Authors who compile arguments for their worldview and against other worldviews tend to present their own worldview as a comprehensively consistent and rational system of thought supported by all natural, philosophical, and logical evidence; a worldview without discrepancies, holes, or mystery. Christian apologists are not immune. But there would remain no debate if a worldview were truly so well supported and foolproof.

I would like to see more worldview apologists adhere to intellectual authenticity and critical realism. Apologists need not pretend that there are no substantial criticisms that seriously threaten their worldview, and they need not pretend that all arguments for their worldview have no substantial counter-arguments. To illustrate, I’ll use just a few common arguments in the Christianity vs. atheism debate.

Arguments for Christianity. I think the existence of free will, non-pragmatic morality, and beauty are among the best evidences for non-natural being. On the other hand, I think Pascal’s Wager is crap. The idea is that it’s a better bet to believe in God because the expected value of belief (a satisfying afterlife) is better than the expected value of non-belief (nothing). But one cannot choose either no God or God; one must choose no God or one of thousands of worshipped gods. The chance of picking the right god is remote.

Arguments against Christianity. It’s often claimed that the Bible supports flat earth theory, for example with Ecclesiastes 1:5: “The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.” But no, this is just how we talk. Even today, when everyone is convinced of a spherical earth, I still say that “the sun rises in the morning” instead of “the earth rotates my region toward the sun so that I begin to see its light in the morning.” A much stronger argument against Christianity using the Bible can be made by quoting 2 Kings 2:23-24, wherein children call Elisha “baldy,” Elisha curses them in the name of God, and God sends two bears to savagely dismember all 42 children. How can this be a loving God? How can this God be consistent with the God revealed in Jesus? And if you don’t believe the Bible, how can a loving God allow thousands of children to die pointlessly from preventable malaria without having a chance to know Jesus?

I won’t give examples of good and bad arguments for and against atheism, but you get the idea. I’d like to see a more authentic apologetics, along with a more loving and missional Christian apologetics.

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