Category Archives: Apologetics

Follow the Evidence?

There was a refrain frequently heard on early episodes of TV’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  Gus Grissom was training rookie crime scene investigators, sharing with them his many years of experience in the field.  Grissom would often say, “Follow the evidence…”  The understanding was that just following the evidence would lead to the perpetrator of the crime.  Following the evidence would lead to the truth. 

In the world of TV crime scene investigation, that might usually work as a sound philosophy.  Even there occasionally writers and producers have explored the possibility that the evidence can be tainted by factors related to those investigating it.  The evidence isn’t always interpreted objectively and thus conclusions (right or wrong) can still ultimately be reached on the basis of prejudice or gut feeling.  The philosophy sounds good in principle, but it doesn’t always work out in practice.

Moving into the real world, the principle of “follow the evidence” is the basic philosophy behind much of Christian apologetics today.  Walk into a vanilla Christian bookstore these days and if they have an apologetics section, likely everything there will be based on this principle.  Lee Strobel is popular with his The Case for a Creator, The Case for Faith, and The Case for Christ.  I won’t discount everything he writes in these books, but it should be noted that his basic principle is the same as CSI Grissom:  follow the evidence.  The same is true for the majority of others writing on the subject of apologetics today.  For that reason alone, this principle needs critical evaluation.

In discussions about theistic evolution, the allegation has sometimes been made that young university students are sent into turmoil when encountering the evidence for evolution.  As the story has it, these Christian students were taught creation science at home, church, and school.  They were told how the evidence made it clear that God had created the world ex nihilo (out of nothing) in six ordinary days some thousands of years ago, not millions or billions.  Arriving at university, they encounter a different batch of evidences not previously considered.  This sends their faith into a tailspin and, so the story goes, some of them even end up committing suicide.            

On a superficial level, we can join in bemoaning this approach to such issues.  We can agree that something has gone awry with those young university students.  From the perspective of theistic evolutionists, the problem rests with creation science producing faulty evidence because of certain faith convictions regarding creation.  From our perspective, staking your faith on extra-biblical evidences is always problematic.  Let me explain why.

The Theological Background of Evidential Apologetics      

Evidential apologetics is a method of defending the faith which rests upon the use of evidence.  This system of apologetics is usually traced back to Joseph Butler (1692-1752), an Anglican bishop.  Butler lived during the time of the Enlightenment, also known as “The Age of Reason.”  Serious challenges were being posed against the Christian faith.  Rationalism, the belief that reason could provide the basis of all knowledge, had infiltrated not only society, but also many churches.  Even Reformed theology was affected (or better: infected). 

Butler recognized that Enlightenment philosophy endangered the Christian faith.  In particular, he saw the danger deism posed.  Deism is the belief that God is a clockmaker.  He created the universe and then wound it up like a clock.  He removed himself from it and is no longer intimately involved with it.  According to deism, God takes an arms-length approach to the world.  Butler rightly saw that this philosophy was in conflict with the teachings of the Bible.     

In 1736, Butler published a book entitled The Analogy of Religion.  This work was a response to deism.  It was a defense of the faith.  Butler aimed to show there are no sound objections to the Christian religion.  He said all the evidence, especially the evidence in the natural world, points to the very probable truth of Christianity.  As long as a person doesn’t ignore the abundance of evidence, he or she shouldn’t reject the Bible or any of its teachings.  Unprejudiced minds, said Butler, would see the design inherent in the world and almost inevitably reach the conclusion that there is a Creator.  A fair evaluation of the external evidence would likely push the open-minded unbeliever to accept the Bible.  Butler purposed to demonstrate the truth of the Bible through facts, evidence and logic – and he believed it was not only possible to do this, but also pleasing to God.

When evaluating Butler’s approach, we have to remember the importance of what we call presuppositions.  These are our most non-negotiable beliefs or assumptions about the way the world really is.  Butler was an Arminian and one of his presuppositions was that man hadn’t fallen so far as to completely corrupt his thinking.  He didn’t confess the doctrine of pervasive (or total) depravity found in the Canons of Dort, but repudiated it.  This had consequences for his system of apologetics.  So did another related presupposition:  the freedom of the will of fallen man.  According to Butler and other Arminians, fallen man retains free will to choose for or against God.  He need only use his faculties rightly in order to make the right choice. 

