By Bernard L. Ramm
Paperback variation of booklet initially released in hardcover as "The God Who Makes a Difference," 1972
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Additional resources for A Christian Appeal to Reason
Nevertheless, an effective apologetics must work with a specific understanding of the Christian religion. Taking a historic and Reformed position in theology means that this apologetics will have a character that reflects this kind of theology. If one takes this position in theology, then his apologetics will have the following characteristics. Christian apologetics must he grounded in divine revelation, par ticularly special or soteric (saving) revelation. From the standpoint of theory of knowledge, that is, how we know what w׳e know, Christianity is a religion of revelation.
It is not the rationalism of the Deists or the men of the Enlightenment who placed human reason as judge over divine revelation and never 38 measured the impact of sin on their reasoning powers. It is a rationalism that recognizes the authority of revelation and the depraving effects of sin. It is a rationalism that knows of man’s need for the illumination of the Spirit and reckons with ihe transcendence, mystery, and incompre hensibility of God. However, within these conditions and qualifications it does seek the profoundest understanding of Christian theology possible by means of every conceivable source of knowledge that bears on the biblical revelation and its specific texts.
Entailment is a word used by philosophers to indicate the implications of any theory or 32 belief. In a sense all of Christian apologetics is but a delineation of the meaning of entailmcnt for the Christian. Entailment means exploring what one is committed to in accepting any particular belief. And no choice of any kind is a responsible one if the entailment of the choice has not been investigated. To be a Christian, for example, means to accept the authority of Holy Scripture and to accept doctrines that are very complex and difficult to explain such as the Trinity, the Incarna tion, and original sin.
A Christian Appeal to Reason by Bernard L. Ramm