Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Apologetic Methods

Have you ever had one of those weird experiences where you decide you need to read up on something, and suddenly almost everything you happen to see has to do with that thing? I've been studying the various apologetic methods within the Christian tradition lately, and one of those serendipitous - or providential - supplements to my own study materials was Barry Carey's excellent series of blog posts summarizing the book Five Views of Apologetics, Steven Cowan, editor. Though brief, Barry's summaries of each of the five contributors' views serve as a great introduction to the basic issues surrounding the various methods in Christian apologetics. His conclusion is pretty close to where I'm at right now as I have evaluated the different approaches, which I may post on later.

In any event, for those interested in this sort of thing, here are the links to the individual blogposts in the series:

Doing Apologetics [an introduction]
Classical Apologetics
Evidentialist Apologetics
Cumulative Case Apologetics
Presuppositional Apologetics
Reformed Epistemology Apologetics
My Apologetics Strategy [a conclusion]

2 comments:

Sam Watson said...

Hello Aaron

I've been wading through the Web in recent months to see how modern Christian Apologetics presents itself.

For many years Apologetics (and its methods) was important to me. But as I progressed through life's many changes, challenges and upsets I came to seriously question the idea that Christians need to defensively and offensively reason and intellectualise their faith and their God to make them somehow more credible. It doesn't make sense to me.

In fact, I've come to the conclusion that Apologetics is a waste of precious time! Although I've since moved on to more important things, every now and then I share my views.

You're welcome to read them if you wish:

http://www.slashedcanvas.co.uk/index.htm

What upsets me most is the state of The Church. I'd question the need to defend faith while the Church has many more pressing needs and worrying problems.

Classical, Evidentialist, Epistemological, and any other kind of Apologetics regularly shifts Christian faith and defence into the arena of intellectualism, and that excludes many who won't/can't understand, who aren't even interested, and the few who take a more simple and New Testament-based approach.

There are a lot of problems associated with Apologetics, yet if The New Testament is true, we shouldn't be worrying about wrestling with people's minds.

I think The Church deserves a good shaking! It's needs it's raw nerves danced on without mercy. Too many Christians envelope themselves in self-delusional bubbles that lead them to lose sight of objectivity. They avoid those corrective, spiritual priorities that challenge their lifestyles.

Sam Watson said...

I should have added a specific link:

http://www.slashedcanvas.co.uk/essays/essays6.htm