Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?


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What are the central elements of a Biblical model of persuasion?

Yet the happiness the earthly city allows is only temporary, and its society is conflicted. Only the peace and eternity of the divine city match the Supreme Good. Nor is the pilgrim church quite to be equated with the city of God, for the latter already contains the angels and the saints, while the former will have tares mixed in with the wheat until the final judgment. In a world more pluralistically conceived, it has remained possible to draw on Augustine for Christian teaching on political ethics and human destiny more generally.

As the 18th century passed into the 19th, a different style of apologetic was conducted by the Berlin preacher Friedrich Schleiermacher — Belonging to a family of Reformed ministers and educated at Pietist institutions, Schleiermacher tapped into emergent Romanticism in his On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers The founder of Christianity, Schleiermacher noted in his On Religion , was remarkable as the best mediator yet of a clear consciousness of the divine being.

Schleiermacher continued this apologetic theme in his comprehensive account of Christian doctrine, The Christian Faith —22; You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. In this time of rapidly increasing awareness of religious differences around the world, we need to consider carefully how members of one faith can properly offer what they take to be the blessings of that faith to others.

How can believers both defend and commend their religion without needlessly offending their neighbors and exacerbating the tensions of the global village? I should say at the outset that I am a Christian and this book centers on Christian apologetics.

My research and teaching of world religions, however, encourages me to affirm that many of its observations and principles will be applicable to adherents of other faiths. So I hope that such believers also will find this book useful. Apologetics in the past has often been destructive.

What Is Apologetics and What Is Its Purpose?

In fact, this book is the result of two life-changing encounters that drove me to two conclusions: Apologetics can bless, and apologetics can curse. The first encounter was with my own high-school English teacher. The second was with a friend's account of a devastating experience he had had with a professional religious apologist. The first encounter sparked within me a lifelong passion for commending the faith to my neighbors.

Christian Apologetics Reading Room | Tyndale

Essentially, evidential and classical apologists are inadvertently appealing to another absolute standard system of logic to claim that God is the absolute standard. Classical and evidential defenders readily appeal to God as the absolute authority and this is correct , but their method appeals to something else as the absolute authority. There is a time when an evidential-style method is useful—in fact, very useful. This is when both involved in the debate share the same biblical worldview.

When both debaters have the same biblical worldview, then it is a matter of understanding the evidence, not a debate about worldview. When a debate arises over some scientific evidence or the like, and both are biblical creationists for example , then the debate can proceed almost identical to an evidential method. There is more on evidence later in this treatise. The same sort of situation occurs with the classical method.

When both share a common biblical worldview, then the debate is no longer over worldview, but can be carried on from the perspective of a classical style apologetic by making the logical case. The difference is recognizing the place of God and His Word above all—even logic, which is more of a reflection of the way God thinks and upholds. For example, classical arguments for the existence of God first cause, design, and so on are a good confirmation of the transcendental argument for the existence of God TAG 17 that is actually presupposed prior to the classical arguments. One needs to recognize that the Bible gives the very basis by which we can do logic and understand knowledge—for we are made in the image of an all-knowing, logical God Genesis ; Colossians Only God knows everything.

Therefore, it is only on the basis of what the all knowing God reveals to us we can even begin to construct the right worldview. The Bible also explains why we mess it up—sin Genesis 3; Romans 5. It is the Bible that enables us to understand that our memory and sense are reliable e. So we have a basis to look at evidence and draw conclusions—but such things are predicated on the truthfulness of the Bible as the ultimate authority. We commonly encounter the false perception that evidence is not used among presuppositional apologists.

This cannot be further from the truth. The presuppositionalist uses evidence. It is often done in a slightly different way than evidential or classical apologetics. Some of the uses of evidence are:.


  1. An Apologetic for Apologetics?
  2. Books by Tyndale's Professor James Beverley.
  3. Three Steps to Enlightenment;
  4. Which Apologetic Approach is Correct?.

When we see rock layers all over the world that have fossils in them, this is good confirmation of what we would expect to see as a result of a global flood. When an unbeliever and biblical Christian engage in discussion, evidence is often used. And this can be good—an apologist can use evidence in regard to origins, for instance, to help the unbeliever realize it is really a worldview debate.

Then point out to the unbeliever that the debate is actually about starting points that build the two different worldviews. The real debate is actually at the starting point level.

Christian Apologetics Reading Room

For example, the secular humanistic worldview no God, evolution, and millions of years teaches that dinosaurs evolved into birds over millions of years. Note the utter inconsistency! By starting with the Bible, we cannot only make sense of the evidence, but have a basis to do so. This short chapter on apologetics is merely scratching the surface of the topic.

In fact, entire anthologies can be and have been written on the brief topics we discussed in this introductory chapter on apologetics. But remember these key points: do this for sake of the gospel and the authority of the Bible. And do this with gentleness and respect. An unbeliever, whether he or she realizes it or not, is made in the image of God, your relative, and is in need of Jesus Christ to be saved. Join a team of biblical scholars and Christian apologists present answers to twenty more relevant debates.

Be prepared to give a reason for your faith in God! Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry , dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. View Cart. Volume 2 Buy Book. Share: Email Using: Gmail Yahoo! Outlook Other. Shop Now. Volume 2.


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    Apologetics: What It Is and Isn’t and Why It Matters

    Early presuppositional apologetics examples are claimed from the Bible itself, as well as numerous others such as Augustine in some aspects and John of Damascus. Variant developed by Gordon Clark. Variant developed by Francis Schaefer.

    Variant developed by Edward J. For more on these topics please consult Dr. In this short section, we will merely hit a brief highlight of Van Tillian presuppositionalism. Atheism has no God who sets what is right and wrong, so there is no ultimate basis not to lie.

    Due to the limited space in this chapter these will not be expanded upon. But to know more about this, please consult Dr. To understand these viewpoints and their overarching flaws please consult Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended , by Greg L. Preconditions of intelligibility knowledge are the things that need to be in place for knowledge to exist.

    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?
    Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it? Defending the Faith: What is Apologetics? And...Why Do it?

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