One of the maybe most well known verses in the Bible is 1. Peter 3: 15:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
I personally am not fond of it, because it is the basis for Christian apologetics. I am not a particularly big fan of apologetics and I want to tell you the reasons why:
While I certainly do applaude the general idea, that one should have reasons and evidence for his beliefs, apologetics as used by Christians is just the wrong method to arrive at truth. Why? Because apologetics is not an investigative approach but a method to defend the faith at all costs and at no point during engaging in it, is the option of being wrong about Christianity even on the table.
See even though it might not look that way, when Atheists ask Christians for evidence, we actually engage in an investigative process, where we want to find out the Christian’s reasons for his beliefs and we want to evaluate whether his arguments and evidence have any merit (that goes for me as an atheist at least, I’m always open to learning and to refine my positions and I have done so many times during my life and I’ll continue to do so).
When it comes to people like William lane Craig or Frank Turek or the “Creation scientists” who work at AiG one thing is very apparent: They are Christians commited to their faith first, and Philosophers/ scientists second.
These people don’t investigate the evidence and then arrive at the conclusion, that God is the best explanation even though it might appear that they do. It’s not a bottom up approach, it’s a top down approach. They already have their infallibly true conclusion and from that conclusion, they work their way backwards and try to find evidence supporting it. When you take that approach you’re by definition no longer engaged in science you’re doing pseudoscience or in William lane Craig’s case you’re doing shit Philosophy.
The other method the bottom up one, the one where you investigate and then form conclusions based on the evidence, which you only accept tenatively until contradicting evidence arises is demonstrably effective. It’s called the scientific method.
This method has brought us great knowledge such as the theory of evolution. And the truth is I defend evolution regularly because I think it’s true. But I am not 100% convinced and if we find the precambrian bunny, I will throw out evolution immediately and stop believing in it. Because that’s what you do as a person holding honest beliefs. Do these apologists think the same way? Does William Lane Craig have the same approach? Do the Answers in Genesis staff members hold to this standard? Hell no!
When you’re in a mindset where you’re unquestionably right and 100% convinced of anything, you’ve already lost because you’re no longer investigating, you’re defending your truth against all evidence and arguments it, no matter how conclusive the case against you is. And that’s apologetics in a nutshell.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation