On twitter yesterday I spotted this from Her.meneutics (Christianity Today’s women’s blog): I couldn’t resist that question so I read the article which described how Fincher wound up an apologist.
“[I] met Frank Pastore and J. P. Moreland (they were teaching local classes) and learned that a whole branch of knowledge was devoted to understanding and defending Christianity on philosophical grounds. I learned of Dorothy L. Sayers and heard Eleanor Stump. I decided to get my Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. I learned that it was a religious philosopher, Elizabeth Anscombe, who gave C. S. Lewis a run for his money. I also realized that biblical women defended the God of Israel and paved the way for women like me, the daughters of Zelophedad, reluctant apologists like Naomi in the Book of Ruth, Esther convincing the King of the Persian empire to spare the Jews, the Samaritan woman at the well convincing her entire village to come hear Jesus (John 4:39-42),” she wrote.
Fincher thinks there need to be more women apologists for the Christian faith because women are a majority in the church and because there is “a growing segment of women atheists” blogging, including those who have left Christianity for various reasons. She also seemed to think women would be better at addressing certain issues.
I completely agree that we need more apologists (although I don’t mind if they are men or women). But my concern about intellectual/philosophical defenses of the faith is that it can very easily result in relying on man’s wisdom rather than God’s. Some of those arguments/evidences may be useful, but ultimately, it is God’s Word that is true, regardless of whether people accept or reject it. And many will reject it.
As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:17-27
“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many might, not many noble, are called; But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of this world to confound the things which are mighty.”
Every individual Christian needs to take ownership of their beliefs, know what they believe and why and ask God for the courage to stand firm even in the face of opposition. We must all study the scripture, know the Word and preach Christ crucified! I long to see more Christians willing to do that, and willing to stand up for the Bible – defending its against allegorization and claims of errancy, irrelevancy and the like.