Submitted By Ed-Amundson
Words: 793
Pages: 4

Liberty Theological Seminary


A Paper
Submitted to Dr. Larry McDonald
In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Course
APOL 500-D05 Introduction to Apologetics

Edwin Amundson
ID: L22456162

11 November 2011

INTRODUCTION The Apostle Peter admonished disciples of Jesus Christ to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV). According to the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible/Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries, the Greek word for “defense” in Peter’s command is ἀπολογία or in the English transliteration “Apologia.” Apologia literally means: “a speech in defense.” Apologia comes from the root word ἀπολογέομαι (Eng. Transl. Apologomai): “to give an account of oneself, hence to defend.”1 The two questions one must ask of such a defense of oneself are: 1) Against whom am I to defend? 2) What method of a defense am I to offer? The answer to these two questions from the Evidentialist perspective is: we are to answer critics of our Christian faith with a logical and reasoned response. In order to further understand the role of logic and reason in the Evidentialist apologetic, one must more completely understand Evidentialism.
Evidentialism, which is also referred to as “Natural Theology” is one of the three major apologetic methodologies. It is referred to as natural theology because an apologist utilizing Evidentialist methodology personally believes and asserts “there is sufficient evidence for God’s existence, and that man is capable of considering the logic and reasonableness of Christianity.”2 In other words, the evidence of God and more importantly His plan of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, can be observed by the natural man in nature. When one combines theism (the belief that God is personal, present and active in relationship to His creation)3 with Evidentialism and employs the two in the process of evangelism, the apologist/evangelist is actually attempting to present a rational, reason why another person should believe not only in God but also in His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Of course the goal is that the object of the evangelistic presentation receives Jesus Christ, by faith as his or her personal Savior and Lord.4
A general rule of Evidentialism is that it is “primarily inductive, rather than deductive, in its logical form. Inductive arguments reason from as many facts, or data, as can be mustered to a conclusion that is shown to be supported in some way by the facts. By contrast, deductive arguments, such as those favored in classical apologetics, reason from as few facts, or premises, as are needed to a conclusion that is shown to follow from the facts.”5
CRITIQUE OF EVIDENTIALISM One of the main criticisms of evidentialist apologetics is that it presumes fallen humans can come to the knowledge of God and more specifically faith in Jesus Christ by purely natural means.6 Another critique of purely evidential apologetics comes from presuppositional apologetics which states, “Due to the noetic effects of sin…” “there