creatures designed to do what they do, and they do it really well as God made them to do it. And so, real observations with natural selection, mutations and science confirms that biblical starting points. Whereas with the evolution worldview, real observations, real scientific observations do not line up with observed reality.
Sam Rohrer: Bryan, by leading into that, you mentioned science. We’re already talking about the Bible. Ladies and gentlemen, in that next segment, we’ll bring together the concept of Bible and science. We’ll work that out. Bryan, if there was one way you could take a question and rephrase someone who says, “Well, don’t you believe in evolution?” what would be a Socratic way of taking and repositioning that question to that person and rephrasing it?
Bryan Osborne: I was hoping to say, “Well, where do you think animals came from? How do you think they came into being and change over time? What are your opinions about that?” And then my second follow-up would be after they told me, “How do you know? What’s your authority? What’s your source of truth on this, and where do they get that from?” You really just want them to see that they are putting their faith in something or someone because we all are. It’s either God’s word or man’s. Then once you point that out, then you can go back to the foundation and say, “Now, I’ll start with God’s word. From their biblical perspective, this is what they expect to see.” It’s what we do see and get to those powerful answers, but ask them what they believe and why and how do they know. Sam, to your point earlier, asking your questions lets people talk, which makes them more apt to listen later on. It’s very engaging to do so. So it’s a great way to engage people with apologetics.
Sam Rohrer: Ladies and gentlemen, as we move into it, this aspect of asking appropriate questions should lead to the revealing of self-evident truth that God is, He’s manifested Himself in creation, Romans 1. It doesn’t develop truth. Good questions doesn’t lead us to defining truth. It leads us to the identification of the truth, which is God, God’s word, as He’s manifested self-evident all around us. It’s a big difference. It’s very important. When we come back, we’ll talk about the three leading questions that are in this book that deal with science and the Bible.
Sam Rohrer: Well, before we get back into this theme here today with Bryan Osborne, who is with Answers in Genesis, let me just read quickly two brief statements from listeners. I’m going to go from two opposite coasts, one from actually a very new first time listener that we’ve heard of contact from here. His name is Rick. He’s from Aberdeen, Washington. He’s asking for a copy of the interview that we did with Dr. Dolores Cahill from Northern Ireland. What he’s saying? He said, “So thankful to you for informing me of the light.” He said, “I want to fight the darkness that shrouds my community.” He’s looking specifically for something in that area, so we will provide some information to him.
Now, here’s one from Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, not too far from where I am located here right now, but this woman’s name is Rita. She said, “Thank you so much to everyone for keeping Christians informed.” She said, “I do not think that there is another program like this in the United States.” “If there is,” she said, “I certainly have not heard of it.” She said, “I am very involved.” Now, she was asking that we send her a booklet that we talk about, What Every Christian Must Know About Islam, and she wants actually a couple of them because she says, “Being in tune with things,” she said, “there is now a Muslim interested in the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, and I think informed voters are in short supply. I want to help rectify that.” So, she’s asking for that booklet.
So, thank you to all you, listeners, because we try to inform on this program, not tell you what to think, how to think, but take you to the source of truth, that is the word of God, that is a biblical worldview, how to look at life with the understanding that God’s word does address every issue of life. That’s why we generally focus on headline news because whatever the issue, from legal to economic, to medical, to health, to education, it doesn’t make any difference. The word of God has the truth and speaks to all of them.
So, with that, I just share things with you. And if you have not contacted us or written us in a while, please do. Consider standing with us, not only in prayer, so important, start there, but then consider joining us financially every month as a financial partner, so very, very important as we work hard with God’s help to communicate the truth here. All right. We’ll go back into this theme here today, as we’ve laid out, tough questions, simple answers, and we’ll go into this area of science and the Bible. Because while some of the toughest questions surround who we are and how we got here, creation versus evolution, what we just talked about, there are other key questions closely related, but slightly different.
These questions tend to go to the foundational premise of determining truth. Is it the Bible and why, if so, it is? And if not, why not? Or is it science, as we see being projected today, as we see this mass formation efforts, it’s called the global COVID panic policies, as trying to take and readjust and redefine law and research and truth and everything regarding medical, legal, research policies? It’s all coming out of this idea, science. They say science, science, science. So, in simple terms, is it the Bible or is it science? Or in reality, is there really no difference between the Bible and true science are both self-evident? I’m going to put that question out there. So, Bryan, as we did in the last segment, let’s go back to your book and consider now the toughest questions as you put at the top three as they relate to Bible and science. What would you say?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah, there are multiple questions we cover. Three we can cover for now, is it science versus the Bible, as you’re introducing. We’ll come back to that question. That’s a core one. Another question would be, what about the age of the Earth? That’s always a big one amongst many people, both believers and non-believers. And then related to that, what about dinosaurs is often a big question. Then we could cover that one, or I thought about changing that maybe even to where do people come from? Where are different people groups come from, if we all come from Adam and Eve? That could be an alternative question instead of the dinosaurs for the sake of time. Yeah. So, I’ll give you four. Sorry. But yeah, the last two or you take one of those two, but there are so many more-
Sam Rohrer: They’re all good.
