It’s the end of apologetics!
Well, at least that’s what a recent book by Myron Bradley Penner claims, which is big if true.
If apologetics has reached its end, after all, your intrepid cohosts will soon need to bid adieu, a tout le monde, since there’s no need for an apologetics podcast if the extinction of apologetics is imminent. But, alas, seconds before Timothy turns to Garrick with mist in his eyes and whispers, “The Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things,” the eagles arrive and sweep the dynamic duo away to a shire of hope in ancient Athens.
As it turns out, the title of Myron Bradley Penner’s book is somewhat exaggerated, and there may be a future for apologetics after all. Timothy is convinced that this future is actually found in the past—in the church fathers of the second century, to be exact. Finding the future in the past is basically what happens in Avengers: Endgame when they realize that Back to the Future was wrong about how time travel works, so this basically makes Garrick and Timothy members of the Avengers now.
To prove this point, Garrick Bailey and Timothy Paul Jones appeal to a paper that Timothy presented at the most recent gathering of the Evangelical Theological Society. If you’ve never heard of ETS, don’t despair; it’s basically Comic-Con, except that it’s for theologians and biblical scholars instead of comic-book cosplayers, which results in a lot less Spandex than you see at Comic-Con—which is a good thing because, even though “Theologians in Spandex” would be a great name for a band, it’s not something you would want to see in real life.
And so, in the end, in an act of heroism of a sort that hasn’t been seen since the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame, Garrick and Timothy bravely prevent the end of apologetics. They do this by showing how the life of the church provides a defense of the faith. Also, they show how Live Aid would never have happened in 1985 if it hadn’t been for the rise of Christianity nearly two thousand years earlier.
This round of Indiana, Jones, and the Raiders of Church History shockingly pits a clipeus of Constantine against the sudarium of Veronica.
As you might imagine from all the times in your life when your clipeus has gone to war against your sudarium, the results are rather messy.
Before it’s all over, Veronica’s sudarium—also known as a veil utilized to wipe sweat—is defeated by the appearance of a boss. Sadly, this boss not The Boss, also known as Bruce Springsteen. It’s the iron knob embedded in the middle of a circular shield—also known as a clipeus— and it’s this boss that brings about the decisive defeat of Veronica’s veil.
ABOUT THE HOSTS OF THE APOLOGETICS PODCAST
Timothy Paul Jones, Ph.D., is C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He teaches in the areas of family ministry and applied apologetics. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including Why Should I Trust the Bible?, The God Who Goes Before You, Perspectives on Family Ministry, and Christian History Made Easy. Follow Dr. Jones at @DrTimothyPJones.
Garrick Bailey is a Ph.D. student in systematic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, studying Herman Bavinck and Roman Catholicism under the supervision of Gregg Allison. Follow Garrick at @GarrickBailey.
LINKS TO CLICK ABOUT APOLOGETICS
The End of Apologetics (book by Myron Penner)
Telling a Better Story (book by Josh Chatraw)
Apologetics at the Cross (book by Josh Chatraw)
Apology (book by Aristides)
Music for the podcast has been licensed through Artlist.io and performed by Cunningham Manor. Brief excerpts of music played in each program are included solely for the purposes of comment and critique as allowed under the fair-use provision of U.S. copyright law. “The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, … scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright” (U.S. Code § 107, Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use).