In my recent Evangelical apologetics post I should have pointed to John Stackhouse’s Humble Apologetics as an example to follow. His guideline to “First, Listen and Understand” needs to be heard by all who desire to engage in Christian apologetics.
Other related thoughts and conversations:
1. Stackhouse is also doing an interesting series on “Do you have to choose between your Brains or your Beliefs?”. See here for the first post.
2. David Heddle has a good post that addresses the oft-heard contention that a scientist cannot be a Christian without compartmentalizing. (He has an interesting challenge for anyone who makes this claim – check it out). And on cognitive dissonance he states:
Sometimes being a scientist and a Christian is described as cognitive dissonance. It is not. Cognitive dissonance is when I simultaneously hold two beliefs that I recognize as being in opposition or in tension. It is not holding to two beliefs that someone else thinks are in tension.
3. Cliff is back blogging at Outside-the-box. In his re-introduction to the blogsphere, he has some pertinent observations on the importance of honest Christian apologetics that do not ignore the findings of modern science. He shares some very personal thoughts on the whole theological enterprise and why it is important, including this:
And I think about how science informs my understandings of the Scriptures when I consider the coming train wreck for the church. When the powerful DNA evidence for common decent finally filters down to be understood by the masses it will not be a pretty sight. I feel desperately the need to alert my friends.4. Gordon is mulling over a follow-up project to Beyond the Firmament. I’ve reviewed some portions of this – it should be good. Here is what Gordon says on why using anti-evolutionary arguments to back up the Christian gospel is a very, very dangerous thing:
While I struggle to honestly understand the difficult data, a fellow Christian will make a completely uninformed statement like, “don’t worry brother, there is no evidence for evolution; the theory is losing support in the scientific community and will soon be considered one of the stupidest ideas in the history of man.” It takes every ounce of civility within me to not unload. Some say we are in a culture war. If so, then we should fire every officer in our intelligence community. Why? Because while our sworn enemy is building tanks and helicopters, we are led to believe that paintball guns will repel their advance. And so we go about our business with a false sense of security.And I believe the “If” in the above paragraph is critical. Not only are we fighting with inadequate weapons - we are often fighting the wrong war. Two millennia ago there was an itinerant preacher who also accused the religious leaders of confusing the cultural and spiritual wars.
5. There was an excellent recent discussion on the ASA listserv about how Christians should approach the pseudo-science often found in our community. Loren Haarsma kicked it off with this post. There are some very thoughtful responses, particularly those by Stephen Matheson and David Opderbeck who occasionally comment here on my blog. To follow the conversation, simply follow the “Next Thread” link from the original post. My post from last September entitled Dialogue, Debate, Silence, or Confrontation: How should we approach the topic of evolution? is also related to this discussion.