Classical Apologetics

by Matt Slick

Classical Apologetics is that style of Christian defense that stresses rational arguments for the existence of God and uses evidence to substantiate biblical claims and miracles.  It is quite similar to evidential apologetics and appeals to human reason and evidence.  Early Classical Apologists include Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas.  Contemporary classical apologists are Norman Geisler, William Craig, J. P. Moreland, and R.C. Sproul.

Some of the arguments relied upon for proofs of God's existence are the cosmological argument and the teleological argument.   The cosmological argument attempts to prove that God exists by stating that there has to be an uncaused cause of all things.  That uncaused cause is God.  The teleological argument uses the analogy of design; that is, the universe and life exhibit marks of design.  Therefore, there must be a Designer.  Other times, strict evidence is used to establish Christianity's validity.  Of course, both aspects are also combined in classical apologetics.

An example of the latter might be as follows:

Allen: Can you give me a logical reason why God exists?
Matt:  I will try (simple logic).  The universe exists.  The universe cannot be eternal because if it were eternal then it would mean that an infinite amount of time has passed in order for us to get to the present.  But you cannot transverse an infinite amount of time.  Therefore the universe is not infinitely old.
Allen:  That is an interesting argument.  Do you have anything else?
Matt:  Sure (Cosmological Argument).  All things that came into existence are caused to exist.  There cannot be an infinite regression of causes because this would mean that there was an infinite amount of time in the past that had to be traversed in order for us to get to the present.  Again, you are not able to cross an infinite amount of time.  Therefore, it is logical to say that there must be a single uncaused cause.  I propose that that uncaused cause is God.

The preceding very simplistic dialogue has strengths and weaknesses but it demonstrates a way of using evidence and logic as a defense to support the resurrection, a biblical miracle.

A variation on this could focus on prophecies and be as follows:

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