A Paradigm Shift

As we enter into a discussion of apologetics, the very first thing we must contend with is the fact that the apologetic methodology set forth in scripture is at odds with the way in which we typically reason. This fact entails that we must prepare ourselves for a paradigm shift in the way we approach the apologetic task, and is therefore by no means a trivial a matter. The Biblical method of apologetics requires that we reason in a way that is quite unfamiliar to the average person, yet is wholly consistent with a Biblical anthropology. In other words, the method of apologetics presented in the Bible is totally consistent with the inherent limitations that we face as fallen creatures God, yet is completely foreign to most of us.

A common theme throughout the Biblical narrative is that man – the creation of God – consistently confuses himself with the Creator. This confusion manifests itself in no clearer way than in man’s reasoning process. Sinful man, whether believer or not, rather consistently assumes that he is able to reason to even the most basic conclusions about reality without any assistance from God. After all, how often do even the most self-conscious among us take into account that God holds together the very fabric of the universe at each and every point we embark upon reasoning from point A to point Z? How many consider that God’s act of sustaining the reality we find around us includes sustaining all that is necessary for us to accomplish the most basic tasks of squeezing toothpaste from the tube, or investigating whether there are crackers in our pantry? The very act of reasoning to any conclusion, true or false, necessarily requires the existence of the God of the Bible.

This is the basis of the shift. The Christian God is foundational to all that we do (that is, we utterly rely upon him for every single thought and action), and so the corresponding doctrines which describe God are foundational to our ability to account for all that we do. It is for this reason that the apologist who wishes to remain true to scripture must make the remarkable shift in their reasoning process such that they are constantly aware of the implications that the doctrines of God have on their very ability to reason. That is, we must become truly “self conscious Christians” – Christians who are totally and at all times aware of those blessed truths of scripture that are the underpinnings of our reasoning process, rather than being like so many who implicitly assume them without giving a second thought as to what they are, and who therefore fail to give glory to the God who is responsible for them. In short, an apologetic method that does not consciously rely upon the Bible at each and every step does not properly honor God.

BK


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