Christian Apologetics Free Course 01, Lesson 04

Christian Apologetics Free Course 01, Lesson 04

Introduction To Integrated Apologetics, Lesson 04

GAINS OF MODERN APOLOGETICS: The last half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century were times when most of the well-known Christian seminaries, journals, and publishing houses compromised with evolutionism and rationalism. This created such skepticism in the minds of the average Christian that very few found the courage to take a public stand to defend the Bible or their faith. 

Ultimately all this left Christian believers (especially the young ones) in a very sorry state in the rationalism-dominated times. This was one reason why Christians did not have the courage to oppose the anti biblical, anti social, and anti morality movements of the forties and fifties, which culminated in the acceptance of the open immorality in the sixties in the USA. This immorality eventually invaded India also. 

However, with the birth of the modern creationism and apologetics, a revival set in motion among the evangelical Christians. This group became quite vocal and aggressive in the sixties, and by seventies they started exerting significant influence among theologians, thinkers, and the Bible teachers all over the world. Thousands of apologetic books, hundreds of magazines, and tens of thousands of articles have been produced defending the Bible since. In turn, this has started to diminish the influence of rationalists and radicals on Christens. 

From the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century the rationalists had their heyday, snatching away millions of young people from their Christian faith and commitment. The wounds of this loss can been seen in Christendom even today, but at the same time this loss has been greatly minimized now because of the work of Christian apologists. 

Today anyone desiring to know about the Bible, and its connection with science, evolution, history, archaeology, has read any number of books on this topic. Literally thousands of titles are available, and he can choose anywhere from the most simple books to the most technically advanced ones. 

Thus the modern apologetics movement has been able to arrest the way in which rationalists have been bleeding the Christian church. What is more, this movement has been able to restore a lot of doubting people to strong faith. At the same time it has been able to strengthen the faith of many believers who wanted to know what the truth is in all this conflict.

CREATIONISM IN INDIA: Indian theological situation has many a times been a copy of what happens in the West. Thus with the rise of the German radical theology, most of the theologians and seminary-trained people in the mainline Protestant churches like the Lutherans, Methodists, CNI, CSI, and Marthoma churches became theologically radical. The situation is so bad that evangelical thinking is scorned in their seminaries, and it is difficult to discover theologians and priests in their forties who have an evangelical commitment or who are willing to take a stand for the historical and scientific reliability of the Bible. 

The separatist churches like the Brethren, the Pentecostals, and the Independent/Fundamental Baptists, and numerous other such evangelical groups were a little better. They did not forsake their high view of the Bible. At the same time almost all of them capitulated to compromise interpretations like Theistic Evolution and Gap Theory. The influence of C. I. Scoffield is notable is spreading the Gap Theory. 

The first Indian to take a strong stand against the Theory Of Evolution was the late Professor H. Enoch. This was in the early sixties. His English book Evolution Or Creation influenced a large number of young Indians, specially through the EU and EGF groups. He wrote many articles in the UESI student magazine also. 

In the sixties and seventies no evangelical magazine was willing to publish articles defending the historicity of the Bible or creation. The only exception was Cross And Crown, a Pentecostal Magazine edited by Dr. Thomas Mathews from Udaipur, Rajesthan. This magazine took a firm stand in favour of the accuracy of the Bible, and carried such articles in it regularly for decades. 

In the seventies a fellowship of scientists came up known initially as FOCMOS (Fellowship Of Christian Men Of Science), and later as CSFI (Creation Scientists Fellowship Of India). This organization soon became defunct because of lack of commitment from members, and also because their interests lay elsewhere. However, A. K. Skariah, the secretary of this movement continues to be a tireless crusader for Creation and Apologetics. 

A project known as Creation Research was founded by Dr. Johnson C. Philip in 1970. It functioned mainly through the publication of articles, and by the time of the writing of this present book more than 10,000 articles have been published [as of 2013] in more than 6 languages in almost a dozen countries around the world. This movement gave rise to the Trinity Graduate School Of Apologetics And Theology, and it offers full-length  courses in creationism and apologetics. 

At the time that Trinity School’s predecessor was founded in 1970, almost no standard Christian magazine in India was willing to publish articles defending inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. Nor were any Bible seminaries willing to teach these subjects. However, three decades of crusading by Trinity School has given rise to a significant movement in India for the defense of faith. 

Another person who played a significant role in Christian Apologetics is Dr. Johnson George. Born in Kerala and brought up in MP, he became fluent in more than one language. Thus his writings on apologetical themes in several languages have had a wide impact. Others who played a role in Apologetics would include Dr. Ezhamkulam Samkutty, AK Skaria etc. Their apologetic writing ministries being in Malayalam, the spread of the articles remain limited to Kerala. 

An apologetics organization that entered India recently is RZIM, founded originally in the USA by Dr. Ravi Zacharias. This society conducts training programmes all over India. Their stand is highly biblical except on creation where they teach the compromise-doctrine of day-age theory or even the gap theory. Their work tends to be more polemical and rhetorical than analytic. Their impact is now felt worldwide.

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