While Butler saw the dangers of the Enlightenment and wanted to combat deism in particular, the weapons of his warfare were earthly and unscriptural.  We might wish that Butler was a mere footnote in the history of Christian apologetics, but unfortunately his approach became widely accepted.  Much of what we see today in non-Reformed (“evangelical”) apologetics finds its historical roots in the Arminian apologetics of this Anglican.

Evidential apologetics, historically and in its modern form, makes its case based not only on the evidence (and the nature of evidence), but also on a certain understanding of human nature.  According to this system, human nature isn’t pervasively depraved.  The human intellect isn’t fallen or dead in sin, only weakened or sick.  Neutrality isn’t only possible, but a reality.  When confronted with the evidence, and with perhaps a little help from God, an unprejudiced person will recognize the truth and turn to the Bible and believe it.  This is Arminian theology applied to apologetics.              

Unfortunately, this system has been appropriated by many involved with creation science.  Many creation scientists have been Arminian in their theological convictions, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  It’s only consistent for Arminians to adopt evidential apologetics, whether in general, or whether specially applied to the question of origins.  Inconsistency emerges when Reformed believers adopt this approach.  “Following the evidence” isn’t our way.      

A Biblical Approach

When we approach the question of evidence, we need to do so with biblical presuppositions.  There are several of them we could discuss.  However, in the interests of time and space, let me restrict our discussion to two of the most important.  These are the presuppositions — the non-negotiable beliefs that will govern how we consider the place and use of evidence in apologetics.

The first is our confession regarding the nature of fallen man.  As Ephesians 2:1 puts it, the unregenerate person is dead in transgressions and sins.  This spiritual death extends to all the parts of a fallen human being:  heart, mind, and will are all without a sign of life.  When it comes to the Christian faith, fallen humanity doesn’t have the capacity to interpret the evidence rightly.  What fallen people need is regeneration.  They need to be made alive by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit needs to open eyes so that they may see, understand, and believe.  The Holy Spirit does this work of regeneration through the Word of God.  Therefore, the Word of God, not external evidences, needs to be the focus of our apologetical efforts.  From a Reformed perspective, apologetics involves bringing the Word of God to bear on unbelief to expose its futility and to vindicate and commend the Christian worldview.     

A second necessary presupposition builds on that.  We always start with a belief that the Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word.  Those doctrinal positions are not conclusions that we reach through reasoning and proofs.  They are held in faith.  We hold to what is called the self-attesting authority of Scripture.  That means the Bible attests or confirms its own authority.  It doesn’t need to be proven.  The Bible claims to be the Word of God and we receive it as such.  This is a settled truth for Christians.  Therefore, the Bible is the basis and standard for all our apologetics.  We’re defending the Bible and the biblical worldview, but the Bible is also the guide for how we defend the Bible.  The Bible gives us the means and strategies to use in defending the Bible.

Where does that leave external evidences?  Well, for one thing, we don’t build our system of apologetics upon them.  Instead, our system has to be grounded on the Word of God.  The Word is the supreme authority, not outside evidence.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t promise to regenerate people through external evidences.  He does promise to do that through the Scriptures, though it isn’t inevitable in every case, obviously.  What’s more, because evidence is always interpreted evidence, and the interpretation is always done by sinful minds, evidence must always be evaluated according to the supreme standard of the Word of God.  Since there are no neutral facts or neutral methods for considering the facts, the Word must always be recognized as standing over the facts.  It must be the grid through which the “facts” are sifted. 

