Classical apologetics

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Classical apologetics is a school of Christian apologetics.

The Christian website declares about Classical apolgetics:

Classical apologetics is a method of apologetics that begins by first employing various theistic arguments to establish the existence of God. Classical apologists will often utilize various forms of the cosmological, teleological (Design), ontological, and moral arguments to prove God's existence. Once God's existence has been established, the classical apologist will then move on to present evidence from fulfilled prophecy, the historical reliability of Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus to distinguish Christianity from all other competing forms of theism.

Classical apologetics (also known as traditional apologetics) has as its distinctive feature a two-step approach to establishing a Christian worldview. Classical apologists are often hesitant to make an argument directly from miracles to the biblical God. Rather, they prefer to appeal to miracles after having already established a theistic context. Modern proponents of classical apologetics include R.C. Sproul, William Lane Craig, and Norman Geisler.

Christian philosopher Norman Geisler summarized the difference between classical and evidential apologetics in this way: "The difference between the classical apologists and the evidentialists on the use of historical evidences is that the classical see the need to first establish that this is a theistic universe...The basic argument of the classical apologist is that it makes no sense to speak about the resurrection as an act of God unless, as a logical prerequisite, it is first established that there is a God who can act" (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics).[1]

Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) declares:

Classical Apologetics is that style of Christian defense that stresses rational arguments for the existence of God and uses evidence to substantiate biblical claims and miracles. It is quite similar to evidential apologetics and appeals to human reason and evidence. Early Classical Apologists include Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas. Contemporary classical apologists are Norman Geisler, William Craig, J. P. Moreland, and R.C. Sproul.

Some of the arguments relied upon for proofs of God's existence are the cosmological argument and the teleological argument. The cosmological argument attempts to prove that God exists by stating that there has to be an uncaused cause of all things. That uncaused cause is God. The teleological argument uses the analogy of design; that is, the universe and life exhibit marks of design. Therefore, there must be a Designer. Other times, strict evidence is used to establish Christianity's validity. Of course, both aspects are also combined in classical apologetics.[2] declares about Classical apologetics states:

In the previous chapter we surveyed a number of apologists working in the classical tradition. Although they vary among themselves especially on the extent to which they use deductive or inductive arguments to formulate their apologetic as a whole, all emphasize the importance of showing the theistic worldview to be reasonable in order to present the evidences for the facts of Christianity effectively to nontheists. It is this methodological principle, however differently understood and applied, that typifies the classical apologetic approach. In this chapter we consider how this principle is related to various crucial areas of human knowledge that have an important bearing on the truth claims of Christianity.

Rational Tests for Determining Truth

In the classical approach, there is no substantive conflict between faith and reason. The Christian worldview is a reasonable faith, a step into the light of reason and truth rather than a leap into the darkness of irrationality and subjectivity. To show this reasonableness, classical apologists stress the need to compare and evaluate conflicting worldviews by means of certain epistemological criteria, chief among which is logical consistency or rationality. This does not mean that classical apologists are pure rationalists in their epistemology. All would be quick to acknowledge that rationalism per se (according to which, reason is the sole test of truth) is an inadequate approach to religious knowledge. Rationalism wrongly elevates human reason to the level of an ultimate arbiter of truth. Moreover, because God transcends the universe, the human mind cannot arrive on its own at substantive knowledge about God.[3]

See also

External links