Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Culturally Relevant Apologetics

Christian apologetics is an area of interest for me. I have been an ardent reader of apologetic books for the past several years. I have enjoyed authors such as; Joe Boot, Ravi Zacharias, Peter Kreeft, Lee Strobel, Greg Koukl, William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler and the like.

For me, this area of study was integral for my faith's recovery coming out of a university situation where my faith in God did not wane but where my confidence and strength in my beliefs took a beating. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to realize that I held to the most rational, coherent, and powerful worldview that was girded by the Creator of the universe and the Savior of my soul.

At any rate, I enjoyed a section of A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson in which he provides proofs of God's existence. Some of these are classic proofs whereas others are very culturally relative. So he does list things such as the works of nature or the human conscience. But he also produced one in particular that just about caused me to laugh out loud. It can be seen here:

There are devils, therefore there is a God. Atheists cannot deny but there are devils, and then they must grant there is a God. (42)

Can you imagine using this proof on some of your friends? Apparently, for Watson, this very well may have been an ironclad argument. In a society where belief in 'devils' was widespread it would make sense to make this connection. But this argument, standing alone in a naturalistic-materialistic culture seems absurd. There are still cultures in this day and age where this argument would be profitable. But I think that there are probably more prudent approaches available to us.

Now it must be said that this does not undermine the veracity of Watson's argument. However, it suggests that we need wisdom, as always, from God when we 'give a reason for the hope that is in us'.

1 comment: