Classical apologetics

Many people argue about the existence of a Supreme Being that created the universe date back from the philosophy era of Plato and Aristotle. Christian philosophers adopted these arguments in their attempts to defend and reconcile their faith for philosophical reasoning. One of the major questions about existence is why anything existed at all. Since the universe exists, obvious objection is that this cause must itself have a cause. According to the scientific theory, the existence of the universe could not have evolved on its own. Some people might have asked, where was God’s pre-existence before creation, who created the person or thing that created Him?
The moral argument about the existence of God refers to the claim that the theory God’s exist are needed to provide a coherent ontological foundation for the existence of objective moral values and duties. Here is a representation of the following syllogism: 1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist; 2) Objective moral values and duties do exist; 3) Therefore, God exist.
The medieval Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas identified five arguments to prove God’s existence. (“Five Ways”). He accepted the teleological arguments of Plato and Aristotle, but found the fifth “way” in the work of 11th century theologian, Saint Anselm.
Saint Anselm defined God as a being great that nothing greater can be conceived. We can image such a perfect being, so God exist as a concept in our minds—but a perfect being that exists in reality would clearly be even greater than one that exists only in our minds So, we can now image a being greater than our initial idea of God, which exists on both our minds and reality. Such a being, God, must therefore exist: To deny his existence would contradict Anselm’s definition of God. Hence, not everyone was convinced of these arguments, however, even some believed in the existence of God questioned their strength. Saint Anselm’s “ontological argument,” “although apparently logically sound, presupposes that we can conceive of the greatest conceivable being—which perhaps we cannot. We should suppose this argument by reason for design is equally inconclusive, a purposeful creator exist on the merits of suggestion rather than proves.
By the 19th century, more and more philosophers were adopting a skeptical attitude toward belief in God. Even some people felt the it would be impossible to conclusively prove or disprove the existence of God, it should remain a matter of faith rather than philosophy. There will be additional notes to follow in the final paper on this subject.
The roots of classical apologetics will be examine, and the thought of several modern classical apologists, among these are Norman L. Geisler, who represents perhaps the “purest” form of this approach. More of the historical roots of classical apologetics will be discuss in the final paper. Although there are other apologetic systems, the Classical apologetics draws on the apologetic thought of Christian theologians and philosophers throughout church history. Indeed, most advocates of the classical approach count it an important point in their favor that their approach is in line with the major apologists from the early and medieval church. The authors of the book Classical Apologetics, for example, assert with regard to “the classic Christian view” that “theistic proofs” are a valid part of apologetics, “From the Apologists of our own era, this has been the central teaching of the church, Eastern, Roman, Protestant, the teaching of the creeds and of the theologians.” Although this claim is arguably overstated, there is a significant tradition of Christian apologetics throughout church history in which theistic proofs played a major role.
In the Apostle Paul’s apologetic speech in Athens, Acts 17 poses an argument found in the New Testament observed by the classical apologists. However, during the second century, some of these Apologists developed the elements of the classical method. Augustine was persistent with certain aspects of the apologetic thought through the continuance of classical tradition. He made use of philosophical proofs for God’s existence, especially but not exclusively in his earlier writings. To prove that this God had revealed himself in Christ, Augustine cited miracles and fulfilled biblical prophecy and emphasized the dramatic growth and triumph of the church through centuries of persecution and suppression.
It is in the medieval period, though, that the classical approach began to receive systematic formulation. Anselm offered his ontological argument for the existence of God both to edify believers and to challenge and persuade unbelievers. He also presented an argument for the necessity of God becoming man in order to redeem us that proved the point, he claimed, without assuming any knowledge about Christ. Anselm was careful to add that in the end faith was to be placed in God and in his revelation in Scripture, not in Anselm’s arguments. Still, his approach was quite rationally oriented.
Likewise, Thomas Aquinas developed a number of philosophical arguments for the existence of God and expounded Christian teaching on the nature of God in Aristotelian philosophical categories. Thomas rejected Anselm’s ontological argument, preferring various forms of the cosmological argument, but both types of argument are philosophical arguments for theism. Again, Thomas was very cautious with words that such philosophical proofs were not the basis of faith or a substitute for faith. According to Thomas, those who rely on philosophical argument alone will never have an adequate knowledge of God. Yet his theistic proofs have often been utilized as a line of defense against atheism, which was not even a serious problem in his day. Thomas’s approach to philosophy (known as Thomism) has inspired many succeeding works of classical apologetics.

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