Monday, September 24, 2012

Abandoned to the Wolves

I was in various private Christian schools from kindergarten up through the end of my senior year in high school. I've been part of a few congregations. The closest thing I ever got to apologetics was a copy of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ. It's, basically, the Christian version of the 'New Atheist' books and therefore doesn't count. Point is, if any Christian should have been intellectually prepared for an atheistic onslaught against my faith, it should have been me.

There is a meme that religion is always at odds with science and rational, logical thought. It goes all the way back to the idea that the so called Dark Ages were times of Papal control and persecution of science and that the enlightenment saved humanity.(A blatant lie I intend to deal with in a later post) This meme, along with the Reformation(also for a later post), helped push aside the Aristotelian/ Thomism philosophical theology that had more or less held sway for centuries. The Faith separated from rational thought. The closest things to arguments for Christianity were along the lines of, 'gotta have faith', 'God works in mysterious ways', and a handful of basic logical fallacies. Thankfully, apologetics and religious philosophy have been making a comeback.

The main problem is, Churches and Christian schools are simply not preparing kids for what will be faced out in the wide world. How is a kid supposed to keep his faith when his college is a bastion of the faithless and the best his church could do was,"Well, it's all in God's hands and we weren't meant to know everything. Remember that we're saved by faith, so just believe and trust in God." That is in no way, shape, or form adequate preparation for dealing with anything. That sort of talk is how Christians end up thinking Dawkins knows of what he speaks and that he presents a good argument for atheism or at least agnosticism. If churches want to bring people back into the fold and attract converts, numero uno in the plan of attack is EQUIPPING YOUR SOLDIERS! You don't win wars, and make no mistake we are most certainly at war, by arming the front lines with Nerf guns and water balloons.

Now, as to the first cause of this post(if your church taught you apologetics you'd get that joke.): If a Christian man wants to be a leader, a Patriarch, he must be able to stand up for what he believes in. 1Peter 3:15 for the curious.

Think about it, if you court a girl and someone calls you out on your faith how will you look. If you make the other party look like a cretin, congratulations! The chick now has the hots for you. On the other hand, hemming and hawing about, 'having faith' will kill any attraction you managed to build. Nice going Casanova, kiss that relationship good bye. You have failed. This ties into having confidence. And knowing your way around theological arguments will most certainly give you a bit of confidence.

So, get studying! Try Vox, Edward Feser, and William Lane Craig for starters. Vox's Irrational Atheist is mostly an answer to the New Atheists, but as I said, making your enemies look stupid never hurts. Give Chesterton and Lewis a go as well.

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