4. What is your opinion on the current intellectual state of the modern church? Some apologists have begun to heavily criticize it.
I think there is no question that there are vast stretches of ignorance in the modern church, but I doubt the ‘modern’ part of that phrase is relevant. I’m not very impressed with the intellectual state of modern society in general; here again, the ‘modern’ part is probably not very significant. What to do about it? Your best, as you are able, but I’m not a big fan of tinkering with systems, and I think one of the attitudes embedded in this kind of question is the view that we should ‘take the reins’ as it were, and shape the ‘system’ the way that we see fit. The church in America is largely structured so as to appear like a ‘system.’ Our congregations are organized on secular principles and legal frameworks, have ‘presidents’ and boards and committees, and so on. But the Church is not a ‘system.’ It is the Body of Christ. Christ is the husband, and the right to intervene and perfect his Bride is his and his alone. Our chief responsibility, in the face of pervasive ignorance everywhere, both in and outside the church, is to our own family. Sure, help out where you can, but your duty is to your own family.
Sure, I’ve lodged criticisms about the state of the church right now. I’ve even made the claim that the church is the leading cause of atheism in America. But what to do about it? Persuade, cajole, warn, equip, and educate. But I don’t think I’ll have to answer for the ignorance of Christians in, say, Uganda, or Chicago. God will hold me to account, however, if my own children are ill-equipped to live as free men and women in the world.
5. Do you have a favorite apologist, Christian thinker, or philosopher? Give us your top 3.
Hands down, C.S. Lewis. After him, C.S. Lewis. Coming in a distant third, C.S. Lewis.
C.S. Lewis corrected my arrogant view that I had come up with questions no one had asked before. He asked them–and answered them. I owe much to the man.
In fourth place, comes G.K. Chesterton. His book “Orthodoxy” was worldview transforming for me.
Other folks have also had an impact, though to a lesser degree. These would include Dorothy Sayers, John Warwick Montgomery, and FF Bruce come to mind. There are other apologists out there, and I’m not saying they are not as competent as these, I’m just saying that they were not foremost in my own personal journey.
6. What do you think is the strongest proof for the Christian God?