Today we continue with chapter three of Read Along with Apologetics315, a weekly chapter-by-chapter study through Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Douglas Groothuis. Each week’s post will provide a brief summary of the chapter, an audio introduction to the chapter by the author, as well as a PDF study guide suitable for printing and using for personal or group study. The audio is also available in a podcast feed for easier weekly listening. Here’s everything you need this week:
Chapter Three: Apologetic Method: Evaluating Worldviews (pages 45-72)
This chapter introduces the apologetic method the author will be employing. This is hypothesis evaluation and verification. But first, Groothuis provides an overview of the laws of logic, expressing their importance and using examples. With this foundation in place, the author outlines eight criteria for worldview evaluation. Each of these criteria is a way to test for the truthfulness of a hypothesis.
The author outlines other apologetic systems (fideism, presuppositionalism, reformed epistemology, and evidentialism) and offers an assessment of each one’s strengths and weaknesses.
After reading this chapter, the reader will have an understanding of the basic laws of logic, know the various apologetic methodologies and their main proponents, and understand the purpose of the eight criteria for evaluating worldviews. This chapter lays the methodological foundation for the rest of the book.
Evangelist Dwight L. Moody was once criticized by another Christian for his approach to evangelism. Moody’s response was that he liked the way he did evangelism better than the way his critics didn’t do evangelism. This lesson applies to apologetic method as well. (Christian Apologetics, p.45)
Simply put, if a worldview fails to explain what it promises to explain, fails to make sense on its own terms (internal consistency), fails to describe what is there (objective and inner reality), fails to give intelligible meaning to life, or fails to be intellectually and culturally productive, it is disqualified from consideration. I will argue that Christianity passes these tests better than any of its competitors. (Christian Apologetics, p.70)
- What is the best method of apologetic reasoning and why?
- Why is it important to understand the laws of logic?
- Can you offer a succinct description of reformed epistemology as an apologetic approach?
Chapter Four: The Christian Worldview