Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is apologetics?

What is apologetics? I will let one of the most prominent apologists of our day—William Lane Craig—answer that question.

“Apologetics (from the Greek apologia: a defense) is that branch of Christian theology which seeks to provide rational justification for the truth claims of the Christian faith. Apologetics is thus primarily a theoretical discipline, though it has a practical application. In addition to serving, like the rest of theology in general, as an expression of loving our God with all our minds, apologetics specifically serves to show to unbelievers the truth of the Christian faith, to confirm that faith to believers and to reveal and explore connections between Christian doctrine and other truths” - taken from his excellent book Reasonable Faith.

Peter wrote that we are to in our hearts "set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander (1 Peter 3:15-16).

This will include rebutting and refuting claims against Christianity as well as providing reasons for the plausibility of the Christian worldview.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Which comes first...The philosophy or the science?

In an essay discussing the limits of science, Yale philosopher George Bealer proposes two guiding principles. The first is the autonomy of philosophy principle which states that “Among the central questions of philosophy that can be answered by one standard theoretical means or another, most can in principle be answered by philosophical investigation and argument without relying substantively on the sciences.”

The second principle concerns the authority of philosophy, “Insofar as science and philosophy purport to answer the same central philosophical questions, in most cases the support that science could in principle provide answers for those answers is not as strong as that which philosophy could in principle provide for its answers. So should there be conflicts, the authority of philosophy in most cases can be greater in principle.” Bealer further notes that these two principles have “constituted the dominant view” throughout our intellectual history until recent infatuation with scientism displaced them.

Many times seemingly scientific disagreements are in reality philosophical ones. This is most often the case when it comes to the interpretation of the available empirical data.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Does Ignorance = Design?

This question came up in one of the comments. And so I figure I would bring it up here to discuss. Dr. Thaxton does a good job of working through some of these issues here.