The New Apologetic

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

Last week at Sonoma State University (CA) three “apologetics” converged like streams to a river:

1.    The Free Thinkers group pressed me with questions such as “Are miracles rational?” and “Why does God never heal an amputee?”

They wanted evidence, even proof, of God—“classic” apologetics.

2.    The InterVarsity group provided me with a different kind of proof of God’s presence: the embodied apologetic of love and hospitality.

Rationalists, don’t sneer. These days the best argument for the truth of Christianity on college campuses is the Holy Spirit supernaturalizing the community of faith.

3.    My GLBT seminar. The current generation’s first impulse is to include, not exclude. What does this mean regarding gays and lesbians? Hopefully, I helped 25 young leaders think it through.

Stream #1 above represents modernism. It’s what I grew up on.

Streams 2 and 3 are more postmodern approaches to apologetics. They’re about relationships, power and political agendas.

Think of your church. Which kind of apologetic does it offer? Which is needed?

I invite your comments.

Comments 2

  1. Our church has a variety of views although it is small. There are a lot of people who think very logically, so I think they lean more towards no. 1.

    I'm not sure what category I'd put myself in, but I want to include others as well, to honor and validate others.

  2. Hey Peter, While I'd say in general terms that younger generations lean more toward the “embodied” apologetic and older toward the “classic,” the reverse is often true.

    For example, my atheist connections both young and old are mostly modernist, classic thinkers.

    I also think the praise/worship culture of young people the past 15 years sets up an embodied apologetic–but unfortunately is not utilized enough.

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