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The Reasonableness of Historic Christian Faith

Cover to *A World of Difference*Everyday, it seems I hear & read statements from people that assert or imply that Christianity is “unreasonable”, “irrational”, “illogical”, etc. These words, while related, all have different shades of meaning and can vary depending on who’s talking, but the gist is the same. It’s true that many Christians act unreasonably, irrationally, or illogically — either on occasion or on a regular basis, unfortunately. But, so what? The same can be said for many non-Christians. I maintain that Christianity itself, as a carefully thought out, theistic worldview, is wholly reasonable, rational, and logical. So, I want to draw attention to one response to this general claim of unreasonableness that may help your understanding on this issue, as it did me.

I was thumbing through the book A World of Difference by philosopher/theologian Kenneth R. Samples, which has a section in one chapter entitled “A Christian View of Knowledge”. After a brief look at the ancient Hebrew and Greek words for “knowledge” and their connotations, Samples points out that knowledge in Scripture is sometimes “personal and experiential” and sometimes “propositional”. He continues:

“Though no one strict approach to the question of knowledge finds complete agreement within Christianity, several universally accepted points represent a consensus among Christians.”

He proceeds then to list and discuss six “universally accepted points”, but it is the final one that I would like to reproduce for your consideration:…

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Why Christian Apologetics?

I came across this the other day and decided to share it….

Readers of this blog will recognize that some of what I write about in the science & religion areas can be characterized as “Christian apologetics” (from the Greek word apologia, which loosely means ‘giving a defense’). Not every Christian recognizes the need for this sort of thing, but I think that’s because they don’t realize its value of the Biblical support for such a thing. In the following, Frank Turek (author, speaker, corporate trainer) responds to a challenge by giving several reasons in brief for why he believes that the endeavor of Christian apologetics is not only legitimate but mandated.

Frank TurekAn Apologetic against Christian Apologetics?
— by Frank Turek

Last week I was taking questions during an “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” seminar on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University. One question challenged the legitimacy of Christian Apologetics. It was half question, half critique and it went something like, “Why are you trying to prove Christianity? We just need to love one another!” It sounds like something from the emergent church” people. Here is my response:

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Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 6

“A presumption becomes a self-refuting assertion.”   — R. Alan Woods

Following hot on the heels of “Part 5: Facts Over Feelings”, today’s logical fallacies involve inappropriate presumptions that confuse and invalidate one’s argument. (Of course, I would never do this! … OK, OK, maybe.) Sometimes when making a case or defending a position, it’s easy to get trapped within our own perspective, so to speak. We might take "I Want to Believe" aliensomething for granted in our reasoning — a premise, for example, that asserts something as true when, in fact, it also should be verified. (If you recognize this, you may acknowledge that it needs to be examined further but agree, or ask the other party, to provisionally accept it for the sake of discussion.) Regardless of the form this takes, it ends up destroying the argument, because nothing is actually proven.

Professor Samples gives three types of this class of fallacy, as follows:

Wishful thinking

Just because someone accuses you of wishful thinking does not necessarily mean that’s what you are actually doing. It depends on your rationale,…

Read the rest: Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 6| A View from the Right