Hi Josh, you recently released a book entitled “Apologetics at the Cross” which I’m looking forward to reading. Since we’ve got you here, I was wondering if you could provide us with some key points and advice that you’ve raised in there, particularly in the context of our late-modern culture. Thank you.
Thanks for both of your questions. I’ll plan to pick up Thursday where I left off on the Ethics of Authenticity and how to connect this with the gospel. Tonight I am reply to this question concerning Apologetics at the Cross. The book itself is divided into 3 main sections. The first section examines apologetics in the Bible and the history of the church. The second traces out implications for an apologetic that is built around the gospel. The final section combines cultural analysis and our inside out approach to interact and respond to the challenges and opportunities of our current context.
In regards to our late-modern context, we identify 4 features of late-modernism: modern pluralism, the ethics of authenticity, the therapeutic turn, and religious lethargy. These are not the only ones we could have chosen, but we felt that they were important in understanding our cultural moment in the west and in responding to the challenges the church faces and the objections we often here. We have a massive in articulacy problem in our culture today. By this I mean that someone often has an opinion about some issue or an objection to Christianity, but they haven’t thought out grounding or support for their position. But they have a feeling or intuition about it. This can lead to pretty frustrating conversations if we don’t know some of the deeper assumptions driving the issues. But since they are often not even aware of them themselves, you will often have to articulate these assumptions for them and then show them how they are problematic on different levels but how, perhaps quite surprisingly, Christianity makes more sense and fulfills their deepest aspirations. Or at least, that is what we try help people learn to do. Tomorrow, I will get more into the specifics of how you might do this using the ethics of authenticity as a sort of test case (see a previous post where I define this term).
Thank you so much, @joshchatraw. I look forward to hearing more from you. I was wondering if you could touch a bit on what ‘therapeutic turn’ entails.