Rethinking Christian Apologetics 

When it comes to believing in God, Christianity has an enormous arsenal of arguments to transform the most ardent skeptic or non-believer into a Christian. From the Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways to the Kalam Argument, to the Moral Argument, there are some pretty strong rational arguments for God’s existence. We’re extremely blessed in our faith to have great philosophers and theologians, and those that influenced their beliefs, to ponder the deep questions about God.

I find some of the many arguments for God’s existence to be very complex and labyrinth-like. From one premise connects to another which leads to another and so on then you arrive at the point. But if you get stuck on one premise, you run the risk of damaging the presentation or comprehension of the whole proof. Sometimes, many won’t even budge at the hearing of such an elaborately reasoned reply. Then you have some that are clearly confused by the third word you speak.

This presents a huge problem for how to evangelize. We’re so convoluted with style and layout with establishing a foundation for belief in Jesus Christ that we muck up the whole thing by our own doing.

The rich intellectual tradition of Christianity is immeasurably important. There’s no doubt that things such as philosophy and science have advanced our understanding of how to conceptualize God. But yet, these aren’t what make the faith rich. What makes Christianity abounding in everlasting richness is its founder and perfecter, Jesus Christ.

Some people will need to hear more reasoned responses to gain further understanding of God, while some may not need those. I get that God is transcendent and eternal. No one grasps the infinite truth of God’s existence in its entirety. If someone perfectly knew everything about God, then we wouldn’t need Him because he would be discarded like yesterday’s newspaper.

If I may suggest at times, let’s step away from the large grand arguments and bring God to a more basic level. God isn’t purposely hiding away from everyone in a deep philosophical realm of understanding where only the privileged who understand Christian apologetics can find him. On the contrary, as Blaise Pascal stated, “He has willed to make himself quite recognizable by those; and thus, willing to appear openly to those who seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from Him with all their heart.” Likewise, Solomon said in Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me and those who seek me diligently find me.” Jesus Christ stated it amazingly when he said the one that asks will receive, the one that seeks will find, the one that knocks it will be opened (Matt. 7:7-8). All these verses have one thing in common-God will reveal who he is to those truly open to Him.

Maybe (huge maybe) many in Christianity are placing unnecessary roadblocks to the knowledge of God’s existence by their lofty high horse presentation when in fact, he came on earth, revealed himself to mankind, and even little children received him. Were these children somehow not smarter than we are today? They didn’t have these really amazing proofs for God that so many utilize today, but yet they responded with obedience and faith as only a child could give.

What people need is more submission. Many non-Christians hate the word “submission” because it relinquishes autonomy. How hard would it be too submit to the possibility of allowing God to reveal Himself to a person truly diligently open?

Follow me on Twitter @Menny_Thoughts

9 comments

  1. 🙂 There’s submission, and there’s submission. Someone’s probably written about the different attitudes and decisions that word described.

    I’m not overly fond of the ‘put your mind on hold, do as you’re told’ variety: which is what quite a few folks – Christian and otherwise – seem to have in mind when they’re telling someone to sign up with some Great Cause.

    Agreed, about faith being simple at its core. Or as complex as the human mind can understand. Moreso, I suppose.

    For me, it’s the first part of what our Lord said to some fishermen – recorded in Matthew 4:19: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

    The “fishers of men” strikes me more as a job description or task assignment: nice to know, but of secondary importance. I figure I’m a Christian because I decided to follow the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth; who was executed, buried, and then stopped being dead.

    Maybe I’m being shallow, but I don’t think I’ll find an ‘alpha’ stronger or better than that. There’s the remarkable offer of adoption, too. And that’s another topic.

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  2. “God isn’t purposely hiding away from everyone in a deep philosophical realm of understanding where only the privileged who understand Christian apologetics can find him.”

    This is great. So true.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the comment, sadly man portray God like this casting Him out to be beyond grasp. In fact, God is very close. So close that he came and dwelt among us. Can’t get any more personal than that!

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    • Not to undermine the complexity of God, but there is some truth in the fact that he is simple. At times, apologetics places a barrier to embracing God with childlike faith. We need to step back and let God guide us to him!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You mentioned submission. Why don’t more people submit? I think it’s because they don’t have enough confidence in their beliefs. They have too many doubts. Why? Because of too many unanswered questions. That leads to Apologetics, but—

    The problem with Apologetics is:
    A Christian writes a new apologetics book, then a skeptic writes a book to counter it.

    The “answer” is NOT to not read the skeptical book. The answer is to disprove the skeptical book, but when does that happen?

    “Back in the Day”, Josh MacDowall wrote Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Christians were wildly enthused. Then, Jeffrey Jay Lowder writes against MacDowall’s book. Was Lowder accurate? Maybe, maybe not, BUT—whether he really was or not, TODAY, people don’t talk about Josh MacDowall near as much anymore. But wait—-

    Closer to our day, we had Lee Strobel and his The Case for Christ”. People love it. But then,
    Robert M. Price writes a book against Strobel’s “the Case for Christ”. This does not automatically mean that Price was right and Strobel is wrong, but—

    1. Strobel is now less talked about than 5 or 6 years ago, and—
    2. Who will write a book to disprove Price?

    This whole pro-and-con or for/against cycle has now continued for generations. Now what?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an interesting way to look at it. Perpahs, if that model was pursued there would be tons of apologetic books out in the market and really cloud people’s understanding of whatever topic was at hand. It will be a tit for tat regarding books.

      I have seen the approach that you put forward done before. Also, I have seen whenever someone writes an apologetics book then a skeptic counters, the original author usually follows the skeptic book with a blog post or the some institution (college or foundation) debate on the topic.

      I’m familiar with Josh MacDowell’s book. As a Protestant, I read More Than a Carpenter, which is an introductory apologetics book written by father and son MacDowall. I love that! Lee Strobel’s book is really good too. I looked through it, like you said, 5 or 6 years ago, as I had just become a Christian.

      Overall, good points you made. Maybe more productivity would happen if your idea was advanced more often!

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