Monday, July 11, 2011
J.P. Moreland on Apologetic Character
So understood, an apologetic character is not a set of answers a person memorizes and adds to a life otherwise defined without regard to the apologetic mandate. No, an apologetic character is a way of being present in the world, an approach to life, a part of the very structure of one’s embodied soul. Just as there is a difference between someone who can spit out answers from one’s home medical book and a skilled physician who sees the world as a doctor, so there is a difference between one who memorizes a set of answers to certain apologetic questions and one who has an apologetic character. An apologetic character is part of the very warp and woof of one’s journey, of one’s very life as a disciple. So understood, it will increasingly exemplify a set of virtues and exhibit mastery of a range of skills … The development of an apologetic character cannot be reduced to mastery of a set of questions and answers, to a set of skills, or even to a list of virtues. While such a set or list is very helpful for focusing one’s training efforts, we must never forget that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Training believers to exemplify an apologetic character includes, but goes far beyond, any list of answers, skills, or virtues. It is an entire way of living. Thus, such training will always require role models who are themselves examples of an apologetic character. As a result, it is far more important for a Christian school to help its faculty to grow as apologists than it is to learn skills for teaching “apologetic techniques” to students.
For more on this, see the original post.