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Author Topic:   A New Kind Of Apologist
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13154
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1 of 6 (865683)
10-29-2019 8:38 AM


A New Kind of Apologist
My latest kindle book is one done by Sean McDowell.
quote:
SEAN MCDOWELL is an assistant professor in the Christian apologetics program at Biola University and a popular speaker at schools, churches, and conferences nationwide. He holds master’s degrees in theology and philosophy from Talbot Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in apologetics and worldview studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Sean’s website offers his blog, articles, videos, and additional curriculum.

In the introduction, he relates one time when he engaged in a discussion with a hairstylist who asked him the simple question "Why Does God Allow So Much Evil & Suffering In The World"? He had "done" this answer a thousand times and spent the better part of his haircut telling her the classic apologetic "answer". This led to more questions, each of which he had a pat answer for. It then surprised him to see her in tears. She said, "This is a bunch of BS! You've got an answer for everything! It can't be that easy! You just don't understand!" Later, he asked his friend, who had been with him, what went wrong.

His friend replied, "do you have any idea how arrogant you were toward her?" This led to introspection and (yada yada yada) the need for a fresh approach--an empathetic approach to apologetics.

McDowell, son of elder apologist Josh McDowell and a featured speaker at many high schools and colleges across the country, outlined the new approach to apologetics that he showcases in this book. Todays "New Apologist" must not only focus on what to say but in how to say it, paying extreme attention to the
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 admonition to love first, above all else.

He essentially wrote this book, critics will charge, to earn a living doing what he was trained to do...as does Frank Turek, Ravi Zacharias, Vince Vitale, the late Norm Geisler, and a host of other apologists that I have yet to read and review.

During the past couple of months, I have not only read books by several Christian Apologists but also books by several noted atheists such as Sam Harris (whom Theodoric warned me about) Dan Barker, Sir Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, and Matt Dillahunty.

In addition, as many of you well know, I spend my free time before work debating and discussing my insecurities, fears, arguments, and fantasies with many of you here at EvC. And note, Percy--I may get us on the map yet! I am writing a few of the apologists and relate to them several of the arguments thrown at me here---keeping in mind what McDowell mentions about Empathy, Understanding and other key traits that are conducive for a rational debate. After all, I look for them in you all as well as practicing cultivating them in me.

McDowell gives several specific traits that a modern would-be apologist needs to consider before becoming one.

quote:
The following characteristics define a new kind of apologist :

Humble. Jesus was the first Christian apologist. In John 5–8, Jesus reasoned with the religious leaders of his day, providing multiple lines of evidence that he is the Son of God. And yet, even though he was divine, Jesus willingly humbled himself for the sake of loving others (Philippians 2:5-7). We can do no less.

Relational. While labels can sometimes be helpful, it is easy to depersonalize people by putting them into various boxes. If our labels cause us to ignore the unique personhood of every individual, then we need to reexamine how we use them. I work hard to have genuine relationships with people who are atheists, Mormons, agnostics, and a variety of other worldviews. My goal is not simply to convert them, but I value them as human beings. Apologetics is not an abstract discipline for me but relates to people I deeply care about. If you want to be a new kind of apologist, it is vital (for you)to build relationships with people of varying faiths so you can speak from a heart of genuine care.

Studious. Apologists today must do their homework. We must critically examine our arguments and read both sides of every issue. We must know what we are talking about and do proper research to back up our claims. This younger generation has been raised with endless information in the palm of their hands, and they frequently check the veracity of what they hear. If we make a claim that is not true, our credibility will go out the window. Apologists today must do the hard work of learning (the) discipline and presenting the truth fairly and accurately.

Practitioner. Authenticity is highly prized among young people. They want to know not only if we can make a good argument, but also if our lives reflect the truth we proclaim. If our lives don’t reflect our truth claims, what we say we believe will fall on deaf ears. Thus, pro-life apologists must not merely make the case for the value of the unborn, but they must actively care for the vulnerable. Apologists for creation must not only present their arguments but also help protect creation. We must actively live the truth we proclaim.
(McDowell, Sean. A New Kind of Apologist: *Adopting Fresh Strategies *Addressing the Latest Issues *Engaging the Culture. Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition. )


As I read the Kindle edition, I am sizing up McDowell.

Edited by Thugpreacha, : added subtitle

Edited by Thugpreacha, : No reason given.

Edited by Thugpreacha, : No reason given.

