On November 16, 2016, Dr. Davis will be reading his paper “Brian McLaren’s Gospel of Hospitality” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Abstract: “Ideas have consequences. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Brian McLaren’s recent book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (Jericho Books, 2012). The book is a manual on how to be a properly postimperialistic, postcolonial, postmodern Christian…[I argue that] we should flatly reject McLaren’s hospitality gospel, along with the post imperial house of cards he attempts to erect upon it.”
In a fascinating exchange (Mar 8/14) on Julie Roy’s Up For Debate program on Moody Radio, David Fitch, Professor of Theology at Northern Seminary (Chicago), squared off against Nancy Pearcey, Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist, on the question “Do Apologetics Help or Hurt Our Witness?” (see here). We’ve previously discussed (and found wanting) Prof. Fitch’s postmodern complaints against evidential apologetics: that it relies on the authority of a biased form of science, is guilty of being presumptuous and disingenuous, and undermines a person’s confidence in their own conversion. Bold claims, to be sure, but not properly established. Continue reading
David Fitch is no friend of traditional, evidence-based apologetics. In his 2005 book, The Great Giveaway, he singles out Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Creation Science, and defenders of inerrancy for pointed criticism. Their approach “wanes” in effectiveness if we at once embrace a postmodern perspective. Further, their arguments naively rely upon the “authority and objectivity” of science, thereby “training the new believer to trust science more than the Scriptures of the church.” This effectively “undermines Christian authority in a person’s conversion”  Clearly, these are serious charges and not to be taken lightly. If Fitch is right, McDowell, Strobel and company should really cease and desist from their apologetic speaking, training, and writing lest they cause even further harm to the church. Continue reading
In a previous post (see here), we concluded that David Fitch’s initial salvo against evidence-based apologetics substantially misses the mark. First, it is nothing less than a strawman to represent the evidentiary apologist as invoking the “authority and objectivity” of science as a whole to put through her claims. Secondly, it is false and self-defeating to claim that since scientists are subject to bias, it follows that there is no objective scientific basis for saying what is an error. If that were so, we noted, there would be no objective basis for Fitch’s claim that his brand of postmodernism is true while evidentiary apologetics is in error. For of course he is no less agenda driven than the rest of us. Continue reading
In his book, The Great Giveaway (Baker, 2005), postmodern theologian, David Fitch, attempts (unsuccessfully, I believe) to undermine the practice of “evidentiary apologetics” – what he takes to be the “strategy” on prominent display in such popular works as “New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel,” as well as “Creationist science and the ‘inerrancy’ defense of Scripture” . Continue reading
Christian postmodernists love Thomas Kuhn. In his much discussed The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962), Kuhn suggests that normal science operates by way of paradigms: universally established (received) ways of understanding and interpreting the world that define the scientific community—its operating assumptions, how science is to be practiced, what counts as good science and bad, and so on. A paradigm is a grand conceptual scheme. In our own day, Darwinian evolutionary theory is the reigning paradigm in science. Continue reading
On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, New York Times bestselling author, Rob Bell spoke to a captive audience in Brooklyn, NY on the topic of his new book “What We Talk About When We Talk About God” (HarperOne, 2013). The most interesting part of the talk for me was an event Bell recalled from his past. One Easter Sunday morning, while on his way to church, he realized “that I didn’t really know if I believed in God.” The thought then crossed his mind: “What if I just got up and said ‘It’s Easter Sunday, welcome. I’ve been thinking, and in the end, ‘I think we might be screwed’.”  Continue reading