I think it all depends. Certainly having been a very nominal Christian indeed (to the extent that in all fairness I would be far more accurately labeled a deist) apologetics awoke my from my "dogmatic slumbers" however the problem with apologetics is that for every good, intellectually honest apologist like Dr. Craig there are God only knows how many good ones. Personally I think when apologetics is used properly and seriously it has 1000 uses, when its used poorly without intellectual honesty it has only one and thats eventually turning people away from Christ
Replace "good ones" with "poor ones"
james b wrote: Hi Guys,Given the kinds of things we often bang on about on this forum, it seems like a fairly fundamental question to ask. But I was wondering what you guys saw as the main point of apologetics.Is it a way of opening people up to the gospel? Or of bolstering the faith of Christians who struggle with doubt? Or of testing and refining our thinking about the world around us? Or all the abive? I tend to see it as a plus if you achieve no more than showing someone they don't have to surrender their intellect to turn to Christ.
As of late, I've been questioning the value of "apologetics" as a whole. Most of the people within the church that go in for it tend to already have philosophical inclinations and could just read non-apologetic phil of religion stuff from Christian philosophers, which tend to be more thorough and fleshed out in their ideas. Other people in the church, I've noticed, don't really pay all that much attention to it at all. Fideism is alive and well in most evangelical minds, so they feel they don't need it. And, as harvey1 said, most of the stuff that counts as apologetics these day would never convince most non-believers. So, why do we need apologetics? At the very least, why do we need so much apologetics (especially when, as someone else pointed out, so many of these apologists aren't very intellectually honest)?
Well, as Bill Craig always points out when he talks about this, one value of (good) apologetics is that, even if it doesn't convince most people, it helps to create an intellectual milieu against which the gospel can be heard in a more receptive light.
Col 4:6 and 1Pet 3:15
I'd place apologetics as one of the nobler pursuits of life. We're, at the core, seeking truth, and trying to spread that to others.