Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Look into the Possible Future of Christian Apologetics

Consider this quotation (

I want to underscore one of the points Koukl made, since so many people make the first observation he mentions, but don't follow up on it the way Koukl did. We've had a resurgence of apologetics, but it hasn't kept pace with what's needed. People often say that there's been a resurgence, but don't go on to qualify it the way Koukl did. We ought to go on to ask whether the resurgence has been enough. It hasn't been. Given the changes in technology, increased access to information, changes in political systems, and other factors in place in the modern world, the church needs to be involved in apologetics far more than it has been to this point.
--along with this one (
«People tend to become less religious as they become more educated, right? Not necessarily, according to a new study.

After analyzing data from a large national survey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist Philip Schwadel found that people actually tend to become more religious - by some definitions, at least - as they further their education.

“It all falls down to what you consider to be religious,” said Schwadel, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “If it’s simply attending religious services, then no. Highly educated people are not less religious; in fact, they’re more religious.”

“But if it’s saying the Bible is the literal word of God and saying that only one religion is the true religion, then they are less religious,” he continued.

Schwadel used data from the highly regarded General Social Survey, a cumulative and nationally representative survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago biannually since 1972.

Social scientists rely heavily on the “gold standard” General Social Survey, which provides cumulative data collected regularly between 1972 and 2010.

His study will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Review of Religious Research.

Schwadel found that with each additional year of education:

– The likelihood of attending religious services increased 15%.

– The likelihood of reading the Bible at least occasionally increased by 9%.

– The likelihood of switching to a mainline Protestant denomination - Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian USA or United Methodist - increased by 13%.»

You want erudite and sharp people involved in the apologetics of Christian orthodoxy, because the issues of apologetics have become increasingly fluid and complex.  However, many of those people won’t be signing on to the job when their liberal or errant views of the authority, historicity, and inerrancy of the Scriptures are like those of unbelievers.

Finally, here is one more thing to think about (

While religious service attendance has decreased for all white Americans since the early 1970s, the rate of decline has been more than twice as high for those without college degrees compared to those who graduated from college, according to new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

I think we would be either naive or untruthful to deny that those without college degrees generally are simpler and more gullible than those who have the degrees.  Accordingly, there will likely remain a place in apologetics where Christian apologists need not have an equivalent of an AA in History, Philosophy or Biblical Studies to deal exhaustively with all counter-Christianity arguments that an unbeliever might raise in a dialogue about Christianity.

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