Bryan Osborne: … covered in the book.
Sam Rohrer: Bryan, they’re all good. See, that’s the thing, and the book is full of those. So, let’s go here quickly.
Bryan Osborne: They are.
Sam Rohrer: I phrase it that way, and that’s what you said too. Is it science versus the Bible? Is it science or the Bible? What’s the right way to look at that as the source of truth?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah, the question is logically fallacious at its core and there’s one little side note. It’s interesting, as you were mentioning earlier, we say often here today, “Just follow the science.” People say that until the science goes against their narrative, typically, oftentimes. And so, keep that in mind, but is it really science versus the Bible? The answer is no. Bear in mind, science does not speak. Science is really… The word itself means knowledge, but it’s a method we used to accumulate knowledge and to make technologies and medicines and stuff like that, the scientific method. It’s scientists who speak, who interpret present-day observations.
And so, it’s not science versus the Bible, it’s science because of the Bible. We can do science because the Bible is true. There’s a creator God, who made this world, and He made us in His image. He made the laws of nature. He holds this world together in a rational way so we can actually observe and we can do experiments and accumulate knowledge rooted in the fact that we’re made in His image. And so, we can do these things because He’s made the world. He made us. He made the laws of nature. He holds it all together. We can do science because the biblical worldview is true. So it’s not science versus the Bible, it’s science because of the Bible. And then we use the biblical worldview to explain observations in the present and what we need to know about the past and the present rooted in God’s word.
Gary Dull: I love that, science because of the Bible. We need to let people understand that and proclaim that clearly. Again, I appreciate this book that you’ve put together. The second question that you said that’s very important is one that I think is extremely important, and that is how old is the Earth? Just the other day, Bryan, I heard a well-known evangelical preacher say, “It doesn’t make any difference how old the Earth is just so that we know that God created the Earth.” Well, I think it does make a difference. So, I ask you, how old is the Earth and does it make a difference, the age of the Earth?
Bryan Osborne: Oh, it makes such a difference. It makes a difference on the issue of authority. Can we trust what the Bible clearly says in context? Can we trust that clear history in Genesis? Because biblical authors referred to Genesis 1 to 11 as real history, says Jesus Himself. If it’s not real history, as the text would clearly tell us, then how can we trust what the rest of the Bible says? It’s a matter of authority and then also trusting biblical authors in Jesus. And so, it does matter so much for so many reasons. That’s an [inaudible 00:26:16] we hear at the ministry that it doesn’t really matter about the age of the Earth, just trust in Jesus. But if you try to put millions of years into the Bible, no matter how you try, inevitably, you’ll put death before sin because you’re trusting the secular idea that most of rock layers and fossils were laid down over a million of years before men existed, and those rock layers are full of dead things called fossils, and brain tumors and cancer and many diseases.
And so, within that thinking, that means there’s millions of years of death and suffering and disease before man sin, which is utterly unbiblical. And so, that’s the short… There’s a long answer or longer answer to the book, more details on our website. But now, the short answer from a biblical perspective, the Earth is roughly 6,000 years of age. You get that from those biblical genealogies in the Bible, so and so began, so and so began, so and so. You go back to Genesis 5 and Genesis 11, and it gives you, in those genealogies of family trees, the age of the father when he has his child, and you can add those ages up. So, doing so, from Adam to Abraham was roughly 2,000 years, Abraham to Jesus, roughly 2,000 years, Jesus to today, roughly 2,000 years, but that all together, that’s where you get the rough estimate around 6,000 years for the age of the Earth. Real science, by the way, will affirm that in so many different ways, lots of great articles on the website showing how real observations confirms the Bible again and again.
Sam Rohrer: Wow. What a change that is in most people’s perspective. 6,000 years old to say, wow, that’s not real long. Well, no, it’s not and it changes everything, so it does make a difference. Let’s go to that last one here. We only have a couple of minutes left, and that was your question, what about the dinosaurs? But you also brought up the idea of people and race, kind of blend these two together.
