Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

College

Barnett College of Ministry & Theology

Department

Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. Alan J. Ehler

Second Advisor

Dr. Yoon Shin

Third Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Archer

Abstract

This thesis argues that contemporary apologetic approaches correlate to, or derive their methods from, different anthropological models with various degrees of accuracy, and that an interdisciplinary study of humanity leads to proper conclusions for apologetic method. Three of the most utilized contemporary apologetic methods are Traditional Apologetics, Presuppositionalism, and Experiential/Narratival Apologetics. Each method reflects an assumption of human persons as thinkers, believers, or desirers, respectively. Interdisciplinary research from theology, sociology, psychology, economics, and neuroscience corroborates the anthropological assumption of humans as essentially desirers. This research leads to at least three important implications for apologetic method, including a focus on persuasion over argumentation, creativity over rigidity, and community over individuality.


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