Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christian Apologetics - If God Exists, Why Would He Care?

Christian Apologetics is about creating a 'defence' of the Christian faith. How would you respond to the following statement (posed to me about 12 months ago):

"Even if a creator God does exist, the chance that He has any interest in us is highly unlikely. We are the human inhabitants of a speck of dust, revolving around a tiny star which is one of hundreds of billions in an insignificant galaxy, which is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe."

Christopher Hitchens once said Christians were ‘self-centered’ and that there was an ‘extraordinary arrogance’ to say all of this creation was for us. 

The start of the universe, and the development of consciousness,  according to Richard Dawkins is a ‘one-off’ event triggered by an ‘initial stroke of luck’.
Join the discussion at:

Let us start by looking at what some of the Scriptures say:

Psalm 139:1-4  O LORD, you have searched me and you know. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

James 4:8 –
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

1 John 4:9-10
  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Christians could all probably share stories of what they believe wholeheartedly God has done in their lives. The experience I have had in relation to experiencing the immanence of God, through the work of the Spirit, could be enough for me to offer a valid argument towards the overall question at hand. Though, again, knowing the sceptics a little, this would not be enough to convince them, that there is a God who not only created us, but loves us and cares for us.

Now, to simply quote scripture as above is not enough, as any unbeliever would question the validity of the Scriptures and so this would not be an argument in itself.

In the ‘Five views on Apologetics’ one of the five views is the Reformed Epistemology Method, and ‘they argue that belief in God does not require the support of evidence or argument in order for it to be rational’ (: 20). Calvin said that we have an innate sensus divinatis (a sense of the divine), so, a God that loves us, may seem to be irrational, but we have a deep sense, that the idea of a God loving us is true, based not so much on evidence or argument but on experience.

William Lane Craig says that, ‘the proper ground of our knowing Christianity to be true is the inner work of the Holy Spirit in our individual selves...’ (: 28).

And as William Lane Craig says, we can have a self-authenticating religious experience. Robert Oakes defines a self-authenticating religious experience, as a ‘veridical experience of God which is sufficient to guarantee that the person having that veridical experience could never in principle have any justification for questioning its validity’. Now this self-authenticating religious experience, is not necessarily proved by reason, but rather through our own experience. 

William Lane Craig explains, ‘that such a person does not need supplementary arguments or evidence in order to know and to know with confidence that he is in fact experiencing the Spirit of God’ (Five views on Apologetics, : 29). Well William Lane Craig goes on to say that in certain contexts the experience of the Holy Spirit will imply the apprehension of certain truths of the Christian religion, like the biblical quotes mentioned before, e.g. ‘you have searched me and you know me’. So, we know that through the inner working of the Holy Spirit, that the truth that God loves me, and that he sent his son Jesus into the world, so that I might be saved, and that such a God cares for me, is a truth that I can claim for myself, because of the inner working of the Holy Spirit.
Christian Apologetics - Developing a defence for the Christian Faith. 

Other posts on Christian Apologetics:


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