Bryan Osborne: Yes. So, really shortly, dinosaurs are land animals. The dinosaurs were made on day six. Originally, all things were very good. There was no death before man sin. Originally, all things were vegetarian. After man’s sin, that would’ve changed, changed the diet for many animals, post the fall of man. Dinosaurs would’ve been on the ark with Noah. Noah took two of each land animal. They would’ve gotten off the ark with Noah and lived with people post-flood. We have ledgers of that. They were called dragons for a long time. So, the dinosaur has not been until 1841. And then they eventually went extinct over time since the days of Noah to what we see today. That’s a really, really short answer on that.
For people groups, guys, the Bible is really clear that God made Adam and Eve, and from those first two people comes every person ever. That means there is just one race, the human race. And then after the flood is the Tower of Babel. God spread humanity out all over the globe, creating [inaudible 00:28:47] genetic pools, different traits become dominant, different populations, at least of different cultures. But we all go back to Adam and Eve. There’s just one race. By the way, since we all descend from Adam, we’re all sinners by nature, by choice, and we all need saving through the last Adam, Jesus Christ.
Sam Rohrer: You did a great job, Bryan. That was very, very condensed. Again, ladies and gentlemen, that’s the point. There are tough questions, but they’re really not tough answers. There are simple answers if we start where God starts and that is with God at creation, and then we go from there, which is a biblical worldview. God, God created, sin came into the world, precipitated by a real live devil, so now we’re living in a world that’s been tarnished by sin. As Bryan said, the world we have is not the way God made it. We’re living in a fallen world. Sin depraved man. Animals all reflect it. But thank the Lord, there is redemption through Jesus Christ and that is the good news. Wow. It all fits together and it all makes sense perfectly because that’s God’s plan. If we start where He starts, we’ll end where He ends and that’s with Him. When we come back, we’re going to conclude by just giving some answers. We’ll talk with a general overall sense of how to now give answers in light of these questions that we’ve been talking.
Sam Rohrer: In the Book of 1 Peter 3:15-16, the Apostle Peter admonishes, and Bryan mentioned this at the beginning of this program because this is why we need to have answers. He said this, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts as holy and always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who ask you reason for the hope that is in you.” He said, “Yet, do it with gentleness and respect having a good conscience so that when you are slandered, made fun of those who speak evil of you and revile your good behavior in Christ, that your actions may put them to shame.” Well, you know what, there are times when being prepared to answer means knowing how to turn that question to a question as the best way to give an answer as did Jesus quite regularly in His interaction with His critics.
Now, here’s just an example, so you can see the power of this. When questioned with the intent to indict and trap Jesus, the Pharisees ask Him whether it was right to pay taxes to Rome. Remember that? Well, instead of giving a direct answer, Jesus turned it around and asked for a coin. And then He asked the Pharisees a question and He said, “Well, whose image is on this coin?” Well, this was frankly embodying what we now call the Socratic method is really a right method. Jesus utilized it. Socratic method of asking right questions. What was it for? It was for the purpose of teaching a self-evident truth, in this case, that we are bound to give to Caesar what is his and to give to God what is His, because that entire concept comes out of the authority structure granted and designed by God the Father and in which we operate.
So, He was teaching a significant thing, but He did it by asking them a question. So Bryan, as we provide some concluding thoughts here in this emphasis today in the next few minutes here, what would you advice our listeners who embrace the truth, and majority of our listeners, they do. That’s why they listen to this program. They’re committed to standing in the gap for truth, which means at times verbally engaging in questions and answers. So, however you want to go here, but can you summarize a methodology or an approach perhaps that can help our listeners to be best prepared to give an answer, not apologize for the truth, as we’re talking, but give an answer for the hope that is within them? What would you say?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah. There’s a really good methodology of asking good questions for multiple reasons, as you’ve alluded to already, Sam. I think asking people questions, as I said earlier, gives them a chance to talk. Everybody likes to be heard. Also, it makes them more apt to listen to you when you do talk. By the way, bear in mind, when you’re doing apologetics, when you’re giving gospel presentations, typically, these aren’t presentations, they’re conversations. You’re engaging a real person as real thoughts. And so, you’re not standing at a podium typically and just giving your diatribe, but whether you’re engaging someone in a conversation or maybe a group in conversation, which means they’re going to be back and forth, which means asking questions is good and logical and sound.
And so, also, I think this is just a very practical tip, as you’re engaged in someone, you can ask them a question which gives them time to talk and gives you time to compose yourself if you’re nervous, to gather your thoughts, to pray. And so, you can organize those things as well. And then, also, when you let people talk, you get to hear their perspective. You get to learn what they actually believe. And then here’s the other thing that’s fun, Sam. As you let people talk and you ask good questions, oftentimes they’ll start to actually indict themselves. They’ll start to actually unravel their whole ideologies when you really ask them good questions and they’ll be getting to realize, “Oh, well, I do have faith and I don’t have a good reason for that.” And it’s really just an arbitrary opinion. And so, asking your questions can do that.
