The Case For God is characteristic of Armstrong's approach. In a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anyone could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Instead, the case is more like the brief that a lawyer makes in a court of law or that a literary critic makes for a particular interpretation of a book. Minimize . He is the editor of the book Five Views on Apologetics (Zondervan). For evidentialists, miracles do not presuppose God's existence but serve as evidence for God and for the whole Christian worldview. They put more emphasis on the "noetic effects of sin" (i.e., the detrimental effects of sin on the mind; cf. For the sake of clarity, it will prove helpful to divide these apologetic methods into two broad schools of thought. 13 lessons. That is, he argues that all meaning and thought—indeed, every fact—logically presupposes the truth of Scripture and the existence of the God it reveals. ... God has shown each one of us the way, the vocation, and the life of grace that lies beyond physical life. Many presuppositionalists would go so far as to say that any such argument presupposes the truth of the entire Christian revelation in Scripture. View Wishlist Cart. The Case for God is an entire semester at college packed into a single book—a voluminous, dizzying intellectual history. Most strikingly, they argue that belief in God and the truths of the Christian faith do not require the support of evidence or argument in order for it to be rational. The universe is full of matter, but what’s out there? I would like to outline the five major methods that Evangelicals have developed for making the case that Christianity is true. And may lightning not strike us by beginning with Richard Dawkins, mobbed by fans at an atheist convention. 2:14; 2 Cor. After I finished it, I felt inspired, I stopped, and I looked up at the stars again. But, of course, if God is responsible for raising Jesus from the dead, then that very same miracle not only establishes theism but also authenticates Jesus' claim to be the incarnation of God. Thus evidentialists argue both for theism and Christian theism at the same time without recourse to natural theology. MAKING THE CASE FOR GOD... made with Faithlife Proclaim. A set of premises are offered from which either a deductive or inductive conclusion is drawn. Quantity: Delete Move to Wishlist. This method has a long pedigree, hence the name. It is also important to mention that the advocates of these various methods, though they have significant differences, all agree on the importance of offering a rational defense of the Christian faith. The major difference lies in the use of miracles. Though the five apologetic methods discussed above do not constitute an exhaustive list of apologetic approaches, they do represent the most well known strategies in the Evangelical apologetic community. As Kelly James Clark explains, "Since the Enlightenment there has been a demand to expose all of our beliefs to the searching criticism of reason" (ibid., 267). We differ, that is, over the question of apologetic methodology. Peter Hendriks Okello. Last week, Eric Metaxas wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal entitled “ Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” In it, he argues that the parameters for human life are so precise that they are indicators of God’s existence. This approach has much in common with the classical method. On the positive side, the Reformed epistemologist will, in the words of Clark, "encourage unbelievers to put themselves in situations where people are typically taken with belief in God" (ibid., 279), attempting to awaken in them their latent sense of the divine. He has written several books, including four which received ECPA Christian Book Awards (1994, 1999, 2001, 2005) and a series which addresses … It is sometimes argued that the order of the two steps in classical apologetics is essential: Before one can discuss historical evidences meaningfully, one has to have established God's existence. 1 Cor. Contemporary Evangelicals who take this approach include R. C. Sproul, Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland. The reason is that historical facts (including alleged miracles) are said to be interpreted through the framework of one’s worldview. Rational Faith: Catholic Responses to Reformed Epistemology, University of Notre Dame Press). The premises of any argument that the Christian apologist presents necessarily presuppose the truth of the Christian worldview. This method has a long pedigree, hence the name. News, analysis & spirituality by email, twice-weekly from CatholicCulture.org. . Sproul begins the monumental task of making the case for God. What is a vocation? 