Apologetics = Trying to Prop Up the Dubious

It’s always struck me as rather odd that there is a field within Christianity called “apologetics.” Perhaps the clearest definition of apologetics is, “The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.” I think of it more as trying to prop up the dubious.

After all, if something is true should that truth be not hard to see? Certainly there are some things where that is not the case. One that springs to mind is scientific truths. There is nothing about truths in physics that is at all self-evident to me. Shouldn’t theology be different? Why do we need a whole “department” that spends all its time defending declared truth? May I suggest it’s because such “truths” are really little more than WAGs (wild-assed guesses)?

If a truth is a truth it doesn’t need anyone to defend it. Gravity is a truth. If you don’t believe it, jump off a bridge and I promise you will be convinced. There are certain things in the spiritual arena that are relatively easy to verify and/or experience as well. The truth is that apologetics isn’t concerned with truth at all, but rather with propping up arguments and theories. Why do these things need propping up? The need propping up because in what they declare they go too far. They go to far because those who propose them are essentially insecure. In the name of honesty, apologetics should be called “argumentation.”

From my point of view, the very need for argumentation is proof positive that people are over stepping their boundaries in what they declare about God. They have this need based primarily in insecurity to define God until they feel God becomes benign, manageable, weak – in short, until God is no longer God. Unwilling to tolerate any dissent or questioning, they establish the science of quarreling to cover up their insecurity – but it is a thin veil at best. Wouldn’t truth, and ultimately God, be much better served by learning to live in mystery? Wouldn’t an all-knowing, all-loving God want us to be honest? Do you really believe that when we come to stand at the gates of heaven (metaphorically speaking, of course) God is going to give us a special medal for lying (or, if you prefer, stretching the truth) about our understanding of things spiritual? Does that make any sense at all?

Of course it doesn’t – but then there have always been a majority of Christians who have found it far more important to be loud than to be sensible.

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