A Look at Peter Enns’ Disapproval of Apologetics
by Eric Chabot
This isn’t anything new. Enns is a Biblical scholar and not an apologist. Here are some of my thoughts on this post:
Enns has decided to give his own apologetic as to why he doesn’t like apologetics. So we see the self- defeating nature of such a post. Happens all the time. And once again, we see the unnecessary false dichotomies here. I saw the same things in the Penner/Craig discussion. I wrote about it here.
” Jesus said: ‘believe on the evidence of the miracles’ (John 14:11) • When John the Baptist questioned if Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus likewise appealed to the evidence of his works (cf. Matthew 11:4–6) • Paul wrote of ‘defending and confirming the gospel’ (Philippians 1:7) • Paul ‘reasoned . . . explaining and proving’ (Acts 17:2–3) • ‘Every Sabbath [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks . . . Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus’ (Acts 18:4; 19:8–9) • Paul urges Christians to ‘stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults’ (1 Corinthians 14:20) • Paul advises Christians: ‘Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions’ (Colossians 4:6 CEV) • Peter commands Christians to ‘always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have . . . with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15) The Greek translated as ‘give an answer’ in 1 Peter 3:15 is apologia – from which we get the word ‘apologetics.’ Apologetics isn’t apologizing in the sense of saying sorry! An apologia is literally ‘a word back’, but the term means a ‘defense’ or ‘vindication. (See A Faithful Guide To Philosophy by Peter Williams).
A couple of other issues that Enns mentions…
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