Saturday, August 16, 2014

An excellent book on apologetics

My son and I are reading through Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath.
It is an excellent introduction to apologetics. The most impressive thing is the warm and positive tone. McGrath is excited about the gospel of Jesus. It is good news! But, there can be significant cultural and intellectual obstacles to people seeing this. Yet these people are made in the image of God and are to be respected and engaged with in a warm and gracious manner.

It is also refreshing that McGrath does not get bogged down in debates about the relative merits of different form of apologetics: evidentialist vs. presuppositionalist vs. experiential vs. dialogic.

To give you the flavour here is the outline of Chapter 6,  "Pointers to faith: approaches to apologetic engagement" nicely considers the following "clues"

1. Creation - the origins of the universe
Why did the universe and life have a beginning?

2. Fine-tuning - a universe designed for life

3. Order - the structure of the physical world
Why does science work?
Why is mathematics so unreasonably effective at describing the natural world?

4. Morality - a longing for justice
How can morality have a basis without God?

5. Desire - a homing instinct for God
Why do we long for something better?

6. Beauty - the splendour of the natural world

7. Relationality - God as a person
Why is it that we find the most meaning, fulfilment, (and pain) in human relationships?

8. Eternity - the intuition of hope

I don't find any one of these clues in isolation that compelling. However, put together they point to something significant. Furthermore, the Bible does provide coherent answers to these questions.

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