Friday, September 30, 2011

Read Along: Christian Apologetics Ch04

Today we continue with chapter four of Read Along with Apologetics315, a weekly chapter-by-chapter study through Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Douglas Groothuis. Each week's post will provide a brief summary of the chapter, an audio introduction to the chapter by the author, as well as a PDF study guide suitable for printing and using for personal or group study. The audio is also available in a podcast feed for easier weekly listening. Here's everything you need this week:

[Audio Intro] - Dr. Groothuis introduces this chapter.
[Chapter 4 Study Questions] - PDF study guide.
[Podcast Feed RSS | Podcast in iTunes] - Click to subscribe to the audio.

Chapter Four: The Christian Worldview (pages 73-94)
Before making a defense of Christianity, it is crucial to first outline exactly what the Christian view entails. Thus, this chapter outlines the Christian worldview according to its core tenets.

Groothuis emphasizes that Christianity is a system, like other worldviews, that makes truth claims. He goes on to describe the various aspects of the Christian worldview. These include the scriptures as the source of ultimate authority, Christianity's epistemology, creation - fall - redemption, God as the ultimate reality, a Christian anthropology, salvation from God, the source of morality, history and the afterlife, and Christian living.

What the author has provided is a broad overview of classical Christianity; the core of what apologetics aims to defend. Groothuis also offers a "touchstone proposition" for the Christian worldview. (See third quote below)

Notable quotes:
The term Christianity has such broad application and such a range of meanings that we need to offer some definition and delimitation of its meaning if we are to have any hope of defending Christianity rationally. (Christian Apologetics, p. 70) 
Like every other worldview, a Christian worldview, at its deepest level, is a system of truth claims or assertions about reality. (Christian Apologetics, p. 72) 
The universe (originally good, now fallen and awaiting its divine judgment and restoration) was created by and is sustained by the Triune God, who has revealed himself in nature, humanity, conscience, Scripture and supremely through the Incarnation, that God may be glorified in all things. (Christian Apologetics, p.88)
  1. Why is it important to clearly define a view before defending it?
  2. Are there truth claims in Christianity that need no defense?
  3. If you had to write your own touchstone proposition for the Christian worldview, how would you compose it? Or how would you briefly describe Christianity to a skeptical friend?
Next week
Chapter Five: Distortions of the Christian Worldview - Or the God I Don't Believe In


Mark said...

Since it seems the comments have slowed down, it may be a good time to revisit the goals in posting the discussion questions. Were they intended to be discussion starters from the chapter? That was my original interpretation, thinking that they would seed discussions among those reading along. Possibly even find consensus to some of the responses for the more open ended questions, also including those in the pdf.

What was the original vision for how online discussions would unfold each week?

Brian said...

Yes, the questions on the post are meant to spark discussion. If those don't do, then the PDF has some questions which might do the trick. But this is "user driven" and relies on people to contribution their thoughts.

Mark said...

Understood. It did seem fairly clear. Possibly others will contribute to this meta discussion on how to generate good online dialog.

The Atheist Missionary said...

This was ano excellent chapter. I'm pleased to see that Prof. Groothuis has highlighted the fact that the fall is a central tenet of Christianity. I am really looking forward to his exposition on that subject.

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