One of the ways in which the damned will be condemned is that they will see themselves condemned by their own reason, by which they claimed to condemn the Christian religion. — Blaise Pascal. Penses. ed. and trans. A. Krailsheimer (New York: Penguin, 1966), 175/563, p. 84.
InÂ To skim or not to skim: A â€˜caseâ€™ study of â€œChristian Apologeticsâ€, I share my initial response toÂ Douglas Groothuis‘Â newly released 752 page caseboundÂ Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for the Biblical FaithÂ (IVP. 2011). As we begin a new term and jump into the daily grind, some readers may wrestle with the question of “why apologetics?”Â Although the Chapter 2 (The Biblical Basis for Apologetics)Â quotes included in my previous post address this concern, what I came across inÂ Groothuis‘ Appendix 1: Hell on Trial also deserves attention. Â Please join me in taking a few minutes to prayerfully consider and respond to some of the material inÂ Appendix 1: Hell on Trial.Â
GroothuisÂ opens the section with the above quote from PascalÂ and by stating “Christianity is the highest-stakes proposition imaginable” (653). After looking at Jesus and HellÂ (with significant attention to Bertrand Russell) and The Logic of Hell over the course nine pages,Â he concludes with these compelling words:
An apologetic that denies or shies away from the doctrine of hell is not a truly Christian apologetic. Yet this teaching must be done with compassion and tears. Such was exemplified by Francis Schaeffer, a man who believed in eternal punishment and who gave his life to rescue people from it and to lead them into the abundant life that only Jesus Christ delivers (John 10:10). When asked why he continued to defend and proclaim the gospel, even while afflicted with what would become terminal cancer, he replied [Read more…] about Why “Christian Apologetics”? — Hell