Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Emergent Church, Apologetics and Stanley Grenz: Pt 3

Part 1 Part 2

Grenz noted:

This strategy shows how scientific findings support or even confirm the truths of Christianity.

Concerning using modern science to confirm the claims of Christianity, at least the ones that can be, I think there are at least two things to say in response to Grenz’s claim. First, that kind of project simply seems like a responsible reaction to scientific advancements. There are many in the scientific and philosophical communities who utilize their interpretations of scientific advancement against the truth of Christian claims; so what exactly makes countering that trend an incorrect or invalid approach?

Secondly, and more deeply perhaps, is the doctrine of the Unity of Truth. This is a doctrine understood and explicated since the earliest of Christian writers which states that “all truth is God’s truth.” In other words, if God exists and he is who he says he is, then any and every thing which is actually true is a result of God’s nature and creative work. Therefore, the truths about scientific advancements and findings will simply be a result of God’s handiwork. So it seems not only reasonable to do what Grenz apparently derides, but it could be described as an act of worship.

Ultimately, I think the typical EC/postmodern argument against traditional apologetics is based on some faulty premises. First, it is not true that evidentialist apologetics are based on the same Rationalism as many portions of the Enlightenment. Secondly, it is not true that there is no place for traditional apologetics in our postmodern world. (I have dealt with this in other posts, and Grenz admits in the article that there are still moderns in our culture who will respond to rational argumentation.) Thirdly, it is not true that utilizing reason is the same as admitting to a philosophy of Rationalism. I firmly believe that God’s command to love him with all our minds includes the application of the gift of reason.


Joshua_Duncan said...

You've hit on one of the main problems I have with some of the guys at the front of the EC movement. In A New Kind of Christian Brian McLaren seems to put up the same kind of picture of modernism; as though every one who could be classified as "modernist" believes that reason is all powerful.

As an interesting aside, Harold Netland has called postmodernism "the ultimate modernism" because it individualizes truth.

Hannah Im said...

I've been playing the waffle on this one for some time, but I think I'm waffling towards your position.