Sunday, September 08, 2013

Apologetics Ain't Everything; But Personal Testimony is Nothing Without It

Ric Ballard:
In fact, 75% of Catholic or Orthodox convert websites today are nothing less than outlets for apologetics. I’m sure apologetics has some place but we are called to share our experience of God. Ideas about why or how one believes in compared to other traditions does no communicate an experience of God. All too often, dead apologetics becomes a convenient way to supplement what we lack in terms of communicating an experience of God.

He has something of a point.

My reluctance to focus on experience rather than knowledge is based precisely on the rampant subjectivism that needs to be fought by apologetics.

Modernism is based on the idea that truth cannot be known objectively, so experience is the only basis for certainty.

The thing is, if experience is the only basis for certainty, and experience is subjective, then paradoxically, you can only be certain for yourself.

And so in the subjectivist mindset, God might have transformed you, but it doesn't mean faith in God will "work" for someone else.
 That's why apologetics seems to be a more urgent cause, even if we do need to communicate how we experience God.