Today we continue with chapter five of Read Along with Apologetics315, a weekly chapter-by-chapter study through Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Douglas Groothuis. Please leave a comment on your reading below. This is where you can interact with others reading the book, ask questions, or add your own thoughts. Click below for the audio intro, chapter 5 study questions PDF, and summary:
Chapter Five: Distortions of the Christian Worldview – Or the God I Don’t Believe In
In the previous chapter, Groothuis presented a concise overview of the Christian worldview. In this chapter, he responds to some of the main distortions of Christianity.
First, he challenges the common accusation that Christianity is anti-intellectual and intellectually suicidal. He answers this by showing how the Christian view promotes rational investigation, logic, and reason. Second, he answers the oft-heard challenge that Christianity is at odds with science. He gives historical examples of scientists who were Christians, emphasizing their approach and contribution. In addition, he provides philosophical and scriptural reasons showing how Christianity provides a foundation and reason to do science.
Other distortions include the idea that Christianity is racist and promotes slavery, is sexist, homophobic, imperialistic, and anti-environmentalist. Each of these distortions are answered with a Christian view on each topic. Finally, the author provides a scriptural response to the challenge that the Christian view of the afterlife is unappealing and boring.
While some have pitted faith against reason, the Bible does not endorse blind leaps of faith in the dark but rather speaks of the knowledge of God gained through various rational means. Instead of a leap of faith, it commends a well-informed and volitional step of faith. (Christian Apologetics, p. 96)
Real science arose only once: in Europe. China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology lead to astronomy. Why? […] Christians developed science because they believed it could be done, and should be done. (Rodney Stark, Victory of Reason, p. 14, quoted on pp. 94-95)
Due to their popularity and the passion with which they are promoted, distorted accounts of Christianity keep many from pondering the genuine Christian message. But popularity and passion do not guarantee truth. This chapter has argued that Christianity can counter the caricatures raised against it. (Christian Apologetics, p. 116)
- What do you think is the most common distortion of Christianity?
- Why aren’t the holy wars in the Old Testament meant to be general principles for Christians?
- How do you think most people think of the Christian view of the afterlife?
Chapter Six: Truth Defined and Defended