Classical Apologetics And Creationism -- By: Richard G. Howe
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Classical Apologetics And Creationism
Richard G. Howe is Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics and Director of the Ph.D. program at Southern Evangelical Seminary.
As a Philosophy and Christian Apologetics professor, I am very interested in the differences between various apologetic methodologies. Over the past few years I have become increasingly concerned about the degree to which the apologetic methodology known as Presuppositionalism has become prevalent within Young Earth Creationism (YEC).1 By this I mean that strategic leaders of Young Earth Creationism are doing apologetics (and teaching others to do apologetics) by means of the Presuppositional Apologetic methodology (or some modified version thereof). My concern arises largely as a function of my objections to Presuppositionalism as such and not from objections to Young Earth Creationism. I seek to document the presence of Presuppositionalism in the thinking of such Young Earth creationists as Ken Ham and Jason Lisle and to offer a response to their
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views.2 I am also concerned with the template “God’s words vs. man’s words” as a way of assailing certain apologetic issues, including, but not limited to, the debate between Creationism and Evolution and the debate between Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism.
The issue of apologetic methodology has to do with this question: what is the proper way for Christians to defend the truth of the Christian faith? The two main answers to that question are (1) the Classical Apologetics (or the Classical method), in terms of which the Christian is to marshal arguments and evidence (philosophical, historical, and more) demonstrating that the Christian faith is true and (2) Presuppositional (or the Presuppositional method), in terms of which the truth of the Christian faith is demonstrated in showing that Christianity must be presupposed before any knowledge or reasoning (even reasoning against Christianity) is possible.3
Those who espouse the Classical method generally accept (to various degrees and with various qualifications) the legitimacy of human reason and, thus, often seek to engage the unbeliever in rational discourse together with a proclamation of the gospel. Those who espouse
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the Presuppositional method deny that the faith can be defended by an appeal to some area of “neutral ground” from which the Christian can move the unbeliever by ...
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