Today we continue with chapter seven 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 7 study questions PDF, and summary:
Chapter Seven: Why Truth Matters Most
While chapter six defined and defended truth, chapter seven makes the case “for the significance and value of both objective truth and truth seeking.” This includes a discussion of 1) the relationship of truth, self-deception and personal virtue; 2) the will to disbelieve; 3) how humility relates to the quest for truth; 4) the vice of intellectual apathy; and 6) the truth-attracting possibilities of silence.
Throughout the chapter, Groothuis shows how attitudes of mind and heart, as well as disciplines and distractions, play a role in the quest for truth. Along the way he counters some of the false conceptions of postmodern thinking. The author argues finally for the discipline of silence and reflection as a key to being more receptive to the truth.
Whenever we state an opinion, defend or critique an argument, ask a question, or investigate one kind of assertion or another, we presuppose the concept of truth-even if we don’t directly state the word, even if we deny that truth is real or knowable. (Christian Apologetics, p. 139)
While Jesus frequently engaged in intellectual arguments, he was acutely sensitive to the moral status of those with whom he was communicating, realizing that the state of a person’s soul affected his or her ability to know certain things. (Christian Apologetics, p. 141)
Truth should be sought for its own sake, but also in tight relation to the intellectual flourishing of the individual. That is, there should be a conviction that it is best for us to follow truth wherever it leads, whatever the effect may be-and that this is the imperative for anyone with a modicum of intellectual rectitude. (Christian Apologetics, p. 145)
Certainty is no vice, as long as it is grounded in clear and cogent arguments, is held with grace, and is willing to entertain counterarguments sincerely. (Christian Apologetics, p. 149)
- What attitudes or disciplines that should be cultivated in the search for truth?
- What scriptures suggest that one’s receptiveness to truth is connected with the condition of one’s soul?
- Regarding one’s level of certainty or confidence, how should apologists make their case?
Chapter Eight: Faith, Risk and Rationality