Friday, October 31, 2014

Apologies for Apologetics?

Light at the Tunnel's End?

No, I'm not really making apologies for Christian apologetics. This actually will be a little repeat of a case I've made before to try and bridge two vehement camps on the subject—evidentialists and presuppositionalists. If I have an apology, it's that so much energy gets wasted between the two camps arguing with each other that they miss great opportunities to compliment each other in reaching out to the lost.

To me, it is not an "either or" proposition. It's "both and." Let me explain.

The presuppositionalist believes that evidential arguments to support the Bible and Christian doctrine/thought are a waste of time. Man is dead in his trespasses and sins, and the "natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Corinthians 2:14). So far, so good, and I agree. In fact, I believe most evidentialists agree. After all, that is the written Word of God. However, the Word of God also declares in Romans 1 how God has made Himself known through that which He has created, and that man is "without excuse." We also hear that "the heavens declare the glory of God." We also read that Paul, in Acts 18, spent time "persuading." We read that Jesus Himself used many "convincing proofs" after His resurrection, and that Luke the Physician spent plenty of time documenting those convincing proofs.

Where the evidentialist makes his/her mistake is assuming that piling up proofs and intellectual arguments ALONE are enough to persuade someone to repentance. The Holy Spirit ultimately works through His Word and in the human heart to bring regeneration to pass. The presuppositionalist makes his/her mistake in that God cannot and will not use evidence in this natural world as part of his overall means of declaring Himself, and that merely quoting Bible verses is enough to do with someone who rejects the Bible's authority.

Both apologetics camps need to cool the sniping at each other, and work together in complimentary fashion. The Gospel is the same, and the Lord is the same Lord. The goal is the same. How about it?

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