They don’t have to be hard questions, but just good questions. Here’s some just comic questions I would ask on whatever topic and asking someone, “Well, what do you believe about that issue, sexuality, gender, origins, age of the Earth, dinosaurs? What do you believe?” And then asking them, “Well, how do you know, right? Says who? What’s your authority? What is your source on this?” And then another good question is, “Well, why does it matter, right? According to you, within your thinking, in your worldview, why does that issue matter at all?” And so, when you do that, again, it gives them a chance to talk and you hear their opinions. By the way, they’re going to give their ideas and there’ll be a nugget of truth in there. There always is. They’re smuggling a nugget of truth of biblical world and they’re twisting and misapplying it. And so, you can listen for that.
And then once they answer those questions, you can come back and, “Well, here’s what you’re actually holding onto, that nugget. Here’s where actually comes from. It comes from the Bible. Let’s compare what you think to what the Bible says, because it’s either God’s word versus man. And then that nugget or truth you’re holding onto, what comes from the biblical worldview, you’re actually stealing from the Bible. You need the Bible for that. Actually, you need the gospel. You need to get saved.” And so, you can use all those questions, very simple questions. What do you believe? Why? How do you know? Why does it matter? Compare it to the Bible and then get to the biblical authority in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can use that to answer so many questions in a conversation way that’s very comfortable and engaging and is a powerful venue for sharing God’s truth in the gospel.
Gary Dull: Bryan, you talked about those questions, what do you believe, how do you know, what is your authority, and so forth and so on. I would believe that in asking those particular questions, you might find that the person that you’re talking to would come to their own conclusion that they don’t have the answers. So, I think that those are some good-
Bryan Osborne: That’s exactly right.
Gary Dull: Yeah. Those are some great questions to bring up. But your ministry there with AIG is one in which you folks do communicate regularly that all of life’s questions find their root answer is in the Book of Genesis. In answering tough questions, we must begin with God in His creation. I believe that when we have God in His creation settled, then all other questions can be answered biblically and correctly. So, why don’t you, if you can, in just a minute or two, explain how all of this works? What is that powerful thread of God in His creation that starts as a basis of answering some of these toughest questions in life?
Bryan Osborne: Yeah. No, great question. Oftentimes, people ask, “Well, why does the issue of origins, age of the Earth and stuff like that matter?” Well, two big reasons, number one is a biblical authority issue. Can we trust the Bible at the beginning? If we can’t trust what it says about history, why trust about morality or sexuality or salvation through Christ alone? The second big issue is this, and that is every single biblical doctrine is either directly or indirectly rooted in that history of Genesis 1 to 11, including the biblical doctrines we need today to refute the secular ideologies of our day.
So, think about it, as I heard in the promo during the break, how do we know that marriage is one man, one woman for life? That comes from the Book of Genesis 1 to 11? How do we know there are only two genders? That goes back to Genesis. How do we know we’re all made in God’s image, equal and value and worth, though very diverse? It goes back to Genesis 1 to 11. You keep going down the line. Every biblical doctrine is either directly or indirectly rooted in that history, Genesis 1 to 11. And so, that’s what’s foundationally important related also to the issue of biblical authority.
And then, guys, going back to that history, as we mentioned earlier, we’re told in God’s word that God made Adam and Eve, the crowning jewel of God’s creation made in His image. And then Adam sinned, bringing death and suffering into this world. That’s a real history. That’s a real event. We all really do descend from that first man. That’s why we are all sinners by nature and consequently by choice. We all need saving through the last Adam, Jesus Christ, the God who became flesh, who lived a perfect life. He died on the cross in our place. He paid the perfect infinite debt we can never pay. Then He rose in the grave defeating death. If you, as a descendant of Adam, if you repent, turn away from your sin and put your faith in Christ, you will be saved. As we give a defense, as we do apologetics, our ultimate goal is to get to the gospel, to defend the faith, to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to glorify God and to see people get saved for God’s glory. That’s the point of all of this.
Sam Rohrer: Bryan, absolutely perfect way to wrap up program. Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. The reason that we understand and develop a way to defend that which is within us, that which we know about Jesus Christ, it’s not to engage in an argument, but it’s to help lead someone to a self-evident truth that God is. There is a sin. We are condemned, but Jesus Christ came as our savior, our justification, and we can be redeemed. Always lead people to the good news. That’s what all of this is about, and that’s a part of really, truly knowing the truth, embracing it, and then standing in the gap for truth. So, with that, thanks for being with us to day. Thank you, Bryan, for being with us. We’ll see you back here tomorrow, God willing.