The April issue of Christianity Today has two interesting articles on women engaged in teaching and practicing apologetics. Apparently this is somewhat unusual since apologetics has often or even usually been a male domain. The first article, “The Unexpected Defenders” tells the story of five women, all associated with the Master of Arts (Apologetics) degree at Houston Baptist University. Part of the interest in the article concerns the unique approach to apologetics adopted by these women (cultural apologetics), as well as exploring what these women bring to the practice of apologetics as women.
Ultimately, apologetics is driven by love. You have to love people enough to listen to their questions and do the hard work of finding answers for them (Nancy Pearcey).
The second article, “The Oxford Revivalist,” shifts attention to the UK and to the work of Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics program director, Amy Orr-Ewing. Her story is quite amazing and well worth reading.
“Without women we wouldn’t know what happened at the Cross,” says Orr-Ewing. “John’s there, but all the other witnesses to the words from the cross are female. And women are the first witnesses to the Resurrection. If you’re a Christian, you believe the Lord arranged for that. That’s not unintentional. That’s amazing.”
Proverbs 9:10-12 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
True wisdom derives from viewing everything in its relation to God. To honour and love God above all things is the beginning of wisdom. To know God – the Holy One – is understanding; why?
To love and honour God above all things gives one the capacity to find or accord the correct place for all other things. In so doing we are helped to avoid idolatry: of giving anything else ultimate value or allegiance in our lives. The true nature of reality cannot be read off the surface of nature or history alone. The mystery of life and of the world is not known to us through the world alone. Here Calvin gets it right: we only truly know ourselves when we first come to know God. The fear of the Lord enables us to perceive the inner secret of reality, that God is the origin, meaning and goal of all that is, and that God’s ways therefore constitute true wisdom, the true path of life in this world.
In sum, then, through the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God one may
Know the truth of our existence and so the ultimate meaning of life;
Begin to order all one’s loves in accordance with the centrality, supremacy and ultimacy of God;
Learn to walk in God’s will and God’s ways which are the pathway of life.