Thursday, February 15, 2007

Apologetics: Round 2

In last week's post, I revealed my discomfort and distaste for apologetics as commonly practiced in contemporary Christian culture. I've been thinking about it a little more so, here goes:

Last year, I went to the Youth Specialties conference in Nashville, TN. While there I attended a seminar called "Apologetics for youth ministers" which was presented by Tony Campolo. (It could have been called "Why I wear socks" by Tony Campolo and I still would have gone b/c I enjoy listening to him so much). Anyway... in this seminar Campolo proposed that while once the debate was between Faith/Christianity and the Physical Sciences, this no longer seems to be the case. The physical sciences are, in many ways, deconstructing themselves (as is evidenced by the unpredictability of things at the molecular level). Additionally, the attitude of culture towards the physical sciences has changed. Science is no longer viewed as infallible. Instead, Campolo suggests that the engagement is between faith and the Social Sciences. I think this is an intriguing idea. If it's true, a) We are pouring our energy into answering questions that no one is asking/cares about...and b) This changes even the nature of how we approach the field of apologetics.
Also, as I was reading "Theological Turning Points" by McKim for my Historical Theology class this past week, I ran across this:
"Those who took seriously the task of trying to communicate with the Greek-speaking world in the late second century were called the apologists. These writers sought to vindicate Christianity and extend its influence by establishing a point of contact between Christians and philosophers. Their goal was to show that the Christian faith was a form of wisdom but greatly superior to the speculations of Greek philosophy".
It occurs to me that historically speaking, the "emerging church" may be the ones who are truly engaging in the apologetics of our time.

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