A Careful Handling of the Evidence . . . and Text [Excerpts]
“Problematic apologetics?” What does that term mean? The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia. It is usually translated “answer” or “defense” in 1 Peter:3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
If Christianity is true, and the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God, Christians should be able to defend their faith when asked skeptical questions. This doesn’t mean that Christians must have all the answers—but from a big picture perspective, they should be able to give a reasoned argument to counter attacks on the Christian faith.
Problematic apologetics comes in different forms, such as promoting urban legends or taking quotations out of context. We hope to deal with some of these in coming issues. This article deals with one problem, which we call “eisegesis problematic apologetics.”
Here is an illustration. Recently, a person made claims about how to interpret some scientific evidence and then quoted a Bible verse to justify his argument. But when the verse was checked in context, it did not support the claim. This is called eisegesis (a big word for “reading into the text”).
Instead of letting God’s Word speak to us through the style and context of the passage, people try to force their own ideas into the Bible to justify their beliefs.
Cults are masters at eisegesis, but it’s also a danger for Christians. In fact, every time a Christian defends compromise ideas about earth history and evolution, such as the gap theory, theistic evolution, and progressive creation, they are imposing their own ideas on Scripture. Then they claim that Scripture teaches their position. Such “eisegesis problematic apologetics” ultimately undermines the authority of Scripture and causes unbelievers to stumble.