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Why I Do Not Find Apologetics Useful

Notes for a talk given to the UK Christian Academic Network workshop on Apologetics in February 2015, by Andrew Basden. The aim of the talk was to counter the common assumption that Christians in academic life should be doing apologetics, which he felt was missing the point of academic life.

1. Introduction

Me: Not trained apologist. Not good at responsive argument. Found a way in which my Christian faith can be linked with, brought into, my discipline in a way that is 'appropriate' to the discipline and in a way that non-Christians appreciate.

My interest: shaping our disciplines for Christ (in the wider context of representing God wherever and whenever I am). That is bringing my Biblical-Christian viewpoint to contribute to the opening up the way creation works. Example: Michael Faraday.

I do not find apologetics useful in this. Two sides:

2. On Apologetics

Apologetics: Defence

Mainly rational defence, using theory or theorization and argument.

However William Lane Craig [3 March 2015]: "provide rational warrant for Christianity's truth claims." differentiates between:

WLC admits it is seldom necessary, but argues for its utility.

I'm not arguing against its necessity. I'm arguing about its utility

Three ways in which Christian apologetics is 'vital':

The latter may be seen as relevant to shaping our disciplines.

But WLC:


Possible applicability of apologetics: when attacked by anti-Christian theorists. Apologetics feels exciting and sometimes addictive. That is its danger for the ordinary Christian.

First seed of doubt in me about apologetics: From an apologetics perspective, we tend to see all questioning as attack. But in fact some questioning is genuine.

Second seed of doubt: Apologetics does not convert [Andrew Faraday].

(# why apolgetics might be thought useful in IS as a social science


3. Reasons from Academic Work

I find apologetics of little value in my academic work as a Christian, Because:

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Created: 4 March 2015. Last updated: Uploaded to