There is a place for evidence in apologetics and in the debate about origins.  Evidence from outside the Bible can corroborate the Bible’s teachings.  However, it isn’t the starting place, nor is it the authority.  Moreover, external evidences can be fickle.  What was thought to be evidence in one generation can turn out to have been misinterpreted by the next.  How do you stay off what one writer called “the evidentialist roller coaster”?  How do you stand firm against humanists and theistic evolutionist compromisers?  Not by retreating to evidence, but by standing firm on what the Word of God teaches.  And by evaluating all evidence in the light of the Word of God.  That also means being open to the possibility that external evidences, whether for or against biblical teaching, may be wrongly interpreted.  When it comes to evidences, one should retain a level of skepticism.  After all, creation scientists and humanists/theistic evolutionists are all human beings, prone to sin and to mistakes.  The only firm foundation is the Word of God.              

Conclusion

“Follow the evidence” might be acceptable for fictional TV characters, but in God’s world his children can’t accept this procedure when it comes to apologetics.  To “follow the evidence,” as if we are all neutral observers of the world is to sell out on our fundamental presuppositions.  It’s regrettable that the surge of interest in apologetics has led some in our Reformed community to dabble with evidentialist apologetics.  It’s sad too that we have often imbibed these apologetics as mediated to us through some creation scientists and their organizations.

Thankfully, in the last number of years, some creation scientists have adopted a Reformed, presuppositional approach to the question of origins.  Most notable are Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and Dr. Jason Lisle. Dr. Sarfati is associated with Creation Ministries International, and Dr. Lisle with Answers in Genesis.  Some time ago I reviewed Lisle’s book, The Ultimate Proof: Resolving the Origins Debate, and I commend it to you as a good example of how to apply Reformed apologetics to this issue.  Some of Lisle’s final words in The Ultimate Proof provide a suitable conclusion:  “Our defense of the faith comes from learning to think and to argue in a biblical way.  God is logical, and we should be too.  God tells us that all knowledge is in him (Col. 2:2-3), so we should train ourselves to recognize this fact” (173).


New/Old Reformed Apologetics Resources

As a 21 year old young man I was singularly blessed. My introduction to apologetics (the defense of the faith) was directly to Reformed apologetics. In God’s providence, no one told me to read Josh McDowell, William Lane Craig or even Lee Strobel. No, when I came to apologetics, I was brought directly to Cornelius Van Til. My first book on apologetics was Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith (Third Edition). I devoured it over the course of a couple weeks during my first summer off from university. It set my mind ablaze. I started telling everyone who’d listen about Reformed, presuppositional apologetics. You couldn’t shut me up about it.

How I was introduced to Van Til is a peculiar story. It involves a number of Canadian Reformed folks in northern Alberta who were enamoured with a movement known as Christian Reconstructionism. One of the planks of Christian Reconstruction is theonomy. One of the things theonomy teaches is that there is a continuing divine obligation for civil government today “to obey and enforce the relevant laws of the Old Testament, including the penal sanctions specified by the just Judge of all the earth” (Bahnsen, By This Standard, 4). As a young man, I was introduced to this notion and attempted to engage it critically.

However, another plank of Christian Reconstruction is the Reformed, presuppositional apologetics pioneered by Cornelius Van Til. I was reading theonomists and they often mentioned Van Til’s apologetic method. So, one day in mid-1994, I was visiting Reg Barrow at Still Waters Revival Books. SWRB at that time was not only the chief purveyor of Christian Reconstructionism in Canada, but also one of the best sources for Reformed books in general, certainly in Edmonton. At SWRB I spotted Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith. I recalled his name from the theonomists I’d been reading, but was also fresh out of my first year of university and licking my wounds from battles with secularists in academia. I needed this book.

After finishing The Defense of the Faith, I started reading anything else by Van Til I could get my hands on. I noticed that Van Til had students, some better than others. To my mind, there was no better student of Van Til’s apologetics than Greg Bahnsen, especially after I listened to his epic debate with Gordon Stein. I subscribed to Bahnsen’s “Penpoint” newsletters, sent via snail mail back in the day. One thing led to another and, after my B.A., I was even enrolled in the M.A. in Apologetics program at the Southern California Center for Christian Studies for a brief time. However, I didn’t get to study with Bahnsen himself — he died from complications during heart surgery in December 1995.

