Chapter 3 Apologetics Method: Evaluating Worldviews
People have different views and methodology for using the various apologetic methods. We have to understand that Apologetics is about philosophical engagement. ‘The logic of law’ makes sense for this methodology. If we believe there is exactly one God, there could be no many Gods. This law is the truth and it is true for all religions. “There is no limit on God; it is a virtue” (46). Next, our culture believes in Science. Modern physics said that light behaves both as a wave and particle. But this is a false statement. Next, the ‘law of excluded middle’ tell us that either Jehovah was Lord or not. Jesus states this methodology in Matthew 6:24 ‘no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money’. Similarly, the law of bivalence tells that the statement is either true or false: not neither true nor false and both true and false (47). Furthermore, some proposed ‘the law of identity’ which states that something is what it is: A=A (48). This is interesting proposal. It implies that something is what it never was. Apologetics reasoning is important for apologetics. The best method is ‘hypothesis evaluation and verification’ (49). People have taken Christian view as hypothesis. The main reason for hypothesis is that there is living relationship between God and followers. Groothuis presents the arguments for proving this hypothesis weak. Being a Christian, we have to pay close attention to other worldviews. We should unfold the meaning behind Christian hypothesis piece by piece. Groothuis says that plausible worldviews are not necessarily the credible worldviews. He focuses on the creating constructive apologetics in this book. This is very important because apologetics have to defend their faith which is very challenging. Groothuis tries to clarify the strengths and weakness of the various apologetics methods. He talks about fideism which protects Christian faith from reasoning. Next, ‘presuppositionalism rejects the tools of classical apologetics’ (62). In this method, people have to presuppose Christianity to make sense of this world. In addition, they have to believe that Christianity itself provides information required for answering questions for all areas of our life. Next, Reformed epistemology argues that ‘secular thought has placed an undue burden for their beliefs on pain of being irrational’ (63). Philosophers like Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and William Alston developed method of reformed epistemology. Other methods like evidentialism tells us that resurrection of Jesus can be proved from historical argumentation. In this method, we don’t look for evidence of the existence of God. Next, People convert from naturalism to Christianity in one step process (70). This method has been debated and argued the most of all the methods. With the beliefs come the limitations of these methods. Firstly, defending Bible is a daunting task. There is no straight formula that gets the answer. Every method will face challenges like misunderstanding, ignorance and intellectual disappointments (71). Secondly, all followers of Christianity are sinners. But we defend our faith through speech, writings and so on. We do mistakes and sometimes we do not follow what Bible says. Groothuis suggests the best possible way for defending the faith is work with the pure heart. Lastly, we have to understand that God works mysteriously. We cannot figure out how God works. He shows miracles to some and others get gifts from God after a long time. Concluding, even if we verify and tests Christianity, it will pass all the tests whereas other religions would not pass. It is superior to other religions.
Chapter 4: The Christian Worldview
Understanding the application and meaning of Christianity is important to define Christianity. This is the...