Whenever individuals with interest in apologetics discuss apologetics, they inevitably come to a discussion concerning which approach to apologetics is best. There are many different kinds of or approaches to apologetics all with strengths and weaknesses. As vigorous as this debate can be, I think that it is often taken beyond its proper proportions especially by those just discovering the field of apologetics. The truth is that these different approaches greatly overlap with most apologists using multiple approaches even while emphasizing one. Furthermore, different individuals will have different interests and personalities, learning and teaching styles and areas of expertise all of which will influence which approach any given apologist will take. Not only so, but various skeptics and doubters will be best convinces by various approaches. What would convince one person of the truths of Christianity may not convince another whereas a different approach would. I think that God creates individuals with different interests and abilities and gives them different gifts. He will then lead different apologists with different approaches to those individuals who will be best affected by those particular approaches.
I write all this to bring us to the point of this blog post which is to introduce my approach to apologetics explaining why I have called my blog “Revelational Apologetics.” Although God can use many different people using many different approaches to help individuals come to the truth; yet, ultimately, God Himself must reveal Himself to any individual. In fact, God does reveal Himself proving His own existence by His self-revelation through many means. At the center of my approach to apologetics is, then, a simple syllogism:
Mp: Whatever reveals itself must exist
mp: God has revealed Himself
Therefore: God exists
The major premise is certainly true. That which does not exist cannot reveal itself. For something to reveal itself, it must exist. The conclusion is unavoidable if the premises are correct. The challenge, then, is the minor premise. Is there within reality really a display of God’s self-revelation? How can we determine that there is? I see the real job of an apologist to point others to the self-revelation of God.
The Bible itself uses the approach of pointing people to the self-revelation of God. There are many passages telling us that God has revealed Himself through a number of means. I will in the future, Lord willing, write in detail concerning these means of God’s self -revelation, but a list with Bible references will suffice for now:
- God reveals Himself through creation (Job. 38-41; Psalm 8:3,4; 19:1-6; Matthew 6:25-30; Romans 1:19, 20)
- God reveals Himself through human conscience (Psalm 14:1; John. 1:9; Romans 1:28,32; 2:14-16)
- God reveals Himself through the Bible (Psalm 19:7-11; Romans 2:17,18; 3:1,2; II Corinthians 3:18; II Peter 1:19-21)
- God reveals Himself through Jesus Christ (John 1:18; 14:7-9; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3)
- God reveals Himself through the Holy Spirit’s witness (John 15:7-14; Romans 8:14-16; Ephesians 1:13,14; I John 2:21)
- God reveals Himself through our relationship with Him and through us to others (I Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:1; Ephesians 1:6-12; I Thessalonians 1:9,10)
Ultimately God must Himself work in the heart of any individual revealing the truth of His existence, and that individual must be willing to accept that revelation as being really a revelation of God Who, therefore, must really exist. We are only tools used to point others to His self-revelation. It is my desire through this blog to be a good tool and help others become better tools to point individuals to the God Who reveals Himself
In the future I will, again, Lord willing, deal with each of these areas, and I will especially emphasize His revelation through creation. However, before I do any of that, I will first explain in some detail why we should practice apologetics giving, as it were, my apologetic for apologetics.