Q&A about ‘Unapologetic’ with David Heim of The Christian Century


Interview in the 10 December 2014 issue, online here.

Your book is not “apologetic” in the classic sense of presenting a rational defense of Christian belief designed to persuade skeptics. You explicitly focus on the emotional sense of Christianity. Do you think there is a place for the former kind of apologetics?

I’m not always intellectually convinced by particular moves that particular apologists make as they go about the traditional business of defending the integrity and plausibility of Christian ideas, but I absolutely accept the value of the task. It needs to exist in the Christian intellectual ecosystem and to be reinvented for changing contexts of ideas every generation, maybe every decade. I just don’t think it is the only persuasive tool we need, or that it is always the right one to reach people with.

Often, even when writers think they are beginning from scratch, conventional apologetics assumes a kind of basic assent from the reader to the idea that this religion stuff matters at all—that God is important enough that you’d want to devote your time to propositions about him. And for increasingly large numbers of people, that just isn’t true any more.

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