2:14; 2 Cor. There are a number of circumstantial lines of evidence pointing to the existence of God, and the diverse, collective nature of this evidence is most reasonably explained by the existence of a Creator. In Making a Case for the Bible, John MacArthur shows you that God’s truth hasn’t changed. Reformed epistemology challenges this assumption. (Classical apologists usually claim the support of Aquinas because many.aspects of his apologetic method—not least of which is his use of natural theology—seem to fit the classical approach. It is an informal argument that pieces together several lines or types of data into a hypothesis or theory that comprehensively explains that data and does so better than any alternative hypothesis. On the positive side, the Reformed epistemologist will, in the words of Clark, “encourage unbelievers to put themselves in situations where people are typically taken with belief in God” (ibid., 279), attempting to awaken in them their latent sense of the divine. It tends to focus chiefly on accumulating various historical and other empirical data for the truth of Christianity. They look for inspiration to examples in the Bible in which the apostles and others used evidence to persuade others to believe (e.g., Acts 2:22; 17:2-3; 22-31; 1 Cor. This approach has much in common with the classical method. This implies as well that one cannot appeal to alleged miracles to prove God's existence. Lee Patrick Strobel (born January 25, 1952) is an American Christian author and a former investigative journalist. If your answer is yes, then, can you prove it? Some classical apologists do not agree. (Classical apologists usually claim the support of Aquinas because many aspects of his apologetic method — not least of which is his use of natural theology — seem to fit the classical approach. Was Jesus simply a great philosopher? Options in Evangelical Apologetics: How are we to defend the faith? What is the right or best method for giving a reason for the hope that we have in Christ? Today, R.C. True orthodoxy consists in paying equal respect to both these perfections. There are no neutral premises or facts that the apologist may appeal to in formulating an argument. Both of the previous two methods, despite their differences, see the case for Christianity as involving the presentation of a formal argument or proof. That is, only on the prior evidence that God exists is a miracle even possible" (Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics, 146). But, due to the noetic effects of sin, presuppositionalists hold that there is no such common ground between believers and unbelievers. Some classical apologists do not agree. Brian Fraga February 7, 2020. . There Is a God: Making the Case for Belief By Steve Wolfgang. Many Christians don’t know where to even begin to do this. The classical method may be called the “two-step” approach. We differ, that is, over the question of apologetic methodology. To answer this question, the cumulative-case apologist will appeal to certain rational criteria such as logical consistency, empirical fit, comprehensiveness, simplicity, etc. But, according to advocates of cumulative-case apologetics, the case for Christianity is not best presented as a formal proof. It is sometimes argued that the order of the two steps in classical apologetics is essential: Before one can discuss historical evidences meaningfully, one has to have established God’s existence. The cumulative case for God’s existence is similarly powerful. But how are we to defend the faith? Making the Case for Jesus (studies in John) by David Banning. Evangelicals differ over the answers to these questions. His thirty books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity, Cities of God, For the Glory of God, Discovering God, and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success.Stark received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Evangelicals differ over the answers to these questions. It begins by using natural theology (rational arguments for God’s existence) to establish theism as the correct worldview. Family Center-LCP. God, as a matter of fact, alone can prove miracles. God, in books: Richard Dawkins, R. Crumb and making the case for God. For the sake of clarity, it will prove helpful to divide these apologetic methods into two broad schools of thought. It is argued that the Christian worldview best accounts for the data of experience in light of these criteria, and thus it is the worldview most likely to be true. October 10, 2009 | 8:59 am. Making the case for God Posted: 01 May 2012 William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California and is … It is a gift from God — it comes from God himself. As Kelly James Clark explains, “Since the Enlightenment there has been a demand to expose all of our beliefs to the searching criticism of reason” (ibid., 267). Twenty-seven years and more than 20 books later — including the best-selling A History of God … She then applies this to all foundational religions, particularly monotheism. Since then, the article has garnered over 600,000 Facebook shares and more than 9,250 comments, making it, unofficially, the most popular article in Wall Street Journal history. For the Reformed epistemologist, the focus tends to be on negative apologetics, simply responding to challenges to one's Christian belief as they are encountered. Critiques Of God is the only collection of writings to present, in a comprehensive way, the case against belief in God. Did not Darwin drive him out of the empirical world? It is an answer to the recent claims that God does not exist from Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. This type of reasoning is called “adductive” reasoning. A selection of philosophy texts by philosophers of the early modern period, prepared with a view to making them easier to read while leaving intact the main arguments, doctrines, and lines of thought. 