That was 25 years ago. Over this past quarter-century, Bahnsen’s work on apologetics has been available. Several books were published posthumously, including his magnificent Van Til’s Apologetic. Many of his articles on apologetics (and other subjects) have been freely available all along. But this past week, finally, after 25 years, all of Bahnsen’s recordings are being made freely available (previously only available for sale). This includes all his individual lectures and lecture series on apologetics.

At the moment, you can already download MP3s for free from Covenant Media Foundation here. Apparently, arrangements have been made with two other organizations to also host material from Greg Bahnsen, though the material isn’t yet available. One of those is the Bahnsen Project. The other is Apologia Studios (associated with Jeff Durbin/James White). My understanding is that these two organizations will remaster the audio recordings so they’re of a higher quality.

The other day I heard someone describe our day as a “golden age” for Reformed apologetics. Certainly the wealth of available resources is unparalleled. If you want to learn apologetics from a Reformed perspective, it’s all out there. You are without excuse if you ignore it.

A final disclaimer: Greg Bahnsen was a theonomist — in fact, he popularized the term with his Theonomy in Christian Ethics. By recommending him as a teacher of apologetics, I’m not endorsing every jot and tittle of his political ethics. Still, there’s just no denying the obvious: he was and remains one of the best teachers of Reformed apologetics. Van Til himself is heavy going for many people, but Bahnsen had a way to bring it home. Do yourself a favour and listen to one of his lecture series on apologetics. You won’t regret it!


Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac?

I love the stuff they’re putting out on this channel.  Reformed Wiki has good, solid teaching on Reformed apologetics, both the theory and practice.  This one fits with the latter category.


C.S. Lewis and Apologetics — A Reformed Assessment

Many Christians admire C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) and enjoy his writings.  I was introduced to C.S. Lewis through my Grade 4 teacher who read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe out loud to us.  I was hooked.  Shortly thereafter I went out and bought my own set of the complete Chronicles of Narnia.  That just got me started.  I’ve long enjoyed his imagination and literary style and I’m by no means alone.

But his influence goes further.  He was a well-known and persuasive advocate for Christianity.  Many people claim to have become Christians through the writings of Lewis.  Books like Mere Christianity and Miracles are still widely-read and touted as powerful tracts promoting Christian truth.  He was one of the most influential Christian apologists of the twentieth century.  But what should a Reformed believer think about his method?  Can we make use of his writings in Reformed apologetics?

Some Background     

Lewis was born in Ireland, but spent most of his life in England.  He was a professor of English at Cambridge University.  He wasn’t trained as a theologian, but did study and briefly teach philosophy.  He’d been an unbeliever for much of his young adult life.  He writes about this in his spiritual autobiography Surprised by Joy:

I was at this time living, like so many Atheists or Antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions.  I maintained that God did not exist.  I was also very angry with God for not existing.  I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.[1]

In the early 1930s, Lewis abandoned his atheism and professed to be a Christian.  He became a member of the Church of England.

Today many Christians believe C.S. Lewis to have been an orthodox, evangelical believer.  However, it’s important to realize that Lewis had some serious theological problems.  For example, he didn’t hold to the inerrancy of the Bible.  In his book Reflections on the Psalms, he insists that the imprecatory psalms (like Psalm 137) are “devilish.”  In Mere Christianity, he affirms the theory of evolution.[2]  In the same book, he writes about the possibility of Buddhists belonging to Christ without knowing it:  “…A Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believe) the Buddhist teaching on other points.”[3]  There are more such issues.  On the basis of some of his statements, one might even wonder to what extent C.S. Lewis really understood the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.  For myself, I’m not sure.

One thing that is certain is that Lewis has had a huge influence.  In the last few years, this is definitely because of the Chronicles of Narnia books being made into films.  As mentioned earlier, there are many people who claim to have become Christians because they read a book by C.S. Lewis like Mere Christianity or Miracles.  Let’s briefly look at those books and the method Lewis uses.

