apologetic methods

This tag is associated with 3 posts

Really Recommended Posts 10/3/14- Profanity in the Bible, Earth’s Age, “Uglies” and more!

postHere we have another round of links for your perusal, dear readers. The topics include the age of the Earth (you really must read this), interpreting the Bible, YA Literature, apologetics, and profanity in the Bible. Oh yeah, you read that last one correctly. Check the posts out, and if you liked them be sure to let the authors know. Let me know what you think in the comments here!

Smoking Gun Evidence of an Ancient Earth: GPS Data Confirms Radiometric Dating– People who deny that the Earth really is billions of years old often do so by trying to undercut radiometric dating. But what if we were able to independently confirm radiometric dating? That’s actually what scientists have been able to do, thus confirming the ancient age of the Earth. Check out this post to see the evidence.

What the Bleep does the Bible say about Profanity?– I found this to be a very thought-provoking post on how Christians should think about profanity. I don’t agree with everything here, but it certainly got my brain working. What are your thoughts on this issue? Be sure to read the post, as it gives some great insights.

Uglies, Pretties, and Specials: Scott Westerfield’s Brave New YA World– Young Adult Literature is one way to get our fingers on the pulse of the culture. Here, Anthony Weber (whose awesome site you should follow!) looks at Scott Westerfield’s look into a future in which physical beauty is even more important than it is now.

Are We “Standing Over” Scripture When We Interpret It?– Sometimes, people express concern with the need to read the Bible in its context and work with interpreting a passage. Shouldn’t it all just be clear? Are we placing ourselves over Scripture? Check out this brief post on this concern.

Christian apologetics: Is there, besides current popular approaches, another way to “take every thought captive”?– I have often thought of the need for an integrative approach to apologetics, which looks at the various methods holistically instead of atomistically. Here, someone who seems to favor the presuppositional method looks for the possibility of reconciling various apologetic methods.

The Need for Psychological Apologetics– It is important to realize that psychological issues impact people from all backgrounds. Here, Pastor Matt Rawlings argues that we need to awaken to the need for psychological apologetics.

Question of the Week: Which apologetic method do you prefer?

question-week2Each Week on Saturday, I’ll be asking a “Question of the Week.” I’d love your input and discussion! Ask a good question in the comments and it may show up as the next week’s question! I may answer the questions in the comments myself.

Apologetic Method

There are a number of different apologetic methods, such as evidentialism, presuppositionalism, classical apologetics, cumulative-case apologetics, Reformed Epistemology, and some even consider forms of fideism to be a type of apologetics.

I’m curious as to what your preferred apologetic method is:

Which apologetics method do you prefer? Do you consider it to be the only method which is viable?

There are some who argue that, for example, presuppositionalism is the only biblical apologetic method. Others (like myself) prefer an integrative approach which uses aspects of as many different approaches as possible. What are your thoughts? How have you used your apologetic approach most effectively? Let me know in the comments!

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more.

Question of the Week– Check out other questions and give me some answers!

SDG.

Apologetics and the Search for Truth

Apologetics must be not only a defense of but also a search for the truth. A parallel I would draw is one I heard in the movie, “The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon.” In that movie, they discuss the role which Mormon apologists have taken on: that of defending a falsehood, and essentially just telling believers they must keep the faith and ignore/lie about the evidence. Christian apologists must never allow themselves to value fideism over reasoned faith. If conclusive evidence undermines an article of faith, it must be abandoned.

What am I suggesting? Apologetics is not just a static defense of each point of Christianity, rather, it is a defense seeking truth. Some will immediately bristle upon reading this and argue there are some beliefs Christians cannot compromise. I agree. There are truths, which, if shown to be false, would lead to the falsehood of Christianity. But if evidence existed which conclusively proved God did not exist, then Christianity would be false, no matter what we would desire. That said, it seems to me that there is an overwhelming weight of evidence showing that God does indeed exist. Not only that, but there is a  huge amount of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. So again, we return to the position of the apologist: defending truths.

Perhaps an example might help draw out the implications of my points. Take Young Earth Creationism. Many apologists continue to defend this position, yet there is conclusive evidence both in the cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang and in the dating of rocks on earth and from space that the world is much older than a Young Earth position would have us believe. Not only that, but throughout the history of Christianity, a Young Earth position has not been a serious article of faith. The conclusive evidence against the Young Earth position should lead Christian apologists to continue to seek to understand the world God created–along different lines as necessary.

It is telling that Paul himself wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that “…if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” He goes on to clearly explicate the implications of this historical fact for Christianity. Christianity is based upon seeking truth. If it were the case that central truth claims of Christianity were factually incorrect, than “our preaching is usless” and “so is [our] faith.” Christian apologists should therefore continue to seek truth, and defend it. The order of operation is not: pick a belief, decide it is true, and defend it. Rather, the apologist must operate in a completely opposite fashion: seek to discover truth, believe in  that truth, and defend it.

So, fellow apologists, I issue you a challenge: let nothing be unexplored. When you get the questions you cannot answer, do not fall on fideism, but investigate the truth. All truths are God’s truths, and we should not fear them.

To those who detract apologetics as a defense of falsehoods, I also issue a challenge: Have you actually explored the truth claims of Christianity? Have you engaged the arguments for theism? Have you investigated the evidence for the Resurrection of Christ? If not, you also need be consistent–leave no stone unturned in your search for truth.

While there almost certainly are apologists who defend their specific theological point against any and all scientific and philosophical evidence, what I am suggesting is a methodological apology: one which actively defends truth, but without putting all the weight upon one position; one which continues to seek truth, wherever it is found; a methodology which not only defends the truth, but finds it. What is truth? That which God has wrought.

SDG.

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