7 Tips For Apologetics Judo
by John D. Ferrer
Apologetics lends itself to martial arts metaphors. Christian apologetics lends itself to many other metaphors too, besides combat, war and martial arts. Apologetics can be modeled after any number of other helpful analogies, for example (1) Cultivating an Intellectual Garden, (2) Worldview Surgery, (3) Theological Housecleaning, or (4) Ideological Homebuilding, etc. etc. I’m afraid my examples today fall in line more with images of combat, fighting, and warfare. But hey, the best movies in history tend to be love-stories and war movies right? Christianity has both, the epic love-story of all history set within a series of battles. In the end, the apparent tragedies dotting the timeline of history (crucifixion, tribulation, cosmic destruction) give way to a comedic ending, a heroic victory (Christ’s return), with wedded union (Church and Christ), and eternal wedding party (heaven).
When someone tries to attack your faith, for example, claiming that the Old Testament has too much violence or injustice to be able to witness to a good God, here are some tactics you may try.
1) Stand Your Ground
Ask them to prove their claim, or justify their question. A lot of times, skeptics and antagonists don’t know a lot about the things they are attacking and it doesn’t take much to show that anyone can ask a question but only thinkers can give responsible reasons and make a good case for their position. Asking them to defend their position might even intimidate them a bit. Now I’m not talking about foolhardy bravado. I’m talking about a principled courage of conviction where you say something like, “That’s interesting. That sounds different from what I’ve read in the Bible. Would you give some of your reasons for interpreting that passage that way?” Or you might say, “That’s an interesting opinion, but since I’m not a scholar in the field, I don’t know how to tell whether you are on target or not. Do you have some experts or historical evidence to show why reasonable people should agree with you?”
2) Do some Logical Blocking
There are some common countermoves you can use which challenge the other person to improve their approach using better logic and stronger evidence before drawing their conclusions about Christianity. I recommend you phrase these as questions…
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