Doug Groothuis: Six Enemies of Apologetics

Dr. Doug Groothuis has a great post on LeadershipU on the “Six Enemies of Apologetics Engagement”. Here’s a portion of one I see a lot in high school students who want to know how to defend a Christian Worldview but want to do it with soundbites, not with good, solid logical reasoning:

6. Superficial techniques or schlock apologetics

Some who get excited about apologetics may become content with superficial answers to difficult intellectual questions. Our culture revels in rapid responses to most anything, and technique is king. Some Christians memorize pat answers to apologetic questions–such as the problem of evil or the creation/evolution controversy–which they dispense without a proper engagement of the issues and without an empathetic concern for the soul that raises the question. I once saw a little book called something like The Handy, Dandy Evolution Refuter. Yes, macro-evolution is false, and good arguments have been raised against it from both nature and Scripture, but the matter is not as simplistic as the title of that book makes it sound.{3} Apologetics must been done with intellectual integrity.

Francis Schaeffer’s apologetic motto was that we must give “honest answers to honest questions.” First, we must really hear the question being asked or the objection being raised. We must get inside the minds of those who are giving reasons for not following Christ. Each person is different, not matter how common some skeptical objections may be. Don’t reduce people to clichés.

I love teaching high school students on the topic of apologetics. The difficult part about it is students need to be willing to put in a lot of work on their own time in order to gain any level of mastery in it. There are no “magic bullets” that will put someone who disagrees with the Christian worldview in his or her place. In fact, if that’s our goal (putting someone in their place), we’re not really loving the person in the first place. Schlock apologetics, as Dr. Groothuis puts it, only hampers the Christian witness by giving the impression that Christians are only interested in winning an argument, and that there aren’t any serious apologies of the Christian worldview.

Read the whole post here.

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