An Apologetic of the Cross as a Lutheran Approach to 21st Century Apologetics Centered on the Hiddenness of God
This research examines contemporary Christian apologetics to contextualize current apologetic developments and demonstrate where Lutheran theology departs from popular evangelical approaches to apologetics. It then proposes a Confessional Lutheran approach to 21st century Christian apologetics, exploring how the concepts of reason, total depravity, the theology of the cross, the hiddenness of God (i.e., God’s masks in nature, Christ’s incarnation and crucifixion, and the Christian himself through vocation) interact with evangelism and conversion. This paper proposes an apologetic of the cross as an evangelism tool for the Lutheran pastor/apologist. Although strictly speaking only special revelation carries the gospel message, all masks bear witness to the God of Scripture and are at the evangelist/apologist’s disposal to bring unbelievers into an encounter with the gospel. This apologetic of the cross alters the traditional view of apologetics and its relationship to evangelism. The goal of Lutheran apologetics is not to demonstrate how reasonable our faith is, but rather to point out that the unreasonable did, in fact, take place. When the unreasonable gospel message of forgiveness and the historical event of the incarnation, are brought together, then apologetics has been properly united with the gospel ministry.