So I’ve recently found out about a style of apologetics called Presuppositional Apologetics. Essential these seems to be the style of argument where you suggest that your opponent presupposes the existence of God in their own beliefs about the world. A simple example of this is the Moral Law argument. Your oppoenent suggests that there is an absolute morality and you show that this assumes a moral law giver, namely God.
At least I think thats what it is, i definitely need to read more. Anyway I think I have a kind of similar method of “apologetics” if you can call it that. My method of apologetics seems to be assuming the ressurection of Christ and then assuming he didn’t rise and then arguing what makes sense from those assumptions.
For example in answer to the question, How can a good God cause suffering, isn’t he just horrible? I’d say well this is where we need to have faith in him, he’s making a world that is worth all this suffering. What evidence is there that we should trust him? Jesus, God, suffered and died on the cross as part of his plan. He is sufferingWITH us not above us and this is why we can trust him when we suffer ourselves.
This is definitely simplified but also requires the dual nature of chirst. If Jesus was just a mere human, then this would be a silly argument. Many have been crucified since Jesus and many have suffered more then that. Also if God just made some random human suffer loads that still makes him seem pretty horrible and doesn’t help the previous answer. Similarly if Jesus on the cross wasn’t fully human, but was like an avatar. Then he doesn’t really know real human suffering, he’s just gone through a facade of suffering but he didn’t really die.
I don’t think this is a conclusive answer to the question of pain and suffering in the world. But it demonstrates this argumentative technique. I answer questions by presupposing other theological truths that eventually lead to the death of Christ on the cross and the rest of the gospel. However, it wouldn’t fully convince an opponent because it relies on the ressurection being true. If you just reply, but I don’t think he did rise then my argument will show how, based on that, one ought to be angry at a God who allows pain and suffering. So this could never “convert” anyone.
However, I think it counts as an apologetic as it still attempts to demonstrate how important the Gospel is, (just not its truth). It shows that the God of Islam would not be worthy of being trusted in this manner, at least shows that this argument could not support Islam.
Anyway, I’m going to continue reading about this but I’ll be interested to see if there is a name for this kind of apologetic. Its a bit wierd, it means I can have many unoffensive arguments that show lots of stuff but feel pathetic as they can never really convince anyone. On the other hand, is it too bad having an argumentative style that requires God at the end to do the convincing directly himself?