One God, One Savior



I. Introduction
a. What makes an effective apologetic?
i. Concise content: practically suited for evangelistic conversation
ii. Comprehensive content: defends the entire Biblical worldview
iii. Christ-centered content: focuses on the saving message of the Gospel

II. Fact One: “There is only one God: Jehovah.”
a. Traditional theistic arguments
b. Presuppositional argument

III. Fact Two: “Jesus claimed to be Jehovah.”
a. The Hebraic nature of Jesus’ claim

IV. Fact Three: “Jesus proved Himself to be Jehovah.”
a. The resurrection in context
i. Does the data prove the Bible, or does the Bible make sense of the data?
1. Theism (God to resurrection, not resurrection to God)
2. Scripture’s predictions (prophecy, not anomaly)

V. Conclusion
a. Apologetics: interaction, not abstraction


In a time when apologetics is becoming increasingly popular, and increasingly needed, it is crucial that the Christian’s methodology conforms to the principles of Bible doctrine and practical application. It is of utmost importance that Christians understand their purpose in using any particular apologetic. This purpose is without a doubt the evangelization of the lost. Too often apologetics becomes an effort to debate about God instead of helping the lost person to relate to God. Given the focus of apologetics which stems from Great Commission, what characteristics should a defense of the Gospel have? First, every apologetic should be fit for personal conversation. This means it must be concise. After all, there is much research in the area of apologetics which one can draw from and the Bible is a very large book indeed. If there are no specific, central points to be defended, then a Christian risks wasting time and opportunity. Second, an effective apologetic is comprehensive. The goal of an apologist is not to get the unbeliever to assent to some isolated facts, but to abandon their faulty way of thinking and commit to a Biblical worldview. Moreover, the facts of the Christian faith lack meaning apart from a Biblical worldview. Take the resurrection, for example. What is the theological significance of a person coming back from the dead? It is an impressive feat to be sure, but it lacks meaning if not considered in light of Biblical prophecy and teaching. Lastly, the effective apologetic is Christ-centered. If Christ is the focal point of the Biblical worldview, and it is this worldview Christians are trying to instill in the lost, then Christ must stand out in our defense of the faith. This means that believers are not to leave the lost person before they hear about Jesus. Arguing about God’s existence for hours is folly if Jesus is not the God being presented. Given these three essential characteristic, what apologetic methodology should be utilized? An apologetic which incorporates a presuppositional approach, as well as a case for the exclusive authority of Jesus based on the resurrection, provides a concise, comprehensive and Christ-centered defense of the Biblical worldview.


Traditional Theistic Arguments

            The traditional theistic arguments derived from natural theology, which are a key part of classical apologetics, are as follows: cosmological, teleological, and axiological. Though these arguments have taken various forms over the years, they all base their essential aspects on data from the natural world. The strength of the arguments stems from their appeal to natural revelation. While the arguments are elucidated in a philosophical manner, they are based on the simple, inner awareness of the Divine, which is inextricably tied to the soul of every man. Psalm 19 and Romans 1 are the two greatest evidences of this innate knowledge of God. In light of this Scriptural backing, traditional theistic arguments should be duly considered and placed in the Christian’s apologetic arsenal. Nevertheless, classical apologetics has two tendencies regarding them. First, when isolated from Scripture, the arguments are founded upon human reason. While this may seem reasonable at first, placing anything before God’s Word as the ultimate authority for man is to err in a big way. Secondly, these arguments have a tendency to paint a very general picture about God. Again, this occurs only when they are separated from what Scriptures says about them. To give an example, the teleological argument in and of itself, only demonstrates that there is a universal designer. It does not answer the question as to who the designer is. Again, the cosmological argument shows necessity of a first cause, but what it tells us about the cause is insufficient. Even when combined with each other, the traditional arguments still do not exclusively point to Jehovah, the God of the Bible. Therefore, it seems that the traditional proofs, though not incorrect, are better presented within the context of God’s Word, not only man’s logic.

Presuppositional Argument

Yet another argument, neglected by many, incorporates many points from natural theology, but does not have a tendency to ignore special revelation. This argument is called the transcendental argument and it forms the core of presuppositional apologetics. Starting from Scripture, the transcendental argument maintains God’s Word as it basis and specifically makes a case for the God of the Bible (i.e. Jehovah/Jesus). The basic assertion of this argument is that the Biblical worldview alone makes sense of things as they are. Reality as we know it would not be possible apart from the Bible being true. Therefore, the God of the Bible must exist to explain the universe’s existence and state. Several illustrations of this are generally provided. First, like the axiological argument, the transcendental argument maintains that the existence of the God of the Bible alone accounts for absolute morality. How could universal moral rules exist apart from a universal moral Ruler? Second, science requires God. Science assumes the reliability of the human mind and the uniformity of nature. These things only make sense within a Biblical worldview. Atheism, on the other hand, can account for neither. As a result, any attempt by an atheist to disprove God through science is actually self-refuting. Lastly, logical laws require a Lawgiver. These laws are a reflection of God’s mind and transcend the universe. Again, atheists cannot account for logic and, so, to employ logic to argue against the God of the Bible serves as a proof of this God. As can be clearly seen, the transcendental argument is rooted firmly in both natural and special revelation. Therefore, unlike classical apologetics, presuppositional apologetics, if used properly, offers a powerful case for not just God in general, but Jehovah in particular


The Hebrew Nature of Jesus’ Claims to Divinity 

Once the transcendental argument supplies a good case for the Biblical worldview, a specific belief within this worldview must be individually considered. As was stated above, Jesus is the focal point of the Bible. Therefore, His claims must be considered. While it would require must more room than this paper allots to exhaustively examine every claim of Christ, His message can be boiled down into two facts: (1) He said He was the Hebrew God and (2) He said He came to fulfilled Hebrew prophecy. It will not do to say Jesus simply claimed to be God, for He did so much more than this. He claimed to be Jehovah and that He could give only what Jehovah could give: eternal life. It cannot be stressed enough that Jesus’ message was not only causal, but personal. In other words, Jesus was not preaching that He was just the Creator; He was preaching that He was the Savior. This clearly comes across when the Old Testament context of His statements is taken into consideration. John 5 provides a good illustration of this.

Author: James Buddy Smith
Ark of Hope
Jasper, Georgia