Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oliphint on persuasive arguments

The concise book called The Battle Belongs to the Lord is an excellent introductory text on apologetics. It has been very helpful to read and blog through this work by Scott Oliphint. In this excerpt, Oliphint discusses the persuasive argument.

We should understand that a persuasive argument  does not throw out the rules of a valid or sound argument. Its design, however, is to entice the other person. It is meant to carry an appeal that neither a valid nor a sound argument is able to carry. It is meant to bring the opponent into our arena of concern.

I an apologetic context, persuasion is essential. A persuasive apologetic takes something that the non-Christian has already claimed to be true, and uses it to the advantage of the Christian defense. What separates a persuasive argument from other kinds of arguments is that, wherever possible and permissible, it incorporates the opponent's beliefs to its own advantage. This "brings the opponent in" to the discussion automatically, by affirming what he himself has said.

(Oliphint, K. Scott. The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2003. Print.151

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