Saturday, August 31, 2013

Make Sure it is Christianity We are Defending

Stephen Mumford said, “It is tempting when metaphysics is under attack to retreat to some ground that is easier to defend. In doing so, however, it may no longer be metaphysics that is being defended.”[1] Mumford, while certainly no Christian theist, has a salient point regarding Christian apologetics. I think there is value in recognizing that certain dire consequences regarding Christianity’s truth and God’s existence do not necessarily follow from some purported claims (e.g., evolution). However, we must be careful to avoid trimming Christianity so much that we distort the central truths of the Gospel. Even in our pragmatism, we must maintain that God is a Trinity, Jesus is God the Son and the Son of God, that he lived a sinless life, died on the cross for the sins of the world, and God raised him from the dead. We must hold that the Word of God is authoritative, and that salvation is by grace through faith. If we fail to do this, and retreat to a position more easily defended, then I am afraid we will no longer be defending mere Christianity at all.

1 Stephen Mumford, Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2012), 102.


  1. Absolutely! "You can lead an atheist to evidence but you can't make him think." Because atheists bring that world-view to the evidence, no amount of concise apologetic will make any difference. For those who are being called, the Gospel will be enough. For those who are rejecting God, no words will be enough.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I just want to make one thing clear: I am by no means suggesting an apologetic cannot be effective in removing intellectual barriers; I am only saying that we should not, in an attempt to gain credibility, give up our belief in central facts of the Gospel, such as are outlined above. I don't know of anyone who has done this, but it might be a good warning. :)


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