1 Cor. Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God The odds of life existing on another planet grow ever longer. Movies Like God's Not Dead: Making the Case for Religion . Well, not entirely. That is, he argues that all meaning and thought — indeed, every fact — logically presupposes the truth of Scripture and the existence of the God it reveals. "The Case For God" is an incredible, thoughtful book. Evangelical Christians like myself, at least those who are not captivated by the anti-intellectualism of our postmodern age, are united in a commitment to the apologetic task. Reading The Case for God, I felt smarter. Learning what Jesus claimed about himself (primarily from the book of John), and the evidence to support those claims. Instead, the case is more like the brief that a lawyer makes in a court of law or that a literary critic makes for a particular interpretation of a book. Our earthly and eternal happiness depends on following our vocation without faltering. Liberalism & Individualism: the true cause of doubts about religion and God - an Islamic RESPONSE - Duration: 1:13:18. It tends to focus chiefly on accumulating various historical and other empirical data for the truth of Christianity. In any case, the Evangelical community has a rich and varied tradition of apologetics that provides multiple ways in which the faith once-for-all-delivered to the saints may be defended. $3.99; $3.99; Publisher Description. God, as a matter of fact, alone can prove miracles. The discipline in which Christians fulfill this obligation is called apologetics (from the Greek apologia, "defense"). Volume 21, Issue 31 (August 4, 2019). For the Reformed epistemologist, the focus tends to be on negative apologetics, simply responding to challenges to one’s Christian belief as they are encountered. To answer this question, the cumulative-case apologist will appeal to certain rational criteria such as logical consistency, empirical fit, comprehensiveness, simplicity, etc. Moreover, through the "internal witness of the Holy Spirit," a person may be prompted rightfully to accept the specific truths of Christianity without the aid of apologetic arguments. They put more emphasis on the “noetic effects of sin” (i.e., the detrimental effects of sin on the mind; cf. Making Your Case for Christ is designed to help Christians, both young and old, understand and articulate the message of Christ along with evidence that backs up his claims and credentials.The training course will combine high points of the historical apologetics presented in The Case for Christ book and movie with specific evangelistic training related to this information. For evidentialists, miracles do not presuppose God’s existence but serve as evidence for God and for the whole Christian worldview. In this scenario, the apologist must simply presuppose the truth of Christianity as the proper starting point in apologetics. What is the right or best method for giving a reason for the hope that we have in Christ? In any case, the Evangelical community has a rich and varied tradition of apologetics that provides multiple ways in which the faith once-for-all-delivered to the saints may be defended. Today, R.C. The reason is that historical facts (including alleged miracles) are said to be interpreted through the framework of one's worldview. Reformed epistemology challenges this assumption. Delete. The premises of any argument that the Christian apologist presents necessarily presuppose the truth of the Christian worldview. John Frame puts the matter this way: “We should present the biblical God not merely as the conclusion to an argument but as the one who makes argument possible” (Five Views on Apologetics, 220). Rev. Presuppositionalists include Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, Greg Bahnsen, John Frame, and (perhaps) Francis Schaeffer. But, according to advocates of cumulative-case apologetics, the case for Christianity is not best presented as a formal proof. As Sproul, John Gerstner, and Art Lindsley argue, "Miracles cannot prove God. Christians are commanded to defend the faith, to give an "account for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet. Steven B. Cowan, Zondervan, 316–7). One of the most dramatic developments in contemporary philosophy has been the arrival of Reformed epistemology, a controversial and influential new approach to religious knowledge. One of the most dramatic developments in contemporary philosophy has been the arrival of Reformed epistemology, a controversial and influential new approach to religious knowledge. This item 6358 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org. Were the stories just myths? Continuing the series “Defending Your Faith,” Dr. Sproul looks at some of the different approaches to apologetics and how each of them attempts to show God’s existence as he embarks on the Herculean task of making “The Case for God.” Sproul begins the monumental task of making the case for God. Those who advocate this view