What is Apologetics?

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Does Theism Mean?

Over the past several postings, I have been sharing some definitions of some of the "isms" of belief. Of all things, here is one that seems I overlooked. I guess I saved the best for last, eh? This word theism covers a broad array of isms.

Theism: The view or belief that God, is understood as one infinite, all powerful, all knowing, completely good person, exists and has created the universe. Equivalent to monotheism. In contrast to this view, see atheism, pantheism, panentheism, and polytheism. (Source: C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics: Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002. s.v. "theism".)

In the definition you see the core views of theism dealing with the essence of how God's existence is understood, from nonexistent to everything being god, to God being in process and recreating Himself and finally to there being many gods.  But there are different views of theism within a monotheistic framework that I will deal with in a latter time: neotheism (a.k.a. "open theism"), and Islamic monotheism.

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