May issue of Christianity Today has an article titled: We Need to Stop Apologizing for Apologetics But It Might Be Time For It To 'Grow Up." by Joshua Chatraw (Exec. Dir. of the Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement at Liberty University)
Have We Outgrown Apologetics? In much of scholarship these days, apologetics is shunned as juvenile.
For others in more confessional circles, apologetics can signal a childish attempt to play by the rules of secularism rather than boldly proclaiming the gospel—the power of God to save. Tacitly—and sometimes more directly—the lesson is clear: It is time to grow up. …
“I am not sure that apologetics has not been the curse of evangelicalism for the last twenty to thirty years,” British minister, physician, and author Martyn Lloyd-Jones once lamented.
In our present situation—where faith is no longer the default position—the church is going to be compelled to practice apologetics, even if we call it something else. The question shouldn’t be if we will do apologetics (or whatever you want to call it); the question is if we will do it with the wisdom brought by maturity.
The need of the hour is apologetic maturity—historically informed and theologically rooted in the gospel itself—which knows how to not only give reasons but also how to stoke imaginations, model cruciform lives, and even publicly confess. (We do, after all, have some planks to remove from our own eyes.) These are not the typical things most think of when they hear of apologetics, but this is only because we have not fully come to grips with our past—both the good and the bad. An apologetic approach for a secular age needs to utilize appeals to the essential features of personhood (such as the need for meaning, hope, forgiveness, and morality) along with arguments for the faith’s rationality.
It’s not a terribly long article, so if you have access to it you may want to read it. I have a subscription, so I don’t know if my link will work.
Mainly the article left me very puzzled. I’m not especially “in the know” with Christian buzz, nor did I have any theological exposure in an academic setting. So I was news to me that apologetics is somewhat of an embarassment in certain circles. Certainly left me wondering why, so I thought I would see if any of you can clue me in. This is one of those kinds of articles where you feel like you are missing key knowledge–like everyone else is in on the joke but you.
I’m not offended in anyway by the article, just confused. I’m assuming that apologetics has a bad rep in some circles based on certain techniques, maybe? The author seems to be making that case that we don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, but fix how we do apologetics. He has just published a book on that very subject, called Apologetics at the Cross: An Introduction for Christian Witness that communicates a technique called “Inside Out.”
So if anyone can shed some light, I would be grateful.