Switching Course on Apologetics

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morbo3000
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Re: Switching Course on Apologetics

Post by morbo3000 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:29 pm

@jason. I assume you mean the new atheists. Dawkins, Sam Harris, et al. Agreed. They are a nasty bunch. They are atheist fundamentalists imo. And while Bart Ehrman accurately represents the current state of biblical scholarship, he is too bitter about his evangelical upbringing and it comes out in his debates. So as much as I think his books are sound, I can't recommend them to people.

My opinion is that in order to do apologetic work in the 21st century, you have to acknowledge the church's antagonism against naturalism and historical studies. This is killing the gospel. College students are on the battlefront in the war. The church's insistence on inerrancy and scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible has left Christian students without the tools to contextualize Christianity within the new reality. Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel won't stem that tide because they aren't addressing the core problem that millenials face: the incongruity between modern research and the traditional view of the Bible.

There are other options. In fact... I'm writing on this subject myself. :)


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Jason
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Re: Switching Course on Apologetics

Post by Jason » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:13 am

My opinion is that in order to do apologetic work in the 21st century, you have to acknowledge the church's antagonism against naturalism and historical studies. This is killing the gospel. College students are on the battlefront in the war. The church's insistence on inerrancy and scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible has left Christian students without the tools to contextualize Christianity within the new reality. Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel won't stem that tide because they aren't addressing the core problem that millenials face: the incongruity between modern research and the traditional view of the Bible.
These points are certainly worth considering. Are you familiar with Bruxy Cavey's work? If my approach is modeled after anyone, it's probably him. He's very artful in sidestepping those landmines you mention because complex subjects can't be addressed in short conversations. Once you realize that you don't need an inerrant Bible or a 6-day creation to make the case for Jesus, the burden is lifted. And the Lord's burden is already light. :-)

I tend to be more conservative on issues like the reliability of the gospels but not because I'm unaware of liberal scholarship. I'm simply not persuaded by it. The same goes for some scientific paradigms. I was having lunch with a former Christian turned agnostic fellow and told him I honestly wish I could be persuaded about these issues because holding minority opinions about anything can feel very unpleasant. I was practically begging him to give me persuasive arguments but he floundered.

You could be right that millennials are rejecting the gospel due to perceived scientific ignorance on the part of Christians, but the millennials I've encountered in conversation don't exactly strike me as intellectuals. Most seem to merely adopt the common opinions of their contemporaries. This kind of GroupThink is an unappealing quality, whether in religious circles or secular. For this reason, I remain skeptical of majority opinion, whether in the church or in the halls of academia. It's just too easy to adopt the views of those we're most seeking to impress. Human nature.

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