(Excerpt from Reason, Beginning the Journey)
Our journey isn’t about apologetics, and yet it does touch on apologetics so we’ll look at a few quotes from across the Christian spectrum of opinions. For those who want to study apologetics, they’ll find many books on the subject that take one stance or another.
Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The simplicity of this definition, however, masks the complexity of the problem of defining apologetics. It turns out that a diversity of approaches has been taken to defining the meaning, scope, and purpose of apologetics. ~What is Apologetics, Bible.org
Although our journey isn’t a journey to apologetics, we all ought to be thankful for the work of the apologists. And all of us who follow Christ should be able to give a rational response when someone asks us about Christ Who lives in us. So we’ll find that this journey is linked and related to apologetics in many ways. Our journey is about knowing with certainty that God is real, Christ is real, and the Bible is the word of God without error. It’s about knowing that what God has revealed is true. It’s about discerning truth from error. Apologetics defends all of that.
Every form of apologetics has value. Consider the following:
Classical apologetics attempts to use reason and logic (for example, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument, and the ontological argument.) to defend the Christian faith. Experiential apologetics gives testimonies of the ways that Christ has acted and worked through the experiences of those who follow Christ. Presuppositional apologetics points out that all worldviews base their positions on presuppositions, and then it seeks to show that Christianity is more consistent than other worldviews. Cumulative apologetics uses all the various forms of apologetics.
Apologists point out that we do not have to put our minds out to pasture in order to be Christians. Indeed, some of the greatest thinkers and scientists throughout history have been Bible believers, and many have been biblical creationists. Wisdom begins with God (Prov. 1:7); all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ (Col. 2:3), not with man’s philosophies (1 Cor. 1:20). Proponents of evidential or classical apologetics (the differences are negligible for our purpose here) wish to present a wagon train-load of evidence with the hope that the unbeliever will come to repentance. ~ Cowboy Bob Sorenson, Honoring God in your apologetics
While every form of apologetics has value, not every apologist does the work of God in a way that’s pleasing to God and effective for bringing the unsaved to Christ. It’s easy for an apologist to lose touch with Christ in the process of trying to make a defense. We can never go wrong by focusing on the living Christ.
Thus, it is appropriate to argue against evolutionary theories by pointing out that they are based on presuppositions. However, we should not allow ourselves to be cornered into accepting that the case for the truth of the Bible is also based upon presuppositions. ~ Tim Newton
We don’t use presuppositions as proof that the Bible is true. We don’t use presuppositions as proof that Jesus Christ is real or as proof that God is real. We have a firm Foundation. No other Foundation can be laid than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The problem with the debate between presuppositionalists and evidentialists is that both sides tacitly admit there is no evidence for God. Presuppositionalists make the subjective argument that they can see the reasons for presupposing the existence of God, but unbelievers cannot. Evidentialists argue objectively from the evidence they think secularists will accept. However, neither side acknowledges the Bible as evidence. ~Tim Newton
While we don’t want to enter into any debates about which of the many methods of apologetics is best, we do know that God wants every follower of Christ to testify of Jesus Christ. Our journey will go into considerable depth on that topic. And those who love apologetics will find great value on this journey as well.
Lord, please make my heart tender toward You so that I can hear Your voice and have confidence in Your leading when You call me to testify of You. Whether I’m testifying to the lost or building up those who are born again, keep me in Your will. Give me the words to say and let Your Holy Spirit abide in my words. Thank you, Lord, for Your goodness in these matters. I trust You. I believe that You’ll open up doors of opportunity and guide me and give me the power to be Your ambassador. Amen.