Apologia: Reconciling Views
Why do I choose to use both forms of apologetics?
DISCLAIMER: Punctuation, Capitalization and Grammar errors will ensue...
As an apologist, who has studied both at Moody Bible and the University of Oxford, I can tell you that there are many different views on what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the apologetics of the Bible.
As a Reformed Theology holder I can express gratitude to the works of Oliphint and others like him. You cannot escape God's sovereignty in Scripture so why would you try to in Apologetics? However, you also cannot escape man's responsibility. This is why I have chosen to use both classical and covenantal (amongst various other smaller reasons).
We are stewards of God's word.
Therefore, we must take great diligence when dealing with our Theology and we must let our Theology shape our epistemology and our philosophy. When we allow dispositions to rule our theology we give way to liberal theology. Let's make something clear before moving on though - Reformed Theology is a philosophy. There is no escaping that abrupt fact, no matter who you are.
We must continue, then, to approach our apologetics and philosophical bends to be consistent with scripture and never compromise on that.
Again, we are stewards of God.
Therefore, we must take great diligence when dealing with our apologetics. I view apologetics as a staircase. Starting with the sheer fact that I cannot and will not convince someone to come to Christ outside of prayer with the Holy Spirit...but I sure has heck can prove them wrong and make sure they know it.
Creation is one of God's most incredible ways of proving Himself to us. In fact in Romans it says that we are WITHOUT excuse because of His creation. I think that is fairly severe thing to consider and if we consider it I believe it will implore you (and i) to study the creation extremely diligently.
In doing this you'll find amazing truths about God:
Mathematical proof of God (the eye coming into existence, intelligent design, kalam cosmological argument, and so on..)
The Human Gene which has billions of mathematical sequences and if one were changed, it would be catastrophe
Ontological arguments of the universe's beginning where we see God's fingerprints over all of us and creation
That's 3 of about 123,392,000 things I could mention that I have learned while studying Physics. Many of these things are actually revealed DIRECTLY in the Bible (not man's philosophy or science, but the BIBLE). Job 38:7 "While the morning stars sing..." - Yeah stars actually sing.
Studying physics, mathematics and so on is not studying man but studying God's literal and very factual fingerprints. Furthermore, I think it would serve every apologist and christian to study the reliability of the Bible and the Resurrection. It not only strengthens your heart but it gives you even more ammo against the enemy who cannot mess with God's decree.
What's my beef with Covenantal?
Now to be fair, I love what I have read from covenantal apologist but as I mentioned before it's a staircase. This philosophy of apologetics is the end step. Once you've given proof beyond what they deserve (back to Romans) you can then hit them with the worldview and epistemology arguments that show them the framework of their deception. Call them to repentance, give them the Gospel and then pray.
However, many of the brothers I have who are Covenantal Only Holders, will tell me that they will tell atheist and others "you're without excuse look around you" referencing the Romans verse. They will continue to bash you over the head with not facts but scripture to which the atheist is presumably blind to. They hold no account for God's creation, they hold it to be useless. To many, against my liking, they are deemed lazy and incoherent. Lazy is not something a single christian should be looked at as. Lazy is not something we should be okay with people thinking we are.
We should know more about the Creation of the world than any scholar or scientist. We should know more about physics, mathematics and genealogy than any other sect on earth because our GOD created them and decreed them.
My honest encounters with Reformed Apologist have been abrupt, rude and cruel. They have sometimes ended in me being blocked...as a brother in Christ. William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Hugh Ross and others have taken time to share with others and I the deep things they have learned about God without anger or scolding.
They have taken a doubting thomas and given him new life in his walk with Christ because of the evidence revealed BY God to us through CREATION.
Yet this is hardly the case with most covenantal apologist who refrain from these things because like the 1920s WCFA they deem it to be useless (or maybe even witchcraft? not sure). #EndRant
I apologize, I think my youth pastor days are leaking into this article. However, let me finish with these reason as to why I use both and not just one form of apologetic.
Christ and the Apostles reasoned with people using creation and other sources for framework
Christ and the Apostles used scripture to support their epistemology
God created everything, I want know more about everything he created
Proving atheist wrong is extremely gratifying, especially when it is on their turf and then you slap the Gospel on them to finish the staircase
As a steward of God, I want to be as diligent and loyal as I possibly can to all that He has revealed which includes: Science, Physics, Mathematics, History and of course above all else...Scripture.
I know that my words will fall short, I'm not a writer but I am someone who takes apologetics seriously and I want to see many come to Christ which is why I will continue my pursuit of philosophy: which contains logical formula, logic and critical thinking. I will continue my pursuit of physics which contains: God's creation, the make up our universe He created and the resounding fingerprints of His intelligent design. I will continue my work in Theology which contains my enthusiasm for sound doctrine, learning of God's revelation and the sanctification of my soul.
My challenge to you: Climb the staircase and be diligent in all areas of our God given minds. It is workmanship at it's finest and we must not take it lightly.