links between classic, evidential-ism and idolatry
Colossians 2:18 (King James Version)
18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
When a person is committing idolatry, traditionally they are creating their own concept of God.
Traditionally apologists follow secular philosophy in assuming that God must be affirmed by unbelievers through logic. In order to do this there is a tendency to present God in a way that they assume would be to the liking of the audience.
So God is subject to change.
Two typical apologist systems are evidentialism and Thomistic classical apologetics. Evidentialism is a scientific empirical system for determining truth based on evidence. The evidential apologist establishes a scientific case for the likely hood of a transcendent truth like God. But can only speak as to what evidence is given. Thomistic apologetics divorces the concepts of faith and reason. so that only reason is universal and any transcendent concept outside of monotheism and morality is faith which is subjective.
Even if an evidentialists or Thomistic apologists(follower of thomas aquinas) says they believe biblical doctrine they then declare that certain arguments are based upon faith and therefore untenable. Which makes one wonder how they can consistently believe at all.
Yet Faith covers everything to do with God.
Hebrews 11:3 "3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
So then these doctrines are not based on reason alone and faith is not to be exiled from reason.
Matthew 7:16-20 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
When we look at these philosophies we judge them by their by-products and not by their foundation. We think as long as this can support our faith in God we think it is good. But if the tree is bad then by necessity the fruit will be bad also. This is the foundation of the modern secularized church. The foundation is meaningless as long as the product is good.
A. If lots of people come forward or come to church then you must be a good evangelist.
B. If people sound good then they must be providing good worship.
C. If I can speak with a lot of technical words i must be a good teacher.
If I can argue for the existence of a god I must be a good defender of the faith. Whether it's C.S. Lewis "mere Christianity" or Lee Strobel's "The case for a Creator"
The refusal not to defend parts of the faith is a choice to offend the word of God.
Matthew 5:18-19 (King James Version)
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 8:38 (King James Version)
38Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
To argue for a piece of the truth is also to argue the other piece of a lie. For instance I have heard many intelligent design advocates. Many of whom will argue against the idea of a young earth as taught in the bible just as strongly as they argue against biological evolution.
disobedience of sola scriptura
Colossians 2:8 (King James Version)
8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Matthew 15:9 (King James Version)
9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
When we try to establish doctrine based upon another source than scripture. We imply the scripture on some level is unnecessary. Much of Thomas Aquinas arguments were first propounded by Aristotle who was a pagan. So they did not require the Holy spirit to have access to the God of the Bible in Thomism. You may know right from wrong and the existence of God without the scriptures. In fact these things are proven meaning they are obvious to the sinner.
Then Thomism argues that this is true because they can convince some people of their arguments. However they do not convince everyone.
So the validity of God's existence is at the mercy of human opinion.
Also The lordship of Jehovah is undermined and this is against the scriptures.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (King James Version)
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
How natural is revelation?
Romans 1:18-22 (King James Version)
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Now this passage teaches that God has revealed the truth. Yet this is not universal. It is men who particularly hold the truth in unrighteousness. These men have been revealed the wrath of God. these are not just unbelievers, they are reprobates. Now there is a universal revelation which is.
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
So all people are not convicted towards monotheism. Instead they are all convicted concerning Christ. They will be convicted over their disbelief in christ, they will be convicted concerning the righteousness of christ,through his resurrection and ascension. They will know judgement because the "prince of this world" is condemned. Which would translate to the fact that satan is the spirit of selfishness and our selfish desires are doomed to failure.
This is not released to people through nature. It is released through the gospel.
Romans 1:16 (King James Version)
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Unbelievers are ignorant.
Jonah 4:11 "And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?"
Unbelievers are indeed ignorant and this is why the gospel is required.
idolatry of knowledge
1 Corinthians 8:1-2 (King James Version)
1Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
2And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
Unbelievers such as the gnostics consider knowledge to be the sacrament of eternal life. Faith is not our ability to attain knowledge, but our humility in receiving truth.
God is greater than the unmoved mover.
By referring to God in limited ways we veer off course of the true doctrine of God.
A classic example of an aspect which matches God but does not give any credence to the rest of God. For instance God is unmoving but he is also a God who has emotions and comforts. the Unmoved mover by itself may not follow this God. But it is essential to understand God is love. So the unmoved mover may be a deity but not believe in the God of the bible.
Is salvation a decision?
When a person becomes a christian is it based upon their giving God permission to save them?
I believe their is a difference between trusting God to save and allowing God to save.
Is my justification the fact that I allowed Christianity to be my religious affiliation, or is justification the fact that salvation was prepared for me by jesus christ and the fact that I have repented of my autonomy and recognized that He is my Lord and capable of providing it to me?
29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
In the end I believe our thoughts about God connect to our relationship to him. I know that most people do not make their philosophy this consistent but false teachings still can damage our spirituality. it is not necessarily wrong to point out scientific evidence or a good logic argument for support. At the end of the day though you do not need these arguments to evangelize The gospel and the word of God are sufficient.