Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apologetics in the non-Western world

Understanding the relationship between science and the Bible is a key issue in Western apologetics. But how is this issue relevant in non-Western countries such as India?
[An earlier post briefly discussed this issue].

Western apologetics seems to be shaped by Enlightenment values and has an emphasis on
  • the law of non-contradiction and unique truth claims
  • logical, systematic and linear arguments
  • conceptual and methodological foundations
  • reductionism rather than holism
  • universality rather than particularity
  • objectivity rather than subjectivity
  • time is linear
This approach downplays
  • ambiguity
  • feelings, emotion, and personal experience
  • beauty and aesthetics
In India there is a diversity of cultures, religions, gods, and points
of view...  This diversity is not just present but celebrated.

Science clearly shows that truth does matter. Not all views, beliefs, and theories are equally valid. Two contradictory ideas cannot both be true. However, there are often paradoxes (particularly in quantum theory) where two apparently contradictory claims can be both true.

Science does show that (in some sense) time is linear. But how can this be related to Biblical and non-western views of time and history?

In writing this post I found helpful an entry by Atul Aghamkar“Christian Apologetics in the Non-Western World: A South Asian Perspective”, in the New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics. (I thank my dear wife for finding this article).

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