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Christian apologists

Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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11/21/2009 10:40:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
In your opinion, who is currently the greatest living Christian apologist?

As far as I'm concerned any decent Christian apologist is at the very least:

1. Not a proponent of creationism.
2. Not a proponent of Biblical inerrancy.
3. A person that has some kind of formal background in philosophy.

I've heard from some people that Alvin Plantinga is probably the best. What are your thoughts?
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

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Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/22/2009 8:29:28 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Eh, I've heard of Norman Geisler before, but only in reference to a Nietzsche joke lol. Apparently he's okay though...? Doubt it.
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Apologician
Posts: 6
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11/22/2009 8:27:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Geisler sucks.

I personally wouldn't rank Plantinga as one of the best Christian apologists. As a philosopher, he'd be on my top three, but as an apologist? Not so much.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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11/22/2009 8:34:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
William Lane Craig: He's very articulate and makes sense sometimes.

Dinesh D'Souza: The only one that doesn't make me cringe, lol. I like most of what he says mainly because generally what he says isn't in defense of Christianity, but in defense of transcendental scientific phenomena. The only part I disagree with is his Christian conclusions.
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BruteApologia
Posts: 20
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11/23/2009 8:06:25 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I personally like to have some definable criterion to answer this. First, I understand Apologetics to be a theoretical discipline in defense of the Christian faith in order to provide a rational warrant for belief. Second, I understand "greatness" in this context to be the level and sphere of influence that an apologist exerts. Some will undoubtably prefer a more subjective definition, and there is room for that which I'll cover later on.

I'd argue that William Lane Craig is currently the best Christian apologist. Alvin Plantinga would be considered an apologist as well, but he is more equipped in doing so as it pertains to the philosophical academia - whereas Craig excels in the academia as well as in the public. With his proficient debating skills and experience, it is undeniable that no one compares to his qualifications. Not that there aren't any other good apologists - I think J.P. Moreland and Paul Copan are intelligent - but that he excels over all others in general as it pertains to influence. For example, his Kalam argument is, I believe, the most WIDELY discussed argument for God's existence of this time.

Ultimately, however, there are plenty of great apologists out there who are highly skilled in their respective areas. So for example, if you were to ask who'd be the best defender Leibniz's Cosmological Argument, I'd point to Alexander R Pruss. In this regard, I'd differentiate between influence and knowledge in a field, although they definitely are not exclusive to each other. All apologists, no matter how influential they are, could obviously still be wrong about anything or everything.

That's where the subjective element comes in because not everyone will be universally convinced of an argument. But if I can assess who has the most influence, and is the most skilled in an area, then I can then give at least some objective grounds. That's because people who take an argument seriously, will do so more than the ones who do not. And the amount of people who are convinced, could be more than the ones who are not. In that regard, I can make a case on how great an apologist is - with disregard to solely my opinion.

I'm aware that the question was "in your opinion, who is the greatest Christian philosopher?" but I really like to think things through. You don't have to like it, but I do this for both the benefit of those who care and myself. Oh, and my favorite internet apologist would have to be Glenn Miller of Christian-ThinkTank.com because he has some of the best responses that I have seen. Even "The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology" quotes his site. I definitely recommend you check it out!