08 December 2010

Apologetics for the 21st Century

I'm enjoying Louis Markos' new book, Apologetics for the 21st Century. Thank you for this book, brother!

I find myself more at home in a presuppositionalist apologetic approach, whereas Markos endorses a more evidentialist approach (e.g. 105-6). And at times some bits on hell made me cringe (e.g. 60). But it is a wonderful exploration of the apologetics of C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, G. K. Chesterton, and Francis Schaeffer, explaining in very accessible terms how these writers argued for Christianity and then bridging their arguments into contemporary discussions such as the new atheism. Outstanding.

I commend the book and thank Louis for serving us in this way. It would serve well as a book to work through with, say, a small group of college students as part of a campus ministry.

Here's a nice excerpt that is representative of the flavor of the book. Markos is discussing Lewis' argument for the existence of God and heaven in light of human desire.
In the conclusion of his Reflections on the Psalms, Lewis, expanding on his argument by desire, offers what I consider the finest apologetic for the immortality of the soul. Is it not odd, Lewis asks, that we are continually surprised by the passage of time? We see someone we have not seen for years and are surprised to see that he has grown; we find it impossible to believe that the children we bore have 'suddenly' matured into adults and left us to start their own families. . . .

Given the fact that we have never known anything but past, present, and future and that time is the element in which we live, it is strange indeed that its passage should come to us as a perpetual surprise. Our continual shock at its passage, Lewis suggests, is tantamount to a fish being surprised by the wetness of water. That, of course, would be a strange thing, since water is the element in which a fish lives out its existence.

But it would not be a strange thing if that fish were destined someday to be a land animal. If our surprise at the passage of time teaches us one thing, it is this: we were not made for time but for eternity, for another mode of existence in which all abides in a perpetual present. (p. 27)

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