Mere Christianity 

Mere Christianity was originally a series of radio talks.  It was an attempt by Lewis to argue for a basic (‘mere’) form of the Christian faith.  Early in the book, Lewis uses the moral argument for the existence of a deity.  He says that because there is moral law, there must be a law-giver.  That law-giver must be a deity.  At that point, he wasn’t arguing for the Christian conception of God, but only a generic divine being.  His method becomes clear in what he says here:

We have not yet got as far as the God of any actual religion, still less the God of that particular religion called Christianity.  We have only got as far as a Somebody or Something behind the Moral Law.  We are not taking anything from the Bible or the Churches, we are trying to see what we can find out about this Somebody on our own steam.[4]

Lewis was thus trying to reason to God apart from any revelation from God.  He was asking readers to independently judge the existence of God on the basis of the arguments presented.  This method is found elsewhere in Mere Christianity as well.

Lewis tries to build up his case bit by bit.  Eventually he gets to the question of what should his readers think about Jesus and his claim to be God:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him:  “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.”  That is the one thing we must not say.  A man who was merely a man and said the sorts of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.[5]

That’s a brilliant piece of writing, often quoted.  You’ll sometimes hear it condensed down to the idea that people have to decide whether Jesus was Lord, liar, or lunatic.  Yet note again that people are called to judge.  You have to judge the claims of Jesus.

C.S. Lewis wrote another book entitled God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics.  In that book he gets to the heart of the problem with his own approach in parts of Mere Christianity.  He writes:

The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge.  For the modern man the roles are reversed.  He is the judge: God is in the dock…The trial may even end in God’s acquittal.  But the important thing is that Man is on the bench and God in the dock.[6]

That’s exactly what Lewis did in Mere Christianity.   He allowed man to judge God.  He flattered the unbeliever.  Lewis gave him a position of authority over God.  That method was and is not unique to C.S. Lewis.  Many others before and after him have done exactly the same thing.  I should also note that it can sometimes be persuasive.  These types of arguments can work to get people thinking about the Christian faith, and maybe even convince them.  However, just because they work doesn’t mean they’re right or pleasing to God.

Miracles

In his book Miracles, we do find Lewis using a different method at times.[7]  He discusses the philosophy of naturalism, the idea that nothing exists besides nature.  Against naturalism is supernaturalism, which allows for the existence of other things outside of nature, and therefore also allows for the existence of miracles.

Lewis starts off by rightly noting how the disagreement between the naturalist and the supernaturalist over miracles is not merely about facts.  One needs to spend time considering the philosophy of facts held by each side.  Lewis is saying that presuppositions matter.  He writes,

The result of our historical enquiries thus depends on the philosophical views which we have been holding before we even began to look at the evidence.  The philosophical question must therefore come first.[8]

That could have been said by Reformed theologians like Herman Bavinck or Cornelius VanTil.  Lewis recognizes that people have pre-existing philosophical commitments which must be exposed and discussed.

So when it comes to naturalism, Lewis does exactly that.  He does an internal critique of this philosophy and how it fails to account for logic, morality, and science.  To illustrate, let’s just briefly look at what he says about naturalism and logic or reason.

Lewis demonstrates that the naturalist cannot consistently hold to his position without undermining reason itself.  His philosophy cannot account for reason and cannot support reason.  Even though the naturalist tries to talk highly of reason, he actually destroys it.  This is because our reasoning powers are not explainable with naturalism.  Naturalism is materialistic – all that exists is matter.  But what is reason?  Is reason material or non-material?  Because reason is non-material, naturalism cannot account for it, we have no way for knowing whether it’s true, and our reasoning has no legitimacy.  Lewis writes:

A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid, would be utterly out of court.  For that theory would itself have been reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory would, of course, be itself demolished.  It would be destroyed by its own credentials.  It would be an argument which proved that no argument was sound…which is nonsense.[9]

Naturalism collapses under its own weight when it comes to reason.  Later in the book, Lewis shows that naturalism also collapses when it comes to morality and science.

