When I first started studying apologetics it was overwhelming. And that is an understatement. It will literally be a lifetime of learning because, well, you are learning more about God and the universe He created. You can spend that lifetime just studying something very specific within theology, philosophy, history, or science. The everyday apologist may not always have the luxury of spending the time (and money in advanced degrees) to become an expert witness in one field. As for myself, I enjoy attempting to get a decent grasp of knowledge in as many areas as possible. That is especially daunting for me because I do not have a very good memory.
What I have found extremely helpful is to just learn some basic principles in which to approach certain subjects. This comes in handy too when having discussions with skeptics and critics of Christianity. Specially, the following principles are helpful when talking to the person who explains that they are not religious because they “believe in science” or the person who puts too much faith into science as the only way to know truth:
- Science doesn’t belong to the left or the right, or any one group or class of people. Declaring “science” is not an argument in itself.
- Science is one way of knowing truth but it is not the only way. If you make it the only way, you are in the scientism camp which is philosophical, not scientific. And scientism usually fails both good science and sound philosophy.
- It is scientism which has dominated pop culture. Don’t confuse it with actual science. Dig beyond the headlines and explore different opinions and studies to try and get to the real science.
- Science doesn’t say anything; scientist do. And scientist are imperfect humans.
- Finally, there exists no conflict between science and Christianity. If there exists a personal, rational God outside of time, matter, and space, then what we find in the sciences (universe with a beginning, logic, mathematical rules, laws of physics) would be expected. The conflict begins with scientism and that is a philosophical confliction, not scientific. The conflict lies beyond the evidence and often in the philosophical conclusions deriving from the evidence.