Headed by Dr. Steve Cowan
Personal Ministry Track
Call our office for
more information or directions, (205) 552-5597.
Faith, Reason, and Apologetics
• On what basis do we claim
that Christianity is the truth?
• What is the relationship between apologetics and theology?
• Can philosophy, true science, historical knowledge be used
to defend and promote the Christian faith?
• How is our knowledge of the Christian truth related to our
Greek noun apologia – a
• Apologetics is for the believer and unbeliever
3 functions: proof – defense – offense = persuasion
• Rational basis for faith (truth claim)
Our overall objectives:
1. Know the truth (faith)
2. Defend the truth
3. Advance the truth
4. Be the truth
1 Pet. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Acts 17:18f; 1 Cor. 9:16f
Views of Apologetics(Steve’s
3 most common, substantial methodological approaches:
1) Classical/rational-emphasis on reason and logical criteria
(law of non-contradiction, self-consistency, comprehensiveness,
coherence) i.e. philosophical proofs for existence of God
and evidence that this God reveals Himself in Jesus and scripture;
appeals to natural revelation (Rom.1:18f; 2:14-15).
Evidentialism – primary emphasis on empirical and
historically reliable facts (lawyer) to demonstrate probability
Classical and Evidential – basically attempts to move
a person from the possible to the plausible to probable.
Reformed – begins with presupposition that Christianity
is true as revealed in the Bible, and that using human reason
is at best inadequate or worse, doomed to fail because of
man’s basic sinful and rebellious nature. Demonstrates
the inadequacy and foolishness of the unbeliever’s
are some nuances within this camp like those held by John
Frame and Frances Schaeffer who do utilize evidences
and rational arguments but as secondary to the presuppositions.
I Cor. 2; Eph.2:1; Rom.8:5-7; Acts 17:2,17; 18:4,19; 19:8-9;
28:23; 2Cor. 5:11; John 6:44; Acts 13:48.