Episode 4: With All Due Respect on apologetics

Show notes for Episode Four

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Notes from Episode 4: Apologetics

Michael wrote a response to an article by Stephen McAlpine, an evangelical pastor and blogger in Western Australia, on apologetics, which argued that the era of nice apologetics is over.

What is apologetics? It’s nothing to do with saying sorry but it’s giving a defence of the Christian message in the public square.

In For Argument’s Sake, Michael and Megan discuss Stephen’s contention that artful persuasion doesn’t work because it’s perceived as a mask for power and whether his call for robust proclamation equates to aggression. Can we still talk about Christianity in a nice way? Or should we be more prosecutorial and strident in how we offer an alternative for the world?

To enter The Discomfort Zone, Michael persuaded Megan to read God is Good For You. (Read Greg’s profile here) by The Australian‘s Greg Sheridan, which she was dedicated enough to read while on holiday in the Blue Mountains.

Megan says she wouldn’t have kept going after the first chapter’s polemic on the dire state of Christianity if she didn’t have to, but in the middle of the book she found some riches she really enjoyed (such as Greg talking with politicians – from Penny Wong to John Howard – about their faith).

Michael likes Greg’s defence of Christianity as intellectually respectable, but doesn’t feel he achieved his stated aim of doing for the 21st century what C.S. Lewis did in the 1940s with Mere Christianity.

They both have issues with Greg’s glossing over the real problems which have afflicted the church.

Views from Megan’s iPad

For their regular Marg & Dave review, For The Love of God – a documentary by the Centre For Public Christianity – offers a strong contrast with some aspects of Greg Sheridan’s God is Good For You. For the Love of God is very honest about the stuff that the church has done badly historically.

Megan says the film is overall really good and answers a lot of the things she had problems with in Greg Sheridan’s book. She had one quibble about the film’s coverage of women, feeling it needed to tackle the systemic problem of the church’s troubled relationship with women.

Megan’s well-loved digital library

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Find out more about the hosts of With All Due Respect:

Rev Dr Michael Jensen, rector at St Mark’s Anglican Darling Point, author, public commentator.

Rev Megan Powell du Toit, ordained Baptist minister, Publishing Manager of the Australian College of Theology, editor of the journal Colloquium.

We got the idea of our two header theology and culture podcast from this show: The Movie Show/At the Movies.

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