In response to my article entitled “Reading & Fuhrer Furor” a Christian friend admonished:
God has called us to be separate from the world, (Romans 12:2). Be careful how deep you delve into the darkness, Steve. I say this as a concerned brother in Christ.
I responded to him:
I don't consider studying non-Christian worldviews (through the lens of Christ and scripture) to be "delving into the darkness." But I think I understand what you're getting at. And I thank you for your concern. I'll have more on this in next week's blog.
So without further ado…Heeeeeere’s “next week’s” blog!
Apologetics is the branch of theology which concerns itself with the defense of the Christian faith—in whole or in part.
There are many different apologetic methodologies but all of them attempt to engage unbelief (and thereby bolster belief). To do apologetics (which I believe is modeled and encouraged in the New Testament) one must have knowledge of those views which oppose Christ and scripture.
How can one defend Christian truth (even within one's own mind) from a position of ignorance? We must know and understand our “enemies” if we are to fight the battle (I am speaking of ideas, not physical confrontation).
I fully understand that many Christians are largely ignorant of (and perhaps intimidated by or frightened of) cults, non-Christian world religions, atheism(s), and the like. I understand such folks have no interests or abilities (because they’ve never developed them) to engage non-Christian movements and/or philosophies. In a sense they live in a spiritual or intellectual “bubble” if you will.
The “bubble” approach may be comfortable for the Christian—so long as nothing or no one is allowed to burst it. Thus, every effort must be made to keep the “bubble” intact—a circling of the wagons, perhaps a burying of the head in the sand. And so we find cornered Christians living under self-imposed societal banishment, warily protecting their kingdom rather than advancing His.
I suppose this may “work” for the individual Christian. But what about the culture?
I think our culture desperately needs folks like C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Cornelius Van Til, William Lane Craig, John Lennox, James White, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias, J.P. Moreland, and Alvin Plantinga (and many other professional and non-professional apologists past and present); who understand their times and who knowledgably and wisely engage the world of ideas. They remove barriers to belief and strengthen the Church.
Light doesn’t cower to darkness—it dispels it. But we’ve gotta get out of the echo chamber!
In clashes of worldviews I’m convinced…Truth wins.