Christian Apologetic Mehods: A Case For Classical Apologetics

1530 words - 7 pages

The aim of the Christian apologist is to appeal to the mind and to the heart of the unbeliever, with the necessary guidance and intervening of the Holy Spirit, by building a good case for the truth of Christianity. The classical method is a compelling approach because the “two-step” method establishes a strong case for the truth of theism and also creates a foundation which builds on the truth of the Christian worldview. This approach engages with natural theology but also recognizes that there are certain truths that can only be known through special revelation from God. Classical apologetics successfully provides an objective, solidified establishment of the Christian worldview in light of logic and reason through which the Holy Spirit uses those arguments and evidences to convict and convince the unbeliever. A close cousin of the classical method is the evidential method. The evidential method uses a “one-step” approach, beginning with implementing a display of facts, both scientific and historical, to defend the central claims of Christianity . A problem may arise due to different interpretations of fact that some evidentialists may not take into account; for example, a Jew may become convinced that Jesus rose from the dead but that does not mean that they will become convinced that Christianity is true . The advantage of using the classical method is that it is beneficial to establish the truth of theism before presenting historical and scientific facts of the Christian worldview to the unbeliever, who may have difficulties seeing from the Christian perspective. The cumulative case method is unlike the classical and evidential method. It is informal, not conforming to the pattern of inductive or deductive reasoning; it is not in any sense a formal strict argument like a proof or an argument for probability . Philosopher Joseph Butler argued that by cumulatively adding evidential weight to the truth of Christianity, it increases the evidence significantly . This method may be an effective approach, but it would not be necessary for the classicalist to accumulate a multitude of arguments and facts. The classical method would be ideal for posing solid arguments that are not only highly probable but are presented as being true. The presuppositional method is a completely different approach, making the methods previously discussed, and consequently Christian apologetics altogether, nearly impossible. The presuppositional apologist must begin by presupposing that Christianity is true as their starting point . They assume, due to the effects of sin, there is not enough common ground...

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