Instead of naturalism, Lewis argues that supernaturalism can account for everything.  While he doesn’t get to the point of affirming that only the Christian worldview’s supernaturalism can account for everything, he comes close.  Elsewhere in his writings, he did reach that conclusion.  There is this famous quote from his book The Weight of Glory:

Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions.  The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself.  I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.[10]

That is very well said — completely in line with Psalm 36:9, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”  Indeed, only Christianity can consistently account for everything.  Christianity is true because of the impossibility of the contrary.  Lewis didn’t always consistently work with this method, but when he did, he used it to great effect

At the end of the day, Lewis is worth reading, not only to see some wrong ways of doing apologetics, but also to learn to use some right ways — and brilliantly.  Moreover, if you have non-Christian friends, reading Lewis with them might be a great way to bring Christian truth to bear on their lives.  If you do that, I’d recommend Miracles over Mere Christianity.

******************

[1] C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, New York: Walker and Company, 1955, 170.

[2] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, London: Fontana Books, 1952, 181ff.

[3] Lewis, Mere Christianity, 173.

[4] Lewis, Mere Christianity, 35.

[5] Lewis, Mere Christianity, 52-53.

[6] C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. W. Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 244.

[7] For this section on Miracles, I am indebted to an unpublished paper by Daniel R. Dodds, “Elements of Transcendental Presuppositionalism as Found in the Works of C.S. Lewis.”

[8] C.S. Lewis, Miracles, New York: Fount Paperbacks, 1947, 8.

[9] Lewis, Miracles, 18-19.

[10] C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 1980, 92.


Why is Christianity True?

Why is Christianity true?  How would you answer that question?  A number of attendees at the National Religious Broadcasters convention were asked that question a few years ago.  Their answers were featured on a recently re-broadcast edition of the White Horse Inn radio show.  Almost all of them were some variation on this theme:  Christianity is true because it changed my life.

There are two reasons why that’s a lousy answer.

First, it’s an answer a Mormon could give.  A Mormon could say, “Mormonism is true because it changed my life.  I was once a drug addict, I became a Mormon, and my life was changed.”  Likely there are Muslims who could say the same thing.  The truth or falsity of Christianity (or any religion for that matter) has nothing to do with whether or not it will change your life.  Something is objectively true or objectively false, regardless of your subjective personal experience.  People’s lives can be changed, even profoundly so, by things that aren’t true.

Second, what happens if someone’s changed life returns to the way it was before?  Think of the Parable of the Sower.  Jesus spoke about the seed that fell on the rocky ground.  This represents someone who “hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.”  Such a one lasts for a while, but when there’s trouble, “immediately he falls away.”  In such a case, if Christianity was true because it changed that person’s life, if that person’s life goes back to the way it was, does that mean Christianity is now false?

You see, pointing to our own lives is a poor way to answer why Christianity is true.

There’s a better way.  If someone were to ask me, “Why is Christianity true?”, this is what I would say:  Christianity is true because of the impossibility of the contrary.  What I mean is that the Christian faith and worldview corresponds to reality – the world is exactly the way the Bible says it is.  And the Christian worldview truly accounts for the realities we see around us – it provides a basis for logic, morality, the laws of nature, mathematics, beauty, love, and more.  For example, objective standards of morality are grounded in the immutable character of a holy God.  So, Christianity is objectively true because it has been revealed by the God of truth, the Creator of all reality, the one in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  Christianity is objectively true because in its light we see light (Psalm 36:9).

That’s just a short answer, of course.  There’s a lot more that could and should be said.  Books have been written to lay out that case at more length.  If you want to read one, check out K. Scott Oliphint’s Know Why You Believe (reviewed here).

1 Peter 3:15 tells every Christian always to be ready to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ.  Because we’re doing it in service to Christ, surely we’re obligated to make sure we do it in the best possible way.  That means turning away from arguments grounded in fickle and subjective human experiences and turning to arguments grounded in the infallible and inerrant Scriptures.  Sola Scriptura has to be our touchstone in apologetics too.