Tuesday, October 30, 2018

An excellent book on Christian apologetics

Apologetics concerns discussing intellectual questions or objections that people, both non-Christian and Christian, have about Christianity. The field has a long history, and there are a plethora of books, particularly from the USA on the subject. From my perspective, the books vary significantly in quality and some have quite narrow perspectives or offer simplistic answers and strategies.

The introductory book that I highly recommend is Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath. He presents quite a balanced approach with regard to different apologetic methods. He also has an emphasis on the audience and tailoring approaches, methods, and arguments to them, particularly when the audience is postmodern. Following C.S. Lewis, McGrath highlights the value of appealing to the imagination and emotions, not just the intellect. Because of this audience sensitivity, the book is relevant and useful in non-Western contexts, unlike many Western books. This is the view of some of my non-Western friends who also say it is particularly accessible and clear as an introductory book.

I quite like this lecture McGrath gave where he discusses the importance of C.S. Lewis for apologetics.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Government regulation can be important for free markets

Free markets can be a wonderful thing, creating prosperity and a better life for many. Consequently, there are some who oppose any sort of government regulation of business. However, if you visit a country where there is no such regulation (or laws are not enforced) one inevitably sees corruption, monopolies, exploitation of workers, pollution, and environmental destruction.
The grand challenge is to find a balance.

In this TED talk, MargretheVestager, makes a compelling case for why regulation, particularly of large corporations is important. Part of the issue is that many of these companies are actually not committed to free markets but rather to protecting their market share.
I found it interesting that she started with a Biblical view of human nature, referring to Genesis, and also emphasised values such as trust and community.