hold that it can be perfectly reasonable for a person to believe many things without evidence (e.g., that there is a mind-independent external world, that there are other minds, that I had toast for breakfast, etc.). Though the five apologetic methods discussed above do not constitute an exhaustive list of apologetic approaches, they do represent the most well-known and popular argumentative strategies in the Evangelical apologetics community. That is, only on the prior evidence that God exists is a miracle even possible” (Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics, 146). This method has a long pedigree, hence the name. . Presuppositionalists include Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, Greg Bahnsen, John Frame, and (perhaps) Francis Schaeffer. The evidentialist methods assume that unbelievers and believers share common rational principles (logic, rules of evidence, etc.) The two methods in this school of thought are less optimistic than the evidentialist school about the ability of human reason to prove the truth of Christianity to unbelievers. Many presuppositionalists would go so far as to say that any such argument presupposes the truth of the entire Christian revelation in Scripture. Cumulative-case apologists include Basil Mitchell, Paul Feinberg, C. Stephen Evans, and C. S. Lewis. It covers the history of religion, from the paleolithic age to the present day, with a focus on the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and on apophatic theology in various religions. But some scholars have pointed out that there are elements of his philosophy that would appear to make him more amenable to the Reformed epistemology view discussed below; see, for example, the discussions in Linda Zagzebski, ed. They might begin, for instance, by arguing for the historical factuality of Jesus' Resurrection and then argue that such an unusual event is explicable only if a being very much like the Christian God exists. But some scholars have pointed out that there are elements of his philosophy that would appear to make him more amenable to the Reformed epistemology view discussed below; see, for example, the discussions in Linda Zagzebski, ed. In this scenario, the apologist must simply presuppose the truth of Christianity as the proper starting point in apologetics. And it might be said with some force that many of the differences in these various methods are more matters of emphasis than differences in substance. Making the case for marriage. By demonstrating that the unbeliever cannot argue, think, or live without presupposing God, the presuppositionalist tries to show the unbeliever that his own worldview is inadequate and to get the unbeliever to see that Christianity alone can make sense of his experience. Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. We have been told that if a belief is unsupported by evidence of some kind, it is irrational to believe it. Those who advocate this view hold that it can be perfectly reasonable for a person to believe many things without evidence (e.g., that there is a mind-independent external world, that there are other minds, that I had toast for breakfast, etc.). Unless one knows that there is a God who can do miracles, then it makes no sense to talk about a historical event (even a very strange one) as an act of God. The evidentialist methods assume that unbelievers and believers share common rational principles (logic, rules of evidence, etc.) The data that the cumulative-case advocate seeks to explain include the existence and nature of the cosmos, the reality of religious experience, the objectivity of morality, the existence of consciousness, certain other historical facts such as the Resurrection of Jesus, etc. M.I. But, due to the noetic effects of sin, presuppositionalists hold that there is no such common ground between believers and unbelievers. The list of contemporary Reformed epistemologists includes Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, George Mavrodes, William Alston, and Kelly James Clark. The Case for Christianity book. The methods in this school of thought have an optimistic attitude toward the ability of natural human reason to prove (or at least make highly probable) the truth of Christianity. This implies as well that one cannot appeal to alleged miracles to prove God’s existence. The list of contemporary Reformed epistemologists includes Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, George Mavrodes, William Alston, and Kelly James Clark. The discipline in which Christians fulfill this obligation is called apologetics (from Greek apologia, “defense”). Contemporary Evangelicals who take this approach include R. C. Sproul, Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland. What is the right or best method for giving a reason for the hope that we have in Christ? That is, we are determined to be salt and light in the world in part by “making a defense” of Christianity to the unbelievers we encounter all around us. Steven B. Cowan is the associate director of the Apologetics Resource Center (www.apologeticsresctr.org) in Birmingham, Alabama. Nov 19, 2015 Leo Walsh rated it it was amazing. 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