Apologetics of Experience

I am going to suggest something that is not very popular among apologists.  I believe that experience is an important part of apologetics.  Some will reject this out right, preferring rationalism from a philosophical perspective or being skeptical of false experiences from a practical perspective.  Many apologists would prefer to demonstrate the truth of Christianity from a philosophical argument or from some manuscript evidence.  I believe those things are important.  But if you asked me right now for the strongest reason for my belief in God, it would not be the ontological or any other philosophical argument.  It would be my relationship with God.  What I mean by that is that I pray and go to God and I see him respond.  He is not my servant as in some forms of the Word/Faith movement and not all my prayers are answered.  But even when I do not get exactly what I asked for, I see something happen that makes me a better person and draws me closer to God.  Some would say that is too subjective.  After all, Mormons tell people to read the Book of Mormon and pray if it is true.  If they have a burning in the chest, that is the proof it is true.  Evangelicals would suggest that was perhaps psychological suggestion or bad pizza.  The type of experience that I am speaking of is not something in just one moment but the give and take of a living relationship.  Still not convinced?  Read the Bible.  When we look at the Old and New Testaments, we do not see many people rationalizing themselves into faith.  What we find are whole bunch of people experiencing God in some incredible ways.  I am not suggesting that we give up traditional apologetics, as I still very much believe in it.  But I would suggest that it is also appropriate to invite people to pray and ask God to interact with them.

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2 thoughts on “Apologetics of Experience”

  1. I am a lover of Truth. It is our foundation. Psalm 138:2 always amazed me: God exalts both His Word and His Name, but… “You have magnified Your word above all Your name!” God does not take His Word lightly, and neither should be. In saying that, I also want to say that since love has always been God’s motive and relationship His intension, why would we think that we are not supposed to experience something personal? He calls us His children, His friends, His Beloved – these all point to hearts, minds, and lives intertwined in walking, knowing, and experiencing our Creator – daily. Moment by moment. This is the eternal life Jesus spoke of in John 17:3 – to know God the Father, and Jesus the Son. This is the treasure we sell all to buy!

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