Thursday, September 4, 2014

Differing Apologetic Methods

Based on the various methods and strategies of apologetics described in the assigned reading, identify what you think is the best apologetic method and defend your view. Your thread must incorporate the following topics addressed from your assigned readings: 
    The relationship between faith and reason.
A comparison between the evidentialist, presuppositionalist, and experientialist strategies.

To ask me to pick a particular method would be like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. I have found that each position has its merits and its weaknesses. However, for the intents and purposes of this assignment I am supposed to pick one and I am torn between presuppositional and experiential. I say that because I feel that I am a mix of the two because like the persupposatioinalist I believe that there is authority in the Word of God that take place before a person can understand the argument being made. While on the other hand I appreciate what the experientialist has to say that we feel what has taken place through God.  

There are some who would probably try and tell you that faith and reason are diametrically opposed. Then there are some who would say that the two go hand in hand, and are inseparable. I am one who believes that the two work together after a person has come to know Christ as Lord and savior. According to James K. Beilby “The question of the relationship between faith and reason is closely related to a series of questions regarding the relationship between the Christian Faith and non theological disciplines.” (Beilby, 89).  The other disciplines he is referring to are things like philosophy, and science and other things along those lines. It depends on are you trying to reconcile faith and reason, or merely trying to explain one on the basis of the other. It is my humble opinion that you can reconcile faith and reason after there has been a faith to be established, because you can understand Scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then you can begin to make a solid defense (reason) for your faith.

For each system of apologetics there are sub-sections that come in to play as well, I will be making broad strokes when speaking about these systems and not necessarily acknowledging each sub-group. The first group to take a look at is the evidentialist, this group of people embrace rational arguments, using things from history to make their case. They are known to use reason or “logical” arguments to form their stance. Next, we have the presuppostionalist; the short of it for them is they argue from authority. Who has it and where does it come from. According to them it comes from God through the Bible and non-believers can understand it without illumination. We tend to argue from the Bible instead of leading up to it. Finally, there are the experientialists who do not base their point on a logical argument but more on subjective feeling. It is not hard to understand their argument if you are already a Christian but without the working of the Spirit in a non-believers life how can we have them to understand merely from experience.  So all that to say, in the end that I guess I align myself with presupposationalist more than any other group.

Word Count: 499

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