Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Evidential Apologetics

“What Scientific Evidence Proves that God Created and Designed the Universe?” is the title of The John Ankerberg special series to be aired later this month. One of the principal goals of our blog is to encourage respect for science as an apologetic tool. Several diverse groups will benefit from the program content. One group is the community of faith. Others include secularists whose belief in God may range from weak to non-existent.

Let’s consider Christian believers first. We might ask if such “scientific evidence” is necessary for Christians, since we may assume they have already been convinced of God’s existence and His creative acts. We must enlarge on this assumption and make a strong case that even the mature and confident Christian needs regular affirmation and support for belief in the reality of God. In our experience, consider how satisfying it is to receive additional evidence supporting and reaffirming the beliefs and activities we have embraced. Speaking on a personal level, since my retirement, the opportunity to use additional quality time to research new scientific discoveries has reinforced and enriched my enjoyment of the divinely created world and my confidence in the reality of God. This spills over into greater awareness of meaning and purpose in areas other than science. Scientific evidence pointing to the existence of God has multiplied many-fold during the lifetimes of the people able to read this post or listen to a television series.

Scientific support for design, order, and coherency in our physical world is related to evidential apologetics. There are two other major types of apologetics which also substantiate belief in God, namely, classical (philosophical) and pre-suppositional apologetics. There is an important role for each type of apologetics in support of our faith. I encourage each reader to affirm and strengthen his faith by making a study of each and every apologetic approach. This is established by a verse from the New Testament, Jude 3, which, in many translations, speaks of contending for the faith (belief system). In every translation I checked, urgency was the defining emotion. Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation says: “Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.”