Apologetics and the Search for Truth
by J.W. Wartick
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…
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The Christian worldview proposes answers to the most enduring human questions. But are those answers reliable? In this systematic text, Douglas Groothuis makes a comprehensive apologetic case for Christian theism–proceeding from a defense of objective truth to a presentation of the key arguments for God from natural theology to a case for the credibility of Jesus, the incarnation and the resurrection. Throughout, Groothuis considers alternative views and how they fare intellectually.
Douglas Groothuis does Christian apologetics the way it needs to be done, situating apologetics within a Christian worldview and answering the troubling questions that people are actually asking–questions to which they need answers if faith is going to be a live option. His book draws on many years of teaching and writing about apologetics, distilling the most effective arguments in defense of the Christian faith.
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Most introductions to apologetics begin with the “how to” of defending the faith, diving right into the major apologetic arguments and the body of evidence. For those who want a more foundational look at this contested theological discipline, this book examines Christian apologetics in its nature, history, approaches, objections and practice. What is apologetics? How has apologetics developed? What are the basic apologetic approaches? Why should we practice apologetics? Countless Christians today are seeking a responsible way to defend and commend their faith. If you are one them, Thinking About Christian Apologetics is the place to start!
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