Edited by Thugpreacha, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”
? R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-30-2019 9:18 PM Thugpreacha has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13154
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 2 of 6 (865802)
10-30-2019 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
10-29-2019 8:38 AM


Re: A New Kind of Apologist
Reading further in Sean McDowells Book: Some Quotes:
quote:
The world is more connected and diverse than ever. While Christianity is growing worldwide, in Western culture, those who embrace the Christian worldview are increasingly labeled hateful, bigoted, and intolerant.(...)Rather than seeing outsiders as enemies, which often creates an “us versus them” mentality, we need to reach out with a posture of humility, generosity, and openness. As Biola University president Barry Corey says, we need to have a firm center and yet soft edges.(...)Most of us—through participating in social media or watching cable news shows—are aware of the argument culture, which Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen defines as a pervasive warlike atmosphere that makes us approach anything as if it were a verbal fight. “The argument culture urges us to regard the world—and the people in it—in an adversarial frame of mind.”1 Regularly witnessing such incivility makes us want no part of contentious conversations, so we get into the habit of ignoring certain topics.
That last comment reminded me of our political debates with Faith. She ignores certain topics, as the author suggests.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”
? R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-29-2019 8:38 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-30-2019 11:18 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13154
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 3 of 6 (865805)
10-30-2019 11:18 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Thugpreacha
10-30-2019 9:18 PM


A Secular Humanist Apologist & Another Christian

This was Chapter 2 in Sean McDowells Book:

quote:
Interview with Bart Campolo

Campolo is a sort of a secular humanist apologist. His brother remains a believer and their father was a Christian Apologist.

Quotes From The Interview:

quote:
Campolo: It’s a long story, but the bottom line is that I gradually lost the ability to believe the supernatural parts of the Christian narrative, despite having every incentive to stay in the faith. Eventually, all the doctrines I used to rely on seemed so clearly fabricated by human beings that I wondered how I ever managed to believe them. I ended up feeling about Christianity the way most Christians feel about Islam and Hinduism.

He was asked the question:

What advice would you give Christian apologists?

quote:
Honestly, I think you folks should stop trying to reason with thoughtful nonbelievers. After all, hardly anyone decides to follow Jesus because Christianity simply makes so much more sense to him or her than every other worldview. On the contrary, people become Christians because they are born into or enfolded into a loving community that provides meaning and purpose to their lives, and they are able to believe the Christian narrative because it makes sense in the context of that community.

The primary value of your work as apologists lies in enabling your fellow Christians to stand confidently, secure that their faith is not unreasonable even though—or perhaps because—it is founded on the divine revelation of a supernatural God. You’re wasting your time with the rest of us.


It's like what Tangle says! Maybe I am wasting my time with the likes of you all. If I am someday judged or graded on people whom I could have reached but didn't, I would imagine God telling me (Booming Voice)"Son, you wasted far too much time at EvC Forum". On the other hand, I've grown fond of this place. At least you guys help me to hone my arguments and learn how you think.

Another Apologist which I researched today is a man by the name of Tom Gilson.

quote:
Tom Gilson is a Christian strategy and communication specialist, focused on effectively communicating the truth of Jesus Christ in a world that's becoming more and more confused about spiritual reality every day. His areas of special interest include the three hot topics of sexuality, science, and rationality as they relate to Christian faith.

He's currently a senior editor at the highly respected Christian news and commentary website The Stream (stream.org), and concurrently leading a local group (Cincinnati/Dayton area) called the Thinking Christian Connection, meeting together regularly for mutual equipping and encouragement in Christian apologetics. The local group mirrors (on quite another scale) a national-level apologetics leadership group he was instrumental in helping to found.

For more than 12 years he's also been running the widely praised Thinking Christian blog at thinkingchristian.net, developing a reputation for consistent strength combined with grace in his many interactions with people from all over the spiritual spectrum, and from all over the world.

Tom has served as Vice President for Strategic Services at the campus apologetics ministry Ratio Christi. Prior to that he was on staff with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for 34 years, serving in HR leadership and internal strategic consulting, as well as a two-year stint on loan with the (Chuck) Colson Center for Christian Worldview, writing and working on strategies.

He holds an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and a B.Mus. in Music Education from Michigan State University.


To his credit, jar has stated before that there is gold in them thar books, and Gilson looks to be a man earning his living at Christian intercommunication with other believers who seek to strengthen their faith.

I find his writing thought-provoking.

To Wit: We're too used to Jesus

Note the preview(free on Amazon) and tell me that this is simply another huckster full of hot air. Our conversations never approach this level of contemplation.

Edited by Thugpreacha, : tidied up the message


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”
? R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-30-2019 9:18 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by ringo, posted 10-31-2019 11:56 AM Thugpreacha has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17519
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 4 of 6 (865823)
10-31-2019 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
10-30-2019 11:18 PM


Re: A Secular Humanist Apologist & Another Christian
Phat writes:

It's like what Tangle says!


Yes, there's a strange synchronicity in the bloody obvious.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-30-2019 11:18 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Tangle, posted 10-31-2019 1:49 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply
 Message 6 by Thugpreacha, posted 11-02-2019 4:08 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7123
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 5 of 6 (865825)
10-31-2019 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by ringo
10-31-2019 11:56 AM


Re: A Secular Humanist Apologist & Another Christian
Like my dad used to say “there's none so blind that will not see”.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by ringo, posted 10-31-2019 11:56 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13154
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 6 of 6 (865920)
11-02-2019 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by ringo
10-31-2019 11:56 AM


Needless to say I was impressed with the message from Campolo. It lends weight to some of the collective arguments challenging me here at EvC. I do suspect, however, that Campolo does have the Holy Spirit (which I don't believe that all people have) and that he is simply smart enough to stay away from religious dogma when trying to help people.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”
? R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by ringo, posted 10-31-2019 11:56 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
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