He asks, Is truth enough?: A look at the unfulfilled promise of Christian apologetics
A significant aspect of my work on intelligent design can be understood as falling under Christian apologetics, arguing that the science underlying design refutes atheism and agnosticism, and thus creates room for Christian theism. Moreover, as a professor at three seminaries, I often taught courses in apologetics, some even having that word “apologetics” in the course title. The non-apologetics courses that I taught were on the philosophy of religion, the relation between science and faith, rhetoric, logic, and critical thinking, all of which were also conducive to apologetics.
With this background, you might expect me to be an avid supporter of Christian apologetics, and so I am. But I give this talk as one who is also disappointed with the impact that apologetics has had to date and think that the discipline of apologetics needs to be expanded and upgraded if it is to fulfill its promise, which is to reclaim for Christ the life of the mind (compare 2 Corinthians 10:5).
I say Christian apologetics needs to be expanded and upgraded rather than reconceptualized or reimagined. What Christian apologists have accomplished in this and the last generation has been admirable and even crucially important. Except for a John Warwick Montgomery challenging the god-is-dead theology of the 1960s, except of a Norman Geisler articulating and defending biblical inerrancy, and except for subsequent vigorous challenges by Christian apologists against the nihilism, relativism, scientism, skepticism, materialism, and the other isms ravaging the intellectual world, where would we be? Fideism, with its intellectual bankruptcy, would rule the day.William Dembski, “What makes arguments for God convincing — or not?” at Mind Matters News (November 28, 2021)
Dembski: Christian apologetics has, in my view, mainly been in the business of playing defense when it needs to be playing offense.
Note: This is a serialized reprint from Dembski’s site. You can read the whole essay at once there.
You may also wish to read: How informational realism subverts materialism Within informational realism, what defines things is their capacity for communicating or exchanging information with other things. In substituting information for perception, informational realism is able to preserve a common-sense realism that idealism has always struggled to preserve.