Apologetics

Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020


EDITORIAL: THE WAY WE LIVE NOW

Paul Wells - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
At the beginning of the third decade of this new century, Unio cum Christo will address the issues of apologetics and public theology. Both subjects present challenges that demand the attention of Reformed Christianity since we live in a world where change seems to be accelerating at breathtaking speed with new issues constantly surfacing. We trust the way of presenting these questions will be stimulating and useful to you, our readers.

THE AREOPAGUS SPEECH AND CONTEXTUALIZATION: SOME HERMENEUTICAL AND EXEGETICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Flavien Pardigon - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
The Areopagus Speech Is Commonly Seen As A Model Of Missionary Contextualization, An Exemplary Translation Of The Gospel Into The Language And Concepts Of Paul’s Athenian Audience. This Article Evaluates This Line Of Interpretation Using The Hermeneutical Concept Of “framing” That Is At The Heart Of Contemporary Linguistics, Narratology, Translation Theory, And Evangelical Contextualization Models. Looking Especially At The Work Of Colin Chapman And Kevin Higgins, Two Influential Missiologists,

SHARED PRESUPPOSITIONS? THE CAMEL METHOD AND THE INSIDER MOVEMENT

John Span - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
This Article Explores Whether The CAMEL Method And The Insider Movement (IM) Paradigm Share Similar Philosophies, Approaches, And Underlying Presuppositions. After A Brief Overview Of The CAMEL Method And Its Contexts (twentieth-century Missions, The International Mission Board, And The Bangladeshi Context), I Will Discuss Four Themes Common To CAMEL And IM. We Will See That CAMEL And IM Share Similar Assumptions Yet With Different Outworkings. Both Seem To Share The Sentiment Of The Catholic

MISSIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS OF CONSCIENCE IN PRESENT-DAY ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Reid Karr - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
During Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s Papacy, The Theology Of Conscience Has Taken On A Significant Role. A Developed Theology Of Conscience Emerged During The Second Vatican Council, Most Notably With Gaudium Et Spes, And Later Developed As Essential In Moral Theology. Francis Is The First Pope To Fully Embody Vatican II Teachings, In Particular In His Incorporation Of The Conscience Into Theology And Practice. During The First Months Of His Papacy, He Made It Clear That Conscience Is Crucial To...

CULTS AND CONSCIENCE: APOLOGETICS AND THE RECONFIGURED CONSCIENCE OF CULT MEMBERS

H. G. STOKER - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
While Our Creator Made The Human Conscience An Intrinsic Part Of Us To Enable Us To Fulfill Our Calling Morally And Responsibly, Cults Use People’s Consciences To Control Them—even To Do Things That They Would Have Previously Considered As Wrong. The Conscience Goes Against The Immediate Human Impulse For Self-interest And Is Independent Of The Individual’s Will Because God Created It To Go Against That Person’s Desire. A Guilty Conscience Can Thus Be Abused As A Very Effective Means Of Control.

SOLIDARITY IN THE FALL: AN ESSAY ON SELF-DECEPTION

ANDRÉ GESKE - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
This Article Aims To Explore The Notion And The Dynamics Of Self-deception As A Part Of What We Understand As The Noetic Effects Of Sin. Firstly, We Start With A Theological Analysis Of The Consciousness Because Of The Supratemporal Nature Of The Human Heart. Secondly, Through This Analysis, We Can See The Roots Of Self-deception In The Presupposition That The Ego Is Transparent To Itself. Thirdly, One Element Of The Dynamic Of Self-deception Is The Cognitive Parallax That Shows The Distance ...

SELF-DECEPTION AND THE APOLOGETIC OF DESPAIR IN PASCAL, KIERKEGAARD, AND BAHNSEN

THEODORE G. (TED) VAN RAALTE - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
One Of The Helpful Approaches Of A Christian Apologist In The Present Anti-Christian Climate Is An Apologetic That Presses The Unbeliever To Admit That Their Views Lack Hope And Lead To Despair. Though Many Unbelievers Deny The Despair And Prefer To Deceive Themselves, One Influential Author Views Self-deception As Fundamental To The Human Condition And Non-culpable. However, Christians Must Expose Self- Deception As Evil—a Product And Species Of Sin—seek To Root It Out Of Themselves, And ...

DOES OUR LORD ASK TOO MUCH? A NEGLECTED ISSUE IN APOLOGETICS TODAY

WILLIAM EDGAR - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
The Article Begins With A Historical Survey Of Challengers Of Hypocrisy And Inauthentic Christianity Throughout Church History: Søren Kierkegaard, Bernard De Clairvaux, Girolamo Savonarola, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, And Francis Schaeffer. It Continues With Two Questions About The Biblical Warrant And Feasibility Of Such Warnings. Finally, It Concludes With A Consideration Of Two Dangers Facing The Church Today: Conservatism And Escapism In The Church. In The End, We Can Only Face Up ...

