Sunday, September 13, 2009

Too Good Not To Share

Theologians love definitions. We love them because developing them allows us to take large amounts of data and sum it all up in a sentence or three. When you're dealing with a field as diverse as theology (or, more broadly, religion) definitions can be very helpful.

Apologists (who should be considered a type of theologian), also love definitions. I would say that of all of the proper apologetics texts that I've read, every other contained a definition of the discipline. These are particularly helpful because an author's definition will reveal his understanding of the apologetic task. I've not even written an apologetics text and I have my own definition. Here it is ...

"Christian apologetics is the theological discipline aimed at establishing philosophical foundations for the Christian faith. In addition, and more popularly, it provides evidences for Christianity, answers questions about Christianity and confronts objections raised against Christianity. Apologetics is also involved in the evaluation of worldviews, primarily providing support for the Christian worldview. Finally, apologetics seeks to strengthen the faith of believers through all of the above tasks. In all that it does, apologetics has as its goal the glorification of God by showing the rationality, evidence, coherence and superiority of Christianity."

But that is not what I want to share. A few months ago I suggested that you check out Doug Groothuis' blog. Well, he just wrote a short post on apologetics that hits the nail on the head as far as the kind of character that any apologist—and we are all apologists—should exhibit. In the course of the post Dr. Groothuis gives a less specific, but much more poetic and persuasive definition of apologetics. This is what I want to share. It's really, really good. Read it and then get off your keister and do you some apologetics!

"Our job is to faithfully give the best arguments possible from the purest heart possible."


Dick said...

Thanks, Eric, for this post. We are battling in some ways with a guy at church about the value of theology.

eric O said...

No problem. I'm glad that Groothuis' post helped. Maybe I'll do a future post on the value of theology and link to all kinds of good stuff for you.