Justifying Apologetics Itself

Dr. Robert Morey  |  November 8, 2007

The “Waterloo” of Natural theologians is the simple fact that they cannot produce any “rational” arguments, apart from and independent of the Bible, to justify why they or anyone else should do apologetics. They have yet to logically justify their existence. Because there is no rational basis for apologetics, it has virtually disappeared from most seminaries.

Imagine a Christian trying to dialogue with a group of Natural theologians and philosophers as to why they bother doing apologetics.

Christian: “On what “rational” grounds do you run around attempting to give “rational” arguments for the existence and attributes of God apart from and independent of the Bible? Can you give me even one “rational” argument to justify your existence in the Christian community? On what “rational” grounds do you expect us to pay you a salary and buy your 

First Natural Theologian: “Well, I needed a job. I was educated by the Jesuits but they would not hire me unless I became a Roman Catholic. I tried to get a job at a local community college but they did not want me either. I then applied at an evangelical school and they were excited to hire someone from Notre Dame. So, I signed with them.”

Christian: “Last time I checked, needing a job is not a “rational” argument for anything. It seems to me that you are an out-of-work philosopher, who could not make it in secular education, and that is why you took a job at a Christian college, which, by the way, was historically founded on sola scriptura. Since you believe in sola ratione, how can you in good conscience teach there?”

First Natural Theologian: “Hey, I have a wife and three kids. I have to teach somewhere. I am too “Christian” for state schools and too “secular” for most evangelical schools. So, what am I supposed to do? Sell insurance?”

Christian: “I myself would rather sell shoes with a clear conscience than violate the doctrinal standards of the college or seminary where I teach.”

First Natural Theologian: “You are a narrow-minded fun-dam-mentalist and I refuse to talk to you anymore. I will do whatever it takes to feed my family.”

Second Natural Theologian: “Calm down brother, I can easily justify Natural apologetics. Look up Jude 3 and 1 Pet. 3:15 in the Bible. Case closed!”

Christian: “Not so fast, Jose! On a recent radio program you claimed that you can “rationally” demonstrate the existence of God, the divinity of Jesus, and even that gay marriage and abortion are wrong, apart from and independent of the Bible. Your website states this repeatedly. Isn’t that right? Then you cannot contradict yourself now by quoting the Bible to justify apologetics. To be consistent, you have to logically demonstrate Natural apologetics solely on the basis of “rational” arguments, by not quoting the Bible. I am from New York City and I know a “shell and pea” scam when I see it.”

Second Natural Theologian: “You do not understand. I need Christians to support me financially. Since they believe in the Bible, I give them what they want to hear! That is why I appealed to 1 Pet. 3:15.”

Christian: “Deliberately deceiving Christians in order to pick their pockets is neither rational nor ethical. Running a con game is not the same thing as giving “rational” arguments for Natural apologetics. It is now time to either put up or shut up. Justify the need for apologetics solely on rational grounds, apart from and independent of Scripture. Where in “Nature” do you find a tree stump or a rock that tells you, “Defend the faith?” Do the birds tell you to do apologetics?”

Third Natural Theologian: “Let me interrupt at this point. I told you guys not to talk to him. Once he drags the Bible into the discussion, you are going to lose. This is why I joined the Catholic Church. They do not pretend to believe in sola scriptura. You guys need to consider that this Calvinist is telling you the truth. There is no way you can justify apologetics solely on the basis of rational grounds, apart from and independent of the Bible. Natural theology and apologetics are valid disciplines because various Popes in their infallible wisdom have decreed it so.”

Christian: “You seem to be the most honest guy in the group. You left the evangelical world and joined the Catholics. I applaud your honesty. I wish the rest of your friends were as honest as you. They are really “Catholics in Protestant clothing” and should, for conscience sake, be brave enough to leave evangelical churches and schools and embrace Rome.”

Third Natural Theologian: “Don’t worry. It is only a matter of time. In the end they will all come home to the Mother Church.”

Christian: “I would not be so sure about that. Some of them have converted to Orthodoxy.”

Dear Reader, stop and ask yourself, “Are there are any “rational” reasons why I should do apologetics?” I don’t think so. It loses friends and influences virtually no one. It makes people angry. It destroys marriages. You will be called filthy names that are not printable in a Christian book. It will cause a great deal of heartache and division in your family and church. 

If self-preservation is “true” or a “value” to any extent, then apologetics is not a smart thing to do.

This is why so many evanjellyfish now believe that they should go along and get along with everyone; never condemning anyone for anything; never claiming that Jesus is the only way to heaven. But you cannot have the world as your friend and Jesus at the same time. You have to choose between the world, the flesh, the devil or the Lord.

Why then have I spent forty years doing apologetics? Because the apologetics I do is REVEALED apologetics, not Natural or Rational apologetics. It is quite simple:
Jesus loves me;

This I know,

For the Bible tells me so.

The world, the flesh, the devil, human reason, experience, feelings or faith cannot tell me that Jesus loves me. No one has given me a single “rational” argument to prove that He loves me. What “rational” arguments can prove that He died for my sins on the cross? Zero. Nada!

The only justification to do apologetics is that God revealed In Scripture that we are to do so (Jude 3). There is no other basis to do so. The prophets, apostles, and Jesus did apologetics and instructed their disciples to do so. We have no choice in the matter whatsoever. The Lordship of Christ as revealed in Scripture is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End of apologetics. Thus the basis of true apologetics is REVELATION, pure and simple.

Rationalists, empiricists, mystics, and fideists are only kidding themselves when they think they can defend God without God. It has never been done and will never be done.

This blog is a little taste of the book that I am writing to refute Natural theology, philosophy, and apologetics. In all the books I have read, Natural theologians either do not justify their existence or merely quote a verse or two here or there and then go merrily on their way. 

Well, they have been given a free ride by naïve Christians far too long. The ride is over.

Like the boy who cried, “The emperor has no clothes,” it is time for us to cry, “Natural theology has no rational basis for its existence or validity.” Sola Scriptura forever!