On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

I am studying apologetics and the Christian view of the creation of the universe to learn about the misconceptions that people have about the common apologist’s position. I want to use this information to be a more effective apologist and have a deeper understanding of everyone’s views of the universe. The first book that I have read on this subject is On Guard by William Lane Craig. It approaches the issue of whether or not Christianity is logical from the affirmative view. The book is split into three major sections that cover the following questions: what is apologetics and why does it matter if there is a God at all? did a personal creator actually create the universe? and why is Christianity the path to this creator? The first of these questions is the easiest to answer. Craig first defines apologetics and goes over some of the basic rules of logic. All of his overarching statements throughout the book are composed in a simple if-then format where if you agree that the universe complies with all of the “if” statements the following “then” statement must be true. He also argues in this first section that without a God there is “no objective meaning, value, or purpose” to life as we know it (51). We will make no impact on the universe, have no purpose for morals, or have any sort of goals here other than to survive. He uses the analogy of a stranded astronaut on a desolate planet with only his space suit, a vial of poison, and the ability to live forever (excluding effects the poison). He states that this is like the position of an atheist. In the second and only slightly more peppy section he goes over a series of ways to logically defend the existence of God including his favorite and most simple argument, the Kalam Cosmological argument which works off of only the first three premises in the visual (4,5, and 6 are optional). He also includes arguments such as Leibniz’s cosmological argument, the design argument, the moral argument, and the problem of suffering. In the third and final section he discusses the legitimacy of Christianity as the religion to the creator of the universe. He discusses who exactly Jesus was historically as a person, whether or not his resurrection is historically accurate and therefore true, and finally objects to some of the common religious pluralists objections. Please, if you have any questions or objections, comment them so that I might be able to go further in depth and explain how On Guard grapples with them.

The following are some of the questions that I had, and some that I still have about the subject of apologetics:

  1. Who are the prominent apologists?
  2. Who are the prominent atheists?
  3. Who are the prominent agnostics?
  4. Do agnostics provide a central ground?
  5. What are the leading theories for the existence of God?
  6. What are the leading theories against the existence of God?
  7. What are the shortcomings of each theory?
  8. How does each theory utilize logic?
  9. How does each theory utilize the facts of science?
  10. Are there any new models that fit the creation of the universe better?
  11. How has our understanding of science changed apologetics?
  12. How do we justify a personal God?
  13. How do others refute apologist’s logic?
  14. What are the rules of logic?
  15. What are the common scientific misconceptions?
  16. How do these affect apologists?
  17. How do these affect atheists?
  18. How does science support the existence of God?
  19. Is God merely an excuse for not understanding all of the universe?
  20. How do the statistics of life support or refute apologetics?
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Apologetics 101

Apologetics….

First thing that comes to mind is usually the word apologize right? Although the words today have almost nothing to do with each other, they do indeed share the same roots. The pair both come from the late latin and earlier greek word apologia, meaning, “speaking in defense” or “an explanation or justification of ones motives, conviction, or acts.” Today, apologetics is defined as “the branch or theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity.” Believe it or not, this epic battle of wits, logic, and reason is one to which people devote their entire lives. It is also the topic of debate for many mental giants, as is seen in the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. This is one of the topics that has evaded man throughout the ages, and might be one of those essential questions which will never be truly answered. My purpose is not to attempt to change your mind about choosing a faith. Rather my purpose is to change your mind about the many misconceptions that have arisen in society due to today’s education about science and the logic behind the existence of a being beyond the time and space that we know. As the late, great C. S. Lewis wrote in his book, Mere Christianity, this debate “…is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted” (20).

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/02/04/271648691/watch-the-creationism-vs-evolution-debate-bill-nye-and-ken-ham