Impact 360 Fellows have the opportunity to hear from many guest speakers who come from across the country to educate us on various topics. Last month, we had the privilege of learning from Dr. Paul Copan, a professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida and a distinguished philosopher who has written over 40 books. As a theologian and apologist, Dr. Copan taught us how important it is to know the truth of God’s existence and understand different worldviews. We had the chance to grow in our knowledge of God and be equipped by the Holy Spirit to be powerful ambassadors of Christ.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20
What is Apologetics?
The term “apologetics” is derived from the Greek word apologia, which means the justification of one’s actions or opinions. It is important for Christians to have an understanding of apologetics because we are called by God to be able to give an account of our faith. Dr. Copan helped us increase our knowledge of apologetics so we can better follow 1 Peter 3:15 which says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
Apologetic 1: Intelligent Design
One argument Dr. Copan provided for the existence of God was the teleological design argument. Telos in Greek means “goal, end” and insinuates a design or purpose. Dr. Copan pointed out that it would be nearly impossible for the world to exist without an intelligent designer. He then walked us through various worldviews that reject an intelligent designer including agnosticism, atheism, and naturalism.
Something that I found to be particularly interesting was the fact that there are two types of naturalism. Strict naturalism only accounts for reality, causation, and knowledge. Broad/popular naturalism allows for more properties such as values, consciousness, and experience. However, both reject the idea of any supernatural entities or occurrences. Since the teleological argument points to a creator who has always been, the Christian worldview consistently aligns with reality.
Apologetic 2: Objective Morality
Today, whenever people speak about the importance of justice or doing the right thing, they demonstrate that they know there is such a thing as objective morality. Dr. Copan began our discussion about the existence of objective morality with Psalm 11:3 which says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” He showed us that throughout history there has been ample evidence of objective morality, leading many to the conclusion that God exists.
Through our study of Scripture and the world God created, we are diving into the first pillar of Impact 360’s learning philosophy, Know Jesus more deeply. Knowing Jesus more deeply is about learning to love God with our mind so that we grow in our understanding of what God has revealed about reality and why Christianity is true. It is important for us to learn more about Christ so that we can be obedient to the calling of the Great Commission by engaging in conversations about worldviews wherever we go. God is working through Dr. Copan, our professors, and other guest speakers to equip us to become more like Jesus. We the Fellows are learning to compassionately reach out to the lost and point others back to Christ.
El Paso, Texas