Time for Everything
5/2/13 at 11:59 PM 1 Comments

Apologetics in the 1800s

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While looking at a list of famous people with birthdays on May 2nd, I noticed the name Elias Boudinot, the founder of the American Bible Society, a member of the Continental Congress and director of the United States Mint.

When Thomas Paine wrote the book Age of Reason to advance the cause of atheism, Boudinot responded with the book The Age of Revelation - published in 1801. Paine rejected the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Boudinot defended belief in both.

In his book Boudinot wrote, "These opposers of the Christian church, had the most urgent reasons for using every means in their power, to expose the falsehood or forgery of the apostles, if such had been the case."

Being a well-read Bible scholar, Boudinot also quoted other Christian writers that have since mostly been forgotten such as a Mr. Priestly in this book excerpt.

  "We believe the facts recorded in the New-Testament, not on the evidence of four persons, but on that of thousands, who were well acquainted with the facts, and by whom it cannot be denied, the contents of these books were credited. The books called the Gospels, were not the cause, but the effects of the belief of Christianity in the first ages: and these were received by the primitive Christians, because they knew beforehand, that the contents of them were true; consequently the leading facts of Christianity will always remain deserving credit, whatever may be found to be the truth concerning the authenticity of particular books. The circumstances of the Christian church, which received these books and transmitted them to us, were such, as there cannot be a doubt with respect to the competency of their evidence; because they were published in the life time of thousands and myriads, who were as competent witnesses of the facts, as the writers themselves; and there cannot be any question of their veracity, unless we suppose they all combined to tell and to propagate a falsehood, to their own prejudice, and merely to impose on all posterity -- which would be a greater miracle, as being more contrary to what we know of human nature, than any thing recorded in these books."

After skimming through Boudinot's book, it is apparent that in the field of Christian apologetics some of the same questions seem to never go away.

Related Links

Elias Boudinot - Wikipedia 

The Age of Revelation 

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