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Reason for the Hope Within 1: Reason for Hope (In the Postmodern World)

11/20/2011

Murray believes that apologists should be thought of as ambassadors, those whose knowledge is motivated by their love of the homeland. Is this faith seeking affirmation- just confirmation bias? Is there a way to frame it so it doesn’t sound this way.

An atheist who tries to show others the truth of his position should be able to do so without necessarily being a victim of confirmation bias. I think it’s because in this case, the faith comes first, then the understanding. The student may not even be familiar with the arguments- it is assumed he will fall on the side of Christianity. An atheist who spreads belief would hopefully be in his position after becoming familiar with the arguments, not before.

Murray is confronting three main challenges to apologetics- skepticism, relativism, and antirealism.

One suggested answer to the question of a non-believer asking “why should I believe?” is that some of the person’s claims “entail distinctive parts of the Christian Worldview” (p. 10). For example, order comes from design, not from chance, right? Well the universe is ordered, so it must be from design.

Murray says that someone can give up the wrong belief in order to be rationally consistent, or he may come up with some ad-hoc explanation for new data, so the method is not perfect, but after enough iterations, a person may find his beliefs too cumbersome to maintain.

He points out the difference between positive apologetics, which is pointing out inconsistencies in other worldviews, and negative apologetics, which is answering allegations of inconsistency in the Christian worldview.

Murray admits that he doesn’t have an answer to why God allows evil (p.17). He points out that we can only provide possible answers. Maybe that’s a good example to use when talking about things that science can’t explain. We don’t know, but there are some possible answers, and if that’s okay in Christianity, it is okay in science.

Also the trinity! In fact, all “divine mysteries” would seem to fall into that category. No Christian can coherently explain them.

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