Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tactics in Defending the Faith Part 11

Here is another Tactic in Defending the Faith. I have been participating in
the Truth Project and I can see how easy it is to get caught up in discussing the different views of Philosophy, and Science. If you get a chance to view the Truth Project Video series put on by Focus on The Family you'll be really blessed by it. It addresses many issues concerning Truth. At this point there have been a lot of issues discussed concerning Truth. Except one Truth that has yet to be mentioned. This Truth is not found in any of these disciplines (science, history, ethics and philosophy). The Truth I'm talking about is of course The Gospel. This is news that is outside of what man can see and can fathom through those disciplines. This is a message that can only come from God.

1 Corinthians 1:17-19 (New International Version)

17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[a]
Once you've gone through a wonderful study as the Truth Project and you come face to face with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then you can see how these Tactics by Greg Koukl can help you to share this Truth in the Gospel with gentleness and respect. Grace and Peace,
Coram Deo!!!

Subject: Tactics in Defending the Faith

Stand to Reason

Stand to Reason

Tactics in Defending the Faith Part 11: Why the "Suicide" Tactic Works

Greg Koukl

The suicide tactic works because it trades on a fundamental rule of logic: the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction states that two contradictory statements cannot be true at the same time: "A" cannot be "non-A" at the same time in the same way. All suicidal views express or entail contradictions. They make two different claims that are at odds with each other. The contradictions "A is the case" and "A is not the case" may be explicit or implicit.

Explicit contradictions are usually obvious:

"I never, never, repeat a word. Never."
The contradiction: I don't repeat a word. I do repeat a word.

"There are no absolutes. Absolutely."
Contradiction: There are no absolutes. There are absolutes.

"This page intentionally left blank."
Contradiction: This page is blank. This page is not blank.

"I used to believe in reincarnation. But that was in a former life."
Contradiction: I don't believe in reincarnation. I do believe in reincarnation.

"I'll give you three good reasons you can't use logic to find truth."
Contradiction: You want to use logic to disprove logic.

Implicit contradictions often are hidden and require further reflection to see.
"My brother is an only child."
Contradiction: My brother has a sibling (me). My brother is an only child.

"I never tell the truth." (Now what?)
Contradiction: It's true that I never tell the truth.

"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours." Yogi Berra

"Ask me about my vow of silence."

Sometimes suicide is a more subtle.

Radio caller: "You shouldn't be correcting Christian teachers on the radio."
(Then why is he calling this radio program to correct me?)

"You shouldn't force your morality on me."
(Why not? Are you telling me it's wrong to say that other people are wrong?)

The Suicide and Columbo tactics work well together. As you pay attention to a person's viewpoint and notice that his or her view commits suicide, point it out with a Columbo question.

In order to recognize a point that commits suicide first, identify the basic premise, conviction, or claim. It's not always obvious. Next, determine if the claim undermines itself. Does the statement satisfy its own requirements? Is there an internal contradiction? Can the idea be stated in the form "X is the case" and "X is not the case" at the same time? If so, it commits suicide.

Next time: Taking the Roof Off

For more extensive tactics training go to and look for Tactics in Defending the Faith Mentoring Series or STRi DVD interactive training in our online store or call Stand to Reason at 1-800-2-REASON.

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