When describing the importance and necessity of apologetics regarding life in Christ, I believe contrasting a fideistic walk (by definition, hostile to it) aptly illustrates the essential role of apologetics in the believers walk. Reading the assigned passage from Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition: Refutation of the New Atheism, I have discovered a new favorite phrase. Dr. Feser describes Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and writer, as “evidently not knowing Metamucil from metaphysics”. He further characterizes Dawkins and other contemporary atheists as demonstrating a “breathtaking shallowness” of religious analysis. As wonderfully amusing as this, I found myself wondering if Christians, who negate the indispensable role of apologetics to our Faith, manifest the same ‘breathtaking shallowness’.
To me, existing in the Faith without the support of reason, is exactly that- existing. It robs one of an incredible dimension in our relationship with God and each other. The evidentiary and logical nature of apologetics push us to a new realm of worship beyond the transitory boundaries of emotion. It is not a sterile worship devoid of emotion, but one filled with awe, as we witness the irreducible complexity of a bacterium flagellum or the historical evidence supporting our Faith. It also strengthens our stand when facing personal trials, tragedy, our “secret infidel”, or external challenges from the unsaved. Akin to the man who built his house on the rock (Mathew 7: 24-27), the knowledge gained from apologetics adds concrete to that foundation.
Finally, Scripture states we should be prepared to wield the Truth (1Peter 1:13). We should always be battle-ready and without girding ourselves firmly with the Truth, we will trip and fall, no matter how big our shield of faith(Ephesians 6:14). The Bible also gives us key figures who employed apologetics to further the Kingdom. Paul, Peter, and John urged defending the faith with reason. Jesus Himself, supported many of His claims, using the historical evidence present by Old Testament prophecies.
I equate faith without reason to having a body without a skeleton. You don’t really move very far without it