In Season 1 Episode 3 of The Eudo Podcast, Dr. Paul M. Gould will explain the two basic tasks for the Cultural Apologists, namely, to show Christianity as both reasonable and desirable.
The Task of Showing Christianity as Reasonable
Christian’s proclaim that, “Jesus rose again from the dead.” Is this plausible? Is it the kind of claim that we can take seriously today since we all know that dead men don’t rise from the dead?
We have a plausibility problem today when it comes to showing the reasonableness of Christianity – as a result, the gospel doesn’t get a fair hearing because some people won’t even consider the claims of Christianity.
This is partly why the so-called “New Atheists” are so confident in their pronouncements about the irrationality of belief in God.
- Faith is a delusion, we are told by Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion.
- The absence of evidence is evidence of the absence of God, we are told by the late Victor Stenger is his book God: The Failed Hypothesis.
The claim that religion in general, and Christianity in particular is dangerous, destructive, and delusional is now common-place.
The Task of Showing Christianity as Desirable
We can no longer focus only on the question of Christianity’s reasonableness. The dynamic of globalization, the digital revolution, and a cadre of vocal atheists have successfully called into question for many the desirability of Christianity.
Often, as apologist, we focus on defending the reasonableness of Christianity in the face of objections; and, this is right — there have been, still are, and will continue to be intellectual challenges to the rationality of faith in God. But today, equally as pressing is the question of the desirability of God.
- While many people are cool with Jesus, they’re not sure about his followers.
- They’re not sure about organized religion or the church.
- They are not sure that Jesus meets all of our needs for wholeness and happiness and peace and satisfaction.
We need a new and more robust cultural apologetic if Christianity is to get a fair hearing with the next generation.
A cultural apologetic of return, as I will describe in the podcast to follow (and the book that will be released in March 2019), seeks to help others see Christianity as both plausible and desirable.
Next time, we will consider Paul’s two-handed backhand, posture, gestures, and the three “C’s” of showing Christianity as true and satisfying.
- Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.
- Ferry, Luc. A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2011.
- Gould, Paul. Cultural Apologetics: Renewing the Christian Voice, Conscience, and Imagination in a Disenchanted World. Grand Rapids: MI: Zondervan, (Forthcoming) March 2019.
- Nagel, Thomas. The Last Word. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997.
- Stenger, Victor J. God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2008.
Jesus states that the objective of the Holy Spirit is to “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin” after sin of murdering him by crucifixion.
Paul states “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13
Is either of the tasks of your institution congruent with either of those statements?
Yes! Our job (with God’s help) is to do our best to show others the truth, goodness, and beauty of Jesus and the Gospel–it is the Holy Spirits job to convict them of their sin. Great question! Thanks for asking! Dr. Gould
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