Geisler’s Gap

41n+DmrzuIL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In the last twenty to thirty years there has been an enormous increase in the number of people engaged in various apologetics-focused ministries. Though it would be hard to trace this increase to any one single person, if you were to make a list of the four or five most influential apologists during that time, Norman Geisler would certainly have to be included on it. For me personally, his co-authored (with Paul Feinberg) book Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective was the first book in philosophy I ever read and I found it quite helpful. In general, I think today’s aspiring apologists would be well served to model their careers after Geisler.

Overall, I think this rise in apologetics is a good thing. The Christian worldview is being attacked from all sides and the Church needs people who are equipped and able to respond to these attacks. Unfortunately, the quality of some of the arguments by Christian apologists simply doesn’t pass muster. This puts us in an interesting position because we now need to not only respond to those attacking the Christian worldview, but we also need to carefully evaluate the specific arguments of our fellow apologists. Because we agree with their conclusions it’s tempting to ignore fellow Christians’ bad arguments for the existence of God or bad responses to non-believers’ arguments against the existence of God. However, it’s important that we evaluate these arguments too so as to not bring reproach on those arguments that are actually pretty good.

Norman Geisler is not typically one whose arguments stand in need of critique. However, even the best of philosophers can make mistakes from time to time and so, in the spirit of trying to ensure all our defenses of Christianity are the very best, I offer a small critique of an argument Geisler presents in his book If God, Why Evil?
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The Perils of ‘Pop’ Philosophy

cahnMore than once I’ve heard (or read) people complain that too many popular writings/talks by Christian apologists lack the care and precision their topics require. While it’s important to address difficult issues in ways that non-specialists can understand, one must take care to ensure that simplification does not end up as distortion. (It’s rarely helpful to present ideas that are easy to refute, but not actually believed by anyone.) Unfortunately, I have to agree that this happens far too regularly within apologetics circles. However, this is not simply a problem that arises among ill-equipped Christian apologists. In what follows I aim to show that this is also a problem among those critiquing Christianity (or just critiquing arguments in its favor) and I hope to use a prominent atheistic philosopher as an example of what we Christian philosophers should be doing more regularly.

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