Christian Apologetics: A Logical defence of Christianity
First: Belief in God
This, of course, is an essential prerequisite of the Christian faith. The French philosopher, theologian, mathematician and physicist, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) gave a logical defence of belief in God. Pascal’s Wager argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas if God does exist, he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell), link.
So let’s make the logical assumption that God exists – and that God inspired the Bible upon which Christianity is based.
More Logical Reasoning
Apologetics means ‘argumentative defence’, and so Christian Apologetics is a reasoned, logical defence of the Christian faith, link. Using the Bible, logical reasoning, philosophy, knowledge and human experience, it attempts to answer the four basic questions of life:
Life’s origin; Life’s meaning; Our morality; Our destiny
This website holds a number of articles on apologetics e.g. Creation, Knowing God, Homosexuality, After Death, and the Future. Using the Bible, logical reasoning, philosophy, knowledge and human experience, Christian Apologetics attempts to justify the mainstream Christian view on the big questions of life. For instance:
- Assuming God exists, is God knowable and personal?
- How did the universe come into existence?
- Who are we? Where did we come from?
- Does life have a purpose? If so, what is it?
- Does absolute truth exist? If so, where do we find it?
- Why all the suffering? Is there hope despite it?
- What happens after death?
- Where do ethics and morality come from?
- Is life as we know it coming to an end?
- Who is Jesus Christ?
A Christian Worldview
A viewpoint on these issues leads to what is called a ‘worldview’. Whatever worldview we hold, it must be consistent, coherent and comprehensive. It should, for example, give a coherent explanation for:
- the existence and order of the universe
- human rationality and intelligence
- moral consciousness
- religious experience
In general, a Christian worldview would answer the above questions as follows:
- God exists and is knowable and personal
- All things, seen and unseen, from atoms to stars, were created by God
- We are created beings; created by, and in the image of God
- The main purpose in life is to know the Fatherhood of God and His Son Jesus Christ
- Absolute truth exists and is to be found in the person and teachings of Jesus Christ
- Suffering is a result of man’s continuous rebellion against God. A Christian worldview gives hope through suffering
- After death we await judgement for things done in this life. A believer in Christ is justified in the sight of God and so is judged worthy of passing into eternal life
- As created beings we all have an in-built conscience, reflecting the ethics and morality of our Creator. But we can choose to ignore our conscience
- The current age is rapidly coming to an end, and will terminate at the Second Coming of Christ
- Jesus Christ was indwelt by the fullness of God. He claimed to be God and so is God. He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit in a Holy Trinity (more at Christian Creeds)
Apologetics – Summary
Christian apologetics gives the reasoning behind these and similar statements. Of course, many issues in life are not black and white and need to be debated. For instance, is there a Christian worldview on Genetic Engineering or Euthanasia or Climate Change? Are we sometimes justified in being politically incorrect in the search for truth? What are the ethics of a particular situation?
Whatever the issue, the Christian relies upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the inspired word of God (the Bible) to lead him or her into the truth (that is – absolute truth). As fallible beings, we will never know the complete truth on many issues, but we can be guided by God’s Spirit in the right direction. As St. Paul says:
“Now I know in part, but then (in the resurrection) I will know fully” (1 Cor 13:12)