In religious scholarly discourse, an apologist is an advocate or defender of the faith who interprets, explains and protects particular theological views from secular objection or misrepresentation. Reality reveals the apologist’s position more closely related to the word apology, which means to expiate, rationalize or make excuses, something professional Christian intellectuals mastered over the centuries.
Much like a politician, the Christian apologist specializes in obfuscation, ambiguity and tortured logic trying to defend the indefensible, the impossible and the unbelievable—the Bible, a book of unknown origin, written by unknowns and posited as the word of God. In defending a book translated from Greek as well as Latin, apologists take crumbs and try to make a banquet by formulating sophisticated arguments for biblical authenticity, but continually fail by offering explanations that confuse rather than clarify or stretch believability of even the most devout to the breaking point.
Because of claims of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, the Christian apologist starts out painted into a corner with little if any space for simple answers. In reference to the Bible, the apologist cannot acknowledge even one mistake because to do so makes an inerrant, divinely inspired book irrelevant. Barred from admission of error, apologists resort to academic double-speak, hiding the truth behind acres of meaningless exposition and useless extrapolation.
Christian apologists try valiantly to avoid use of the Bible to prove a point knowing that among intellectuals employment of a disputed article as a proof source is the weakest argument for the validity of specific point. Employing the Bible as a defense takes an already terminally weak position and turns it into an unending game of tag, but that is the apologist’s plight. From the sublime to the ridiculous, apologists continue to defend, explain and reformat the Bible with a mountain of excuses and convoluted explanations.
In spite of the paucity of proof for the Bible as the word of God, many apologists think it the best evidence for defending the Christianity. On the other hand, there are just as many maintaining that the Bible is its own worst enemy, citing how it was pieced together more than 300 years after the alleged death of Jesus by the Council of Nicea that picked through a trove of “gospels” voting which were worthy of inclusion.
Christian apologist is an apt name for what amounts to providing alibis or making allowances for a 2,000-year-old book that is frequently at odds with reality, filled with forgeries, incorrect science and misleading propaganda. Sincerity aside, current biblical exegesis carries the odor of intellectual dishonesty more attuned to avoidance than enlightenment.
Don R Barbera