Friday, April 13, 2007

Apologetics part 1

Methods of Apologetics listen here

Classic Apologetics: Natural Theology and Christian evidence
Proponents: RC Sproul, Norman Geisler.
Strengths: Strengthens faith of believers
Weaknesses: Presupposes the rationality of reasoning; makes man the ultimate standard of truth; undermines the authority of God Word.

Evidentialism: Christian evidence i.e. archeological, historical
Proponents: Josh McDowell, Hank Hanegraaff.
Strengths: proves the historicity of events, places, and people of the Scriptures
Weaknesses: presupposes the reliability of empirical studies, makes man the ultimate standard of truth; undermines the authority of God Word.

Presuppostionalism: Christian worldview is presupposed to be true.
Proponents: Cornelius Vantil, Greg Bahnsen (transcendental presuppostionalism), Gordon Clark (rationalistic presuppostionalism, scriptualism) Francis Schaeffer (practical presuppostionalism)
Strengths: Presents God and His Word as the ultimate authority; denies man his so called autonomy. Brings people immediately to the Triune God of Scripture.
Weakens: rational presuppostionalism; is axiomatic and presupposes the authority of logic and reasoning. Experiential presuppostionalism is axiomatic in that it presupposes the reliability of our senses and experience. Transcendental presuppostionalism can be difficult to explain to people who are not used thinking transcendentally.

Reformed epistemology: Basic belief in God is justified until proven otherwise.
Proponents: Alvin Plantinga, Michael Sudduth.
Strengths: can save time and effort in both evangelism and apologetics.
Weaknesses: Only gives negative apologetics; is dogmatic; does not answer the skeptic; is too vague and puts itself in the same category as other mono-theistic religions i.e. Islam; can comes across as fideism


Paul Manata said...

Hey Jonathon,

I'd say you're off on your claims about reformed epistemology.

For example, Plantinga has our forth one of the more rather devistating *offensive* arguments in his exolutionary argument against naturalism. Also, he has a paper called "two dozen (or so) theistic arguments." These are positive arguments. He also has a version of a modal ontological argument. These are all positive.

Next, one could say that his major project is *precisely* an answer to the skeptic. A

He does not "put himself in the same camp" as other non-theistic religions. In fact, his final book in his warrant trilogy is called "Warranted *Christian* Belief."

VanVos (exegia) said...

Mr Paul Mananta!

Yes I agree, I could have said more about Plantinga endorsement of Theistic proofs. But Like I said *some* of them use positive (natural theology) arguments. However I still think Reformed epistemology as a system of apologetic is insufficient in answering radical skepticism.

Thanks for your work Paul, it's been helpful to see the TAG put into practice.

P.S. Btw when did I say it “puts him in the same camp" as non-theistic positions? I have to check but I believe I said/meant other mono-theistic positions i.e. Judaism

scrutor said...

Hey Jonathan nice breakdown on the apologetic method.

Fred S.