GOD INTENDED IT FOR GOOD: RE-FORMING EVIL

YANNICK IMBERT - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
The Confession That God Intends Evil For Good, Which Is One Of The Great Conclusions Of The Cycle Of Joseph (Gen 37–50), Sheds Light On The Limited Manner In Which We Have Tried To Answer The Challenge Of Evil. Each Generation Faces Anew The Challenge Of Explaining The Sovereign Action Of A Benevolent God In A World Where Evil Rages. This Article Explores The Three Key Words Of The Sentence “God Intended It For Good”: God, Intended, And Good. Our Aim Is To Reflect On A “re-formed” Answer In ...

EDWARDS: ETHICS FOR BOTH THE VULGAR AND THE LEARNED

PAUL HELM - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) In Effect Lived Two Lives: One As The Pastor Of Churches In New England, Teaching His People The Faith And Including In That The Ethical Side Or Outworking Of The Faith, The Other As A Theorist Of God’s Relation To His Universe. These Two Roles Need To Be Borne In Mind In What Follows. The First Is Closely Connected With Doctrinal And Practical Themes Of The Christian Faith, The Second With The Meaning And Truth Of Ethical Matters At Their Most Fundamental Level. ...

PROGRESS AND PROTEST IN LATE NINETEENTH- AND EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY PRESBYTERIANISM

CHAD VAN DIXHOORN - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
This Article Surveys The Presbyterian Conflict In America At The Turn Of The Twentieth Century, Which Was Marked By A Drive For Progress And A Reaction Of Protest. After Setting Up The Historical Context, It Looks At “progress” In Action, Theology, Preaching, And Presidents. It Then Focuses On The Protest Of J. Gresham Machen, Who Was Engaged In Church Debates And Publications (e.g., Christianity And Liberalism) And Who, In Response To Progressive Theology, Founded Westminster Theological ...

YOUNG AGE FAITH IN LIGHT OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

G. JONKER VENTER AND H. G. STOKER - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
This Article Focusses On The Faith Formation And Ability Of Preschool Children To Defend Their Faith From As Early As The Early Childhood Phase (two To Six Years). The Research Investigates Prominent Psychological Theories That Cover Preschool Children’s Cognitive Development To Determine If Children Within This Age Group Can Constructively Partake In Faith Formation, As Well As The Role That Parents Have In Encouraging And Shaping This Faith Formation And Apologetic Ability. The Article ...

INTERVIEW WITH OS GUINNESS

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020

SCHAEFFER'S APOLOGETICS

JERRAM BARRS - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
This Article Presents Francis Schaeffer’s Apologetics Through A Consideration Of His Work And Writings. It Starts With An Overview Of His Books And Lectures, Which Reveal A Passion To Present Biblical Truth In A Way Relevant To The Questions Of His Interlocutors. Compassion And Encouragement, Motivated By His View Of The Dignity Of All, Characterized His Approach. The Article Then Answers Some Common Criticisms Of His Method. Persuasion, Life, And Prayer Were Key, As Illustrated By The ...

NEWBIGIN’S MISSIONARY ECCLESIOLOGY

ARJAN DE VISSER - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
Lesslie Newbigin Is An Inspirational Figure Whose Theological Legacy Should Be Considered Carefully. Using A New Book By Michael Goheen As Guideline (The Church And Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology), This Article Focuses On Newbigin’s Views Regarding The Identity And Mandate Of The Church. Two Aspects Are Noted With Appreciation: Newbigin’s Defense Of The Uniqueness Of Christ And His Critique Of Western Culture. There Are Concerns, However, With Respect To Three ...

BOOK REVIEW: PAUL HELM. HUMAN NATURE FROM CALVIN TO EDWARDS

MATTHEW J. HART - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020

EPILOGUE: PASTORAL PRINCIPLES PERTAINING TO PESTILENCE AND PROVIDENCE

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 6 No. 1 / Apr 2020
Resurrection Sunday Worship In 2020 Was Greatly Impacted By The Global Pandemic—stay At Home Orders, Empty Churches, Online Worship, And A Renewed Realization Of Human Mortality. These Realities Have Highlighted The Precious And Pertinent Words Of Jesus. In The Upper Room He Promised, “Because I Live, You Also Will Live” (John 14:19 ESV). Facing The Cross, Our Lord Comforted His Own: “Peace I Leave With You; My Peace I Give To You. Not As The World Gives, Do I Give To You. ...