Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fresh Questions for Christian Apologetics

Apologetics commonly works a framework consisting almost entirely of just TWO questions:
  • What's wrong with the anti-theist argument?
  • What's right about the theistic argument?
This is a great way of 'defending' the faith, attaining faith-friendly forms of certainty and upholding the truth as one perceives it.

But are there other objectives the apologist could think about when deciding on a response, e.g.:
  • How do I make friends with the anti-theist? What can I say/do to communicate not merely the truth of the Christian world-view but its love and passion for renewed relations?

  • What are the insightful overlaps between the two sides? What common evidence or data-perspectives to they share?

  • How can my opponent helpfully use my arguments and views, and how can I find his to be of practical value? Is there a common goal we could work on in parallel?

  • What is the spectrum of views regarding the subject? What are the consequences of choosing one or a few or neither? And are these consequences critical?

  • Could we work together to produce a new synthesis, a fresh vista and a new take on the problem?
Some may object to say that the above doesn't constitute apologetics but another form of ministry. Frankly, I'm not big on pigeon-holing except if I get to renovate the hole a little.

In this case, I'd insist that the above questions 'fit' the Apologetics label well as they are meant to 'defend' the faith against its own intellectual abrasiveness (leading to ruined friendships) and the imbalanced focus on the negative side of the other POV (leading to non-exploratory and, well, pigeon-holey forms of thinking).

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