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Idolatry of Apologetics

Todd C. Wood, a baraminologist (he studies “kinds” as in Genesis 1), has written an excellent post about how we Christians often make idols of our particular arguments (HT: The Austringer).

Now as far as I can see, Dr. Wood and I would find ourselves on the opposite side of most debates about origins, but we can make, and believe, our arguments without also making them idols.

If I might summarize my own view on it, it’s a matter of priorities. Often we make so many issues critical that we have no time to focus on the essentials. One lesson of military strategy is that often when you try to guard everything you end up protecting nothing.

When Dr. Todd says:

I greatly fear that our faith in Christ has been replaced with an idolatry of apologetics. I fear we’ve stopped believing in Christ and started believing in arguments about Christ (or the Bible or creation or what have you). I fear we’ve bowed to the world’s demand that we believe only that which is rational. We’re certainly no longer content with merely saying “I don’t know.” We have to have answers, and endless (and often pointless) argument has become our substitute for simply telling unbelievers what Christ has done for us.

Now I’m not saying that logical arguments are not important, nor am I saying that apologetics is not a valuable Christian activity. It is not that evidence and arguments are unimportant. In my own view the problem is that we make many things essential that are not actually essential parts of the gospel. We make the way we see things the norm, and expect others to see them the same way. In this way we make things ultimate that are not, in fact, ultimate.

There is a time to debate, but there is also a time to “know nothing but Jesus, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

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    1. It depends on what makes a word “real.” Amongst young earth or young age creationists it has been common for several years as a label for one who studies the boundaries of the biblical “kind” thus “bara” and “min” from the Hebrew words for “create” and “kind” (which I’m sure you recognize).

      It results, I would guess, from the challenge from evolutionary biologists to define just how much variation can occur without violating the phrase “after their kind.”

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