Thursday, January 10, 2019

A New Perspective for Apologetics

Think of all your favorite apologists. What are their degrees in? Most have philosophy or theology degrees. Then there are a good number with degrees in the hard sciences or mathematics. However, there aren't really any apologists with a graduate degree in psychology. I know of a handful of lower-level apologists, including myself, who have a master's in psychology or a related field, but none that I know of are explicitly integrating psychology into apologetics.

While there are differences in the left and right brain,
they are largely exaggerated in pop-culture
My goal with this blog is to help fill the psychology gap in apologetics, which I think could be a tremendous benefit to the field of apologetics. Psychology is a very broad field that touches everything people do. It's so much more than just therapy. Psychologists scientifically study just about everything you can imagine about people, including things most people don't think about as science like music, art, beauty, leadership, teaching, and morality.

Broadly speaking, I think there are four ways psychology can benefit apologetics. It can strengthen some philosophical and historical arguments with empirical data, help apologists improve their methods so their arguments are more effective, correct some misconceptions about the mind or human tendencies, and maybe even add a couple additional arguments to the apologist's toolbox. Those are the broad categories, but to be more specific (without actually be specific!), psychology can add something unique to every argument apologists use or topic that they speak on.

Most of what I write on will relate to both psychology and apologetics; however, I will write on theological issues as well, particularly very practical issues such as trying to determine if Jesus wants us to leave the toilet seat up or down (who says we can't have a little fun, too). Just to give you a little preview, my next post will discuss the Enneagram, which is a personality assessment that has become very popular among Christians. What better topic is there to start writing about psychological science, apologetics, and theology?