Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quote of the Day: "The Final and Best Evidence"

 “The final and best evidence of God’s existence lies in his Word—in the triple sense of Christ, the gospel he proclaimed, and the Scripture that infallibly conveys it.” -- John Warwick Montgomery.

John Warwick Montgomery is representative of the evidential approach to Christian apologetics, as opposed to the classical approach which first seeks to provide rational reasons to believe in God's existence and then seeks to demonstrate that the Christian view of God is the correct one.

Certainly many, myself included, have testified to the transformative effects of reading this book.

PS. I'm trying Zemanta in this post -- automatic embedded links.
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calgary52 said...

What is the particular book to which you refer? He has written many according to his bio. I did not see a link in your entry.

RkBall said...

Hi Calgary,

Montgomery, “Death of the ‘Death of God,’” in Suicide of Christian Theology, 106.

Quoted here --

SDC said...

"Evidence"? Maybe you'd better re-do this post after you figure out what that word means.

RkBall said...

More likely you have an overly narrow view of what constitutes evidence.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that "evidence" means different things for the religious vs non-religious.

From OED:

"In religious language: Signs or tokens of personal salvation."


"Ground for belief; testimony or facts tending to prove or disprove any conclusion. Const. for, of (the thing to be proved), from, of (the source of testimony). †to have evidence to say, etc.: to have good grounds for saying, etc."

(With the additional points that (i) testimony that is hearsay and/or of anonymous or disputed authorship tends to be given very low evidential weight & (ii) the interpretation of prophecy is opinion not fact, and not even credible opinion when the interpretation is ex post facto.)

Joe said...

Back about the time the dinosaurs died out I used to try to be a Christian Apologist. I scoured the books looking for evidence here or there or somewhere else. Then I came to realize the Bible is not very apologetic. It makes an in your face declaration that challenges you to take it or leave it. In my Christian evangelism I have adopted the same approach.

I KNOW whom I have believed therefore....

RkBall said...

I agree that you cannot argue someone into the kingdom of God. In that sense, there is something wrong with BOTH evidential and classical apologetics.

However, sometimes people have wrong ideas or wrong information that can be corrected. Also, sometimes people in the Church need to be reassured that the gospel is not based on made-up stories but on eye-witness testimony concerning Christ alive, living, dying, dead, and alive forevermore.

There is a pneumatic to the gospel that is beyond argument, but is agreeable to enlightened reason (where the enlightenment = from God and not man's exaltation of his own reason.)

RkBall said...

Joe -- I appreciate your comments. Where are you located bTW?

Joe said...

Thank you Richard. I reside in Edmonton AB where I wage Spiritual Battle in a Evangelical army. My greatest desire is to declare the Gospel in as simple and clear message as possible. I don't truck with those who hide behind their big words and vacuous speeches.

RkBall said...

Sounds good.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"