Thursday, September 4, 2008
Awhile back I wrote an article for the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions newsletter titled, "The Well-Tempered Defense: Developing an Apologetic Theology of Religion."
In thinking about a recent post I made about apologetics being reasonable and relational, I was reminded of the fact that apologetics must also have a solid foundation. This is what I tried to provide in my EMNR article, portions of which were inspired by chapter 10 of Encountering Religious Pluralism by Harold Netland.
Here's an excerpt from my article ...
Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier - a book of preludes and fugues for keyboard instruments - is a masterpiece of musicianship education designed to systematically teach technical principles and solid composition skills.
Bach's pedagogical work of musical excellence lays a firm foundation, equipping keyboardists theoretically and practically. It is not only musicians who should seek to be "well-tempered," however. Christian apologists run the risk of operating within theological parameters of religious discernment, evaluation, and understanding that are too narrow, too broad, or too undeveloped. A well-tempered apologetic theology of religion will help avoid these errors.
This two-part article will briefly outline some important aspects involved in developing a Christian apologetic theology of religion. Part one will define religion and discuss the relevance of four key theological concepts.
Note, though, that this article will not attempt the development of a complete apologetic theology of religion. The purpose here is more modest in scope; namely, highlighting the importance of developing an apologetic theology of religion, particularly in relation to Christian ministry in the areas of world religions, cults, and new religious movements.
If you'd like a copy of the entire article, drop me an e-mail at conversationswithcslewis at earthlink dot net.