“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, July 15, 2011

Christian Apologetics

What is the best approach to Christian apologetics? My thoughts:

  • The shocking fact of existence should not be taken for granted; this fact is best understood in light of a single, ultimate, and personal source and foundation of reality, that is to say, God.
  • Awakening an awareness of beauty, meaning, and purpose is important to me, since I have experienced God in this way. Beauty (in music, mathematics, the natural world, etc.) is an objective reality best understood within a theistic worldview.
  • The same can be said of morality.
  • Arguments for God based on science (eg. fine-tuning, cosmological argument) have little or no merit.
  • Christianity, properly understood, is its own defense. Explaining is prior to defending.
  • The story of fall and redemption gives the most illuminating account of human nature, which is paradoxically both good and sinful.
  • An understanding of the story of the cross can be aided by seeing it reflected in fictional stories, some of them very popular today. This is important to me because I came to understand Christ’s death and resurrection in this way.
  • The problem of evil is perhaps the apologist’s greatest concern. A Christian response must be centered on the cross, Christ’s resurrection, and the hope this gives for “eucatastrophe” even in the face of death (1 Corinthians 15).
  • Second in importance to seeing the beauty of Christianity is understanding its historical credibility. We must study the claims of the first Christians in their cultural context.
  • Skeptics need to see that Christianity is consistent with modern science, including biology. BioLogos has set a good example in addressing this issue.

2 comments:

  1. What are your thoughts on John Polkinghorne and Francis Collins? Just wondering, since you mention BioLogos in a positive light but also seem to disapprove of apologetics based on scientific arguments (which they both like to use).

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  2. I think Polkinghorne and Collins have set great examples of holding science and Christianity together in a consistent way, but I would perhaps have some doubts about, for example, fine-tuning arguments, or arguments which are built on claims of what natural processes cannot accomplish - basically God of the gaps arguments. Still, on the whole they have brought a much needed perspective to counter all the creationist and intelligent design stuff. Polkinghorne in particular has a very rich theological perspective on science and the physical world, in eg. Faith of a Physicist.

    BioLogos seems to feature writers from all across the board, even intelligent design people, but on the whole they seem to be making a worthy effort to help churches and pastors understand and accept science.

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